Canon 760D Hands on Review

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The Canon 760D may seem to be a better choice of camera than the 750D despite being $100 more. Between the two cameras, the differences are mainly in the ergonomic design rather than the hardware. The 760D has a top panel LCD for quick view of the settings and a rear command dial similar to the 70D, while the 750D is more inline with its predecessor 700D.

[REWIND – Canon EOS 760D Review – Why it is still worth considering  | Why you should choose Canon 760D over the 750D?]

With the new 760D, you are getting a camera that is very close to the 70D (both ergonomic and specs) for a much lower cost.  I highly recommend the 760D , the extra $100 is well worth the extra features.

Primary features

  • 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • 19-point autofocus system
  • Hybrid CMOS AF III focus system (live view)
  • 7560 pixel RGB + IR metering sensor with skin tone detection
  • 3″ fully articulating touchscreen LCD
  • 5 fps continuous shooting
  • 1080/30p video
  • Servo AF in live view
  • Wi-Fi with NFC

Extra features on Canon 760D

  • Servo AF in live view, which lets you track moving subjects in live view
  • Eye sensor for use with optical viewfinder
  • LCD information display on top plate 
  • Quick control dial on rear
  • Record HDR movies in real time

The Canon 760D is an extensive upgrade to the 700D. The new hybrid CMOS AF IIII sensor utilises phase detection points for increased focus speed and accuracy in live view. It also permits Servo AF which lets you track moving subjects in live view. Canon claims that the performance of Hybrid CMOS III is close to that of Dual Pixel AF (found in the EOS 70D and 7D II). The number of AF point on the 760D has increased to 19, but still a bit disappointing compares to Nikon D5500 which offers 39 AF points.

Another advancement seen on the 760D is the sensor. Since sever generation ago with the Canon 550D, Canon has been using the same (or very similar) 18MP sensor, but a new 24MP sensor has been put into the 760D. While the extra 6MP is nothing major, it does indicate the image processor and ISO performance of the 760D are better.

Despite the Canon 760D being advertised as an entry level DSLR, the top LCD and twin dials are there to target towards more advanced users. When I picked up the 760D, it felt compact like an entry level DSLR. It is not until I see the top LCD and 19 AF points to realise I can definitely use this on a professional shoot. So I did and took it to a field test. I shot a portrait session with it and due to the nature of the shoot not all the features are fully tested. The field test is a simple test to see how it responses in a photo shoot and my shooting experience with it. If you are looking for lab results, check out DxOMark.com

Auto Focus (AF)

The AF on the Canon 760D may not be ground breaking, but 19 AF points are more than double of its predecessor. Compare to the Nikon D5500’s 39 AF points system, the Canon 760D still has a fair distance to catch up. Having said that,  entry level DSLR are rarely used to shoot anything that is moving super fast, so 19 AF point is still consider very useable. All the AF points are cross type so there should be no problem with picking up focus. The new AF system has several different modes and selectable zones. Switching between the modes can be done by pressing the AF area selection button at the top and cycle the different modes and zones using the twin dials. For the field test, I only shot with single AF point in ONE SHOT mode. The auto focus seems to be quick and accurate, but I did have some problem with AF when shooting against the sun in particular when the contrast is very low.

My model wasn’t moving at a pace so I didn’t get to try out the  AI Servo or tracking. Unlike the Canon 7D mark II, the 760D does not feature Canon’s iTR system for subject tracking, instead it only uses depth information to track the subject as it moves, so I would expect the tracking is pretty standard. I have tested the tracking on the 7D mark II and found it to be hit or miss (read more here) so I expect the 760D is about the same. This is a bit disappointing since Nikon’s 3D tracking is much more superior and it is featured on the D5500.

I also tried out the Live View AF, but it was slow so I turned it off. It would be useful for videoing in some situation and for those who are inexperience with MF, but videoing on DSLR is all about MF. Practice it and you will have no problem.

ISO Performance

I didn’t get to test out the ISO much since the session took place on a bright day, but from my experience,  APS-C DSLRs are decent up to ISO 1600, after that the noise and dynamic range are being compromised. Despite it can go up to 12800 (expandable to 25600), I would never use it on such high ISO.  There is Auto ISO on the 760D but you can’t set the minimum shutter speed, so it is not going to be that useful especially if you are using a telephoto lens.

Resolution

The new 24MP sensor is about the right resolution for any type of photography these days. You are not going to see a lot of difference comparing to the older 18MP sensor, except you can crop a little bit more. Generally I am happy with the image quality, the dynamic range might not be as good as the Nikon or Sony’s but you are not going to notice the differences. I was able to get some amazing shots using this camera and the 50mm f1.8 STM lens. All the photos on this post are shot with this combo.

Shooting Experience

The Canon 760D is a tiny camera, but has all the right functions at the finger tips. The twin dials and top LCD make it so much easier to use. I can adjust aperture and shutter speed using two different dials and in A or Tv modes, exposure compensation can be adjusted directly by the rear command dial. Unfortunately, there is still no direct AF point selection from the rear dial which makes changing AF point a bit more difficult.  On a number of occasion, the AF failed when I was shooting against the sun and with the busy forest in the background, it was slow on detecting the subject. Compare to pro DSLRs like the Canon 7D mark II, the shutter sound feels soft and weak, it doesn’t have the solid sound that it makes on a magnesium body. As I was shooting along, I was a bit worry on the battery life, the Canon 760D is rated for 440 shots and when I got up to about 250 shots I kept checking the battery. It was surprise to see the battery level was still full, so I can imagine it could do a bit more if the battery is conserved and used wisely.

I have learnt to like the 760D as I shoot more and more with it. I have used it for a number of photo shoots already and it has performed greatly. It is a great camera and there is a lot to like about it. Even though it feels short compare to the Nikon D5500 which has a better image quality, AF system, ISO performance,  I still prefer the Canon 760D, check out why it is still worth considering in this review. Basically, it comes down to the ergonomic design of the 760D (twin dials is a must) and a compact lens that I love (EF 24mm f2.8).

If I am picking up an entry level DSLR, I would skip the kit set with the 18-135mm, but go with this twin prime lens combo that cost the same (Canon 760D Body only + Canon EF-S 24mm f2.8 STM + Canon EF 50mm f1.8 STM).

What do you think about the 760D and the twin lens combo? Leave a comment below.

 

 

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About Kent Yu

Kent is a professional wedding and portrait photographer based in Wellington, New Zealand. He and his team specialise in modern and contemporary weddings. Kent has his work published in international magazines and is a regular author to a number of photographic publication. He is fascinated by photographic equipment and enjoys showcasing the gear used in creating his images. You can find him on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Google+
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