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Lifewire / Benjamin Zeman
Affordable, entry-level DSLR camera
Easy to use
Good image quality
No articulating or touch display
Some Wi-Fi connectivity problems
Incompatible with some third-party triggers and flashes
The Canon EOS Rebel T7 Kit is Canon’s newest entry-level DSLR. The primary upgrade from the T6 is a sensor resolution increase from 18 to 24.1 megapixels. Otherwise nearly identical, the improvements aren’t worth it for T6 owners, but if your purchase isn’t an upgrade it’s a great DSLR at an affordable price
The Canon EOS Rebel T7 is a compact DSLR, designed to fit as many of the great features Canon is known for into a small and light body, a (relatively) affordable entry point into the world of DSLR cameras. We looked at the T7’s design, setup process, and performance to see if it’s a good choice for new users and those upgrading from older EOS Rebel cameras.
The T7 iterates on all the Rebels that came before it. The black, mostly plastic body is very light at 23.8 ounces (including the battery and kit lens). At 5.1 x 4.0 x 3.1 inches the T7 is fairly compact, especially when compared to Canon’s more expensive DSLR options.
There’s a textured grip for your right hand, with all the camera’s buttons and functions located within your reach. The user-interface layout is the same as the Canon T6 with navigation buttons located to the right of the LCD display.
The flash pops out from the top of the camera when needed and is pushed back in when you want to close it. Lenses are removed by pressing a release button on the front of the camera and rotating the lens. The T7 is compatible with both EF and EF-S lenses, and the lens mount includes the white square and red dot showing you how to align the lens when attaching it to the body. As usual, the connection is well designed, sturdy, and solid, using a metal ring instead of the plastic used elsewhere on the body.
On the left of the camera you will find the remote trigger, USB, and HDMI ports under a rubber cover that is tethered to the body. As expected there is a universal tripod mount located on the bottom of the camera. Both the SD card and battery share the same compartment, covered under a hinged plastic door. There’s a small rubber flap on the edge of the battery compartment so you can use an external power supply with a cable and dummy battery.
The Canon T7 is almost identical to its predecessor the T6 and will feel familiar in the hands of anyone who has held a Canon DSLR before. One important thing to note (and one of the only differences between the models) is that the T7 has done away with the center pin on the universal hot shoe connection. This means that some external triggers and flashes will not work with this camera. The hot shoe is located on top of the camera, right behind the built-in flash.
The T7 delivers great quality images and performs well in low lighting.
The T7 comes with an EF-S 18-55mm kit lens and because it’s light and mostly plastic, it feels kind of cheap to us. The lens has a textured, grooved grip for manually adjusting the optical zoom and a smaller textured grip for the focus. Image stabilization and autofocus are built-in and enabled with switches located on the side. The kit lens appears to be the exact same lens that came with the T3i, our very first Canon DSLR camera about eight years ago, except with a different lens cap.
The LCD is a set display that doesn’t articulate like the T7i camera. The viewfinder is located directly above the display and is a basic entry-level DSLR pentamirror. It looks good and has an adjustable diopter. Whether or not the fixed LCD is right for you depends on how you plan on using the camera, and if you feel like the lack of an articulating display can be replaced with a mobile device over Wi-Fi.
We found the setup process for the Canon EOS Rebel T7 to be very easy, except when we tried connecting our mobile device over Wi-Fi. We eventually got it working but only after significant hassle.
We popped the battery and an SD card into the camera, turned it on and set the date and time. After that, the camera was ready to use and we started exploring the menu options. Nothing has really changed from previous Rebel-series cameras, but we did tweak a few things in the settings. We like to shoot in RAW format so we changed that first. We also extended the image review time, extended the auto power off time, changed the grid display, and disabled the beep sound.
Canon’s line of EOS Rebel cameras are pretty feature rich, so there’s a lot to learn if you really want to dig in, but it’s not required to start using the camera. We tested the Auto setting on the camera first and switched on Autofocus and Image Stabilization on the kit lens. The camera does pretty much everything for you in Auto mode—just point and shoot.
We don’t generally use any of the other camera modes except the video and manual modes but we explored them and they all worked well. After checking the ins and outs of the software, we switched the camera into manual mode and took it on a little excursion with one of our favorite lenses, a Canon 40mm. Switching our lenses was as easy as pushing down the lock button and rotating the kit lens to remove it, then lining up the 40mm lens and turning it until it locked into place.
After playing around for a while we were really missing the articulating LCD display found on the Canon T7i, so we decided to test out remote Wi-Fi control through the Camera Connect app. Setting up a Wi-Fi connection to our mobile phone was the only part of the setup process that we found cumbersome. Getting a solid connection over our own network didn’t work well, and despite speedy internet the stuttering live preview, lag, and occasional freezing in the Camera Connect app was unbearable.
Luckily, the Canon T7 can broadcast its own ad hoc Wi-Fi network and you can connect your mobile device to the camera through it. This direct connection was easy to set up and proved significantly more solid.
It’s interesting to have a product that is so well designed that it can be set up quickly by a first time user and still be feature rich enough for an enthusiast. The first time we picked up a DSLR camera over a decade ago it seemed really intimidating—traditional film cameras hadn’t started being replaced by digital yet and we were darkroom junkies. Luckily that first DSLR was also a Canon, and like this much newer T7 model, we figured it out and were sold pretty quickly.
One of the most important metrics for any camera is image quality, and the Canon EOS Rebel T7 delivers. As a whole the T7 isn’t a significant upgrade from the T6, but Canon did increase the resolution of the sensor from 18 megapixels to 24.1, and increase the buffer depth.
The T7 has a beautiful max resolution of 6000 x 4000 at a 3:2 aspect ratio when shooting in JPEG, and it always shoots at max resolution in RAW format. Unfortunately the camera only offers a Full HD max resolution of 1920 x 1080 for video; maybe we’ll see 4K on the next generation.
When used as a Full HD video camera, the T7 tops out at 30 frames per second, which means no slow motion. The audio is also recorded in mono and there is no external microphone jack. Regardless, the Full HD image is very clear and this camera can still be used as a good option for YouTube or other online videos.
The EF-S 18-55mm kit lens that comes with the camera is decent but a low cost, entry-level lens. The image quality is good though, and we’re glad Canon included a good starter lens instead of something you would immediately want to upgrade. Autofocus works quickly and Image Stabilization is good, adding to the quality of the images.
The Canon EOS Rebel T7 delivers great quality images and performs well in low lighting. Autofocus, exposure, and white balance make shooting easy, and there are plenty of other modes to choose from. Does the upgraded sensor make this camera worth purchasing if you already have a Canon T6? Probably not, unless you have plenty of money to spend. If you aren’t upgrading from the last generation, you’ll be very happy with the quality.
The Canon EOS Rebel T7 offers both Wi-Fi and NFC sharing features. Wi-Fi lets you get your images off the camera and onto your Android or iOS device quickly using Canon’s mobile app. You can also use your mobile device to control the camera, change settings and shoot both photos and video.
The NFC radio allows Android users to connect to the camera even easier by tapping the two devices together. Unfortunately the T7 doesn’t have Bluetooth and none of these features work with a laptop. Instead a USB connection has to be made if you want to use Canon’s EOS Utility app to control the camera remotely. We tested it on a Windows laptop but found ourselves going back to our mobile devices because the USB cable kept getting in the way.
Those features were debuted with Canon’s older T6 model so there’s really nothing new there. The T7 is such a modest upgrade that there’s really nothing to get too excited about except two key upgrades. The high-resolution 24.1 Megapixel APS-C sensor is one of those upgrades and helps the camera perform even better under low light situations. In addition, the Canon DIGIC 4+ Image Processor that powers the EOS Rebel T7 has a faster processing speed than the T6. It also improves image quality when processing high ISO shots, helping to reduce noise and improve detail.
The Rebel T7 runs software developed by Canon and it works very well, has a lot of settings options, and is easy to navigate. With the addition of Wi-Fi, starting with the T6 and continuing with the T7, we began to see the first problems we have ever seen with Rebel series cameras on the software end.
We already mentioned we couldn’t establish a solid connection over our router’s existing network. Connecting directly to the camera's own Wi-Fi network did work well though, though getting it established and getting it reconnected after powering the camera off and on again is time consuming. A few times we ended up freezing both the camera’s menu software and the mobile app. Shutting the camera down and turning it back on again resolved the problem.
You can only connect one device at a time and if you want to switch devices you need to start the whole connection process over again from the beginning. For us that meant extra time spent when we wanted to switch from our mobile phone to a tablet with a larger screen. We were also disappointed that we couldn’t connect to our laptop via Wi-Fi.
One of the main things we wish the T7 had, and what ultimately keeps us from wholeheartedly recommending it, is an articulating LCD display.
Canon’s EOS Utility software worked well over USB with our Windows laptop. We were easily able to view what we were shooting and control the camera remotely. Canon’s Camera Connect mobile app also worked well most of the time, but the preview image quality wasn’t very good and we found ourselves shooting slightly out of focus photos sometimes, especially on our older Nexus 7 tablet.
Anyone familiar with the open source software alternative called Magic Lantern might be disappointed that it isn’t available for the T7 yet, but the website does say that porting has started. Magic Lantern adds a ton of new features to Canon EOS cameras that weren't included by Canon in the factory software and is a good third party alternative.
You’ll often see the option to buy Canon cameras with bundles of additional accessories. In our bundle we received: 2x Transcend 32GB SD Cards, 58mm Wide Angle Lens, 58mm 2X Telephoto Lens, Slave Flash, Photo4Less DC59 Case, 60" Tripod, RS-60 Remote Switch, 3 Piece Filter Kit, 58mm UV Filter, USB Card Reader, Screen Protectors, Memory Card Hard Case, Tabletop Tripod, and a Lens Cap Holder.
These bundles are never worth it. They always seem like a good deal because you get so many things for only a little more money, but the quality of the products included are always terrible. The 32 GB SD cards are slow and there are much better options out there. The tripods are cheap and the tabletop one barely even holds up the camera without falling over. The Vivitar branded Wide Angle and Telephoto Lenses are attachments that screw on to the kit lens and not really standalone lenses that mount to the camera body. The slave flash isn’t any better than the built-in flash, and may even be worse.
We also found that the UV and other lens filters caused problems with the cameras autofocus. We didn’t need a USB card reader because our laptop has one, but you can also transfer photos via USB cable or the Camera Connect mobile app, so there’s no need for another device. The Photo4Less case is more of a lens case than a camera case but you can reconfigure the inside to hold the camera, kit lens, and some accessories. We’ve also never used a lens cap holder but maybe you’ll find it useful. For us, when a lens cap comes off, it immediately goes in our back pocket.
The only item in the bundle that we might actually want to use is the SD card case, but you can find that on its own for under $10. Be careful though, even those hard cases have a ton of bundle options. When it comes to buying cameras, just remember that even if the main event is great, the bundles are trash.
At $450 (MSRP) and a typical street value of $400, the Canon EOS Rebel T7 is very affordable for a DSLR. Other entry-level DSLRs can be found in the same price range from companies like Nikon, Pentax, and Sony but the T7 usually costs slightly less. Pentax is a very popular alternative and often scores higher on camera comparison websites, so if cost isn’t an issue you might want to check out what they have to offer.
The T7 will usually beat out the competitors when it comes to portability though. If you’re looking for a small and light camera body, then the Canon T7 is the way to go. If you’re looking at the overall value and are willing to spend a little bit more, there are other options that may be better for you. One of the main things we wish the T7 had, and what ultimately keeps us from wholeheartedly recommending it, is an articulating LCD display.
You might say that the T7i isn’t really a competitor because it’s also manufactured by Canon and basically the same camera, but the additional features and higher level of quality quality the T7i offers makes it a valid comparison.
Both cameras have a 24 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, EF/EF-S lens mount, optical pentamirror viewfinder, 1920 x 1080 video resolution, and built-in wireless. They’re also very similar in size. The T7i is only slightly larger and weighs a little bit more, but it’s not a significant difference.
One of the T7i’s major advantages is a higher-resolution, articulating touchscreen display. It’s hard to explain how useful an articulating display is until you actually use one, but if you’re taking any sort of action shots or are shooting at odd angles, it makes a huge difference. The higher-resolution display also makes it easier to frame your photos and tell when they’re in focus.
The T7i also comes out ahead on image quality with an ISO range of 100-25600 ( expands to 51200), while the T7’s ISO range is only 100-6400. The T7i can shoot at 6.0 fps continuous shooting while the T7 is only capable of 3.0 fps. Other notable differences are 45 focus points vs. 9 on the T7, a microphone port, a longer flash coverage range, Bluetooth capability, and 100 more shots per charge.
The T7i is definitely more expensive at $900(MSRP)but has a common street value around $650, and we think it’s worth it to save up the extra $200 to get the better model.
A great camera, though the T7i is a superior option.
The Canon EOS Rebel T7 is a good entry-level DSLR camera at a very affordable price. Its light and compact design make it stand out from other competitors. It has most of the features you would want in a modern DSLR but lacks a couple of key features that we’ve learned we can’t live without.
Despite the price difference, we highly recommend getting the T7i model instead of the stripped down T7 model. The additional features like an articulating touchscreen display, Bluetooth, and expanded settings make the T7i a much better camera in our eyes. The T7 is still a great first time DSLR, but if you can afford it, the T7i is a better camera.