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Review Canon 760D

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Finally a new 24-megapixel sensor in the Canon APS-C SLRs! That was the big news at the introduction of the Canon 750D and Canon 760D, February 2015. The previous sensor was already 6 years old. With 24 MP, these SLR cameras offer more pixels than the more expensive, recently released (and reviewed by us) Canon 70D and Canon 7D MK2. Other updates: a faster image processor, a better AF system with 19 cross-sensors, better film options and Wi-Fi. The Canon 750D and 760D are designed for the starting photographer who is looking for a mature camera with interchangeable lenses and all kinds of setting options, but who also wants to rely on the automatic settings. The 750D and the 760D differ in a number of details and in price; we are now testing the more expensive model, the 760D. That is available as a body and as a kit with a Canon 18-55 mm STM or a Canon 18-135 mm STM lens. How much better is that new sensor?

Canon 760D review

In all cases, a battery pack with charger, a camera strap and a USB cable are included. Three DVDs come along with it: one Portrait & Landscape Photography DVD, one DVD with the manual, and one DVD with various software such as Canon's RAW software and a picture style editor. The body looks professional.

CSR MG 0997

Canon 760D compared with the Canon 700D

  • The Canon 760D has a more modern sensor than that of the Canon 700D and has more pixels (24 megapixel versus 18).
  • The Canon 760D offers better video specifications.
  • The Canon 760D has an improved processor (Digic6), which according to Canon has a positive effect on the signal-to-noise ratio at high ISO values.
  • The viewfinder of the Canon 760D offers more viewfinder information, but has a marginally smaller magnification (0.82 vs 0.85x) than the viewfinder of the Canon 700D. That difference is barely noticeable.
  • The Canon 760D, with 5 images per second, is just as fast as the Canon 700D, but has a larger buffer, so that you can shoot a series of 8 RAW shots or 940 jpg shots. The 700D shoots a max of 6 RAW or 30 jpgs in a row.
  • It has an improved auto focus (19 AF points vs 9 AF points on the 700D).
  • It lasts longer with one battery charge (550 versus 400 shots) and has Wi-Fi.
  • The list price has gone up by a few hundred euros.

Canon 760D versus Canon 750D

Canon 760D vs Canon 750D
If you can spare 50 euros extra, then choose the Canon 760D.
Both bodies have the same 24 megapixel sensor and the same video performance (Full-HD @ 30p).
And yet the two cameras are designed for different target audiences. The Canon 760D is for beginning amateur photographers who make frequent use of automatic shooting programs for photos and video. The Canon 760D offers more ease of use and some more options. It has a screen on top of the camera and a Quick Control Dial (which you also find on much more expensive EOS models) on the back. That makes the camera easier to use when you want to adjust the settings. The Canon 760D has an electronic level, which is missing on the Canon 750D. You use this to prevent a crooked horizon, and it should thus be a feature that many beginning photographers will also benefit from. The program-mode switch on the 750D is on the right next to the pentaprism housing, and for the Canon 760D, on the left. Because this switch sticks out on the 760D, the button has a locking button that you have to press in order to choose another program mode. The Canon 760D weighs 10 grams more than the Canon 760D, in part due to the extra LCD screen. The list price of the two models differs by fifty euros, and if you can spare that, we would always go for the 760D.

Design, build and ergonomics

 
CSREOS 760D Ambient 2 LCD

For a camera in this segment, the body looks and feels very professional. Due to the deep handgrip and the thumb support, it sits nicely in the hand, despite the compact build. Everything feels solid; the covers for the electrical connections have a rubber sealant edge against dust and splashwater. The lens mount looks rock solid; you even have to use a fair amount of force when changing a lens. The slot for the SD card is to the side. You can thus change the card while the camera is on a tripod. The battery pack is on the bottom. According to Canon, it lasts for 440 shots, but not if you use the LCD screen as a viewfinder, since then that number decreases. We think that is on the low side. The operating buttons are in the proper and logical places: you will get accustomed to it quickly. With the quick menu press button (which is missing on the 750D) and the rotating disk, you can change most of the settings quickly. If you would rather work via the large camera menu, that’s possible as well; Canon menus are traditionally more clear and nicer to use than those of that other big Japanese brand. The only point of criticism: the changing of the ISO via the ISO button on top and a rotating disc requires two hands; that could be better. We would rather have the on-off button on the right by the release button (like on the 750D!).

With the settings disc on top, you operate the usual PSAM modes, but also the AUTO mode and the fun menus. The 760D has 10 of those. As serious photographers, we usually avoid those, but they are there. Of course there is a built-in flash, guide number 12. That can also serve as the trigger for external flashes.

760Dbeeldscherm
The 760D has a 3-inch folding and rotating screen that also serves as a touchscreen. It is ideal when you want to work from difficult angles, great for selfies and handy for viewing the shots from above. Those who prefer the optical viewfinder (and who doesn’t!) will also be satisfied. The optical viewfinder is bright and covers 95% of the field of view. You see which AF fields are activated, and, if desired, you get the essential image information at the bottom. There is an eye sensor that switches off the LCD screen when you use the optical viewfinder. That saves the battery.

Canon 760D versus other brands

The Canon 760D, in price and specifications, is comparable with both SLR and mirrorless system cameras. The Nikon D5500 seems to us to be the most obvious camera, which has a lot in common with the Canon 760D. It is also an APS-C SLR camera with 24 megapixels, Wi-Fi, NFC and a screen that you can both tilt and turn. The mirrorless Samsung NX500 also has an APS-C sensor, a 28-megapixel BSI sensor with a higher dynamic range, and 4K video as well. The difference in resolution between 4K and full-HD is much more important than the differences in resolution between photo cameras. The Four Thirds Olympus OM-D E-M10 has a small sensor but a viewfinder image that is just as big as that of a full-frame Canon camera.

The maximum shooting speed of the 760D is slow at 5 fps in comparison with mirrorless system cameras. The silent mode is also certainly not silent in comparison with the silent mode of mirrorless system cameras such as the Panasonic G7.

Auto focus

The auto focus system is described as ‘hybrid’ by Canon. That is to say that focusing, as is usual for a DSLR, is done by phase detection, but that contrast detection is also applied. There are no fewer than 10 setting options. The phase detection system has 19 sensors, as many as in the 7D. You can select the points individually – also on the touchscreen – but also in groups. There is a tracking option, with which the camera can follow a subject that is in focus. It is a bit like the 3D system of Nikon, and it works on subject color. The phase detection AF is super-fast; the 760D needs about 500 milliseconds to focus from infinity to 1 meter, but it is not extremely accurate. At full aperture, we had a good number of shots that were a bit off. If you are going for speed and you use the optical viewfinder, then stopping down a bit is advisable. The body has no front focus/back focus correction option, which we feel is putting the cart a bit in front of the horse anyway. Front focus and back focus are often also dependent on the focal distance, and you therefore can’t add any value with it to cameras that do have an option for AF fine-tuning. If you are going for the highest accuracy, then use Live View AF, and then everything works perfectly.

 

kat groot

One of our housecats, photographed with the 60 mm Macro lens, 1/1600 at f/5.6. Perfectly focused, with phase detection AF.

Speed 

In the continuous mode, the 760D takes 5 shots per second. What we find at least as important: how long can the camera keep that up? With a ‘burst’ of less than one-and-a-half to two seconds, you namely don’t have much. With this body, it depends on the picture size: in JPEG, you can keep on shooting; in RAW it stops after about 7 shots. It isn’t bad, but that are cameras that do it better. The shutter of the 760D (up to 1/4000 of a second), aside from the ‘regular’ mode also has a ‘silent’ mode with dampened mirror noise. You can also choose the ‘silent’ option in the continuous mode. In comparison with mirrorless bodies, this SLR is still noisy.

High resolution and image quality

bloemen groot
The resolution of the 760D is very good, better than all other APS-C cameras from Canon that we have reviewed previously, and comparable with that of, for example, the Nikon D3300. No wonder, since it also has a 24-megapixel sensor. We made the photo above with 1/50 at f/5 and 100 ISO, and it shows stunning detail sharpness. The lens was a 24 mm f/2.8 wide angle.
CSR MG 1010Canon 760D + Canon 24 mm f/2.8 STM @ f/10, 1/640, 800 ISO

Dynamic range

The dynamic range of the 760D is good, and comparable with that of the much more expensive 7D Mark II. In comparison with Nikon, Panasonic or Olympus cameras, the Canon files have more trouble with noise in the dark areas. Certainly HDR photographers or Photoshoppers who like to adjust shadows/highlights in post-editing will notice that. We had, to be honest, expected a larger step forward with this entirely new sensor.

Canon cameras expose as much as possible to the right, in order to achieve as high a signal-to-noise ratio as possible. In addition, the contrast of the jpg files is beefier in comparison with other brands. In some cases, that goes awry. The practice shot below shows the difference between a RAW file (left) and the jpg file (right). Not only does the RAW file look more natural, it also has less trouble from over-exposure in the red and yellow channels. In order to make a really great picture, we would shift the curve in post-editing a good bit toward the ‘dark’.
DynamicRangeGPGvsRAW
Dynamic Range Canon 760D

Color reproduction

hippecamping1 grootCanon 760D + Canon 24 mm f/2.8 STM @ f/10, 1/250, 800 ISO

With some cameras, we see that the saturation decreases as the ISO value increases, but with Canon cameras the colors remain good, regardless of the level of the ISO setting. In daylight the color reproduction is very good, both in RAW files and jpg files with the Faithful picture style. In artificial light, the automatic white balance with our test set-up (incandescent lighting) is not flawless, but that applies for practically all cameras that we have reviewed. In short: The color reproduction of the Canon 760D is just as good as that of much more expensive cameras.

If you don’t work with RAW files or you choose for another picture style than Faithful, then the color deviation is much greater. But you also choose that because you like the colors. The standard image style, see for example the photo above of the Gorinchum hippy festival, produces somewhat more saturated colors with a bit more emphasis on red and higher contrast.

The trucks on the photo at the bottom are real “Ferrari red” and showed up that way on the print as well!

CSR MG 0995

Canon 760D + Canon 24 mm f/2.8 STM @ f/9, 1/125, 100 ISO

Noise

RAWISOcompared700

The shots above illustrate the difference in noise at 100 ISO or 12,800 ISO in RAW files without applying noise suppression. The shot at 100 ISO is completely noise free, even at enlargement to 100%. Starting at 6400, you start to see noise, especially if you make the darker areas lighter.

Good news for those who do not photograph in RAW: the noise suppression in jpg files is very effective. Even at 12,800, there is little noise visible in the JPEG test shot, while the loss of sharpness due to the noise suppression is much less than expected. While the Canon 760D scores a bit lower for RAW files without noise suppression than the Canon 70D and Canon 7D MK2, for the jpg files, that difference disappears.

Video

In comparison with the Canon 700D, the focusing for video is enormously improved: faster and more fluid. By touching the rotating and tilting touchscreen, you make a "focus pull" from one subject to another. Following subjects in Live View is remarkably good. With other brands, following subjects only works really well if the subject has a bright color, but the Canon 760D is also able to keep following subjects with colors that are not very distinctive. In particular facial recognition works perfectly.

Especially for video, Canon has released a series of lenses that use a stepper motor (STM) instead of an ultrasonic motor (USM) for the AF. That should be quieter. It is, however, certainly not completely silent.

Wi-Fi & NFC, no GPS

The Canon 760D has – like practically all cameras with interchangeable lenses – no built-in GPS. This is probably a choice that was made because GPS puts a real load on the battery use. If you want to save GPS information immediately when taking a picture, then you can purchase an optional GPS receiver, but that will cost you a couple hundred euros extra.
Sharing pictures via social media seems to be becoming more popular than printing photos. All the camera manufacturers are therefore switching over to making wireless connections possible. The Canon 760D has Wi-Fi and NFC. In particular NFC provides a quick and easy connection for sending shots to a device with NFC functionality, like a smartphone. No fuss with passwords; you hold the smartphone against the camera, and it makes a connection. Because NFC only works at a very short distance, you do not have to worry that others can also make a connection with your camera.
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Conclusion Canon 760D review

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Compare the Canon 760D with another camera: our list of all reviewed cameras.

Amateur
Year:2015
Overall score:7.3
Resolution:7.0
Dynamic Range:6.9
Noise:7.5
Color:9.3
Whitebalance:6.0
Megapixels:24
Sensor:APSC
Sensor magn.:0.51
fps:5
Weight (gram):555
MSRP NL (Euro):769

Pros

  • Solid and completely equipped
  • Highest resolution of all Canon APS-C cameras
  • Built-in Wi-Fi & NFC
  • Effective focus tracking in Live View
  • LCD screen on the top

Cons

  • Dynamic range is good, but not spectacular
  • 5 fps is slow in comparison with mirrorless system cameras
  • Silent mode is not really silent
  • Battery on the small side

The Canon 760D – together with the Canon 750D – is the first Canon camera with a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor. No wonder that the Canon 760D achieves a higher score for resolution than all other Canon cameras with an APS-C sensor that we have reviewed until now. It is a very completely outfitted, solid camera where nearly everything is on it that you need as a serious amateur. The performance (resolution, dynamic range, noise and color management) are very good.

The price difference with the Canon 750D is small. In my eyes, the extra 50 euros for a Canon 760D is a good investment. The extra thumb controller with which you can adjust the camera settings is something you might not immediately use as a starter, but you do not have to choose another camera when you are a bit more advanced if you chose the Canon 760D. The more extensive video options and the electronic level are also options that you will not find that important as a beginner, but that you will really miss when you get to work more seriously.

Jop Steenhof de Jong
Author: Jop Steenhof de Jong
Photography has been a hobby of mine for many years. For me, it's about the joy of creating. I like to find and share knowledge in depth topics again. After years of having fun with contributions made to the Dutch magazine "Camera Magazine", I test now with at least as much pleasure for CameraStuffReview.

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