The basic design of the body… well, let’s say that this time it is not that easy to highlight these differences. The cameras’ dimensions are definitely not something that has experienced a significant change. A millimeter here or there does not affect the feeling in one’s hands in the slightest. What does affect it are mutual differences between the two new models of the same generation (how strange this sounds). While the EOS 750D is very similar to the old EOS 700D (it is almost impossible to spot a difference), the 760D has witnessed a marked improvement in a number of aspects, not only in terms of improving the basic conception, but also in terms of seriously redefining the class. In this way, the 760D nonchalantly strolled into the terrain where the Nikon D7200 and Canon EOS 70D reign supreme. What is the point of this? It remains to be seen. Nonetheless, the fact that Canon tried to be in two places at once, by keeping the old conception (750D) in addition to promoting the new, makes this whole story completely convoluted – both from the aspect of the future of this new class and in terms of survival of the class that the still current EOS 70D belongs to.
Comperative orthogonal projections of the Canon EOS 750D and 760D *
(click for higher resolution)
The basic form is very similar to the previous one, but with changes that make the 760D slightly more desirable than the weaker 750D. The dimensions of both new cameras are identical (132 x 101 x 78 mm), while the weight of the 750D is negligibly lower (555g in comparison to 565g, which is how much the 760D weighs). The rubber linings of the two cameras have been tailored similarly, it covers the better part of the grip, the left side and the thumb rest (for the thumb of the right hand), to the right from the main screen. This arrangement makes the camera very stable in one’s hand, so using the camera even with more massive lenses is not too problematic.
Aside from the obvious visual improvements of the 760D, which we will elaborate on later, neither camera boasts any form of sealing against the elements (especially rain). The curtain is still rated at 100,000 actuations, which is standard in this class. Of course, as always, we must point out that the rated life of the curtain is not a guarantee, but only an expected average.
The mount is standard for a Canon APS-C body, which means it accepts all the EF and EF-S lenses, whereas its functionality is complete, regardless of the model. The exception is the EF-M lens line-up, aimed solely at the mirrorless EOS M series of Canon digital cameras.
SENSOR, PROCESSOR, AND A FEW MORE THINGS
After the well-known 18MP APS-C sensor, whose original design dates from 2009, this is only the second completely new Canon APS-C sensor. It is obvious that the severe criticism owing to the heavy exploitation of the old sensor had consequences in the Canon line-up, so the same recipe was not used with the EOS 70D (it was copied only once – with the 7D Mark II). Today we have a chance to see a completely new, 24MP sensor, and our expectations are great.
The sensor in question is a 24MP (more precisely, 6000 x 4000 pixels) 22.3 x 14.9 mm APS-C CMOS sensor. The APS-C format in the case of Canon suggests the 1.6 FOV (Field-Of-View) factor, which means that the focal length of the lenses mounted on this camera is obtained by multiplying the specified focal length with the corresponding crop factor in relation to the 35mm full-frame sensor. This means that the kit lens EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM features the effective focal length of 29-88mm, while the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM features a coverage roughly equivalent to that of a 29-216mm lens on the 35mm sensor.
In relation to the predecessor, the resolution has been remarkably increased; what is more, the absolute leap by 33% seems much more drastic than the linear ~15% along both axes. Nonetheless, the improvement is evident, and we hope that practice will confirm the justification of this increase. The basic ISO range remained the same. We expected that Canon would perhaps accept the challenge and reply to almost unreasonable ISO values offered in the last generation of cameras of all classes. The ISO range starts from the base ISO 100 and extends to the maximum 12800, while it is expandable to ISO 25600 (H), which is an expansion by only one stop. Like before, the Auto ISO option is available, but it lacks the option for defining the exposure speed more closely.
The last iteration of the Digic processor developed by Canon is marked with the number 6. Although this is undoubtedly a very fast processor, its benefits in the body of the 750D/760D are definitely not its unrivaled performances, but a better coordination of the subsystems that make the camera what it is. So, the Digic 6 manages the memory controller, main processor, internal processing and all types of corrections, systems of light metering and autofocus, as well as video compression. Much depends on it, but we can say right away that these cameras are not able to reach the limits of this processor, so all the speed limits are the result of artificial limitations.
Central processor – Canon Digic 6 *
Cleaning the dust off the sensor has been entrusted to the technology labeled by Canon as EOS Cleaning System. This system consists of a piezoelectric element that vibrates, thus shaking off dust from the low-pass filter, and it is located in the chamber together with the sensor. The chamber is secured with a special anti-static coating and is grounded in the camera housing, which results in suppressing both stockpiling of static electricity, which appears owing to the charge generated by the sensor, and the friction of the shutter and mirror mechanisms. Unless adjusted otherwise, dusting is activated each time the camera is switched on or off. Additionally, it can be activated while using the camera, too, if one wishes so. The efficiency of this system of self-dusting has been proven over many years of use in cameras of all classes, and if there is any case that certain particles cannot be removed, it can be compensated for by using software ‘dusting’ (Dust Delete Data), which, in conjunction with the attached software, can help removing the remaining dust, by mapping it on a RAW image.
EOS Cleaning System – for efficient fight against dust on the sensor *
The old 63-zone TTL-RGB metering sensor, which Canon has offered in this class ever since the EOS 550D, has been replaced by a more modern 7560-pixel RGB+IR TTL sensor. It, too, features 63 zones of metering, but each of them consists of 120 pixels, thanks to which the accuracy of metering has been brought to a higher level. In addition to the standard RGB, this metering sensor also pays attention to the infrared segment of the spectrum (that is where the IR comes from), in order to achieve greater accuracy. The metering system operates in the range of 1 to 20 EV, which fits the average values offered by the majority of today’s cameras, and the same sensor is also used for determining the needed flash intensity in the E-TTL II mode.
As always, there are four metering modes, and we will briefly explain the purpose of each one. The Evaluative is a metering mode that will be primary in everyday work for the majority of users; it meters the entire scene, it is connected to all the AF points, and makes the light moderate so that the final image is as balanced as possible, without highlighting any of its parts. The Partial mode meters 6% of the central zone of the frame, while the Center-weighted average calculates the average with the stress on the central part of the frame. The Spot metering concentrates on a very small part of the center of the frame (only 3.5%), which is at the same time the only criticism about the metering system. Namely, in contrast to the main rival (Nikon), which connects the Spot metering to the active AF point, and this is the case in all DSLR categories, Canon offers this possibility exclusively on its top model, the EOS-1D X. Bearing this in mind, it is unreal to expect that a change for the better would start from a camera of the lower class, as this is not the case with the 7D Mark II or EOS 5DS.
New TTL 7560-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor with 63 zones *
A level camera is a characteristic that many find important, despite the fact that there is an option to straighten an ‘inclined’ image in post-processing, and the Electronic Level will do the trick here – this is Canon’s version of this useful function, with which the camera will assist the photographer, and this is the first time this function is present on a camera from this class. Contrary to the 760D, the EOS 750D does not feature this function, so we can consider it the first of several differences that separate these two cameras.
In order for the differences from more expensive models to be more obvious, this function is on a rudimentary level, yet it is not unusable, nonetheless. The Electronic Level is functional only for the horizontal axis, in both orientations of the camera. This means that it will do its job only when the camera is tilted left/right, regardless of whether you are holding the camera horizontally or vertically. The graphic representation of this function can be seen on the main screen, in the live-view mode, as well as inside the viewfinder; to tell the truth, its presentation is not too illustrative and accurate, but still more than enough to fight efficiently against this unfavorable disturbance.
Electronic Level, the function of camera alignment in action (only in the case of the 760D)
The two new cameras also brought a renewed autofocus system. It was borrowed from the EOS 70D, which is another subsystem that raises the latest generation of this class of Canon cameras a step higher, towards the middle higher class. Whether this means improving the successor of the EOS 70D or its complete removal, it remains to be seen. For now, we will stay with what interests us the most at the moment, and that is the AF system of the EOS 750D/760D.
The AF system consists of a phase-focus TTL sensor with 19 cross-type AF points. The fact that all the points are cross-type provides the maximum possible accuracy, since each point is capable of clearly registering phase differences of both horizontal and vertical orientation. The central point is characterized by additional sensitivity, so aside from the horizontal and vertical sensitivity, it also boasts two additional lines, which are diagonal, so this results in a twofold cross-type AF point. The necessary condition to enjoy its advantages is a lens with the f/2.8 aperture or larger.
In addition to the improvement of the AF sensor in terms of the arrangement and accuracy of AF points, most new cameras of the higher class have also expended the operability of the AF system as a whole. Unfortunately, cheaper cameras remain cheaper precisely because of this, so the 750D, as well as its slightly more advanced ‘cousin’ 760D, does not sport the expanded scope of action. The AF system is still capable of operating in the range of -0.5 to +18 EV, just like in the case of the EOS 700D. This fact does not necessarily have to be bad. Practice shows that the target audience will not often be in a situation to use extreme values of ambient light, so it is perhaps logical to cut down on some aspects, so that the financial facet would be within the acceptable limits.
The arrangement of AF points inside the viewfinder is often an issue when we talk about the freedom of composing the frame. Luckily, the 19 AF points of the new camera offer much more flexibility for achieving the desired composition, either in the horizontal or in the vertical orientation of the camera. Let’s see at how this looks like in practice:
AF points in the viewfinder
There are three standard focus modes and Canon cameras aficionados are already familiar with them. The One-Shot mode is a mode by which focusing takes place on a single-shot basis, right before releasing the shutter. The AI-Servo is a continuous focus mode by which the subject is permanently tracked with a point or groups of points selected in advance, as long as the finger is on the first level of the shutter button. The final mode, AI-Focus, is a combination of the previous two modes, and it operates by first confirming the focus on the selected point, and then, if the sensor registers a change in the distance to the previously selected subject, it switches automatically to the servo mode and carries to with continuous tracking as long as the subject is in motion. Of course, just as in the case of the AI-Servo mode, the condition is that the finger is on the first level of the shutter button.
Each of the modes can be combined with three point-selection methods, two of which are set manually, while the third is automatic.
The Single-point AF is the simplest, but undoubtedly the most reliable point-selection method, since the photographer maintains the maximum control over the moment and position of the focus. It is available in all the focus modes:
Single-point AF, focusing with one selected point
The second method is the Zone AF, whose primary purpose is to facilitate tracking mobile subjects whose movement is unpredictable, so they are hard to keep within the focus area, or when they are uniform in color, which makes it harder for the focus system to maintain the needed distance. The focus field is divided into 5 zones in total, and the points inside them seem like a set of completely equal automatic points. Each single zone encompasses 4 equal AF points, apart from the central one, which encompasses 9. The Zone AF method can be used to focus without aiming accurately, yet priority will be given to the closest subjects inside the zone. Therefore, this focus method is not as accurate as the Single-point, but it provides more flexible tracking and, what is more, it is still far more effective that the fully automatic method in the One-Shot focus mode:
Zone AF, zone focusing with 5 areas (zones)
Beginners will be perhaps mostly interested in the fully automatic point-selection method with 19 available AF points in total. This focusing method is the least effective, it is often unpredictable, and, generally, rarely usable. Its logic of work is based on the analysis of subjects encompassed by the focus area and giving priority to the closest ones. In this way, the level of control is reduced to the extent when it is really very hard to say who decides what is important. Nevertheless, the Canon 750D/760D retains this system of work only in the One-Shot focus mode, whereas after switching to the AI-Servo, the Auto-selection AF method turns into something that we have not had so far in Canon cameras of this class, and that is automatic tracking in space of the subject selected in advance, as long as it is located within the marked focus area:
19-point Auto-selection AF, a fully automatic selection of active points in the One-Shot, as well as automatic tracking in the AI-Servo mode
What is interesting is that this focus method strongly reminds us of Nikon’s 3D-Tracking mode in terms of its way of operating, and it is commendable that it functions in the identical way in practice as well! A modest list of accompanying options concerning the focus system is situated in the section III of the Custom Functions compartment, and it offers only basic options according to which the AF can be adjusted to one’s needs.
The EOS 750D/760D does not feature the sophisticated iTR system of recognizing color, in contrast to the top model of the APS-C category, EOS 7D Mark II. Nonetheless, the sensor is aware of the color of the scene being shot, so the default settings will also take into account human skin tones, when you use the Single-point AF. If that way of work is not appropriate, the function can be toggled off, whereas the AF will take only the distance of the subject as the most important piece of information.
Another distinct difference between the two generations of this class is in the viewfinder. It is still optical and based on pentamirror, which is a standard at this price level, but this time it is composed in a slightly different manner, in accordance with the new autofocus system. It covers 95% of the frame, while the magnification is 0.82x – one iota lower than in the case of the EOS 700D. The eyepoint, i.e. the maximum distance of the eye from the viewfinder at which it is possible to encompass the entire frame, is 19mm.
The view inside the viewfinder has to do with the fixed focus glass, but this time with a dynamic view, which means that there is a transparent TFT, which takes care of this aspect of interaction between the camera and the photographer. In this way, aside from the focus points, spot metering zones, and framing grid, some warning indicators appear as well. Of course, you should not expect anything close to what the EOS 7D Mark II offers, but this is also very convenient and easy to use:
What this looks like in practice we can see in the following illustration:
New intelligent viewfinder of the Canon EOS 750D and 760D
The information available outside the projection encompasses a broad range of data, parameters, and indicators. You have here almost everything that you may need, so you do not have to take the camera off your face for any of the basic parameters.
CONTROLS AND OTHER DETAILS
As we have suggested at the beginning of this review, there are not many differences between the 760D and 750D, but what is different can be of great importance to some users, especially to those for who this is not their first camera.
The look from the front is practically identical, both mutually and in relation to the EOS 700D. The central position is occupied by the Canon EF lens mount, compatible with all EF and EF-S lenses, which is indicated by the red and white markers on the front part of the mount. To the left from the mount is relatively comfortable but not too deep grip, and on top of it is an infrared receiver, aimed at remote shooting by means of the dedicated shutter button. The area between the mount and the grip contains only a signal LE diode, by which the camera signals postponed shooting, and next to it is the right channel of the built-in microphone, intended for recording the audio segment of videos.
The look from the right of the mount is anything but more vivid. All the way up is a microphone of the left audio channel, not far from it is a button for activating the built-in flash, and a little bit lower is a button for unlocking the lens in order to remove it from the body. Below it is the DOF-preview button, used for the preview of the depth of field at a set aperture.
The look from the top shows slightly more noticeable differences between the 750D and 760D. The EOS 750D is very similar to previous models of this class, whereas the 760D inclines to what we are familiar with from the higher category, which is today dominated by the EOS 70D. The Canon 750D, just like the 760D, features in the center a pentamirror viewfinder with built-in flash and an ISO-518 hot shoe. To the left, there is only a LED indicator of built-in Wi-Fi on the 750D, while in the case of the 760D, there is a mode selector in that place, which features a built-in three-level switch. One tiny detail about the said three-level switch irritated us during the whole process of reviewing these cameras, and that is its resistance, because of which it happens too often that instead of turning the camera on and entering the shooting mode, the lever at first offers too strong resistance, and then it somehow ‘flies away’ too easily to the video mode. A look at the right side of the 750D resembles the 700D, as expected. Aside from the identical mode selector like the one on the 760D, the 750D boasts as many as 5 controls on the right side. The first, and the most important one, is a two-level shutter button, behind which is the front control dial, intended for selecting primary parameters and controlling the camera functions in combination with other controls. There are three more buttons behind it. All the way to the left is a control by which AF-point-selection methods are selected, in the center is an ISO control, while the third one is different. The 750D offers a Disp control on that position, which is used to switch off the main screen in order to save the battery life, while on the same spot on the 760D there is a button for turning on temporary background lighting – the status display! Yes, the 760D is the first Canon camera after several generations and the entire decade that has once again brought the status display to this class! Despite the fact that the main screen offers a more extensive and visually more attractive view, the status display saves energy and sometimes makes the work evidently easier.
Look from the top – 750D (left) and 760D (right) *
You should not expect this status display to offer a scope information offered (for example) by the EOS 5D Mark III. All primary parameters are available, several indicators, as well as a light metering scale with the range ±2 EV. What all this looks like in practice we can see in the following illustration:
Status display of the EOS 760D
The differences on the rear sides of the cameras are slightly clearer and very striking, especially if we take into account that these are two very similar models of the same generation. Of course, what the two cameras have in common is the most obvious thing – the vari-angle screen and the viewfinder occupy the greatest part of the rear side. To the left from the viewfinder are Menu and Info buttons, which are used to enter the menu system and switch cyclically the parameters indicated on the screen, regardless of whether the camera is in the shooting, video, or preview mode. What is also interesting is the shape of most buttons, which, for reasons unknown to us, differ greatly between these cameras.
To the right from the viewfinder, the arrangement is also identical. Right next to the viewfinder is a control for activating the Live View mode (hereafter, LV), and in the top right corner there are two controls with multiple functions. When taking pictures, they are used for locking the metered light, or for switching to the mode of selecting an active AF point or focus zone, while in the LV mode and in the preview mode, it is used for zooming in and out. Another advantage of the 760D is its sensor of detecting one’s face, which is used for automatically switching off the main screen when we are looking through the viewfinder. It is right above the viewfinder, below the hot shoe. The 750D does not feature this sensor, so switching the screen off is carried out by pressing the Disp control, on the top panel of the camera.
Look from the rear – 750D (left) and 760D (right) *
To the right from the screen is a series of various controls, which partly match on these two cameras. The arrangements differ even for controls where that does not make any sense, which is why we tend to assume that these two cameras were projected by different teams. Completely unusable improvisations concerning ergonomics. In the case of the 760D, in the top of the screen there is a Q control for activating the Quick Control Screen, which is a function of interactive control over the parameters and camera options via the main screen, while on the same spot on the 750D there is an Av control for setting the aperture or exposure compensation, depending on the current shooting mode. A little lower the 760D features a button for switching to the preview mode, while 750D here has the said Q control.
As we go towards the bottom, we notice another key advantage of the 760D – rear control dial, which is present for the first time on a camera of this class. It is used for controlling primary parameters, such as exposure duration or aperture, and it is characteristic of cameras of the higher category. In its center there are marks of options and functions that can be activated by directly pressing the edges of the control dial, which functions as an eight-way ‘teeter-totter’. It offers a basic set of controls, such as White Balance (WB), shooting mode, AF mode, and color styles. There is also a Set control in the center, which is used for confirming every selection. All the listed functions are featured by the 750D, too, but as individual buttons and without the control dial. To the right from these controls is an LE diode, by which the camera signals that data are being written on the memory card, and below it are a couple of more controls. The 750D has two of them. To the left is a button for switching to the preview mode, while to the right is a control for deleting the existing images, whose shape makes it hard to be pressed unintentionally. On the 760D, the control for deleting is in the same area, but its shape is of less quality than in the case of the 750D since it can be pressed even when you do not want to. Next to it is a Lock switch, which we are used to see on larger cameras, and it enables the user to lock the control dials selectively, as he/she wishes, so that unwanted corrections would be avoided.
The memory card slot is located on the right side of the camera, covered with a plastic lid. Although plastic, it is pretty firm and molded accurately, so there is absolutely no clearance between it and the camera’s housing.
The memory slot is intended for Secure Digital (SD) memory cards, and all versions are supported –classic, SDHC, and SDXC. The fastest UHS-I subversions are also supported, while the Eye-Fi is also on the list, if compatible devices are used.
SD memory card slot
The speed requirements of the new cameras are slightly greater than before, both because of their higher resolution, but due to the faster continuous shooting rate as well. To be on the safe side, you need an SDHC/SDXC Class 10 card. Achieving the maximum speed of continuous shooting is not as problematic as it is to keep that shooting rate going for a longer period of time. That is why for maximum performances it is necessary to have an SDHC/SDXC UHS-I card.
In relation to the old 18MP sensor, files are larger to the degree to which the resolution is higher, so an 8GB card can store on average: 240 RAW, 940 JPEG, or 190 RAW+JPEG images, in the maximum quality.
The video segment works in a significantly different way, so whether it will be possible to capture footage is mostly on the memory card. If a card is not at least Class 10, it can happen that the camera stops video recording since the card cannot put up with the needed input speed. Because of the FAT32 standard of input, videos are limited to 4GB per file at the max. The flow rate that the camera generates per minute of footage depends on the resolution and compression level, so a minute of 1080p material in the maximum quality will take 216 MB on average, which means that an 8GB card will be able to store a little less than 40 minutes of footage. On the other hand, stronger compression, where recording takes place at about 87 MB per minute, enables the same card to store almost 100 minutes of footage, and if you prefer 720p HD videos at 50/60 fps, you can expect the flow rate of about 187 MB per minute, i.e. approximately the same number of minutes like in the case of 1080p.
The battery has evolved up to a point. It is labeled LP-E17 and it differs from the old one only minimally. It is still a Li-Ion battery, yet its capacity is now smaller than before (1040 mAh in comparison to 1120); the voltage is still 7.2V, while its weight was reduced to 45 grams. The battery does not belong to the group of smart ones, so it is not possible to track its charge cycle, its life, and other parameters characteristic of those more expensive and larger models.
LC-E17E charger with the LP-E17 Li-Ion battery
Charging a completely empty battery takes about two hours, after which the battery can provide 440 shots on average according to CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association) standards, which is the identical result like in the case of the old one, whose capacity is larger for that matter. This means that either the new battery is more efficient or the camera is thriftier. No matter the reason, users will not profit in either case. In times when a mere absence of the negative is considered positive, we can even be satisfied. If you economize a bit (primarily in terms of using the built-in flash and main screen), the battery can deliver up to 550 shots. On the other hand, laying stress on the LV mode will reduce significantly the battery autonomy – to only 150-200 shots – so if you prefer such a way of work, you should prepare some replacement batteries.
The video mode is an even greater consumer, so you can expect the full battery to deliver a maximum of 80-85 minutes of continuous footage, provided that ambient temperature is relatively similar to room temperature. If the temperature is closer to zero, the autonomy drops down as well.
On the left side of the camera, under two vertically positioned rubber lids, are the connectors. There four of them in total. Under the left lid is an E3 connector for remote shooting, as well as a 3.5mm stereo connector for stereo microphones. The right lid hides a combined USB 2.0 – A/V connector, by which the camera is connected to a computer in order for images to be transferred, to control the camera via the attached application labeled EOS Utility, or to connect to an external A/V device. Below it is a mini-HDMI Type C connector, by means of which the camera can connect to a compatible digital display, such as modern television sets. If a TV is HDMI-CEC compatible, preview of images can be controlled via a remote control.
Connectors: left – E3 remote and microphone stereo input;
right – micro USB 2.0 and mini HDMI
The main display virtually has not changed at all in relation to the one on the EOS 700D. It is a 3” TFT RGB screen with 3:2 aspect ratio, which has been a standard on Canon cameras for quite some time, and it provides 100% coverage. Its 1,040,000 dots mean that its resolution is 720 x 480 pixels, while the angle of view is 170̊. It rotates horizontally up to 180̊ and vertically up to 360̊, and rotation is enabled by a standard joint in one point, which is attached to the left side of the screen.
It is still a touch screen, a capacitative one, which means that it is not necessary to press the screen as in the case of resistive ones. A single touch is enough for the screen to register contact. This feature greatly facilitates work, especially in the LV mode, and special attention was devoted to controlling parameters in the video mode.
While the 760D features a status display that offers a preview of all basic parameters, and even more than that, the 750D offers the main display and the function Quick Control Screen as the only bond between the user and parameters. Of course, the 760D also offers the same option, while the range of parameters is such that it is almost completely useless to enter the menu system, except for very specific settings:
Basic parameters in the Quick Control Screen
The Live View mode has been evolving for years, and Canon accustomed us to the fact that various classes of cameras rarely offer the LV mode at the same level, but also that the price range does not have much to do with the production quality. So, it often happens that a camera from the middle or lower class features the most advanced version of LV, whereas top models trail behind by a generation or two.
The 750D and 760D are somewhere in the middle. The view is, like with all Canon DSLRs, more than exceptional: fluid, with faithful colors, great sharpness and details, whereas the control spectrum is such that it is really hard to find something wrong. What makes a difference has to do with the autofocus, and if we want to straighten out this issue, we first need to clarify the principle behind the LV.
In order for the view from the sensor to be possible (which is necessary in the LV mode), the mirror mechanism must be raised from its usual position, in order to free the path to the sensor; as a result, framing through the viewfinder is out of the question, and more importantly, the dedicated phase AF sensor with 19 cross-type AF points cannot be used any more, as it is located at the bottom of the chamber where the sensor is. On account of those reasons, the LV mode features its own, independent focus system, known as contrast autofocus, i.e. CDAF (Contrast Detection AutoFocus). Its way of work technically differs from phase AF and so far it has featured some positive and some negative characteristics. Undoubtedly, the positive one has always been its accuracy, and the negative one used to be the side effect of that very accuracy and the way in which it was achieved. That is why the CDAF did not excel in speed and efficiency in low light for quite a long period of time. The majority of former problems have been handled, and precisely the predecessors of the cameras being reviewed now (650D and 700D) offered at the time the first versions of hybrid focus, while that technique was further improved with the 70D.
Unfortunately, the 750D and 760D do not bring the Dual Pixel CMOS AF, which we had a chance to see in the 70D and 7D Mark II. Instead, the new cameras are equipped with an evolved version of the focus system found in the 650D/700D, and it is labeled Hybrid-CMOS AF III. The focus system is still hybrid and it combines the best out of the phase and contrast focus systems, whereas the phase component was produced in such a way that some photocells were ‘sacrificed’ so that at the moment of focusing they would be dedicated to comparing phase differences, instead of collecting light. The effect of all this cannot be compared to the efficiency of the Dual Pixel technology, but for most average users it will be more than enough for general purposes. The section where this system trails is continuous focus, which is still an insurmountable obstacle.
The modes of focusing are single-point or continuous, while the methods are already known from previous models: the default mode is Face+Tracking, which works in such a way that it gives priority to faces within the frame, based on the analysis conducted by the light meter. If the continuous focus is active, the faces will be tracked by focus as well, and priority will be given to the face closest to the lens. When there are no faces inside the frame, this method will function identically as the FlexiZone – Multi, unless you activate the subject tracking within the focus area by means of the Set button. The FlexiZone - Multi, the second method in this series, permanently shows the entire focus area (those 80% of the frame), and it basically behaves as the Auto-selection AF, giving priority to the closest subjects inside the frame. The FlexiZone – Single is what we are familiar with in the LV mode from older Canon cameras and it represents a method by means of which one focus area flexibly moves along the frame and the focus is maintained only on it. It also functions in the continuous focus and in the single-point focus mode. When it comes to working conditions, the CDAF is rated at 0-18 EV, which is for half a stop lower in relation to the main AF sensor. Canon notes that the CDAF will function best with the latest STM lenses, featuring the Focus-By-Wire technology of the electronically-driven focus ring, which is silent and thus the most appropriate for video needs.
Manual focus, a treat by which the LV offers perfect control of the depth of field, focus position, and the like, is accompanied by the option of magnifying the view on two levels – 5 and 10 times:
Magnification in the LV mode
The LV is equipped with a view of standard parameters in the shooting and video mode, and it can be toggled off if needed. When controlling takes place via the round button in the center of the rear control dial, which is sensitive to touch, by calling the Quick Control Screen (Q control), the parameters can be changed interactively, by pressing this control in four directions. In this way, completely silent parameter control has been achieved:
View of the parameters and electronic level in the LV mode
There is also the framing grid, as well as the Electronic Level in the case of the 760D, for accurate leveling of the camera in relation to the horizon:
Framing grid in three versions
The other features of the LV mode on Canon cameras are present on the latest small DSLRs of this manufacturer, too. The view is accurate, credible, and exceptionally fluid, which is why the feeling of skipping frames does not occur in any case, regardless of the magnification or selected parameters. The Exposure Simulation functions immaculately and it is operative in all the modes, but it cannot be turned off, which can be a hindrance when working with the flash. The change or parameters is unlimited, and from that point of view, Canon is still consistent, as it offers everything that the user may need – from the change of basic parameters, such as the ISO value, aperture, or exposure duration, all the way to those specific, such as the change of color styles, white balance, and the like.
Video is one of those categories that has shown rapid expansion and overnight become almost a key segment in the comparison of cameras. Despite the fact that a huge portion of the public is not interested in video, at least not to the degree that it represents an important item when choosing a camera, manufacturers have long raced each other who will offer more and better. At one point, fatigue set in and the development slowed down. When it comes to Canon cameras, what is more irritating than the fact that the development came to a halt (thus, the 4K format is not available) is the quiet stagnation of what is already there. Of course, this is limited to lower DSLR classes, yet it still leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
The range of available resolutions is still the same. Aside from the highest, Full HD (1920 x 1080) progressive, there are HD (1280 x 720), as well as VGA (640 x 480). The highest resolution can be recorded at 24, 25, and 30 fps, while the shooting rate of HD is 25, 30, 50, and 60 fps. The lowest one is recorded only at 25 and 30 fps.
The video encoding still takes place in real time in the AVCHD/MPEG-4 (H.264) format, with a variable bit rate and together with (this time compressed) mono or stereo AAC sound, and it is packed in the MP4. The MOV is not supported this time, as well as the Linear PCM uncompressed audio format!
As with other cameras, the video mode is, regardless of the selected quality, limited to maximum 4GB at a time, owing to the limitations imposed by the FAT32, which is a file system used on memory controllers of today’s cameras. In case the file limit is reached during the recording, the camera will proceed with the recording, automatically creating a new file in sequence. The logically placed limit is still the same, and this means maximum 30 minutes of recording without stopping. More than enough for recording in one piece, we should say. One important piece of information – the reasons for this can be found in the regulations introduced by the European Union, whose regulatory body considers devices capable of recording more than 30 minutes to be video equipment, on which, in turn, substantially higher customs tariffs are imposed. That is where that limit that manufacturers stick to comes from.
The video control, as expected, completely relies on the limitations and freedom of the LV mode. As such, it is flexible and can be used in practically all the creative modes. The shutter speed can be set in the entire range from 1/30 to 1/8000 s. For those less conversant, a faster shutter will make a movie visually smoother (‘faster’), and it is the most similar to the effect achieved by TV cameras. On the contrary, a slower shutter (closer to the selected frame rate) gives more blurred frames, which results in ‘softer’ projection, closer to the filming technique. The aperture can be set to any value determined by the lens mounted, while the ISO range is limited to the native range (which is logical, as lighting each frame for a certain value would be virtually impossible to perform without encumbering the processor to the max, and thus the camera batteries as well). The AutoISO option functions in accordance with said setting, and its range of deciding for itself whether the sensor sensitivity needs to be changed can be set separately.
The rest of the possible settings include all predefined and subsequently created color styles, white balance, removing vignettes for lenses in the internal base, as well as the Auto Lighting Optimizer and Highlight Priority options. Removing noise is not available during video recording due to the processor’s requirements, so for that purpose it is possible to rely solely on post-processing.
In the preview mode, it is possible to take some basic actions on video material, such as the option of basic trimming of the captured video material, or saving it under a different name on a memory card, so that the original remains intact – quite a handy option for instant processing without getting down to details too much, which will be particularly welcomed by beginners and all those who want instant results without switching on the dedicated software.
Both of these new cameras feature standard pop-up (built-in) flash with the guide number 12, which covers an angle with the maximum width of 15mm (24mm equivalent) at ISO 100. The current E-TTL II algorithm is supported, when the range of flash power can be compensated for by up to ±2 stops, and wireless control of compatible Canon flashes is also enabled, with E-TTL II communication. Unfortunately, work in the manual mode is unavailable. Since the separate AF-Assist lamp for focusing in low light is not available, the built-in flash, by means of a series of short flashes, is used for that purpose, as in the case of all other Canon bodies. The flash output can be set at the first (at the start of shooting) or the second curtain (at the end of shooting, in order to collect as much ambient light as possible), while the FEB (Flash Exposure Bracketing) is not available.
All E-TTL / E-TTL II compatible flashguns are supported. The AF-assist on the flashgun is performed with a special IR lamp, whose help is much more effective, and draws considerably less attention. If the compensation is set on the flash itself, it is given priority over the settings inside the camera.
The maximum synchronization speed, regardless of whether the built-in flash or the flashgun is used, is limited to 1/200s, while in the aperture priority mode it can be set to 1/60, 1/250, or automatic. The Flash Exposure Bracketing (FEB), multiple shooting with a predefined series of flashes with a different intensity, can be set for three images in a row; even the Multi flash support was not left out, and it represents continuous shooting with a selected intensity, and determined frequency.
The Integrated Speedlite Transmitter is aimed at wireless control of compatible flashguns (which was mentioned a moment ago). It is similar to the one featured by the EOS 700D, with some additional options. There is an option of controlling up to two groups of flashguns (A and B), while their mutual relationship can be set without additional limitations.
There are two basic ways of use: one includes using flashguns in combination with the built-in flash, whereas the other is about using solely flashguns, with the built-in flash being an initiator, without direct influence on the scene illumination. In either version, it is possible to control up to two groups of flashguns, which is the only minus in comparison to the same option in cameras of the higher class (such as the 7D Mark II). The groups can have the same flash power or the strength for each flashgun inside a group can be set in advance, independently of each other; completely manual control is also available. Since this is not radio control (which is a standard), the built-in flash has to be turned on and the active communication channel set in such a way that it matches the settings of all the flashguns. Aside from this way of use, there is also the so-called Easy Wireless at one’s disposal, where the level of necessary settings before starting shooting is reduced to a minimum, and all the flashguns, no matter which group they belong to, are triggered at the same time, with the same power. If the flash power needs to be as great as possible, without getting down to details, this is more than a welcome function for beginners.
Slowly but surely, the wireless communication function is becoming a standard in lower classes of cameras (paradoxically, not in higher ones!), which provides users with an entirely new way of connection and automation of work with photographs.
The Canon EOS 750D/760D supports all the current types of wireless connections, no matter if it comes to connecting via Access Point, no matter if it is infrastructural configuration or Ad-Hoc connection. This time the support has been extended and it now includes the NFC as well, whereby the connection between the camera and a compatible device is established by means of touch. Each configuration can be saved separately, so settings are not limited to one external device, yet the connection can be adjusted to several of them and then activated when needed. Of course, the camera can be connected to only one device at a time. As settings require pretty extensive documentation, we feel free to refer you to the original manual, attached in the summary of the review. Let’s take a brief look at what the Wi-Fi module of the EOS 750D/760D offers:
Data exchange between two cameras. Assuming that newer cameras (models from 2012 onward) are being used (not video cameras but solely digital cameras), if both feature a Wi-Fi module (Eye-Fi is not supported!), it is possible for them to exchange images, as long as images are JPEG. Yes, that is a disadvantage of the first option – it is limited only to the JPEG, whereas RAW images cannot be transferred. However, it will be hard for many to find a purpose in exchanging images between cameras, but we have no doubts that it can be used wisely. It is all about one’s needs. Another limitation has to do with the overall amount of images, so it is possible to send 50 images at most; moreover, the transfer is not carried out in real time (while shooting), yet it is necessary to start a certain procedure inside the camera. On the other hand, there is one very useful option – a possibility of simultaneously reducing resolution before sending, in order to speed up the transfer.
Connection to smartphones. Although the majority probably first think of automatic sharing of images on social networks when they hear about this topic, this is a markedly different and probably the most interesting option in the Wi-Fi section of this camera for the greatest number or potential users. This is an option of exchange and preview of images on smartphones, and more importantly – an ability to control the camera wirelessly via the phone, in a way that significantly differs from the usual functionality offered by commercial remote controls. Namely, by means of the widely available and free application for Android (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jp.co.canon.ic.eos.eosremote&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImpwLmNvLmNhbm9uLmljLmVvcy5lb3NyZW1vdGUiXQ) and Apple (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/eos-remote/id565839396?mt=8) phones, the phone is not only used as a multifunctional remote control, but as a wireless LV module as well. This means that the projection from the sensor is shown on the phone’s screen, and the camera can be controlled almost like there is a built-in camera inside the phone! In practice, this means that you can control the aperture, ISO value and exposure, you can select an active AF point, focus, shoot, and view images as well. Unfortunately, video recording is not available, and the reasons behind this are unknown to us. In any case, this is a very flexible option that can take your work to another, until recently undreamed-of level. Nevertheless, it is not all perfect: the official EOS Remote app, whose links we cited above, is not exactly flawless, and in addition, some of its functions look like they are still in a trial period. We have no doubts that all this will be taken care of in the near future, but we think that everything should be tuned and fixed before the product is released, even when it comes to a free app, like in this case. Anyway, in order to enjoy this form of conformism, you need to have at least Android version 2.3.3 (Gingerbread), or Apple iOS version 5.0 or higher. Sadly, tablets are not directly supported, so functionality will depend on a particular model. We hope that this will be fixed in the future, too.
Printing with a Wi-Fi compatible printer. As its name suggests, this option provides direct printing with all Wi-Fi printers compatible with the PictBridge standard, which was produced precisely with the express purpose of communication between the camera and the printer. All variants of connection are available, no matter if the camera is directly connected to the printer or via network. The camera already features a myriad of options by which the final output of printing can be adjusted before printing, and as in the case of all other types of connections, the camera can store several profiles, one for each device. When a profile has been completed, it can be used infinitively, as long as the connection parameters have not changed.
Uploading images to the Internet. The primary functionality of this option has to do with Canon Image Gateway. This is a web-service that was established by Canon over a year ago, and it is a public server for creating one’s photo album, where all owners of Canon cameras are allowed to create their own album, upload up to 10GB of images, and organize them to their taste. Images can later be shared or organized thematically or chronologically. Each image or video can be shared publicly or protected with a password, and what is also available are comments of other members, just like in the case of other similar web-services. In order to use this web-service, you need nothing else but to possess (and register) some of the qualified products; thus, we believe that this option will be useful for many users as a free space for storing one’s most precious moments.
Preview of images on a DLNA device. If you own a DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) device, media player, or TV with Wi-Fi options, you will be able to view your images without connecting your camera via an A/V or HDMI cable. The way of work is almost identical, except that in this case you do not have the option of LV.
As for the negative news that has to do with the wireless connection, we have left them for the end. The Canon 750D/760D is the first Canon camera that, with the aim of making clearer boundaries in price, has lost the ability to be controlled remotely via a computer, via Wi-Fi. In this way, Canon, wishing to drive more advanced users to the higher class (such as the 70D or 6D), has robbed itself of one of the trump cards in the fight against direct rivals. We have never understood the logic of managers when they mutilate like this highly intriguing functions, but we are sure that this decision will cost them dearly… especially if we take into account the increasingly aggressive approach of the MILC category, which has nothing to lose against DSLRs. Not an iota of foresight, if we may point out!
Together with a new battery, a new battery grip usually arrives. This time is no different. Fortunately, both new cameras use the same grip – BG-E18. It is a battery grip, which means that aside from doubled controls for the sake of easier use in the vertical orientation, it also features an option of extending the camera autonomy. It is made of the same combination of materials so that it would match the camera. It is also covered with the identical rubber lining, so to the touch it reminds one almost entirely of the original grip, although when taken into one’s hands, it is a little bulkier than we would like it to be.
Two standard LP-E17 batteries can fit into the grip, but it will work only one. The grip weighs 367 grams, but one should also take into consideration the weight of an additional battery, so together with the camera, the overall weight is 967, or 977 grams, depending on whether the camera is the 750D or 760D. In contrast to previous battery grips, the BG-E18 does not feature an insert for 6 AA batteries, and it is still unknown if such an adapter will be available at all in the future. Furthermore, the new grip does not support the original AC adapter either. Economization and degradation at every turn…
Canon BG-E18 battery grip *
Attaching the grip to the camera is relatively simple. First, one needs to remove the existing lid of the battery compartment, by pulling the little axle. The grip itself features adequate space for keeping the lid, which we consider a very handy property of Canon grips. After that, one part of the grip is inserted into the battery compartment, so in this way it supplies the battery with energy and communicates with it. The grip is secured by tightening the screw in the ¼” thread for the tripod tile, by turning the big wheel that can be seen both from the front and the back. As far as the controls are concerned, the grip features a switch for turning on by means of which the doubled controls are activated; next there is a two-level switch, a control for changing values of the aperture or exposure compensation, the AE-Lock/FE-Lock button, and a control for selecting AF points.