Canon EOS 800D Review

June 8, 2017 | Mark Goldstein |
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Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 24 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 7Mb.

As we’ve come to expect from Canon cameras, JPEG images directly from the Canon EOS 800D are very pleasing and vibrant. They have a good level of warmth and saturation, without going overboard so as to look unrealistic.

The overall impression of detail is good throughout the normal sensitivity range. If you examine images taken at ISO 1600, it’s possible to see some image smoothing and loss of detail if you look at 100%, but even images taken at ISO 12800 are useable up to around A4 size. After that, you will probably want to avoid the very top setting of ISO 25600 unless you’re desperate to get the shot. At this point, smudginess is obvious, even when viewing the image at small sizes. In terms of noise, it’s not problematic at all in JPEG images, even up to high ISOs such as 12800 - this is because the camera’s noise-reduction does well to eliminate it. This can mean that with very detailed shots, you lose more detail than is desirable. By examining corresponding raw files with their JPEG counterparts, we can see just how much image smoothing is being applied - editing the raw file will allow you to add your own noise reduction for your preferred balance of detail with noise.

Most of the time, the general purpose metering option produces well balanced exposures. Canon’s metering system is weighted to expose using the area under the active AF point - on occasion this can mean it is slightly skewed if you’re shooting something high contrast. In these situations, it can pay to switch metering mode, or to dial in some exposure compensation as necessary.

When faced with artificial lighting, the Canon EOS 800D’s automatic white balance system tends to err slightly towards warmer, yellowish tones. That’s not to say that the effect is unpleasant, but if you’re after ultimate accuracy, it can be beneficial to switch to a more appropriate white balance setting.

The Canon EOS 800D can be bought as part of a kit with the 18-55mm f/4-5.6 kit lens. This new kit lens is smaller than previous versions, and makes for an overall more compact design. To achieve this, the maximum aperture at the wide end has been sacrificed from f/3.5, up to f/4. For the most part, this difference won’t be too noticeable by most users, but if you’re often shooting in low light, you might want to think about investing in at least one wide aperture prime lens. The kit lens is capable of producing some pleasing images in a variety of different conditions, making it a good starter choice for those new to DSLR photography.

Noise

ISO sensitivity can be set between ISO 100 and ISO 25600 in full-stop increments, and a boosted setting of ISO 51200 is also available. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting, with JPEG on the left and the RAW equivalent on the right.

JPEG

RAW

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso100raw.jpg
   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso200raw.jpg
   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso400raw.jpg
   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso800raw.jpg
   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600raw.jpg
   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso3200.jpg iso3200raw.jpg
   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

iso6400.jpg iso6400raw.jpg
   

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

iso12800.jpg iso12800raw.jpg
   

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

iso25600.jpg iso25600raw.jpg

Flash

The flash settings on the Canon EOS 800D are Auto, Manual Flash On/Off, and Red-Eye Reduction. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle

Flash On - Wide Angle

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto

Flash On - Telephoto

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are a couple of portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Flash On setting nor the Red-Eye Reduction option caused any amount of red-eye.

Flash On

flash_on.jpg
 

Flash Red-eye Reduction

flash_redeye.jpg

Night

The Canon EOS 800D's maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds and there's a Bulb mode for even longer exposures, which is excellent news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 30 seconds at ISO 100.

Night

night.jpg

Picture Styles

Canon's Picture Styles are preset combinations of different sharpness, contrast, saturation and colour tone settings. The available Picture Styles are shown below in the following series, which demonstrates the differences. You can tweak these Picture Styles to your liking, and there are also User Defined styles so that you can create your own look.

Standard

Portrait

picture_style_01.jpg picture_style_02.jpg
   
Landscape

Fine Detail

picture_style_03.jpg picture_style_04.jpg
   
Neutral

Faithful

picture_style_05.jpg picture_style_06.jpg
   
Monochrome  
picture_style_07.jpg  

Creative Filters

Essentially a more extreme version of the well-established Picture Styles, Creative Filters offers 10 options, all of which can be interactively tweaked to suit your taste.

Grainy B/W

Soft Focus

creative_filter_01.jpg creative_filter_02.jpg
   
Fish-eye Effect

Toy Camera Effect

creative_filter_03.jpg creative_filter_04.jpg
   
Miniature Effect

Water Painting Effect

creative_filter_05.jpg creative_filter_06.jpg
   
HDR Art Standard HDR Art Vivid
creative_filter_07.jpg creative_filter_08.jpg
   
HDR Art Bold HDR Art Embossed
creative_filter_09.jpg creative_filter_10.jpg

Auto Lighting Optimizer

Auto Lighting Optimizer performs in-camera processing to even out the contrast and correct brightness. There are 4 different settings - Off, Low, Standard and Strong.

Off

Low

auto_lighting_optimizer_01.jpg auto_lighting_optimizer_02.jpg
   
Standard

High

auto_lighting_optimizer_03.jpg auto_lighting_optimizer_04.jpg

Highlight Tone Priority

Highlight Tone Priority is a custom function which can be enabled from the menu. Use of this custom function improves highlight detail by expanding the camera's dynamic range in the highlights. As you can see from these examples, Highlight Tone Priority reduced the extent of highlight blow-out considerably.

Off

On
highlight_tone_01.jpg highlight_tone_02.jpg

HDR

The Canon EOS 800D's HDR Mode captures three different exposures and combines them into one, retaining more shadow and highlight detail.

Off

+1EV

hdr_01.jpg hdr_02.jpg
   
+2EV

+3EV

hdr_03.jpg hdr_04.jpg