The Canon EOS 750D is the latest in a long line of DSLR cameras which targets the enthusiast photographer. After having owned the 500D, the 650D I was keen to see the progress and improvements made with the 750D. From the moment you open the box, Canon owners will notice a lot a familiar design cues and positioning with the 750D, which will mean you’ll be up and running quickly. For new owners, the camera feels well waited in the hand, modes and function selections are all in logical positions, with photo-specific controls available in reach of your right thumb and your index finger will rest over the shutter button. If you need to adjust the exposure between photos the convenient wheel is easy to access.
In this release, Canon have refined the mode selector dial and you’ll notice in the photo below, the 750D (right) has a simplified dial featuring larger and a few less modes. In reality, everything you need to configure is also available using the touchscreen on the back and the live exposure preview makes getting the right shot far easier than the typical spray and pray approach.
One of the biggest additions on the 750D is the inclusion of WiFi. This is a feature I’ve long campaigned for and really helps to address the photography struggle with media and publishing workflows. Often I’ve found myself shooting at an event and having to pop out the micro-SD card from the adapter, insert it into the back of the Surface to transfer the photos and share them to social media. When you work on a Newspaper or Magazine, you’re not so sensitive to the time requirements of this workflow, when you work online, seconds matter and having the most efficient workflow to publish can make the difference between a small and large amount of traffic to your post.
To get up and running with the WiFi connectivity, grab the ‘Canon Camera Connect’ app from Google Play or the App Store, then enabling the WiFi option on the camera through the Menu button. Connect you’re phone to the camera’s WiFi access point, and once the two are connected, you’ll have the option to view the images on the camera SD card, use remote shooting (wireless) and also adjust camera settings. This wireless control over the camera opens up new opportunity for the camera.
Imagine you’re shooting a wedding, you could actually connect and shoot photos from a different location. Imagine you need to review those photos and share them out to social media during the ceremony, for family who couldn’t attend.
The camera also features NFC to assist with the connection to Apple or Android phones, just tap on the left shoulder to initiate the connection. Once connected, being able to get the photo on your phone, helps solve the issue of shareability to social networks, a common path to publishing your photography. There is a limitation of photos only on this WiFi transfer, so videos will still need to be transferred manually.
Another important feature of photography is the ability to capture photos with fast-moving objects or people, which often means achieving the right focus quickly. Imagine you’re the parent on the side of the soccer field, you pan from left to right to focus on your kid about to kick a goal. The 750D features 19 points of AutoFocus to make sure objects are in focus. The 750D does a great job and whether your capturing a high-speed racing car coming over a crest, or your cute baby that never holds still, the camera does a great job of freezing the action and keeping things in focus. Of course when you find yourself in an environment you can control and setup a shot, you have the option to kill AutoFocus and dial in the focus point precisely to hit that perfect depth of field effect.
The rear screen on the 750D is a 3.0″ touchscreen has a 3:2 ratio and like the last model, rotates to allow the use the camera at otherwise unusable angles like close to the ground, or over a crowd. While not new to this model, the touchscreen feels more responsive and is a critical inclusion that enables complex and fringe case scenarios.
The 750D has an upgraded to a image processor – DIG!C 6 and features 24.2 Megapixels in quality. As the megapixels grow, you also need to be conscious of the additional file size you’re consuming. On average, photos taken with the Canon EOS 750D are between 5-8Mb in size depending on the complexity of the photo and at max the camera can shoot a massive 6000 x 4000 pixel photos. This means you can easily create amazing desktop wallpaper that has the necessary size to avoid stretching. There’s also amazing detail if you decide to print them off and make some artwork for your wall. While not in the pro range of cameras, beginners could certainly create some very usable wedding or portrait photography sessions.
Canon says this creates incredible image quality even in low light situations and that’s definitely true. It’s a relatively minor improvement over previous models though, its certainly visually noticeable but it’s not night and day like the progress we’ve seen in low-light development on smartphones in recent months. There’s improvements to the noise found in images taken at ISOs, however I found most of my shooting wasn’t at the extreme ends of the ISO range.
In terms of video quality, the 750D still only shoots 1920x1080p video at 25fps. That’s relatively low considered the world is rapidly moving to 4K and the phone in my pocket, the Galaxy S7 can shoot in 4K right now. Sure video on a DSLR isn’t everyone’s highest priority, but if you’re asking people to still hand over north of a thousand dollars for a dedicated device that shoots photos and videos, it better do both exceptionally well.
With phones doing such a great job on photography, it is getting increasingly difficult to justify lugging around a far heavily, less convenient DSLR. A couple of years ago, every birthday party was blanketed by dedicated cameras, but more recently, you’ll notice most are just using their phones.
This means the quality, features and functionality to offset the weight and inconvenience, can’t just be a little better than phones, it has to be seriously better than what we can achieve with our mobiles cameras. There are absolutely environments that you can’t get closer to, so having a zoom lens is one of those big benefits a DSLR still offers.
Every Canon camera features different modes which modify camera settings to achieve the perfect photo in each scenario. In burst mode, you can hold down the button and fire the shutter off at up to five frames per second. In reality, I found the camera to be a little slower than the claimed 5fps, but its certainly an improvement on the 2-3fps we had just a year or 2 ago. The amount of times where I find myself bursting is less and less often as I better understand the work involved in finding the right frame out of 100 to choose from. In practical terms, your best bet is to become a better photographer, rather than rely on Canon improving the frames per second.
While there’s plenty to love about the 750D, there are some changes that Canon have made that aren’t exactly user-friendly. As an owner of previous Canon EOS DSLR’s, I expect to be able use my existing accessories like my battery grip, and extra batteries from my 650D. Unfortunately Canon have yet again changed the size of their batteries and the battery compartment which means you’re up for new accessories if you upgrade to the 750D. If you’re starting fresh, this won’t matter, expect Canon’s now shown a history or changes in this area, so be aware, this could happen again. I struggle to think of a technical reason the batteries needed to change in this version considering the overall body size hasn’t changed and the battery got smaller, not larger, so they can’t argue battery life.
Thankfully you will be able to reuse your biggest investment, additional lenses.
Price & Availability
The Canon EOS 750D comes in a number of varieties, the cheapest being body-only, a great option if you’re already in the Canon family and have investments in lenses.
One of the most popular will be the Single IS STM Lens Kit which is the version we reviewed. This includes the 750D body and EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens and is available at JB Hi-Fi for a pretty affordable A$1,049.
After spending time with the Canon EOS 750D, the changes made in this model make a great camera, even better. Most of the improvement claims do stack up and that WiFi inclusion is seriously long overdue, but now much appreciated. The extra functionality it opens up and the reduction in workflow to socially share or even print photos is a massive step forward.
The changes to the batter are infuriating and a really anti-user move, a change that I hope they end with this model. For an existing Canon DSLR owner with a recent model, its really hard to justify this upgrade. However for someone who’s new to photography or an enthusiast who wants to get into fringe-case photography, this is a very capable camera for the price. I fear the biggest competition Canon now face, isn’t from the likes of Nikon, but from the smartphones who’s cameras are now sufficient for capturing day-to-day life in stunning quality. It really is only something like zoom lenses that can help you justify the price and weight of carrying a DSLR in 2016.