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Canon EOS 850D (Rebel T8i) Review

The Canon EOS 850D is Canon's consumer DSLR, with a 24mp APS-C sensor, 4K video recording, a 3inch vari-angle touch-screen, and access to Canon's wide range of EF lenses.


|  Canon EOS 850D (Rebel T8i) in Digital SLRs
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Canon EOS 850D (13)

The Canon EOS 850D updates the 800D from 3 years ago, and features improved continuous shooting speed (upto 7.5fps), 4K 25/24fps video recording, and improved battery life of up to 800 shots. The camera features a 24mp APS-C sensor, ISO up to ISO51200, and a 3inch vari-angle touch screen on the back. The Canon EOS 850D is available for £839 body only, or £929 with 18-55mm IS STM lens.


Canon EOS 850D Features

Canon EOS 850D (15)

The Canon EOS 850D updates the 800D, which was an update to the 750D, and so on, all the way back to the original 6mp 300D, the first consumer DSLR available for under £1000.

The Canon EOS 5/6/7/800D range may have been an "entry-level" DSLR for some, but as time went on, and the specifications improved, the cameras got better and better with each iteration, and Canon introduced a range of cheaper entry-level models (including the 1000D/2000D/4000D), as well as more compact models, including the 200D/250D.

The Canon EOS 850D sticks to a 24mp APS-C CMOS sensor, but with a new DIGIC 8 image processor, the new camera now supports 4K UHD video recording, improved AF in live-view, faster continuous shooting is on offer, with 7fps in normal shooting (using the OVF), or up to 7.5fps using live-view. Battery life has been improved, and the camera now supports Time-lapse video creation.

The 850D is available with the 18-55mm IS STM lens (an "ultra-compact" kit lens - the smallest non-retractable kit lens), and offers up to 4-stops of Image Stabilisation (IS), and another option is with the 18-135mm lens. We were provided with the non-IS 18-55mm III lens, and wouldn't recommend this lens. We used the 50mm f/1.8 STM lens in addition to the 18-55mm lens, and there is a wide range of EF/EF-S lenses available.

Canon EOS 850D (14)

Nb. The Canon EOS 850D is also known as the Canon Rebel T8i (outside Europe), and the Canon KISS X10i in Japan.

The Canon EOS 850D may appear quite similar to the previous camera, the 800D, but when we look at the specifications in more detail, we can see that a number of improvements have been made. 

New features found on the 850D (compared to 800D):

  • 4K 25/24fps video recording
  • 800 shot battery life (with OVF), vs 600
  • 45 AF points, with 143 live-view focus points
  • Face tracking using OVF and Live-view
  • 7/7.5fps continuous shooting OVF/Live-view (vs 6fps)
  • DIGIC 8 image processor
  • Time-lapse support
  • NFC support removed
  • 515g vs 532g

Canon EOS 850D (2)

There is a microphone socket on the side, a flash hot-shoe on top, plus a built-in pop-up flash. The 3inch vari-angle touch-screen can be tilted forwards so that it can be used as a selfie screen, and the built-in guide can be switched on and off. 

4K UHD video is recorded at 25/24fps, with a crop (see the video section below). FullHD video is recorded at up 60fps, with stereo sound. Electronic image stabilisation helps keep images steady (with an additional crop), or you can use a lens with built-in optical image stabilisation (OIS).

Wi-Fi is built-in and Bluetooth is also available for low-power image transfers.

Canon EOS 850D Key Features

  • 24mp APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Dual Pixel AF 
  • Digic 8 image processor
  • 45 AF points, all-cross type + Dual Pixel AF
  • 3inch vari-angle touch-screen, 1040K dots
  • 95% optical viewfinder, with 0.82x magnification
  • ISO100-ISO25600 (extends to ISO51200)
  • 7fps continuous shooting, 7.5fps live-view
  • 4K UHD video at 25/24fps, FullHD video at 60fps
  • In-camera 5-axis electronic stabilisation (for video)
  • Wi-Fi, and low-power Bluetooth
  • Built-in guide

Canon EOS 850D Handling

Canon EOS 850D (9)

 


Like the previous camera, the 850D has mostly plastic construction, however, this shouldn’t put you off the camera, with the camera feeling solidly built. As a testament to this, there are many older models still going strong today. If you’re moving from a previous EOS camera, then the layout of buttons and controls will be very familiar. Although there is now a rear command wheel.

Previously we complained about the lack of a rear command wheel on the 800D, and it looks like Canon have been listening, with the introduction of a scroll wheel around the 4-way controller on the back of the camera. The Canon EOS 850D has a simpler mode dial compared to the 800D. The on/off switch also features a third position, which switches the camera into video mode.

The AV/Exposure compensation button has been removed, which can make adjusting exposure compensation a little slower, while you find the on-screen exposure compensation.

The 3inch screen looks good, with 1040k dot resolution, although the live-view refresh speed isn’t as quick as most mirrorless cameras. Using the touch-screen to change settings is easy, and the screen is very responsive to touch. Viewing angles are good, with a gapless screen, and being able to tilt the screen can make it easier to see what you are shooting.

There are 45 focus points (with 143 available in live-view), and these can be viewed in the optical viewfinder when shooting, or on the rear screen when using live view. You can switch on a display of focus points in playback mode so that you can confirm you focused on the desired point(s). In live-view, the focus area covers a large area of the image, and there is no penalty in focus speeds, and in manual selection, there are even more focus points available. Focus is sensitive down to -4 EV.

The optical viewfinder, whilst not the largest, with 0.82x magnification, features dioptre correction, and there is a soft rubber surround, making it comfortable to use both with or without glasses.

Canon EOS 850D (11)

Menus - The new guided menu system can quite easily be switched off if you’re already used to Canon’s menu systems. If you’re not, the guided menu system is clear and easy to use, with brighter text and larger icons. If you go for the standard menu system, this is clear and well laid out, and you can use the touch-screen with both menu systems. The Q button gives quick access to settings, and these can also be changed with the touch-screen.

Wi-Fi features - Setting up a connection to your smartphone or tablet is relatively easy. As the app, Canon Camera Connect, guides you through the process making it as easy as possible for you. Once set up, it’s easy to transfer images over, as well as remotely control the camera. You can also use the app to add location information to your photos. 

Canon EOS 850D (7)

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 800 shots according to Canon / CIPA test results, which is very good and an improvement over the 600 shots possible on the 800D. This should save you money, as you're less likely to need to invest in a second battery, although it's worth noting that battery life is reduced in live-view, so you may still want a spare battery handy.


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Photographs taken using the Canon EOS 850D (Rebel T8i)

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