Canon has announced two new cameras which will slot into the middle of its growing DSLR line-up. The EOS 800D (known as the Rebel T7i in the US) is the firm's most advanced DSLR aimed at beginners, while the EOS 77D is targeted at photographers who are stepping up to a more enthusiast-friendly shooter.

While Canon is marketing the EOS 800D (Rebel T7i) as a starter DSLR, and the EOS 77D for those who are more confident in their photography skills, it's important to note the two cameras have very similar specification sheets. Indeed, the biggest differences are arguably the physical controls on the cameras, and the way this impacts their use.

As such we'll start by looking at what the EOS 800D and EOS 77D have in common. The cameras both inherit the sensor technology from the higher-end EOS 80D and feature a 24-megapixel APS-C (22.3 x 14.9 mm) CMOS sensor, which is paired with Canon's latest image processor, the DIGIC 7. This allows an ISO range of 100 to 25,600 (which can be expanded up to 51,200), and continuous shooting speeds of up to 6 fps (frames per second).

The cameras boast an impressive AF system with 45 autofocus points, all of which are cross-type for better focusing, particularly when shooting fast moving subjects. Canon's Dual Pixel CMOS AF also features on the duo, to offer smooth and fast video (and Live View) autofocusing. On the video front, both cameras max out at Full HD 1080p shooting at 60 fps, which will disappoint some photographers who were hoping for a 4K upgrade.

There are a number of wireless options on the cameras as they both boast Wi-Fi and NFC which allows for easy pairing with compatible devices, for sharing images or remote shooting with live view. They both feature low-energy Bluetooth connectivity too, which offers a constant connection for viewing images on a smart device, or remote shooting. A new Bluetooth BR-E1 remote control will be available for use with the EOS 800D or EOS 77D and offers focus and zoom controls along with a shutter release.

Around back, the cameras both have an optical viewfinders along with their 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen monitors. However, the cameras' controls are slightly different, and show why the EOS 800D is pitched at beginner photographers, and the EOS 77D at more advanced users. For example, the EOS 77D has both a rear AF-on focus button and a rear control wheel which makes it easier to make quick settings adjustments on the fly if you know what you are doing.

Up top is another difference with the mode dial moving from one side of the camera on the 800D to the other on the 77D as it makes way for a top panel LCD for displaying camera settings. The 800D comes with a guided interface mode called Feature Assistant, too, which helps teach users about different settings, and could be helpful to those who are just starting out with a DSLR.

Canon has also outed a new kit lens which will be available bundled with the two new cameras, the EF-S 18-55-mm F4-F5.6 IS STM. The compact variable-aperture lens is billed as the "smallest in its class," and is said to be good for four stops of image stabilization.

The cameras and the new lens are due to be available in April with the 800D (Rebel T7i) costing US$750 body-only, or $900 with the new EF-S 18-55-mm. The 77D will set you back $900 body-only, or $1,050 if you want the EF-S 18-55-mm, which will be available on its own for $250.

You can check out a promo video for the Canon EOS 77D below.

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