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Canon 77D versus Nikon D5

The Canon EOS 77D and the Nikon D5 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2017 and January 2016. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (77D) and a full frame (D5) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 24 megapixel, whereas the Nikon provides 20.7 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon 77D vs Nikon D5

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 77D and the Nikon D5. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the 77D – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Canon 77D vs Nikon D5
Compare 77D versus D5 top
Compare 77D and D5 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D5 is considerably larger (94 percent) than the Canon 77D. Moreover, the D5 is substantially heavier (162 percent) than the 77D. It is noteworthy in this context that the D5 is splash and dust-proof, while the 77D does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can find an overview of optics for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (77D) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D5).

Concerning battery life, the 77D gets 600 shots out of its LP-E17 battery, while the D5 can take 3780 images on a single charge of its EN-EL18a power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon 77D» 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 19.0 oz 600 n Feb 2017 899 i i
Nikon D5« 6.3 in 6.3 in 3.6 in 49.9 oz 3780 Y Jan 2016 6,499 i i
Canon T7« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 16.8 oz 500 n Feb 2018 449 i i
Canon M6« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 13.8 oz 295 n Feb 2017 779 i i
Canon SL2« » 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 16.0 oz 650 n Jun 2017 549 i i
Canon T7i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 18.8 oz 600 n Feb 2017 749 i i
Canon M5« » 4.6 in 3.5 in 2.4 in 15.1 oz 295 n Sep 2016 979 i i
Canon T6« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 500 n Mar 2016 449- i
Canon 1D X Mark II« » 6.2 in 6.6 in 3.3 in 54.0 oz 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999 i i
Canon T6i« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i
Canon T6s« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 849- i
Canon T4i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i
Canon T1i« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799- i
Nikon D7500« » 5.4 in 4.1 in 2.9 in 25.4 oz 950 Y Apr 2017 1,299 i i
Nikon D4S« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.6 in 47.6 oz 3020 Y Feb 2014 6,499- i
Nikon D4« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.6 in 47.3 oz 2600 Y Jan 2012 5,999- i
Nikon D3X« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.5 in 44.4 oz 4400 Y Dec 2008 7,999- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 77D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 86 percent) than the D5, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon 77D vs Nikon D5

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 77D features an APS-C sensor and the Nikon D5 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the D5 is 158 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 77D and Nikon D5 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon 77D offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixel, compared with 20.7 MP of the Nikon D5. This megapixel advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 6.44μm for the D5). However, it should be noted that the 77D is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 1 month) than the D5, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage.

77D versus D5 MP

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under consideration, the D5 has a markedly higher DXO score than the 77D (overall score 10 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 1.5 bits higher color depth, 1 EV of lower dynamic range, and 1.3 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon 77D» APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178
Nikon D5« Full Frame 20.7 5588 37124K/30p25.112.3234388
Canon T7« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p----
Canon M6« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Canon SL2« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
Canon T7i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Canon M5« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.4126277
Canon T6« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p----
Canon 1D X Mark II« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788
Canon T6i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971
Canon T6s« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
Canon T4i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
Canon T1i« » APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
Nikon D7500« » APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.314.0148386
Nikon D4S« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/60p24.413.3307489
Nikon D4« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/30p24.713.1296589
Nikon D3X« » Full Frame 24.4 6048 4032-24.713.7199288

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the D5 provides a better video resolution than the 77D. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 77D vs Nikon D5

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 77D and the D5 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 77D, the Nikon D5, and comparable cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Canon 77D»optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n
Nikon D5«optical Y 3.2 2359 fixed Y 8000 14.0 n n
Canon T7« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon M6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n
Canon SL2« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon T7i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n
Canon M5« »2360 n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n
Canon T6« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon 1D X Mark II« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 8000 16.0 n n
Canon T6i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon T6s« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon T4i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon T1i« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.4 Y n
Nikon D7500« »optical Y 3.2 922 tilting Y 8000 8.0 Y n
Nikon D4S« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 8000 11.0 n n
Nikon D4« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 8000 11.0 n n
Nikon D3X« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n

Both the 77D and the D5 are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The D5 replaced the earlier Nikon D4S, while the 77D followed on from the Canon T6s.

Review summary: Canon 77D vs Nikon D5

So how do things add up? Is the Canon 77D better than the Nikon D5 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 77D:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 20.7MP) with a 7% higher linear resolution.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1 EV of extra DR).
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More compact: Is smaller (131x100mm vs 160x159mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 875g or 62 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (86 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 1 month after the D5).

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon D5:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (10 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.5 bits more color depth).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.3 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (2359k vs 1040k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (14 vs 6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (3780 versus 600) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2016).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D5 emerges as the winner of the match-up (11 : 8 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.

77D 08:11 D5

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 77D or the D5. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon 77D»-82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i i
Nikon D5«-89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 6,499 i i
Canon T7« »rev-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i i
Canon M6« »-80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779 i i
Canon SL2« »HiRec78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i i
Canon T7i« »-80/1004.5/54/54/5 Feb 2017 749 i i
Canon M5« »Rec82/1004/54.5/54/5 Sep 2016 979 i i
Canon T6« »rev73/1004/53.5/54/5 Mar 2016 449- i
Canon 1D X Mark II« »-89/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999 i i
Canon T6i« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i
Canon T6s« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 849- i
Canon T4i« »HiRec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i
Canon T1i« »HiRec74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799- i
Nikon D7500« »HiRec86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2017 1,299 i i
Nikon D4S« »--4.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2014 6,499- i
Nikon D4« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2012 5,999- i
Nikon D3X« »-86/1004/55/55/5 Dec 2008 7,999- i

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please contact me, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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