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Canon 77D versus Sony A7 II

The Canon EOS 77D and the Sony Alpha A7 II are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2017 and November 2014. The 77D is a DSLR, while the A7 II is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (77D) and a full frame (A7 II) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 24 megapixel. 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 Sony A7 II

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 77D and the Sony A7 II. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. 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).

Compare Canon 77D vs Sony A7 II
Compare 77D versus A7 II top
Compare 77D and A7 II rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A7 II is notably smaller (7 percent) than the Canon 77D. However, the A7 II is markedly heavier (11 percent) than the 77D. It is noteworthy in this context that the A7 II 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 Sony FE Lens Catalog (A7 II). Mirrorless cameras, such as the A7 II, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.

Concerning battery life, the 77D gets 600 shots out of its LP-E17 battery, while the A7 II can take 350 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras 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)
Camera
Model
Canon 77D» 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899 i i Canon 77D
Sony A7 II« 127 mm 96 mm 60 mm 599 g 350 Y Nov 2014 1,999- i Sony A7 II
Canon M50« » 116 mm 88 mm 59 mm 390 g 235 n Feb 2018 779 i i Canon M50
Canon T7« » 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 475 g 500 n Feb 2018 449 i i Canon T7
Canon SL2« » 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549 i i Canon SL2
Canon T7i« » 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 532 g 600 n Feb 2017 749 i i Canon T7i
Canon M5« » 116 mm 89 mm 61 mm 427 g 295 n Sep 2016 979 i i Canon M5
Canon T6« » 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 485 g 500 n Mar 2016 449- i Canon T6
Canon T6i« » 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
Canon T6s« » 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 849- i Canon T6s
Canon T4i« » 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon T4i
Canon T3i« » 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599- i Canon T3i
Sony A7 III« » 127 mm 96 mm 74 mm 650 g 610 Y Feb 2018 1,999 i i Sony A7 III
Sony A7R II« » 127 mm 96 mm 60 mm 625 g 290 Y Jun 2015 3,199- i Sony A7R II
Sony A7S II« » 127 mm 96 mm 60 mm 627 g 370 Y Sep 2015 2,999 i i Sony A7S II
Sony A7« » 127 mm 94 mm 48 mm 474 g 340 Y Oct 2013 1,699- i Sony A7
Sony A7R« » 127 mm 94 mm 48 mm 465 g 340 Y Oct 2013 2,299- i Sony A7R

Any camera purchase will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The 77D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 55 percent) than the A7 II, 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon 77D vs Sony A7 II

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 Sony A7 II a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the A7 II 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 Sony A7 II sensor measures

Even though the A7 II has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 24 megapixel. This implies that the A7 II has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 5.97μm versus 3.72μm for the 77D), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the 77D is much more recent (by 2 years and 2 months) than the A7 II, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.

77D versus A7 II MP

For many 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 A7 II offers substantially better image quality than the 77D (overall score 12 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.3 bits higher color depth, 0.3 EV in additional 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
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Canon 77D» APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178Canon 77D
Sony A7 II« Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.913.6244990Sony A7 II
Canon M50« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p----Canon M50
Canon T7« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p----Canon T7
Canon SL2« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179Canon SL2
Canon T7i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Canon T7i
Canon M5« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.4126277Canon M5
Canon T6« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p----Canon T6
Canon T6i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971Canon T6i
Canon T6s« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570Canon T6s
Canon T4i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon T4i
Canon T3i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365Canon T3i
Sony A7 III« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7373096Sony A7 III
Sony A7R II« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.013.9343498Sony A7R II
Sony A7S II« » Full Frame 12.0 4240 28324K/30p23.613.3299385Sony A7S II
Sony A7« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.814.2224890Sony A7
Sony A7R« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.614.1274695Sony A7R

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, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).

 

Feature comparison: Canon 77D vs Sony A7 II

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the A7 II has an electronic viewfinder (2400k dots), while the 77D has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 77D, the Sony A7 II, and comparable cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
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
Camera
Model
Canon 77D»optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n Canon 77D
Sony A7 II«2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 8000 5.0 n Y Sony A7 II
Canon M50« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 10.0 Y n Canon M50
Canon T7« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T7
Canon SL2« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon SL2
Canon T7i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n Canon T7i
Canon M5« »2360 n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n Canon M5
Canon T6« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T6
Canon T6i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T6i
Canon T6s« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T6s
Canon T4i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T4i
Canon T3i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 4000 3.7 Y n Canon T3i
Sony A7 III« »2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n Y Sony A7 III
Sony A7R II« »2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 8000 5.0 n Y Sony A7R II
Sony A7S II« »2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 8000 5.0 n Y Sony A7S II
Sony A7« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 8000 5.0 n n Sony A7
Sony A7R« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 8000 4.0 n n Sony A7R

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The 77D has one, while the A7 II does not. While the build-in flash of the 77D is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The 77D writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A7 II uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Canon 77D»YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon 77D
Sony A7 II«YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7 II
Canon M50« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YYYCanon M50
Canon T7« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon T7
Canon SL2« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon SL2
Canon T7i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon T7i
Canon M5« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon M5
Canon T6« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon T6
Canon T6i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon T6i
Canon T6s« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon T6s
Canon T4i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon T4i
Canon T3i« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon T3i
Sony A7 III« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYYSony A7 III
Sony A7R II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7R II
Sony A7S II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7S II
Sony A7« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7
Sony A7R« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7R

The 77D is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the A7 II has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the A7 II was succeeded by the Sony A7 III.

Review summary: Canon 77D vs Sony A7 II

So how do things add up? Is the Canon 77D better than the Sony A7 II 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:

  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 59g or 10 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (600 versus 350) on a single battery charge.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (55 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 2 months of technical progress since the A7 II launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha A7 II:

  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (12 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.3 bits more color depth).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.3 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1230k vs 1040k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in November 2014).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the match-up finishes in a tie (11 points each). 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 11:11 A7 II

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 A7 II. 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
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon 77D»-82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i i Canon 77D
Sony A7 II«Rec82/1004.5/55/55/5 Nov 2014 1,999- i Sony A7 II
Canon M50« »Rec79/100--3.5/5 Feb 2018 779 i i Canon M50
Canon T7« »rev-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i i Canon T7
Canon SL2« »HiRec78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i i Canon SL2
Canon T7i« »-80/1004.5/54/54/5 Feb 2017 749 i i Canon T7i
Canon M5« »Rec82/1004/54.5/54/5 Sep 2016 979 i i Canon M5
Canon T6« »rev73/1004/53.5/54/5 Mar 2016 449- i Canon T6
Canon T6i« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
Canon T6s« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 849- i Canon T6s
Canon T4i« »HiRec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon T4i
Canon T3i« »rev77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599- i Canon T3i
Sony A7 III« »HiRec89/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i i Sony A7 III
Sony A7R II« »HiRec90/1005/54.5/55/5 Jun 2015 3,199- i Sony A7R II
Sony A7S II« »Rec-4.5/55/55/5 Sep 2015 2,999 i i Sony A7S II
Sony A7« »HiRec80/1005/54.5/55/5 Oct 2013 1,699- i Sony A7
Sony A7R« »HiRec82/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2013 2,299- i Sony A7R

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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