Canon 800D (T7i) can be considered as decent backup sports and action camera. Couple years ago nobody will say this for Canon entry-level DSLR, but now things are different. Canon 800D performance is the result of strong competition. Canon 800D isn’t much worse than more expensive Canon 77D or even Canon 80D. 80D offers nicer body to hold. Canon 77D has the same body as 800D and just minor improvements, with the same core performance. Canon 80D has one frame per second faster burst rate and the same focusing system and sensor. Even older Digic 6 processor. Compared to Digic 7. Canon 80D is a good budget alternative to Canon 7D Mark II and Canon 800D offers almost same core performance Canon 80D.
Lets quickly compare Canon 800D performance to the first generation Canon 7D. Canon 800D has 6fps, 24MP, and cross-type AF points. Canon 7D has 8fps, 18MP, and 19 cross-type AF points. And comparing mine results and DPReview performance page of the review, both cameras has the similar buffer. Canon 800D has better lowlight performance, better AF system, and more resolution. Resolution is important because many pros are using crop camera because they need more reach. You can get that with higher resolution. First Canon 7D obviously give much nicer body, controls (no touchscreen, though), viewfinder and frames per second. As we can see, Canon 800D performance is not far away from first Canon 7D. And that camera is extensively used for sports, news, wildlife, even today.
Great backup camera
That is why Canon 800D can be considered as a backup camera for this events. But it is not recommended for professional use because it has smaller body and price. Which results in worse controls, battery life, viewfinder size, and toughness. But if you have Canon 800D for family use, blogs, vlogs, video, you will be fine if you bring this camera as a backup to the serious job.
Let’s see how memory card speed will impact Canon 800D performance. I tried burst performance with three memory cards, for both RAW and RAW+JPEG. I was interested in a number of frames before buffer fills up and speed (fps) goes rapidly down and time needed to clear up the buffer. Stopwatch on the phone was shot with 1/250 ISO 200 f2.8 exposure. I formatted cards before bursts and hold down shutter until first slower frame than previous. That signals the full buffer. After that first slower frame I waited for a red light on the camera to goes off and immediately take another photo. That way I was able to calculate a number of frames and speed. Here are the results.
Canon 800D performance
SD SanDisk 64GB Extreme Pro
Benchmarked write speed (CrystalDiskMark): 88 MB/s
RAW – Frames before full buffer: 32
RAW – Time until full buffer: 5.41 sec.
RAW – Speed: 5.91 fps
RAW – Writing buffer to memory card: 5.54 sec.
RAW+JPEG – Frames before full buffer: 22
RAW+JPEG – Time until full buffer: 3.67 sec.
RAW+JPEG – Speed: 5.99 fps
RAW+JPEG – Writing buffer to memory card: 7.1 sec.
Transcend 64GB UHS-1 (Speed Class 3)
Benchmarked write speed (CrystalDiskMark): 67 MB/s
RAW – Frames before full buffer: 27
RAW – Time until full buffer: 4.54 sec.
RAW – Speed: 5.95 fps
RAW – Writing buffer to memory card: 10.13 sec.
RAW+JPEG – Frames before full buffer: 22
RAW+JPEG – Time until full buffer: 3.71 sec.
RAW+JPEG – Speed: 5.93 fps
RAW+JPEG – Writing buffer to memory card: 7.39 sec
microSD Samsung 32GB Evo Plus with adapter
Benchmarked write speed (CrystalDiskMark): 35 MB/s
RAW – Frames before full buffer: 20
RAW – Time until full buffer: 3.37 sec.
RAW – Speed: 5.93 fps
RAW – Writing buffer to memory card: 13.09 sec.
RAW+JPEG – Frames before full buffer: 20
RAW+JPEG – Time until full buffer: 3.38 sec.
RAW+JPEG – Speed: 5.92 fps
RAW+JPEG – Writing buffer to memory card: 14.69 sec.
What I have learned
Many Canon DSLRs have limited writing speeds on SD card slot. Even legendary Canon 5D Mark III has the limitation of 40 MB/s when you using SD cards. That means that you will not benefit from using very fast SD cards. Good news is that Canon 800D can use speed up to 88 MB/s and probably faster. How much faster, it is hard to tell. I have not faster SD card. Bear in mind that SD SanDisk 64GB Extreme Pro is probably faster than 99% other SD cards. Transcend card was keeping up well despite it is noticeably slower then SanDisk. In RAW+JPEG test both cards having same results. Wich is little surprise. While using RAW only faster card gives noticeably better results. The sequence is longer when you use RAW only and the faster card has more time to made advantage.
I tested Samsung 32GB Evo Plus, too. Even this card is fast compared to many regular SD cards, but results are much worse than you very fast cards. I learned that you will definitely benefit if you use fast SD card in Canon 800D. The difference between fast cards won’t be big if you use RAW+JPEG but will be if you use RAW only. I didn’t test JPEG only. Because you will have buffer cleared immediately when you stop shooting. Unless you hold shutter button very, very long. But I never tried to fill up the buffer with JPEGs only by holding shutter for a minute or so. Because that is not real life scenario.
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