Canon EOS 77D For Dummies book cover

Canon EOS 77D For Dummies

By: Julie Adair King Published: 08-28-2017

Get pro results from your 77D!

The Canon EOS 77D puts features from higher-end cameras into a model designed for amateur photographers—and that's good news for you! Even better, Canon EOS 77D For Dummies makes it easier than ever to start producing pro-level photos. You'll start by getting a grasp on the mysterious terms that photographers throw around and then learn how your camera puts you in control of your image's exposure, color, and focus tools. Plus, you can follow some basic photography recipes to create portraits, nature shots, and action photos worth bragging about.

If you're just getting your hands on your first DSLR camera, you're in for a photographer's delight! With the help of this friendly guide, you'll walk through all the steps of shooting in automatic, scene, or manual mode. Plus, the book is packed with full-color photos designed to explain and illustrate how the 77D can control the focus and color in an image—ensuring you'll get the perfect shot every time.

  • Find simple steps for shooting better photos
  • Learn the tricks the pros use to control exposure settings
  • Discover how to capture better light and color
  • Get tips for working with more advanced features

Everything you need to take picture-perfect photos with your Canon EOS 77D is inside!

Articles From Canon EOS 77D For Dummies

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28 results
Canon EOS 77D For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet / Updated 03-10-2022

Your Canon EOS 77D has so many features that it can be difficult to remember what each control does. To help you sort things out, this Cheat Sheet offers a handy reference to your camera's external controls and exposure modes. Print out this guide, tuck it in your camera bag, and get a head start on taking great photographs!

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Using Quick Control Mode on Your Canon EOS 77D Camera

Article / Updated 12-07-2017

The Quick Control screen on your Canon EOS 77D camera displays current picture settings when you use the viewfinder to compose pictures. Because digital photography isn't confusing enough, the 77D also offers Quick Control mode, which enables you to change certain settings without using the function buttons (the ISO button, Exposure Compensation button, and so on) or menus. Although the name implies that Quick Control mode is specific to the Quick Control screen, you can take advantage of this feature for Live View still photography and movie recording as well. Here's how it works: Display the Quick Control or Live View screen. If the monitor is asleep or the screen is showing menus or your existing photos, press the shutter button halfway and release it to redisplay the Quick Control or Live View screen. This figure shows the default photography screens as they appear in the Scene Intelligent Auto exposure mode. Press the Q button or tap the Q icon to enter Quick Control mode. If you're using the viewfinder to take pictures, the display changes to look similar to the one shown on the left here. In Live View mode, the display appears as shown on the left. Select the setting you want to adjust. The currently selected setting is highlighted; in the figures, the Drive mode is active, for example. To choose a different setting, tap it or use the left/right Quick Control keys to highlight it. On the Quick Control screen, the name of the currently selected option for the setting appears at the bottom of the screen, as shown on the left. In Live View mode, the text banner initially shows the name of the setting you're changing, with icons at the bottom of the screen representing the available options. The one surrounded by the orange box is the currently selected option. Rotate the Quick Control dial or Main dial to cycle through the available options for the setting. As soon as you rotate the dial, the text label on the Quick Control screen updates to reflect the name of the each setting. And on the Live View screen, the name of the setting you're adjusting is replaced by the name of the selected option. In the right screen, for example, you can see how things look when you change the Drive mode from Single Frame to the 2-second Self-Timer option. During viewfinder photography, you can also tap the setting icon or press the Set button to display all the available options on a single screen, as shown on the right. Tap, use the left/right Quick Control keys, or rotate the Quick Control dial or Main dial to highlight the option you want to use, and then tap the exit arrow to exit the settings screen. (In Live View mode, tapping the icon on the sides of the screen simply selects the option represented by that symbol.) Repeat Steps 3 and 4 as needed to adjust other settings. To exit Quick Control mode, press the Q button. In Live View mode, you also can tap the exit arrow in the upper-right corner of the screen. A couple of final tips about taking advantage of Quick Control mode: For some settings, the Live View preview updates to show the result of your choice. If you adjust the White Balance setting, which affects how colors are rendered, you see colors shift in the preview, for example. After you choose some options, additional touch-control icons appear on the options screen. For example, you may see an icon bearing an Info label. By tapping that icon or pressing the Info button, you can access settings that enable you to modify the characteristics of the currently selected option. Instructions throughout the book alert you to these hidden settings. As with instructions for choosing menu items, the rest of this book assumes that you're now cool with the basics of using Quick Control mode. So, instead of repeating all the preceding steps for each feature that you can modify by using Quick Control mode, instructions merely say something like "Shift to Quick Control mode to adjust this setting." Just for good measure, though, the Q button symbol appears in the margin of paragraphs that discuss using Quick Control mode.

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Customizing the Live View Display on the Canon EOS 77D

Article / Updated 12-07-2017

By default, the Canon EOS 77D camera's Live View display offers the data shown on the left when you're taking photographs; in Movie mode, the default display appears as shown on the right. Black bars appear at the top and bottom of the movie display to indicate the boundaries of the 16:9 movie frame. As is the case with other information displays, the type and amount of data that appears depends on your exposure mode and whether the camera is set to take still photos or shoot movies. You also can vary the amount of data that appears in either display by pressing the Info button. This figure shows the four alternative displays available for photography. In Movie mode, the Histogram display isn't available. Additionally, you can add one of three grids to your screen, which can be helpful when checking alignment of objects in the frame. To enable or hide the grid, open the Shooting Menu and look for the Grid Display option, featured here. As with other menu options, where you find this one depends on your exposure mode: In P, Tv, Av, and M modes, the option lives on Shooting Menu 6, as shown. In other still photography modes, it's found on Shooting Menu 2; in Movie mode, Shooting Menu 2. Although the various symbols and numbers on the displays won't make much sense until you explore the rest of the book, here are a few details that may give you a basic understanding of some of the common symbols: • The white box or corner markings represent the autofocusing frame. The appearance of the frame depends on the AF Method. At the default setting, Face Priority + Tracking, the frame appears as you see on the right in the following figure. In Live One-Point AF mode, the frame looks like the one on the left earlier; in Smooth Zone mode, the frame appears as shown on the right in the same figure. Check the areas labeled to view the battery status. The symbol shown in the figure represents a full battery. The number of shots remaining or the available movie recording time appears next to the battery symbol. You can't display the Electronic Level when the camera is set to the default AF Method setting (Face + Tracking). To display the level, you must switch to Live One-Point AF or Smooth Zone mode. (You can do so via the Quick Control screen.) The chart that appears in the histogram display (upper-right screen) is a tool you can use to gauge exposure. Note that when you use flash, the histogram is dimmed. The histogram can't display accurate information because the final exposure will include light from the flash and not just the ambient lighting. In addition, the histogram dims when you use M (Manual) exposure mode and set the shutter speed to B (Bulb), which keeps the shutter open for as long as you hold down the shutter button. The camera can't predict how long you're going to hold that button down, so it can't create a histogram that will reflect your final exposure. Also note the Exposure Simulation symbol that appears in the first three displays. (Look in the lower-right corner of the frame.) This symbol indicates whether the monitor is simulating the actual exposure that you'll record. If the symbol blinks or is dimmed, the camera can't provide an accurate exposure preview, which can occur if the ambient light is either very bright or very dim. Exposure Simulation is also disabled when you use flash.

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Switching to Live View Mode on the Canon EOS 77D

Article / Updated 12-05-2017

Like most dSLRs sold today, your Canon EOS 77D camera offers Live View, which disables the viewfinder and instead displays a live preview of your subject on the camera monitor. The following list explains the basics of using Live View: Switching to Live View for photography: Press the Live View button, labeled, to shift from viewfinder shooting to Live View mode. You hear a clicking noise and then the viewfinder goes dark and the monitor displays the live scene. By default, some shooting data appears as well, with the amount and type of information varying depending on your exposure mode and a few other settings. The figure shows the display as it appears in the Scene Intelligent Auto exposure mode when the default picture-taking settings are used for that mode. The Live View button requires a firm push to turn the feature on and off. If nothing happens after one or two button presses, you may need to reset the Live View Shoot menu option to Enable. This is the default setting, but it's possible you or another user changed the setting to Disable at some point. Where you find the Live View Shoot option depends on your exposure mode; in the advanced modes (P, Tv, Av, and M), go to Shooting Menu 5, as shown on the left here. In other exposure modes, the option lives on Shooting Menu 1, as shown on the right. Why would Canon give you the option to disable Live View functionality? Because it's easy to accidentally press the Live View button and switch to that mode when you don't really want to go there. Engaging Live View for movie recording: For movie recording, simply moving the On/Off switch to the Movie mode setting, represented by the movie-camera symbol, engages Live View. You can't use the viewfinder in Movie mode, so the setting of the Live View Shoot menu option has no impact. In Movie mode, pressing the Live View button starts and stops recording. To exit Movie mode, move the On/Off switch to On if you want to begin shooting stills or to Off if you're done shooting. In many ways, shooting photos in Live View mode is the same as for viewfinder photography, but some important aspects, such as autofocusing, work very differently.

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Decoding the Canon EOS 77D Camera's Viewfinder Data

Article / Updated 12-05-2017

A limited assortment of shooting data, such as the shutter speed and f-stop, appears at the bottom of the Canon EOS 77D's viewfinder, as shown here. In the framing area of the viewfinder, you may see marks that indicate the portion of the screen that contains autofocusing points. (The appearance of the autofocus markings depend on your autofocus settings.) In the first screen in the figure, the four black brackets represent the autofocusing area. Displaying viewfinder data The markings in the framing area of the viewfinder appear automatically when you first turn on the camera; to display the shooting data, you must press the shutter button halfway. The display remains active for a few seconds after you release the button, and then the viewfinder display data shuts off to save battery power. To wake up the display, press the shutter button halfway and release it. Adding a level and gridlines to the display You can display gridlines in the viewfinder, as shown on the right, as well as a symbol that represents the electronic level. (When the lines at the sides of the symbol are horizontal, as in the figure, the camera is level.) To hide or display these features, open Setup Menu 2 and choose Viewfinder Display. On the next screen, change the settings from Hide to Show. As you select each option, a preview appears at the bottom of the screen to remind you how enabling the feature affects the display. Displaying a flicker-detection warning When the Mode dial is set to an advanced exposure mode (P, Tv, Av, or M), the Viewfinder Display option offers a third setting, Flicker Detection. When the camera detects light sources that are blinking, which can mess up exposure and color, the word Flicker! appears in the area labeled. The biggest offenders are tubular fluorescent bulbs, which blink on and off so quickly that it's difficult for the human eye to detect them. When you see this warning, you may want to enable the Anti-flicker Shoot option on the Shooting Menu. This feature also is available only in the advanced exposure modes. Noting the number in brackets The number in brackets does not represent the shots-remaining value, as it does in the Quick Control screen. Instead, that number — 9, in the figure — represents the number of maximum number of burst frames. This number relates to shooting in the Continuous capture mode, where the camera fires off multiple shots in rapid succession as long as you hold down the shutter button. Although the highest number that the viewfinder can display is 9, the actual number of maximum burst frames may be higher. At any rate, you don't really need to pay attention to the number until it starts dropping toward 0, which indicates that the camera's memory buffer (its temporary internal data-storage tank) is filling up. If that happens, just give the camera a moment to catch up with your shutter-button finger. The maximum burst frames value also makes an appearance in the Quick Control screen, but only if the value drops to 9 or below. In that case, you see a single digit — not presented inside brackets — directly to the left of the shots-remaining value. The good news is that you rarely need to even worry about this number; we just bring it up so you don't scratch your head wondering what that value means when you see it on either display.

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Displaying the Canon EOS 77D's Quick Control Screen

Article / Updated 12-05-2017

Shown in the figure, the Quick Control screen of the Canon EOS 77D appears on the monitor when the camera is in shooting mode — that is, when you're not viewing menus, checking out your pictures in Playback mode, and so on. The screen displays different data depending on your exposure mode and whether features such as flash are enabled. The left side of the figure shows the screen as it appears in Scene Intelligent Auto exposure mode; the right side, Tv mode (shutter-priority auto-exposure). Here are the keys to taking advantage of this screen: Display and hide the Quick Control screen. By default, the screen appears automatically when you turn on the camera and then turns off if no camera operations are performed for 30 seconds. You can turn the display on again by pressing the shutter button halfway and then releasing it. To turn off the display before the automatic shutoff occurs, press the Info button (on the back of the camera, just below the power switch). Press the Info button twice to cycle back to the Quick Control screen. You can adjust the timing of the automatic shutdown of this screen and others via the Auto Power Off option on Setup Menu 2. Keep an eye on the battery symbol and the shots remaining value. A full battery like the one in the figure means that the battery is charged; as it runs out of power, bars disappear from the symbol. The shots remaining value indicates how many more pictures will fit in the free space available on your memory card. This value depends in large part on the Image Quality setting, which determines the resolution (pixel count) and file type (Raw or JPEG). If those terms are new to you, the next chapter explains them. You can replace the Quick Control screen with an electronic level by pressing the Info button. This feature is useful when you use a tripod and want to ensure that the camera is level to the horizon. When the horizontal line appears green, as shown here, you're good to go. Press Info again to return to the Quick Control screen. You can enable or disable the level and Quick Control screen from Setup Menu 3.

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Customizing the Canon EOS 77D's Touch Screen

Article / Updated 12-05-2017

Your Canon EOS 77D camera's touch screen works much like the ones found on smartphones and other touch-based devices. When the touch screen is enabled, as it is by default, you can simply touch the monitor to choose menu commands, change picture settings, scroll through your pictures, and more. How you touch the screen depends on the task at hand. Here's a rundown of the names assigned to various touch-screen moves, or gestures: Tap: Tap a finger on the monitor. (Figures and instructions throughout the book indicate exactly where to tap.) Drag: Using light pressure, drag your finger across the screen. On some menu screens, for example, you can drag up or down to scroll through a list of options. Swipe: Drag one or two fingers quickly across the screen. You use this gesture, known in some circles as a flick, to scroll through your pictures in Playback mode, just as you do when showing off your photos on a smartphone. Pinch in/pinch out: To pinch in, place your thumb at one edge of the screen and your pointer finger at the other. Then drag both toward the center of the screen. To pinch out, start in the center of the screen and swipe both fingers outward. Pinching is how you zoom in and out on pictures during playback. You can customize two aspects of touch-screen behavior: Adjust (or disable) the touch-screen response: You can choose from three settings, accessed via the Touch Control option, found on Setup Menu 3 and shown here. Standard is the default, setting the screen to respond to a "normal" amount of pressure. Don't ask how the Powers That Be decided what that pressure level is — just know that if your normal pressure doesn't evoke a response, you can change the setting from Standard to Sensitive. Choose Disable to make the touch screen totally inactive. Silence the touch screen: By default, the touch screen emits a tiny "boop" with every tap. If you find that annoying, choose the Beep option, found just beneath the Touch Control option on Setup Menu 3. The option that keeps the boop silent is Touch to Silence — silence indicated by a little speaker with a slash through it. The Disable setting turns off both touch-screen sounds and the beep the camera emits when focus is achieved.

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Navigating Custom Functions on the Canon EOS 77D

Article / Updated 12-05-2017

Custom Functions on the Canon EOS 77D camera are a group of advanced settings available only in the P, Tv, Av, and M exposure modes. (Remember: You set the exposure mode via the Mode dial on top of the camera.) To explore Custom Functions, choose that item from Setup Menu 4, as shown on the left. You then see the options screen for a specific Custom Function, as shown on the right in the figure. Here's a guide to using the Custom Function screens, which work a little differently from other menu screens: Interpreting the screens: The Custom Functions screens are a little intimidating until you know what's what: Custom Functions are grouped into four categories: Exposure, Image, Autofocus/Drive, and Operation/Others. The category number and name appear in the upper-left corner of the screen. In the figure, for example, the label indicates that you're looking at a screen from the Autofocus/Drive category. (C.Fn III refers to Custom Functions group three.) The number of the selected function appears in the upper-right corner. Custom Function 9 is shown. Settings for the current function appear in the middle of the screen. Blue text indicates the current setting. The default setting is represented by the number 0. Auto is selected and is the default setting. Numbers at the bottom of the screen show you the current setting for all Custom Functions. The top row of numbers represents the Custom Functions, with the currently selected function indicated with a tiny horizontal bar over the number (9, in the figure). The lower row shows the number of the current setting for each Custom Function; again, 0 represents the default. For Custom Function 11, you instead see a dash, which is Canon's way of letting you know that this menu option controls more than one camera setting (thus, there isn't one single default setting). Scrolling from one Custom Function to the next: Use the Quick Control dial or press the left or right Quick Control keys or tap the left or right scroll arrows at the top of the screen. You can see the arrows in the right screen. Changing the setting: You first must activate the menu by pressing the Set button or tapping one of the available setting options. The screen then changes to look similar to the one shown on the left, with the currently selected option highlighted. To select a different option, highlight it by tapping it or pressing the up or down cross keys. To lock in your setting and deactivate the settings screen, tap the Set icon or press the Set button. The screen returns to its inactive state, as shown on the right, with the setting you selected appearing in blue and the row of digits at the bottom of the screen reflecting the number for that setting. Again, a blue number indicates that you chose a setting other than the default. Exiting the Custom Functions submenu: Tap the Menu icon in the lower-right corner of the screen) or press the Menu button. Press Menu again to exit the menu system entirely and return to shooting.

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Canon EOS 77D Camera Menu Basics

Article / Updated 12-05-2017

Although you can adjust some settings by using external controls, you access the majority of options via camera menus. Here are the basics you need to know to navigate menus and select menu options. Here's how to display menus and adjust the options on those menus: Opening and closing menus: Press the Menu button to display the menus; press again to exit the menu system and return to shooting. You also can just press the shutter button halfway and release it to exit to shooting mode. Understanding menu screens: Which menus and menu screens appear depends on the exposure mode, which you set by rotating the Mode dial on top of the camera. Things also change when you switch from still photography to Movie mode, which you accomplish by rotating the On/Off switch to the movie-camera symbol. The figure shows a menu screen as it appears for normal photography in the advanced exposure modes (P, Tv, Av, and M). However, the following menu elements are common to all exposure modes: Menu icons: Along the top of the screen, you see icons representing individual menus. In the advanced exposure modes, you get the five menus labeled: Shooting, Playback, Setup, Display Level Settings, and My Menu. The My Menu feature, which enables you to build a custom menu, isn't available in other exposure modes. Menu page numbers: Some menus are multi-page (sometimes called tabs) affairs. The numbers under the menu icons represent the various pages of the current menu. o Shooting Menu 1 refers to page one of the Shooting menu, Shooting Menu 2 to page 2, and so on. How many pages appear for each menu depends, again, on the exposure mode and whether the camera is set to still photography or Movie mode. The highlighted menu icon marks the active menu; options on that menu appear automatically on the main part of the screen. In the figure, Shooting Menu 1 is active, for example. Selecting a menu or menu page: You have these options: Touch screen: Tap the menu icon to select that menu; tap a page number to display that page. Quick Control keys or Main dial: Press the right or left cross keys or rotate the Main dial to scroll through the menu icons. If you use this technique, you have to scroll through all pages of a menu to get to the neighboring menu. Q button: Press the Q button to cycle through menu icons. As you scroll through the menus, notice the color coding: Red for the Shooting menu, blue for the Playback menu; orangey-yellow (ochre?) for the Setup menu, teal for Display Level Settings; and green for My Menu. Select and adjust a menu setting: Again, you have a choice of techniques: Touch screen: Tap the menu item to display options for that setting. The current setting is highlighted; tap another setting to select it. On some screens, you see a Set icon; if it appears, tap that icon to lock in your selection and exit the settings screen. Quick Control dial, Quick Control keys, and Set button: Rotate the Quick Control dial or press the up or down Quick Control keys to highlight the menu setting and then press the Set button to display the available options for that setting. In most cases, you then use the Quick Control dial to highlight the desired option and press Set again. If you prefer, use the cross keys to highlight your preferred setting before pressing the Set button. You can mix and match techniques, by the way: For example, even if you access a menu option via the control keys, you can use the touch-screen techniques to select a setting. Instructions from this point forward assume that you don't need to be told the specifics of how to select menus and menu options at every turn. So instead of stepping you through each button press or touch-screen tap required to adjust a setting, instructions simply say something like "Choose Image Quality from Shooting Menu 1." If choosing a menu option involves any special steps, however, instructions offer guidance.

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Changing from Standard to Guided Display Mode on the Canon EOS 77D

Article / Updated 12-05-2017

By default, your Canon EOS 77D camera is set to Standard Display Mode. Alternatively, you can set the camera to provide information to you in a Guided Display Mode. In this mode, designed for novices, camera screens are simplified and offer explanations and feedback when you adjust certain settings. For example, the left side of the image shows the display when Tv exposure mode (shutter-priority auto-exposure) is selected. Likewise, the right side shows the guided menu with the Shooting settings menu selected. Guided mode is fine for users who need more of a helping hand than the standard screens provide. But assuming that you bought this book because you want to learn more about your camera and master the ins and outs of photography, you don't fall into that category. Standard mode is a better choice, for several reasons: Although the Guided screens make understanding some options easier, in many cases, they can be just as baffling as the Standard screens. The Guided screens often focus on one particular aspect of a camera setting without explaining how that setting affects other characteristics of your picture. When you change the shutter speed, for example, the camera has to make adjustments to one or two other critical settings — aperture and/or ISO — in order to properly expose the picture. Those settings have their own impact on the look of your picture. Standard mode also saves you some steps as you make certain camera adjustments. The Guided screens limit your access to many shooting settings. In addition, when you use Guided mode, you can't access the My Menu feature, which enables you to create a custom menu that contains the menu options you use most. Most other Canon dSLRs don't offer Guided mode, so if you're moving to the 77D from a previous Canon model that used standard displays, using Guided mode requires you to do unnecessary retraining. If you step up to a more advanced Canon model in the future, you also likely won't have the option to use Guided mode. For these reasons, figures and instructions from this point forward relate to using the camera in the Standard mode instead of Guided mode. If you want to experiment, navigate to the Display Level menu and play around with different settings. The Shooting screen and Menu display are set to Standard by default, as shown on the left. The Mode and Feature guides are enabled by default, as shown in the figure. To change settings, select the setting you want to change, tap OK or press the Set button, and then highlight a new option, as shown on the right. Tap OK or press Set to make the change. We leave it up to you whether to disable these features. After you're familiar with the various exposure modes and camera settings, they simply slow you down, so we keep them off. But if you find them helpful, by all means leave them set to Enable. Just remember that instructions from here on out won't mention them.

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