Preparing the Canon EOS 77D Camera for Initial Use

By Julie Adair King

After unpacking your Canon EOS 77D camera, you have to assemble a few parts. In addition to the camera body and the supplied battery (charge it before the first use), you need a lens and a memory card. Here’s the short story:

  • Lens: Your camera accepts Canon EF and EF-S lenses; the 18–55mm or 18–135mm kit lenses sold as a bundle with the camera body falls into the EF-S category. If you want to buy a non-Canon lens, check the lens manufacturer’s website to find out which lenses work with your camera.
  • SD, SDHC, or SDXC memory card: The SD stands for Secure Digital; the HC and XC stand for High Capacity and eXtended Capacity. The different labels reflect how many gigabytes (GB) of data the card holds. SD cards hold less than 4GB; SDHC, 4GB to 32GB; and SDXC, more than 32GB.

With camera, lens, battery, and card within reach, take these steps:

  1. Turn the camera off.
  2. Attach a lens.

    First, remove the caps that cover the front of the camera and the back of the lens. Then locate the proper mounting index, which is a mark on the camera’s lens mount that indicates how to align the lens with the camera body. Your camera has two of these markers, one red and one white, as shown here. Which marker you use depends on the lens type:
    • Canon EF-S lens: The white square is the mounting index.
    • Canon EF lens: The red dot is the mounting index.
      canon77d-mounting
      Align the mounting index on the lens with the one on the camera body.

      Your lens also has a mounting index; align that mark with the matching one on the camera body, as shown. Place the lens on the camera mount and rotate the lens toward the side of the camera that sports the white EOS logo (or, to put it another way, away from the shutter-button side of the camera). You should feel a solid click as the lens locks into place.

  3. Insert the battery.

    The battery compartment is on the bottom of the camera. When inserting the battery, hold it with the contacts down and the Canon imprint facing out (toward the side of the camera with the memory card cover). Gently push the battery in until the gray lock clicks into place.
  4. Insert a memory card.

    Open the memory card door and orient the card so that the notched corner is on top and the label faces the back of the camera, as shown here. Push the card gently into the slot and close the card door.
    canon77d-memory-card
    Insert the memory card with the label facing the back of the camera.

    The memory-card access light blinks for few seconds to let you know that the camera recognizes the card. (The light appears even when the camera is turned off.)

  5. Rotate the monitor to the desired viewing position.

    When you first take the camera out of its box, the monitor is positioned with the screen facing inward, protecting it from scratches and smudges. Gently lift the right side of the monitor up and away from the camera back. You can then rotate the monitor to move it into the traditional position on the camera back, as shown on the left, or swing the monitor out to get a different viewing angle, as shown on the right.
    canon77d-monitors
    Here are just two possible monitor positions.
  6. Move the On/Off switch to the On position.

    Okay, that’s an odd way to say “Turn on the camera,” right? Agreed, but there’s good reason for it: This particular On/Off switch, shown here, has three positions. When you rotate the switch to On, the camera comes to life and is ready to take still photos. When you move the switch one step further, to the movie camera symbol, the camera turns on and then sets itself to Movie mode. You can’t take a still photograph in Movie mode; it’s only good for recording video.
    canon77d-movie-mode
    Rotate the switch to On to shoot photographs; move the switch one step further to set the camera to Movie mode.

    It’s easy to accidentally move the On/Off switch all the way to the Movie mode setting when you really want to take regular photos, so pay attention when turning the camera on until you get used to this arrangement. (One clue that you’ve rotated the switch too far is that the camera automatically engages Live View, which disables the viewfinder and presents a live preview of your subject on the camera monitor.)

  7. Set the language, time zone, and date.

    When you power up the camera for the first time, the monitor displays a screen asking you to set the date, time, and time zone. The easiest way to adjust these settings is to use the touch screen, which is enabled by default. Just tap an option to select it and then tap the up/down arrows at the bottom of the screen to set the value for that option. Finally, tap OK to exit the screen.

    You also can adjust settings by using the Set button and the four Quick Control keys surrounding it (these controls live just to the right of the monitor). Press the left/right keys to highlight a setting, press Set to activate the option, press the up/down keys to change the value, and press Set again to finalize the change.

    The date/time information is included as metadata (hidden data) in the picture file. You can view metadata in some playback display modes and in certain photo programs, including Canon Digital Photo Professional.

  8. Adjust the viewfinder to your eyesight.
    This step is critical; if you don’t set the viewfinder to your eyesight, subjects that appear out of focus in the viewfinder might actually be in focus, and vice versa. If you wear glasses while shooting, adjust the viewfinder with your glasses on.

    You control viewfinder focus through the dial labeled here. (In official lingo, it’s called the diopter adjustment dial.) After taking off the lens cap, follow these steps:

    1. Look through the viewfinder, press the shutter button halfway, and then release it.

      In dim lighting, the built-in flash may pop up; ignore it for now and concentrate on the lines that appear in the center of the frame and the row of data displayed at the bottom of the frame.
    2. Rotate the adjustment dial until the viewfinder markings and data appear sharpest.

      Ignore the scene you see through the lens; that won’t change because you’re not actually focusing the camera. If the markings turn off before you finish making your adjustments, give the shutter button another quick half-press and release to redisplay them.

      Can’t get the display sharp enough? You may need an adapter that enables further adjustment of the viewfinder. Look for an E-series dioptric adjustment lens adapter.

    3. If necessary, close the flash unit.
      canon77d-viewfinder-dial
      Use this dial to adjust the viewfinder focus to your eyesight.
  9. Select an exposure mode by pressing and holding the lock-release button and rotating the Mode dial.

    The exposure mode determines how much control you have over various camera settings, as well as whether any special effects are applied. For easiest operation, set the dial to Scene Intelligent Auto, as shown. Be aware, though, that some camera features are available only in the four advanced shooting modes: P, Tv, Av, and M. The lock-release button is a handy feature that keeps you from accidentally turning the Mode dial when you aren’t intending to.

That’s all there is to it — the camera is now ready to go. The rest of this chapter familiarizes you with other major camera features and explains such basics as how to navigate menus, use the touch screen, and view and adjust camera settings.

One more thing before you go: The official name for Canon’s fully automatic exposure mode is Scene Intelligent Auto because, in this mode, the camera’s brain analyzes the light and color information it picks up through the lens, consults an internal database to help it determine what type of scene you’re shooting, and then adjusts picture settings as it deems necessary. In other words, Scene Intelligent Auto mode is intelligent enough to set up the camera to best capture the scene.