Master the entry-level with the Canon EOS 850D

The Canon 850D replaces the three-year-old EOS 800D in Canon’s compact entry-level DSLR lineup and shows that Canon still feels that there’s life in the DSLR format. The EOS 850D is tiered at the top of Canon’s entry-level APS-C range of cameras and has a range of features that will make it attractive to ambitious enthusiasts photographers seeking a compact DSLR with more versatility, from capturing outdoor scenes or use as a vlogging camera.

The EOS 850D comes with a 24.1-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and uses the DIGIC 8 imaging processor for superior image quality. The improvements over the EOS 800D include better ISO performance to 25,600 for still images, EOS Intelligent Tracking and Recognition Auto Focus (iTR AF) for face detection and 4K video recording for crisp and smooth footage.

In the hand, the EOS 850D feels good, especially with a deep grip that made it easy to hold with one hand. Almost all physical controls are located to the right of the camera’s body and accessible by your right thumb or index finger. If you are used to the operating system of Canon’s EOS cameras, the EOS 850D may take a little getting used to, as it uses a new Quick Control system to rapidly access camera settings on the camera’s 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen. Another change that surprised me is how bright the camera’s menu system is, with light backgrounds instead of the more traditional black that I’m used to. As befitting an entry-level camera, the menu system is clean and provides simple explanations of every function and setting, and smartphone users will find the touchscreen interface familiar.

I’ve actually quite impressed with the photography features of the EOS 850D. Autofocus is fast and there are 45 cross-type AF zones from the viewfinder and 3975 when you use Live View. In burst mode, the EOS 850D shoots up to 7fps in viewfinder, slightly faster in Live View with fixed AF, which makes it quite capable of capturing decent outdoor action photos with the right lens. Face Detection is excellent and much improved from Canon’s earlier efforts, as is the camera’s in-body image stabilisation, which lets you use slower shutter speeds without blurring. 

For videography, the EOS 850D captures up to 4K@24p to produce cinematic videos and Full-HD in 60fpd and the intelligent tracking holds to the focus/tracking point. 

Canon integrates its consumer cameras and printers with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, and the EOS 850D will connect directly to smartphones and laptops for image transfer. With smartphones, using the Canon Camera Connect app also enables you to access remote shooting, which makes it easier to control the camera when you’re Vlogging.

We say

A very competent entry-level DSLR with impressive abilities and very suitable for beginner photographers who want to level up their photography skills.

4.5 stars

from S$1,289 (body only)

First published in NXT Magazine July 2020, which can be purchased at