The Canon EOS 850D/Rebel T8i brings 4K video to “enthusiast” level DSLRs

Feb 13, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Feb 13, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Canon has now officially announced the new Canon EOS 850D/Rebel T8i, and it looks like the rumours were mostly true. As an “enthusiast level” DSLR, it houses a 24.1-megapixel APS-C sensor and shoots 4K video. It retains the design of its 800D predecessor, as well as the 45-point all cross-type AF, but offers some nice updates, too.

The EOS 850D/T8i both replaces both the EOS 77D (basically a 750D/T6i but with a top LCD) and the EOS 800D. There’s no top LCD on this one, like the 77D, but an AF-On button has been added to the back for those who prefer back-button-focusing. It also sees a new sensor, new metering system, Eye AF in Live View mode and faster continuous shooting speed.

Sensor24.1-megapixel APS-C CMOS (1.6x)
Lens MountCanon EF-S
Max resolution24-megapixels (6000 x 4000)
File formatRAW, JPG
Bit-depth14-Bit
ISO 100-25600 (100-51200 extended)
StabilisationDigital, 5-axis (video only)
Continuous shootingUp to 7fps
4K Video4K UHD (3840 x 2160) at 29.97fps
HD VideoFull HD (1920×1080) at 59.94fps)
Focus typeAuto and manual focus
AF PointsPhase detect: 45 (45 Cross-Type)
ViewfinderOptical (Pentamirror)
LCD3.0″ 1.04m-dot Articulating Touchscreen LCD
ConnectivityWiFi, Bluetooth
Dimensions5.16 x 4.04 x 3″ (131.06 x 102.62 x 76.2mm)
Weight1.13lb (515.11g)
Launch price$749

Although the AF system still keeps the same 45 all cross-type AF points, it should see some improvement thanks to the new 220k-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor – possibly the same one found in the EOS 90D. So, you get face tracking through the optical viewfinder, and Eye AF when shooting liveview. It also features Canon’s “Intelligent Tracking” (iTR) for sports and wildlife shooting.

As we’ve come to expect from Canon’s APS-C bodies, and particularly this product line, the EOS 850D has a flippy-out LCD. It’s a 3″ 1.04m-dot touchscreen TFT, boasting 100% coverage and a 170° viewing angle. As you can see, the 850D also sports a new “AF On” button, offering back-button focus, for those that prefer it.

When it comes to stills capabilities, the fastest shutter speed offered is 1/4000th of a second, slowing right down to 30 seconds or bulb mode. The continuous shooting speed has been bumped over the 800D, increasing to 7fps or 7.5fps while using Live View. Flash sync is 1/200th of a second and supports high-speed sync and TTL.

As the product line goes, this is probably about as far as they can take this DSLR without encroaching on the EOS 90D (or just recycling the same model with a new name and firmware, as other manufacturers have done). Given the release cycles, the next camera we’ll see in this line will probably be mirrorless, especially given that Canon has essentially abandoned EF mount lenses.

It should also serve as a pretty decent vlogging camera for the next couple of years with a pretty decent price advantage over the heavier and more expensive EOS 90D. Maybe now, Nikon will give us a D5600 successor with 4K video.

The Canon EOS 850D is available to pre-order now for $749 and is expected to start shipping in April. You can find out more on the Canon website.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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5 responses to “The Canon EOS 850D/Rebel T8i brings 4K video to “enthusiast” level DSLRs”

  1. Martin Roth Avatar
    Martin Roth

    Forgive me my ignorance but I really never understood this. Is this is software limitation or a shutter limitation? The sensor of most of those cameras is more than capable of shooting 4k natively. I have 5ds and that sensor should technically be able to shoot 16k or so with its 50 megapixel. So why can’t all dslr above 8mp shoot 4k?

    1. Nermin Huskić Avatar
      Nermin Huskić

      Martin Roth savings for more expensive model. Better processor etc etc

    2. Viggo Næss Avatar
      Viggo Næss

      Martin, the sensor needs to be fast enough to read out 4K 30 times pr second, that’s way different than 5 fps at 30 or even 50 mp. It needs to remove heat and process this info also. So everything from battery and body(cooling) to buffer, memory card speed, processing and a fast enough sensor read out.

    3. Martin Roth Avatar
      Martin Roth

      Viggo Næss thanks for the explanation! It totally makes sense!!

    4. John Aldred Avatar
      John Aldred

      Yup, as Viggo mentioned, there are a LOT of bottlenecks to overcome to get that data from the sensor to a memory card (including the speed of both the sensor and the memory card, and all of the processing and memory in between).