Canon EOS 800D vs EOS 2000D: which of these beginner DSLRs is best to get?

Canon EOS Rebel T7 vs T7i
(Image credit: Canon)

The Canon EOS 2000D and the EOS 800D sit in Canon’s entry-level DSLR range aimed at novice photographers and those looking for a relatively compact camera with a mirror. 

The two cameras were launched just a year apart with the EOS 800D coming first in February 2017. They both have a 24MP APS-C format sensor and Canon’s EF-S lens mount which makes them directly compatible with a huge range of EF-S and EF lenses. However, there are some significant differences between the two models that could make one more attractive than the other, so let’s take a look at how they compare.

Both are still available, depending on the retailer, but note that the EOS 800D has now been replaced by the superior EOS 850D.

1. Sensor and processor

(Image credit: Canon)

Canon EOS 2000D: 24.1Mp APS-C format (22.3 x 14.9mm) CMOS, Digic 4+
Canon EOS 800D: 24.2Mp APS-C format (22.3 x 14.9mm) CMOS, Digital 7

In terms of resolution, the 2000D and 800D are near enough identical so they produce the same size images and each is capable of recording plenty of detail. However, the 2000D’s sensor is paired with the Digic 4+ processing engine whereas the 800D has the newer Digital 7 processor. This gives the 800D an advantage for overall speed and responsiveness as well as noise handling as it can cope with more sophisticated noise reduction algorithms.

2. Sensitivity (ISO)

• Canon EOS 2000D: ISO 100-6400 expandable to ISO 12,800
• Canon EOS 800D: ISO 100-25,600 expandable to ISO 51,200

Aided by its more advanced processing engine, the 800D has standard sensitivity range of ISO 100-25,600 for stills, which is two stops more than the 2000D. In video mode the 800D's range is ISO 100-12,800, expandable to ISO 25,600, one stop more than the 2000D’s range. This makes the EOS 800D more versatile and generally better in low light. 

It’s also helpful that the 800D’s sensitivity setting can be adjusted in 1/3EV steps, whereas the 2000D only allows whole stop adjustments.

3. Viewfinder AF system

• Canon EOS 2000D: 9 points: 1 f/5.6 cross type at the centre
• Canon EOS 800D: 45 points: 45 f/5.6 cross-type AF points, 27 f/8 points (9 cross-type),  centre point is f/2.8 sensitive and f/5.6 dual cross-type

With 45 cross-type AF points, the 800D is streets ahead of the 2000D with respect to the focusing system that’s available when the viewfinder is used to compose images. As well as enabling you to target the subject more precisely, those 36 extra points mean that the 800D is better at tracking a subject around the frame. Cross-type points are also more sensitive than the standard linear points so the 800D is better at latching onto a subject.

4. Live View AF system

• Canon EOS 2000D: Contrast detection
• Canon EOS 800D: Phase detection using Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology

Again the 800D distinguishes itself from the 2000D, this time with its phase detection AF system that’s available in Live View and video mode. This is faster and more decisive than the 2000D’s contrast detection AF system. It also enables the camera to automatically select from 49 AF points or for the photographer to manually select a zone or individual point for focusing by tapping on the screen.

The 2000D can use its viewfinder-oriented phase detection AF system in ‘Quick Mode’ but this involves interrupting the Live View feed by flipping the mirror so it isn’t actually that quick.

5. Screen

(Image credit: Canon)

• Canon EOS 2000D: Fixed 3-inch 921,000-dot TFT LCD
• Canon EOS 800D: Vari-angle 3.2-inch 1,040,000-dot Clear View II TFT touchscreen

Whereas the 800D has a screen that is touch-sensitive and can be flipped out, twisted and angled to give clear view above or below head-height, or even rotated to face forwards, the 2000D’s screen is fixed and not touch sensitive. It means that you can only control the camera using the buttons and dials rather than taking more intuitive touch control. Also, if you’re composing the image in Live View mode with the 2000D, you can’t angle the screen for a clearer view if the camera’s not at eye-level.

6. Video

• Canon EOS 2000D: 1920 x 1080 at 30/25/24 fps
• Canon EOS 800D: 1920 x 1080 at 59.94/50/25/23.98fps

Neither of the cameras under scrutiny here is capable of recording 4K video, they top out at Full-HD (1920 x 1080) resolution. However, the 800D provides a greater range of frame rates, including 59.94fps for slow motion playback. 

The 800D’s phase detection AF system also gives it an advantage in video mode as it’s better at finding and following moving subjects.

7. Battery life

• Canon EOS 2000D: 500 images using the viewfinder
• Canon EOS 800D: 600 images using the viewfinder

Canon supplies the LP-E10 rechargeable Li-ion battery and charger with the 2000D while the 800D comes with the LP-E17 rechargeable Li-ion battery and charger. In standard testing conditions at 23°C, the 2000D’s battery lasts for around 500 images when the viewfinder is used, which is decent performance, but the 800D’s enables up to around 600 images to be captured in the same conditions. If you’re a prolific shooter or you make regular use of Live View which more than halves the battery life, you’ll likely still want a spare battery or two, but the 800D is a safer bet for all-day shooting.

8. Interface

• Canon EOS 2000D: Standard interface
• Canon EOS 800D: Standard or Guided interface

The menu structure and interface of the 2000D will be familiar to anyone who has used a Canon DSLR in recent times and it has a logical arrangement. The 800D, however, offers a choice of two interfaces, the Standard version seen on the 2000D and the Guided mode that is designed to help novice photographers take control over the camera by explaining what features do in non-photographic terms. Straight from the box, the 800D comes with the Guided mode selected, but it’s easy to switch to the Standard mode if you prefer.

Canon EOS Rebel T7 vs T7i: conclusions

(Image credit: Canon)

While it’s a year older than the 2000D, the 800D has a significantly more rounded feature set. Naturally, that means that the 800D is more expensive but aspects such as the vari-angle touchscreen, phase detection focusing in Live View and video mode, the wider sensitivity (ISO) range and greater battery life add up to make it a more versatile and satisfying camera if you can afford the extra expense.

How we test cameras

Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.

We test mirrorless and DSLR cameras both in real-world shooting scenarios and in carefully controlled lab conditions. Our lab tests measure resolution, dynamic range and signal to noise ratio. Resolution is measured using ISO resolution charts, dynamic range is measured using DxO Analyzer test equipment and DxO Analyzer is also used for noise analysis across the camera's ISO range. We use these real-world testing and lab results to inform our comments in buying guides. For compact cameras and phones, we judge on real world handling and photographic results alone. 

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Angela Nicholson

Angela has been testing camera gear from all the major manufacturers since January 2004 and has been Amateur Photographer’s Technical Editor and Head of Testing for Future Publishing’s photography portfolio (Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-PhotoPractical PhotoshopPhotography Week and Professional Photography magazines, as well as the Digital Camera World and TechRadar websites). She is the founder of SheClicks - a community group that encourages and supports female photographers.