It does not compare to a high-end DSLR, but it is a well-equipped and capable enthusiast camera.
The Canon EOS 80D is one of the best enthusiast-level DSLR. A camera that succeeds the 70D and is known for its better AF performance. There are certainly lots of other significant upgrades of the 80D over the 70D such as the improved and well-arranged controls, excellent image quality that captures lots of details.
Like its predecessor, it has the Dual Pixel on-sensor phase-detection autofocus system and betters the 19-point AF system of the 70D with a 45-point cross-type AF system. The EOS 80D also has better body and weather protection than the 70D as it is made of an outer end polycarbonate and a magnesium alloy chassis. Unfortunately, it does not shoot 4K video but 1080/60p capture with continuous autofocus present during a video.
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Considering the price which has not dropped much as at the time of this review, it does little to encourage a buyer as it has no 4K video capture. A quick look at other options, you will see others camera options like the mirrorless camera that are cheaper and can shoot 4K.
Although the camera gets the better of the 70D and 760D, it is below the 7D Mark II, no wonder the 7D Mark II is a professional DSLR. Canon has gone on to manufacture better high-end cameras due to the ever competitive market. Manufacturers now add one or two features to their cameras to stay ahead of the rest. Nevertheless, the 80D is made to suit enthusiast and advanced amateur photographers who are looking for plenty of controls options and lots of features.
• Excellent AF system and performance
• Image quality is great.
• Plenty of controls and features.
• It lacks a 4K video capture
• Uses an APS-C format instead of the trending full-frame
• Often overexposes high-contrast and bright scenes in JPEG mode.
• 24.2-million-pixel APS-C CMOS sensor
• Low Pass Filter
• DIGIC 6 image processor
• 0.95x pentaprism viewfinder
• 7560-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor
• 7fps burst rate
• ISO 100-16,000 (expandable to 25,600)
• 45-point cross-type AF points.
• Full HD (1920×1080) video up to 60fps
• 3in, 1040k-dot vari-angle touchscreen
• Built-in Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth connectivity
• LP-E6N Lithium-Ion Battery of 960 shots, CIPA rated.
• Weighs 730g.
The Canon EOS 80D features a 24MP sensor that uses a Digic 6 processor just like the 750D. Like its predecessor the 70D which has 20.2million pixel CMOS sensor, the 80D also benefits from the Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology.
There are other improvements on this camera’s sensor like the 7560-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor which betters the 63-zone dual-layer sensor on 70D. It performs better in terms of subject tracking through the viewfinder. There is also a mirror vibration control system that helps to reduce blur-inducing effects.
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The ISO sensitivity has a native sensitivity range of 100-16,000 expandable to 25, 600 just like the 70D. Although it does not shoot 4K, there is the option to shoot video, full HD (1,920×1,080) up to 60p. Also, there is a headphone socket seen below the microphone port. The headphone port is for audio monitoring. There is also an external mic. port and HDMI Mini and A/V Digital out terminals.
The burst shooting is set at 7fps like in the 70D, you could also shoot 3fps in silent shooting mode, and 5fps in live view. Also, the LCD screen features a 3″ 1.04M-dot articulating touch LCD.
Additionally, there is a new technology added to produce predictable exposure and color. the flicker-detection technology which detects the frequency of flickering light like the fluorescent light, and then shoots at the same time when the light source is at its peak and the effect on exposure and color is reduced.
Battery, AF System and Connectivity Option:
The 80D uses an LP-E6N Lithium-Ion Battery which is rated by CIPA, 960 shots. There is built-in Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth connectivity. The camera comes with only one memory card slot, UHS-1 SD card. The burst depth is 110 JPEG and 25 RAW files a notable increase from the 65 JPEG and 16 RAW in 70D.
The AF system has been improved from the 70D. It has 45 AF points and all of these points are cross-type, an upgrade from the 19 AF points on the 70D. Of the 45 cross-type points, 27 are active when using a teleconverter and lens combination of an f/8 aperture.
There is also the AI Servo option in live view mode for tracking moving objects. Apart from that, the color information as seen on the 7,560-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor helps also to track subjects.
The viewfinder displays 100% of the frame with 0.95x magnification which is a huge plus for this camera as it is rare to be seen on this kind of enthusiast-level camera. At the same time, the LCD touch-sensitive screen is 3in, 1.04-million-dots much like its predecessor, the 70D.
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Canon has included the NFC connectivity option to the Wi-Fi connectivity and Bluetooth. With the NFC connectivity option, the camera is connected to an NFC smartphone, Canon Connect Station CS100, and other cameras. Also, you can also remotely control this camera use this connectivity option. The Camera Connect app for canon cameras lets you transfer JPEG and MP4 movies to smartphones. You could also remotely adjust your exposure settings with this app.
Body Build and Handling:
After many years of frequent alterations with the designs of Canon’s camera, Canon has now maintained a particular style and design of its DSLRs. The body designs of the 80D are so much familiar with the 70 especially the control layout. You would have thought it is a 70D were it not for the name and label.
One notable difference though is the thumb rest much like the rubber grip at the camera front. Your index finger together with the rest fittingly rests on the camera grip. There is also the AF-ON button is also seen slightly above the thumb rest. It is used for back-button focusing.
On the control options and layout, there is no much difference with the 70D with all the button finely designed and arranged to fit the handling of this camera. Most of the control button is at the right side of the back of the camera and at an easy reach for your fingers. Buttons like the AF buttons and metering buttons work together with the Main Dial.
The quick menu button is now shaped like other buttons, it now made in a circular form much like the info and zoom button. Through the quick menu, you get to access most of the features used often on the camera. Unlike we have seen on higher-end Canon DSLRs, it is not customized to contain only frequently used features. The on/off switch on the camera allows you to access the C2 button from the mode dial.
The display is now broader and allows you to access the camera settings better and see the metering and drive mode settings. The touch-control and screen are very good allowing you to select by simple tap the menu items. Also with the help of the control dial or the mini-joystick, you could also select these menu items.
The EOS 80D has an aluminum and polycarbonate construction. As earlier noted, the controls and buttons are well arranged and built, making the camera safe and comfortable to handle. It is also built to be weather resistant. When exposed to some rain showers, the camera still performs well, with no delay and response from the camera.
The AF performance of this camera has largely improved thanks to the added feature; the continuous autofocus with AI Servo in live view mode. When shooting motion subjects in continuous focus with the live view on, you choose the AF method using the command dial on the top-plate to FlexiZone Single AF, while with the scroll dial, you choose your AF mode to Servo AF.
You would have noticed the fast performance with the AF, as it quickly keeps track of the subject at the center of the frame. You are also able to take plenty of shots in quick succession and all of them all sharp and clear, pan easily with no difficulty. This is a better performance than when you are using the one-shot AF. However, it seems to experience some difficulty keeping track of a group of moving subjects as they approach the camera and when used in low-light conditions. At first, it is able to perform better at -3EV-18EV, but drops after that.
As you already know, there has been a significant improvement on the AF system of this camera compared to the 70D to appeal enthusiast photographers. The AF points are increased to 45 cross-type points which gather at the center of the frame from 19 in 70D. This helps the camera to identify and keep track of the subject in a distracting background. This has made the 80D able to capture and track more details than the 70D and 760D.
On the general, the EOS 80D gives a better AF performance than the 70D, while it is able to shoot track and shoot perfectly still subjects, it also keeps track of moving subjects and still shoot sharp images at low light conditions.
The increase in sensor resolution to 24MP has brought about a 25% increase in pixel count. This has increased its ability to capture the tiniest of detail at most of the sensitivity range with no much effect of noise.
At base sensitivities of 100 to 1600, the images were very good with no effect on noise on the images. As you approach towards ISO12,800 and 16,000, there is an obvious reduction in image quality, as some noise effect takes center stage. However, levels of noise reduction are applied, these images seem to be recovered as they look better. As the ISO25, 600 is the expandable version, images shot at this range are riddled with so much noise, and there is a significant loss of details.
Image Quality and Resolution:
The EOS 80D shares the same 24MP sensor with the Nikon D7200, 760D, and 750D. The 24MP Dual Pixel CMOS AF sensor of the 80D makes it stand out from the 760D and 750D. Although both the D7200 and 80D both share the same resolution, the 80D uses an anti-aliasing filter, unlike the D7200. This is possibly why the D7200 captures more detail and has a better image quality than the 80D. Thanks to this sensor, photographers could now crop and edit their images and retain a huge amount of detail.
At ISO100 and other base sensitivities capture more detail with 3,400I/ph resolution more than the 70D which resolves 2,800I/ph; the resolution of the 80D at ISO 1,600, while the D7200 gets the better of it at both RAW and JPEG files. As we approach higher sensitivities up to 12, 800, where the 70D competes well with the 80D. With an exception at 12, 800, the 80D performs better than the 70D.
The dynamic range is measured at 12.6EV at the base sensitivity settings which is below that of the Nikon D7200. As you approach sensitivity settings of ISO 1,600, the dynamic range drops significantly to 9.2EV thanks to luminance noise. That further drops to 7.1EV at ISO 6,400 (2,400I/ph) as more chroma noise begins to creep in. when you attempt to shoot at the extended ISO setting at 25,600 (1,800I/ph), the dynamic range drops even lower than 6EV.
On the general, the 80D performs better than the 70D, 750D and 760D. Although the D7200 performs better, the 80D is not far behind.
When images are shot in JPEG, there is no noise at base sensitivity settings up to ISO 800. As you approach ISO 1,600, chroma noise starts to appear up to ISO 6,400. For RAW files, you would notice luminance noise at ISOs above ISO 1,600 while chroma noise starts to take effect as you approach ISO sensitivities above ISO 6,400.
The 80D is credited with having better noise control than the 70D, 750D and 760D.
Conclusion and Verdict:
While the Canon EOS 80D is a high-end and professional camera, it is made and best suited to enthusiast photographers. It is generally an upgrade on the 70D as we have seen in a number of areas. There are certain limitations such as its inability to shoot 4K video its single memory card slot. The camera would appeal to videographers due to the inclusion of headphone and microphone input.
The 24MP Dual Pixel CMOS AF sensor is a welcome addition which enables it to resolve and capture more detail than the 70D. Also, it is well designed, protected against weather elements, allowing photographers to shoot in various weather conditions.
There are certainly better alternatives like the 7D Mark II that shoots 10fps and has 65-point AF system all within the same price range and some others mirrorless cameras out there that are a better alternative and are even cheaper. The Canon EOS 80D is significant with its plenty of control options and multiple shooting options.
Nevertheless, the 80D is made to suit enthusiast and advanced amateur photographers who are looking for plenty of controls options and a quick access to important features.
It does not compare to a high-end DSLR, but it is a well-equipped and capable enthusiast camera.
The Canon EOS 80D is valued at Amazon at the price of $999 body only and $1149 complete.
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