Canon EOS 80D Review – The Canon that has it all

The 70D’s successor, the Canon EOS 80D, is a digital single-lens reflex camera (DSLR) aimed at enthusiasts. It has a brand-new 24-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor that, much like the sensor found in the 70D, is equipped with Canon’s Dual Pixel on-sensor phase-detection AF technology.

In addition to this, the 80D receives a brand new 45-point hybrid autofocus system, with every single point being of the cross-type variety. This is an improvement over the autofocus system found in the 70D, which only had 19 points, but it is not quite on par with the 65-point coverage found in the 7D Mark II, which is geared more toward professional photographers.

The outside of the 80D is made of polycarbonate, while its chassis is made of magnesium alloy. The body of the device is hermetically sealed against dust and moisture. The bulk of the controls may be accessed by the articulating touchscreen located on the back of the device, in addition to the physical control points. The design is almost comparable to that of its predecessor.

Video is a significant component of the whole package that comes with the 80D. Although it is not capable of shooting in 4K, it can capture video in 1080p at 60 frames per second and maintains focusing continuously even when recording. Along with its microphone connector, it also includes a headphone jack that was recently added.

Key specs

  • APS-C CMOS sensor with 24 megapixels and dual-pixel autofocus
  • 45-point automatic focus system consisting entirely of cross-type points
  • 3 “articulating touchscreen with 1.04 million dots
  • 1080/60p video capture
  • Continuous shooting at 7 frames per second with AF
  • the physique that is resistant to the elements
  • RGB+IR Metering Sensor with a Resolution of 7560 Pixels
  • Wi-Fi + NFC

Other enhancements include a new mirror vibration management system, which, in a manner analogous to that of the 5DS and 7D Mark II, will hopefully assist in mitigating the effects of shutter shock, which may cause images to become blurry. When compared to the 63-zone dual-layer sensor found in the 70D, the new 7560-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor featured in the 80D represents a significant upgrade. This new sensor is also available in the Rebel T6s and T6i.

Because of this improved sensor, the camera now has a limited understanding of human subjects, which enables it to follow subjects more accurately through the viewfinder. However, in contrast to the 7D Mark II, the 80D does not contain Canon’s “Intelligent Tracking and Recognition” (ITR) system. This is a feature that allows the camera to follow subjects by using information from the metering sensor as well as distance information.

This brand new sensor

It is not a secret that certain Canon shooters have been experiencing frustration as of late due to the rapid advancements that Sony’s sensor technology has made in terms of dynamic range. Thankfully, the 80D marks a big step forward in the evolution of Canon’s sensor, giving far greater dynamic range than either the 70D or the 7D Mark II.

However, the new sensor is fascinating for reasons other than the photographs it is capable of taking. Continuous focusing is possible not only during video recording but also during still capture (when using live view mode) thanks to Dual Pixel AF’s capabilities. It was with the Canon Rebel T6s that we were first introduced to this function, and it is quite exciting to see that it is now working its way up Canon’s product hierarchy to enthusiast-level cameras.

The Canon EOS 7D Mark II, which is geared primarily toward professional use, is the closest sister to the Canon EOS 80D, other than the 70D. In comparison to the Canon EOS 80D, it has a processor with a somewhat lower resolution and a smaller dynamic range.

Even while both cameras have the same fundamental video specifications, the 7D Mark II is better suited for capturing fast-paced action owing to a larger number of autofocus points, a dedicated AF joystick, the incorporation of Canon iTR, and a quicker shooting rate. On the other hand, the fact that the 80D can be focused by touching the screen makes it a more desirable option for video.

It goes without saying that the fact that the full-frame Canon 6D is currently in a price bracket that is comparable to that of the 80D and 7D Mark II makes it deserving of consideration. Despite the relatively straightforward nature of its autofocus (AF) technology, the Canon 6D continues to be a reliable and well-liked camera despite the fact that it is not a new model.

Accessories

Canon also released the DM-E1 shotgun microphone concurrently with the release of the 80D. This microphone is compatible with any camera that has a 1/8 “socket). The PZ-E1 Power Zoom Adapter was another product that Canon unveiled.

It is able to regulate the zoom of the brand new EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM kit lens by clipping onto it and offering two different speed settings. The DM-E1 may be purchased for $300, whilst the PZ-E1 can be purchased for $150.

Our inability to obtain any of the new accessories in time for this review is regrettable; however, we will be sure to provide an update on our thoughts as soon as we are able to do so.

Body & Design

The Canon EOS 80D and its forerunner, the Canon EOS 70D, include control points that are almost identical to one another. In point of fact, in terms of its physical form and button arrangement, the 80D is almost indistinguishable from the 70D, with the sole exception of a modification in the physical shape of the Q Menu and Playback button.

There are, however, a few further subtle distinctions between the two, such as the inclusion of a headphone jack on the 80D and an additional custom space on the mode dial (the word “effects” has also been added to the mode dial). Both of these features can be found on the 80D.
The top of the camera.

When viewed from above, the 80D has the same profile as the 70D. The mode dial is located on the left side of the camera and features a locking mechanism to prevent it from being accidentally bumped. Direct access to the Autofocus mode, Drive mode, ISO setting, and Metering setting can be found along the right side of the LCD of the camera.

Because of the way that EOS DSLRs have developed over the past couple of decades, none of these buttons can be reassigned; nonetheless, we did not anticipate that they would be able to be. The button that controls the lighting of the LCD display may be found to the right of the Metering mode button.

The AF area selection button is located in the middle of the control dial and the shutter release button. It is designed to be utilized in a manner that requires one’s sight to be directed toward the finder. Users are able to easily switch between the four different AF area options by tapping this button (modes are displayed at the top of the finder when the button is hit).

Only the ISO button and the autofocus area selection button may be used with one’s eye still on the viewfinder while using the camera’s buttons located along the upper right side of the device. To alter any of the other settings, you have to glance at the top LCD.

If you already own a camera from Canon’s Rebel series and are thinking about upgrading to the 80D, you will receive a significant number of additional physical control points. Even an upgrade from the current flagship Rebel T6s, which already has two control wheels, will give you an AF-On button, in addition to AF Mode, Drive, and Metering buttons. When you upgrade from any other Rebel camera, the number of control wheels that you have access to will increase by one.

The rear of the camera

When it comes to ergonomics, the AF selection joystick is the feature that you will miss the most if you choose the 80D rather than the 7D Mark II. You do, however, have a number of choices available to you when it comes to moving your point or zone across the frame.

The standard procedure comprises pressing the button labeled AF Point Selection, followed by the use of the control dial and the Multi-controller to move vertically and horizontally, respectively. You also have the option of reprogramming the arrow keys on the Multi-controller to adjust your AF point; however, doing so may be difficult to access.

When I first began writing this review, I also discovered that the position of the AF-On button was a little perplexing. This was especially the case because there were two other buttons adjacent to it that were the exact same size. Because of this, I frequently pressed the incorrect button when I wanted to press the AF-On button. And this was especially the case with my attention focused on the discoverer.

The Canon EOS 80D, in addition to having physical buttons, also incorporates a touchscreen that allows users to modify the majority of the camera’s settings with the tap of a finger. You may learn more about its capabilities by reading this article.

Within your grasp

The vast majority of the control points on the 80D are conveniently located and can be reached with little to no effort. If, on the other hand, you decide to use the multi-controller as your autofocus point selector, it will be quite challenging to use while keeping one’s eye on the finder. It takes a significant amount of downward pressure to be applied by your thumb.

Controls and Methods of Operation

The 80D utilizes the most recent iteration of Canon’s tabbed menu system. When you use P, TV, AV, M, B, C1, or C2, you’ll have access to all five menu parts. However, the number of menu sections you have access to will change depending on which model you pick using the Mode dial.

These five parts include the Shooting, Playback, Setup, and Custom Function menus as well as a My Menu option where you may save your preferred settings for easy access. These settings are seen in the image to the right. The ‘Basic Zone Modes,’ sometimes known as the novice modes, do not include these two additional parts, despite the fact that Canon calls them that.

Head to the Custom Function Menu if you want more control or if you want to get into the deep gritty of the process. You’ll discover three sub-sections there, including one called Exposure, another called Autofocus, and a third called Operation/Other.

The Autofocus sub-section in particular contains a variety of choices that might be helpful, and the AF page delves into those options in further detail. The 80D does not have a separate menu for the autofocus system, in contrast to its older sibling, the 7D Mark II.

Utilization of a touchscreen

The user interface of the Canon 80D is almost identical to that of the Canon EOS Rebel T6s, which utilizes the most recent version of Canon’s touchscreen technology. You can access all of the functions and settings that are associated with the physical buttons on the device by using the touchscreen interface and navigating to the Q menu (simply tap the letter ‘Q’ that is located in the top right corner of the screen).

When taking still photographs with the Live view mode enabled, the touchscreen may be utilized to either choose a subject to track or to lock the focus on a particular spot. One tap of your finger will both focus the camera and trigger the shutter release on the camera. You can do this.

There is an option on page four of the Setup Menu called “Touch control” for those who are concerned about using the touchscreen when shooting in the cold while wearing gloves.

In this section, you may toggle the touchscreen’s sensitivity settings (or turn the touchscreen off all together). I experimented with using the 80D in sensitive mode while wearing a pair of gloves that were on the thinner side, and I found that it was still extremely responsive.

When one’s attention is directed toward the finder, one will not be able to utilize the touchscreen as an autofocus touchpad. We have seen this function supplied by other manufacturers, and it would be a great way to get around the issue that the 80D does not have a physical AF joystick for selecting focusing points. This would be a wonderful way to get past the fact that we have seen this feature offered by other manufacturers.

You can also utilize the touchscreen interface whether you’re in the camera’s menu or while you’re playing back footage. Users may squeeze and swipe their fingers to zoom in and out of photos, respectively. Visit our page on live view and touchscreen for further information on how to use the touchscreen and for recommendations on how to take the finest stills and videos possible with your camera.

Q Menu

The Quick Menu may be accessed by pressing the ‘Q’ button on the back of the camera while the camera is being used with the viewfinder. It is indistinguishable from the Q Menu present in all Canon DSLR cameras produced recently and cannot be customized.

When accessing the Q menu, the touchscreen comes in very helpful for making rapid changes to the settings. Accessing the different settings may also be done with the help of the Multi-controller.

Auto ISO

The 80D makes advantage of the most recent edition of Canon’s Auto ISO, which allows for complete customization of its settings. Your minimum shutter speed may be controlled in one of two ways: either by selecting a physical shutter speed that ranges in full stops, or by using a slider to either bias the default shutter speed to be faster or slower than the default. Both of these methods are available to you.

The shutter speed that is set as the default is typically very close to one over the focal length, which, while photographing in the real world, is frequently excessively slow, particularly for anything other than static shots or landscapes. If you want to use Auto ISO, we suggest that you set the bias to a quicker shutter speed. I manually skewed it two stops in either direction across the focal length.

Menu

There are two locations on the mode dial of the 80D where users may save their camera settings. Once you have the camera configured to your specifications, you have the option of registering it and saving its settings to either the C1 or C2 card.

To do so, navigate to the Setup menu on your camera and choose the “Custom shooting mode (C1, C2)” option, which can be located on page four of the menu. Simply select that option and then select “Register settings” from within that menu, and you will be finished.

If you need to take pictures in the same location on a regular basis, this feature might come in quite helpful. For example, there is a small music venue close to my flat that I like to take photographs at.

By utilizing the C setting banks, I am able to quickly and easily dial in the appropriate settings for the lighting at that venue as well as the bands that I photograph. Because of this, I won’t have to mess around in the dark trying to figure out how to adjust the camera’s settings; instead, I can simply roll into the location and start shooting as soon as I get there.

Performance

The Canon EOS 80D delivers outstanding performance across the board. The camera is very quick to respond to commands and starts up very quickly. Because the on/off button is situated in such a convenient area, it is simple to turn the camera on with one’s hand while the device is being brought to one’s eye. Additionally helpful is the fact that the menu remembers the last spot you visited, making it simple to go back and make adjustments to the settings.

Shooting in bursts

Continuous shooting is possible with the Canon EOS 80D at a rate of 7 frames per second, which is the same as the burst rate of its predecessor, the Canon EOS 70D. In contrast, the Canon EOS 7D Mark II is capable of shooting at a rate of 10 frames per second.

We made the decision to put the 80D’s burst capabilities to the test, putting them to the test both while shooting via the viewfinder and when shooting in live view. In the charts that follow, “Buffer Limit” refers to the number of shots that you may anticipate receiving from the camera before it starts to slow down the burst. An SDXC UHS-II/U3 card was utilized for each and every one of our tests.

Battery

The majority of the digital single-lens reflex cameras that are part of the EOS system utilize the LP-E6 rechargeable lithium-ion battery. This battery is used in the Canon EOS 80D. (excluding Rebels and the flagship EOS-1D X and 1D X II). In addition, a special LC-E6 wall charger is included with the purchase of this device.

Users of the 80D may anticipate getting at least 960 photos out of the camera with a fully charged LP-E6 battery, as stated by the CIPA. In practice, I had no trouble exceeding that amount on a single charge, and I was able to do it quickly.

On the very first day I used the camera, I managed to take around 700 still images and 35 films, the majority of which were each exactly 30 seconds long, while only using up an indicated quarter of the battery.

Autofocus (through the viewfinder)

In addition to its twin Pixel AF image sensor, the Canon EOS 80D also receives an upgrade to its traditional phase-detection AF system, which results in a system that has 45 cross-type AF points and can be used when shooting via the viewfinder.

In the 45-point auto select mode of the EOS 80D, a new 7560-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor is used to provide assistance to the autofocus mechanism in the following subjects. Although it is not as sophisticated as the 150,000-pixel RGB metering sensor featured in the 7D Mark II, this metering sensor provides the 80D with improved subject awareness in comparison to before.

When it comes to the performance of the autofocus system when viewed via the viewfinder, the 80D is without a doubt superior to its predecessor, the 70D, which only supplied 19 all cross-type points and utilized a 63-zone dual-layer sensor for tracking. The 80D has 61 all cross-type points.

However, it is obvious, both from the specs of the camera and from actual use in the field, that the autofocus mechanism of the 80D is not as sophisticated as the one found in the more expensive EOS 7D Mark II. Canon does not brand the focus tracking feature of the 80D as ‘iTR’ (Intelligent Tracking and Recognition), which may reflect the use of a different algorithm as well as the lower resolution of the metering/recognition sensor. In contrast, the focus tracking feature of the 7D II is referred to as ‘R’.

Additionally, the 7D II has more autofocus points than its predecessor (65), and it makes manually adjusting the AF settings a lot simpler (via a dedicated joystick).

In addition, there is no specialized AF menu on the 80D. Alterations to the autofocus may be made using the Custom Functions menu, which has its own submenu for that purpose. However, more on that is provided below.

Focus modes

There are four different focus area options available to choose from while shooting via the viewfinder. These are Single-point, Zone, Large Zone, and 45-point Auto Selection. Each of the modes has the potential to be beneficial in a variety of different shooting situations.

When playing in the Zone mode, a 3×3 point square can be moved to any one of nine different spots throughout the 45-point array. In the Large Zone mode, a 3×5 point rectangle has the capability of being relocated to one of three different locations.

AF for a single shot (One-shot mode)

When shooting in single AF acquisition mode, the focus tends to be crisp and precise, and the speed of AF acquisition is typically quick (though it does depend on the lens).

The autofocus system on the 80D includes a center point that is sensitive to -3EV. This corresponds to a capacity to acquire focus even when the available light is quite low.

During my testing of the 80D in the real world, I discovered that it had no trouble gaining focus utilizing its center point in whatever low light circumstance that I put it through. Additionally, we conducted laboratory tests to evaluate the center point sensitivity of the 80D and discovered that it was able to gain focus in situations that were even dimmer than -3EV.

In addition, when we compared the autofocus capabilities of the Canon 80D’s dual pixel AF in live view to those of the Sony a6300, we discovered that the Canon was able to focus in even lower light (when using Live view) than the Sony, which is a very outstanding result.

Continuous AF (AI Servo mode using single point or zone)

When employing continuous autofocus, there are essentially two different approaches that may be taken to shoot a moving subject.

There is also the tried-and-true approach of picking a single AF point or Zone and attempting to maintain the subject within that region by moving the camera. This method has been around for a long time.

And then there is something called topic tracking, which is when you tell the camera who or what you want it to follow, and it makes an effort to do so while simultaneously keeping its focus on the subject.

Continuous AF in conjunction with Tracking (AI Servo with tracking)

Even with professional-grade DSLRs, monitoring a subject’s movement through the viewfinder can be challenging. On the live view page, we’ve previously established that the 80D’s Dual Pixel AF can follow subjects such as faces fairly effectively at close distances, even while the camera is set to live view.

Live view is not helpful, however, when it comes to following subjects that are located at a great distance while using telephoto lenses. What exactly is the deal with the 45-point phase-detection AF array?

When I first used the 45-point Auto Select tracking mode on the 80D, I was at a tennis match between the University of Washington women’s teams. I was pretty surprised by the 80D’s ability to retain focus and follow tennis players until I worked out how to switch off the auto AF point selection and turn on the manual AF point selection (more on that below*). The ability of the 80D to track tennis players was particularly impressive.

Tennis, on the other hand, is one of the most straightforward examples of subject tracking in the real world. This is due to the fact that players are restricted to moving within a very narrow area, and the backdrop, while there, is typically relatively devoid of clutter and is distinguishable from the player.

When it came to the competition that I went to, having the ability to photograph from above made for a background that was even less distracting. In essence, my first test in the real world offered the 80D’s subject tracking all the opportunities it could possibly have, and it was successful.

But how would you handle a more complicated shooting situation? Our technical editor, Rishi Sanyal, took the 80D with him to a rugby match and discovered that the mobility of the players combined with the presence of numerous prospective subjects at the same distance created a circumstance in which the 80D’s tracking was nearly incapable of being of any help.

When you put obstacles (other players) in the front, you make an already difficult tracking scenario much more difficult.

Therefore, after putting the 80D’s subject tracking to the test in two very distinct real-world circumstances and obtaining varying results from each of them, we decided to put it to the test using our bike test, which is a nice happy medium between the two instances outlined above: In this particular test, the movement of the rider is difficult to predict (from the perspective of the camera), yet the subject is very easily distinguished in depth from the backdrop.

In addition, there is nothing in the foreground to draw the camera’s attention away from the background (as was often the case in our rugby shooting).

The results of this demonstration, which were not surprising in the least, fell somewhere in the middle between Rishi’s experience and mine: many of the photos are blurry, but not all of them. When the burst was about halfway through, the 80D frequently failed to bring the focus to the appropriate depth, although it did so later in the burst.

After pulling the frames from the subject tracking test into Canon’s Digital Photo Professional and viewing which AF points were used, I noticed something interesting: while many of the frames were out of focus, the correct AF points was often illuminated over the subject. This was the case even though the subject tracking test was performed with a moving target.

This implies that the autofocus mechanism is simply unable to acquire focus rapidly enough during the burst, despite the fact that the camera is able to identify and track where the subject is located inside the frame.

AF adjustments may be found in the Custom Fn Menu.

Many of the AF changes on the 80D may be found under the Custom Fn. menu, as opposed to the specialized AF menu that is included on professional-level Canon DSLRs.

The AF tracking is connected to the first three parameters that may be altered (given in the table below). These parameters can be adjusted as needed.

Regrettably, the camera does not provide a lot of guidance on the circumstances in which altering these three parameters might be beneficial.

Higher-end The Canon DSLRs group these three options into a series of presets that are aimed at specific shooting scenarios, such as “For subjects that accelerate or decelerate quickly” and “For erratic subjects moving quickly in any direction.” These presets can be accessed through the camera’s menu system by pressing the “A” button.

Users should just select the scenario that corresponds to the content that they are taking pictures of. On the other hand, the settings are provided individually on the 80D, and there is no indication of how they should be configured.

If it seems strange that Canon made the AF tuning settings in regard to subject tracking more difficult in the 80D than they are in their higher-end cameras, then I’m inclined to agree with you.

During the majority of my testing, I did not deviate from the settings that were already in place for several of these choices. Nevertheless, depending on what you are shooting, you could find that making some adjustments is beneficial. The following is a rundown of all of the available choices:

Video

The Canon EOS 80D is an effective tool for capturing moving images. When shooting in MP4 with Standard IPB compression, it is capable of up to 1080/60p resolution. The EOS 80D is capable of recording MOV files utilizing All-I compression at either 1080/30p or 1080/24p resolutions for higher-quality video recording options.

The video output of the 80D is satisfactory, despite the fact that it does not support 4K capture, which may be a deal-breaker for some. In terms of quality, it should be more than sufficient for the majority of hobbyists and shooters who shoot just sometimes.

In comparison to its predecessor, the body incorporates a stereo microphone that has been placed closer to the front of the camera in order to provide improved audio captured outside of the device itself. In addition to that, it has an HDMI connector, a built-in microphone, and a plug for headphones (sadly, ‘clean’ video cannot be sent to an external recorder).

Basic Controls

Taking videos with the 80D is a rather simple and straightforward process. To begin recording a movie, just move the switch labeled “Still/Video capture” to the lower position on the camera. From that point, you may start shooting by pressing the Start/Stop button.

Program exposure modes such as Aperture or Shutter Priority are not provided, in contrast to the more professional-level 7D Mark II and 1D X Mark II cameras. Instead, you may choose between exposure settings that are either totally automatic or fully manual (if you wish to give up complete control, there is also an ‘Auto+’ option that can be activated by rotating the mode dial to the green square).

You may choose the aperture and shutter speed, and then let the camera auto-expose the image by determining the proper ISO when shooting in Manual mode thanks to the inclusion of Auto ISO in that mode. You may also apply for exposure compensation by pressing on the exposure comp symbol, then rotating the rear dial to the Manual setting. Alternatively, you can apply for exposure compensation by putting the rear dial into the Auto mode.

The video Q menu offers access to the vast majority of the fundamental video settings that are available. From this menu, you’ll be able to select the AF mode, recording size, white balance, and image style for your camera. You also have the option to apply a creative effect, make use of digital zoom, activate the Auto Lighting Optimizer, make adjustments to the audio levels, and take a picture of the video.

Video AF

The Dual Pixel AF technology that the 80D has is one of its most notable video capabilities. This system enables great continuous AF capability when the camera is capturing video. In addition, the touchscreen makes switching the attention from one area to another as easy as tapping the screen in the desired location.

Continuous shooting (Servo) mode is always selected as the default for the camera. You may temporarily disable Movie Servo AF by pushing the shutter button halfway. This will cause the camera to enter the “One-Shot AF” mode, which will acquire and then lock focus.

As soon as you take your finger off the shutter button, the focus mechanism will pick up exactly where it left off, even remembering your primary subject if you are using one of the tracking modes (this is a great way of momentarily pausing AF during the video). You have the option to completely turn off Movie Servo AF via the shooting menu, or you may hit the Servo AF symbol on the screen, which will toggle the feature on and off.

The three autofocus (AF) modes that are available during video capture are the same as those that are available during still live view capture. These modes are Face+Tracking, FlexiZone-Multi, and FlexiZone-Single. The first option is helpful for fixing focus at the very beginning of the capture, on a person or subject that is moving within the frame.

To have the camera attempt to track your subject, all you have to do to lock focus is touch on it while it’s displayed on the screen. It should work rather well most of the time. In addition, if no topic is specified, this mode will prioritize focusing on people’s faces. The following is an explanation of how the other two modes operate, excluding tracking:

Tap the screen to select the region you want the camera to focus on, and the camera will adhere to your selection no matter what the surroundings seem like.

Although I found the Servo AF speed that is preset during video capture to be perfect for the vast majority of situations, users have the ability to modify that speed of focus by using a slider that is included inside the settings (page 4 of the shooting menu).

The sensitivity of the Movie Servo AF tracking may likewise be adjusted by the user using a comparable menu item and slider. However, there is a catch: these choices are only accessible while using the FlexiZone-Single AF area mode; when using the Face+Tracking or FlexiZone-Multi AF area modes, they will not be visible.

The video quality produced by the 80D is marginally superior to that of its predecessor, the 70D. The symmetrical moire pattern found in the Siemens star gives us reason to believe that the 80D does not engage in line skipping, which is something we have reason to believe the 70D does. Additionally, the 80D produces video that looks to be somewhat clearer and has less false color than both the 70D and the 7D Mark II.

Even while the 80D has a superior video quality than both its predecessor and its most direct rival, the Nikon D7200, the detail is still not as outstanding as what we’ve seen from other 1080p cameras like the Sony a7S.

Shortcomings

While the Canon EOS 80D focuses on making it simple to record videos, it does not have a variety of tools for editing videos, many of which are considered to be industry standards in the market for enthusiast cameras. For instance, the 80D lacks both focus peaking and zebra stripes as standard features.

The first issue may not be a concern for certain users of the 80D due to the camera’s superior continuous AF performance when recording video. However, there is not an option for a clean HDMI output, nor is there an option for C-Log gamma (a very flat tone curve useful for color grading).

Because the 80D does not come with a conventional set of video production tools, users may find it difficult to advance their skills with the camera and utilize it for more professional projects.

In addition, the video quality is not even close to being the best in its class, and considering that 4K resolution is quickly becoming the de facto standard for mirrorless cameras, HD is starting to appear a little bit inadequate. Also, the introduction of some faster frame rate video choices, such as 120p for super slow motion, would have been a feature that I would have wanted to see.

Accessories

At the same time that it debuted the 80D, Canon also unveiled two attachments, both of which are for video and each of which can be purchased for less than $250. The PZ-E1 clip on zoom motor stands out as the most one-of-a-kind option (shown above).

It is able to operate the zoom in a way that is both smooth and under your control, and it attaches to the bottom of the new 18-135mm kit zoom. There are two distinct zoom rates, and customers have the option of controlling the unit either through a Wi-Fi app or the desktop-based Smart Utility, in addition to the controls that are located directly on the device itself.

It is powered by four AAA batteries and may be purchased for a price of $150. Canon has said that it plans to in the near future release additional lenses that are compatible with the PZ-E1.

Quality of the Image

Our most recent test setting is meant to replicate filming in both broad daylight and dimly lit environments. You are able to switch between the two by pressing the ‘lighting’ buttons that are located at the very top of the widget.

The outside picture is captured using a carefully adjusted white balance with the goal of obtaining neutral grays. For the low-light testing, however, the camera is left in its default Auto mode (except Raw, which is manually corrected during conversion). In addition to this, we have three distinct viewing sizes:

‘Full,’ ‘Print,’ and ‘Comp,’ with the latter two enabling ‘normalized’ comparisons to more fairly compare cameras of varying resolutions by utilizing matching viewing sizes. ‘Full,’ ‘Print,’ and ‘Compare the three modes. The ‘Comp’ option selects the camera with the highest possible resolution that is also shared by the other cameras being evaluated.

The Performance of JPEG

Color is somewhat less saturated than it was with the 70D while shooting in daylight using the JPEG settings that are defaulted to the camera. This is most noticeable in the yellows and reds. The same issue can be noticed when comparing the 5D Mark III to our color benchmark: there is a bit less yellow, which affects the tone of the reds, yellows, oranges, and greens. The 5D Mark III is our color benchmark. This, in turn, has an effect on skin tones, which ultimately wind up being less attractive than what we are used to seeing from Canon cameras.

However, the reds are less murky when compared to what we get from the Nikon D7200, and they have less of a yellow cast when compared to the output from the Sony a6300.

When it comes to white balance, the auto option retains a significant portion of the warmth that the tungsten light source provides. If you want the camera to make more of an attempt to cancel out this warmth, which is good for taking video, there is an additional option labeled “AWB W” that you may choose from.

When it comes to JPEG sharpening, the algorithm found in the 80D looks to be slightly harsher than the one found in the 70D. This is seen by the presence of sharpening halos around the black text that is superimposed on the gray backdrop. When compared to the a6300, which, because it does not have an AA filter as the Canon does, is collecting a little bit more detail if we look at the Raw files, the Canon does not disclose the same amount of fine information.

At the lowest ISO setting, noise reduction has almost little effect. However, by the time you get to ISO 400, some of the finer details have been smoothed out. Even at 3200, noise is still being suppressed, however, this comes at the expense of a discernible loss of clarity. When set to ISO 12,800, the noise reduction is quite severe and removes a great deal more detail than either the Nikon D7200 or the Sony a6300, which is likely to be the leader in its class.

Pure Acting Capabilities

In comparison to the Sony a6300, the absence of moiré points to the use of an anti-aliasing filter; yet, the camera is still capable of capturing a respectable level of detail.

When evaluated at the same size, the raw noise performance of the EOS 80D is virtually identical to that of the EOS 70D, even at the highest ISOs, which suggests that there is no drawback to the increase in resolution. This places it a touch behind the Nikon D7200 and maybe as much as a stop behind the Sony a6300 in terms of its ISO performance.

Exposure Latitude

In this test, we want to investigate how forgiving the Raw files produced by the 80D are when the exposure is pushed. In order to do this, we first exposed our scene with progressively lower exposures, and then, using Adobe Camera Raw, we pushed them back to the appropriate brightness level. By looking at what happens in the shadows, it is possible to evaluate the exposure latitude, which is effectively the same thing as the dynamic range, of the Raw files.

The findings are only directly comparable across cameras that have the same sensor size since the variations in this test noise are predominantly caused by shot noise, and shot noise is primarily driven by the quantity of light the camera has had access to. However, this will also be the case while shooting in the real world if you’re limited by what shutter speed you can hold stable, which is why this test is useful because it provides you an indication of the amount of processing latitude different formats allow.

Raw Dynamic Range

ISO Invariance

Because it adds very little noise to the detail that is obtained in the shadow areas of the image, a camera that has a very low noise floor is able to capture a high amount of dynamic range. This is because it captures very little noise in those areas.

This has some intriguing repercussions, one of which is that it reduces the amount of signal amplification that the sensor needs in order to stay above the noise level (which is what ISO amplification conventionally does). This is an alternative way of working in circumstances that would normally need higher ISO settings.

In this case, we have done something that may appear to be counter-intuitive: we have used the same aperture and shutter speed at different ISO settings in order to determine how much of a difference there is between shooting at a particular ISO setting (and making use of hardware amplification) and digitally correcting the brightness at a later time.

This has the benefit that each shot should display the same level of shot noise, and any changes must have been caused by the electronics inside the camera.

Even while there is a difference between shooting with the 80D at ISO 3200 and shooting with the same exposure at ISO 100 and then pushing it digitally afterward, this difference is far lower than it has been in the past for Canon cameras.

The significance of this is that when shooting in conditions that would normally require a high ISO setting, you can dial down the ISO setting while maintaining the same shutter speed and aperture as you would have used at the higher ISO. After that, you can brighten the resulting (dark) Raw image selectively in post-processing, protecting highlights that are now preserved because they were not clipped to white due to the higher amplification of an elevated ISO setting.

Because the camera has a relatively low read noise, the noise levels will stay pretty well-controlled when you do so and will be just slightly higher than what you may have received if you had shot with a higher ISO setting. This is because the camera has a relatively low read noise.

When you compare the EOS 80D to the EOS 7D Mark II, you will see that the narrative is rather different: the older camera adds substantial amounts of noise to the shadows, which limits your ability to brighten them in post-production.

When using the 7D Mark II, as well as the majority of Canon’s earlier cameras, it was more important to utilize the ‘proper’ ISO in-camera. This meant that you had a restricted capacity to protect highlights by purposely underexposing the image.

In spite of the fact that the performance of the Canon EOS 80D isn’t nearly as good as that of other cameras like the Nikon D7200, which we consider to be virtually flawlessly ISO-invariant, this camera represents a significant improvement for Canon.

Summing up

Our studies of the Raw dynamic range tend to validate the positive effects of this significant modification to Canon’s sensor architecture.

The results do not appear to be quite as good as its predecessors which are based on Sony, but the reduction in noise contribution could give a noticeable improvement in the real world when it comes to safeguarding highlights without introducing an excessive amount of noise in the shadows.

This ought to make Canon’s Highlight Tone Priority more helpful; in the past, it frequently added more noise than was necessary.

The previous design of Canon’s camera allowed electronic noise to accumulate after the amplification stage. This caused minimal impact at high ISO settings but limited the processing flexibility of low ISO files by adding noise that was visible when attempting to lift shadows or increase contrast. We refer to this type of noise as “downstream read noise.”

Even while the results of the 80D don’t appear to exactly come up to the best of its competitors, those who are devoted to Canon’s EF lens mount will find this to be very encouraging news. Now that it has transitioned to an on-chip column ADC architecture, we should anticipate seeing greater improvements in subsequent generations as the design is refined. This is because we should expect to see further advancements in future generations.

Canon EOS 80D Specifications

Body typeMid-size SLR
Body materialComposite
Sensor
Max resolution6000 x 4000
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels24 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors26 megapixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C (22.5 x 15 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorDIGIC 6
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 100-16000 (expands to 25600)
Boosted ISO (maximum)25600
White balance presets6
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, normal
File formatJPEG (Exif v2.3)Raw (Canon 14-bit CRW)
Optics & Focus
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points45
Lens mountCanon EF/EF-S
Focal length multiplier1.6×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFully articulated
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,040,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeOptical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.95× (0.59× 35mm equiv.)
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Exposure modesProgramShutter priorityAperture priorityManualBulb
Scene modesFoodKidsCandlelightNight PortraitHandheld Night SceneHDR Backlight ControlPortraitLandscapeClose-upSports
Built-in flashYes
Flash range12.00 m (at ISO 100)
External flashYes (via hot shoe)
Flash X sync speed1/250 sec
Drive modesSingleHigh speed continuousLow speed continuousSilent single shootingSilent continuous shooting10/2 sec self-timer/remote ctrl
Continuous drive7.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (60p, 30p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 30p)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Videography notesChoice of ALL-I or IPB codecs
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I support)
Connectivity
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (mini-HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11/b/g/n with NFC
Remote controlYes (Wired, wireless, or via smartphone)
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLP-E6N lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)960
Weight (inc. batteries)730 g (1.61 lb / 25.75 oz)
Dimensions139 x 105 x 79 mm (5.47 x 4.13 x 3.11″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSNone

Overall Conclusion

The well-liked enthusiast camera, the Canon EOS 70D, has been improved with the release of the Canon EOS 80D. Although the body of the 80D is similar to that of its predecessor in many respects, it has been upgraded with a new image sensor, a new metering sensor, and a completely redesigned autofocus mechanism. Additionally, it enables the use of continuous autofocus during live view stills photography, which is made possible by the on-sensor Dual Pixel AF.

The dynamic range of the Canon 80D is far greater than that of either its predecessor, the 7D Mark II, or any other APS-C sensor that Canon has produced to this day. And because of its articulating touchscreen and user-friendly touch interface, its implementation of live view is one of the greatest of any DSLR to date, making it one of the best of any DSLR to date.

And while the 45-point autofocus system of the 80D is not as sophisticated as the one found in its older sibling, the 7D Mark II, it still isn’t all that terrible.

There is a lot to enjoy about the 80D for those who are eager to dabble with video, but there are also some drawbacks to consider. On the 80D, doing tasks such as pulling attention may be accomplished by just tapping the screen. In addition, sliders make it possible to customize the speed at which the focus is applied.

The Canon EOS 80D has a lot going for it when it comes to video, and one of the reasons for that is its built-in microphone and headphone connector. However, the fact that there is no flat picture profile, zebra stripes, or a clean HDMI out might be a deal-breaker for certain customers. Also, no 4K.

Pros & Cons

Good For
  • Every single one of the 45 AF points is a cross-type.
  • In general, it is fairly simple to use.
  • Dual Pixel AF enables a quick and accurate continuous autofocus even when shooting in real view.
  • Continuous AF while movie capturing is good
  • Increased dynamic range in comparison to its predecessor
Need Improvement
  • When shooting via the viewfinder, subject tracking is quite difficult to do correctly.
  • The dynamic range is significantly lower than that of the competitors.
  • The dynamic range is significantly lower than that of the competitors.
  • The dynamic range is significantly lower than that of the competitors.No zebras to measure exposure
  • Default settings for 45-point Auto
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Performance
Movie / video mode
Connectivity
Value
The Canon 80D is designed with simplicity of use in mind. It has dual pixel autofocus, which enables continuous focus during the video as well as still image recording, and it has the greatest dynamic range of any APS-C Canon camera that has been released to date. When using live view mode, the articulating touchscreen comes in very helpful. Even if the image quality and video resolution of the camera are lower than those of its rivals, the 80D is still a good option for photography aficionados.

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