Introduction and features
In Canon’s enthusiast-level DSLR lineup, the Canon EOS 80D, which was introduced in 2016, has since been replaced by the Canon EOS 90D. For individuals who need an all-arounder but may not have the desire or money for the newest technologies, it is a reliable performer.
As an enthusiast camera, it must be appealing to people who enjoy taking pictures of a wide range of objects under a wide range of conditions. That means they require a lot of features but may not require anything particularly advanced. If you are a Canon fan you can go for different alternatives like Canon G7x that’s also an amazing camera for photography.
The 80D is still among the top DSLR cameras available in our opinion, especially if you’re looking for a deal.
The 24-million-pixel sensor and Digic 6 processing engine are both features of the Canon 80D. This may resemble the 24Mp 750D and 760D in sound, but these entry-level cameras have Hybrid AF III components instead of the Dual Pixel CMOS AF sensor found in the 80D.
Its predecessor, the 70D, had a native sensitivity range of ISO 100–16,000 and a maximum expansion value of ISO 25,600. The 80D sensor and processor combination offers a native sensitivity range of ISO 100–16,000 (a third of a stop higher).
The burst depth has been increased to 110 JPEGs or 25 raw files when a UHS-1 SD card is used, which is a significant improvement from the 65 JPEG or 16 raw files that the 70D was capable of. The maximum continuous shooting rate is also the same as the 70D’s at 7 fps.
Modern SLR cameras include two autofocus systems, one for using the camera normally and framing photos in the viewfinder (reflex mode), and the other for using Live View and video mode. Comparing the 80D to the 70D, Canon made improvements to both of these systems.
For instance, the reflex mode system has 45 AF points, all of which are cross-type, compared to the 70D’s 19 points. This indicates that the new camera has better AF point coverage, enabling it to locate and track subjects more effectively throughout the frame.
Furthermore, the central 27 operate at f/8, nine of them are cross-type at f/8, and all the points are cross-type with lenses that have a maximum aperture of f/5.6 or above. For anyone utilizing telephoto lens/teleconverter combinations that limit the maximum aperture to f/8, this is good news.
The 7560-pixel RGB+IR (infrared) metering sensor on the 80D can also be used for color information to aid in subject tracking.
Similar to the 70D, the 80D uses Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology for its Live View and video autofocus system, which results in phase detection points on the imaging sensor.
Canon claims that the new system is faster and more sensitive than the one in the 70D, but since shooting video frequently necessitates slower focus changes, the 80D system’s speed can be adjusted in seven steps.
The 80D improves on the 70D’s video capabilities with a headphone port for audio monitoring and the ability to record Full HD (1980 x 1020) footage at 50fps for 2x slow-motion playback, despite lacking one of the most popular video features—4K recording.
The 80D has the same HDMI Mini and A/V Digital out terminals as the 70D, as well as an external mic port (with manual volume control in-camera). However, the 80D can record in MOV or MP4 format, whereas the 70D can only shoot in MOV format. In-camera short films can be made more dynamically with the help of Canon’s fantastic Video snapshot feature.
Canon adopted Wi-Fi networking in its cameras rather early, and several of its models, notably the 80D, also feature NFC (Near Field Communication). This makes it possible to quickly link the camera to the Canon Connect Station CS100, an NFC-enabled smartphone or tablet, and other Canon cameras.
This connectivity allows for quick image sharing to the internet as well as remote camera control with the help of a free Canon app. Additionally, the app can be used to zoom the new EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens from one focal length to another when it is mounted and used with the Power Zoom Adapter PZ-E1 announced at the same time.
When photographing under a light source that is prone to flickering, Canon launched its Anti-flicker technology with the 7D Mark II to help provide consistent exposure and color (for example fluorescent light). The 80D also has this ingenious feature, which tracks the flicker’s frequency and schedules images to be taken when exposure and color are least affected.
It’s also important to note that the 80D offers White priority and Ambience priority settings for the automatic white balance system, just like the 5DS/R and 1DX Mark II. While the White priority setting is meant to eliminate the color cast, using the Ambience priority setting results in images that retain some of the color created by the lighting.
Build And Heading
Although the EOS 80D is not nearly as large as the 5D Mark III, there is still enough room for my right hand’s remaining fingers to rest on the 80D’s grip when my index finger is positioned over the shutter release. However, people with large hands might find it cozier to tuck their little finger under the grip.
When holding the camera for usage, you may easily access the bulk of the button controls on the right side of the device, either on the back or top plate.
Some buttons, such as the AF, Drive, and Metering buttons, are made to be used in conjunction with the Main Dial or Quick Control Dial while looking through the camera’s top-plate secondary LCD screen rather than the viewfinder.
Although it is a tried-and-true method that is effective, many people will find the touch control provided by the main screen on the back of the camera to be more user-friendly.
Contrary to some other manufacturers, Canon allows touch control of both the Quick Menu and the main menu, which can significantly speed up use. Additionally, it makes it simple to scroll through pictures, set the AF point, and trigger the shutter in Live View mode.
The Quick Menu is very helpful because it offers a quick access point to some of the most frequently used features. However, it would be nice if this could be customized in the same way that the 1DX Mark II can so that it only includes the features you use frequently.
For instance, some photographers might never need (or desire) to alter the file format in which they capture their images. A stills-only Quick Menu and a video-only Quick Menu that could be customized would be ideal.
Similar to other touch-enabled SLRs from Canon, the touch control is very effective. The navigation keys, the mini-joystick, or a control dial can all be used to select menu items, while a second tap can be used to select options.
The 80D’s 3-inch, 1,040,000-dot Clear View II screen on the back offers a gorgeously sharp, detailed view. Focusing manually is much simpler in Live View mode because the target area is magnified on the screen rather than in the viewfinder. Having a screen with a variable angle hinge also prevents you from having to squat on the ground to get a worm’s eye view when shooting from awkward angles in either portrait or landscape orientation. This is when the capability of setting the AF point and activating the shutter with a tap on the screen really shines.
However, to provide a clear view in bright sunlight, the screen’s brightness must be increased to its highest setting. In order to have quick access to the LCD Brightness control in an emergency, I found it helpful to assign it to one of the six customizable My Menu screens. If it were possible, I would assign it to the Quick Menu in the ideal scenario.
Despite the excellent screen on the 80D, most photographers prefer to use the viewfinder when taking still photos, especially when the subject is moving. Additionally, it offers a nice, bright view, and unlike the viewfinder on the 70D, which only covers 98% of the lens’ field of view. As a result, there are less unpleasant surprises when you review your shots at the frame’s edge.
The mode dial on the 80D can be used to choose the Creative Filter mode. One of ten filter effects can be applied to JPEG images as they are being taken when this option is chosen. The camera automatically switches to shooting JPEGs only if you are shooting raw files or raw JPEG files. Although the Creative Filters can be used when creating images in the viewfinder, only Live View mode allows for a preview of their effects on the main screen.
From one on the 70D to two on the 80D, Canon increased the number of Custom Mode settings accessible via the mode dial. This implies that you can quickly switch between two options while still shooting with one set of settings. For example, you might set one Custom mode to shutter priority with a shutter speed of 1/500sec, auto sensitivity, Natural Picture Style, continuous AF, and Continuous Shooting so that if you happen to see some wildlife while you’re out taking landscape photos, you can quickly change all the settings with a turn of the mode dial.
Additionally, each of the six My Menu tabs can have up to six menu items assigned to them. This makes it simpler to use some of the less accessible features, including Mirror Lock-up. I found it helpful to put the main video features on one tab and the main still features on another.
Additionally, you can customize up to nine controls (buttons and dials) to access particular features using Custom Function III 4. I find it useful to configure the navigation control to provide a simple way to choose an AF point, for example.
Canon has been utilizing 18Mp sensors in their APS-C size cameras for a while, but the release of the 750D and 760D signaled a change to 24Mp ones. Higher pixel count cameras can potentially capture more detail than a rival lower resolution model, which is one of the reasons why they are so alluring.
The possible pitfall, however, is that because the photoreceptors must often be made smaller, they provide a weaker image signal, necessitating the application of additional amplification, which can lead to increased image noise.
- When shooting from such low angles, the articulating screen comes in really handy. To view the full-size version, click here.
- The brilliant green of the grass in this landscape, lighted by the sun, has been captured using Landscape Picture Style. To view the full-size version, click here.
- The camera was able to focus despite the extremely dim lighting, and the noise was well-controlled at ISO 16000. To view the full-size version, click here.
Thankfully, Canon was able to avoid getting a custard pie in his face by getting it on a plate. The 24.2Mp sensor in the 80D has 25% more pixels than the 70D’s sensor, and it allows for a significant improvement in detail resolution across most of the sensitivity range without increasing noise levels.
However, it is apparent that the 80D performs worse than the 70D in our resolution testing at ISO 12,800. However, photos captured at this sensitivity setting with ISO 16,000 look good when the default noise reduction levels are used. Although some detail is lost due to noise, there isn’t any visible smearing. When photographs are at about A4 size, some regions have a slight haze and lack resolution, therefore I would urge caution with the highest setting of ISO 25,600. But because of this, Canon makes this value available for use if it’s really needed, even though it doesn’t find the image quality to be completely satisfactory.
Naturally, I was eager to test Canon’s 80D autofocus (AF) system since it has been significantly improved over the 70D for use with the viewfinder. It didn’t let me down; it quickly rendered stationary subjects sharp and maintained the sharpness of moving objects even in dim lighting.
- The AF system on the 80D performed admirably when photographing these swiftly moving skateboarders. To view the full-size version, click here.
- To view the full-size version, click here.
- For a larger view, click here.
When photographing skateboarders in the dark London Undercroft, I experimented with the AF point selection modes and discovered that the 45-point Automatic Selection option is pretty capable, probably helped by the new color detection system. In most instances, it was able to accurately identify the subject and follow it as it moved around the frame, getting closer to or further away from the camera, despite the distracting background of graffiti walls.
As long as I was able to maintain the active point above the subject, single-point AF (Manual selection) mode likewise performed admirably. With skateboarders who are prone to jumping, twisting, and rotating, it is easier said than done. I found that using the Zone AF setting gave me better results. The 45 AF points in this mode are divided into nine zones, and you must choose the best zone before you can start shooting. The AF points in that zone are then used to track the subject; this is a terrific option for moving subjects, and you can see the AF points light up as they engage, giving you peace of mind that your pictures will be sharp. Although not completely infallible, it has a higher hit rate and is more dependable than the 45-point Automatic. Mode of selection.
There are 16 customization options available in the menu for those who want to customize the tracking sensitivity, acceleration/deceleration tracking, and the speed of AF point switching for the 80D’s AF system. These are viable options, but they necessitate a thorough knowledge of the subject, the shooting environment, and the photographer’s capacity to maintain the active AF point over the subject. If you frequently shoot the same subjects, it may be worthwhile to experiment with different settings to see if you can improve your hit rate or streamline your workflow.
The AF system in Live View and Video mode is also effective. In some circumstances, it’s quick enough to capture still images of moving targets, but the viewfinder system is more dependable. When shooting video, the Dual Pixel CMOS AF system’s focus shift is smooth enough to be useful, but it is reliant on the shooting environment and subject/camera speed. The video is of a high caliber, with appealing colors and good exposure.
The 80D uses the same metering system as the 750D and 760D when shooting in reflex mode, which includes a 63-zone evaluative, partial, center-weighted, and spot metering option with a 7560-pixel RGB+IR (infrared) sensor. Although the evaluative system is excellent, high contrast conditions may require the use of the exposure adjustment control due to the weighting applied to the active AF point. Nothing particularly unusual about that. With backlit subjects, the Center-Weighted, Partial, and Spot options are valuable.
- The Monochrome Picture Style provides a helpful indicator but converting a raw file yields the best results. To view the full-size version, click here.
- To view the full-size version, click here.
The camera uses the imaging sensor to determine exposure when shooting in Live View or video mode, and it does a good job of it. However, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the histogram view if you’ve increased the screen’s brightness to deal with bright ambient light because images may appear brighter than they are.
In addition to the new White and Ambience priority settings for the Auto setting, the 80D’s white balance system performs as we have come to expect from Canon. The White Priority setting proved to be very effective, producing neutral images under problematic artificial lighting. The Ambient priority setting keeps some of the color cast, which in some circumstances may be preferable.
Lab Tests: Resolution
To evaluate the performance of the Canon EOS 80D, we subjected it to our standard battery of lab tests. In our comparison charts, we’ve also contrasted its results with those of three of its main competitors. The cameras that we selected are:
Nikon D7200: The closest thing to a direct competitor from Nikon, the D7200 has a fixed, non-articulating screen, a 24-megapixel non-anti-aliased sensor, and comparable specifications and target users.
Pentax K-S2: Pentax’s tough all-rounder offers good value and features that will likely pique the interest of ardent photographers. It’s a fascinating alternative to the typical Canon vs. Nikon argument.
Sony A77 II:
The top APS-C format SLT camera from Sony resembles a DSLR but has full-time phase-detection autofocus, even in live view, thanks to a fixed, translucent mirror.
Using an industry-standard ISO test chart that was captured in controlled laboratory conditions, we evaluated the resolution of all four cameras. Line widths/picture height is a new standard measurement for expressing resolution that is independent of sensor size. All of our tests are run for both JPEG and raw files, across a broad ISO range.
JPEG resolution analysis: Despite performing well, the Canon 80D trails the Nikon D7200 at a number of sensitivity levels, possibly demonstrating the advantages of doing without the optical low pass filter.
Raw (converted to TIFF) resolution analysis: The 80D captures more detail than the 70D, except at ISO 12,800. At the lower sensitivity settings, the difference is striking. Again, the Nikon D7200 takes the lead thanks to its OPLF-free sensor.
Lab tests: Dynamic Range
The dynamic range of a camera is a measurement of its capacity to capture relevant detail in both the brightest and darkest areas of an image. The higher the number, expressed in EVs (exposure values), the better. We use DxO Analyzer gear and software to test dynamic range in a controlled lab environment.
JPEG dynamic range analysis: In terms of JPEG dynamic range, there isn’t much to choose between the 80D and 70D (not shown here), but neither can quite compete with the Pentax K-3 II and Nikon D7200 at some low- to mid-range sensitivity levels.
Raw (converter to TIFF) dynamic range analysis: The 80D from Canon offers a greater dynamic range than the 70D, meaning that photographs have a good spectrum of tones. The Pentax K-3 II, however, achieves greater results.
Lab tests: Signal-to-noise ratio
The camera’s noise output is measured by the signal-to-noise ratio, which also compares noise levels to the actual image detail. The higher the number, the better, as it indicates that less of the image data is made up of random noise. DxO Analyzer is used to measure the signal-to-noise ratio.
JPEG signal-to-noise ratio analysis: Here, the 80D performs admirably, showing that it creates the cleanest images across the board at all sensitivity levels.
Raw (converted to TIFF) signal-to-noise ratio analysis: The 80D outperforms the 70D except at ISO 100, indicating that images are slightly cleaner, but there isn’t much to it. It also outperforms the other rival cameras for a large portion of the sensitivity range, only slightly lagging the Pentax K-3 II and Sony A77 II at the highest values.
Although mirrorless cameras currently receive most of the attention, the Canon 80D, with its solid feature set and effective sensor, is representative of the kind of appeal that these now incredibly affordable cameras can have for enthusiast photographers.
Although it may not be loaded with the newest cutting-edge technology, it nevertheless has all the essentials. This consists of a quick and efficient autofocusing system, a touch-sensitive vari-angle screen, and a backup AF system that performs well when shooting in Live View and with varying speed as needed in video mode.
The 80D captures much detail over the sensitivity range with its 24Mp sensor, and noise is effectively managed. Even in dim lighting, the reflex autofocus system is highly effective, and the metering and white balance systems are trustworthy. Additionally, the camera handles beautifully, emphasizing both creative shooting and quick and simple setting adjustments.
Enthusiastic photographers desire a camera that works for them, enables them to swiftly access the most crucial features and allows them to easily change settings. The 80D offers an easy way to access the most frequently used features and offers good customization options. The touchscreen is also superbly implemented, making use of the camera easier, just like with the majority of other Canon SLRs. Since the screen is attached to a variable-angle hinge, it can be articulated to provide a clear view regardless of the shooting position, making it much simpler to take pictures from unusual angles.
Few amateur photographers are fortunate enough to be able to afford the large aperture telephoto lenses used by professionals, despite the fact that many enthusiast photographers would like to take pictures in the same settings. Therefore, it may be more crucial for a camera designed for enthusiasts to be able to focus at apertures that are frequently encountered when telephoto lenses are used in conjunction with teleconverters. The 80D has a system like that.
The drawback of an advanced autofocus system is that it requires the photographer’s input to use it to its full potential due to its complexity. Canon has made an effort to provide assistance with the Case Studies in the AF part of their menu for more sophisticated cameras like the 7D Mark II, 5D Mark III, and 1DX Mark II. The advanced AF options on the 80D are more tucked away in the Custom Function menu’s Autofocus section. Additionally, there is no in-camera explanation of the rationale behind, say, adjusting the Tracking Sensitivity or the effects of modifying Acceleration/Deceleration Tracking. Even though the Case Study explanations and examples sometimes leave photographers perplexed, the method used with the 80D makes them even less likely to be applied.
The 80D’s control system can be customized in a variety of ways, but it could be made even better by adding two Quick Menus—one for stills and one for video—and allowing users to customize both of them.
The Canon 80D is a great camera for enthusiast photographers, despite being larger than the average mirrorless system and lacking the ability to preview images as they are being taken. Its main autofocus system is extremely rapid, and its high-quality sensor can record good levels of detail while keeping noise under control. It is also a very capable video camera with a subject-specific variable speed autofocus system.