Canon 80D – A Comprehensive Product Review

Canon 80d camera used for vlogging

Photography enthusiasts looking for an affordable mid-range often turn to the Canon EOS 80D. This cropped-sensor camera offers more features than the entry-level Rebel series, though there are a few drawbacks. Professionals might choose the Canon 80D as a backup camera, though it probably won't fit all of the professional photographer's needs. We will review the features and specifications of the 80D compared to other popular mid-range cameras in the same price range as the 80D.

What Is the Canon 80D?

Released in 2016, the Canon 80D is the successor to Canon's 70D cropped-sensor DSLR. With much to offer photography enthusiasts and amateur videographers alike, the Canon 80D is a solid mid-range camera. Committed beginners looking for their first DSLR will not be overwhelmed by the features of the 80D, since there are still plenty of auto-program options to use while learning.

Product Specs

close up of canon 80d

Photo by Kuma Kum on Unsplash

The Canon 80D features a 24-megapixel, 1.6x APS-C crop sensor, and some significant upgrades over its predecessor, the 70D. The new autofocus system on the 80D has a 45-point detection system that works in live preview mode and continuously focuses in video mode.  

It is a rugged camera. The body chassis is made of magnesium alloy with a polycarbonate exterior and is weather-sealed. This is great for wildlife and landscape photographers that like to shoot on location, as well as sports photographers who may have to shoot outside in all types of weather.

Unlike a few other options in this price range, the 80D has a 3-inch touchscreen that articulates to help you get more creative with your positions when shooting. The 7-frames-per-second continuous shooting rate is average for DSLRs, though sports photographers may want to opt for a higher fps camera to capture the action perfectly.

This camera is made well for amateur videographers, with touch-focus capabilities and continuous autofocus. The autofocus works quickly and quietly: a necessity for most video shoots. It also offers up to 60 frames per second (fps) in video mode and 1080p for HD video. Videographers can also select from different creative filters when shooting.

Pricing

canon 80d side view

Photo by Hanson Lu on Unsplash

The Canon 80D can be found on Amazon for around $1000 for the body alone. As with any older model camera, you can find certified refurbished 80Ds for a bit cheaper, but make sure to purchase from a reputable dealer if you go this route.

How It Compares

person holding the canon 80d camera

Photo by James Sutton on Unsplash

We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare. We focused on mid-level DSLRs in a similar price range. We also focused more on Canon cameras as opposed to Nikon or other DSLR brands. We did this since many photographers looking into the Canon 80D are looking to upgrade from an existing Canon, or for a backup to more professional Canon options.

If this is your first DSLR, you can look into other respected brands, such as Nikon. But if you already have thousands of dollars invested in lenses and equipment compatible with Canon cameras, chances are you will stick with Canon to continue using your equipment. The other DSLRs we compared the Canon 80D with are:

Canon 7D Mark II

Nikon D7200

Canon 6D

Sale
Canon Digital SLR Camera Body [EOS 80D] with 24.2 Megapixel (APS-C) CMOS Sensor and Dual Pixel CMOS AF - Black
  • The EOS 80D camera's Intelligent Viewfinder helps bring the thrill of SLR photography with each use
  • The Intelligent Viewfinder displays AF points and AF mode, has a grid display, a horizontal electronic level, plus numerous other points of information
  • For next level AF operation, the EOS 80D camera has a wide area, 45 point, all cross type AF system with low luminance performance to EV 3 and 4 types of AF area selection modes
  • The 24.2 Megapixel (APS C) CMOS sensor captures high resolution images and has refined individual pixels that enable high ISO speeds (16000 for still photographs, 12800 for movies)
  • Canon's remarkable shutter combined with ability to shoot up to 7.0 fps during continuous shooting ensures quick performance.Dioptric Adjustment: 3.0 to +1.0 m 1 (diopter)

Sensor

The 1.6x crop factor on this APS-C sensor camera is fairly standard for Canon cameras, though it is a narrower crop than most Nikon DSLRs offer. Thanks to the improved 7560-pixel RGB and IR metering sensor, there have been some significant improvements to the 80D over its predecessor, the 70D. The sensor offers better color depth, dynamic range, and low-light performance than both the 70D and the comparable Canon 7D Mark II. The differences in color depth is significant, however, the ISO noise levels even out once the ISO goes over 400. The 7D Mark II's dynamic range is better above ISO 800, though the Canon 80D performs better at lower ISOs. Unfortunately, the sensor on the 80D doesn't compete well against Nikon's D7200, which outperforms in low-light, dynamic range, and color depth.

Videographers will appreciate that the 45-point autofocus system works continuously in video mode, a feature that is not available on most other cameras in this category.

Megapixels

The Canon 80D offers 24 megapixels: slightly more than other options in this price range. This means you can capture crisp details in a 30" x 40" print, though larger print sizes may require a 36-megapixel camera.

Design Quality

The 80D is designed well and built to last with a magnesium alloy chassis and a polycarbonate shell. It is lighter than its competitors, weighing only 1.61 pounds. It has also been dust and weather-proofed, allowing for worry-free outdoors shooting. Like most Canon DSLR cameras, the buttons and controls are placed in prime locations for one-handed shooting and adjustments. The quick-control dial on the back lets you adjust exposure and aperture instantly.

The battery lasts for 1200 shots if not using the flash or 960 shots with some flash use.

Warranty

Canon offers a 1-year limited warranty for manufacturers defects.

PROS

  • 45-point hybrid autofocus system with cross-type points
  • Dust and weather sealed body
  • 3" Articulating touchscreen
  • Quick-control dial
  • 100% viewfinder coverage
  • Excellent performance in low light
  • 1080p HD video with continuous autofocus and up to 60 fps
  • Built-in time-lapse feature for video
  • Microphone and headphone jacks
  • New mirror vibration control system
  • 7 fps in continuous shooting mode
  • 7560 pixel RGB+IR metering sensor
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Lightweight at 1.61 pounds

CONS

  • 1.6x crop factor
  • No bluetooth
  • Only one SD card slot
  • Autofocus not as reliable as Canon 7D Mark II or Nikon D7200
  • Does not have the Intelligent Tracking and Recognition (iTR) system
Sale
Canon EOS 7D Mark II Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)
  • 20.2 MP CMOS sensor and ISO 100-16000
  • High speed continuous shooting up to 10.0 fps
  • 65-point all cross-type AF system
  • Stunning Full HD video with Custom Movie Servo AF (speed and sensitivity)
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF enables you to shoot video like a camcorder

Compared to the Canon 80D, the Canon 7D Mark II is slightly more advanced, designed to appeal to semi-professional photographers as well as sports and wildlife photographers who need to freeze the perfect moment. The 7D Mark II is more complex than the 80D, so it wouldn't be an ideal choice for beginners looking for their first DSLR to learn on.

Sensor

At ISO 800 and above, the sensor performs better on the 7D Mark II than the 80D. However, at base ISO rates, the 80D performs quite a bit better than the 7D II. The 80D, overall, offers better dynamic range and color depth than the 7DII and both lag behind the superior sensor performance of the Nikon D7200.

Megapixels

Slightly less than the 80D, the Canon 7D Mark II provides 20.2 megapixels. This range is still enough to capture crisp details on a 30" x 40" print. However, if you are planning to take images that will be used for 40" x 60" or wall-sized prints that will be viewed up close, you may opt for more megapixels than the cameras listed here provide.

Design Quality

Like most Canon DSLR options, the 7D II is made with a magnesium alloy and polycarbonate shell that are built to last. It is dust and weather proofed, giving outdoor photographers peace of mind. Unfortunately, it is the heaviest cameras out of all listed here, coming in at 2.0 pounds. The viewfinder offers 100% coverage. Like the Canon 80D, it has a quick-control dial for fast changes to exposure and aperture, but some buttons are placed on the left side making one-handed adjustments not possible in some situations. On the plus side, unlike most of the cameras listed here, the 7D II has an intervalometer and bulb timer built in.

Warranty

Canon offers a 1-year limited warranty for manufacturers defects.

PROS

  • 65-point autofocus with cross-type points and AF joystick
  • Quick-control dial and built-in intervalometer
  • Autofocus in live view mode
  • ISO 51200 option is rare among APS-C cameras
  • 10 fps in continuous shooting mode
  • Can take long exposures without a remote control
  • iTR system uses metering with distance info to track subjects
  • Advanced mirror vibration control
  • CF and SD card slots
  • 1080p HD video with up to 60 fps
  • Microphone and headphone jacks
  • Built-in GPS

CONS

  • 1.6x crop factor
  • Slightly heavier at 2.0 pounds
  • No articulating touchscreen
  • No autofocus in live view
  • Need an optional adapter for Wi-Fi
  • No image stabilization for hand-held shots
Sale
Nikon D7200 DX-format DSLR Body (Black)
  • 24.2 MP DX-format CMOS image sensor
  • No Optical Low-Pass Filter (OLPF)
  • 51 point autofocus system
  • 6 frames per second (fps) shooting capacity
  • EXPEED 4 image processing; ISO Sensitivity: ISO 100 - 25,600.Lens mount: Nikon F mount, (with AF coupling and AF contacts)

Beginners who are committed to developing a new photography hobby will want to consider the Nikon D7200. It fits into the price range with the 80D and other Canon DSLRs on this list but offers the best performance in low-light and with color depth and dynamic range. This is one of the best APS-C sensor cameras in Nikon's line-up, though those with $500 extra to spare may want to splurge on the more feature-laden D7500.

Sensor

The D7200's sensor performs better than the Canon 80D on almost every level: color depth, dynamic range, and low-light performance. The dynamic range on the sensor performs better than the 80D even at higher ISO levels, producing less noise.

The 1.3x crop factor offers a wider view than Canon's 1.6x APS-C sensors, providing better coverage for landscape and astro-photography.

Megapixels

The 24.2-megapixel sensor produces crisp details for large prints, similar to its competitors.

Design Quality

Like Canon, Nikon is known for its dedication to well-built, long-lasting cameras that can withstand the test of time. The D7200 is weather and dust proofed and also includes two-memory card slots. The battery can last for up to 2000 shots on a single charge, far better than the Canon 80D offers.

Warranty

Nikon offers a one-year limited warranty, and an additional 4-year extended service coverage warranty.

PROS

  • Wider 1.3x crop factor competes well with full-frame cameras
  • Reliable and fast 51-point autofocus
  • Black and White ISO up to 102400
  • 1080p HD video and up to 60 fps
  • Built-in intervalometer for time-lapse movie options
  • Up to 2000 shots on one battery charge
  • Dual SD card slots
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Near Field Communication (NFC)
  • Can use android device as a device or to share wirelessly

CONS

  • No autofocus in live view
  • Only 15 points are cross-type
  • No articulating touchscreen
  • 6 fps in continuous shooting mode
Canon EOS 6D 20.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Body Only) - Wi-Fi Enabled
  • 20.2MP full frame CMOS sensor
  • 4.5 frames per second continuous shooting
  • 1080p HD video recording with manual controls
  • 11-point AF system
  • 3 inch LCD with 1,040,000 dots.Lens Mount:Canon EF mount

Hobbyists looking to upgrade on image quality should consider the Canon 6D: an affordable full-frame camera.

Sensor

Unlike other sensors in this price range, the Canon 6D is a full-frame sensor. When it comes to landscape and astro-photography, it's hard to beat a full-frame sensor for the field of view. Full-frame sensors also reduce noise more than cropped-sensor cameras, improving image quality. The 6D's low signal-to-noise ratio is superior even to competing full-frame DSLRs. This sensor is perfect for amateurs hoping to snap some of the best night shots.

Megapixels

Slightly less than the 80D, the Canon 6D provides 20.2 megapixels. This is more than enough for most amateur photographers.

Design Quality

Most full-frame cameras are rather heavier than their APS-C counterparts, however, the Canon 6D is an exception. Weighing only 1.71 pounds, this camera weighs even less than some cropped sensor cameras. Unfortunately, weatherproofing had to be sacrificed to achieve this low weight, which may be a detracting factor for outdoor photographers. It was also built with an aluminum chassis (rather than magnesium alloy) and has the same polycarbonate exterior as other Canon DSLR models.

Warranty

Canon offers a 1-year limited warranty for manufacturers defects.

PROS

  • Full-frame sensor
  • Quick-control dial
  • Excellent performance in low-light
  • Up to ISO 102,400
  • Built-in intervalometer for time-lapse movie option
  • 1080p HD video
  • Weighs 1.7 pounds
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS

CONS

  • 4.5 fps in continuous shooting mode
  • No articulating touchscreen
  • 97% coverage in viewfinder
  • 11-point autofocus, with cross-type points
  • No continuous autofocus in live view mode
  • Autofocus works slowly in dim lighting
  • Maximum of 30 fps in video mode
  • No on-camera flash
  • Only one storage card slot

Conclusion

Canon 80d Camera floating and the beautiful mountain as a background

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

The Canon 80D is an excellent mid-range option for photography enthusiasts looking to upgrade their entry-level DSLR. It's also intuitive enough to be accessible for beginners to use as they learn the craft. While the image quality is not as good as baseline shots with the Nikon D7200 or the full-frame Canon 6D, it does perform better in most daylight conditions than the comparable Canon 7D Mark II. Videographers will find much to love about the Canon 80D, which, in many respects, was customized with video in mind.

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