Review: Canon EOS 80D


The new 80D, which replaces the 70D launched in July 2013, sits smack in the middle of Canon’s SLR line-up, above the 760D and below the 7D Mark II. That puts it in prime enthusiast territory which means it needs to appeal to people who want to shoot a range of subjects in a variety of conditions. These users also want an extensive feature set with plenty of control options, but they don’t need a full-on professional-grade camera.

Canon has given the 80D a new 24-million-pixel sensor along with a Digic 6 processing engine. This may sound similar to the 24Mp 750D and 760D, but these lower-level cameras have Hybrid AF III devices, not the Dual Pixel CMOS AF sensor of the 80D.

The 80D’s sensor and processor combination brings a native sensitivity range of ISO 100-16,000 (a third of a stop higher than the 70D) and a maximum expansion value of ISO 25,600 (the same as the 70D). And while the maximum continuous shooting rate is the same as the 70D’s at 7fps, the burst depth has been increased to 110 JPEGs or 25 raw files when a UHS-1 SD card is used. That’s a significant step up from the 65 JPEG or 16 raw files possible with the 70D.

Canon EOS 80D
The EOS 80D has a new and improved version of the Dual PIxel CMOS AF system found in its predecessor, plus an increased resolution of 24 million pixels.

Modern SLRs have two autofocus systems, one for when using the camera conventionally and composing images in the viewfinder (i.e. in reflex mode) and the second for use in Live View and video mode. Canon has improved both of these systems for the 80D in comparison with the 70D. The reflex mode system, for instance, has 45 AF points, all of which are cross-type whereas the 70D has 19 points. This means the new camera has better AF point coverage making it more able to find and follow subjects around the frame. Furthermore, all of the points are cross-type with lenses that have a maximum aperture of f/5.6 or greater while the central 27 operate at f/8 and 9 of them are cross-type at f/8. That’s good news for anyone using telephoto lens/teleconverter combinations that reduce the maximum aperture to f/8. The 80D can also use colour information from the 7560-pixel RGB+IR (infrared) metering sensor to help with subject tracking.