The EOS 80D is a nimble instrument

5stars

Canon EOS 80D Digital SLR Camera Body (Black) | Canon 7D

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The Canon EOS 80D is a nimble and capable instrument, and an impressive upgrade over the 70D in terms of AF, resolution and control of shadow noise. The bottom line is the many small improvements add up to an enjoyable experience and excellent images and videos.

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At first glance, the Canon EOS 80D is a near twin of the 70D. However, it feels slightly lighter and the deep finger groove and textured grip rubber make it a little easier to hold on to. It has the same swiveling touchscreen as the 70D, albeit more smudge resistant. The most significant Canon EOS 80D improvements are on the inside: tweaked Movie Servo, 45-point AF, 100% coverage viewfinder and a new 24.2MP Dual Pixel sensor.

VIEWFINDER is bright and clear and, with 100% coverage and .95x magnification, slightly improved over the 70D. The transmissive LCD display–transparent LCD over the focusing screen–displays icons, AF and metering patterns, grid and plain matte screens and an electronic level.

CONTROLS: Buttons and wheels feel sturdy and may be used while looking through the viewfinder. There are no flash exposure compensation (FEC) or white balance (WB) buttons. However, most button functions can be customized, and FEC may be assigned to the SET button, allowing FEC while looking through the viewfinder. Exposure modes are set with a topside knurled dial: Creative Zone with manual and semi-auto modes and Basic Zone with assorted full auto modes. Two Custom (C) modes are included to save your favorite drive, exposure and image quality settings. If you’ve owned an EOS before, the interface will be familiar and you’ll barely need to crack the manual.

The menu interface is less crowded than the 70D: five icons (reduced from the 70D’s fifteen) and organized by category. However, each menu has two to six submenus. A custom menu of favorite settings for quick access may be created.

AUTOFOCUS: The 45-point cross type AF array is fast and covers more of the frame than the 70D’s 19-point array. It’s also more sure-footed in low light than the 70D. The Canon EOS 80D has the same AF modes as the 70D—single-point AF, zone AF and 45-point automatic selection AF—plus a fourth mode, large zone AF. I normally avoid the 45-point auto select mode but tried it and was surprised how much more “human aware” it is compared to the 70D. It’s still not smart enough to know if you prefer a rock or cloud in focus, but if a human enters the frame, it locks on them like glue.

LiveView has a new AF mode: AI Servo. Tap the subject on the touchscreen, half-press the shutter button and it does a great job of tracking the subject across the screen. It’s perfect for low level shooting of moving critters or kids.

IMAGES show pleasing detail, color and control of noise. I didn’t notice improvement over the 70D until I zoomed in and pulled down the shadow slider in DPP: a significant reduction in shadow noise at both low and high ISO. Thus, shadows may be brightened more in post than the 70D. The blue channel also has less noise than the 70D, so cleaner skies!

VIDEO: HD video quality is excellent: fewer moire artifacts, cleaner in low light and smoother and more film-like compared to 70D files. I’m disappointed 4K HD wasn’t included. However, 1080P is fine for YouTube since audiences mainly watch on phone and notebook screens.

Movie servo is faster than 70D servo and less prone to “hunting” in low light. Focus-pulls are a snap with the touch screen. Movie servo with face recognition works great, allowing me to both shoot and perform in video clips.

WI-FI: Diddle settings, fire shutter, upload images and monitor LiveView and video on an iPhone/iPad, Droid or computer with Canon’s app. Wi-Fi eats batteries crazy fast, so carry spares. Video and LiveView are also available via wired USB or HDMI connection and is smoother and less battery draining.

The Canon EOS 80D kit ships with the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 Image Stabilization USM Lens (Black) lens. It’s a nice optic and I wrote a detailed review on it here.

FINAL BURB: The Canon EOS 80D is a nimble and capable instrument, and an impressive upgrade over the 70D in terms of AF, resolution and control of shadow noise. The bottom line is the many small improvements add up to an enjoyable experience and excellent images and videos.

Review similar to Canon EOS 80D: Canon EOS Rebel T5 Kit | Canon 7D


Conclusion Rating
The Canon EOS 80D is a nimble and capable instrument, and an impressive upgrade over the 70D in terms of AF, resolution and control of shadow noise. The bottom line is the many small improvements add up to an enjoyable experience and excellent images and videos.
5 stars

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