For pro video or just razor-sharp stills, Canon’s EOS 80D has it nailed
After almost three years on the market, Canon recently updated the midrange, enthusiast EOS 70D, one of our favorite movie-capable DSLRs. Among the new features, the new EOS 80D has more megapixels, improved video quality, and an enhanced autofocus system. The 80D retains the Dual Pixel CMOS AF system, but this has also been enhanced to deliver improved speed and tracking. Overall, Canon has an affordable enthusiast camera that delivers great imaging results.
Features and design
Design-wise, the 80D ($1,199, body only) hasn’t changed dramatically from the 70D, and it’s your typical all-black DSLR body style – it looks like every Canon DSLR with an all-black body with a textured finish. Overall it measures 5.5 x 4.1 x 3.1 inches and weighs about 26 ounces without a lens; the dimensions and weight are nearly the same as its predecessor, and we doubt you’ll notice the extra ounce. Yes, it’s bulky, but a lot of photographers like the large grip and substantial body, helping you keep the thing steady when held. (The big changes are inside, which we describe below in detail.)
Indeed, the 80D has a nice feel and balance with Canon’s new EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM ($600) attached, which the company provided for our review. With the Canon EF mount, it accepts close to 100 lenses made for the EOS system. You’ll feel the weight if you attach a lens like the 18-135mm, but it’s surprisingly comfortable if you attach a compact prime lens.
Only the eagle-eyed will notice the minor cosmetic changes, like some buttons on the back (quick menu, playback, delete) are now rounded. The big noticeable addition you should care about is the headphone port that’s next to the microphone jack, which is useful for shooting videos.
Like the 70D, a highlight is the vari-angle touchscreen LCD, which lets you hold the camera at a variety of creative angles and use your finger to tap on a specific focus point. As befitting a camera geared toward enthusiasts, it also has an LCD on the top deck to quickly check or change your settings. Like all of Canon’s DSLRs, the key controls (white balance, ISO, burst rate and so on) are easily accessed and nicely labeled.