Gear

Canon EOS 80D vs 70D

 

Up until now, 2016 has been very kind to us, blessing us with numerous new products to salivate over and to wait in eager anticipation to bash away at its buttons. But then they announced the EOS 80D.

It’s an update to a camera – the 70D – that was already boring but the improvments in the latest model don’t seem to do much to change that. There doesn’t seem to be any headline feature, no defining improvement that can be seen as cutting edge.

Mind you, perhaps we’re expecting too much, having been spoilt with so many cool new products so far. Is the 80D worth buying in 2016? Are the subtle improvements over the 70D enough to make this a DSLR worth having?

Design

Unsurprisingly, not much has changed with the appearance of the camera. There are some slight changes that make quite a big difference though.

The viewfinder coverage is now 100% – compared to the 98% coverage of the 70D finder – giving it as much coverage as the finder in the 7D Mark II (albeit with less magnification 0.95x vs 1x). The 80D also inherits the Flicker detection from the 7D Mark II, too.

Wireless connectivity can be done via NFC as well as Wi-Fi now (only Wi-Fi with the 70D). But there are new improved features that will be of actual use – time lapse and HDR movie modes – even if they are boring.

Performance

The great news for people who don’t salivate at the prospect of having time lapse and HDR functionality (actually, the best news is that you don’t salivate over time lapse and HDR features) and can’t afford a 7D Mark II is that it seems like the 80D will be pretty decent for action. It features 45-cross type AF points, which means it will cover a wider area than the 19-cross type points of the 70D.

Then there’s a Dual Pixel CMOS AF that uses some kind of dark arts to make autofocusing much better in video and live view mode. You get better tracking sensitivity.

Autofocus will be better in low light, going down to -3 EV. And shutter lag has been reduced to 60ms vs the 65ms of the 70D.

Photo

I reckon the 80D will feel just a tad snappier than the 70D but, sadly, the images will most likely look the same. It has 4-megapixels more than the 20-megapixel 70D, which doesn’t mean much, although the newer DIGIC 6 processor will probably produce cleaner looking images in low light.

The continuous burst, at 7fps, is not faster than the 70D but the buffer depth is larger, allowing 110 JPEG or 25 RAW shots before it needs to take five (40 JPEG or 15 RAW with the 70D).

Video

Seeing as it is looking to be a pretty decent camera for video, with the improved autofocus, it’s just as well that they have added a headphone jack.

What a shame they didn’t bother to upgrade to 4K. Canon probably wants to offer 4K in their higher-end DSLRs first before filtering it down to the cheaper DSLRs, but I think they’ve missed a hell of a chance to get ahead of Nikon here. The 4K-shooting Nikon D500 is a hell of an attractive DSLR.

You do get the option of shooting 1080/60p now but that’s hardly something videographers will pee their pants in excitement over, given that they are spoilt for choice right now when it comes to 4K-shooting cameras.

Final Thought

No doubt, the 80D will be a decent DSLR, seemingly offering slightly improved performance, with the potential of this being a great DSLR for video shooting. It’s just a shame that it only looks merely decent and not anything more.

 Canon 80DCanon 70D
Resolution24.2 megapixels20.2 megapixels
ProcessorDIGIC 6DIGIC 5+
Autofocus45 (all cross-type)19 (all cross-type)
Metering7560-pixel/63-segment63-zone
Continuous Burst / BufferMax. 7 fps / 110 JPEG or 25 RAWMax. 7 fps / 40 JPEG or 15 RAW
Custom Functions2623
Viewfinder100% FOV coverage, approx. 0.95x magnification98% FOV coverage, approx. 0.95x magnification
LCD ScreenVari-angle 3-inch 3:2 Clear View II TFT touch screen LCD, approx. 1.04 million dotsVari-angle 3-inch TFT LCD, approx. 1.04 million dots
Price$ 759.00