Comparing a full-frame DSLR to an APS-C sensor camera may seem a little odd, but Canon shooters looking for an all-rounder new DSLR that can do it all may well come down to choosing between Canon’s new 6D MkII (which recently replaced the original 6D) or the budget-friendly 80D, which replaced the 70D in 2016. Both cameras share similar features while offering something different too, so let’s take a deeper look into the specs sheets to see what each camera could offer you…
Despite having differently sized sensors, the dimensions and design of both cameras is actually fairly similar, with the 80D just a fraction lighter at 730g compared to the 6D MkII’s 765g footprint. Both bodies offer 3-inch fully articulated LCDs with exactly the same resolution (1040k-dot), which is useful for not only setting up high or low compositions, but also for shielding the screen from strong sunlight. What’s more, the articulated touch-sensitive screens are also useful when using the cameras to shoot video footage.
As the 80D is a crop sensor camera, it can use both the EF and EF-S mount lenses, while the 6D MkII takes only the EF lenses. There is a huge selection of both lenses available so photographers will not be short of choice. Both cameras benefit from weather sealing, so photographers don’t have to stop when the rain starts. Also, both models feature Wi-Fi to help transfer images to smart devices, but only the 6D MkII features GPS, which is a useful feature for landscape photographers who wish to map location for future use. Finally for the build features, both cameras feature a single SD memory card slot.
The 6D MkII’s full-frame CMOS sensor creates 26.2-megapixels, while the APS-C sensor 80D isn’t that far behind, offering 24.2-megapixels. The 6D MkII can claim to have the wider ISO range though, offering an expandable ISO of 50-102400, while the 80D is limited to 100-25600. The 80D does strike back however when it comes to bursts mode as it can fire up to 7 frames per second while the 6D MkII serves up 6.5 frames per second. One area of similarity between the two cameras is the autofocus system, with the two Canon’s boasting 45-AF points, 27 of which support f/8, meaning they can be used when a teleconverter is paired with a zoom lens. Whatsmore, both cameras share the same 7,560-pixel RGB+IR metering system.
The 80D is seen by many photographers as a great first step on the videographer ladder thanks to a number of useful features. Able to shoot Full HD at up to 60p, the 80D’s vari-angle LCD is touch-sensitive, making it easily to select a point of focus. Additionally, the 80D has external ports for headphones and an external microphone. The 6D MkII’s video features mirror the 80Ds, although it doesn’t have a port for headphones, so audio can’t be monitored unless you have an external accessory that enables sound monitoring. The 6D MkII does have an in-built 5-axis stabilisation mode that activates when filming movie footage. Both cameras can record movies files up to 30 minutes in length or a file size of 4GB, making each camera a highly versatile tool in the hands of a creative videographer.
The Canon 6D MkII and 80D share many features but there’s also plenty of difference between the models, too. The 80D has a built-in pop-up flash with a decent Guide Number of 12. This will provide more than enough illumination to light close up subjects in dim conditions but, like the original 6D, the MkII has to rely on external flashguns for artificial lighting. The 80D also has the edge on shutter speeds, maxing out at 1/8000sec, while the 6D MkII tops out at 1/4000sec. Along with boasting the higher ISO range, the 6D MkII strikes back in terms of battery life, offering 1200 shots between charges, compared to the 80D’s 960. Additionally, the 6D MkII has built-in Bluetooth, which is absent from the 80D.
With both cameras offering similar resolution, autofocus systems, max burst rates and video specs, the final variable to look at is price. As you’d expect, the older, smaller sensor 80D is sub-£1000, placing it in the hands of both newcomers to photographer and videographers looking for a second shooter camera. The 6D MkII is a new release and currently retails on Digital Rev for £1,430, making it more a semi-pro buy.