Canon 80D DSLR Review

Canon 80D review
The Canon 80D is one of the top DSLR cameras on the market, appealing to advanced photographers. Canon

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The Bottom Line

Those seeking an intermediate level DSLR camera.will greatly appreciate the tremendous image quality found in the Canon 80D camera. However, as my Canon 80D DSLR review shows, this camera's price tag of more than $1,000 for the camera body alone may leave it out of the range for some photographers.

If you already own some lenses that can use the Canon EF lens mount, you'll be able to reuse those lenses with the 80D, which can make this package a bit more affordable.

Still, the Canon 80D's performance speeds and overall image quality are so good that the price tag is justified. If $1,000-plus is not in your DSLR camera budget, you can pick up plenty of sharp performers in the DSLR category for several hundred dollars. But you may want to see if you can squeeze a few hundred more into your budget to step up to the impressive Canon EOS 80D.

One area where the 80D struggles a bit is in terms of movie recording, where you have to enter a specific video recording mode before you can shoot a movie. Most cameras allow you to shoot movies with any mode. (Additionally, don't confuse the Canon 80D with the Nikon D80 DSLR, which is a camera released about a decade ago.)

Specifications

  • Resolution: 24.2 megapixels
  • Optical zoom: NA, uses interchangeable lenses
  • LCD: 3.0-inch, 1,040,000 pixels (touch and tilt enabled)
  • Maximum image size: 6000 x 4000 pixels
  • Battery: Rechargeable Li-Ion
  • Dimensions: 5.47 x 4.14 x 3.09 inches
  • Weight: 25.75 ounces (including battery and memory card)
  • Image sensor: APS-C (22.3x14.9 mm)
  • Movie mode: HD 1080p

Pros

  • Excellent image quality versus other APS-C sized image sensor cameras
  • 80D's performance speeds are high, thanks to DIGIC 6 image processor
  • Live View performance is strong because of camera's autofocus system
  • Battery life is above average
  • Touch screen and tiltable LCD are nice features to find
  • Plenty of choices in types of lenses you can use

Cons

  • 80D is priced above average versus other APS-C sized image sensor cameras
  • Must enter video mode to shoot movies
  • No 4K movie mode available
  • Shutter lag is a slight problem in some shooting circumstances
  • Feature set and control button collection may not appeal to extremely experienced photographers

Image Quality

If you primarily judge a camera's performance by the types of images it can create, you're going to have the Canon EOS 80D near the top of your list. Its image quality is outstanding in all types of lighting conditions. Although the 80D cannot quite match the quality of photos that you can shoot with a high-end DSLR camera that contains a full frame image sensor, this model's photos are as impressive as you're going to find in a DSLR with an APS-C sized image sensor.

It doesn't matter which shooting mode you've picked -- fully automatic, fully manual control, or anything in between -- the results in terms of high-level image quality are nearly identical. 

I was especially impressed with this camera's ability to create great looking photos when shooting indoors, where the lighting quality can vary greatly from room to room.

The 80D has very accurate colors when shooting indoors, which can be a tricky process because of the different types of lighting that are found indoors. 

When shooting in low light conditions, you can safely increase the ISO setting to 1600 or even 3200 without noticing problems with grain and noise in your images, which is an excellent performance level for a camera with an APS-C sized image sensor.

Performance

One reason why the Canon 80D is able to perform at a high level in Live View mode versus other DSLR cameras is because of the autofocus technology included with this model. Canon placed two photodiodes in each pixel, which speeds the process of dialing in the autofocus, resulting in strong performance speeds when using the LCD to frame the scene, which is an area where some DSLRs struggle.

Additionally, Canon gave the 80D its DIGIC 6 image processor, which is a powerful chip, allowing for very good performance speeds. 

The Canon 80D's burst mode performance is very good, where you can shoot at nearly 7 frames per second. I was especially impressed that I could shoot for nearly 3 seconds in JPEG plus RAW shooting mode before the camera's performance slowed because of a full memory buffer. And the camera has almost no shot to shot delay, meaning you'll rarely miss a spontaneous photo while waiting for the camera to store the previous image.

Design

If you're someone who doesn't like a hefty camera, you may want to look elsewhere for a smaller DSLR body than what's found with the Canon EOS 80D. This camera weighs more than 1.5 pounds with the battery and memory card inserted, and it's a blocky, thick camera, even when compared to other DSLRs. I found that the 80D was relatively easy to hold -- thanks to its large right-hand grip -- but you'll start to notice this camera's heft after carrying it around for half an hour or more.

Canon included Wi-Fi with this model, allowing you to share your photos immediately with social networking sites. Because the 80D has very strong battery life, you will be able to use the Wi-Fi in short bursts, but understand that using this feature for extended periods will likely drain your battery.

Finally, Canon included a touchscreen LCD that can tilt and swivel away from the camera body, which is a great feature to find in a camera in this price range. Although most DSLR manufacturers choose to only offer touch screens on beginner-level cameras, the touchscreen greatly simplifies operation even for intermediate level DSLRs.

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