2016 prosumer camera shootout: Canon EOS 80D vs. Nikon D500 vs. Sony A6300

By Marcus Wong - 2 Oct 2016

Canon EOS 80D

Canon EOS 80D


Design, Handling & General Overview

The EOS 80D is one of Canon’s latest enthusiast-grade cameras, and slots just behind last year’s EOS 7D Mark II in terms of capabilities, rand eplacing the EOS 70D before it.

Like the 7D Mark II, it uses Dual Pixel CMOS AF for faster AF performance during Live View mode. It also uses the DIGIC 6 image processing; but unlike the 7D Mark II, it has only a single DIGIC 6 processor, which is probably why the continuous shooting rate is down to 7.0fps from 10.0fps compared to the older model. There are also fewer cross-type AF points (45 vs. 65 in the 7D Mark II), but that doesn’t mean the 80D is a slouch in that department by any means, as 27 of the central points are able to focus down to f/8.

It covers an ISO range of 100-16,000 (stills) with ISO 25,600 available via boost. And it also gets continuous autofocus capabilities during live view when shooting stills, which can be handy when the action you’re trying to capture is a little too fast to track comfortably via the viewfinder.

The flip-out LCD is extremely handy for covering all sorts of angles; especially during video.

The 80D features a full touch interface, so you can easily go through menus.

In terms of design, the 80D retains the familiar design of the 7D Mark II, but adds a very handy flip-out LCD that offers full touch capabilities. This means that besides touch to focus and touch to shoot, you can use touch to navigate the menus just as you would a mobile phone. This makes it much faster to navigate, especially when using the quick menus that have become commonplace with every brand now.

The camera has a pretty deep hand grip, and seems to be nicely balanced. At just 650g, it’s certainly light enough to bring around easily. And the 960-frame battery life means you should be able to get through a day’s worth of photography with just one fully charged battery, which is always a good thing. Also, the EOS 80D has a pop-up flash which doubles as an AF assist lamp, which is helpful in low light situations.

Having the pop-up flash as an AF-assist light is definitely helpful in poor lighting situations.

The PZ-EZ1 offers controlled zoom with the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens; making it extremely useful for video.

One additional thing worth noting is that the kit lens that comes with the 80D is the first to support Canon’s new Power Zoom Adapter PZ-E1. This handy little kit is probably designed specifically for video enthusiasts, as it allows you to get seamless zoom action by way of an electrical motor. There's a choice of two zoom speeds, and it even supports remote control via the Camera Control app, making it quite a handy accessory. It's powered by four AAA batteries, which are easily obtainable.

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