Canon 80D Video Features, Specs & Analysis

by Jaron Schneider | Posted

The Canon 80D, from a physical standpoint, is built to be familiar to any Canon user regardless of whether they are upgrading from a prior model, or stepping down from a more professional body. It's something Canon does extremely well, and the 80D is no exception. All the buttons and features are exactly where you expect to find them, and that makes getting started with the 80D very quick and easy. As a plus, the 80D includes both a mic and headphone jack, so recording audio is much easier and more streamlined.

Unfortunately, video from the 80D is subpar compared to others at its price point in overall video performance as it suffers from a lack of sharpness, lackluster color rendition and all around video "quality."

Product Image

Though it does offer Full HD at 60p (59.94) frames per second, the resulting footage quality is well below the market standard for this segment. The Canon 80D has a maximum bitrate of 90 Mbps in either 1080p24 (23.98) or 1080p30 (29.97) in MOV format. This bitrate is not particularly low, but it also does not translate into the best quality, leaving footage with a lack of "pop." At 59.94 frames per second, that bitrate falls to 60 Mbps and is recorded in the MP4 format.

In all formats, footage not only feels desaturated (even at default image profile settings), but also lacks clarity. Though you can tell what is in focus, nothing feels critically sharp. It's akin to how video looked for everyone 6-10 years ago. Back then it was the norm, but today such a look is most definitely an outlier.

Luckily, thanks to all the footage looking somewhat muddy and with poor texture detail, shooting in Canon's "Light" format (which drops the bitrate to 12 Mbps) is a solid option, as footage does not visibly look all that different. If you don't plan to grade footage in post, there is no reason to shoot at the higher bitrate.

ISO performance is good, with footage looking quite pleasant past ISO 6400, with even ISO 12,800 being usable in some situations. Though noise is introduced, it's not necessarily deal-breaking. That said, stay away from the expanded ISO of 25,600; there is simply too much noise.

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The touch focus of the 80D is a shining standout feature, showing once again that Canon's Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology is quite formidable. When tapping among different focus points in an image, the 80D will focus quickly and naturally among them. The "naturally" is key here, as the 80D does not "hunt" around at all when finding a focus point, instead it is able to rack in and out directly to focus points as if done by hand. Canon has done an excellent job in recent camera models with making the autofocus motion look better, and has therefore more than expanded its usability. There was once a time I would never consider using autofocus in video, but cameras like the 80D have changed that opinion.

It's worth noting is that the Canon 80D does not have any sort of in-body sensor stabilization, so you will need a tripod, a great image stabilizing lens, or a gimbal in order to effectively use the 80D for video.

Canon 80D Video Speeds & Feeds

  • Full HD (1920 x 1080)
    • MOV format (ALL-I)
      • 30p (29.97) | 90Mbps
      • 25p (25.00) | 90Mbps
      • 24p (23.98) | 90Mbps
    • MP4 format (IPB Standard)
      • 60p (59.94) | 60Mbps
      • 50p (50.00) | 60Mbps
      • 30p (29.97) | 30Mbps
      • 25p (25.00) | 30Mbps
      • 24p (23.98) | 30Mbps
      • HDR Movie 30p (29.97) | 30Mbps
      • HDR Movie 25p (25.00) | 30Mbps
    • MP4 format (IPB Light)
      • 30p (29.97) | 12Mbps
      • 25p (25.00) | 12Mbps
  • HD (1280 x 720)
    • MP4 format (IPB Standard)
      • 60p (59.94) | 26Mbps
      • 50p (50.00) | 26Mbps
    • MP4 format (IPB Light)
      • 30p (29.97) | 4Mbps
      • 25p (25.00) | 4Mbps

Canon 80D Notable Video Features

  • Records in 16:9 aspect ratio
  • Offers NTSC and PAL modes
  • Can record in MOV with intraframe compression (ALL-I) or MP4 with interframe compression (IPB Standard or Light)
  • Video compression uses H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding
  • Full HD HDR movie shooting
  • No clean HDMI out
  • Full HD Timelapse mode (MOV only)
  • Capable of slow motion when recording in 1080p60
  • Offers smooth continuous autofocus thanks to Dual Pixel sensor AF; no contrast-based AF
  • All shooting modes, including SCN modes, are usable during video capture
  • Auto ISO can be used during video capture
  • Digital zoom: approximately 3-10x telephoto zoom can be added during video capture via option in the Q menu
  • Three AF modes can be used during video capture: Face + Tracking, FlexiZone - Multi, FlexiZone - Single
  • Adjustable Movie Servo AF speed (-7 to +2)
  • Adjustable Movie Servo AF tracking sensitivity (-3 to +3)
  • Audio balancing, either from built-in microphone or using mic jack, can be adjusted in 10 levels, five below and 5 above the camera's neutral point in the Q menu. For greater control, additional options are available from the camera's main menu. Auto and Disable are also available.
  • Wind filter (Auto/Disable)
  • Attenuator (Enable/Disable)
  • Audio is linear PCM for MOV, AAC for MP4
  • Video duration limited to 29 minutes, 59 seconds, after which the camera automatically stops recording
  • Max file size 4GB (if file size exceeds 4GB a new file will be created automatically)
  • UHS Speed Class 3 or faster card needed for MOV recording; SD Speed Class 10 for IPB Standard at 60/50p; SD Speed Class 6 or faster for other IPB Standard modes; SD Speed Class 4 or faster for IPB Light
  • Exposure compensation in video capture can be set to ±3 stops in 1/3- or 1/2-stop increments
  • All white balance modes are available, including auto white balance
  • Video shooting provides 11 different and adjustable picture styles
  • The 80D offers automatic brightness and contrast correction. This can be turned off, or set to low, standard or high.
  • The camera's built-in creative filters can be accessed during video capture
  • When recording in MP4, "video snapshot" is available to capture stills from video clips
  • There is only one video recording "HUD" available, which shows exposure settings, time remaining on memory card, and battery life. No other option (such as one that would show a digital level, curves, etc) is available on the 80D.

Summary

The Canon 80D offers a lot to entice burgeoning video shooters. With good ISO performance, an easy-to-use design that spans all Canon DSLRs, and great autofocus along with a flip-out screen with top-tier touch capability, it checks just about every box. Unfortunately, Canon didn't pack the 80D with their best video quality, and users might find themselves asking why footage they see online or on TV looks so much better than what they are getting out of their 80D. As such, the 80D remains a nice choice for beginners videographers as well as still photographers who want to experiment with video, but the camera lacks the "punch" that any intermediate-and-beyond level video shooter would be looking for.

Pros:

  • Excellent autofocus
  • Good ISO performance
  • Camera body includes a headphone jack and mic jack
  • Offers 1080p60

Cons:

  • Low bitrate footage lacks sharpness
  • Colors and textures are muddy
  • Lacks 4K resolution

 



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