Canon 80D Field Test

Tried-and-true design; nice upgrades to features & performance

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The articulated LCD and fast Dual Pixel CMOS AF let me snap this up-close, wide-angle shot from a low angle.
18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM: 18mm, f/4.5, 1/320s, ISO 100

Building upon the 70D's solid featureset

The Canon 80D is, in general, an evolution to the revolution that was the 70D from 2013. The predecessor brought about the introduction of Dual Pixel CMOS AF, which finally allowed a DSLR to autofocus in live view mode more or less like a mirrorless camera. Live view AF on the 70D was very fast and didn't hunt or wobble like contrast-detect AF live view focusing systems from other DSLRs. It also greatly improved Canon's AF performance with HD-DSLR video as well -- much better tracking of moving subjects and nice, cinematic focus transitions that were smooth and wobble-free. It's no surprise, then, that the 80D successor therefore includes Dual Pixel CMOS AF as well.

With the newer Canon 80D, there's now a higher-resolution 24MP sensor, upgraded image processor and an improved autofocus system, but the camera, overall, looks and feels very much like its predecessor. It's a fairly straightforward affair with the new EOS 80D: classic Canon styling and controls that are all familiar territory for seasoned Canon shooters, which in my opinion is fantastic. Placed between the more entry-level Rebel cameras and the more rugged, higher-performance 7D Mark II, the Canon 80D sits in a comfortable middle ground with features and performance aimed at both advanced consumers and enthusiasts, as well as those looking for a solid array of video features and capabilities.

18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM: 18mm, f/5, 1/40s, ISO 100, -0.3EV

Familiar territory in terms of design and controls

Sharing a nearly identical body design to the 70D, the new Canon 80D is simple and easy to use if you're familiar with the Canon EOS system. As a long-time Canon user myself, the design and layout of the 80D's controls were very straightforward and logical. As with many other EOS cameras, the majority of the most-used controls are all within close reach of your thumb and forefinger while you grip the camera.

As I've pointed out in a number of other reviews, I'm left-eye dominant, and the Canon 80D gets a thumbs-up from me for good button placement and eye-cup design that fits with my shooting style. The inclusion of a dedicated AF-On button that's also far enough to the right, plus an eyecup that protrudes out just enough, makes the 80D easy to operate (especially if you like to use back-button focusing), without the awkwardness of my thumb pressing up against my forehead while the camera is raised to my eye.

Notice the lack of the joystick control on the rear of the 80D (left) compare to the 7D Mark II (right).

Compared to the 7D and 7D Mark II, the one small nitpick I have with the 80D's controls is the lack of the handy joystick button on the rear of the camera. On the 7D-series cameras, this button is very conveniently located right next to your thumb, and I find it much easier to use in combination with the AF point selection button to quickly change the AF point than the multi-directional control pad of the 80D -- which is located much lower down on the camera.

Other than that quibble, the Canon 80D is fun and easy to use. The size is excellent without being too large and too heavy. It's still much larger and more substantial than a number of mirrorless cameras, and much bigger than Canon's more compact Rebel series cameras. What you gain with this extra heft, however, is a very ergonomic, contoured grip that fits very comfortably in your hand with nice, well-placed buttons and dials. Plus, this additional heft, compared to more ultra-light cameras, helps with stability, too, especially when using longer and heavier lenses.

Lovely touchscreen display, but I'd prefer just a tilting screen

Like the 70D and 60D before it, the Canon 80D provides an articulated touchscreen LCD. While it's a nice feature, particularly for video shooting on a tripod, I'm much more in favor of a simpler tilting LCD. I find the flip-out screens just more fiddly to deal with, and there's a higher risk in knocking the screen into something since it sticks out to the side. It feels much more streamlined and easier to just tilt a screen up or down when shooting from various angles. When shooting in portrait orientation, I often just leave the LCD panel flat against the camera, though I admit a fully articulating design can be helpful when shooting this way.

18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM: 79mm, f/5.6, 1/100s, ISO 320

Despite my personal opinion to its physical design, I'm very pleased the LCD's touchscreen functionality. The touch sensitivity is great and very responsive (even with the "Standard" sensitivity setting), and overall, it works really well -- just like other touch-capable Canon DSLRs I've used. Tap to focus is a very handy feature, especially for video, and one of the primary things I take advantage of with a touchscreen-capable camera. In fact, in my day-to-day use of the Canon 80D (or most touch-capable cameras), tapping the screen to move the AF point is all I really need from a camera's touchscreen.

You can even navigate menus using the touchscreen, too, but I tend to stick to physical controls to navigate menus. This is probably due to a combination of motor-memory from years of non-touchscreen Canon cameras and a menu UI that's not really optimized for touch. The 80D's Quick Menu interface, on the other hand, is very easy to use via touch, should you choose to do so, with large icons that are easy to tap.

In outdoor conditions, the screen on the Canon 80D does an okay job at combatting glare, but I found it was still problematic in very bright, sunny conditions. The articulated design can alleviate this somewhat, letting you tilt the screen away from the glare, but sometimes it's hard to avoid. Elsewhere, the screen is bright, crisp and easy to see.

Excellent image quality, good dynamic range & pleasing high ISOs

No surprises here: the Canon 80D can capture outstanding images, with crisp fine detail, great dynamic range and nice, vibrant colors. Featuring a newly developed 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor, the 80D is capable of excellent resolving power, especially if you use a sharp lens. At low ISOs, the Canon 80D captures lots of clean, crisp fine detail and bright colors, even with just the Standard Picture Style (if you're a JPEG shooter).

18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM: 18mm, f/13, 1/200s, ISO 100, +0.3EV
I found the Canon 80D metered things accurately and the sensor's dynamic range was quite good, and it was rare that I needed to really rescue images with lots of highlight or shadow recovery. That said, here in this highly-edited example photo of a high-contrast scene, using the RAW file in Lightroom, I was able to recover lots of shadow detail in the tree as well as pull down areas of overexposed sky.

Despite the higher megapixel count, I found higher ISO images very pleasing, with rather finely-grained noise characteristics and a good amount of fine detail. In my day-to-day shooting with the 80D, I rarely found myself needing to bump the ISO much past 1600-3200. At those ISO levels, images, especially from RAW files without heavy noise reduction applied, display lots of fine detail and well-controlled noise levels.

18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM: 135mm, f/5.6, 1/250s, ISO 2000

For a quick test, I did shoot some images at very high ISOs, including the maximum native ISO of 16,000 and the expanded high ISO of 25,600, all of which you can see over on the 80D Gallery page. Looking at straight-from-the-camera JPEGs, with default noise reduction applied, the 80D does a decent job of reducing noise, but as the ISO climbs there is a noticeable drop in detail and the overall image becomes quite soft when you reach the higher end of the ISO scale. Checking the corresponding RAW files without any noise reduction or sharpening applied, the true affect of noise is much more apparent. At ISO 1600, for instance, noise is not too bad in my opinion, and there's still a good amount of detail present. When you really crank the ISO, however, detail takes a hit and noise becomes very intrusive, especially once you reach or exceed ISO 12,800. If you don't zoom into 100%, you can still discern sharpness and detail these extreme ISOs, but noise is quite problematic even without zooming in. This is to be expected at such a high ISO from an APS-C sensor, though, and high ISO performance does appear to be improved over its predecessor, but perhaps still not quite as good as leading competitors.

Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II: 70mm, f/5.6, 1/30s, ISO 100 (Tripod used)
The same scene, shot at ISO 25,600. This is a 100% crop from the RAW file without any NR or sharpening applied. (Click here for the RAW file.)

New Nano USM kit lens is versatile, but not the sharpest

Our Canon 80D shipped with the all-new EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM kit lens, and while the zoom range is very versatile for a single-lens walkaround setup and its autofocus performance is great, I didn't find the lens all that sharp. It's decently sharp overall, but to really take advantage of the 80D's higher-res image sensor, it's preferable to use a sharper lens.

Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II: 70mm, f/5, 1/125s, ISO 100
100% crop from the image above.

Particularly, corner sharpness of the new 18-135mm kit lens wasn't all that great to my eyes, and I also found fairly strong chromatic aberration. CA and purple fringing was particularly noticeable in the corners, when looking at the uncorrected RAW files. Thankfully, I found Lightroom did a good job correcting for CA and fringing. The 80D does offer in-camera CA, vignetting and distortion correction based on specific lenses, and applies these corrections to JPEG images. Chromatic aberration and vignetting corrections are applied by default, while distortion correction is disabled. You can disable all three corrections if you want. These corrections are not applied to RAW, so you'll need to finesse the RAW files manually to clear up any issues.

Canon 80D + 18-135mm Nano USM Kit Lens: Chromatic Aberration & Fringing
18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM: 18mm, f/5.6, 1/250s, ISO 100
A 100% crop from an unedited, uncorrected RAW file of the above image using the new 18-135mm kit lens.
(Click for full-res JPEG conversion without LR corrections.)
Here's a follow-up crop, showing the CA and fringing cleaned up after minor adjustments to the RAW files in Adobe Lightroom 6.
(Click for full-res JPEG conversion with LR corrections.)

Subtle, but natural fine detail thanks to "Fine Detail" Picture Style

One rather interesting new feature on the Canon 80D is the inclusion of Canon's new "Fine Detail" Picture Style, which first popped up in the professional 5DS and 5DS R models. Functioning more like an in-camera Unsharp Mask, the Fine Detail Picture Style aims to make much more refined sharpening and much cleaner, crisper fine detail. There was a big improvement to clarity and detail from in-camera JPEGs from the 5DS/R cameras when using Fine Detail mode, however I observed a much less noticeable effect on the 80D with Fine Detail compared to its default "Standard" Picture Style.

Looking at this comparison below, using Fine Detail and Standard Picture Styles, there appears to be only a very slight difference to my eyes. The fine detail from "Fine Detail" mode seems slightly more "natural" while the sharpening applied with Standard Picture Style is ever so slightly stronger. The overall contrast also seems slightly reduced when using Fine Detail. Of course, all of this only affects JPEG processing, so if you're shooting RAW only, this won't be much of an issue for you.

Canon 80D Picture Styles: "Fine Detail" vs "Standard" Picture Style
Fine Detail: 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM: 135mm, f/7.1, 1/40s, ISO 100 (Tripod used)
Standard: 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM: 135mm, f/7.1, 1/40s, ISO 100 (Tripod used)
Fine Detail: 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM: 124mm, f/8, 1/20s, ISO 100 (Tripod used)
Standard: 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM: 124mm, f/8, 1/20s, ISO 100 (Tripod used)

Prosumer-level performance & versatile, improved AF system

Overall, the Canon 80D is a quick and nimble camera with solid performance for a prosumer-level DSLR. Comparing specs, the 80D isn't all that different to the 70D in terms of continuous burst speed, at around 7fps. According to our lab tests, the 80D tested ever so slightly below that at around 6.7-6.8fps, which is similar to what we got on the 70D. Buffer depths were however significantly improved, despite the larger files. For example, the 70D could only capture 14 RAW and 7 RAW+JPEG frames before slowing down in our tests, while the 80D managed 24 and 19 frames respectively, when tested with the same fast UHS-I card. (See our Performance page for more details.) Though it's certainly no burst-shooting speed demon, like the 1D X Mark II or even the 7D Mark II, the nearly 7fps high-speed burst rate on the 80D is more than capable for decent action, sports photography and other moving subjects.

Traditional through-the-viewfinder autofocusing was spot-on and performed as expected based on my experience with Canon DSLRs. Phase-detect AF performance was quick, accurate and consistent, and I felt like the camera nailed focus more or less all the time. In other words, I never experienced any oddities with AF or other inexplicable AF behaviors or performance issues.

Canon does state that the 80D can focus down to an impressive -3.0EV, compared to the -0.5EV-rating for the 70D's AF system. Most of the time, I never found myself in locations dark enough to have AF fail on me, but when it does get really really dark then, yes, the 80D can fail to autofocus. I found it had to get very dark though; dark enough that many other cameras would have similar issues. For the most part, the Canon 80D focused very well in a variety of indoor and outdoor lighting conditions. I did notice a slight slow down in autofocus in dimmer, indoor conditions and on lower contrast or other poorly illuminated subjects, but I more or less felt this was par for the course and nothing out of the ordinary.

18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM: 18mm, f/3.5, 1/30s, ISO 800

New "Nano USM" AF motor is great: super-quick & super quiet

What was particularly impressive about autofocus was the new "Nano USM" focusing technology of the new 18-135mm kit lens. Though I mostly shot with the new zoom, I did switch back and forth between a couple other lenses, including the 24-70mm f/2.8L II. While the traditional USM focusing on the 24-70mm is very quick in its own right, the 18-135mm IS USM was amazingly fast. Even in dimmer, indoor settings, the new 18-135mm focused nearly instantaneously; quickly acquiring focus between near and far subjects all in the time it took me to half-press the shutter button.

The new kit lens was also impressively silent at focusing -- perfect for video. In quiet situations, the 24-70mm's AF motor is audible, with subtle shifting or sliding sounds, but the Nano USM kit lens is absolutely silent. I had to put my ear right up to the lens to even hear anything while the lens focused. For video recording, the menu does warn about picking up lens drive noise in the audio due to focusing and recommends using an external microphone. While it is excellent advice, I tested this out in a quite room and found the 18-135mm IS USM lens made only the faintest of "whirring" noises (for lack of a better descriptor), which was barely detectable in the audio track. Of course, using other non-STM or non-Nano USM lenses will probably be louder when it comes to focusing, so it is indeed good to be cautious about focusing noises when using the built-in microphone.

18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM: 18mm, f/4.5, 1/400s, ISO 100

45-pt AF system is nice, but missing a few AF area modes

Perhaps my only real disappointment with the AF system on the Canon 80D is its more simplistic set of focus point configurations. While the upgraded 45-point array is a fantastic improvement over the 19-point system of the predecessor, allowing for much more control and adjustment for composition and getting your focus right where you need it, the 80D is lacking the handy AF Point Expansion and Spot AF modes from the 7D and 7D Mark II. The 80D only offers single-point AF, Zone AF (9 box), Large Zone AF (3 zones: left, right, center) and the full 45-point Auto AF area modes.

Considering the 80D is a lower-tiered camera than the 7D Mark II, I guess I shouldn't be that surprised that these options are missing. However, I was out shooting with the 80D one day and wanted the higher-precision Spot AF mode. The motor memory of toggling over to Spot AF with my personal 7D camera threw me for a loop with the 80D. At first I simply thought these extra AF modes had not been enabled, since AF Point Expansion and Spot AF are disabled by default on the 7D. Lo and behold, after searching the Custom Function menus, it dawned on me that the 80D does not offer these modes (nor did the 70D, in fact).

The lack of these two additional AF point configurations are certainly not a deal-breaker, but I certainly wish they were offered on this camera. The AF Point Expansion is great for wildlife, sports and other moving subjects that can quickly move out from under your selected AF point. The Spot AF is nice for close-up shots and other photos where you want precise focusing, like getting the focus right on your subject's eye when taking portraits.

18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM: 74mm, f/7.1, 1/125s, ISO 200

Teleconverter-friendly f/8 autofocus

While the Canon EOS 80D might not have all the AF point configurations as the higher-end EOS cameras, it does offer wildlife photographers and other users of telephoto lenses a nice benefit: f/8 autofocus. Unlike the earlier 70D, the 80D is now capable of autofocusing down to f/8, which is very helpful for those using supertelephoto lenses in combination with teleconverters. For example, rigging up my Canon 400mm f/5.6L lens and 1.4x TC -- which brings the maximum aperture right to f/8 -- I was able to autofocus with this combo without issue. Focusing was quick and snappy, as if I were using other lenses with brighter apertures.

For f/8 AF, the number of AF points available depends on the lens and teleconverter combination used. For instance, with my 400mm f/5.6L and 1.4x "Mark II" teleconverter, I was only able to use the center AF point. Most f/8 combos will need to use the center point. However, if you happen to use the newer Mark III version of Canon's teleconverters combined with the 100-400mm f/4.5–5.6L IS II (+ 1.4x III) or 200-400mm f/4L IS (+ 2x III) lenses, then you can utilize a total of 27 AF points for increased versatility. The 80D manual provides a table indicating how many AF points are available for a given lens and extender combination.

Lightning-quick Dual Pixel CMOS AF is fantastic

Of course, you can't mention the Canon 80D, with its Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology, and not mention live view autofocus. As I expected, when shooting stills with the 80D in live view, the AF is fantastic. It is lightning quick, I found, being nearly instantaneous upon half-pressing the shutter button. Dare I say it: it feels like a mirrorless camera. (In a good way.)

The high-performance live view focusing makes it much easier to snap photos from low or high angles in combination with the articulated screen. Plus, the handy touchscreen capabilities make is super simple to put your AF "box" right where you need it, without having to deal with focusing and then recomposing. I do wish there was a way to adjust the size of the AF box for more precise focusing, like you can with a number of mirrorless cameras, but the 80D at least does offer an easy way to quickly magnify the scene to make sure you're focusing right where you want (and the magnify view works with AF and not just manual focus).

18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM: 59mm, f/5, 1/100s, ISO 125

Robust video features: Great AF, 1080/60p but still no 4K

As with the 70D, the new Canon 80D is very much a hybrid camera; one which puts a big focus on video features in addition to stills. As mentioned, the 80D's Dual Pixel CMOS AF makes a world of difference for live view-based still photography, but it's hugely beneficial for videography as well.

The EOS 80D does a good job of keeping subjects in focus continuously while shooting video. The nature of Dual Pixel CMOS AF with on-sensor phase-detect means there's no distracting and unsightly focusing hunting or wobbling as it adjusts focus. There were a few times while capturing video where the camera failed to focus, causing the lens to rack focus in an attempt to get the subject sharp, therefore disrupting my video clip. However, the cause could be a combination of things, not least of which being user error, such as attempting to focus too closely and outside the lens' minimum focus distance. As I found with still image shooting, the Canon 80D's AF (both traditional or with live view) can slow down or fail to focus in very dim or on very low-contrast subjects, so this can also happen with video.

There is a noticeable difference between focusing behaviors with live view for stills and video, however. For stills, focusing is lightning-fast, and the lens snaps into focus on your subject extremely quickly. However, with video, autofocus behaves much more smoothly, more cinematic. You can adjust this focus adjustment speed for Movie Servo AF, which is great. The default AF speed is set to 0, with the ability to speed it up to +2 or slow it down to a whopping -7. Cranking the AF speed down to -7 makes AF speeds almost excruciatingly slow, I felt. But, for more cinematic work, if your scene requires a dramatic long focus transition, then the 80D offers it, without having to resort to manual focus. For general use, I found the default focusing speed plenty quick while still having a nice, smooth transition speed.

Canon 80D Sample Video #1 - 1080/30p
1,920 x 1,080, H.264, Progressive, 30 fps, ALL-I, MOV
Download Original (170.8MB MOV)

1080/60p is a welcome addition, but limited to IPB-compressed MP4 video

Being a multimedia-focused camera, it's nice to find improved video modes on the 80D, including 1080/60p video. The 60p frame rate is great for faster action shots and if you want to add some subtle slow-motion effects to your videos. However, while I like that Canon offers both ALL-I higher-quality bitrates as well as the more space-conscious IPB compression, 1080/60p is sadly not available in ALL-I mode. You'll have to compromise with the lower-quality IPB setting for 60p.

Canon 80D Sample Video - 1080/60p
1,920 x 1,080, H.264, Progressive, 60 fps, IPB, MP4
Download Original (141.3MB MP4)

That being said, I found the video quality of the IPB 1080/60p video as well as that of the higher-quality 1080/30p and 24p formats, to be quite good. There's lots of crisp detail and pleasing, natural colors when using both the default Standard Picture Style and the new Fine Detail option. Shooting at night, video quality can certainly get quite noisy and grainy, but the camera still managed to capture a good amount of fine detail.

Canon 80D Nighttime Sample Video #1 - 1080/30p
1,920 x 1,080, H.264, Progressive, 30 fps, ALL-I, MOV
Download Original 259.8MB MOV)

Advanced videographers will enjoy the addition of a headphone jack

On the audio side, the Canon 80D offers a lot of amenities to appeal to the more advanced users including both an external microphone input and now a headphone jack for monitoring audio. One small detail that I really liked about the headphone functionality is that you can control the monitor volume to your headphones. Plus, while video is being recorded, you can use the touchscreen to silently adjust the headphone volume. (In fact, all on-screen button taps have their "beeps" disabled while video is recording.)

Canon 80D Sample Video - 1080/24p
1,920 x 1,080, H.264, Progressive, 24 fps, ALL-I, MOV
Download Original (225.9MB MOV)

Kit lens' image stabilizer is good, but has its limits

The included 18-135mm kit lens features image stabilization, which is great for handheld video. It is noticeably helpful in smoothing out small bumps and vibrations from hand-holding the camera, but it certainly can't replace the rock-steady stability of a tripod. Hand-held video, despite the image stabilization still looks, well, hand-held.

Canon 80D Nighttime Sample Video #2 - 1080/30p
1,920 x 1,080, H.264, Progressive, 30 fps, ALL-I, MOV
Download Original (243.2MB MOV)

Overall, the Canon 80D's video capabilities are rather robust and very capable. The glaring omission being, of course, the increasingly popular 4K resolution. While many people may not yet have a 4K monitor, it's hard to argue against the benefits it brings to video post-production thanks to the massive increase in resolution. For example, even if you don't need the full 4K resolution, you can easily crop-in and re-frame 4K footage for a 1080-sized frame without affecting image quality. You can also better utilize software-based image stabilizing effects without having to re-scale or stretch the stabilized footage back into the original frame size (as long as your editing for a smaller-than-4K project).

One other disappointment is that video recording time is still limited to 29 minutes and 59 seconds, after which point you'll need to manually restart recording. If you need to record steady, single-take videos for long periods of time, the Canon 80D might not be the best tool for that purpose, but for most other video endeavors, the 80D is a solid video camera.

Comprehensive wireless connectivity with one minor flaw

Unlike the higher-end 7D Mark II, the Canon 80D conveniently offers built-in Wi-Fi connectivity just like its 70D predecessor. It also now offers Near-Field Communication (NFC) for those with compatible Android-based mobile devices. The 7D II, rather, offers built-in GPS, which I personally find vastly less useful. I love the ability to remotely control my cameras without the need for extra hardware, as well as quickly transfer select shots to my mobile device to share socially.

The setup to pair to a smartphone or tablet is fairly straightforward, even more so if you have an Android device with NFC, as all you need to do is tap the side of the camera to get things connected. For me, with my iOS devices, there are a few more steps involved, though overall it's not too bad. As with most other cameras, the 80D can serve as its own wireless hotspot, which allows you to directly connect your phone to the camera's network. You can also connect the 80D to your home or office wireless network and pair devices that way, but I opted for the simpler, direct route. Once your device is connected to the camera's Wi-Fi signal, simply open the companion app, and you're good to go.

18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM: 97mm, f/5.6, 1/125s, ISO 640, -0.3EV

New companion app, but similar functionality; robust remote control features

Since the time of the 70D, Canon has updated the companion app from the "EOS Remote" app to the "Camera Connect" app, however the functionality is more or less the same, as is the user interface in general. For remote shooting, the app offers a lot of settings adjustments, such as exposure compensation and ISO speed, as well as shutter speed and aperture depending on the particular shooting mode you're in. For example, you can't change from, say, Aperture Priority to Shutter Priority mode via the app, but if you manually change the mode dial on the camera, it does not interrupt the Wi-Fi connection and the settings change is reflected in the app. In addition to taking photos, you can also start and stop video recording, though only MP4-format videos can be transferred over to mobile devices; the higher-quality ALL-I MOV-format video cannot.

Where's true tap-to-focus?

Here's my biggest gripe with the app, though: no tap-to-focus! While the camera itself offers tap-to-focus capabilities on the LCD screen (which works great), tapping on the live view display within the mobile app does not re-focus; it simply moves the AF box and adjusts the metering if needed.

In order to re-focus, you must enable the display of a secondary AF button (see screenshot), then tap and hold on it as if you were doing a half-press of the camera's shutter release button. I'm scratching my head as to why this is set up the way it is. It feels rather clunky and adds a time-wasting extra step in the whole process of taking a photo. Even on the camera itself, while the wireless connection is established, tapping on the LCD will not refocus. On other cameras I've tried, like the Olympus E-M1 for example, its wireless tap-to-focus works flawlessly.

Overall, the app works okay, apart from my big pet peeve I just discussed. I did find the app lagged a bit when it came to tapping to adjust the focus box, even while the phone was right next to the camera. Image and video transfers are pretty quick, though, which is nice.

Summary: Tried-and-true design with an array of improvements

Design-wise, the Canon 80D is a pure, no frills, tried-and-true Canon DSLR. Its size, shape, and control scheme is classic EOS. For those familiar with the Canon platform, the Canon 80D offers nice, comfortable familiarity. It simply works and operates as you'd expect it to, which is fantastic.

It does offer some new tricks, though. Its new, higher-resolution 24MP APS-C sensor is capable of capturing excellent images with lots of fine detail and great dynamic range, especially at lower ISOs. Its beefed-up 45-point AF system offers more composition flexibility, and its f/8 focusing functionality is a welcome addition for all the wildlife and other supertelephoto shooters out there. The Canon 80D's performance numbers are decent, but don't show a major improvement over the earlier 70D except in buffer depths, despite the faster DIGIC 6 image processor.

Thanks to that new processor, though, the 80D now offers 1080/60p video, but sadly no 4K video. The camera, unsurprisingly, maintains the Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology introduced on the 70D, and simply put, it works fantastically, for both stills and video. Video shooters will also appreciate the mic jack and the new headphone jack.

Overall, the Canon 80D keeps the 70D tradition alive as a great all-around DSLR for both still photographers and videographers. It is Canon's most hybrid, multimedia-focused DSLR (well, apart from the über-pricey EOS 1D C, perhaps). And while it's not as rugged as the higher-end 7D Mark II, it's a big step up in terms of controls, features and general performance than the more entry-level Rebel-series cameras. At this price point of a bit over US$1000 body-only, the 80D is, in my mind, a lot of camera for the money.

 



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