Canon hasn't been big on announcements and innovation recently, but that doesn’t mean that they aren't doing anything - and the recently updated middle-level Canon EOS 80D is a great example of this. It features such nice additions as increased resolution APS-C sized sensor which now contains 24 million pixels, new and fast DIGIC 6 processor, video recording at 1080p with 60fps, WI-FI and NFC.
Canon 80D Key Features
- 24MP Sensor
- Native ISO up to 16,000, Extend: 25,600
- Video 1920 x 1080p at 60 fps
- 7 fps Continues Shooting
- DIGIC 6 processor Image Processor
- 3″ 1m-Dot Touchscreen LCD Monitor
- 45-point all cross-type Dual Pixel AF system
- Intelligent Viewfinder with approximately 100% viewfinder coverage
But the upgrade with the most impact is the autofocus system. It now features 45-point – of which all are cross-type – module instead of the 19-point system found in the previous model and should offer considerable improvement in autofocus speed and accuracy, especially in low-light conditions as it’s capable of focusing down to -3EV at the center point. With this Dual Pixel autofocus system, the camera is now capable of utilizing all these phase-detection points for continuous autofocusing for still images in live-view mode, which, when successful, can compete with even the best mirrorless cameras.
As for the metering sensor, it’s the same 7560 pixel RGB+IR found in EOS 760D and 750D which, in essence, is a low-resolution image sensor. This is a big improvement to the 63-zone dual layer sensor found in 70D. Furthermore, it allows for human subject tracking as it can detect skin tones and then aid the AF system. But this is still not Canon’s 'Intelligent Tracking and Recognition' (iTR) system that uses not only a metering sensor but also distance information, so although it is better than it's predecessor, it won’t be perfectly successful for continuously following a subject around the frame.
Video-wise, not only was the ability to record in FullHD at 60 fps added, but useful features such as a headphone socket for audio monitoring while recording, articulating screen with touchscreen, and a front-mounted microphone were added as well. Unfortunately, there’s still no C-Log gamma option (which allows you to capture very flat footage with maximum dynamic range for further color-grading), no exposure zebra warning, focus peaking or the option of clean HDMI output for external recording. The absence make it clear that this camera isn't targeted for professional video, but is still capable of some decent amateur footage nonetheless, given the combination of touchscreen, boosted maximum ISO and Dual Pixel AF.
For those video enthusiasts Canon also made a power zoom adapter which is an external clip-on unit that can be used with kit 18-135 F3.5-5.6 lens. It will allow you to zoom in and out in a smooth and controlled way. There are two speed modes: high and low. In fast mode the drive can take between 2.4 and 14 seconds to zoom from one extreme of the lens to the other, or 9.5-14 seconds in slow mode. Another nice touch is that this zoom can be controlled via Wi-Fi and the companion smartphone app. This is an optional unit and is available for $150, which isn't too bad.
Overall, these are nice upgrades (with up-to-do date sensor and the extended video and focus capabilities) to what's already a popular camera.