Every time a camera manufacturer comes out with a new camera, us photographers are quick to jump on the specs like seagulls on a discarded hotdog. Sometimes the hotdog is bland and without condiments. Other times it comes with something unexpected, like kimchi.
In the case of Canon’s latest DSLR release, there are some tasty new features in there, and overall this is a pretty respectable upgrade to previous models.
First of all, let me pigeonhole the 80D for you; with it’s APS-C sized sensor, it is essentially an enthusiast’s camera. Professionals tend to shoot with full-frame cameras, because they offer a bigger file and better low-light performance. I always have to qualify this by saying that a good eye is more important than a good camera – you can absolutely make professional quality images with the 80D.
The sensor has been upgraded, carrying 24 megapixels and capable of capturing a wider gradation of light. In technical terms, the sensor has a higher dynamic range; it can record a wider variety of light intensities, which means you get more detail in the shadows and the highlights. Dynamic range is one of the areas, like low-light (high ISO) performance, where manufacturers are constantly trying to improve, so news like this is always met with interest. There are no actual numbers to back up the dynamic range performance though, we really just have to judge it with our eyes.
The maximum ISO is now 16000, up from 12800, which is a pretty impressive number. There are also some upgrades to the autofocus system, but honestly even I, a long-time Canon user and someone who’s put his own unit through it’s paces, don’t really know what to make of them. I’ll revisit this if I get a chance to do a hands-on review.
Exciting New Features
A couple of features that really caught my eye were the ‘Vari-angle’ touchscreen and the inclusion of wireless capabilities. Touchscreen technology is not as common as you would expect in 2016, especially considering that smartphones are commonplace nowadays. I’m not sure how much quicker or easier it will be to access menu options, but I love that you can tap the screen to change your focus point, whether shooting stills or video.
Wi-fi and NFC technology are also less prevalent in today’s cameras than you might expect, considering our love of sharing. Using the free Camera Connect app you can now transfer your images straight to your smart device, and it even lets you shoot remotely with Live View, meaning you get a live feed from your camera right there on your phone. You can even change your focus point, which is very handy.
The 80D shoots full HD video, although not 4k, which isn’t the end of the world. Interestingly though, it can shoot at 60 frames per second, which means you can create nice slo-mos. In fact the 80D looks like a fantastic option for shooting video, with that touchscreen that can be moved to a variety of positions and the smooth re-focussing feature.
Looking forward to bringing you a hands-on review of the 80D in the near future!