Photography News Issue 36

Photography News | Issue 36 | absolutephoto.com

Camera test 36

Canon EOS 80D Aimed at enthusiast photographers, the EOS 80D is a classy APS-C format DSLR packed with plenty of user-friendly features. Priced at £999 body, the EOS 80D will surely attract hordes of Canon owners keen to upgrade

Specs

Price £999 body only, camera with 18- 135mm IS USM £1299, camera with 18-55mm IS STM £1089 Sensor 24.2 megapixels with DIGIC 6 processor Sensor format APS-C 22.5x15mm, CMOS, 6000x4000pixels ISO range 100-16,000, expands to 25,600 Shutter range 30secs-1/8000sec Drivemodes Continuous up to 7fps, silent, single and continuous Metering system Multi, centre-weighted, spot Exposuremodes PASM, green square, scene (ten options), custommodes, B Exposure compensation +/-5EV in 0.3, 0.5 steps Monitor three inch, 1040k dots, articulating, touch sensitive Focusing TTL-CT-SIR CMOS sensor with phase and contrast-detect (sensor) Focus points 45 AF points with selectable options including single point, centre, multi-area, tracking. Touch AF too. Video 1080p, 1920x1080 (60p, 30p, 24p),

720 (60p, 30p) Connectivity

USB 2.0, mini HDMI, mic and headphone ports, Wi-Fi, NFC Storagemedia 1xSD card Dimensions (wxhxd) 139x105.2x78.5mm Weight 730g body only Contact canon.co.uk

the viewfinder isn’t that extensive. So if you do want to focus on a subject at the frame’s edge you have to use focus lock, the nearest AF point or shoot in live viewwhere the active AF area gives 80% coverage. Canon promotes the EOS 80D as a DSLR good for action shooting. There are no preset case studies on this camera that you see on higher end Canons but there are a good many options available in the AF custom menu – there are 16 in total covering many facets of the camera’s AF system. If you want to adjust tracking sensitivity, the speed of AF- point auto switching or whether you want colour information to be used for AF-point auto selection, then you can. It does presuppose that the would-be EOS 80D user appreciates and understands these options and can apply them to different action types. It does seem odd that Canon provides presets for its top-end DSLRs that are more likely to be used by pros who are more likely to understand the nuances of an AF system, but not bother on a consumer camera. That said, having the options is no bad thing. I tried all four AF selection methods. For centrally dominant shots the auto options works well and you can set the viewfinder/ monitor up to indicate which AF points are working. Go off-piste with an off-centre composition and the system is less capable and the subject is not always detected.

Written by Will Cheung

Canon has got so many things right on its enthusiast DSLRs for such a long time that we have seen new models come along with relatively minor, not very exciting innovations. On the face of it, the EOS 80D falls into this category but dig a little deeper and you do find more than the odd nugget that gives it serious upgrade potential. The sensor is a new unit with a 24.2-megapixel resolution so higher than the 20.2-megapixel units of the EOS 70 and 7D Mark II. It also has a phase-detect Dual Pixel autofocus system like its predecessors but on the EOS 80D you get continuous AF in live view during both stills and video shooting. The camera’s AF appeal has been heightened further by it having 45-points all of which are cross- types. The 45-zone pattern covers the central image area in three 5x3 groups with the central set having the wider spread. All 45 points can be selected when single point AF selection is in use. Although moving AF point/zone around is two touch – push the AF selection button and then use the four-way pad or command dial to move the active AF zone. You don’t get the convenience of a focus lever joystick at this price. A criticism of DSLR AF systems, and it applies to this Canon, is that the spread of AF points when using

Remarkably, the core controls have changed little in that time but perhaps some innovation is overdue

There is much to like about the EOS 80D’s handling overall. It fits the hands well, yet it’s not heavy or bulky and everything works with a reassuring solidity. Control layout is typically Canon so anyone who has used a DSLR from the company in the past decade can pick the EOS 80D and feel familiar with it. Remarkably, the core controls have changed little in that time but perhaps some innovation is overdue. The EOS 80D lacks a focus lever for speedy AF point selection and the exposure dial would benefit from the one-touch lock now used by Fujifilm and Olympus, rather the push down, hold and adjust dial we have here. Where other brands could learn from Canon is the implementation of the articulating, touch-sensitive monitor and live view. This Canon’s touch-sensitive monitor is excellent. It makes navigating the extensive menus and adjusting settings in the Q menu a joy, and it’s fast. It’s even better when the camera is on a tripod especially when the camera is in a lowposition.

The live view is very bright in interiors and impressively visible in sunlight. Hit INFO and you can scroll through four display options so whether you want just an image or a more informative layout including a live histogram, you can. Going straight to the Q menu is also possible and there is a zoom option using the AF selection button to double check focusing accuracy. Taking pictures with the touch- sensitive screen is good too. Touch the part of the scene you want sharp, the focus box turns green and a fraction later an exposure is made – if the focus box goes red, AF is not possible and no exposure is made. The exposure is not made instantly so for street photography you may have to be pre-emptive to get the shot you want but where lag is not an issue it is well worth using. You can turn off the shutter release option – there is an icon bottom left of the live view image to do this quickly – and just enjoy the monitor for changing settings and the live view AF which is impressively quick and sensitive.

There is a great deal to like about the EOS 80D’s touch-sensitive monitor and, with the clear menu structure, makes accessing features fast and simple.

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