Canon has announced the EOS 80D (its follow-up to the 70D), another videographer-pleasing DSLR which looks set to deliver the goods whether it's shooting stills or video that does it for you. With a new 45-point autofocus system, improved Dual Pixel CMOS AF, and built in Wi-Fi, the EOS 80D looks a solid upgrade, and one which could have the Nikon D7200 looking nervously over its shoulder.
The Canon EOS 80D has a 24.2-megapixel APS-C (22.3mm x 14.9 mm) CMOS sensor which is combined with a Digic 6 image processor. This setup gives it an ISO range of 100 to 16,000 (expandable to 25,600) and a maximum shooting speed of 7 fps (frames per second). As such, the camera is versatile and reasonably fast, if not quite up there with the speeds of the Canon 7D Mark II and Nikon D500.
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Autofocus should also be quite quick thanks to a new 45-point all cross-type AF system, up from 19 points in the 70D. The spread of these points is also wider both horizontally and vertically, offering easier composition and better subject tracking. Low light autofocus also gets a bump with the center point now able to achieve sharp results down to EV-3 (moonlight). Flicker detection is also there to ensure consistent exposure when shooting under flickering artificial lights.
It was its video credentials which made the 70D stand out from other DLSRs, and while there's no headline-grabbing 4K recording, the same could be true for the 80D. Full HD 1080p recording options offer frame-rates up to 60/50 fps, while Dual Pixel CMOS AF is again on hand to offer smooth and fast video (and Live View) autofocusing. This is said to be improved over the already impressive previous iteration, and Movie Servo AF custom settings allow users to speed up or slow down focusing speeds.
Other specifications which will be good news to videographers include both headphone and microphone inputs, allowing users to have full control over audio. There are also HDR movie and Time-Lapse movie modes, along with the usual assortment of creative filters like fantasy, old movie, memory, dramatic monochrome and miniature.
The Canon 80D itself measures 139 x 105.2 x 78.5 mm (5.4 x 4.1 x 3 in) and weighs 730 g (25.8 oz) with a battery and memory card. Around back there's an optical viewfinder which offers 100 percent frame coverage, and a vari-angle 3-inch touchscreen with 1,040K dots, which comes into its own when shooting video. The camera uses a single SD memory card, and includes Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity for easy image sharing and remote control.
Alongside the new camera, Canon also announced a new EF-S 18-135-mm F3.5-F5.6 IS USM kit lens. This is the first from Canon to feature Nano USM, a new type of focusing motor which combines the benefits of an ultrasonic motor for high-speed AF when shooting stills, and a lead-screw type stepping motor for smooth and quiet movie AF.
The new lens can also be used with the upcoming Power Zoom Adapter PZ-E1, a detachable device which provides smooth zooms at the touch of a button rather than a spin on the ring. The PZ-E1 gives users the option to select from 10 zoom speeds, and can also be controlled via the Canon Camera Connect app. Canon has also outed its first branded external microphone for the EOS system, the Canon Directional Stereo Microphone DM-E1.
The Canon EOS 80D is due to be available from March priced at US$1,200 body-only, or $1,800 with the 18-135-mm F3.5-F5.6 kit lens, which cost $500 on its own. The Power Zoom Adapter and Directional Stereo Microphone will both arrive in June, priced at $150 and $250.