The EOS 70D impressed us when it arrived on the scene three years ago. Michael Topham tests the new Canon EOS 80D to find out how it improves on what we’ve seen before
Canon EOS 80D Review – Build & Handling
Canon has spent many years refining the design of its enthusiast series of DSLRs and we seem to have reached a point where each new model looks very similar to the last. In the case of the 80D, it shares a close resemblance to the 70D. The only significant change at the rear of the body is an enlarged thumb rest that adorns the same rubberised grip as the front of the camera. Directly above the thumb rest, users have the option to take advantage of an AF-ON button – a feature exclusive to Canon’s more advanced DSLRs. This can be used to separate AF activation from the shutter release, and perform back-button focusing.
To keep things uniform at the rear, the playback and quick menu buttons are now circular to match the menu, info and zoom buttons. Meanwhile, a glance above the on/off switch reveals you can now take control of creative filters and access a second custom setting (C2) direct from the mode dial. The LCD on the top-plate is also larger than that on the EOS 760D, meaning there’s more space to glance at what metering and drive mode you have the camera set to.
Videographers will be pleased to read that Canon has carefully considered the placement of the microphone and headphone inputs to ensure the screen can be fully articulated when audio components are plugged in. The same can be said for the cable-release input, which is located just beneath. Photographers and videographers looking at the 80D as a possible upgrade option from the 70D will also appreciate that it’s fully compatible with the Canon BG-E14 battery grip (£134).
The body is constructed from aluminium and polycarbonate resin with glass and conductive fibre. In the hand, it feels well built and reassuringly solid. However, Canon admits it’s not constructed to the same weather-resistant standard as the EOS 7D Mark II. During my testing I was caught out in a few light rain showers, but these caused no issues with performance or operation, and I was surprised at just how well the touchscreen responded to wet fingers and water droplets across its surface.
One of my criticisms regarding the design of the 80D is Canon’s decision not to include a dual card slot – an extremely useful storage feature for both back-up as well as overflow, should you reach a card’s capacity. Those who feel this is a must-have feature will want to look at the 7D Mark II, which, at the time of writing this review, works out at only £79 more expensive than the 80D, with Canon’s £100 spring cashback promotion (available until 18 June) taken into consideration.