Canon 80D vs. 70D DSLR Feature Comparison

Canon just announced the successor to the 70D, aptly named the Canon 80D. They also announced a couple cool new accessories as well, the PZ-E1 Powered Zoom and the DM-E1 Directional Microphone. More on those in a bit. 

Canon has enhanced both the still and video features in their upgrade from the 70D to 80D, a list of which can be seen below.  

    * 60 FPS & 50 FPS at 1080p (70D only 720p at 60 FPS)
    * 24.2 Mp vs. 20Mp
    * New battery: LP-E6N, but is backwards compatible with regular LP-E6's. 
    * Extra Custom Setting on Mode Dial
    * Headphone jack added (and is now angled to help with having the screen flipped out)
    * Continuous Autofocus in Live View Mode while taking stills
    * 45 autofocus points vs. 19 on the 70D
    * 80D adds NFC (Near Frequency Communication) to the wifi already included in the 70D
    * Still has the touch screen autofocus while recording video
    * Built-in mic is moved to the front
    * Higher maximum ISO
    * New 18-135mm kit zoom lens with Nano USM (faster AF)
    * New PZ-E1 Power Zoom Adapter ($150)
    * New DM-E1 Shotgun Microphone ($250)

While the new features have gone a long way to improving some of Canon’s weakest points it is also important to note what is lacking, here are the main videos features I was hoping for. 

    * No 4K Video Recording
    * No Canon Log "flat" picture profile
    * No Focus Peaking
    * No Zebra exposure warnings
    * No clean HMDI output for external recording

Auto Focus

Canon has completely rebuilt the auto focus system and how it functions. With stills you now have more focus points, 45 to be exact. Combining this with the enhancements of the Al Servo AD II system to a 7560-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor means that you can better track subjects as they move through the frame. It is also important to note that Canon has improved the low light capability (something I have always felt was one of Canon’s weakest points) and expanded the ISO range. 

PZ-E1 Powered Zoom Accessory

Canon is trying to keep up with Sony, who have been adding zoom functionality to their lower-level cameras for some time now. With the PZ-E1 Powered Zoom Accessory you can easily zoom manual lenses, which makes it a great addition for video use. However there are two main caveats, (1) the adapter does not work with all canon lenses. Canon actually created a new EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens with a Nano USM focusing motor to work in conjunction with the new zoom accessory. And (2) this adapter does not come with the 80D. Indeed the best features of the 80D, the PZ-E1 Powered Zoom Accessory and the DM-E1 Directional Microphone are add ons. The PZ-E1 is going to set you back an additional $150. 

DM-E1 Directional Microphone

This is Canon’s first external shotgun microphone made for DSLRs. They are looking to take market share in the audio industry by improving upon their in-camera microphones. The new DM-E1 Directional Microphone most resembles the RODE VideoMicro microphone (see that review here). One neat feature of the new DM-E1 is that it has it’s own power source and is not reliant on the camera’s new LP-E6N battery. Also a nifty feature is that, when connected to the camera the microphone’s power will turn off when you turn off the camera. This is great on a personal level because I tend to forget to turn off my RODE VideoMicPro and have to buy more batteries than I should. Adding the DM-E1 Directional Microphone onto your purchase of the 80D will cost you an additional $250. 

Final Thoughts

Lastly, while Canon has improved the camera in some great ways, it is important to note that the camera still does not shoot in 4k. This is ridiculous. Also without Canon log, focus peaking, zebras and an HDMI out for external monitoring the new 80D is not a serious contender for those looking to mostly use the camera for professional video production. It is still a great camera for YouTubers and Vlogging though. 

All in all, Canon has made a great camera, like they always do, and this is a great choice for someone invested in EF and EF-S lenses. But by now people are expecting 4K in their cameras and Canon fails to innovate fast enough, preferring instead to let Sony, Panasonic, and others lead the way and take chances.

You can also watch this video on YouTube.

Caleb Wojcikstarter-gear, video