Canon is a name associated with top quality digital products, especially cameras. This company has been in this line of business for a long time, so using its vast experience and expertise, it is able to produce top quality cameras that come with some of the best features and latest technology.
Today, we will be comparing two of their top line of products, namely 70D and 80D. Both these models are enthusiast cameras that were released in July 2013 and February 2016, respectively. These two models are similar in many aspects, especially the fact that they are both good quality DSLR cameras. At the same time, they also differ in many aspects.
Read on to find out more about their similarities and differences, and more importantly, which of the two is right for you.
Table of Contets
Canon 70D vs 80D – A Detailed Comparison of Features
In this section, we compare the two cameras across many different features, so you know which camera scores well in which area. Armed with this information, you’ll be in a better position to choose the camera that best fits your needs.
An important aspect of any camera is the sensor. Generally speaking, there are two broad sizes in sensors and these determine the final image quality. The two sizes are the APS-C format and full-frame sensors. In APS-C format, the size of the sensor is half of the full-frame sensor. The idea behind this format is to give amateurs and novices a feel of photography. These sensors produce images that have an excellent field of depth without compromising in any way on the sharpness of images.
Full-frame sensors, on the other hand, come in full size (35mm). These sensors give the best image quality and a reasonable field of depth to produce great quality of images. This shallow field of depth allows photographers to use their creativity to capture images just the way they want. For example, they can easily blur the background and isolate the object from background easily. Such flexibility is not available in APS-C sensors.
Another difference between the two formats is the number of pixels they can hold. When you take large sensors, they have space for more pixels when compared to the smaller APS-C format. As a result, images taken in low light conditions produce better quality images. Also, these larger sensors have a wide dynamic range and better color depth when compared to smaller sensors.
Of course, the downside is that these full-frame sensors are costly because it takes more resources to manufacture them. Also, you will have to invest in large lenses to ensure that they cover the entire sensor. These large lenses can also entail more investment. On the other hand, APS-C sensors tend to be less expensive and more lightweight, so you can carry them around easily. The lenses are also smaller, so less expensive.
Both these cameras use APS-C format that comes with a crop factor of 1.6. What this essentially means is you get the best of both worlds. The image quality is excellent and the portability aspect is also easy. In terms of cost too, these cameras are in the mid-range in the world of DSLR cameras. So, in this aspect, there is a good balance between quality and cost, though you will not have the flexibility that comes with a shallow depth of field.
But that is not a big deal, especially for amateurs who are still learning the ropes of the trade. In fact, this camera is designed exactly for photography enthusiasts and not really for professional photographers, though some in the latter segment prefer to have it as a backup camera or one that they can carry outdoors easily.
Before going into the verdict, let us briefly see what this crop factor as that has a bearing on the overall output and usability. Generally speaking, the crop factor is the ratio between a camera’s sensor and a 35mm film, which is also called as full frame. We said earlier that the lens has to cover the sensors completely. But how can a lens that is used for APS-C format cover the full-size frame? This is where the crop factor comes into play. Some cameras have a crop factor, which means the full-length frame can be cropped to half, so they can be used with APS-C format lenses.
The idea behind this crop factor is to give users more usability with their lenses, so they can get more out of their investment. The lens that they buy for Canon 70D and 80D can also be used for full-frame cameras that come with a crop factor. When we say these cameras have a crop factor of 1.6, what it essentially means is that a 35mm film is 1.6 times larger than the lenses that are used in this camera.
You might wonder how this impacts the final output of the image. In general, when a lens has a high crop factor, the zooming in effect is better for a given focal length. Some lenses have a crop factor of 5 or 6, so they can zoom in really well. But then, it could impact the megapixels because the space available to hold megapixels is greatly reduced. This is why it is important to strike a balance between the zooming in effect and the ability to store megapixels. So, a crop factor that is anywhere between 1.5 to 2 gives a good balance.
If you see, both Canon 70D and 80D comes with a crop factor of 1.6 and this puts them in the ideal range. With this factor, you can get a reasonable zoom for your images and at the same time, the number of megapixels that can be stored is also reasonably good. This is a well-balanced number.
One aspect here that differentiates the two products is the DXO mark. This service that tests different cameras in labs and assigns a value based on their performance. It also assigns a value for each aspect such as color depth, dynamic range, and low-light sensitivity.
When you compare this DXO mark, 80D has 11 points more than 70D. This is sure to result in a substantial improvement in image quality. The horizontal pixels for 70D is 5472 when compared to 6000 of 80D. Likewise, the vertical pixels are 3648 for 70D when compared to 4000 of 80D. The overall score is 68 for 70D and 79 for 80D.
Now, which of the two is better? Again, there is no better camera since both the cameras use the same APS-C format and have the same crop factor. But the image quality is supposed to be better in 80d, according to the DXO mark. As said before, there is an 11 point difference, so this is something to consider while opting for either camera. If this does not matter much to you, then both the cameras are the same because they use the same format lens.
When you compare the size of both the cameras, they are more or less the same. The width of both the cameras is 139mm or 5.5″ while there is a slight difference in the height. Canon 70D has a height of 104mm whereas 80D has a height of 105mm. This poses no significant difference whatsoever.
In terms of weight, Canon 70D is slightly heavier at 755 grams when compared to Canon 80D’s weight of about 730 grams. Again, not a significant difference that will impact anything, but it is still good to know because there is a difference.
Both the cameras are splash and dust-proof, and this means, you can use it any kind of weather. This flexibility is simply fantastic because you can take shots of raindrops or snowflakes or just about anything else you want without worrying about what would happen to the camera when exposed to natural elements.
Since both these cameras are of the same size and fall in the same weight category, it is easy to guess that their sensor sizes should be similar too. In fact, the lens between the two cameras is interchangeable and this is a great plus if you are upgrading from one camera to the other. You do not have to buy a new pair of lenses all over again.
When you consider these design aspects, we can definitely say that both the cameras are more similar than different, and there is nothing significant that would give one camera an edge over the other. This is why both the cameras are winners in this aspect.
3. Image Processing
So far, both the cameras have identical aspects. Now, we are going to delve into an aspect that differentiates these two cameras.
Canon 80D has a more advanced image processing format simply because it was released three years after Canon 70D. During these three years, advancements were made in the world of image processing, so the later model incorporated these advancements to give users a better image. As a result of this use of image processing, the pictures taken with Canon 80D have lower levels of noise, more color accuracy, and higher processing speed when compared to Canon 70D.
The image processing system that Canon 80D uses is DIGIC 6 while the version used by Canon 70D is DIGIC 5+. Both these are proprietary processors of Canon, so obviously they are not available in other cameras.
There are many benefits that come with DIGIC 6 that are not available in DIGIC 5+, and they are:
- Low light shooting – DIGIC 6 works in tandem with the other aspects of Canon cameras such as a highly sensitive CMOS sensor and the Canon HS System. As a result, you do not need a flash to shoot in low-light and the images will still be crystal clear. It will look natural and will capture the shades well.
- Reduced noise – DIGIC 6 processes the data that you capture more intelligently. It can identify the noise that surrounds a picture, so the images tend to be more detailed and focused.
- Motion capture – Since DIGIC 6 can distinguish well between noise and object, Canon 80D is a good choice for taking moving images, typically sports pictures. When the noise is reduced, every detail of the image is captured and this means, the focus is on the right object. For the specification enthusiasts, the noise at ISO 600 in 80D is equivalent to ISO 400 on other models. That’s the difference this image processor can make to your images.
- Automatic white balance – Sometimes, you will encounter places that have a really bright lighting source. As a result, you will see the white reflection and the image will be too bright, and the actual object will become dark. But in DIGIC 6, there is an automatic white balance, and this means, the system naturally adjusts the different areas of the image to make the object as natural as possible. In fact, you can see a substantial difference between DIGIC 6 and DIGIC 5+ in this aspect.
While Canon 70D’s DIGIC 5+ is not a bad choice, it does not come anywhere close to 80D’s DIGIC 6 in terms of image processing. So, the final output is much better in Canon 80D, especially when you have to take images under difficult light conditions.
Needless to say, Canon 80D scores hands down over Canon 70D in this aspect.
Resolution is another important aspect of cameras because they determine the quality and clarity of images.
When you compare the two cameras, Canon 80D’s megapixel is at 24 while Canon 70D’s megapixel is 20. So, 80D offers a higher resolution and this translates almost to a 10 percent increase in the overall linear resolution of images.
What this essentially means is that Canon 80D comes with a higher pixel density. It can store 24 megapixels when compared to Canon 70D’s 20 megapixels, and this leads to more detail and clarity in the images. At the same time, the size of each pixel is smaller. It is about 3.75 when compared to 4.11 of Canon 70D. When the pixel size, also called as pixel pitch is smaller, it can accommodate more pixels, and that’s why 80D has a megapixel rate of 24 when compared to the 20 of Canon 70D.
Again, this difference is because 80D was released almost two and a half years after 70D, so it incorporated the advancements that happened during this time in the world of megapixels.
Overall, in terms of resolution, there is no doubt that 80D is the winner as it has a higher rate than Canon 70D. But this doesn’t mean 70D is bad as such, but obviously, the later versions will have more advanced technologies.
Cost is an important factor because everyone has a budget and you want to buy the best product within that budget. More importantly, you want the best value for your money, so this is why the cost has a big bearing on the final decision of any buyer.
That said, we will compare only the launch price because the current retail price varies. If you shop on sites like Amazon, you may get good discounts sometimes and not so good discount at other times. So, the price tends to vary, so that comparison will not give accurate results.
At the time of launch, both the models were identically priced. In general, when models become older or when newer versions emerge, the price of older versions go down because the company wants people to make the most of the advanced technologies available in the later versions. Over time, the old models are heavily discounted to clear them off the inventory, so retailers can stock on the later models. This is why you can get 70D at a much lower price on Amazon when compared to 80D, though the initial offer price is the same.
Since the discounts keep fluctuating, let us take only the launch price. In that sense, there is no difference between the two models. But, if you are looking to save some money, go for Canon 70D because it will tend to be priced lower than 80D for the reasons explained above. However, keep in mind that it will not have the later technologies and image quality of 80D.
Though both the models are worth their price tag, it makes sense to go for the later model because it can offer that extra bit more that advancements in technology can give.
Finally, the choice depends to a large extent on your budget. If you are ready to spend a little bit more, we would recommend going for 80D because it is well-priced for the features it offers. But if you have a much lower budget and want to try out a few amateur cameras before going fully pro, 70D is a good choice too. In other words, if you want to get into professional photography, sooner or later you will have to upgrade to a full-frame format camera. In that case, it makes sense to go for the lower priced one, which is 70D in this case. Remember, 70D is also well-priced and the price you pay totally justifies the features it offers. It is definitely a good value for your money as well.
Canon 70D vs 80D – The Final Verdict
Now it is time for the final verdict. Which of the two should you buy?
Since Canon 80D is more advanced, that is the obvious choice. But then, 70D is not a bad choice either, especially if you get it at a good price. When you compare, 70D has a higher chance to be at discounted rates because it is an older model. Also, if you are planning to try out an APS-C format camera before going for a full-frame one, then this is your choice.
Canon 70D and 80D are two popular, well-built and powerful cameras that have the highest ratings on the market. If you’re looking for a quality device, you have to choose between these two.
Otherwise, 80D is better because it makes the most of the technological advancements that were made in the two and a half years since 70D was released. This is why 80D is the better product and is the winner of this comparison.
Thus, Canon 80D is the winner.