The Canon 70D was (and still is) a much-loved, mid-range DSLR. It was popular for its good performance in all areas, and particularly its video capture. Features such as Dual Pixel autofocus, 1080p video, and a fast burst mode set it apart from similar cameras in that price range. This solid foundation was built upon by the 70Ds successor, the 80D. We’ll take a look at the Canon 70D VS 80D, some of the notable features of each camera, their similarities and differences, and determine which one is right for you.
Before we take an in-depth look at the two cameras, let’s first examine the improvements that the 80D makes over its predecessor:
- Sensor: The 80D has a 24-megapixel sensor, compared to 20.2-megapixels on the 70D.
- Processor: An impressive DIGIC 6 processor is included in the 80D. The 70D has a DIGIC 5+ processor.
- Autofocus: 45-cross type autofocus points in the 80D. In the 70D there are only 19-cross type sensors.
- Low-light Performance: The 80D performs better in low-light thanks to the improved ISO range of 100-16000 compared to 100-12800 in the 70D.
- Video: Video capture is better on the 80D; it’s capable of capturing 1080p at 60fps. For the 70D, it’s 1080p at 30fps. It tracks the subject better too thanks to the improved autofocus.
- Connectivity: A headphone jack, built-in Wi-Fi and GPS is all present in the 80D, and absent in the 70D.
- Software: Anti-flicker mode for consistent exposure and a custom mode have been added to the 80D.
Now that you’ve seen some of the key differences, let’s look in more detail about some of the features:
As the old adage goes; if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. This is very much the approach Canon took towards the 80D. It looks almost identical to the 70D. Both have the same polycarbonate and magnesium alloy body, with the only differences being the layout of some of the buttons and the inclusion of a headphone jack on the 80D. Other than that, these cameras both follow Canon’s distinct DSLR design.
Sensor Size and Resolution
Being mid-range DSLRs, both the 70D and the 80D have a crop-frame APS-C sensor. The 80D’s is slightly updated though, with a resolution of 24-megapxiels, compared to the 20.2-megapixels of the 70D’s sensor. This slight boost in megapixels translates to an improved maximum file size; 6000 x 4000 pixels versus 5472 x 3648 pixels in the 70D. This boost is only likely to be beneficial if you plan on printing out photos in larger than A3 sizes, or will be cropping photos a lot.
Dual Pixel CMOS Autofocus
This is one of the similarities the cameras have. Both have Dual pixel autofocus, which is what makes them so good at video capture. It means they are quicker and more accurate to focus, and can track a moving target with greater ease.
Although the DIGIC 5+ sensor found in the 70D is very good, the DIGIC 6 in the 80D is better. It makes the camera quicker at processing images after you take them, as well as giving an improved rate of continuous and burst shooting.
Another similarity between the two cameras is the shutter speed. Both the 70D and the 80D have a fastest shutter speed of 1/8000 of a second. This is due to the standard electronically controlled focal-plane shutter found in both cameras.
As we’ve seen above, the resolution of images produced by the 80D is better than its predecessor (6000 x 4000 compared to 5472 x 3648). The 80D also outperforms the 70D in terms of dynamic range and ISO.
The ISO range of the 80D is greater than the original 70D; 100-16000 compared to 100-12800. It’s not just the range that is improved though; the 80D produces very little noise throughout its ISOs. A feature known as ISO invariance is present in the 80D and results in little noise being produced at the time of shooting and in post-production when adjusting light settings.
Burst and Continuous Shooting
Both cameras are capable of capturing continuous shots at 7fps. The difference, thanks to the better processor in the 80D, is how long they can continue doing it. The 70D can take around 20 continuous shots in JPEG format before lagging out. The 80D can manage well over 100 shots. In RAW format, the 70D capture around 12 shots continuous, whilst the 8D can take around 24. This difference really matters if you’re shooting a moving target, such as in sports or nature photography.
Canon EOS 80D vs 70D: Video Capture
One of the big selling points of the 70D when it launched was its video capture capabilities. Videographers looking for a DSLR would often turn to the 70D because of how well it performed. The 80D has improved on that strong performance in a number of ways. Whilst both can take video at 1080p, the framerate of the 80D is much better than the 70D; 60fps compared to 30fps.
The Canon 70D capture video in MOV format only. The 80D captures MOV and MP4, and with its built in Wi-Fi you can upload to various platforms straight from the camera. Both cameras have the impressive Dual Pixel autofocus system, but the 80D outperforms the 70D in this area thanks to its improved number of autofocus sensors.
The autofocus was another big selling point of the 70D when it launched. It’s no surprise then that the 80D has improved on this too. With 45-cross type autofocus points in the 80D it has many more than the 70D which has only 19-cross type sensors. This makes the 80D better at refined focusing; it’s quicker, sharper and more accurate, particularly when tracking a moving subject. The difference is noticeable when using live view or when shooting video. However, the 70D is still very good at autofocusing. The 80D is just better.
Another big improvement when looking at the Canon 70D vs 80D is the viewfinder. The 70D has a viewfinder capture of 98%, which is fairly impressive but means that some of what you capture when you take a photo won’t be visible in the viewfinder. The 80D solves this problem by having a 100% field of vision. Everything you see in the viewfinder will be in the final image.
Both cameras feature the same 3-inch articulated touchscreen. It’s a useful feature, allowing the user to swivel and angle the screen to make taking shots from different angles easier. It also uses touch focus, meaning you can tap the screen to set the focus point whilst shooting.
70D VS 80D: Which One Should You Buy?
As we’ve seen, both of these cameras have their merits. The original 70D was a very good mid-range DSLR when it launched, and it still holds up today. The 80D has taken everything that was good about its predecessor and improved on it. It’s better at continuous shooting, low-light photography, video capture, and produces higher-resolution images.
Buy the 70D if…
You’re looking to upgrade to a mid-range DSLR and want to save some money. The 70D is slightly cheaper than the 80D. It doesn’t perform as well but it’s well-suited to the enthusiastic amateur who wants to upgrade from a compact.
Buy the 80D if…
You’re looking for a mid-range DSLR that excels at video capture. If you already know a bit about photography and how cameras work, you’ll be able to improve on your craft with this camera. If you do a lot of sports or nature photography, the 80D is better than the 70D as it has a faster rate of continuous shooting. Overall it’s definitely the better of the two cameras if you can afford it.