Gear Hands-On

Canon 80D Hands-On And Opinion

With dual pixel AF technology and a fully articulating screen, the 80D is a versatile camera for the price. I had hands-on time with the EOS 80D DSLR. Because I mostly use Nikon, I compare my experiences with Nikon to the 80D. The 80D’s dual pixel auto-focus is a big benefit to this camera in liveview and video recording situations. Other than that, it’s a pretty standard DSLR.

My video about the camera.

Get the Canon EOS 80D DSLR Camera through my links:
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The fully articulating screen on the 80D.

General ergonomics

  • A no nonsense camera with a flat black exterior. The button text and icons stand out well.
  • A good deal of direct button control in line with this price point. Many of the buttons are within range of your index finger, which is interesting coming from Nikon. 
  • Cameras these days have become well refined from the big two. Surprisingly similar to Nikon cameras I’ve used in the past in some respects. The mode dial (C1/C2), the dual adjustment dials, af-on button, diopter, battery size and placement, info/Q (info/i) buttons, live view related switch, and AF lock switch, and flash button.
  • Outside of similarities, Canon has a few unique control features. The back wheel, the top shutter cluster of buttons (AF, Drive, ISO, metering, focusing mode, LCD lamp), the ON/OFF switch.
  • Canon has a huge amount of 3rd party manufacturer support. Companies like Yongnuo and Godox release for Canon first. There is something to be said about picking a camera from the most popular manufacturer.
  • The grip isn’t great in my hand. It has an extremely similar feel to my Nikon D600. After using the D750 it is hard for me to enjoy holding grips that are not deep like this and the D600. 
The mirrorbox of the 80D.

Ports, memory card, and battery door

  • Ports have simple rubber covers. The nice thing is that they get out of the way. This simplicity is growing on me. It doesn’t have the wow factor of a solid port door, but admittedly this is more functional.
  • The memory card is easy to access. The days of this range of camera getting two card slots is over, just look at the D7500.
  • The battery area is extremely similar to my D600. Functional and easy to use. It’s far away from the tripod screw hole, which is good.

The main LCD screen

  • Full articulation! As I’ve always been into photography and videography, but with my push to produce more Youtube content, features like this are more and more appealing to me. There is very little downside to a screen like this besides it makes the camera a bit less weather resistant. Though, I love that you can reverse the screen toward the camera when you don’t need it. I really enjoyed that feature when I had a Nikon D5100.
  • The touch capability is great. At one point I had an EOS-M which had great touch support. Canon has good touch screens.
  • Touch to focus (with touch to capture)

I took a few sample photos that are available in an unlisted 4K video on YouTube.  I think most if not all APS-C or larger sensor cameras have hit the “good enough” point. I took a few video clips. Seeing as I was using a 50mm lens, they are a bit wild.

A look inside the viewfinder of the 80D. AF points cover a decent area of the frame.

Why not this camera?

  • I wasn’t a fan of the grip, but that is subjective.
  • Lack of 4K video if that’s something you want.
  • No in-body stabilizer if that’s your thing.

Why this camera?

  • Live view and video autofocus thanks to their dual pixel technology.
  • Fully articulating screen with a quality touch experience.
  • An expansive lens selection (I wish I had that 135mm f2 lens)
  • Canon seems to get the most and the fastest 3rd party support.
  • DSLRs from the big two have been refined for a long time. Expect consistency and dependability.


Who might this camera be good for? If you are into both photo and video taking, but don’t care about 4K, this is a solid option. If you have Canon lenses already, this is of course a solid option. If you want the highly refined DSLR experience, this or the related Nikon option are a good choice.

Get the Canon EOS 80D DSLR Camera through my links:
Used on,,, and

Or check out the article on the replacement 90D here.