Photographic history at a glance:
Photography is a huge industry, Although the first partially successful photograph dates back to 1816, only a few million pictures were taken during the 19th century. It was only in February 1900, when the first commercial camera was introduced, the $1 Kodak Brownie, did mass photo-mania truly take flight. In 1930, a billion photos were taken and the annual average continued to climb. It was 3 billion by 1960 and 86 billion pictures by 2000. By 2012, with the advent of the smartphone, the figures exploded. We were taking 380 billion photos per year. Already back then, on average 300 million photos were being posted to just Facebook every day. Today, just some two odd hundred years after the dawn of photography, experts estimate that every 75 seconds, humanity takes more photographs than it did throughout the entire 1800s. Amazing.
As hinted, however, 90% of these photos are taken using a smartphone. We won’t go into the drawbacks of that amateur approach here. However, when people get serious about their pictures, they, typically, purchase a semi-professional digital single-lens reflex camera (digital SLR). If you want to truly take your creativity to the next level, take interesting photos with a shallow depth of field or in low-lighting conditions, you need to up your game and arsenal. In this article we will review two popular choices from the Electro-Optical System or EOS range, which is a benchmark SLR product line from Canon. EOS 60D and EOS 80D were launched six years apart, let’s see what has changed.
The 24.2 megapixel Canon EOS 80D Digital SLR Camera Body retails for 1100-1200 EUR and the much older, 18.1 megapixel Canon EOS 60D 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera Body Only goes for about 800EUR. The 60D came to the market way back in August 2010 and was the first of the Canon EOS series to feature the articulating LCD display. Aside from this revolutionary game-changer, the 60D boasted other impressive features, such as boosted resolution, ISO range, in-camera image editing and full-HD video capability.
The 80D is a relative newcomer. It arrived on the market in February 2016 and is aimed at the mid-market, enthusiast photographers. It is the successor of the EOS 70D model, which was introduced in 2013 and already featured a touch-screen display and dual pixel AF, but… we will not feature the 70D in this article. The 80D boasts 45 cross-type autofocusing or AF points, compared to 19 for the 70D and just 9 on the 60D. Unfortunately, Canon did not bless the 80D with the much-anticipated ability to shoot high definition 4K video, thus it received a slew of tepid reviews from bewildered industry pundits. Rumors have been circulating that Canon might configure the camera to support 4K through a Magic Lantern firmware upgrade. This is not an unheard of solution and is used by several companies including Tesla to boost the performance of their vehicles. Such a welcome development would cause the price of the 80D to skyrocket. So… any Bitcoin millionaires out there willing to speculate on the model and buy a few dozen cameras at the current ‘give-away’ price?
So yes, Canon did make some strides in the six years since the 60D’s release, but were these strides jaw-dropping? Were the improvements made sufficiently ground-breaking, as to warrant the extra expense? Moreover, if you already own a 60D does it make any sense to upgrade to the 80D or should you just wait for 7D MkIII, which is supposed to arrive early this year? Here’s a head-to-head chart of features.
In closing, here’s the skinny: if you already own Canon glass (lenses), but need a new body for a good price or if this is your first camera, then by all means go for the 80D. It offers plenty of modern features to keep you happy for a long time. However, if you already own a 60D or better still, 70D, there are not enough compelling reasons to upgrade to the 80D—wait until summer 2018. After 7D MkIII Canon is rumored to release the 90D with some mind-blowing features. We have been using the 60D for some time now and find it to be adequate and reliable until the next evolutionary seismic shift.
If you are a Canon loyalist, who already owns a bunch of Canon lenses and other branded/compatible equipment, jumping ship could cost you thousands and thousands of Euros in a gear-overhaul and a massive amount of hassle. However, if you have not yet committed to a brand, but have your heart set on a DSLR, you might want to check out our Battle of the Image Capture Titans: Canon vs Nikon. In other words, if you are considering your first semi-professional camera, don’t skimp on due diligence and investigate all the available options. Because in certain areas, Canon has not been leading the way lately, but following the pack. ◼︎
|CANON EOS 60D||CANON EOS 80D|
—Anja Coppieters, January 2018