Budget-Friendly DSLR Matchup: The Canon 70D vs 80D

DSLR cameras are more popular than ever due to their role in creating content for Instagram or YouTube. A common question that arises is which camera should I buy: the Canon 70D or 80D? We understand there is a lot of confusion between these two Canon EOS models.

Our job within this comparison guide is to give you the core similarities, differences, and recommendations as to whether you should buy the Canon 70D or Canon 80D depending on your needs or budget. Keep in mind, we all don't have the same requirements so the right Canon camera for you may differ entirely from another. 

TL;DR – Quick Comparison

The Original Vlogging Beast

Originally released back in 2016, this camera paved the way for the 80D's success giving YouTubers and beginner to intermediate photographers a chance to own a solid Canon DSLR with great potential without breaking the bank or becoming overly bulky.

The New & Improved Successor

Launching off the success of the 70D, the 80D took all the great features from its predecessor and improved upon them even further. This includes better technical specifications and the addition of some missing feature components (like a headphone jack) to make their target market happier.

Similarities Between The Canon 70D vs 80D

  • Both offer an articulating LCD touchscreen (1.04K dots)
  • Both offer a built-in flash (pop-up)
  • Both offer wireless connectivity
  • Both offer Dual-Pixel AF for video with face tracking
  • Both have a top LCD display (settings overview)
  • Both offer a dedicated microphone port
  • Both offer an optical viewfinder
  • Both are weather sealed to help protect in rough elements
  • Both can shoot continuous photo bursts at 7 frames per second

Differences Between The Canon 70D vs 80D

  • 80D has more megapixels (24MP vs 20MP)
  • 80D is slightly lighter (730g vs 755g)
  • 80D has more color depth (23.6 vs 22.5)
  • 80D has greater dynamic range (13.2 vs 11.6)
  • 80D has more autofocus points (45 vs 19)
  • 80D has better battery life (960 vs 920 shots)
  • 80D offers supports timelapse capture
  • 80D has a headphone jack for audio monitoring
  • 80D has NFC support
  • 80D has better native ISO (1135 vs 926)
  • 80D has greater viewfinder coverage (100 vs 98)
  • 80D supports UHS-I memory cards
  • 70D has a 20% larger pixel area (19.91 vs 14.06)
  • 70D has a longer shutter lifespan (150K vs 100K)
  • 70D is cheaper ($788.00 vs $899.00)

Price & Affordability

Canon 70D

Originally released back on July 2nd, 2013, Canon's 70D DSLR sold for an MSRP of $1,199 (body only). Since then, the 70D has officially been discontinued from Canon and replaced with their 80D, but there is still plenty of new 70D models selling on Amazon.

As of right now, Amazon is selling the body only for $788.00. If you want a bundle of the 70D body coupled with the kit Canon 18-55mm STM lens, you can get this on Amazon for $856.00. For those who would be interested in buying used, you may be able to scoop a Canon 70D for hundreds less on eBay.

Canon 80D

Canon released the 80D on February 18th, 2016. The original MSRP of the 80D was the same $1,199 at launch for the body only. This model is still in production, so it is easier to find on Amazon and at traditional electronics retailers.

Right now, Amazon is selling the 80D body only for $899.00. Beyond this, they also sell a few 80D bundles:

  • 80D bundle with the 18-55mm kit lens for $949.00
  • 80D bundle with an 18-135mm kit lens for $1,199.00

If you are okay with buying a used, you can likely score a deal on a pre-owned Canon 80D for hundreds less on eBay.

Winner: Canon 70D

Given that the Canon 70D is an older model, the pricing is significantly cheaper than the 80D. Even better, there are a lot of used 70Ds selling on eBay and Craigslist for hundreds less than new. While there are some increases in features and performance tweaks within the 80D that you won't get in the original model, the 70D is the cheaper of the two DSLRs thus winning this category. 

Made Your Decision?

Body Size & Weight

Canon 70D

The Canon 70D body dimensions are 139 x 104 x 79mm with a weight of 755g (1.66 lbs or 26.63 oz). 

Canon 70 Body Front
Canon 70D Body Top

Canon 80D

The Canon 70D body dimensions are 139 x 105 x 79mm with a weight of 730g (1.61 lbs or 25.75 oz). 

Canon 80D Body Front
Canon 80D Body Top

Winner: Canon 80D

While the Canon 70D and 80D have the same body design, the 80D slightly wins here as it is 25 grams lighter despite being 1mm taller.

Made Your Decision?

Sensor & Processor

Sensor Size Diagram

Canon 70D

The Canon 70D has a 20 megapixel APS-C (22.5 x 15 mm) CMOS sensor. This sensor offers 20% larger pixel areas than the 80D. This means the 70D's sensor should natively handle low-light better with more light per pixel resulting in less visible noise in both photo and video.

The 70D offers the DIGIC 5+ processor which utilizes two 4-channel A/D convert front-end processing circuits. This allows for up to high photo burst shooting, decent in-camera noise reduction and real-time compensation for chromatic aberrations for both photos and video. 

Canon Digic 5+ Processor

Canon 80D

On the other hand, Canon's 80D offers the same APS-C sized CMOS sensor, but with an increase in megapixels up to 24. The extra 4 megapixels provides more pixels to capture finer detail in photos and offer larger printable resolutions, however, the smaller pixel area means that it could suffer slightly in low-light performance with more visible noise at higher ISOs.

Canon improved the 80D's internal processor jumping up to a DIGIC 6 processor. This improvement offers a higher buffer for the burst photo shooting. There are improvements to video shooting allowing higher frame rates in 1080P as well as a better container (.MP4 vs .MOV) and HDR movie feature. This DIGIC 6 processor offers even better in-camera noise reduction, both in-camera chromatic aberration, and distortion correction.

Canon Digic 6 Processor

Winner: Canon 80D

While both of the models offer the same sized APS-C sensor, the Canon 80D offers more megapixels (24 vs 20) as well as a better processor (DIGIC 6 versus 5+). The 70D sensor does offer larger pixel areas which results in less noticeable noise patterns, but the DIGIC 6 processor in the 80D has better in-camera noise reduction.

Made Your Decision?

Viewfinder

Canon 70D

The Canon 70D offers an optical pentaprism viewfinder that provides 98% coverage with 0.95x magnification 

Canon 80D

The Canon 80D also offers an optical pentaprism viewfinder however it provides the full 100% coverage with 0.95x magnification.

Winner: Canon 80D

While both offer an optical pentaprism viewfinder, the 80D's 100% coverage trumps the 70D's 98% coverage thus giving you more accurate viewing experience for proper framing and camera control.

Made Your Decision?

Rear Display

Canon 70D & 80D

Canon 70D Rear LCD Display
Canon 70D's rear LCD display.
Canon 80D Rear LCD Display
Canon 80D's rear LCD display.

On the back of both the Canon 70D and 80D, you'll find a 3.0″ 1,040K-dot vari-angle Clear View II touchscreen LCD display. This screen can be used to change camera settings, set focus points, and monitor framing or audio levels.

Winner: Tie

Both the rear displays on the Canon 70D and 80D are articulating 3" 1,040K-dot touchscreen LCDs.

Made Your Decision?

Storage & Recording Media

Canon 70D & 80D

Both the Canon 70D and 80D offer SD card a single SD card slot of which it utilizes for storing captured photos and video. They support the use of SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards. You'll get support for UHS-I speeds, but UHS-II cards will be capped to UHS-I speeds. Both cameras work with compatible Eye-Fi cards.

Winner: Tie

Both the 70D and 80D offer the same support for SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards.

Made Your Decision?

Supported Lenses

Canon 70D & 80D

Given that each of these DSLR models has an APS-C sensor and EF mount, there are over 100 different Canon-branded EF and EF-S lenses that are available for both the 70D and 80D. When you factor in the aftermarket lens brands (Sigma, Rokinon, Tamron, Laowao, etc.) there are hundreds of different Canon EF mount lenses to choose from. 

Winner: Tie

Both the Canon 70D and 80D have an EF mount which coupled with their APS-C sensor offer support for over a hundred of native Canon lenses and many more when you factor in popular aftermarket lens manufacturers like Sigma, Tamron or Rokinon.

Made Your Decision?

Battery Life

Canon 70D

The Canon 70D ships with their LP-E6 battery. This remains a standard design for most of their modern DSLRs. However, you utilize their newer LP-E6N batteries, which offer a 3.6% higher capacity. You can also purchase a battery grip which will use two LP-E6 batteries for double the battery life.

While many factors and variables can come into play when determining battery life, the 70D is rated by Canon for the following performance per LP-E6 battery:

  • 1300 shots (viewfinder)
  • 230 shots (Live View)

Canon 80D

Similar to the 70D, the 80D also utilizes the same battery design although it ships with the LP-E6N battery instead of the original LP-E6 model. Due to this, you'll get better battery life out of the box with the 80D however older LP-E6 batteries will still work and purchasing a battery grip is an option.

Again, many factors and variables may affect battery life. However, Canon rates the 80D to have the follower performance for each LP-E6N battery: 

  • 1390 (viewfinder)
  • 340 (Live View)

Winner: Canon 80D

The 80D is slightly more efficient mainly due to its native LP-E6N battery (vs the 70D's base LP-E6 version). Realistically, I wouldn't let this hold you back from a 70D as the numbers are very close and you can still use a larger capacity battery or battery grip with your 70D.

Made Your Decision?

Wi-Fi, GPS & NFC

Canon 70D

The 70D offers built-in Wi-Fi support. This connectivity is done through the Canon Camera Connect app for supported Android or iOS devices. Unfortunately, the 70D does not offer native GPS or NFC support.

70D Wifi

Canon 80D

The 80D offers integrated Wi-Fi and NFC support. Similar to the 70D, you have to utilize the Canon Camera app for connecting via Wi-Fi. There build-in NFC support is compatible with select Android smartphones as well as the Connect Station CS100 aftermarket accessory.

80D NFC
Canon 80D Wifi

Winner: Canon 80D

While both models offer Wi-Fi via the Canon Camera mobile app, the 80D offers NFC connectivity, but neither body supports native GPS.

Made Your Decision?

Native ISO & Range

Canon 70D

The 70D has a base ISO range of 100-12,800 with an expansion of up to 25,600. The DXO low-light score is 926. 

Canon 80D

The 80D has a base ISO range of 100-16,000 with an expansion up to 25,600. The DXO low-light score is 1135.

Winner: Canon 80D

The 80D offers a slightly higher base ISO range (16K vs 12.8K) and has a better overall DXO low-light score (1135 vs 926).

Made Your Decision?

Autofocus & Metering System

Canon 70D

There are 19 AF points (all cross-type) available within the 70D's phase-detect AF system. The 70D was the first DSLR from Canon to offer their signature Dual Pixel movie servo autofocus for video. This allows lock-on autofocusing and the ability to automate a rack focus easily via the touchscreen.

The metering system offers the choice of evaluative, center-weighted and spot metering as well as +/- 5 EV exposure compensation for achieving the exact lightning that you desire.

Canon 80D

Canon's 80D has a bump up to 45 cross-type points for its autofocusing system. Following the 70D's footsteps, it offers their signature Dual-Pixel CMOS autofocus for video. The addition of the extra cross-type AF points makes it much more accurate for keeping focus when locked onto a moving subject.

You'll get the same metering specifications on the 80D with evaluative, center-weighted and spot metering with +/- 5 EV exposure compensation. However, the metering sensor is upgraded to a 7560-pixel RGB+IR sensor, which helps achieve better autofocus and exposure precision.

Winner: Canon 80D

The 80D beats the 70D with more than double the number of cross-type autofocus points as well as an upgraded metering sensor.

Made Your Decision?

Video Capabilities

Canon 70D

Beyond the benefit of the Dual Pixel focusing for video, the 70D is capable of shooting 1080P FHD video up to 30fps. If you want to shoot slow-motion video, the best that you'll get with the 70D is 60fps in 720P. Canon caps their DSLRs to have a maximum record limit of 29 minutes and 59 minutes (this is for tax reasons). 

The 70D offers a dedicated mic jack for plugging in a better, external microphone. However, it does not provide a dedicated headphone jack, which means you won't be able to monitor your audio levels outside of the on-screen audio level meter. 

Canon 80D

The 80D offers Dual Pixel AF coupled with 1080P video capture up to 60fps allowing you to shoot slow-motion video at full HD resolution. As expected, There is a 30-minute video maximum video cap on this Canon DSLR.

Unlike the 70D, this camera offers a dedicated mic and headphone jack, thus allowing support for aftermarket microphones as well as accurate audio monitoring through headphones as you are filming. The 80D made our list of the best DSLRs for video as it is one of the most popular cameras for YouTubers and vloggers in 2019.

Play Video

Winner: Canon 80D

While both are hindered by a sub-30 minute video clip capacity, the 80D offers 1080P FHD video up to 60fps (vs the 70D's 30fps).

Made Your Decision?

Burst Shooting

Canon 70D

If you are a sports photographer or just trying to capture some images with high-paced action, then you can utilize the 70D's continuous burst shooting up to 7 fps. The buffer for these burst shots will begin at 40 JPEGs or 15 RAW images.

Canon 80D

The 80D offers the same 7 frames per second burst capability. However, you get a significantly larger buffer capacity with 110 JPEGs or 25 RAW shots before slowing down.

Winner: Canon 80D

While both DSLRs offer 7 frames per second burst shooting, the 80D has a significantly higher buffer giving it the edge overall.

Made Your Decision?

Final Verdict

We've come to the end of this Canon 70D vs 80D DSLR comparison. Here's a recap of which model won which category:

Canon 70D

  • Price & Affordability

Canon 80D

  • Body Size & Weight
  • Sensor & Processor
  • Viewfinder
  • Battery Life
  • Wi-Fi, GPS & NFC
  • Native ISO & Range
  • Autofocus & Metering System
  • Video Capabilities
  • Burst Shooting

Tied

  • Rear Display
  • Storage & Recording Media

Overall Winner: Canon 80D

Given that the 80D is the successor of the 70D, Canon did a lot to make their newest flagship vlogging camera more improved than the original. The difference in price (especially when buying used) between the 70D and 80D can be significant, and if you are on a tight budget, it may be better for you to buy a 70D and to put those extra funds into a better lens or other accessories.

Which DSLR Model Will You Buy?

We hope this comparison guide was helpful!
>