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Test Shoot Review: The EOS 80D’s High-Performance AF

Join me in my test shoot with the EOS 80D, and witness how fast-moving subjects and dark scenes can also be easily captured with the camera's newly-equipped functions. This is one camera that is perfect for snapping street scenes overflowing with a variety of subjects. (Report by: Tomoko Suzuki )

Allows you to enjoy near-instant shooting

Canon has announced the release of its new mid-range model, the EOS 80D. Its improved grip makes it easier to hold, even for those with smaller hands, and the basic performance has also been improved tremendously with approximately 100% viewfinder coverage. Since you can now check all corners of the screen when shooting through the viewfinder, you can ensure that you capture only what you want on screen, making composition a breeze. The vari-angle LCD screen can also be tilted freely, both horizontally and vertically, according to the needs of the composition. This is particularly invaluable when taking vertical shots from a low position. The touch screen allows you to intuitively use the touch shutter to quickly take shots. Although the design of the LCD monitor means that shots are viewed off centre from the optical axis of the camera, it provides a sense of security as you can close the monitor and protect it when carrying the camera around.

EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM/FL: 132mm(211mm equivalent)/Aperture-Priority AE(f/6.3, 1/250sec, EV+1.0)/ISO 100/WB: Daylight
A good resolution can be obtained even at close to maximum aperture. Fine details such as the Ferris wheel in the background, buildings, steel tower, and branches of the trees are clearly depicted.


EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM/FL: 50mm (80mm equivalent)/Aperture-Priority AE (f/5, 1/60sec, EV±0)/ISO 3200/WB: Auto
If you set the High ISO speed noise reduction to [Standard], noise will not be an issue even at ISO 3200. You can also enjoy hand-held photography in places such as dimly lit restaurants.


EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM/FL:  64mm (102mm equivalent)/Aperture-Priority AE (f/8, 1/125sec, EV−0.7)/ISO 2500/WB: Auto
Although the shot is taken at a high ISO speed of ISO 2500, the texture and details of the chair and cushion can still be seen clearly, thus conveying a sense of the good picture quality.


The 45-point all cross-type AF system allows superb tracking of moving subjects

The biggest selling point is probably the fact that the AF system has been expanded both left and right, and up and down, and the number of AF points increased to 45, while retaining the use of all-cross type points. This allows for a moving subject to be captured at a wide range, while at the same time letting you make finer adjustments to the focusing position. I even managed to focus very quickly on a subject on the other side of a window, which is difficult to achieve with older camera models. The AI Servo AF optimized for 45 AF points performs tracking using the colour information of the fast-moving subject as a reference as well, thus allowing you to capture moving bodies reliably. This is probably also useful in snapshots and portraits where you want to capture a momentary facial expression or a spray of water, for example. 

The maximum ISO speed has been increased up to ISO 16000, and improvements made to the high ISO speed performance. Noise can be suppressed by setting the high ISO speed noise reduction to [Standard], allowing for normal use even at ISO 6400. In addition, the low light limit performance of the centre AF points has been improved to EV−3.0, letting you shoot using AF in fairly dark environments as well. The camera is also equipped with numerous modes that let you apply preset effects and express your creativity such as Creative filter and HDR modes, rounding off the functions of this well-balanced camera. With all these new and improved features, this is one camera that is likely to be the centre of attraction this year.

EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM/FL: 18mm (29mm equivalent)/Aperture Priority AE (f/8, 1/40sec, EV−0.3)/ISO 800/WB: Auto
There are probably many people who do not like taking photos from an awkward position. However, with a vari-angle LCD monitor, you can also take photos easily from a low angle and position, such as this one which emulates a cat’s line of sight.


EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM/FL: 85mm (136mm equivalent)/Aperture-Priority AE (f/5, 1/40sec, EV+0.3)/ISO 100/WB: Auto
Use Large Zone AF for fast-moving subjects. I selected the AF zone on the left side when I shot this picture, so as to create space in the seagull’s direction of flight.


EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM/FL: 135mm (216mm equivalent)/Aperture-Priority AE (f/5.6, 1/125sec, EV−0.7)/ISO 6400/WB: Daylight
Overlapping reflections of the subject on the other side of the glass make it difficult to focus with the AF, but the dual cross-type points allow focusing to be carried out quickly.


EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM/FL: 18mm (29mm equivalent)/Aperture-Priority AE (f/5.6, 1/2,000sec, EV±0)/ISO 100/WB: Auto
The vari-angle LCD monitor is useful for taking low angle shots. If you shoot from just above ground level, the depth and impact is enhanced, making the image look more dynamic.


EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM/FL: 135mm (216mm equivalent)/Aperture-Priority AE (f/5.6, 1/200sec, EV+0.7)/ISO 4000/WB: Auto
At ISO 4000, although some noise can be seen from the shadow to the halftone areas, the range is still fairly feasible for use. Using a high ISO speed will widen the range of photos you can take by hand.


EOS 80D Kit II (EF-S18-135mm IS USM)

For details on the EOS 80D Kit II, click here.



Tomoko Suzuki

After graduating from the Tokyo Polytechnic University Junior College, Suzuki joined an advertisement production firm. She has also worked as an assistant to photographers including Kirito Yanase, and specializes in commercial shoots for apparels and cosmetic products. She now works as a studio photographer for an apparel manufacturer.


Digital Camera Magazine

A monthly magazine that believes that enjoyment of photography will increase the more one learns about camera functions. It delivers news on the latest cameras and features and regularly introduces various photography techniques.

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