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Canon 80D vs Canon 5D Mark III


The Canon 80D and the Canon 5D EOS Mark III are fantastic semi-pro DSLR cameras that were crafted by Canon, a company which is well-known for crafting top-notch cameras, and this time, I’ve decided to make a review of these cameras mainly because of the fact that even though there is a 4 year difference between them, each camera is strong enough to satisfy the needs of the photographer in various ways.

They are similar to each other as well, and of course, each camera has its own strengths and weaknesses which will be revealed in this article, with the ultimate goal to decide which one wins the race here.

Ready? Let’s get started right away and find out why since their launch date, they are still an attractive option even nowadays!

Similar Comparison: Nikon D500 vs Canon 80D

Head To Head Comparison

Canon 80D

The Canon EOS 80D boasts an attractive, yet durable, black-finished body that is made of polycarbonate resin with glass fiber, which is furtherly protected by a weather-sealing that will allow you have a worry-free shooting experience regardless of the weather conditions!

In addition, I really like the way Canon managed to implement the control layout, because even though they are numerous, still, each of them can be accessed pretty easily which definitely comes handy and you will undoubtedly find it helpful throughout your shooting sessions.

On the top-center, there’s a hot shoe, a mode dial sits on the left, while on the right, you can instantly notice the presence of the large, monochrome Information display that is surrounded by a couple of buttons that will let you adjust the AF mode, Drive mode, ISO, and the Metering pattern. The front-handgrip employs a release shuttering button and a small dedicated button that helps you set the active focus area.

The rear part of the body looks neat and simple at the same time, since the controls are spread on the top, and right part of the body, and sit next to the viewfinder and the screen.

For your information, the EOS 80D has a fairly large pentaprism viewfinder has a 45 cross-type AF points, and offers up to 100% of coverage which is awesome, due to the fact that aside from being bright enough to let you have a clear sight, its coverage will guarantee you that nothing would be missed in front of your eye!

On the other hand, the 3″ LCD touchscreen has a resolution of 1,040k-dots and what’s also cool is the fact that it has a vari-angle design which will help you tremendously in capturing stunning photos from different angles without letting you feel restricted even for a minute!

When it comes to the connections, the physical connection ports offered by the 80D is a mini-USB port, mini-HDMI port, microphone input, headphone output, wired remote control, and single memory card that supports SD/SDHC/SDXC. If we take the physical connections ports aside, the 80D has built-in support for WI-FI and NFC which is something that I absolutely favor, because as you’d expect, the way you’d transfer your captured content will be extremely smooth!

Performance-wise, the Canon EOS 80D packs a 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor, has a 45-point all cross-type AF system as I’ve mentioned previously, it is powered by a DIGIC 6 image processor,and has a native ISO range of 100-16,000 which is expandable to 25,600!

First of all, I’d like to inform you that the 80D is doing quite a good job in minimizing the noise to the minimum throughout the ISO range, and this is one of the biggest highlights regarding this camera. This stands for both, JPG and RAW format images.

For instance, JPGs images taken through ISO 6400 look fantastic, and at this point, it is hard to tell that you may recognize them quickly, however, if we take ISO 400 as an example, here, details are kind of smoothed away. At ISO 3200, the overall quality of the image is really good, but, keep in mind that you will notice that details are somewhat decreased, but not in a way to make you frustrated. Starting from ISO 12,800 and all the way up to the maximum ISO sensitivity point, blur starts to overcome the image in a bit of an aggressive fashion, and therefore, I’d recommend you avoid going this far.

Moving on, the RAW images taken through ISO 1600-3200 are crisp indeed with no or at least with minimum presence of noise, but, starting from ISO 3200-6400 blur becomes more prominent and the same pattern can be recognized at ISO 12,800 and ISO 16,000.

What i love the most about this camera is that it’s extremely versatile. For example, you can just slap a zoom lens or a lanscape lens to your canon and start shooting your desired photos.

In terms of the video performance, the Canon EOS 80D is strong enough to record 1080p60 videos in MP4 format, and to be honest, the footage quality is simply breath-taking, so, my only remark would be the lack of 4K which would lead me to give more points to the camera. Since this is an amazing camera for video recording, i recommend you also grab a tripod for your Canon 80D.

Canon 80D Sample Footage:

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Canon 5D Mark III

Aesthetically speaking, the 5D EOS Mark III does not only look classy, but it is tough as well, same as the 80D, due to the fact that it has a magnesium alloy and polycarbonate construction that is strengthened by a dust and weather-sealing which is surely a great addition, since you’d never have problems shooting under different weather conditions!

What’s also cool is that this unit is very comfortable to hold, and the reason behind is that Canon has implemented a textured rubber-like coating on its finger grip which definitely adds a lot, because you can shoot for a long period of time without feeling fatigued!

In terms of the controls, well, the 5D Mark III has a well-organized control layout that helps the photographer to switch between menus and adjust the picture according to its preferences without putting effort at all!

Namely, on the top part of the plate, a hot shoe sits on the middle, whereas on the left side, there’s a Mode dial that will offer you 4 modes and three custom settings, as well as a power switch button. On the right, you’ll find an Information LCD screen that is followed by 4 buttons that sit above it, but as you’re moving a bit upper, there is a customizable M-Fn button and a shutter release button.

On the rear, Canon has managed to keep the minimalist look of the control layout, so, there is an array of buttons that sit on the left side, a few buttons on the top, and a couple of more buttons along with a lock switch on the right-hand side of the body.

In-between, sits the viewfinder and the LCD screen, so let’s briefly explain how they will help you capture quality photos.

The pentaprism viewfinder has an approximate magnification of 0.71x, provides up to 100% coverage, and it is bright enough to let you have a clear view of the objects you intend to shoot.

Slightly below, there’s a large, 3.2″, 1040k-dot LCD screen that outputs clear visuals that are filled with accurate colors and numerous details, however, in comparison to the EOS 80D, I think that the latter camera wins the battle here, due to the fact the 5D Mark III lacks touch sensitivity and it is fixed which means that you won’t have the convenience to adjust the position like you’d have with the 80D. Therefore, I think that Canon could have done a better job with the screen.

Moving on, the connection options include a mini-HDMI port, external microphone port, a headphone port, PC sync socket, USB 2.0 port, dual card slots that support SD/SDHC/SDXC and CF cards, and sadly, it lacks Wi-Fi, so, yet again, the 80D appears to be better at this point.

Performance-wise, the 5D Mark III packs a 22MP full-frame CMOS sensor, a continuous shooting rate of 6 fps, 61-point AF system, a native ISO range of 100-25,600 that can be expanded up to 50-102,800 and a Canon DIGIC 5+ image processor that dramatically enhances the sharpness and the overall quality of the photos and videos you’d capture/record.

As was the case with the 80D, the 5D Mark III can also shoot JPG and RAW format images, and it does a pretty good job in minimizing the noise levels as much as possible.

Namely, JPGs shot at ISO 800 have a really low presence of noise, whereas at ISO 3200, images look sharp and here, the noise is nearly undetectable.

On the upper ISO range, starting from ISO 12,800, JPG images are still usable and look good, hence, however, at ISO 51,200-102,400, blur starts to overcome the image and details are not only lost, but the overall picture quality makes the image unusable.

RAW format images shot at ISO 6400, look way more better than JPGs, and this pattern continues all the way up until you push the ISO to 25,600, because as expected, the results of the upper ISO range aren’t the best, and you should avoid them for all cost, except in situations where you should really push that far.

In the end, I’d like to mention that the 5D Mark III records 1080p videos at 30/25/24fps, and although they will get your attention because the footage looks strong, considering the fact that the 80D records at 60 fps, the 5D Mark III underperforms here, hence, I declare the 80D as a winner in this point.

Canon 5D Mark III Sample Footage:

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Canon 80D vs Canon 5D Mark III Feature Comparison

  Canon 80D Canon 5D Mark III
Camera Type DSLR DSLR
Megapixels 24.2 22.3
ISO Range 100-16,000;25,600 100-25,600;50-102,800
Flip-Out Screen Yes No
AF Points 45 AF points 61 AF Points
Viewfinder Yes Yes
Touchscreen Yes No
Video Recording Yes Yes
Sensor Size APS-C Full-Frame

Similar Comparison: Nikon D3500 vs Canon T6I


Finally, we’ve reached the part where we have to bring the final arguments that would help you decide which one would be a better option for you, since by now, I’m sure that you already know that both cameras are excellent for their price.

Well, for portrait photography, the 5D Mark III offers better results in comparison to the 80D whose results aren’t bad, but kind of average.

Furthermore, for street photography, both cameras nearly have the same result, but the 5D Mark III, yet again, wins here by a tiny difference.

Speaking of the sports, daily and landscape photography, both cameras share mainly the same result for sports, however, for daily photography the 5D Mark III can output a better performance, whereas for landscape photography, both cameras output average results.

Last but not least, Canon EOS 5D Mark III in head to head comparison of the key aspects,proves itself as a better camera in terms of the MAX ISO range because it has 50% higher Max ISO when compared to the 80D ( 25,600 vs 16,000), packs 16 more focus points ( 61 vs 45), has a higher color depth ( 24.0 vs 23.6), has a slightly larger screen ( 3.2″ vs 3″) and packs 2 storage slots instead of 1.

On the other hand, the EOS 80D is Wi-Fi/NFC-enabled, has an articulating, touchscreen, has 4 more cross-type focus points ( 45 vs 41), it is by 1 fps faster in terms of the continuous shooting speed, and has a stronger battery life ( 960 vs 950).

Personally, I’d think that the Canon 80D would be a better option for you.

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