With my T3i dead I had to make a quick decision on what to do. There were three main options:
- Get a Canon 80D
- Get a Canon 5D Mark III
- Get a mirrorless camera
I’ve wanted a Canon 5D Mark II & Mark III for YEARS. It’s a full frame camera (bigger sensor/chip) and it is a powerhouse. It’s also like $2,500 and if you get it you need to also get lenses for it which could range $500-$2,000. Honestly though it wasn’t the money that convinced me not to get it, its that the 5D Mark IV is rumored to be releasing this fall. At this point the 5D Mark III is a bit dated and even if its a powerhouse it seems silly to get a camera that is a bit out of touch.
I could jump ship. Not get a DSLR and go with a mirrorless camera. Lots of photographers say good things about Sony’s mirrorless cameras. They still cost a fair amount of money for a decent one so its not like I would be saving cash by going mirrorless. Also I was in a crunch and didn’t have time to do the full research on what mirrorless might meet my needs.
The Canon 80D is the top of the line for Canon’s crop-sensors (a sensor smaller than the full frame sensor). It was just released this year and has an upgraded sensor so it’s pretty darn good with low light and features. The price for the camera body isn’t cheap, but it’s also not expensive. It would also be a massive step-up from the T3i. The biggest complaint I saw in reviews was that it didn’t do 4k video. Well I don’t do video anyway so not a problem for me.
So what to do? The 5D Mark III was sooooo tempting, but when staked agains the 80D the features weren’t as good and the prices were DRASTICALLY different. I think if the 5D Mark IV was out, I might have caved and bought one, but since it wasn’t I went with the 80D!
Along with the 80D body I picked up a 18-135mm lens. I need a wide lens to shoot over the head wide shots of games. Then I need something that gets close to macro quality when doing close-ups of games. It was a massive pain in the butt to always switch between lenses so I figured the 18-135mm might cover both extremes. I’ve NOT done a game shoot yet so I don’t know for sure how I will like using it, but I think it will turn out nice.
I’m still learning the system. Mostly it’s about limits. I knew how far I could push the T3i. If I was shooting a game for a client I dare not go over 400 iso or there would be too much noise. So far the 80D blows it out of the water! I went to the local aquarium and took some great photos at 3200 iso!
The 80D has some neat features. For example, I can connect the camera to my iPhone and pull images off it or use it to remotely control the camera (which you can see above). The autofocus has 45 points which is a huge improvement over the 9 that the T3i had. It’s weather sealed so I don’t need to worry about a bit of ran and the touch screen on it is really responsive. So far I’m loving the Canon 80D!
Here are a few test shots I took with the Canon 80D and the 18-135mm lens!