Canon 80D versus Canon 5D Mark III
The Canon EOS 80D and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2016 and March 2012. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (80D) and a full frame (5D Mark III) sensor. The 80D has a resolution of 24 megapixel, whereas the 5D Mark III provides 22.1 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.
Body comparison: Canon 80D vs Canon 5D Mark III
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 80D and the Canon 5D Mark III is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the 80D – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 5D Mark III is notably larger (21 percent) than the Canon 80D. Moreover, the 5D Mark III is markedly heavier (30 percent) than the 80D. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor (as in the 5D Mark III) will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, while more compact options are available for the smaller-sensor camera (80D). You can find a comprehensive overview of suitable optics in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Camera Body Specifications|
|Canon 80D»||139 mm||105 mm||79 mm||730 g||960||Y||Feb 2016||1,199|
|Canon 5D Mark III«||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||950 g||950||Y||Mar 2012||3,499||-|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||144 mm||111 mm||75 mm||765 g||1200||Y||Jun 2017||1,999|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||151 mm||116 mm||76 mm||890 g||900||Y||Aug 2016||3,499|
|Canon 1D X Mark II« »||158 mm||168 mm||83 mm||1530 g||1210||Y||Feb 2016||5,999|
|Canon 5DS R« »||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||930 g||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699|
|Canon 5DS« »||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||930 g||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699|
|Canon G3 X« »||123 mm||77 mm||105 mm||733 g||300||Y||Jun 2015||999|
|Canon 7D II« »||149 mm||112 mm||78 mm||910 g||670||Y||Sep 2014||1,799|
|Canon 70D« »||139 mm||104 mm||79 mm||755 g||920||Y||Jul 2013||1,199||-|
|Canon 6D« »||145 mm||111 mm||71 mm||770 g||1090||Y||Sep 2012||2,099||-|
|Canon 60D« »||145 mm||106 mm||79 mm||755 g||1100||Y||Aug 2010||1,399||-|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||152 mm||114 mm||75 mm||850 g||850||Y||Sep 2008||3,499||-|
|Nikon D7500« »||136 mm||104 mm||73 mm||720 g||950||Y||Apr 2017||1,299|
|Nikon D7200« »||136 mm||107 mm||76 mm||765 g||1110||Y||Mar 2015||1,199||-|
|Sony A6300« »||120 mm||67 mm||49 mm||404 g||400||Y||Feb 2016||999||-|
|Sony RX10 II« »||129 mm||88 mm||102 mm||813 g||400||Y||Jun 2015||1,299||-|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 80D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 66 percent) than the 5D Mark III, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison: Canon 80D vs Canon 5D Mark III
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 80D features an APS-C sensor and the Canon 5D Mark III a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the 5D Mark III is 156 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon 80D offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixel, compared with 22.1 MP of the Canon 5D Mark III. This megapixel advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.75μm versus 6.25μm for the 5D Mark III). However, it should be noted that the 80D is much more recent (by 3 years and 11 months) than the 5D Mark III, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar image quality. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Canon 5D Mark III«||Full Frame||22.1||5760||3840||1080/30p||24.0||11.7||2293||81|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||Full Frame||26.0||6240||4160||1080/60p||24.4||11.9||2862||85|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||Full Frame||30.1||6720||4480||4K/30p||24.8||13.6||2995||91|
|Canon 1D X Mark II« »||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4K/60p||24.1||13.5||3207||88|
|Canon 5DS R« »||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/60p||24.6||12.4||2308||86|
|Canon 5DS« »||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/60p||24.7||12.4||2381||87|
|Canon G3 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.4||12.3||521||63|
|Canon 7D II« »||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||11.8||1082||70|
|Canon 70D« »||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/30p||22.5||11.6||926||68|
|Canon 6D« »||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||1080/30p||23.8||12.1||2340||82|
|Canon 60D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.2||11.5||813||66|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||1080/30p||23.7||11.9||1815||79|
|Nikon D7500« »||APS-C||20.7||5568||3712||4K/30p||24.3||14.0||1483||86|
|Nikon D7200« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.5||14.6||1333||87|
|Sony A6300« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.4||13.7||1437||85|
|Sony RX10 II« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||23.0||12.6||531||70|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the 80D provides a higher frame rate than the 5D Mark III. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the 5D Mark III is limited to 1080/30p.
Feature comparison: Canon 80D vs Canon 5D Mark III
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 80D and the 5D Mark III are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 80D and Canon 5D Mark III along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.
|Canon 5D Mark III«||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||8000||6.0||n||n|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||6.5||n||n|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||optical||Y||3.2||1620||fixed||Y||8000||7.0||n||n|
|Canon 1D X Mark II« »||optical||Y||3.2||1620||fixed||Y||8000||16.0||n||n|
|Canon 5DS R« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n|
|Canon 5DS« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n|
|Canon G3 X« »||-||n||3.2||1620||tilting||Y||2000||5.9||Y||Y|
|Canon 7D II« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||8000||10.0||Y||n|
|Canon 70D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||8000||7.0||Y||n|
|Canon 6D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||4000||4.5||n||n|
|Canon 60D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||n||8000||5.3||Y||n|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||8000||3.9||n||n|
|Nikon D7500« »||optical||Y||3.2||922||tilting||Y||8000||8.0||Y||n|
|Nikon D7200« »||optical||Y||3.2||1229||fixed||n||8000||6.0||Y||n|
|Sony A6300« »||2300||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||4000||11.0||Y||n|
|Sony RX10 II« »||2359||Y||3.0||1229||tilting||n||3200||14.0||Y||Y|
The 80D is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the 5D Mark III has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 5D Mark III was succeeded by the Canon 5D Mark IV.
Review summary: Canon 80D vs Canon 5D Mark III
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 80D or the Canon 5D Mark III – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Canon EOS 80D:
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1.5 EV of extra DR).
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
- More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (139x105mm vs 152x116mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 220g or 23 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (66 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 3 years and 11 months of technical progress since the 5D Mark III launch.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III:
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1 stops ISO advantage).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in March 2012).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 80D is the clear winner of the match-up (10 : 3 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the 80D and the 5D Mark III in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Canon 80D»||HiRec||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||1,199|
|Canon 5D Mark III«||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2012||3,499||-|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||Rec||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||4/5||Jun 2017||1,999|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||HiRec||87/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||3,499|
|Canon 1D X Mark II« »||-||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||5,999|
|Canon 5DS R« »||Rec||83/100||5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699|
|Canon 5DS« »||Rec||83/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699|
|Canon G3 X« »||Rec||-||4.5/5||3.5/5||4/5||Jun 2015||999|
|Canon 7D II« »||Rec||84/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||1,799|
|Canon 70D« »||HiRec||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2013||1,199||-|
|Canon 6D« »||HiRec||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,099||-|
|Canon 60D« »||Rec||79/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||1,399||-|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||91/100||79/100||4/5||5/5||-||Sep 2008||3,499||-|
|Nikon D7500« »||HiRec||86/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2017||1,299|
|Nikon D7200« »||HiRec||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2015||1,199||-|
|Sony A6300« »||Rec||85/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2016||999||-|
|Sony RX10 II« »||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2015||1,299||-|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, kindly get in touch, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.
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