Now that Canon’s 90D has been released, I wanted to see how it stacks up versus the earlier 80D DSLR. At first glance, the two cameras look similar; the biggest physical difference is that the 90D adds a joystick to control autofocus. But beneath the hood, these are very different DSLRs.
What exactly did Canon change, and is it worth paying the extra money for the 90D ($1200 vs $1000)? The information below explains the key points you need to know.
|Camera Feature||Canon 80D||Canon 90D|
|Sensor Resolution||24.2 megapixels||32.5 megapixels|
|Sensor Size||22.5 × 15mm||22.3 × 14.8 mm|
|Sensor Pixel Size||3.7µ||3.2µ|
|Low Pass Filter||Yes||Yes|
|Low Pass Filter Dust Reduction||Yes||Yes|
|Image Size||6000 × 4000 pixels||6960 × 4640 pixels|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 6||DIGIC 8|
|Built-in Flash||Yes, with flash commander mode||Yes, with flash commander mode|
|Storage Media||1× SD, UHS I Compatible||1× SD, UHS II Compatible|
|Continuous Shooting Speed||7 FPS||10 FPS (11 FPS with focus locked)|
|Buffer Size (RAW)||25||24 (UHS I card); 25 (UHS II card)|
|Shutter Speed Range||1/8000 to 30 sec||1/16,000 to 30 sec (electronic); 1/8000 to 30 sec (mechanical)|
|Shutter Durability||100,000 cycles||200,000 cycles|
|Exposure Metering Sensor||63-zone, 7560-pixel RGB+IR||216-zone, 220,000-pixel RGB+IR|
|Base ISO||ISO 100||ISO 100|
|Native ISO Sensitivity||ISO 100-6400||ISO 100-25,600|
|Boosted ISO Sensitivity||Up to ISO 25,600||Up to ISO 51,200|
|Focus Points||45-point, all cross-type||45-point, all cross-type|
|On Sensor Phase Detection||Yes||Yes|
|Live View Eye AF||No||Yes|
|Video Maximum Resolution||1920 × 1080 up to 60 fps||4K at 30 fps; 1920 × 1080 up to 120 fps|
|LCD Size||3″ diagonal LCD||3″ diagonal LCD|
|LCD Resolution||1,040,000 dots||1,040,000 dots|
|Built-in Wi-Fi / NFC||Yes||Yes|
|Battery||LP-E6N Lithium-Ion Battery||LP-E6N Lithium-Ion Battery|
|Battery Life (23°C, 50% with flash)||960 shots (CIPA)||1300 shots (CIPA)|
|Weather Sealed Body||Yes||Yes|
|USB Version||2.0 Micro-B||2.0 Micro-B|
|Weight (Body Only, Includes Battery and Card)||730 g (25.8 oz)||701 g (24.7 oz)|
|Dimensions||139 × 105.2 × 78.5 mm (5.5 × 4.1 × 3.1 in)||140.7 × 104.8 × 76.8 mm (5.5 × 4.1 × 3.0 in)|
|Announced||February 2016||August 2019|
|Current Price (Body Only)||$999||$1199|
As you can see, there are a huge number of differences between the 80D and 90D – not really surprising, given a difference of more than three years between their announcements.
The headline features on the 90D are its brand new 32.5-megapixel sensor, 4K video (at full sensor width), and 10 FPS shooting (11 FPS with focus locked). These alone are well worth the extra $200 over the 80D, in my opinion.
But beyond the most obvious feature differences, plenty of little things make the 90D a better DSLR than the 80D. Its shutter is twice as durable, rated to 200,000 shots rather than 100,000. It improves battery life by over 300 shots – 960 vs 1300. It even adds a fully electronic shutter, the first we’ve ever seen on a DSLR.
In short, the 90D is a vastly improved camera compared to the already-great 80D.
Camera Body Comparison
The photo at the top of this article demonstrates just how similar the Canon 80D and 90D look from the front. The differences on the back are a bit clearer, although these are still extremely similar cameras. All images are to scale:
The biggest change is the addition of a joystick on the 90D. This is a very welcome sight and an easy way to adjust autofocus points. Because of the new joystick, a couple other buttons got shuffled around slightly; the “Q” button is now a bit lower, while the review button has moved to the bottom of the 90D next to the “Delete” button. Other than that, the cameras have the same layout.
And from the top:
In this case, the two cameras have exactly the same control layout. Clearly, existing 80D users will find the 90D very familiar to use overall.
However, note that Canon did shave off some weight on the 90D – 619 vs 730 grams (body only), which is certainly welcome.
Who Should Get the 80D or 90D?
At the moment, the Canon 80D costs $1000 new versus $1200 for the 90D. At that price, the 90D is a no-brainer for most photographers. The 90D’s newer sensor, joystick, faster frame rate, and 4K video are certainly worth the difference in cost.
However, note that the 80D is currently selling for very good prices on the used market because it has been available for so long. You can easily find it for $650 (body only) on sites like FredMiranda and eBay. It will be a long time before the 90D goes down that much on the used market.
So – if you’re on a budget, and you don’t mind buying used, the 80D remains an excellent purchase today. We gave it excellent ratings in our review, and that hasn’t changed just because there’s a newer version.
But if you want one of Canon’s best aps-c cameras, and $1200 is in your budget, go for the 90D. Its features are pretty incredible for an aps-c DSLR, or, frankly, for any DSLR. The 90D is certainly a worthy upgrade and a great addition to Canon’s camera lineup.