Is the Canon 80d a Full Frame or Crop Camera? No, and here’s why!

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The Canon 80d is not a full-frame camera. It has an APS-C (crop) sensor, that’s 1.6x smaller than a full-frame sensor. However, its smaller sensor also allows for a longer focal length (when used with full-frame lenses), which can be beneficial for certain types of photography, such as telephoto shots.

canon 80d

The good thing about this camera is it’s capable of producing high-quality photos and video. It’s an affordable mid-range DSLR that has weather-sealing as well.

Moreover, the Canon 80D is an excellent choice for those looking to step up from an entry-level camera or as your first camera.

My experience with the Canon 80D has been positive. It’s a great camera for beginners, but it also has some advanced features that will appeal to more experienced photographers like myself.

The autofocus system is fast and accurate, and I like how easy it is to navigate through all of its settings and menus.

I’ve had it for about four years now, and I’ve taken thousands of photos with it. The camera itself doesn’t feel cheap and plastic-y like some other entry-level DSLRs do.

It’s also lightweight and not too bulky like my Canon 5D Mark IV, which makes it easy to travel with.

It was released in 2016 and an upgrade to the popular Canon 70D, which is another good option for beginner photographers.

The 80D has more megapixels and a larger viewfinder coverage, but it’s also slightly heavier than the 70D.

Also, the 80D doesn’t shoot 4K video, which is a letdown for those who want to use their camera for more than just photography.

Overall, if you don’t need 4K video or a more advanced camera for professional use, the Canon 80D is a great choice. This is a rock solid Full HD photo/video camera that’s easy to use and a great fit for those who want to get into photography but don’t have a lot of experience.

It’s also a good option for professionals in need of a backup camera or one they can easily travel with.

But if filming in 4K is important to you, then you might consider the Canon 90D, which is a DSLR as well.

Key specs

Sensor: 24MP APS-C CMOS
AF System: Dual Pixel, 45-point (all cross-type)
Shutter speed (max): 1/8000 sec
Burst rate: 7 fps
LCD: fully articulating, touchscreen
Mic/headphone jacks: Yes
Video: 1080 at 60p
Connectivity: Wi-Fi and NFC
Battery life: approx. 950 shots
Weather sealing: Yes
Weight: 730g

Is the Canon 80D right for you? What is the advantage of having an APS-C sensor over a full-frame sensor?

full-frame vs crop sensor in dslr
Inside the inner box is what you should see when using an APS-C sensor camera.

Now you may wonder why anyone would buy a camera with an APS-C sensor when they could get better quality from a full-frame camera.

But first, a brief explanation of what APS-C means. Don’t worry, it won’t be too long coz’ I don’t want to bore you with too much technical jargon.

APS-C cameras, also known as crop sensor cameras, are a type of digital camera that has a smaller imaging sensor than full-frame cameras.

Its imaging sensor measures approximately 24mm x 16mm. APS-C stands for Advanced Photo System type-C.


The Canon 80D has a 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor and it has several advantages over a full-frame camera.

1. One of the most significant advantages is that APS-C cameras are typically smaller and lighter than full-frame cameras, making them more portable and easier to carry around.

Since they’re smaller, they only need smaller image circles, which means the lenses are designed to be more compact, lighter, and less expensive than their full-frame counterparts.

This can be especially beneficial for travel photographers or for those who prefer a more compact and lightweight camera.

2. Additionally, APS-C cameras tend to be less expensive than full-frame cameras, making them a more affordable option for photographers who are on a budget.

The Canon 80D can be a great starter camera for hobbyists or those who are just starting out in photography and are looking for a high-quality camera without breaking the bank.

And as I’ve mentioned above, Canon EF-S (APS-C) lenses are generally cheaper than EF (full-frame) lenses.

3. Another advantage of having an APS-C camera is its ability to “extend” the focal length of your lens. But how?

When your pair your Canon 80D or other crop sensor camera with a lens that is designed for a full-frame camera, the image circle of the lens will be smaller than what it should be. This means that your “effective focal length” will be longer than it actually is.

Black-headed Gull
Captured with 80D and Sigma 500mm lens. By Hans.

For example, if you pair your APS-C camera with, let’s say a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 lens, then it will behave like an 80mm lens!

This feature can be beneficial for certain types of photography like birding, wildlife, and concert photography.

But it’s also worth mentioning that, we also need to multiply not just the focal length but also the aperture of your lens by 1.6 or so. So if you use an f/1.8 lens, it will behave like an f/2.7 in terms of depth of field!


Now about its disadvantages, one potential disadvantage of an APS-C camera is that they tend to produce more noise and has slower performance than a full-frame camera. Given that they’re from the same generation.

This is because they have smaller sensors and therefore less surface area to capture light, which results in more noise being produced during high ISO shooting.

landscape photo
Canon EOS 80D & Tokina atx-i 11-16mm F2.8 CF. By JAMG

However, many modern APS-C cameras have very good low-light performance and high ISO capabilities so this isn’t that big of a deal anymore for most casual users.

In contrast, if you’re a professional photographer that needs to shoot in low light situations frequently and wants to produce high-quality images without compromising on image quality or performance, then a full-frame camera is definitely the way to go.

Overall, the advantages of using a Canon 80D APS-C camera includes a more portable and lightweight design, a longer focal length, and lower cost.

While there are some disadvantages such as a narrower field of view and low light/high ISO performance, these are only minor inconveniences that shouldn’t be a deal breaker for most casual users.

Can I use a full-frame lens on a Canon 80D?

Yes, you can use a full-frame lens on your Canon 80D. And it can still produce great images. For example, I can mount my Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 lens onto my Canon 80D and it will still work fine.

However, doing so will result in a crop factor of 1.6x, which means that the focal length of my lens will increase by approx. 60%.

My Canon 50mm lens will now have the same field of view as an 80mm lens! Allowing me to get more reach without buying a new lens.

This is actually a good thing if you’re trying to photograph something that’s further away from you, like birds, wildlife, concerts, or athletes in action.