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I'm looking at getting a pretty good nick second hand 80D for £500 (body only). This is a good discount compared to a brand new 80D, but I'm wondering how it compares to a 250D. I can get this new for basically the same price (with a Canon EF-s 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens included).

Main disadvantages I see of the 250D: slightly smaller sensor [332mm^2 vs 338mm^2], lower max shutter continuous shooting (5 vs 7 p/sec).

This will be my first DSLR. I'm thinking that while the 250D was released into a lower price category, making it appear a cheaper / lower quality camera, the time between the releases (3 years) means the 250D is basically as good as the 80D but in this case brand new, plus it can handle 4K video and is much lighter. (main two advantages I see it having).

EDIT:

Thanks for the replies. I think the main take away is the 80D has a better body/build quality, better Auto Focus features, and has more buttons/dials and knobs to more easily influence the photo [where the 250 might require deeper involvement with menus/settings on the screen]. Other than that, the internals are more or less the same, with the 250D having the advantage of a digic 8 processor (allowing for 4K video). All this tells me you can probably achieve the same quality on the 250D but with less convenience.

I understand the relative pros/cons are heavily reliant on the use cases of the user and I apologise for what will look like gross generalisations to some in the above paragraph. I would like to take photos of nature (landscapes, mountains, lakes, hiking trails, trees, birds), portrait shots and cityscapes. I would like the camera to give me as much control as possible so I can progress from amateur to enthusiast without having to buy another camera.

I'm now leaning favourably towards the second hand 80D. I'm just considering the value at £500.

  • slightly smaller sensor - I wonder where you learned about that, as both have Canon's APS-C sensors. Maybe the total sensor area is bigger, but the effective one (the photosensitive part) will be the same size (maybe ± 1mm²). – flolilo Aug 25 '19 at 18:18
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    As to I'm wondering how [an 80D] compares to a 250D - in what respects? I.e.: What do you want to do with your new DSLR? Sports? Street? Family? – flolilo Aug 25 '19 at 18:20
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    Why do you say that lighter is an advantage? – Please Read My Profile Aug 25 '19 at 18:58
  • Depends on the purpose you need this dslr for. As first dslr, I would suggest to go with 250D if you are just starting out. Please edit the question to include details like what purpose you will use it for, are you a hobbyist or looking to be pro? – Vijendra Parashar Aug 25 '19 at 20:31
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    The 250D may be 3 years newer than the 80D, but it appears to have the same sensor. Canon lists both at 22.3x14.9 mm, and with 25.8 total MP. The 0.1 MP difference in "effective" MP appears to be due to a few more pixels used for LV AF in lower end Rebels without Dual Pixel CMOS. This is quite common in the EOS system. Lower tier models inherit the sensors used in earlier higher tier models. The 18MP sensor introduced in the original 7D in 2009, for instance, was still being used when the Rebel T6/1300D was introduced in 2016. – Michael C Aug 26 '19 at 2:03
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If you plan on using your dslr as a glorified point and shoot, go with the 250D.

If you plan on learning to shoot, using M Av or Tv modes, plan on using more than the center AF point, get the 80D.

Among other things, the rear dial and joystick are THE features that I can’t live without. And, if you need to switch settings on the fly, they’re indispensable.

But, if you don’t plan to learn some shooting, and only want to use the full auto or scene modes, then you wouldn’t be using these features anyway.

Sensor tech is cool and all but when comparing different grades of camera, look at whether or not you’ll be using the features that come with that grade.


From OP: This was quite interesting for me. I've assumed you're implying the additional dials are very advantageous as they allow you to avoid going through the screen / menu options to achieve the same thing making it much more likely you'll make good use of them.

The joystick allows for very quick AF point adjustment. Simply push it in a direction and boom, new point selected. On an XXXD, one must first hit the AF Select button and then spin the dial until you wind up at the chosen point. Doing this for a portrait isn't the end of the world - doing it for action/wildlife/anything moving will really cramp your style.

But, again, this assumes that you intentionally set AF points - something many beginner shooters don't bother with. If you don't need the feature, why pay for it?

The rear dial is much the same. In M mode, it allows for your shutter speed options to be on one dial and aperture on the other, allowing you to adjust both at the same time. Again, if shooting stationary objects, it's no real loss. If shooting moving subjects in changing light, it's a real benefit.

In Av or Tv modes, your main dial adjusts the chosen aperture/shutter speed while the other adjusts exposure compensation. Again, super useful.

The ergonomics and handling of the XXD and XD series are far and away better than the XXXD series...but they're also targeted toward people that know how to use a camera and will want to adjust those settings. There are many people that simply want a camera and never move off the green box mode and think that dial is simply there for menu navigation. For those, the XXXD is the winner.

I mention these points because, to me, the ability to use a tool easily outweighs almost all other factors.

I would like to take photos of nature (landscapes, mountains, lakes, hiking trails, trees, birds), portrait shots and cityscapes.

The 80D will excel here in shooting the birds. The rest is a toss up. The best gear you can get for landscape is ... drumroll ... not a camera. It's not even a lens. It's a filter.

Every one of your favorite landscape shots from a pro was shot with a polarizer, possibly a neutral density, possibly a graduated neutral density.

My most recent acquisition was a 5Dmk2. Yes, the one from 2008. Yea, camera tech has come a long way since then. But, it meets my needs and I'd rather sink the money into glass - both lenses and filters.

I would like the camera to give me as much control as possible so I can progress from amateur to enthusiast without having to buy another camera.

If you truly do want to go from amateur to enthusiast, go with the 80D. It's the same control layout as every other camera on up the food chain to pro bodies. There's a reason for it.

I'm now leaning favourably towards the second hand 80D. I'm just considering the value at £500.

Camera tech evolves constantly and unless you are a pro needing the latest feature for something, it's likely that you can get by very well with outdated tech. Like I said, I'm still rocking the 5Dmk2 and a 60D on the side (and some film gear to, but that's a different story).

You're better off spending less on an older body and more on better glass than you would be getting a newer body but having to spend less on glass. I can't stress this enough.

  • This was quite interesting for me. I've assumed you're implying the additional dials are very advantageous as they allow you to avoid going through the screen / menu options to achieve the same thing making it much more likely you'll make good use of them. – user3256393 Aug 26 '19 at 10:32
  • @user3256393 my response to your comment was too long for a comment. Answer updated – Hueco Aug 26 '19 at 16:40
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See this comparison.

The time between releases does somewhat compensate the technology gap, but that's not the only difference, the xxD (expert) series are also better built (dust/moisture resistant) and have a much better viewfinder. They also have features that may not be found in the entry-level cameras (integrated level, microfocus adjustment...).

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It would be helpful for you to prioritize the features you need vs want vs don't care about. As for some of the points you mention:

  • Sensor size. The difference, if any, is negligible. Canon describes the 80D has having a sensor that is "Approx. 22.5mm x 15.0mm". That also describes the 250D "22.3 mm x 14.9 mm". If sensor size is a serious concern, most other manufacturers use larger APS-C sensors than Canon does.

  • Max burst speed. You describe desiring to take photos of "nature (landscapes, mountains, lakes, hiking trails, trees, birds), portrait shots and cityscapes." Except for the birds, most of those subjects won't be moving around much, so rapid-fire shutter will just give you more duplicates to cull.

  • 4k video. How useful this is depends on how much you shoot video. However, its presence on the 250D is indicative of some technology advances.

Features you haven't mentioned that are worth considering:

  • Build quality. Durability.
  • Autofocus Micro Adjustment. This is used to fix small misalignment problems that are caused by the use of different sensors in DSLRs to calculate exposure, autofocus, and imaging. On cameras without AFMA, you can use Live View, but that isn't helpful if you prefer the viewfinder. The 80D has AFMA. The 250D does not.

  • Normal vs Expanded ISO ranges. This is mainly a convenience factor. The 80D appears to have a larger normal ISO range. The expanded ISO range between the two is the same.

  • It seems as if the 80D you are considering does not come with a lens. What lenses are you considering? What lenses would you want in the future? Though some may disagree, this can be as important as the camera body.

  • If you intend to get the most sharpness out of your lenses, you should be aware that Canon cameras (including the ones you are considering) tend to have strong anti-aliasing (AA) filters. The purpose of the AA filter is to reduce moire, but higher resolution sensors tend to not need as much moire reduction. There is a trend for some manufacturers to remove or weaken the AA filter. So far, Canon has done this with only some of their full frame models.

    Here is a crop that shows the effect anti-aliasing filters can have on image quality. The right-side was taken with a Canon EOS SL1. The exact same lens (EF 40/2.8 STM) and settings were used.

    anti-aliasing

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    The OP does not ask "Should I get one of these models or something else?" (which would be expressly off topic). The OP asks "What is the difference between these two cameras?" – Michael C Aug 26 '19 at 2:40
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    "No" or "Neither" is a valid answer to X or Y. – xiota Aug 26 '19 at 2:54
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    Conducting a one-person crusade against a particular type of camera, such as "DSLRs", from a particular manufacturer, such as Canon, is specifically excluded in the site guidelines. This is not the first such answer you've made with regard to a question about Canon DSLRs. When the unique characteristics of a certain camera are applicable to a specific use case brought up in the question, such criticism is usually appropriate. Offering it when those characteristics are not particularly applicable to a question is not. – Michael C Aug 26 '19 at 3:05
  • There are many questions on this site that are caused by the use of different sensors in DSLRs. The antialiasing filter does affect image quality. These are valid points to consider when choosing a camera. Whatever camera OP ultimately decides to buy is up to them. – xiota Aug 26 '19 at 3:09
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat. – xiota Aug 26 '19 at 4:44

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