Canon Unveils 80D DSLR & PZ-E1 Powered Zoom Accessory with New 18-135mm Lens

Canon PZ E1 Power Zoom Adapter with Lens
Canon has announced a moderate upgrade with their new 80D DSLR, but what might be of more interest is their new Power Zoom adapter and an on-camera shotgun microphone.

While this power zoom adapter won't work with any lens right off the bat, they have designed it to work specifically with the new APS-C 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens. It gives better control for zooming while shooting movies (instead of doing it manually), so you can use the camera more like you would with any 1/3" or 2/3" handheld camera. 

Here's a rundown on all of these announcements from B&H:

Canon 80D

Canon 80D Front No Lens

First, here are the specs of the 80D, which doesn't feature 4K, but does have 1080p 60fps:

  • 24.2MP APS-C CMOS Sensor, 6000 x 4000
  • DIGIC 6 Image Processor
  • 3.0" 1.04m-Dot Vari-Angle Touchscreen
  • ISO 100-16000 (Extended Mode: 100-25600)
  • MOV: 1920 x 1080p / 29.97 fps (90 Mbps) / 23.98 fps (90 Mbps)
  • MP4: 1920 x 1080p / 59.94 fps (60 Mbps) / 29.97 fps (30 Mbps) / 29.97 fps (12 Mbps) / 23.98 fps (30 Mbps) 1280 x 720p / 59.94 fps (26 Mbps) / 29.97 fps (4 Mbps)
  • 45-Point All Cross-Type AF System
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF
  • Up to 7 fps Shooting
  • Built-In Wi-Fi with NFC
  • 1/8" Headphone, 1/8" Microphone, HDMI C (Mini), USB 2.0
  • RGB+IR 7560-Pixel Metering Sensor
  • Availability: March 2016
  • Price: $1,200 Body Only, $1,350 with 18-55mm, $1,800 with 18-135mm

Canon 80D Back LCD Out

And the intro video from Canon:

Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fj2O7ZUS_Xk

PZ-E1 Power Zoom Adapter & New 18-135mm

Canon has given us a number of firsts alongside the 80D. The $150 Power Zoom adapter (coming out in June 2016) gives you zoom control on lenses that are otherwise manual. Canon has done this by adding a small wheel and some contact points underneath the new $600 18-135mm lens:

Canon 18-135mm Lens Bottom

And here's another look at the adapter, with the lens already attached:

Canon PZ E1 Power Zoom Adapter with Lens Side

Canon PZ-E1 Power Zoom Adapter No Lens

This is really something Canon has needed for a while. While Sony has put the zoom functionality into a few of their lower-end lenses, it makes sense that Canon wants to keep the lens small for when you don't need it. Obviously this isn't the best lens for cinematic imagery with its non-constant aperture, so it would be interesting to see if they release some newer L series lenses with the technology built in to handle the power zoom adapter. 

The nice thing about the adapter is that it's not reliant on the camera in any way, as it is battery powered, and thus can work with any camera you put it on, even non-Canon cameras. Though you're not going to get quite the performance of a traditional zoom rocker, it is a huge step up from manually zooming for a lot of applications where a DSLR is needed for size and maneuverability.  

More on the new 18-135mm lens from B&H:

This the first Canon lens equipped with Nano USM, a new type of focusing motor that combines the benefits of a ring USM (ultrasonic motor) for high-speed AF during still photo shooting and lead-screw type STM (stepping motor) for smooth and quiet movie AF, and improved AF speeds up to 4.3x (Tele) and 2.5x (Wide) faster than the previous model. The Canon EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens also provides up to four stops of optical image stabilization. A new lens hood, the EW-73D, is included with the new lens.

DM-E1 Directional Microphone

And here's a look at the new $250 shotgun mic, which unlike the power zoom adapter, should work with pretty much all of Canon's newer DSLRs:

Rather than using the camera's battery, this microphone incorporates its own power source to offer longer continuous recording times. The included CR2032 button-type lithium cell battery is easily replaceable and a power check lamp is featured on the mic body for checking battery level status. Additionally, when connected to a camera, the microphone will be automatically turned on or off in conjunction with the camera's own on/off switch.

Canon DM-E1 Direction Microphone

Canon G7 X Mark II

Canon G7 X Mark II Front

The company also introduced a new PowerShot G7 X Mark II:

  • 20.1MP 1" CMOS Sensor
  • DIGIC 7 Image Processor
  • 4.2x Optical Zoom f/1.8-2.8 Lens
  • 24-100mm (35mm Equivalent)
  • 3.0" 1.04m-Dot Tilting LCD Touchscreen
  • Full HD 1080p Video Recording at 60 fps
  • Built-In Wi-Fi with NFC
  • Expanded ISO 25600, Up to 8 fps Shooting
  • Intelligent IS Image Stabilization
  • Manual Control Ring, Time Lapse Movie
  • Availability: March 2016
  • Price: $700

Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qZi1l_nlR0

All of the pre-order links are below.     

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Your Comment

23 Comments

Couldn't they have built that into the lens itself?

February 18, 2016 at 1:53PM

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Corey Machado
Video Editor
147

talk to canon marketing

February 18, 2016 at 2:01PM

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Good lenses have them externally, or not at all.

February 18, 2016 at 2:05PM

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Justin Gladden
Producer
629

The "good" lenses you're referring to aren't relevant to this discussion. This is about inexpensive cameras and inexpensive power zooms for these inexpensive cameras. So the comparison to Sony's power zooms (or any other competing manufacturer) are perfectly valid.

You're also implying that lenses such as the Sony 28-135mm f/4 cinema lens-- that is parfocal, maintains a fixed max aperture and incorporates optical stabilization-- isn't "good." I'm pretty sure it's considered at least "good" by the standards of 99% of people reading this website.

I'm probably wrong, but off the bat I can't think of any cinema zoom lenses that cover an S35 sensor and include a power zoom adapter. Sure, you can add one, but I don't see that done very often except in ENG applications, which again brings us back to news shooting, not cinema. And though I'm probably wrong, there's still a point to be made in there, somewhere. Probably.

February 19, 2016 at 6:13PM

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That would block the light ;-)

February 18, 2016 at 4:06PM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
9655

Even the best and most expensive broadcast zoom lenses (as well as the budget ones) have detachable zoom rockers. Although hardly anyone ever takes them off - they are seperate pieces of hardware with a motor inside that attaches to the lens with gears. They are also attached to the camera with a connector plug for lens info.

However this Canon zoom rocker looks really sketchy. I don't see it as being of much use for zooming while shooting because with that small thing you can certainly not control the zoom speed smoothly enough.

February 19, 2016 at 5:54PM

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"While this power zoom adapter won't work with with any lens right off the..."

You have an extra 'with' here

February 18, 2016 at 4:05PM, Edited February 18, 4:05PM

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Gareth Ng
Cinematographer
669

I'm actually (legitimately) still confused by that sentence.

"While this power zoom adapter won't work with any lens right off the bat, they have designed it to work specifically with the new APS-C 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens."

So, this "new APS-C 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens" isn't the the same 18-135mm IS lens shipping with the 80D in March? I'm honestly curious if this is the case, or if you worded the sentence wrong. There are 4 versions of this 18-135mm lens now (I own the STM version)-- and I either don't understand why Canon would sell this camera with an 18-135mm lens incompatible with this dual-announced adapter, or if you actually mean that this 4th version of the 18-135mm is the *only* lens this adapter will work with immediately?

February 19, 2016 at 6:02PM

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Zeiss has a detachable Servo Unit similar in concept to this but high-end, for their Compact Zoom lenses.

February 18, 2016 at 4:26PM, Edited February 18, 4:26PM

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Canon 80D is at least $700 over-priced.

February 18, 2016 at 4:47PM, Edited February 18, 4:47PM

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Alexandra
Videographer / Documentary Filmmaker
381

1080p in 2016...it's like Canon isn't even trying.

February 18, 2016 at 8:51PM, Edited February 18, 9:01PM

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Well, it is a consumer camera. Where, except for youtube, do you actually have a reason for 4k video? And youtube's quality is so bad in all settings that upscaling 1080 to 4k looks just the same in the end as 4k to youtube 4k.

And then again, how many people have 4k screens yet on their computers or devices?

I do not really see a necessity for a lot of stuff to be shot in 4k. Up until now, tons of high end movies have been shot on the old Alexa in 2k and who really cared?

An by the way - when you look at 4k video from smaller, non pro cameras like dslrs closely, it often is not that much different from 1080. Only with higher-end cameras and lenses do you get "real 4k" anyways. So I don't see why Canon has to put 4k into a lower end consumer camera.

February 19, 2016 at 6:04PM

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You miss the point. Whether it's "needed" now, or 3 years from now, doesn't matter. What matters is that, all else equal, Canon isn't going to sell this camera when it's compared to a rival that has the 4K feature. It's that simple.

But to expand, it's widely known that 4K is the best thing to happen to 1080P, since 1080P. When 4K is intelligently rendered down to a 1080P format, you suddenly end up with what is essentially 10-bit video, with a 4:4:4 color space. That definitely matters. And I'm pretty sure Canon knows this- it's C100, C100 mk II, and C300, still on the market, still only shoot in 1080P.

And who, beside YouTube vloggers who don't care about production values much, shoot with YouTube as the ultimate destination in mind? You sure aren't going to grow as a director, DP, cameraman, editor, etc., with that low standard governing your equipment and production workflow.

One day YouTube could support a higher quality codec (imagine!), and if you never shot with anything better in mind, your content is forever stuck in the crap quality standards you help yourself to in those days gone by.

February 19, 2016 at 6:24PM

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I don't say there is no need for 4k video at all. I am just saying I don't really see the need for it in a consumer grade apsc photo camera.
If you really want to future proof your cinematic masterpieces, then go get a real camera! Why are you shooting on a consumer dslr in the first place?

February 19, 2016 at 6:35PM

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Yawn. Canon marketed the 70D as a video-centric DSLR due to its new dual-pixel autofocus (sidenote: Sony and Panasonic have already had continuous autofocus in their mirrorless cameras for years). Keeping in line with that marketing, the 80D (and 7D Mark II for that matter) should have included 4K video to stay relevant as a video-centric DSLR.

It makes no sense why they won't include 4K video in this day and age. Is it to protect the price point of the 1DC? It's so overpriced that no one will ever buy one anyway! Instead of 4K they give us 60p (a feature they withheld from even the C100) and act like it's a big deal, while practically every Sony and Panasonic camera on the market including some point-and-shoots can do 120p or even 240p and beyond.

The zoom adapter is a nice concept, but Sony and Panasonic have already had servo-zoom lenses on the market for their mirrorless cameras for years now, including some very nice ones like the Sony 28-135mm f4. Seeing as the Canon adapter is probably too small to work with the 24-70 or 70-200, it won't interest many professionals. You can pick up the Sony equivalent of the 18-135 with servo zoom already built in for half the price of the Canon lens.

The shotgun mic is nice but overpriced compared to what you can get from Rode. How about giving us proper XLR inputs instead like Sony did with the XLR-K2M unit which pops onto the hot shoe of the A7S and runs off the camera battery, giving you two phantom powered XLR inputs? Canon has nothing like that on the market.

Canon is falling farther and farther behind. As someone who got his start with Canon cameras, it's just sad to watch. They have alienated half their clientele by ignoring the needs of video shooters and insisting they buy their overpriced C100/300 line instead. Canon doesn't seem to get that video shooters, not still photographers, are the main market for professional APS-C cameras. Pro still photographers are gonna go full frame. Amateur still photographers are gonna go for the cheaper Rebel line. Who does that leave to purchase the 80D if not video shooters?? If they added 4K video and cut the price a bit these would sell like hotcakes. Instead they will sit on the shelves.

February 18, 2016 at 11:29PM, Edited February 18, 11:39PM

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I can't speak to the Sony as I've never used one, but the autofocus on Panasonic cameras (I own the GX7, GX8 and GH4 - only the latter two have DFD technology) isn't even close to Canon's dual pixel technology - it's rock-solid and doesn't temporarily lose focus like the Pannys.

Amongst the vast number of still photographers I know, and no one uses their APS-C cameras primarily for video - some don't even take video at all. Hell, even with M43, I use my GH4 more for photography than video...

February 19, 2016 at 5:46PM

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Dan Horne
370

You realize your on a site called "No Film School," right?

Amongst the vast number of videographers I know, a very large percentage still use an MFT or APS-C stills and video camera as either their primary camera or their b/c camera, for video.

With the new a6300, Sony just dropped a camera with AF video tech that's far beyond what Canon offers with their "Dual-Pixel" tech (in my experience/opinion), and is better than the native AF in Sony's a7rII (according to Sony).

It also delivers a 4K image that has the potential to rival the 4K image quality from the FS5 (since it's derived from a full-sensor 6K scan, and given the corresponding IQ boost from that extra picture information). It's 4K video should best (again, for $1,000) the picture quality of every single Canon camera on the market, except for, perhaps, the 1DC, C300 mkII, and C500.

I think MFT and APS-C hybrid cameras are still a very relevant choice for video shooters. Own an FS5/7 and need a 2nd or 3rd camera? Are you just getting into video and don't have $6K to $16K to drop on a video camera? This is an amazing option. I also expect the upcoming GH5 to create a lot of interest among video shooters.

February 19, 2016 at 6:38PM

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In my experience, more and more videographers go for "real" video cameras these days. A Canon 100/300, Sony FS700 or F3 is what I see people using.
I mean, real video cameras have caught on to what the dslr craze once started. Now cinematographers are going back to real video cameras because they are just better for shooting video...

If I thought about buying a new Canon dslr, it would be for shooting stills mainly. And since it is just a hobby, I'd probably stick with apsc. And then I'd maybe use it for a no-budget video once in a while.

February 19, 2016 at 6:23PM, Edited February 19, 6:27PM

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I'm not impressed by anything in this offering from Canon. That 80D is waaaay overpriced. Sony has an 18-135 $600 lens with the powered zoom build in AND it's constant aperture at f/4. The external zoom accessory sounds cool, but at first glance it looks like it's feature set is sort of bland. A $700 point and shoot with no notable features? And what is with that shotgun mic? $250? Come on, canon.

February 19, 2016 at 6:40AM

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Joe O
Videographer/Editor
354

Canon is so far lost in the woods right now it's hard to watch. My first 2 "good" stills cameras were Canon. Then the next 3 "good" video cameras I owned were Canon. And then I got a Canon DSLR. And then Canon decided they wanted to be known as the Japanese Nokia.

The split they created with their Cinema EOS line was the worst business decision they have ever made. Not that they ever "got" it, though. The video feature added to the 5D mkII was specifically for news reporters to be able to capture a quick snippet of video for the newsroom. They had no idea what they were about to start. And, sadly, they *still* have no idea what they started.

February 19, 2016 at 6:45PM

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Personally, I think that people would stick with Canon is they started recording a full readout of the sensor/ no line skipping, gave us 120fps, gave us C-Log, more scopes, and dramatically improved the low light.

I don't think that's going to happen, of course. Canon's video features feel more like courtesy add-ons than real "features." They're great for the family that wants a good stills camera that can also shoot some video, but we all need to accept the fact that Canon is not making these cameras (<$4000) for this crowd.

"I love Canon's color!" If color is the only thing holding you back from leaving Canon, buy some color grading courses.

February 19, 2016 at 9:47AM

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Sean Kenney
Event Cinematographer
280

Plus 10, if I could. :)

February 19, 2016 at 6:45PM

0
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Crikey! What balls Canon has to offer yet another crippled camera with zero HDMI 422 out! This is sheer marketing madness. Sony must be dancing in heaven over this. The dslr market especially mirrored is shrinking markedly and cannon refuses to offer 4K and hdmi out on the 70d and now the 80 d. 5 d Mark iii finally has hdmi out but only 8 bit and 1080p but no audio. 7d Mark II hdmi 1080 again 8'bit 1080p not sure if audio. No 4K and all have difficult h264 difficult codec no prores easily Forcing magic lantern raw workflow upon user.

Canon has a game changing advantage in the dual pixel sensor but they don't take advantage of this in making mirror less dslr 4 k 10 bit hdmi out and cinema line cameras that could blow away Sony with canon skin tone and image quality. But what has happened is that Sony has invested vertically and is becoming more capable in making superior sensors and now lenses and internal variable neutral density filters and low light wide dynamic range mirror less dslr and cinema cameras all under 10 k. Good bye cannon. And the 7rii is an incredibly capable photography camera. This is a sea change. Csnon is on its heals and Sony is in a place of true dominance. If they get it wrong they listen and fix it. Csnon is deaf. We are long time canon users we left.

February 20, 2016 at 3:16AM, Edited February 20, 3:16AM

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Bernard shaw
Owner operator
159