Thanks. I am starting to notice the IQ difference, too. I did all my first testing shots with the 18-55 STM, which I bought because all the review(er)s claim it is better than the others. Whatever, its not as good in the center as my lowly 28 1.8 is a f/2. I am working my way through my lenses on the 80D; so far, so good. It is bang on with 28 1.8, 35 IS, 50 STM. Just testing, though. I'll likely only use the 80D with the 28 1.8, 70-200, & 100-400. OK, maybe the 24-105 STM, if I get into video.
My process right now:
Shoot raw, process .cr2 files to DNG, work DNG in LR5.7. I have noticed the files are 'cleaner' than those of the 60D/70D at higher ISO. The noise seems less noticeable, too. Perhaps due to 24MP. As you, and others, say, the saturation and contrast need to be increased with the 80D files. I am still entertaining the thought that I can get JPGs out of this camera to avoid raw all together. Currently shooting with Picture Style FD((5,1,1,1,1,0).
How do I go about editing raw files in ACR? Never seen it as a stand-alone. I have LR 5.7. I'm using DNGs because LR 5.7 can't do 80D raw files.
If you don't want/can't get the update to open 80D RAWs, you could just shoot in JPeg and open them in ACR.
The update to read 80D files should be free though.
Anyway, if you have Bridge, you can open bridge and right click a jpeg (or raw) and select "open in Camera RAW"
If you don't have Bridge but you have Photoshop, you can open a JPeg in Photoshop click filters then "Convert for Smart Filters" then click filters again and select "Camera Raw Filter" and it will open up in ACR.