Canon EOS 6D Review – A Budget Friendly Fullframe DSLR

A little over a week after Canon’s archrival Nikon made news with the release of the D600, Canon announced the EOS 6D, its own budget-friendly full-frame DSLR camera. The entry-level to mid-range full-frame DSLRs quickly became a distinct subset of the digital single-lens reflex camera industry.

Only ten years ago, individuals with deep enough finances to purchase the 11-megapixel Canon EOS 1Ds for $7,999 were the only people who could take advantage of the full-frame DSLR’s capability. Even if there has been a significant reduction in the difficulty of entering the market since then, the price of the EOS 6D is likely to be the aspect that attracts the most attention from prospective customers. It begins sales at a price that is $1400 lower than the company’s flagship EOS 5D Mark III.

The market for full-frame DSLR cameras is becoming increasingly competitive; Canon, Nikon, and Sony each have at least two full-frame models available. Despite this, the attractiveness of Canon’s 6D may very well lie in aspects such as its handling and feature set.

While it is obvious that Canon needs to maintain clear distinctions between the 6D and the more expensive 5D Mark III, the challenge for Canon is to offer enough incentive for current EOS owners who do not have a substantial lens investment to resist the temptation to purchase the Nikon D600, which is priced similarly but has a slightly higher resolution.

And as is typical for Canon, they have chosen to go with the tried-and-true method of embracing the comfort of the familiar and being consistent. It is possible that the EOS 6D is best understood as a full-frame version of the popular EOS 60D. In fact, it has a fairly similar control arrangement as well as size to its predecessor.

Although it is thinner front-to-back and lighter than the Nikon D600, the 6D primarily seeks to differentiate itself on the spec sheet with built-in Wi-Fi and GPS, a silent shutter mechanism, and, according to Canon, unprecedented low-light focusing sensitivity. This is because the Nikon D600 has a larger optical viewfinder and a higher resolution than the 6D. It remains to be seen whether or not this combination would be sufficient to please photography aficionados who would value the D600’s noticeably more advanced focusing system, twin card slots, and built-in flash.

Key specs

  • 20.2 Megapixels full-frame CMOS sensor with the DIGIC 5+ image processor ISO range of 50-102800 extended and 100-25600 standard
  • Continuous shooting at 4.5 frames per second
  • “Silent” shutter mode video recording at 1080p30 with stereo sound captured from an external mic
  • 11-point AF system, center point cross-type, sensitive to -3 EV iFCL metering system with 63 zones
  • 97 percent coverage of the viewfinder; removable and replaceable displays (including Eg-D grid and Eg-S fine-focus)
  • 1040k dots on a 3:2 ClearView LCD measuring 3 inches (fixed)
  • a single slot for SD cards
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS
  • a digital level with a single axis of measurement

The EOS 6D utilizes a brand new Canon CMOS sensor that has a pixel count of 20.2 megapixels (this is in comparison to the Nikon D600 and Sony SLT-A99, both of which have 24 megapixels, and the 5D Mark III, which has 22 megapixels). In conjunction with the DIGIC 5+ processor, it enables an expanded ISO range that can go as low as 50 and as high as 102,400. The typical ISO range is 100-25600.

There are 11 points in the AF system, but only the central one is of the cross-type (sensitive to both vertical and horizontal detail). However, the 6D’s ace in the hole is its ability to focus in extremely dim light, all the way down to a stated -3 exposure value, which is one full stop darker than the 5D Mark III’s lowest focusing light setting. This number may not signify much to you, but just as a point of reference, -3 EV is about similar to the amount of light that is cast by the moon when it is full.

Notable upgrades include a built-in GPS and Wi-Fi, the latter of which enables you to operate the camera from a distance using your smartphone. The 6D also takes use of several capabilities that were introduced with the EOS 5D Mark III, such as Canon’s silent shutter mode, which allows for shooting that is less audible and more covert.

Disappointingly, these in-camera HDR and Multiple Exposure modes are implemented as JPEG-only options, in contrast to the Canon 5D Mark III, which also captures Raw files. This mode is inherited from the Canon 5D Mark III.

Additionally, the Canon EOS 6D lacks some of the more exciting features that were included with the Canon EOS 650D. In live view or movie mode, there is no on-chip phase-detection to assist focusing, and the excellent touchscreen interface that Canon has become known for is absent as well.

The back screen of the EOS 60D is not articulated like it is on other full-frame DSLRs, with the exception of the Sony SLT-A99. This is the only full-frame DSLR that does not have a fixed rear screen. According to Canon, this was done to ensure the camera is as durable as possible while also minimizing its size.

Body & Design

The EOS 6D has a striking familial resemblance to more contemporary EOS designs; maybe the most accurate way to characterize it is as a fixed-screen version of the 60D with some elements of the 5D Mark III thrown in. It has all of Canon’s most recent design updates, such as the power switch located below the mode dial, the integrated live view and movie control located beneath the viewfinder, and the Quick Control ‘Q’ button.

Only the Menu and Info buttons are located on the left side of the device, below the mode dial and power switch. The other buttons are grouped together on the right side so that you may use them primarily with your right hand.

The magnify button that allows you to check the focus in live view or playback has been moved to a new location compared to earlier EOS bodies. This new location allows you to operate the button with your right thumb, but it also means that there is no room for the joystick multi-controller that is found on other high-end EOS cameras.

The familiar SET button is located in the middle of the 60D-like 8-way controller that sits at the hub of the back dial. This controller is responsible for its operations. The autofocus point selector has been moved farther down the body, making it less accessible while your eye is focused on the finder. This is one of the drawbacks of this design, which also means that it is no longer right under your thumb.

The construction is sturdy, however, it does not provide nearly the same sense of invulnerability as the EOS 5D Mark III or the EOS 7D. This is due, in part, to the fact that the Canon 6D has a plastic top plate, which the company claims is required in order for the Wi-Fi and GPS to function properly. The remainder of the body is made out of dust- and drip-proof magnesium alloy, according to Canon’s description of the material.

The EOS 6D is Canon’s first full-frame single-lens reflex camera, and it is also the company’s first full-frame SLR to record completely on SD cards rather than Compact Flash. This is bound to be a contentious decision in certain circles. However, there is a good chance that if you get a new body, you will also be purchasing new cards for it anyhow, and quick SD cards with a big capacity are easily accessible and inexpensive to purchase.

You won’t be able to get around the fact that the Canon 6D only has one card slot when all of its full-frame DSLR competitors have two slots for a greater variety of storage options. This limitation is unavoidable (on the Nikon D600, for example, we like being able to use one card for stills and the other for video).

Controls at the very top of the camera (right)

The control configuration of the EOS 60D has been substantially carried over to the right-hand top-plate of the EOS 6D. The principal exposure parameter for the selected mode may be changed by rotating the front dial, which is located just behind the shutter button. Depending on the mode that is selected, the front dial may alter the program shift, aperture, shutter speed, or manual mode.

Behind it is a row of buttons that provide immediate access to the autofocus and drive modes, as well as the metering pattern and ISO settings (the latter of which are noticeably better placed for use with the camera held up to your eye compared to the Nikon D600), along with a button that lights up the top-plate LCD.

Next to the viewfinder is a control that consists of a switch and some buttons. This control is used to switch into live view and start recording video. The AF-ON button is used to engage the camera’s focusing, and the ‘Star’ button, which is located right next to it, is an autoexposure lock that may be customized. When you push the AF point selector, which is located next to it, you will be able to relocate the focus point by utilizing the front and back dials, as well as the directional pad that is located within the rear dial.

Controls at the very top of the camera (left)

The power switch and mode dial are located on the other side of the pentaprism. In addition to the standard four exposure modes of Program, Aperture priority, Shutter priority, and Manual, this offers a fifth mode called Bulb shutter mode and two user-defined locations where you may save the camera’s settings for certain situations that are frequently encountered.

Additionally, there are modes known as “Auto+” and “Creative Auto,” with the latter providing results-oriented creative control. Additionally, there is a new SCN position that combines Canon’s long-running scene modes such as “sport,” “landscape,” and others into a one location.

The mode dial now spins freely through all 360 degrees, without any end-stops, which is one difference as compared to earlier EOS models. You may unlock the dial from whatever mode you’ve selected by pushing the little circular button in the middle of it. The dial will then return to its previous state.

Controls in the Rear

The remainder of the important shooting controls for the EOS 6D is located on the rear of the camera and are laid out such that your right thumb can use them. While you are shooting, pressing the Q button will bring up an interactive control panel.

This screen will allow you to alter camera parameters that might not be accessed directly through the other buttons on the camera. In addition to this, it incorporates superimposed option menus in the Live View and Playback modes, providing quick access to capabilities such as the ability to convert RAW files in-camera.

In live view and playback, the magnify button, which is located just above and to the left of this one, allows you to zoom in closer and verify the focus. The actual playback button is located below that, while the delete key is located beneath the playback button, closer to the base of the camera.

Adjusting the exposure compensation in the P, Av, and Tv modes, as well as changing the aperture in the M mode, is done via the back dial. Incorporated inside it is an 8-way controller that may be used to do tasks like adjusting the focal point, accessing menus, and scrolling through pictures while playback is in progress. You may prevent the rear dial from having its settings changed accidentally by moving the switch that is located below it to the right.

Controls located on the front of the camera

The depth of field preview button is the single control found on the front of the EOS 6D. However, this button can be reprogrammed to do any one of nine different purposes if you so choose.

The button for previewing the depth of focus is situated in the exact same area as it is on the EOS 60D; it is located rather far down the side of the lens throat. When shooting in portrait mode, we notice that its position makes it difficult to access the controls, much as we did with the 60D.

We think the configuration of the EOS 5D Mark III is superior since it allows you to reach this button while still keeping your shooting hand wrapped around the handle.

Functions assignable to the depth-of-field preview button

Depth of Field Preview (default)AF-OffAE lock/FE lockOne-shot / Ai Servo AFIS start
Electronic level (in the viewfinder)AE lock holdAE lockFE (flash exposure) lockOff (no function)

Viewfinder specifications and view

Photographers who have only ever used APS-C cameras in the past will be astounded by the EOS 6D’s viewfinder because it provides the type of expansive and well-lit field of vision that will be a complete game-changer for them. Full-frame SLRs are one of the most popular camera formats in the world. The EOS 5D Mark III and this lens both have a magnification of around 0.71x, which is the same as the magnification of this lens. And despite the fact that the EOS 6D’s coverage is “only” 97 percent, this tends to be more of a theoretical disadvantage than a practical one in actual use, as we will see in the following section of this article.

One of the drawbacks of using a sensor that covers a whole frame is that the focusing points tend to be grouped together closer to the center of the picture (increasing the coverage would require a larger body to accommodate the larger relay optics needed). The 11 autofocus point arrangement of the 6D is disappointing since it does not give any enhanced coverage in comparison to the 9-point system of the EOS 5D Mark II. This is because the additional points are forced into a similar diamond layout.

Viewfinder size

The size of the viewfinder is a statistic that is buried somewhere in the specifications of every single SLR (often in a format that makes a comparison between competing models impossible). The size of the viewfinder is an important aspect to consider when determining the usability of a single-lens reflex camera (SLR). The larger the viewfinder, the simpler it is to frame and focus your photographs, as well as the more pleasurable and engaging the process is.

The viewfinder has a coverage of 97 percent of the real scene being captured (as seen in the following image), which does increase the likelihood that some unseen components will wind up accidentally appearing in the corners of your final shot. However, for the great majority of ordinary real-world applications, a divergence of this size could be somewhat academic. [Case in point:] You always have the option to shoot in live view mode to get a better look at the overall picture when you’re in a situation when correct framing is very essential.

Viewfinder information

The EOS 6D is not like other current high-end Canon cameras like the EOS 7D, the 5D Mark III, or the 1D X in that it does not have an LCD overlay on the focusing screen that displays grid lines or other information. On the other hand, it features replaceable focusing screens that are of the same sort as those found on the EOS 5D Mark II. The Eg-D grid screen and the Eg-S screen, which are designed for more exact manual focus when used with fast lenses, are also available as options.

The viewfinder of the 6D displays fundamental shooting information like the shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation, and ISO, in addition to the state of the AE lock, battery information, and flash information. When the camera is in AF mode, the relevant AF point (or points) will each have a red activation indication that will momentarily flash when the camera has acquired focus. After that, a focus confirmation oval will appear in the far rightmost position in the row of icons located below the picture area.

Through the use of the Canon EOS 6D

Although Canon designed the EOS 6D to introduce a wider variety of photography enthusiasts to the joys of full-frame shooting, the camera’s handling will feel reassuringly familiar to any Canon shooter who has used a recent mid-range EOS camera. This is because Canon designed the EOS 6D to do just that.

The EOS 6D and the EOS 60D have a lot of design and control arrangement similarities, and the 6D is no exception. In point of fact, if you were to glance at the top of either camera, you would have a difficult time telling them differently. The Canon 6D, however, has buttons that have been subtly redesigned, and its mode dial is far less congested.

When it comes to the design of the EOS 6D, Canon’s decision to adopt a conservative approach is not really surprising at all. It is quite evident that the camera is intended for owners of DSLRs who may have been interested in making the transition to full-frame but were unable to do so because of the high entry price of the 5D Mark III.

Canon has created a clear path to full-frame photography that, from an operational sense, is nearly as frictionless as you could hope for by retaining continuity with the popular 60D. One feature that we wished Canon would have included on the 6D is the wonderfully integrated touchscreen UI that Canon debuted on the EOS 650D, which is Canon’s entry-level DSLR camera. Even though this would have resulted in an increase in price, we consider it to be a distinctive feature that, with any luck, will become standard on DSLRs.

The 6D is an easy camera to use thanks to its logical control arrangement and its intuitive menu system. However, photographers who love modifying settings to their preferences have the ability to reconfigure as many as five buttons on the back of the camera, in addition to the button that previews the depth of focus.

Even while the default behavior may be enough for many situations, many of the available variations are highly helpful. One example of this is the possibility to change the AE lock button so that it triggers the autofocus instead. In addition, you have the ability to personalize a number of characteristics of the behavior of the AF system, such as the tracking sensitivity and the lens-specific micro adjustment.

Overall handling

The EOS 6D has a magnesium alloy body (with a polycarbonate top plate) that provides excellent balance when used in conjunction with medium focal length zoom lenses such as the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM. Despite the fact that it is noticeably lighter in weight than its full-frame sibling, the EOS 5D Mark III, the EOS 6D still has the feeling of being a solid camera.

Carrying the 6D around on your shoulder for an entire day of shooting is not uncomfortable at all with this camera. If you are upgrading from a model of the Rebel series, such as the EOS 600D, you will notice an increase in the amount of mass in your bag. This is especially true if you decide to use full-frame lenses rather than the more compact and lightweight EFS lenses.

You will, however, have access to a second camera dial that allows for quicker operation, a deep hand grip that gives a comfortable grasp on the camera, and a viewfinder that is far larger and brighter than the one on your current camera.

When you have your hand in the shooting position, frequently used controls like exposure lock and ISO is within easy reach. The same is true for the Quick Control button, as well as the buttons for live view/movie mode and playback.

A mode dial lock prevents accidental operation, and beginner-oriented scene modes that are likely to see little use among enthusiasts are sensibly grouped under a single-mode position. This makes for a much less cluttered mode dial than the one seen on the EOS 60D, which is a significant improvement.

And the mode dial on the 6D may be turned freely through all 360 degrees, doing away with the end-stop that was included on earlier EOS models. If you had forgotten about the end-stop, you would have been required to stop and turn the dial in the other direction to go to the mode that you wanted. A somewhat modest adjustment, but one that is very much appreciated all the same.

The option to turn exposure simulation on and off via the live view menu is a feature that will be appreciated by studio photographers who frequently utilize flash. This enables you to arrange a low-lit subject through the viewfinder or the back LCD while the camera “gains up” to offer a bright preview image.

The scene may then be brightened by the flash when it is time to expose the photograph. The Canon EOS 6D has a good-sized grip and rests securely in your palm; anyone who has handled a recent twin-dial Canon EOS should be able to take it up and feel perfectly at home with it almost immediately. The rear of the camera has a contoured ‘channel’ that allows you to get a good hold with your thumb.

However, if you wish to shift the focus point using the multi-controller, this involves a rather substantial movement of your thumb downwards. The majority of the important controls are well-placed for operation with the camera to your eye, but in order to do so, you must move the camera away from your eye. You may, of course, shift the autofocus point using the front and rear dials, but in order to do so, you must first push the AF point selection button.

When the 6D arrived in our Seattle office, one of the first things we noticed was how quiet Canon had made the camera’s shutter release. This was one of the first things we noticed about the camera. Even when using the camera in its regular drive mode, it is significantly quieter than the Nikon D600, even while using the ‘Quiet’ mode on that camera.

In addition to this, the Canon EOS 6D has inherited the silent shutter option that is available on the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and the Canon EOS 1-series devices. When the quiet shutter mode is used, the 6D transforms into a camera that is extremely stealthy. You will have a reduced burst rate, with a maximum firing speed of 3 frames per second as opposed to 4.5 frames per second.

However, it is possible to argue that this is a trade-off that should be made in some circumstances, such as when you are making vows at a wedding ceremony. This is an example of a situation in which you would use this choice.

On EOS cameras, we have long been dissatisfied with the number of steps required to activate essential features like the mirror lockup and Highlight Tone Priority (HTP) settings. It gives us great pleasure to report that both of these choices have been elevated to the position of top-level items in the shooting menu pages of the 6D. Previously, they were buried deep within the more cryptic custom function menu pages. Despite the fact that they may appear to be little details, they play a significant role in enabling consumers to get the most out of the camera.

BG-E13 Battery Grip Battery Grip

A new battery grip, the BG-E13, is available for the EOS 6D. Either two LP-E6 batteries or four AA batteries are required to increase the camera’s runtime by a factor of two.

Controls that are identical for both landscape and portrait photography

The Canon BG-E13 battery grip is an accessory that may be purchased for users of the camera who need a better sense of heaviness and/or stability while using heavier lenses. Because the grip has space for two lithium batteries or a pair of AA batteries for use in an emergency, the battery life may be extended by a factor of two.

Particular concerns with the handling of

The lengthy history of Canon’s EOS family, along with the company’s constant approach to camera design, means that there are often very few surprises to be found in the way that Canon DSLRs are handled. In addition, if you have read our prior evaluation of the EOS 5D Mark III, you have have an excellent idea of the operating and handling gestalt of higher-end EOS cameras. However, there is no such thing as a flawless camera, and there are some minor adjustments that we would want to see made.

The fairly odd placement of the depth of field preview button, which is inherited from the 60D by the 6D, means that it cannot be used when the camera is held in portrait mode. You can easily activate the bigger preview button on the 5D Mark III while keeping your right hand wrapped around the grip. This leaves your left hand free to make adjustments to the zoom and/or focus settings on the camera. On the 6D, you have to use your left hand to press the button in the viewfinder.

We are pleased to see that Highlight Tone Priority is now a top-level menu option; however, we are disappointed that it cannot be configured independently for each mode. The setting is retained when switching between the stills mode and the video mode.

The fact that you have to take a reference picture before you can create a custom white balance is retrograde and unnecessary, in our opinion, just as it was with earlier Canon DSLRs. It is far more preferable for us to first shoot our goal and then switch to custom white balance, which is how the vast majority of other cameras operate.

These concerns are hardly deal-breakers, and veteran Canon users will likely find that many of them do not come as a surprise at all. They do not, however, have a substantial negative impact on the mature operation and handling of the 6D.

Quickness of performance

Completeness of the Task at Hand

The Canon EOS 6D is powered by the same Digic 5+ processor that is found in its full-frame stablemates, the EOS 5D Mark III and the dual-chipped 1D X. This allows the camera to offer extended JPEG processing capabilities, such as the correction for lens CA and vignetting, in addition to raw file processing.

In addition, much as we said in our evaluation of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, the 6D has a fast response time to human input, making it easy to make adjustments to shooting parameters and navigate menu options. During playback, browsing images and zooming in on certain areas of an image may be done relatively quickly.

When set to manual focus, the camera can turn on and take a still image in less than 0.4 seconds. This is the fastest time it has been able to achieve. An extremely processor-intensive activity, such as the multiple exposure HDR modes, is the only circumstance in which you are likely to find yourself waiting on the camera. In short, you won’t likely find yourself waiting on the camera.

However, Canon has made it very clear where they’ve opted to cut prices in order to prevent truncating interest in the higher-specced 5D Mark III. This decision was taken in order to accomplish both of these goals. The EOS 6D is the only full-frame DSLR on the market that only has a single storage card slot that can accept an SD card. This slot is found on the camera’s top plate.

The AF system of the camera is noticeably less advanced than that of the more costly Canon DSLRs, and it is only capable of 11 focusing points. This is approximately a third less than the number of autofocus points found on the Nikon D600, which is the camera’s primary competitor.

In addition to this, it does not include Canon’s live view hybrid autofocus feature, which was first launched with their EOS 650D entry-level camera. However, Canon has provided users of the 6D a substantial reason to gloat about their camera: focusing sensitivity as low as -3EV, which will be covered in the next sentence.

Continuous Shooting and Buffered Continuous Shooting

The EOS 6D is a quick camera to handle, but it has a very mediocre maximum frame rate of 4.5 frames per second. This makes it slower than every other full-frame DSLR on the market save for the 36MP Nikon D800. This maximum frame rate is maintained throughout the various file formats and image quality settings available with the 6D, just as it is with other Canon DSLRs.

However, you should be aware that if you use the 6D’s very effective quiet shooting option, the maximum shooting rate lowers to 3 frames per second. Aside from that, the 6D’s performance is differentiated from other cameras mostly by the size of its buffers.

When shooting in RAW+JPEG mode, for example, the camera only gives you a limited number of images at the highest frame rate before slowing down to a shooting rate of only one frame per second.

When photographing fast-paced action scenes, one of the primary advantages of shooting in JPEG mode is the ability to take continuous, uninterrupted bursts of photos using the camera’s continuous shooting option.

The Canon EOS 6D, because to the power of its DIGIC 5+ processor, is able to off-load its 20MP files before the buffer is totally full. While the information is being written to the card, you have access to the menu system and may change the shooting modes at any time. This is true regardless of the picture quality level you have chosen.

Continuous mode

We were able to measure a maximum shooting rate of 4.3 frames per second while the camera was set to continuous shooting mode, which is quite similar to the specifications provided by Canon. When shooting in raw-enabled modes, the 6D will keep its maximum frame rate until it surpasses the capacity of its buffer and is forced to begin offloading picture data to the SD card.

When this occurs, the camera takes pictures at a slower but more stable frame rate, as represented by the “buffer full rates” in the table below.

TimingJPEG Large/FineRAWRAW+JPEG Fine
Frame rate4.3 fps4.3 fps4.3 fps
Number of framesUntil the card is full158
Buffer full raten/a1.4 fps1.1 fps
Write completen/a8.4 sec5.2 sec

In the shooting modes that support raw data, even after the buffer has been filled, you can continue to take pictures even as the information is being recorded to the SD card. You are, however, restricted to taking just single pictures for most of the time that the buffer is being filled.

Autofocus

Autofocus area

With a frame rate of little more than 4 frames per second, the EOS 6D cannot be mistaken for a camera designed specifically for photographing sports. However, even those who are simply interested in capturing the rare action image will likely find that their options are more restricted by the camera’s relatively tiny autofocus coverage area than they are by its burst rate.

As we said in our review of the Nikon D600, one of the drawbacks of purchasing a more reasonably priced full-frame DSLR is that the autofocus points on the camera will only cover a smaller section of the overall scene.

And whereas Nikon was at least thoughtful enough to give dense coverage of the AF region with 39 focus points, owners of the Canon EOS 6D will have to make due with only 11. In addition, only the central AF point is of the cross-type, which means that it can detect both horizontal and vertical lines at the same time. The other 10 AF points are exclusively sensitive to either horizontal or vertical lines.

Performance of the AF

The EOS 6D’s focus acquisition demonstrates all of the characteristics of a fully developed phase-detection AF system’s performance. The camera is able to quickly lock focus and maintains that focus with a high degree of precision in the vast majority of shooting situations.

Reviewing hundreds of photographs taken with the 6D revealed that the majority of photos that were not sharp enough for critical use lacked critical sharpness because of movement on the part of either the subject or the camera. It will be difficult to photograph busy youngsters indoors, but you should be able to get some shots that are worth keeping if you keep your subjects concentrated in the centre of the frame.

However, where the 6D really shines is in its ability to acquire focus continuously in very low-light circumstances. This is where the 6D really shines. The sensitivity of the center autofocus point of a Canon camera is listed at -3 EV, which is one stop lower than any other full frame DSLR currently available. And our use of the camera in the actual world backs up the claims made about its amazing performance.

Even if not every owner of a 6D will find themselves routinely out shooting before dawn, there is no doubting the benefits of having a great autofocus performance in low-light inside circumstances. Even though an exterior AF point was used to take the picture, the focus was constantly quick and dependable throughout the whole shoot. The image may be found below.

The AF micro adjustment capabilities of the EOS 6D are identical to those of the 5D Mark III. Adjustments may be done independently for zoom lenses’ wide-angle and telephoto ends, and they can also be modified according to the lens’s individual serial number (should you have two copies of the same lens that require differing amounts of adjustment).

Battery capacity

The LP-E6 lithium-ion battery is utilized by the EOS 6D in the same manner that it is utilized by the EOS 60D, 7D, and 5D Mark III models. It has a capacity of 1800 mAh, which, according to Canon, is adequate for as many as 1,090 shots while shooting via the viewfinder in accordance with the CIPA standard.

We were able to comfortably go through a whole day of shooting on a single charge, and we found that the battery life was about comparable to the numbers that Canon provides. This was discovered while we were shooting the sample photographs for this study. The only circumstances in which we were successful in severely depleting the battery were those in which both Wi-Fi and GPS were activated, in conjunction with extensive usage of live view.

If you find that these behaviors closely resemble your own, you may want to consider purchasing an additional battery and/or the optional BG-E13 battery grip, which may increase the capacity of your existing battery by a factor of two.

Features

Built-in GPS

The GPS device that is incorporated inside the EOS 6D has the exact same capabilities as the ones that are found on the company’s tiny cameras. It has the ability to embed location data into each shot and has a logging feature that can keep track of where you’ve been during the day. Because picture management software such as Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 is able to read this GPS data, we have a feeling that this will become fairly popular among photographers who specialize in landscape and trip photography. In general, the feature performs extremely well; but, similar to the Wi-Fi functionality of the 6D, you should be mindful that it does eventually deplete the battery.

Within the GPS submenu of the camera’s main menu, you have the ability to choose the intervals at which the camera checks and updates its satellite position, with greater intervals likely resulting in longer battery life.

You have the option to keep the GPS log data separately from the photograph files on your device. After that, the information may be saved to the SD card in the form of a text file, where it can later be used in programs developed by third parties.

In spite of the fact that there is no lack of third-party programs that enable GPS capabilities, you can also make use of this information using the software that Canon provides called Map Utility. This feature, which is powered by Google Maps, enables you to examine the locations of photographs on a map and even manually add location metadata to images that do not have it.

Images that have been tagged by the 6D with GPS metadata are able to be shown in a map powered by Google in either the Map view… or the Satellite view. You may pan the map, zoom in and out, search for addresses, and even click on hyperlinks to get to different web pages.

You may manually tag photographs even if they have no GPS data by clicking on the relevant spot on the map where the image was taken.

After clicking the “save” button, the image will now have GPS coordinates that have been embedded into it. These coordinates may be read by other programs that are GPS-aware.

HDR mode

When confronted with scenes with a high level of contrast, the Canon 6D, much like the Canon 5D Mark III, goes beyond the capabilities of Canon’s conventional Highlight Tone Priority (HTP) setting. There is a multi-exposure HDR mode that may be used, and its goal is to increase the dynamic range so that it can incorporate additional information in the highlight and shadow areas.

When this mode is activated, the camera will take three successive pictures, each of which will have a different exposure setting. These pictures will then be combined into a single image file.

On the other hand, HDR is only available in JPEG format on the 6D, in contrast to the 5D Mark III. You are able to choose the exposure bracketing range of the three shots, which can be +1, +2 or +3 EV, but you are unable to access the individual bracketed images.

Canon has decided to limit access to this very helpful feature, which is only available on the more expensive 5D Mark III, for what appears to be no reason other than to protect sales of the more expensive EOS model.

The following examples show a comparison between the HDR mode and a standard single-shot exposure. Both of these photographs were captured using the aperture priority mode, however, if you look closely, you’ll note that the image with HDR enabled was captured using a faster shutter speed. When Auto ISO is selected for the camera, the 6D will voluntarily increase the ISO in order to reduce the amount of camera shaking that occurs throughout the process of capturing several images.

After the exposures have been taken, the three files are combined into a single image that includes regions of highlight and shadow that would have surpassed the dynamic range of a single shot if it had been taken alone.

As can be seen, the HDR mode is able to save genuine information that had been lost in the highlights due to the single-shot exposure. In this setting, the shadows have the appearance of being ever-so-slightly more open, although obviously the focus is placed on keeping the highlight detail. When compared to the single exposure shot, the composite image suffers no discernible loss in quality even when the photographer’s hand is only fairly stable.

It’s hardly magic, but in our experience, doing so has regularly allowed for increased highlight detail without coming dangerously near to the contentious ‘HDR’ effect that is popular on picture-sharing sites.

HDR mode is deserving of some acclaim because of Canon’s implementation of the model, which includes thoughtful settings that make HDR more usable in real-world situations. Once HDR has been activated, the first choice available to you is to choose whether it will just be used for the subsequent shutter push or if it will be active until you specifically disable it.

The next time you pick up the camera, this is a helpful method to ensure that you won’t accidentally fire off numerous frames if you’ve forgotten to turn off HDR. This is a nice way to ensure that you won’t accidentally fire off multiple frames if you’ve forgotten to turn off HDR.

Your next option is to choose whether to let the camera select the bracketing range automatically or to set it manually yourself. When we shot test photographs in high contrast outside environments, we found that the camera’s automatic settings typically met our needs, and we were happy with the results.

The final choice that may be made in HDR mode is whether or not to have the camera automatically align the photos before combining them. It’s possible that doing so will result in the image being cropped out around the borders; thus, you should disable the alignment process if you’re shooting with a tripod or using a stable hand-holding approach.

HDR mode, like any other photography mode that combines numerous shots into a single composite, works best when used with subjects that are not moving. This is due to the fact that even the slightest movement throughout the three exposures might induce ghosting, which is when a portion of an object appears in more than one place.

Specific Examinations of the Image Quality

Shadow noise

When searching for a full-frame DSLR with a resolution that is comparable to others, it is possible that the capacity to properly handle shadow noise on a per-pixel level would be of interest. In the example that follows, we compare the Canon EOS 6D to its primary competitor, the Nikon D600, as well as to its older and more capable sister, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, and to Sony’s full-frame SLT-A99.

We began by capturing raw images in the base ISO of our studio test scenario. These images were then processed in Adobe Camera Raw 7.3 using an exposure adjustment of +3.0EV. After that, we have taken crops in the sections of our picture that are the darkest in order to evaluate the quantity of shadow noise produced by each camera.

Because of this, we are able to quickly do a comparison of the number of noise levels that occur in greatly brightened shadow areas at base ISO. This provides us with information about the performance of the sensor in relation to read noise.

It is plain to see that the Canon 6D exhibits a discernibly higher level of chroma noise in comparison to both the Nikon D600 and the Sony SLT-A99. These findings continue the pattern that the extremely outstanding noise performance from Nikon and Sony position their DSLRs just that bit above what Canon has been able to do in its EOS family.

Let’s be clear, the performance of the 6D is by no means terrible; in fact, it’s really good. After reading our evaluation of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to learn that the 6D produces results that are fairly comparable to those of its more costly sister.

Sample from the real world

It is essential to put the findings of our studio scene into the context of photography that is done in the real world, despite the fact that the results of our studio scene give valuable information about the maximum capabilities of the sensor. The photograph that follows was taken outside during a regular daytime setting with an ISO setting of 100. We have taken the identical raw file and converted it twice in ACR 7.3; the first time, the exposure settings were left at their defaults, and the second time, we made three tweaks to the Basic Panel as shown below.

By exposing more of the shadows in ACR’s image, it is absolutely feasible to acquire a large amount of detail. The results are undoubtedly passable, despite the fact that this comes at the expense of a more noticeable amount of chroma noise. It is also essential to bear in mind that we are looking at 100 percent crops and that these noise levels will be even less disagreeable in print output. Both of these points are critical to keeping in mind.

Low contrast fine detail

The JPEG engine of the 6D leaves something to be desired, as we saw in our evaluation of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, in terms of fine detail in low-contrast areas while shooting with low ISO settings. When seen at a zoom level of one hundred percent, organic textures such as faraway foliage and branches have a mushy appearance.

We have a strong suspicion that this is mostly caused by the implementation of luminance noise reduction at the base ISO setting, even if the noise reduction setting was toggled to the “Off” position. This hypothesis is supported by the findings that may be obtained from the identical picture files after undergoing raw conversion, as you will see in a minute.

The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM lens was used to capture each of the following photographs with an aperture setting of 8. The first example utilizes the JPEG settings that are usually used (NR Standard, Sharpness 3).

After that, we reprocessed the raw file in the camera, but this time we turned off the noise reduction and raised the sharpness to level 5. Despite the fact that the instructions for the Canon camera state that noise reduction is conducted at all levels of sensitivity, the process has no discernible effect on the rendering of low-contrast detail or any other element of the image’s quality when using the base ISO.

Increasing the image’s sharpness results in a modestly increased level of ‘crispness,’ but it does not expose any extra detail. You will also get an extremely unattractive “digital” effect, complete with obvious sharpening halos in certain image locations, such as the cluster of branches displayed in the crop shown above. We do not have anything to support the claim that modifying the JPEG settings brings you noticeably closer to the sensor’s full capacity.

In order to accomplish this, you will need to take your photographs using the raw format and then process them using a raw converter. The final image in the comparison was processed in Adobe Camera Raw with individualized settings for the level of sharpness (noted above).

The JPEGs that came straight out of the camera cannot even begin to compare to this image. We were able to prevent halos and other abnormalities while extracting a large quantity of additional low-contrast detail from the raw files produced by the camera.

When examining 100 percent crops, it is important to keep in mind that doing so is like to reading a very big print while standing extremely close to the page. However, if you want to get the most out of the sensor of your 6D and photograph things like nature and landscapes, you will still need to edit with the raw file, even if you shoot at the base ISO.

Adjustments for the lens’s corrections

The Canon 6D has two built-in lens adjustments that are based on lens profile data that is saved in the camera itself. These corrections may be activated via the shooting menu. To download the most up-to-date lens data to the camera, you may make use of the EOS Utility that comes standard with Canon cameras. Take note that neither of these adjustments is already incorporated into the raw files that are being sent.

If you convert the raw file using Canon’s own DPP raw conversion software, the adjustments are saved as metadata with the raw file, so you may tweak them to suit your preferences. However, third-party converters like ACR and DxO will not make use of this data, despite the fact that each of these programs have its own facilities for making these kinds of adjustments.

Vignetting

The purpose of the peripheral illumination control is to mitigate the impacts of corner vignetting. It is set to be active by default. The image below was captured with Canon’s EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens with the aperture fully open. The scene was lighted uniformly throughout.

When compared to the sample that did not have the correction done, which you can see, allowing the lens correction results in more equal lighting and provides slightly over one-stop EV of improved brightness in the furthest corners.

Chromatic aberration and fringing may be seen here.

The chromatic aberration (CA) option works to reduce the amount of color fringing that occurs at borders with very high contrast. The image that you see below, which depicts dark foliage and branches set against a brilliant sky, is an example of a common situation in which you could see color fringing. The EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens was used and the focal length was set at 24mm. As can be seen, the in-camera software correction does an outstanding job of minimizing the appearance of CA, and in some cases, it even eliminates it entirely.

General Quality of the Image

We are pleased to report that the image quality of the EOS 6D is identical to that of the industry-leading EOS 5D Mark III, despite the fact that the EOS 6D is commonly referred to as Canon’s “cheap” full-frame DSLR. In point of fact, we observe an improvement in image quality from medium to high ISOs, with a discernible reduction in noise at the most extreme levels.

With the exception of somewhat dim lighting, the Canon EOS 6D is capable of producing color, saturation, and contrast that are attractive in a broad variety of settings. Straight out of the camera, white balance and exposure are normally well assessed, and detail is fairly stunning; however, you can easily improve on these aspects by shooting in Raw and editing the photographs on your own.

The JPEG dynamic range performance of the 6D is comparable to that of other full-frame cameras available on the market. It offers about four stops of highlight information that are located above the middle gray level. Previous users of EOS may be accustomed to going for the HTP button automatically in order to acquire greater highlight detail.

However, the HDR mode of the 6D, which was stolen from the 5D Mark III, allows for in-camera processing of several shots, which results in gains that are both very genuine and quite remarkable when taking high-contrast subjects.

If we have any complaints about the image quality, they revolve around the way Canon’s JPEG renders small details with low contrast when the ISO sensitivity is set to a low value. As we have shown in the previous section, photographs of faraway vegetation and other organic textures lack not just sharpness but also true detail.

It should come as no surprise that getting the most out of your sensor involves raw processing, and we believe that the great majority of consumers who are willing to spend more than two thousand dollars on a camera body will already have a raw file workflow established. If you don’t want to generate huge prints, you won’t have to worry about these other small difficulties too.

Video

The EOS 6D has the same DIGIC 5+ processor as the EOS 5D Mark III and EOS-1D X, as well as many of the other excellent video specifications featured in those cameras. Using one of the two available methods for video encoding, the video may be recorded at a resolution of 1080p and either 30 or 24 frames per second. Support for SMPTE time coding is also included in the Canon EOS 6D, which may be used to synchronize the recording of an external audio source or film from a second camera.

The camera is also able to record for its maximum amount of time, which is 29 minutes and 59 seconds, without running the risk of overheating in temperatures that are considered normal for working conditions. Additionally, the camera is able to split a single clip across multiple files so that it is not constrained by the 4-gigabyte file limit that the FAT 32 file system has.

In addition, taking a cue from its Rebel-series cameras like the EOS 650D, Canon has incorporated its video snapshot capability, which allows very brief clips (less than eight seconds each) to be compiled in-camera for sequential playback. The 6D lacks the ability to output uncompressed HDMI, in contrast to several full frame DSLRs now available from Nikon and Sony.

However, videographers may find some solace in the fact that shortly after the Canon 5D Mark III was released (which also did not ship with uncompressed output), Canon announced plans to add the capability to that camera via a firmware update. Because of these plans, it is theoretically possible that this feature will be added at some point in the future.

In the movie mode of the 6D, users have the option of selecting between ALL-I or IPB video compression.

With support for SMPTE time coding, you will have an easier time syncing footage taken with a variety of cameras and using external audio recorders.

The 6D gives users an option between two different video encoding methods. Instead of attempting to locate and compress sections that are shared by nearby frames, the ‘All-I’ compression method treats each frame as if it were its own entity.

This results in a greater playback quality as well as easier editing, but at the expense of bigger file sizes (you’ll be able to store 22 minutes of All-I video on a 16GB card as opposed to the 64 minutes that would be possible with the alternative IPB compression).

The Canon 6D has complete manual control over the exposure as well as the audio. It also has an attenuator that may be used in circumstances when there is a risk of clipping due to unexpected loud noises. The built-in mic on the camera is monoaural, although there is a 3.5mm stereo mic input, as is the case with all current EOS models with the exception of the 650D.

Canon has made the decision to eliminate the headphone connector that would truly enable you to monitor your audio, which is a choice that has generated some controversy. As a result, videographers who were considering the 6D as a less expensive option to the 5D Mark III have expressed a significant degree of displeasure over this development.

Assuming that this omission was not made only due to economic considerations, it is doubtful that the size of the 6D would have been much enlarged with the inclusion of another 3.5mm socket. This is because of the fact that 3.5mm sockets are quite small.

In its current configuration, the Canon 6D is the only full-frame DSLR that does not have a port for plugging in headphones. This is a decision that, regardless of the motivations behind it, may reduce the camera’s appeal to videographers, despite the fact that its other specifications are quite impressive.

Various possibilities for video quality

ALL-I or IPB for the sizes

  • 1920 x 1080p (30/25/24 fps)
  • 1280 x 720p (60/50fps)

IPB

  • 640 x 480 (30fps)

Sound in monaural, linear, and PCM formats, as well as stereo using an external microphone.

  • H.264 and MPEG-4 format, please.
  • Max file size per clip 4.0 GB
  • Recordable time 29:59 minutes

Handling in Video mode

When the live view switch is moved to the movie mode position (as shown below), all that is required to start recording a video is a single push of the record button, followed by a second press to stop the recording. It is not feasible to use continuous AF, and even in the handbook, Canon recommends that you first have the camera focused before starting to capture video or audio.

The fundamentals of filming a video with the Canon EOS 6D are quite similar to those of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. To go into movie mode, you first have to move the Live View/Movie switch to the movie position, and then you have to push the start/stop button to begin recording footage.

Either a half push of the shutter button or hitting the AF-On button will engage the autofocus feature on the camera.

In PAS modes, you may set exposure compensation either before or while recording by moving the rear dial in the same manner as you would when shooting still photographs, with the lock switch in the left position. This is similar to how you would set exposure compensation while capturing still images. In the shutter priority mode, the ISO and aperture settings are determined automatically for you, and the front dial is used to adjust the shutter speed.

To alter the aperture while in aperture mode, you continue to crank the same dial. In the manual mode, you will adjust the aperture and shutter speed by turning the front and back dials, respectively. You are able to make adjustments to the shutter speed and aperture while the video is being recorded; but, doing so will result in annoying “exposure jumps” in the video.

The ISO may be set automatically anywhere between 100 and 12800 when using the A+, CA, or Scene modes. This value can be increased to ISO 25600 if PASM modes are used. The approach that has to be taken to do this is rather unexpected. Because ISO 25600 is considered to be an expansion set while the camera is in movie mode, you will need to change the ISO setting to the “H” option. If you put the camera to movie mode and then increase the ISO limit to 25600, the camera will only go up to an ISO of 12800.

Even though Quick mode AF is presented in the video menu as a selectable option, the mode will not really be activated until you take a still image while the camera is recording video.

The audio levels may be adjusted automatically or manually on the 6D, and a dB meter is shown for your convenience.

Both a digital wind filter and an attenuator are included in the 6D, just like they are in the EOS 650D and the Rebel T4I.

The Canon EOS 6D includes both high-end video specifications as well as a function that is aimed squarely at the consumer market: video snapshots.

While in video mode, if you touch any of the camera’s “hard” buttons—like the White Balance or AF mode buttons, for example—the settings screen will appear superimposed on top of the live view photos. It is dependent on the shooting mode that you are currently using as to which buttons are activated while the camera is in video mode.

You are also able to use the Q-menu when shooting in the stills mode. Simply pressing the Q button will give you access to the Auto Lighting Optimizer, the selection of memory cards, the quality of still images, the quality and size of movies, and the recording level for sound.

Taking still photographs during the recording of a video is possible. When you give the shutter button a half-press, the ISO and shutter speed for still images will be shown at the bottom of the screen. If you press the button all the way down, the image will be captured, but the video will have a “still moment” that is around one second long. Taking still photos is therefore something that can only be suggested if you want to edit and trim your video material after it has been shot.

Video picture quality

IMB and ALL-I are the two varieties of video compression that may be used with the 6D camera, as was just described.

The ALL-I compression method can only compress one frame at a time, but the IBP compression method can compress many frames at once, resulting in reduced file sizes. This may cause the file sizes to be much greater, but it will provide you with more options when editing the video files.

However, while viewing the film on screens of consumer computers, we discovered that it was quite challenging to differentiate between the two modes in terms of the visual quality they produced. Our recommendation to someone who only sometimes shoots video is to keep the IBP set to its default setting in order to maintain a more manageable file size.

The 35mm full-frame sensor included in the EOS 6D, much like the one found in the 5D Mark III, brings with it all of the benefits and drawbacks related to the depth of field that is associated with bigger sensors. It makes isolating objects considerably simpler and provides you, in conjunction with Canon’s broad selection of EF lenses, with greater creative versatility than the smaller sensors of APS-C or smaller sensor cameras.

When compared to the output of competing DSLR cameras at full size, the video captured by the 6D appears to be of extremely high quality and has a pleasingly crisp appearance. Both exposure and white balance are accurately determined in a range of settings, with the latter having the most difficulty working in low-light settings that have a warm light source. The performance of the 6D in low light while using a high ISO is by far the most outstanding feature of the camera’s video capabilities.

Even though there is some noise present when using high ISO settings, it has been substantially suppressed. Even at ISO 25,600, the highest sensitivity setting that may be used for video, it is possible to record footage that can be used. This will be demonstrated in the next section. The Canon 6D is an extremely powerful piece of video equipment that may be utilized by videographers who are only interested in recording events for their own personal use.

However, serious videographers will be highly disappointed with the 6D’s propensity to exhibit aliasing artifacts, particularly very distracting moiré patterning, across a very broad variety of different subject matter. This is because the 6D has this inclination. During the course of our time spent capturing video for this analysis, we discovered instances of aliasing in the vast majority of the material that we gathered.

Brick structures and roof shingles, bodies of water, and even street markers all elicit abnormalities, which render the movies unfit for use in professional settings. It is feasible to mitigate moiré to some amount with post-processing, but it is very hard to get rid of it entirely once it has occurred.

Canon EOS 6D Specifications

Body typeMid-size SLR
Body materialMagnesium alloy, polycarbonate top plate
Sensor
Max resolution5472 x 3648
Other resolutions3648 x 2432, 2736 x 1824, 1920 x 1280, 720 x 480
Image ratio w:h3:2
Effective pixels20 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors21 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (36 x 24 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorDigic 5+
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayRGB Color Filter Array
Image
ISOAuto, 100 – 25600 in 1/3 stops, plus 50, 51200, 102400 as option
Boosted ISO (minimum)50
Boosted ISO (maximum)102400
White balance presets6
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, Normal
File formatJPEG (Exif 2.3), RAW: RAW (5472 x 3648), M RAW (4104 x 2736), S RAW (2736 x 1824) (14bit, Canon original RAW 2nd edition)
Optics & Focus
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaSelective single-pointSingleContinuousFace DetectionLive View
Autofocus assist lampby optional dedicated Speedlite
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points11
Lens mountCanon EF
Focal length multiplier
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,040,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeClear View II TFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeOptical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage97%
Viewfinder magnification0.71×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (Hot shoe)
Flash X sync speed1/180 sec
Continuous drive4.5 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpotPartial
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes (3 frames in either blue/amber or magenta/green axis)
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (29.97, 25, 23.976 fps), 1280 x 720 (59.94, 50 fps), 640 x 480 (25, 30 fps)
FormatH.264
Videography notes1080 and 720 intra or inter frame, 480 inter frame
MicrophoneMono
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
Connectivity
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (HDMI Mini)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portNo
WirelessBuilt-In
Remote controlYes (Remote control with N3 type contact, Wireless Controller LC-5, Remote Controller RC-6)
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes (Splash and dust resistant)
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion LP-E6 rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)1090
Weight (inc. batteries)770 g (1.70 lb / 27.16 oz)
Dimensions145 x 111 x 71 mm (5.71 x 4.37 x 2.8″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes (by cable and PC)
GPSBuilt-in
GPS notesImage tagging and tracking modes

Final Verdict

The EOS 6D has fantastic image quality, good handling, a lightweight, and a price tag that is less than $2100, all of which are features that an APS-C DSLR user may seek in an upgrade to a full-frame camera. The fact that the 6D does not exist in a vacuum presents a dilemma for Canon, as you might expect.

It is up against very tough competition from the Nikon D600, which, for the same price, offers a sensor with a slightly higher resolution, an autofocus system that is more robust, dual card slots, an integrated flash (which can act as a wireless flash commander), and weather-sealing that is comparable to that of the significantly more expensive Nikon D800.

However, this does not mean that the EOS 6D is a wholly uninspired device when compared to other options. Photographers who focus on landscapes and natural settings stand to gain a great deal from the capabilities offered by the 6D, such as the ability to control the camera remotely using a smartphone and to tag images with GPS coordinates.

Overall, the connection possibilities that the EOS 6D provides are really amazing, and we have no doubt that some photographers will find them very attractive no matter what they choose to capture with the camera. In terms of essential photographic characteristics, concert and event photographers will appreciate the camera’s capacity to autofocus even in the dimmest of lighting conditions, and the camera’s impressively quiet shutter release is ideally suited to meet the requirements of event and wedding photographers.

If you photograph with an EOS camera and are considering purchasing a 6D as a less expensive option to a 5D Mark III, or even as a second backup body, Canon has made the decision much easier for you to make. Putting aside the quality of the still images, the sacrifices you have to make in order to achieve the large cost reductions are enormous.

The most notable of these concessions include a slower burst rate, a less advanced autofocus system with a narrower coverage area, and video that is more prone to moiré. Other seemingly arbitrary decisions, such as the inability to save HDR raw images and a DOF preview button whose location is much less useful than it could be, smack solely of product differentiation. And while we can understand Canon’s desire to keep the price of the camera as low as possible, we cannot understand why other seemingly arbitrary decisions were made.

The Canon 6D is certainly capable of delivering wonderful images with a minimum of fuss; however, we can’t help but feel that the compromises that Canon made have turned what could have been a truly great camera into merely a very good one.

This is despite the fact that the 6D is certainly capable of delivering wonderful images. Because of this, the EOS 6D is not eligible for our gold award; nonetheless, Canon’s newest camera is more than deserving of our silver medal due to its excellent performance.

Pros & Cons

Good For
  • Excellent detail in raw file output across ISO range
  • sensitivity to focus that is unmatched in its class in dim light (from the central AF point)
  • JPEG noise reduction is quite effective even at the highest sensitivities.
  • The Quick Control menu allows you convenient access to the shooting settings.
  • Impressively quiet ‘silent’ shutter drive mode
Need Improvement
  • Autofocus array with a low point density of 11 points and just one cross-type AF point
  • At low ISO sensitivities, the JPEG engine has trouble capturing fine information when there is low contrast.
  • It is not possible to individually customize the common live view and movie mode parameters.
  • a single slot for a card (SD)
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Performance
Movie / video mode
Value
The EOS 6D does not offer the same breadth of features that its best competitors can, but it does combine very good image quality, impressive high-ISO performance, and class-leading low-light autofocus ability (with the central AF point), as well as class-leading built-in Wi-Fi and GPS features. In addition, the EOS 6D has impressive built-in Wi-Fi and GPS features.

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