Canon 6D - Most versatile landscape camera ever made.

Started Feb 7, 2013 | Discussions thread
Dave Luttmann
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Re: Canon 6D - Most versatile landscape camera ever made.
In reply to Johan01, Feb 8, 2013

Johan01 wrote:

I know it seems like a bold claim but hear me out.

I owned a Canon 60D, which before the 6D was the best handling camera for fast action tripod work, where I constantly play chicken with ocean waves. Only issue was the crop sensor holding it back once the ISO needed to go up, along with a lack of ultra sharp lenses that reach 10mm. I then went to a 5D2, which was a big step backwards in functionality, and is just slow and loud as hell, but the ISO performance was nice. People could hear me bracketing shots from a 1/4 mile away with the 5D2, literally. Every shutter click was like crushing a small animal inside the mirror box. I then went to a D800 and quickly learned that Live View was compromised way too much and mandatory two handed controls were a pain in the ass for single handed tripod work, when I am holding an umbrella or climbing rope.

Here are the things I found that make the 6D the king of backcountry and Live View landscapes.

1. Quick operation. Very snappy compared to my other Canons in terms of controls, focus, and shutter.

2. Very light and compact, which is nice to have a FF sensor in a 60D body. For backpacking and tripod work, lighter and smaller are better.

3. One handed controls are laid out perfectly for Live View tripod work. Even better than 5D3 and 60D.

4. Electronic level is dead on accurate and easier to use at night compared to a spirit level needed for the 5D2.

5. Stupidly quiet in silent shooting mode, and the mode is very easy to access with the top dials. The D800 clacks loudly in an annoying way. It also has a crazy amount of mirror vibration/jump that is unsettling. 5D2 was loud, but never felt like it was a jumping bean in my hands.

i wouldn't say my D800 is any noisier than my 7D.  I get do mirror slap on mine...are you sure you've used the D800?

6. -3EV AF is nice when it is really dark out and you need to focus on something far away where your headlamp might not put much light. This camera's nighttime AF ability is uncanny.

7. Accepts Canon lenses as well as Nikon. The Canon 70-200 F4 L IS, is a backcountry backpacking staple, and is still better optically to the edges at 70mm and 200mm than the Nikon 70-200 F4. Center of the range is a tie.

The 6d accepts Nikon lenses?  Really?  so by this you mean it has the Nikon mount instead of EF?

8. Much lower noise in Live View operation than the D800. No live view line skipping at full zoom. AND you don't have to look at a black screen when set to F8.

noise in live view? What noise?

9. Wifi isn't a gimmick in even the slightest bit. I always take my iPhone everywhere I go for time, alarms, and Ephemeris. The 5d2 and any other fixed screen camera can be a huge compromise when doing crazy tripod angles or when you have the camera backed up against a tree or rock. 60D was good, but the 6D owns all with the built in WiFi and iPhone remote control. It could be a little snappier with my iPhone 4, but totally workable when needed.

10. Remote triggering with the Wifi, allows me to leave a rather heavy portion of my camera accessories at home. I no longer need to carry radio triggers, and I get to see my shots and focus zoomed all the way in.

11. Built in Wifi does not compromise the current state of weather sealing by adding a dongle thingy plugged into the side. iPhones are also incredibly waterproof as I found out on the Kenai River last summer, haha.

12. AFMA for zoom lenses on both ends. Seems like this was the Dynamic Range type of hot feature everyone argued about a couple of years ago. Canon 60D was lambasted for not having it. Now the 6D has it and has it in spades. Nikon really needs to add this to the D800. Although, both of my lenses, 16-35II and 70-200F4L IS, are bang on at both ends with no AFMA needed at all.

ummm...the D800 has it.  Are you sure you've even held a D800? You can adjust the focus with the Nikon

13. Wifi Signal is actually just as strong as my home Wifi. I can get a signal 60 feet away through many walls in my house. Outdoors is even better.

14. Camera is fully operational when connected to the iPhone and can be controlled by hand or iPhone at the same time. So, I could hand my iPhone to someone and let them watch me work and view photos without blasting garlic breath over my shoulder.

15. Lack of Dynamic Range, while improved over the 5D2 banding wise, it is still not as good as the D800. For how slow and cumbersome the D800 is to use in a lot of cases, I can blast off an exposure bracketed sequence that is also stitched multiple times in an equal amount of time with the 6D. More post work is required to combine them, but I still get the added resolution and DR I need. An added plus is that it also increases the effective sharpness per MP with the lens resolution. For this I would say it's a bit of a draw, and in most cases I don't need to push shadows to the point of destruction with the 6D.

The nikon is slow and cumbersome?  It's faster than my D700 in my comparisons...so I'm not sure what tou'rs one about.

16. Colors! The 6D produces some very natural and pleasing colors and feels a bit like a 1dsIII in that sense. Better at handling the different channels than the 60D and 5D2.

17. PRICE! I feel like I have cheated in getting such a wicked machine for $1800, new.

18. Image playback zoom can be configured to go instantly to 10x fully zoomed with one press. A big plus over the 5D2. The speed in which the zoom in portion can scroll from edge to edge is much faster than the 5D2, making it easier to check focus stacking at the edges.

19. The quick operation also gives medium format cameras a run for their resolution, as I can very quickly stitch images to far exceed what a MF camera can do in one shot. Resolution per minute of work, is very high for the 6D. Factor in high ISO ability and the 6D really starts to shine. At worst, the two formats can be a draw in the right hands.

The 6d may be faster than a mf camera...but that cpmment makes about as much sense as compalining about the frame ate on a 4x5 view camera.

I am sure to find more positive things to say about this wonderful camera as I get more time with it in the field. Although, I often figure out most of the advantages to new gear within the first couple of days.

The only disappointment is the lack of ability for the 6D center focus point to lock onto low contrast objects. I do new lens testing on a textured wall with the same lighting on all my cameras, and the 6D just can't grab focus on it. All of the others, even a t1i can grab focus. This must be the tradeoff for having -3EV.

Well, there's also the fact that the camera is cramped for doing any handheld viewfinder work. 5D and D800 are far superior for this. I would get a D800 or 5D3 instead for viewfinder work in long durations.

I keep a very open mind about purchasing the best gear I can for making a living, and all logic for my type of modern landscape work points to the 6D being king. Once Canon starts adding MP and DR, it's just going to be that much easier to decide with future models.

from reading your comments, it's pretty clear that your knowledge of the D800 is insufficient to make any comparison at all.

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