6D autofucus performance vs 40D

Started 10 months ago | Discussions thread
Jason Rickerby
Contributing MemberPosts: 712
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6D vs 40D - I was not content with the difference
In reply to fugander, 10 months ago

My main activity is event work such as corporate, a few weddings as second or primary photographer and kids high school related activities; football games; theatre productions; grad; etc. I would like to do more landscape photography. I also do some prime focus astrophotography and birding. My motivation to upgrade was wedding work and the price point represented by the 6D. (My lens purchases have always anticipated a progression to full frame.)

For me the 40D has worked well and I've never been in a situation where I couldn't get focus. I am comfortable using any of the focus points in most situations. I haven't had a situation with indoor sports or theatre productions where low light was a problem. When the light does get low there's always a ST-E2 or 580EX for a focus assist beam or manual focus with live view.

I did spend time with the 6D in my hand to make my evaluation. The 6D outer focus points seem equivalent to the 40D. I didn't have an opportunity to test tracking of moving objects with the 6D, and think the 40D is reasonable in this regard. (Mostly using a Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8 L, perhaps a slower lens would alter my opinion of the 40D vs 6D.) Overall the 6D seems to have equivalent autofocus performance in most lighting to the 40D - likely very low light would highlight the difference. In my evaluation, the 5D3 is MUCH faster to focus than either the 40D or 6D. Understandably, for landscape photography this isn't likely a consideration.

Considering the 40D is 5 years older than the 6D, even being full frame I find the 6D to be a bit underwhelming. If I hadn't saved some more to get the 5D3, I think my primary camera would still be the 40D. The 70D is the first new xxD body with an improved AF sensor (19 vs 9 cross-type) and with live view PD autofocus it might well warrant consideration. I think there's a $300 rebate on the 6D right now that might make it more tempting. Considering how "well sorted" the Nikon D600/D610 is, a 6D rebate is the least Canon can do.

Best of luck with your decision.

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