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Raw

Supplied software

The Canon EOS 6D comes with the 'Canon EOS Digital Solution Disk' which includes:

  • Digital Photo Professional 3.12 - Advanced image workflow and editing, specialized in Raw conversion with a range of adjustment and output options.
     
  • ImageBrowser EX 1.0 - Easy to use image browsing and organization with a unique interface. Includes rudimentary image editing, printing and e-mail. This latest version of the software also provides some very basic video editing.
     
  • EOS Utility 2.12 - A tool to download images as well as control the camera remotely and adjust its settings when tethered to the computer.
  • PhotoStitch 3.2 - Panorama stitching utility.
  • Picture Style Editor 1.2 - Utility to create custom picture styles that can be uploaded to the camera.
  • EOS Sample Music - Royalty free audio files to upload to the camera and use as background music.
  • CameraWindow - Tool for transferring images to a computer

Digital Photo Professional is an image workflow and RAW conversion application that provides for the browsing and management of images in a folder structure as well as tagging, rotation etc. In addition it also provides an extensive range of RAW conversion features which include digital exposure compensation, white balance, tone curve, color, picture style, sharpness and lens correction parameters.

A number of different tools can be accessed from the tools menu. The Quick Check tool allows you to browse through a selection of images and assign check marks to them. The Trimming tool can be used to apply a crop to an image (the image itself is not modified, this is simply saved in the recipe).

The Stamp tool works in a similar way to the clone stamp or healing brush in Photoshop (although it is primary designed for the removal of light or dark blotches).The Rename tool can be used to change the filename of a selection of images based on a rule set. Finally you can convert multiple RAW files at a time using the batch conversion tool.

Digital Photo Professional has a comprehensive feature set. Raw conversion (in this image you can see the Edit window) certainly offers enough to satisfy even the most advanced user. One of the main advantages of working with Raw files is that DPP offers much more control over noise-reduction than the in-camera settings.
Tone curves can be adjusted for each color channel separately. The lens aberration window offers correction of light fall-off, chromatic aberration, distortion and color blur.

Digital Photo Pro includes a fairly comprehensive lens correction module which allows you to correct your raw files for vignetting (peripheral illumination, purple fringing (color blur) and chromatic aberration based on lens profiles, offering greater control than the 6D's in-camera corrections. For the vignetting, CA and distortion correction you have sliders which allow you to apply a partial correction between 0 and 100%. There is also a slider to indicate the subject distance the image was taken at which helps optimizing the distortion correction.

The Lens aberration correction dialogue opens as a separate window within DPP. It contains the full image view and a magnification area at the top right. There is also the option for a grid-overlay which is useful when correcting distortion.

Raw file conversion

As is normal in our reviews we like to compare the camera maker's supplied raw conversion software with competing third party raw converters. Here we've picked Adobe Camera Raw and DxO Optics Pro alongside the Canon software. We'll compare these three converters to the camera's JPEG engine to see how each of them pulls detail out of the images.

  • JPEG - Large/Fine, Default settings
  • DPP - Digital Photo Professional 3.12
  • ACR - Adobe Camera Raw 7.3
  • DxO - DxO Optics Pro 8.1.2

Sharpness and Detail

Canon's Digital Photo Professional emulates the output of the camera's JPEG engine very closely. Color rendition and tonality are virtually identical. DPP does apply a touch more default sharpening, resulting in images that are - at a pixel-level - a little crisper.

Adobe Camera Raw's default output is less contrasty and benefits from subtle, small-radius sharpening. This results in a more appealing image with natural tonality and an increase in fine detail. DxO's output comes very close to the saturation and contrast of the in-camera JPEG, while offering a greater degree of high contrast fine edge detail than the other raw converters. Keep in mind though that we're looking at 100% crops here. Small differences like this in detail rendering really only come into play if you plan to display your images at very large sizes.

JPEG out of camera, High quality setting (all settings default)
ISO 100 studio scene 100% crop
Digital Photo Professional Raw ->JPEG (Default settings)
ISO 100 studio scene 100% crop
Adobe ACR 7.3 Raw ->JPEG (Default settings)
ISO 100 studio scene 100% crop
DxO Optics Pro 8.12 Raw ->JPEG (Default settings)
ISO 100 studio scene 100% crop

Resolution

The resolution chart confirms the observations we've made when looking at the crops above. DPP applies more aggressive sharpening than the out-of-camera JPEGs (notice the more prominent edge halos) while Adobe ACR's sharpening is more subtle with a smaller radius, resulting in the ability to resolve marginally finer detail. And DxO's sharpening again gets the nod with slightly crisper edge separation, all the while avoiding edge halos. All three raw converters do a good job of handling moiré, as its not significantly more prominent than in the camera-generated JPEG.

JPEG from camera Digital Photo Professional
Adobe Camera Raw 7 DxO Optics Pro 8

Real-world advantages

While Canon provides generally pleasing image processing defaults at low ISO settings, one of the benefits to shooting in raw mode is the ability to fine-tune settings post-capture in order to gain maximum image quality. With custom sharpening settings you can enhance fine detail while avoiding edge halos, as you can see in the 100% crops of tree branches below.

Chromatic aberration (CA) is automatically reduced in JPEGs when a registered Canon lens is attached to the camera but it isn't always completely eliminated, and of course can still be a problem with third-party lenses. Shooting in Raw mode allows you to effectively take care of any CA you might see in your shots along high contrast edges. We shot this scene with a 35mm lens at F1.4 deliberately to induce CA (in effect overstressing the automatic JPEG CA reduction).

Camera JPEG
Canon EF 35mm F1.4 L @ F1.4, ISO 100

 

Raw + ACR 7.3 Custom WB, Sharpening: Amount 65 and Radius .8, CA removal enabled with the Purple slider set to 3 (all other settings at their defaults).
100% crops, ISO 100

In low light conditions, having access to the raw file allows for a more subtle approach to sharpening and noise reduction, when compared to the camera's default settings. You also have the luxury of adjusting white balance, which can be a challenge for the camera's auto capabilities under incandescent light.

Camera JPEG Raw + ACR 7.3 Custom WB, Exposure +30, Contrast +19, Highlights -50, Whites -20, Blacks -12, Luminance NR +20, Luminance Detail +20, Sharpening: Amount 45, Radius .6 (all other settings at their defaults)
100% crops, ISO 12,800

The image above was shot handheld at ISO 12,800 under indoor lighting. As you can see, the 6D's auto white balance has an overly warm cast. In addition, Canon's somewhat aggressive default NR setting, combined with JPEG compression, leads to softer detail rendering and some false color artifacts. By making relatively simple and quick adjustments (listed above) in ACR's Basic and Detail panels we can achieve a more neutral result and a more crisp rendering of fine details.

Raw files for download

Don't just take our word for it though. Below you can download EOS 6D raw files of 'real-world' scenes for yourself, and run them through your preferred raw conversion software and settings. If you want to take a closer look at the 6D's studio scene shots, you can always download original raw files from our image quality comparison raw page.

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Comments

Total comments: 42
Jeffa4444
By Jeffa4444 (1 month ago)

jzami69
Ive been taking photographs for 45 years and work in cinematography. Personally I think digital has surpassed film for color photography but NOT for black & white photography where film grain adds to the medium.
I bought a Canon 6d because Im invested in Canon and have been since 1972 (although I also have Olympus Pen cameras) I didnt want to pay the cost of the 5d MKIII for amateur use but wanted full-frame the 6d was it.
The pictures consistantly impress me from this camera far outstrip my 7d in IQ and the only weakness is limited focus points otherwise as a travel & landscape camera it hits the mark perfectly.

2 upvotes
CityHunter
By CityHunter (1 month ago)

Any info about Canon might announce 6D Mk II during Photokina 2014?

1 upvote
jzami69
By jzami69 (2 months ago)

Okay, someone explain. Don't compare the 6D to its peers, compare it to a camera 2, 5, 10, 50 years ago when people were creating beautiful images. The ratings annoy me because they're based on current technology and not historical technology. They're not even based on picture quality. You're nitpicking, pixel counting. Except for a lab analyst, your reviews are totally useless.

4 upvotes
fuzzywazzy
By fuzzywazzy (2 months ago)

I actually agree with you and would like more reviews comparing current digital technology to the old SLR cameras of the years past. Great suggestion, I hope they listen!

2 upvotes
Mangoman232
By Mangoman232 (1 month ago)

Since they're totally different mediums, wouldn't that be comparable to the apples/oranges thing? I think in some ways it would be, and in others, no. Again, the beauty of a photo is always subjective; I probably lost a contest because of the judges, who knows? Some contests I didn't bother to enter back then, 'cuz you had to use Kodak film, and I saved a lot of money by buying Fujifilm at Sam's Club; A LOT of money! But, I'm getting off the subject here - this is a truly remarkable camera for the price. I've used one for a weekend, and can't wait to own one!

1 upvote
jgg1013
By jgg1013 (1 week ago)

welll.. a camera is a box that captures light. Comparing the cameras is all well and good, but the thing that captures the light is the film.. or sensor.. or glass negative.. or whatever the "film" medium is. The glass-which lets the light in is comparable today to anything you used in the past- superior even.. so the question is.. are the final prints from your digital sensor as good as the final prints from your film days? Answer to that.. well yes i agree that there are BW mediums that result in fantastic images. Whether you can duplicate that printing process -- and what about that- Traditional enlarger and papers? Inkjet? Laser? == even in the days of film: Ansel Adams classic books.. the first serious books I ever read about photography: The Camera - The Negative - The Print. .. if you are only talking about one of these- the camera, you are leaving a whole lot out of the discussion.

Comment edited 23 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Mohsensh
By Mohsensh (2 months ago)

I want to buy 6D for filming. I don't know what's the problem. it says that 6D have morie or something like that. What is it? someone plz answer me

0 upvotes
Esrold
By Esrold (2 months ago)

Moiré patterns are visual interference patterns that can occur in high resolution digital cameras. Anti-alias filters are designed to reduce or eliminate moiré patterns, but have been left out of some recent cameras in order to attain the highest possible resolution. I'm not sure whether or not the 6D has such a filter. Dpreview explains moiré patterns at this address...
http://www.dpreview.com/glossary/digital-imaging/moire

2 upvotes
futuretro
By futuretro (4 months ago)

The BIGGEST WORST thing Canon did with the 6D,
is the omission of a headphone jack.

It's just UNFORGIVABLE.

Anyone who is interested in the 6D,
will end up getting a 6D,
simply because they can't afford (or justify the price of) a 5D3.

So why would you give them a handicapped tool?!

0 upvotes
Ben in Black
By Ben in Black (3 months ago)

Call me old-fashioned, but I use an SLR to take photographs. The ability to shoot the odd video is merely a useful extra. I can understand the advantage of a headphone socket but it is hardly a deal-breaker for a still photographer.

5 upvotes
Zolton
By Zolton (3 months ago)

I use my 6D primarily for video, but I record proper sound with an external recorder and only use the camera recorded sound as back up or for synching.

If that is the worst thing you don't like about the camera - you must really like what it was designed for ;)

3 upvotes
Zolton
By Zolton (3 months ago)

Additionally, the 6D uses exactly the same digi video processor as 5D3... so no I considered the 5D3 but couldn't justify the addition $k for no functional value given how I planned to use it.

1 upvote
BGTY
By BGTY (3 months ago)

For my needs, the 6D really fell into a nice little niche. I don't shoot video, so the headphone jack was a non issue. I don't shoot sports, so the AF system wasn't a big deal.

It saved me a lot of money by omitting features of the 5DIII that weren't of huge (or any) importance to me, personally.

2 upvotes
taurinh
By taurinh (3 months ago)

As someone who has shot numerous videos with DSLR's (5D mk2, Mk3) and a canon c100 i personally dont think the headphone jack is that big of a loss. Most of the time anyone really serious about audio for a production will use external recorders and HD processing for audio as the DSLR compresses audio a bit. There have been a handful of times I use the internal audio for the final edit, even with external wireless or boom mics. I prefer separate source, slate it and combine in post. But that's my personal preference after 12 years in the biz.

So, all that to say for the price different between it and the Mk3, I am getting the 6D for my stills and 2nd video camera on set.

3 upvotes
PRohmer
By PRohmer (4 months ago)

This rating of the 6D is weird to say the least. Almost every reviewer out there rated video capabilities of 6D as definitely better then Nikon d610. How on earth here it gets much lower video rating then d610?? Yet focusing is rated relatively high? What's going on? What am I missing?

Thank you.

3 upvotes
hdr
By hdr (4 months ago)

Does anyone know if the wi-fi on the 6D supports the Pictbridge printing interface? I'd love to get the camera if it does.
Thanks much.

0 upvotes
Ahgre
By Ahgre (4 months ago)

Only 22 comments on this popular review???

0 upvotes
Sad Joe
By Sad Joe (4 months ago)

PLUS: Solid likeable camera with decent performance. CONS: That you know its the least they could get away with for the maximum money (roll on the MK2).

1 upvote
Oceans Media
By Oceans Media (4 months ago)

I bought this camera 7 months ago and I absolutely love it for what I use it for. I live to shoot Lightning, astrophotography, long exposure etc. and the 6D shines beautifully due to its amazing low noise sensor up to ISO6400. The standard kit lens 24mm-105mm f4 L series is amazing. So sharp and accurate.

Where it lets me down is in the studio. In the field I manual focus everything, in the studio however I prefer to use autofocus at times. The autofocus on this camera sucks. Yes it can focus on the light of a full moon, but for everyday use it’s about 3 years behind the market. My guess is that the 6D came out after the 5dIII and Canon had to make sure that people still bought the 5dIII even though the 6D sensor is better in low light hands down. The 5DIII focus system is great!

With regards to the multiple exposure and HDR modes. Both are features that I think all serious SLR cameras should have moving forward. They are fantastic!

2 upvotes
l_d_allan
By l_d_allan (6 months ago)

> And as is Canon's wont, they have opted for the allure of familiarity and consistency

Am I living on a different planet? I have a 5d2, T3i/600d, and now a 6d. With just the 5d2, I got familiar enough with the user interface to work in the dark.

But the three cameras turn on/off differently. The LiveView works differently. The Mode PASM works different. Many controls are relocated. Magnify is different. Re-assign buttons is different, etc. etc. etc.

I get it that the UI has to change with fewer thumb wheels on the 600d, and missing the joy-stick on the 6d However, the on/off changes, Mode, etc. seem like poor choices.

I really didn't expect to have a re-learning curve from the 5d2 to the 6d. If I forget a head-lamp, it really slows me down at night.

Seems more like "change for the sake of change" rather than compelling improvement. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

Am I the only whiner that feels this way?

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
siggo
By siggo (6 months ago)

Does the 6D lack an anti-aliassing filter?

0 upvotes
l_d_allan
By l_d_allan (6 months ago)

It has an anti-aliasing filter. AFAIK, I'm not aware of any Canon camera that doesn't have the AAF (aka OLPF?)

BTW: the reviews I read on the Nikon cameras is that lack of the AAF is over-rated. The 800e implementation seems like a joke ... pay more to have them put a compensating "something" over the existing AAF.

Seems kind of like a lens having a UV filter built-in, then paying to have an anti-UV filter on top of that ?

1 upvote
Machinemad
By Machinemad (3 months ago)

hahahaha! well said! @l_d_allan.

0 upvotes
tallguy600
By tallguy600 (6 months ago)

Used to own a D600, sold it, prefer the 6D by a margin and love the Wi-Fi implementation.
No clue about that DP review of the D600, I find it misleading as the D600 was clearly a camera released too hasty without proper quality control.
Using Lightroom 5, does everything I need, never touched the Canon software CD.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Just Ed
By Just Ed (6 months ago)

I have a very similar experience. Love my 6D and the Canon L lenses. Really enjoy how the Canon cameras capture the colors of nature. I was always fiddling with the greens on my Nikon images from both the D600 and D90 it replaced.

0 upvotes
westerner
By westerner (4 months ago)

You can fix the green tint with one click in the white balance menu...set one click towards magenta, and the green goes away. Forever. That's ridiculous to switch brands for that. Better yet, shoot RAW, and who cares what the white balance looks like? Fix it in post.

1 upvote
cadby
By cadby (7 months ago)

Finally ready to make the jump to full frame after 8 years with Olympus DSLR's. After considerable research and gnashing of teeth I pulled the trigger on the 6D. I really wanted to go with the Nikon D 600 based on DP Review and various other reviews, based on features, output quality and MP, but the ongoing concerns over the sensor dust and oil spots and Nikons recalcitrant PR approach to these issues pushed me to the 6D. I just could not imagine investing $3k in full kit only to experience ongoing sensor issues. I am excited to experience the full frame format and take my amatuer photography to the next level.
How is Canon's photo management & editing software? Should I look into purchasing another package, and what does the forum recommend?

4 upvotes
Sten298
By Sten298 (6 months ago)

Fully agree with your comments! I was about to go to Nikon D600 but was so much disappointed with their no-customer (snob) oriented approach that eventually decided for the 6D. I couldn't be more satisfied for such a decision. I liked Nikon so much in the past (before digital era) they made so beautiful film cameras, but this is the past...the present looks different.
As for the software: I always shoot RAW and develop with Capture One and that's excellent for other cameras, particularly for Fuji X raw files, but for 6D RAW files I found out that Canon software (Digital Photo Professional) gives better results. The only drawback of DPP is that it is very slow.

4 upvotes
robogobo
By robogobo (7 months ago)

After a long deliberation, I decided to upgrade from my 5Dii to the 6D. Some may call it a sidegrade or even a downgrade, but for me, image quality is everything, and the ablity to focus and shoot in low light is paramount. I'm very happy with my decision, and so far I don't miss any of the 5D line features. I'm getting shots I wouldn't have gotten with the 5Dii (maybe not even with the mark iii), and most importantly I can afford to upgrade every one or two years with the current price point of the 6D rather than three or four with the 5D. I'd rather have more frequent updates of sensor technology instead of being left with a better built, feature packed but obsolete camera for the same money.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
4 upvotes
LongerVogue
By LongerVogue (7 months ago)

Anyone tried eos 6d with 12mm lens. How is it?

0 upvotes
l_d_allan
By l_d_allan (6 months ago)

Well, it is ultra wide. What info are you looking for?

Sharpness? Vignetting? Which 12mm lens? Electrical connectivity? Focus speed?

0 upvotes
Ruud Wilschut
By Ruud Wilschut (7 months ago)

@ Alwynj:
The difference is more obvious when you look at the brown fibers right on top of the color chart with the lady's face. Also the black and white squares in the corners are a lot sharper with the Canon, but perhaps the used Canon lens performs better resolving detail in the corners than the Nikkor used with the D600 what might explain the difference in detail.

1 upvote
Alwynj
By Alwynj (7 months ago)

I don't understand DP Review. Compare the Canon 6d and Nikon D600 and they'll have you believe that the D600 edges ahead in the high ISO dept, but to my eyes the 6d wins when I use the comparative tool. Images appear slightly cleaner and sharper (in RAW). Move the box to the face of the lady and see for yourself

4 upvotes
l_d_allan
By l_d_allan (6 months ago)

Some of that may be because the comparison may be on a pixel vs pixel basis. A single Canon pixel may have lower noise than a single Nikon pixel, but there are many more Nikon pixels.

And I tend to get fuzzy when comparing crop cameras to full-frames. It can be "apples and oranges".

0 upvotes
Segaman
By Segaman (4 weeks ago)

Great camera the 6D, so far I get great pics at high iso, so for a live show its a must, sure the Nikon as great qualities, but at high iso....Canon wins hands down, by 2 stops......
If you are a Canon user stick to Canon, if you are a Nikon user stick to Nikon, they are both great cameras, depending on what you intend to shoot

0 upvotes
Buck_Lovell
By Buck_Lovell (7 months ago)

Please quaitfy the autofouce performance in video mode....fast, medium, slow? Continuous autofocus is what I need....fats continuous....

0 upvotes
l_d_allan
By l_d_allan (6 months ago)

I am mostly ignorant about video and the 70d, so "consider the source". My impression is that the Canon 70d is the only Canon camera with decent auto-focus.

0 upvotes
MABurney
By MABurney (8 months ago)

"The EOS 6D is Canon's attempt to entice DSLR owners who are looking for the benefits of full frame shooting - including shallower depth of field and wider-angle lens coverage, but can't afford the EOS 5D Mark III."

". . . Canon's compromises have turned what could have a been a truly great camera into merely a very good one. "

This is interesting. Do we want 6D to be like the 5D Mark III? Then why not buy the $3,500.00 camera.

1 upvote
l_d_allan
By l_d_allan (6 months ago)

> then why not buy the $3,500.00 camera

Seems like you've answered your own question ... the 5d3 is a Lot More Expensive, especially if your photography equipment isn't a write-off.

0 upvotes
WillieG
By WillieG (4 months ago)

The 6D would never be considered a great camera compared to the 5DMk3. More than likely the compromises that make the 6D "merely a very good one" are those with respect to the D600.

1 upvote
Thomas Karlmann
By Thomas Karlmann (10 months ago)

DPR: Can you please insert a photo in ALL your reviews showing the AF sensor array? Thank you.

0 upvotes
Maddrew
By Maddrew (7 months ago)

Assuming we are looking into the camera's OVF horizontally, the vertical coverage of the 6D's sensor array is about 1/3 the height of the OVF, spreading from the centre AF point. The diamond shaped array is slightly wider, almost covering 2/3 the width of the EVF, but just almost. Shooting vertical portraits with extreme DOFs (like using the 50mm F1.2 L wide open) can be tricky, because the furthest points of the diamond AF array misses the subject's eyes (under normal compositions) a little too much. But to be fair, the 5D Mark III's high density AF array is not that much spread out either, especially when compared to Canon's APS-C EOS bodies.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Total comments: 42