The mode dial has a central lock button, and rotates freely through 360 degrees. The SCN position consolidates the various scene modes, and there are two user-programmable positions (C1/C2).
Underneath it is a large power switch of the type now found across most of the EOS range.
There's an IR remote control receiver on the front of the hand grip, where it's reasonably accessible when working from behind the camera.
The red lamp beside it is the visual indicator for the self-timer. The 6D has no built-in AF illuminator, but according to Canon it can achieve focus under moonlight anyway.
The depth of field preview button is on the hand grip side of the lens throat, and designed to be operated by the second finger of your left hand. It can be customized to operate a range of other functions.
This is Canon's live view / movie controller. With the switch in the stills position (as shown), pressing the central button engages and disengages live view.
Flick the switch into the movie position and the camera enters movie mode live view, with the corresponding controls and 16:9 preview display. The Start/Stop button then starts and stops recording.
The 6D gets Canon's now-standard Q button, as well as the Magnify button for checking focus in live view and playback.
Both are well-placed for operation by your thumb, meaning you can change all key shooting settings with your right hand alone, and without moving it too far from the shooting position.
The 6D has a 60D-style 8-way multicontroller within its rear dial, that's used for moving the autofocus point, navigating menus, and scrolling around images in playback etc. In addition to the usual left/right and up/down keys, the diagonals are also active.
As usual there's a hotshoe on top of the pentaprism, that accepts Canon's EX series flash units from the tiny Speedlite 90EX to the top-of-the-range Speedlite 600EX-RT.
Like other Canon full-frame DSLRs, the 6D doesn't have a built-in flash and therefore can't control external flash units remotely - you need to use the ST-E2 or new ST-E3-RT transmitters (or a controller hotshoe flash).
The 6D is the first full-frame Canon to use SD cards only, and unlike many other high-end cameras such as the Nikon D600, it only has a single slot.
The camera's various connectors are placed under rubber flaps on the side of the body. On the left are sockets for N3-type remote releases and a stereo microphone, while beside them under a separate cover are the USB and HDMI ports.
The 6D is CEC-compatible, and supports control of playback using the remotes of most modern TVs when connected via HDMI.
Three small holes below the nameplate conceal the 6D's monaural microphone.
Meanwhile the speaker for sound during movie playback can be found on the side of the camera, above the covers for the connectors, hidden behind an artfully-designed grid.
The 6D uses the same 7.2V, 1800mAh LP-E6 battery as the 5D Mark III. As with most Canon SLRs, it's housed in the hand grip. The compartment sufficiently far from the tripod socket for the battery to be changeable on many heads.
The tripod socket is positioned in-line with the lens axis, surrounded by a ridged area for a quick release plate to grip.