2015 Roundup: Interchangeable Lens Cameras $1200-2000
Canon EOS 6D
20.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor | 1080/30p video | Built-in GPS and Wi-Fi
What we like:
- Class-leading high ISO performance, good overall image quality
- Center AF point sensitive to EV -3
- Full manual controls in video mode
What we don't:
- Unsophisticated AF system offers no subject tracking or face detection
- Low Raw dynamic range
- Lower resolution than peers
- Slow burst rate compared to peers
The 20MP Canon EOS 6D is Canon's smallest, lightest and most affordable full-frame DSLR, aimed at enthusiast photographers and first-time full-frame buyers. Both its sensor and its autofocus module are developed for working in low light. So, while its 11 AF points are hardly impressive, there's a single cross-type AF point at the center that can achieve focus down to EV -3, which is barely brighter than moonlight.
Otherwise, the AF system remains comparatively basic, with no scene and subject analysis for AF tracking. There's also no face detection in viewfinder shooting mode - something that is offered by some of the 6D's peers.
Image quality is exactly what we've come to expect from Canon: strong JPEGs with generally well-judged processing and color response. In Raw, the specially-developed 20MP sensor does as promised and exhibits high ISO performance competitive with some of the best. It's less impressive in high contrast scenes, though, with noise limiting the available dynamic range, if you're hoping to lift shadow tones when you process.
"...exhibits high ISO performance competitive with some of the best..."
The 6D's video features are pretty usable, despite a 1080/30p maximum frame rate. The 6D includes the mic socket, and choice of compression options and timecode that Canon introduced on the more video-focused EOS 5D Mark III. Sadly there's no focus peaking of zebra option to help you while shooting and the camera won't output an uncompressed feed over HDMI for external recording.
In keeping with the lightweight/travel theme, the 6D was Canon's first EOS model to include built-in GPS and Wi-Fi to make sharing images easier when you're away from your computer. Overall the 6D is a solid, though not ground-breaking, camera. It might feel a little stripped-down if you've become used to the features and autofocus performance of a higher-end camera but as a lightweight, get-the-shot workhorse, it's not without its charms.
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