Best cameras under $2000
Published Jun 24, 2020 | dpreview staff
Canon EOS 6D Mark II
26MP full-frame CMOS sensor | 1080/60p video | Built-in GPS
What we like:
- Competitive high ISO performance, good JPEG color
- Dual Pixel AF works very well in live view and video
- Built-in GPS: a rare feature
What we don't:
- Low Raw dynamic range at low sensitivities
- Limited viewfinder coverage
- Very slow continuous shooting in live view
- Video limited to 1080p and is soft
Following in the tradition of its predecessor, the 26MP Canon EOS 6D Mark II is Canon's smallest, lightest and most affordable full-frame DSLR. It's aimed at enthusiast photographers and first-time full-frame buyers, and comes with a slew of meaningful improvements.
The 6D II is impressively lightweight for a full-frame, weather-sealed DSLR, handling similarly to the company's APS-C EOS 80D model. This means abundant external controls, a responsive articulating touchscreen, and a comfortable grip. The mushy eight-way controller on the rear of the camera is the only real drawback, in that it can be a pain to use it for AF point movement. The 6D II features built-in GPS and Wi-Fi, adding in Bluetooth to make pairing even quicker with supported devices.
You get great Canon color response, and at higher ISO values, the 6D II catches up to its peers handily
Autofocus gets a big boost compared to the original 6D, with a 45-pt all-cross-type system for viewfinder shooting that's inherited from the APS-C EOS 80D. Unfortunately, the limited spread of AF points can be limiting in some situations. The 6D II does inherit Canon's Dual Pixel technology for Live View, however, and for both single-shot and video shooting, it works very well. It struggles to keep up with bursts of moving subjects, though.
Image quality is good, but just about every major competitor will offer less noisy images at low ISO values. The flip side is that you get great Canon color rendition, and at higher ISO values for low light or action shooting, the 6D II catches up to its peers handily. Noise reduction and sharpening aren't that great at default JPEG values, but fine-tuning their parameters in-camera will get you noticeably better results.
Despite most of its competition moving to 4K, the 6D II tops out at 1080/60p video capture. While it includes a microphone socket, there is no headphone socket for audio monitoring, and though the digital image stabilization is, well, very stable, the footage is decidedly soft. On the other hand, the 6D II's articulating screen and excellent Dual Pixel AF make it incredibly easy for anyone to shoot accurately focused footage. Canon's Face Detection during video shooting is also excellent.
As we stated in our full review, the Canon EOS 6D II is a fine camera that is capable of great images. Unfortunately, despite all the updates Canon has bestowed upon it, the competition hasn't stood still, and you can find more camera for less money elsewhere. But for those with a selection of Canon glass or a strong preference for Canon ergonomics, the 6D Mark II will reward you with user-friendly and reliable operation, great color and capable high ISO performance.
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