Canon EOS 6D In-Depth Review
The Canon EOS 6D is powered by the same Digic 5+ processor found in its full frame stablemates, the EOS 5D Mark III and dual-chipped 1D X, offering extended JPEG processing capabilities such as correction for lens CA and vignetting, as well as raw file processing. And, as we noted in our Canon EOS 5D Mark III review, the 6D is quick to respond to user input whether adjusting shooting parameters or navigating menu operations. Image browsing and magnification in playback mode is very swift as well. The camera can power on and capture a still image in just under 0.4 seconds when set to manual focus. In short, you're unlikely to find yourself waiting on the camera, outside of a very processor intensive operation like the multiple exposure HDR mode.
Canon has, however, made it fairly obvious where they've decided to both keep costs down and avoid trampling interest in the higher spec'd 5D Mark III. The EOS 6D is the only full frame DSLR on the market with just a single storage card slot, accepting an SD card. The camera's AF system is decidedly less sophisticated than the more expensive Canon DSLRS and is limited to 11 autofocus points, less than a third fewer than is found on its direct competitor, the Nikon D600. It also lacks the live view hybrid AF system Canon introduced with their lower-end EOS 650D. Canon has given 6D owners one significant bragging right, though: autofocus sensitivity as low as -3EV, which we'll discuss in a moment.
Continuous Shooting and Buffering
While the EOS 6D is a fast camera to operate, it lists a rather pedestrian maximum frame rate of 4.5 fps, slower than all but the 36MP Nikon D800 in the full frame DSLR market. As with other Canon DSLRs, this maximum frame rate is consistent among the 6D's file format and image quality options. You should know, however, that if you opt for the 6D's impressively effective silent shooting mode, the maximum shooting rate drops to 3 fps. Outside of that, the 6D's performance distinctions revolve around its buffer capacity. Shooting in RAW+JPEG mode for example, provides you with relatively few shots at maximum fps before the camera drops to a pokey 1 fps shooting rate.
When shooting fast action sequences, the great benefit to shooting in JPEG mode is of course that you can shoot uninterrupted bursts in continuous shooting mode. Powered by its DIGIC 5+ processor, the 6D is able to off-load its 20MP files before the buffer fills completely. Regardless of which image quality option you've selected, you can access the menu system and change shooting modes while data is being written to the card.
In continuous shooting mode, we measured a maximum shooting rate of 4.3 fps, virtually identical to Canon's specs. The 6D maintains its maximum frame rate in raw-enabled modes until it reaches its buffer capacity and must off-load image data to the SD card. When this happens, the camera shoots at a slower but consistent frame rate indicated by the 'buffer full rates' shown in the table below.
|Frame rate||4.3 fps||4.3 fps||4.3 fps|
|Number of frames||Until card is full||15||8|
|Buffer full rate||n/a||1.4 fps||1.1 fps|
|Write complete||n/a||8.4 sec||5.2 sec|
In the raw-enabled shooting modes, once the buffer is full you can still fire off images while the data is being written to the SD card. For the majority of the buffering time, however, you're limited to shooting just single images.
All timings performed using a 64GB SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-I SDHC card (90MB/s).
At a frame rate just over 4 fps, no one would mistake the EOS 6D for a dedicated sports shooting camera. Even those looking to grab only the occasional action shot, however, are likely be more limited by the camera's relatively small AF coverage area than by its burst rate. As we noted in our Nikon D600 review, part of the price you pay for a more affordable full frame DSLR is a smaller portion of the scene that be covered by the camera's AF points.
And while Nikon at least saw fit to provide dense coverage of the AF area with 39 focus points, Canon EOS 6D users will have to make do with just 11. And only the center AF point is cross-type (with both horizontal and vertical lines detected simultaneously), the remaining 10 being either vertical or horizontal-line sensitive.
Focus acquisition on the EOS 6D displays all the hallmarks of mature phase detection AF performance. The camera is quick to lock focus and under most conditions does so with a high degree of accuracy. In reviewing hundreds of images shot with the 6D, the vast majority of shots that did lack critical sharpness were due to either subject or camera movement. Photographing active children indoors will be a challenge, but you will come away with keepers - if you keep your subjects largely in the middle of the frame.
The area where the 6D really shines, however, is in acquiring focus consistently in very low-light conditions. Canon has rated the center AF point's sensitivity at -3 EV, one stop lower than any full frame DSLR on the market. And our real world use with the camera bears out this impressive performance.
While not every 6D owner will find themselves regularly out shooting before dawn, there's no denying the benefits of solid AF performance in low-light indoor scenarios. The photograph below was shot in a dimly-lit lounge and focus was consistently fast and reliable, even using an outer AF point.
|ISO 25,600 F4 at 1/125 sec.: This portrait was shot at the tele end of the Canon EF 24-105mm F4L IS USM zoom. Even in this dimly lit area, ambient light was sufficient to acquire focus with the outermost AF point.|
The EOS 6D also offers the same AF microadjust as the 5D Mark III. Adjustments can be made separately for the wide and telephoto ends of zoom lenses, and can also be made per serial-numbered lens (should you have two copies of the same lens that require differing amounts of adjustment).
The EOS 6D uses the same LP-E6 lithium-ion battery found in the EOS 60D, 7D and 5D Mark III models. It's got a capacity of 1800 mAh which, according to Canon, is good for as many as 1,090 shots (CIPA standard) when shooting through the viewfinder. While shooting our sample images for this review we found the battery life to be approximately in line with Canon's figures and could easily go through a full day of shooting on a single charge. The only times we were able to drain the battery significantly was with both Wi-Fi and GPS enabled, alongside extended use of live view. If these habits are closely mirror your own, you'll want to look into a spare battery and/or the optional BG-E13 battery grip which can double your battery capacity.
|Owens Valley Milky Way by ed rader|
from Sign, sign, everywhere a sign..
|Break by Hank3152|
from Motion blur
|Camp by T bird|
from A Big Year - birds
|The Maasai Shepherd by cgravel|
from - African Man - (Portrait in Black and White + A Border)
German media reports that the founders of the company behind the Panono 360-degree ball camera have filed for bankruptcy at a court in Berlin. Read more
With a claimed 800 new custom parts, Microsoft's updated Surface Pro comes with the latest Kaby Lake processors, better battery life, a new hinge, plus the Surface Pen is updated as well. Read more
DW Photo is attempting to resurrect the Hy6 medium format camera, though the legal tangles of its development may stop it being branded Rolleiflex.
The Kodak EKTRA, the company's 'camera first' smartphone, is now available to purchase in the United States. Read more
Apple and Nokia have settled their years-old patent dispute. Apple will make an undisclosed payment to Nokia and sign a licensing agreement related to digital health products with the Finnish company.
David Gibson, one of Britain's best known street shooters, shares all.
Photographers from the SKYGLOW project travelled 150k miles and took 3 million photos in increasingly rare locations: those without light pollution.
The world's fastest 200mm was produced for 16 years. In that time, only 8000 were made.
Photokina, the biennial photo industry trade show in Cologne, Germany, has announced that it will become an annual event beginning in 2018, and expand its focus to additional areas of imaging technology. Read more
No mic socket? No problem. In this video, Daniel Peters at Photo Gear News shows you how to make a lapel microphone using just a smartphone and a pair of earbuds.
How does the iPhone 7 Plus stack up against the Arri Alexa cinema camera? Watch this short video to find out.
Canon Australia's video series "The Lab" is designed to make photographers experiment and think outside the box. In the latest video a group of photographers create images based on their sense of taste.
The GH5 is expected to get a firmware update this summer to support 400Mbps internal recording. NewsShooter explores what memory cards you'll need to make it work.
Microsoft's new Surface Pro offers Intel's latest processor generation and improved battery life.
Riding a mountain bike downhill is dangerous enough in daylight, but potentially lethal at night. Which is where drones come in.
Rumors abound that Canon (and maybe Nikon) may produce a mirrorless camera based using their existing DSLR mount. Does this guarantee immediate great lens choice or a perpetually second-rate experience? Read more
According to rumors, the next camera from Nest will be able to capture 4K video, though that resolution will be only used for 'virtual' pan and tilt functions.
Boundary's Prima 'fully modular' backpack is expandable to 30L and has a removable camera case and tablet sleeve. Early Kickstarter backers can get one for $189.
Stanley Greene captured 'brutally honest' photographs in the war zones of the Middle East, Chechnya and Georgia. He was also one of the few African-American photographers working internationally.
Owners of Leica M cameras that suffer from peeling CCDs will be able to claim a free repair in the future so long as the camera was purchased within five years of the fault becoming apparent, the company has announced. Read more
The Carl Zeiss Jena BIOTAR 75mm F1.5 Red T lens is very rare and priced accordingly. It can be yours today for the low, low price of $15,000.
The MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) has developed a drone that does not require any human control for recording tracking shots. Read more
In this terrifying video, Iraqi journalist Ammar Alwaely narrowly misses a sniper's bullet, which takes out his chest-mounted GoPro. Warning: strong language. Watch the video
A new report expects action camera growth to increase about 15% by 2021, with Ultra HD cameras driving demand. Read more
Profiles for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom have been released for Irix's ultra-wide 11mm and 15mm primes. Like all profiles, these correct for distortion and vignetting.
An upcoming firmware update from DJI will cripple its drones unless they are 'activated' on the company's website. Live streaming will be turned off and flight radius/altitude will be limited.
Brent from ShareGrid rounds up the 10 most common products filmmakers are renting from one another for productions; chances are good you own one or more of them.
DaVinci Resolve is making strong moves to compete with Premiere and Final Cut Pro, including affordable control panels for colorists. According to Premium Beat, they're really good.
If you are not planning to fly your drone commercially you are not required to register it with the FAA anymore. This decision was handed down by a federal court in Washington, D.C.
Whether you're syncing a flash, wondering why banding is appearing in your image or getting strange images from your camera's silent shutter mode, the way your shutter works has a role to play. Here's what happens when you press the shutter button. Read more