Information display

As in previous Canon DSLRs, like the EOS 60D, the 6D offers a choice of three main display screens when shooting through the viewfinder. There's the traditional 'Camera settings' display, an electronic level display and the interactive 'Shooting functions' display. You can cycle through these by pressing the Info button, which also includes a 'display off' mode. An option in the setup menu allows you to remove some of the display options to help you access your chosen display faster.

The camera settings screen displays basic information such as color space and noise reduction levels. A smaller version of this single axis electronic level is available in live view.
The shooting functions menu LCD gives a comprehensive display of the current shooting settings. Press the camera's external 'Q' button and you bring up the Quick Control menu which allows you to cycle through and adjust 16 shooting parameters.

The 6D's 3-inch 1.04M dot LCD has an anti-reflective coating in order minimize glare when used outdoors. You'll still benefit, however, from increasing screen brightness to maximum in very sunny conditions. Of course, the best solution - if you're shooting still images - is to simply use the camera's viewfinder.

You can adjust the brightness level of the LCD on a scale of 1 to 7. The default value is 4. Quite helpfully, the real-world image Canon displays for you to evaluate the result is one of your own; it's the image you last selected when in playback mode.

Display modes

By default the EOS 6D provides a two second review display immediately after a shot is taken. This can be disabled or extended to 4 or 8 seconds. You can also choose to have the image displayed until you press the shutter button half-way or the camera goes to sleep, whichever occurs first. During record review you can press the dedicated erase button to delete the current image. Four display modes are available in record review and playback mode, as shown below.

This is the image-only view. Here you see basic exposure and sequence information
Histogram and detailed shooting information. Blinkies will appear over images areas with clipped highlights. Luminance and RGB histograms. Blinkies will appear over images areas with clipped highlights.

In the playback menu you can define which of the two histogram modes (luminance or RGB) will be displayed in the penultimate information view shown above. This choice will also determine the histogram displayed in live view mode.

Playback magnification

As on the EOS 5D Mark III, the 6D features a single magnification button with which you can either enlarge or reduce the playback image. You can use either the front main dial or the rear multi controller to move between images.

One very handy feature that will be familiar to Canon users is the ability to configure the rear Quick Control dial's 'jump' setting to move through images by a number of criteria, including: batches of 10 or 100, date, folder or star rating. This option is available in the Playback menu.

The 6D offers 15 discrete levels of magnification beyond its image-only view. Fortunately, and unlike on lower-end Canon DSLRS like the EOS 650D, the 6D allows you to customize the magnification level of the zoom button.

In the Playback menu you can configure the magnification level for the initial press of the zoom button. Choosing the 'Actual size' option, helpfully zooms in on the point where autofocus was set.

In the images below you see a range of playback magnification views, from the initial image-only view to maximum magnification. Once in a magnified view you can cycle through the rest of your images at the same magnification by rotating the camera's rear dial. You exit the magnification view the same way you entered, by pressing the zoom button.

Play thumbnail index

The 6D provides two levels of thumbnail indexes; a four image 2x2 grid and a nine image 3x3 grid. You activate the index mode by pressing the camera's 'magnify' button and then rotating the main dial to the left. In either of the two grid views you use the rear Quick Control dial to cycle among individual images.

Image rating

Images and movies can be rated, providing a useful way of filtering your images on the go. And if you use Canon's bundled Digital Photo Professional importing and editing software, these ratings can be integrated into your editing workflow as well. In the playback-menu you can set the 'Image Jump' function to only display rated images. The same can be done for slide-shows.

Image and movie files can be assigned a star rating of 1-5. A counter to the right of each star configuration tallies the number of identically-rated files on the SD card.