Canon EOS 6D In-Depth Review
Less than a week after arch-rival Nikon grabbed headlines with the D600, Canon responded with an announcement of its own price-conscious full frame DSLR, the EOS 6D. And just like that, a new market segment was born: the mid-range full frame DSLR. It was only a decade ago that full frame DSLR performance was limited to those with pockets deep enough to spend $7999 on the 11MP Canon EOS 1Ds. And while the barrier to entry has dropped considerably since then, for many potential buyers, the most-talked about feature of the EOS 6D may well be its price. It debuts at $1400 less than the company's standout EOS 5D Mark III.
As the full frame DSLR market grows ever-more crowded though - Canon, Nikon and Sony each offer at least two full frame models - the appeal of the 6D may well rest on things like handling and feature set. While Canon obviously needs to maintain clear distinctions between the 6D and the pricier 5D Mark III, the challenge is to offer enough incentive for current EOS owners who lack a substantial lens investment to resist the similarly priced and slightly higher-resolution Nikon D600.
And as is Canon's wont, they have opted for the allure of familiarity and consistency. The EOS 6D is perhaps best understood as a full frame version of the popular EOS 60D - indeed it's very similar in both control layout and dimensions. While slimmer front-to-back, and lighter than the Nikon D600, the 6D primarily seeks to distinguish itself on the spec sheet with built-in Wi-Fi and GPS, a 'silent' shutter mechanism and, according to Canon, unprecedented low-light focusing sensitivity. Whether this combination will be enough to satisfy enthusiasts who'd appreciate the D600's distinctly higher spec'ed autofocus system, dual card slots and built-in flash remains to be seen.
Canon EOS 6D key specifications
- 20.2MP full frame CMOS sensor
- DIGIC 5+ image processor
- ISO 100-25600 standard, 50-102800 expanded
- 4.5 fps continuous shooting
- 'Silent' shutter mode
- 1080p30 video recording, stereo sound via external mic
- 11 point AF system, center point cross-type and sensitive to -3 EV
- 63 zone iFCL metering system
- 97% viewfinder coverage; interchangeable screens (including Eg-D grid and Eg-S fine-focus)
- 1040k dot 3:2 3" ClearView LCD (fixed)
- Single SD card slot
- Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS
- Single-axis electronic level
The EOS 6D is built around a new Canon CMOS sensor, which offers a pixel count of 20.2MP (compared to the Nikon D600 and Sony SLT-A99's 24MP, and the 5D Mark III's 22MP). In concert with the DIGIC 5+ processor it offers a standard ISO range of 100-25600, expandable down to 50 and up to 102,400. The AF system has 11 points, but only the central one is cross-type (sensitive to both vertical and horizontal detail). However, the 6D's trump card is the ability to focus in extremely low light levels; right down to a claimed -3 EV – a full stop dimmer than the 5D Mark III. This figure might not mean much to you, but for reference, -3 EV is roughly equivalent to the light cast by a full moon.
Notable additions include integrated GPS and Wi-Fi - with the latter offering the ability to control the camera remotely via your smartphone. The 6D also benefits from some features we saw in the EOS 5D Mark III, like Canon's silent shutter mode, which offers quieter, more discreet shooting. It also inherits in-camera HDR and Multiple Exposure modes, but disappointingly implements these as JPEG only options, unlike on the 5D Mark III which also records Raw files.
The 6D omits some of the more interesting goodies Canon introduced on the EOS 650D, too. There's no on-chip phase-detection to aid autofocus in live view or movie mode, nor does Canon's superb touchscreen interface make an appearance. As usual for a full frame DSLR - the Sony SLT-A99 being the sole exception - the rear screen itself is fixed, rather than articulated as it is on the EOS 60D. Canon says this is for maximum durability and to keep the camera's size down.
Key specs compared to EOS 5D Mark III and Nikon D600
In the table below we see how some of the EOS 6D's key specs measure up against its more expensive big brother, the 5D Mark III, and its main rival the Nikon D600.
Canon EOS 6D
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
|Effective Pixels||• 20.2 MP||• 22.3 MP||• 24.3 MP|
|ISO Range|| • 100-25600 standard
• 50-102800 expanded
| • 100-25600 standard
• 50-102800 expanded
| • 100-6400 standard
• 50-25600 expanded
|No of AF points||• 11||• 61||• 39|
|Screen|| • 3"
• 1,040,000 dots
| • 3.2"
• 1,040,000 dots
| • 3.2"
• 921,000 dots
|Viewfinder|| • 97% coverage
• 0.71x magnification
| • 100% coverage
• 0.71x magnification
| • 100% coverage
• 0.7x magnification
|Built-in flash||• No||• No||• Yes|
|Continuous drive||• 4.5 fps||• 6 fps||• 5.5 fps|
|Storage||• SD|| • Compact flash
| • SD
• 2 slots
|• 770g (1.7 lb)||• 950g (2.1 lb)||• 850g (1.9 lb)|
|Dimensions|| • 145 x 111 x 71 mm
(5.7 x 4.4 x 2.8")
| • 152 x 116 x 76 mm
(6.0 x 4.6 x 3.0")
| • 141 x 113 x 82 mm
(5.6 x 4.5 x 3.2")
|Wi-Fi + GPS||• Built-in||• Optional||• Optional|
Researchers at NVIDIA have used artificial intelligence to train a system that's capable of turning standard 30fps video into 240fps slow-mo video with minimal loss in quality.
Loupedeck has updated its popular Lightroom editing console with a new '+' version featuring improved build quality, more customization and support for some non-Adobe software.
Apple released a new batch of mobile photography tutorial videos this week, each briefly demonstrating how to perform various camera actions using the flagship iPhone X.
Adobe has announced development of Project Rush, a cross-device video editing application that consolidates the entire video creation workflow, from shooting to social media sharing, in a single application.
Adobe's quarterly financial report was just published, and the news is good. Q2 2018 saw a new quarterly revenue record of $2.20 billion, and 22% growth to $1.55 billion in its Digital Media segment.
Just months after launching its QuartzLine filters for DSLR and mirrorless lenses, PolarPro has launched a buyback program that will give you credit towards a PolarPro filter for trading in an old one - even if it isn't theirs.
Sigma has announced that five of its Sony E-Mount Art-series primes, announced earlier this year, are now shipping.
Adobe has announced a raft of updates across its suite of Creative Cloud apps, including Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC.
The FUJINON GF 45mm F2.8 R WR is a 36mm equivalent fast prime for Fujifilm's GFX 50S. We've been shooting with one for a few days, and we're impressed. Check out our sample gallery to judge for yourself.
Video editing software package Video Pro X has received what is described as its biggest update yet to mark ten years since Magix Video Pro was launched.
Back in 2010, Canon announced that it was developing the world's largest CMOS sensor, measuring about 40 times larger than full frame. The company has just updated its website with more details.
Samyang has launched its latest lens, the Samyang AF 85mm F1.4 EF. This telephoto prime is a direct competitor to Canon's $1,600 alternative—and considering it's expected to retail for half the price, it looks like quite the bargain.
Scanning film takes forever and photographing negatives is a pain. The Pixl-latr aims to provide a simple solution.
Google has published an 18-page study fully detailing its synthetic depth-of-field technology that makes its single-camera Portrait Mode possible. The in-depth paper shows a degree of openness and academic mindset unusual for the industry.
Rugged, waterproof compact cameras are tough enough to survive even the most action-packed vacation, but they're not the only choice for capturing those great memories. Photographer Josh Root takes us through the options.
Kodak has restarted production of one of its most famous film emulsions - Ektachrome. Popular Science editor Stan Horaczek recently go to take a look inside.
The Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III RXD is an affordable F2.8 standard zoom for full frame Sony E-mount cameras. What's it like, what are the trade-offs, and what are the alternatives? Chris and Jordan take a closer look...
We've updated our Best Drones buying guide and there's a new winner. Find out which drone was our favorite and learn more about all current models in our updated guide.
A teardown of a Nikon D850 has provided proof that the camera's sensor is made by Sony Semiconductor. The chip's design and performance already strongly supported this, but the confirmation also gives a hint about how the industry works.
Leica Camera has announced a new compact camera that features a 24-360mm F3.3-6.4 zoom lens and a 20MP 1” MOS sensor. Essentially a re-badged Panasonic Lumix ZS/TZ200, the Leica C-Lux will save Raw and JPEG files, will offer 4K video and has a viewfinder with a 2.33 million-dot resolution.
Leica has launched a limited edition M10 with a contoured handgrip designed by luxury car manufacturer Zagato. And, to celebrate the opening of a new part of the company's Wetzlar factory, a pair of Leica-made watches are due this autumn.
The new Mijia gimbal provides 3-axis stabilization and can charge the battery of the attached device.
YouTuber George Tomlin explains the concept of sub-framing and details how you can use it to take not only make the composition more interesting, but also provide context for the scene you're shooting.
British photographer Drew Gardner tells us how his gigapixel image of the queen's birthday parade came together.
YouTube channel Company Man has shared a 12-minute video explaining the history of Kodak and the factors that led to it going from industry leader to bankrupt business.
Neewer, a photo gear brand out of China, has launched a new budget APS-C lens for Fuji X and Sony E mounts. The Fuji X mount lens offering has appeared on Amazon as a new release with a $119.99 price tag, but is currently listed as unavailable.
Two years after launching its first photo filter, Aurora Aperture is back at it again with the Kickstarter launch of its PowerXND Mark II filters.
Nikon has announced the development of the AF-S NIKKOR 500mm F5.6E PF ED VR lens. Thanks to its use of 'phase fresnel' optics, Nikon claims that the lens will be small and light enough to be used handheld.
MIOPS has opened up a Kickstarter campaign for its latest product, the Capture360. This pocket-sized device is a versatile motion control box designed to be as simple or robust as your needs desire.