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|
|Mayfield Preserve Peacock by davidjcook|
|Look Ma, no cashiers by CalBoy87|
from The retail store of tomorrow
|Rower by gary0319|
from -Man Power- (Portrait in Full Colours Only)
Tenba has unveiled a collection of products to help keep lenses, cables, batteries and more safe and organized when traveling and shooting.
Tune in this week to see Chris and Jordan's review of the Nikon Z6 full frame mirrorless camera, and also find out what Chris thinks of the popular 35mm focal length. (Rant alert!)
There are plenty of ways to spend well over $250 on photography gear, but we've picked out some standout accessories that are sure to wow the photographer on your shopping list.
Facebook has disclosed a major photo API bug that left the private images of millions of users exposed to third-party apps from September 13, 2018 to September 25, 2018.
Loupedeck has added support for Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 to Loupedeck+, its newest keyboard-style editing module.
YouTuber Casey Cavanaugh has produced a handy video guide for those looking for buy their first film camera.
If you're looking for a photography gift that's a bit more substantial than a stocking stuffer, we've got some suggestions that should fit the bill.
Chinese optical manufacturer Kipon has added the Nikon Z and Canon R mounts to its range of adapters made to attach medium format lenses from Hasselblad, Mamiya, Pentax and others to full frame cameras.
Palette Gear has announced an update to its modular, physical editing interface that lets MacOS users now use their palette with Capture One 11 and 12.
German company OPC Optics announced that it has acquired the trademark rights to Meyer Optik Görlitz at the insolvency procedure of NetSE in Koblenz.
Shopping for a photographer? We've got some gift ideas for all budget sizes, but here you'll find our budget-friendliest suggestions – just right for stockings.
It's not always easy to find marble, wood or concrete surfaces on demand. Enter Replica Surfaces, small tiles designed to replicate popular photo surfaces and backdrops.
Lensrentals Founder Roger Cicala set aside some time to take apart Canon's new 50mm F1.2L RF lens and in doing so revealed a number of interesting discoveries.
Google is cracking down on unsupported video files being uploaded to its Photos platform and taking up free storage space.
With a nickname like 'bokeh master,' we had to see what the Sigma 105mm F1.4 was all about. Take a look at our gallery of samples shot with the Sony a7R III.
The Nikon Museum in Shinagawa, Tokyo has an exhibition showing off some of the most rare and unique prototype lenses Nikon ever developed.
VSCO has announced it will stop selling its film emulation presets for desktop programs March 1st, 2019.
On their latest models the two smartphone manufacturers have replaced the dreaded display notch by a design that features a circular hole for the front camera in the display.
With the latest version, Adobe Camera now lets you import Raw files from the newest iPhones, Pixel devices, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and Nikon Z6 among others.
The Nikon Z6 may not offer the incredible resolution of its sibling, the Z7, but its 24MP resolution is more than enough for most people, and the money saved can buy a lot of glass. Find out what's new and notable about the Z6 in our First Impressions Review.
Sigma says its 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sport lens is set to hit shelves by the end of December 2018 at a retail price of $1,499.
DxO PhotoLab 2.1 brings a collection of new features to MacOS and Windows users alike.
The new 'Elegant' lens series includes entirely manual F2.4 lenses in 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 75mm and 90mm focal lengths.
A feature alerts pilots visually and/or verbally when their drone is approaching airspace that is unsafe or areas where drone flying is not permitted.
GoPro announced Monday morning that it plans to move production of United States-bound cameras out of China, citing tariffs concerns.
The Sigma 56mm F1.4 combines a sensible sub-$500 price tag and excellent performance, providing a portrait-friendly 85mm equiv. view on Sony's APS-C mirrorless cameras.
Azriel Knight of the YouTube channel This Old Camera explains the history of DX encoding.
The 250mm F4 is Fujifilm's longest lens for its medium-format system. It's equivalent to about 200mm on a GFX camera, and we put it to work on some portraits as well as some scenes around Seattle's waterfront – take a look.
Sony has removed the ability to download firmware version 2.0 for its a7 III and a7R III mirrorless cameras from its website.
Handing out awards for the best gear of the year is a big job, so we called in some reinforcements from Calgary to help us.