The Canon EOS 6D is the smallest and lightest full frame sensor format Canon DSLR camera ever (as of review time). The image quality benefits of Canon's full frame CMOS sensors are big, while the footprint of the 6D remains small - as does the relative impact on your wallet. The image quality the 6D delivers is impressive.
While the Canon EOS 6D Digital SLR Camera appears to be the logical successor to the Canon EOS 5D Mark II DSLR Camera, the model number slots it below the 5D series in a new line of DSLR cameras. The Canon EOS 5D Mark III is the successor to the 5D Mark II in name, but the 5D III received some considerable upgrades - especially in its AF system - and price. The 5D II and III remained simultaneously available for a considerable length of time as was logical for their feature sets.
However, the 5D II was showing some age and the 6D provides us with a solid refresh. Chuck Westfall (Canon USA) explains that the 6D is 95% improved over the 5D II. And, it refreshingly gets the shortest Canon DSLR name we've seen in many years - one confirming a new model line.
The 6D now slots in nicely below the 5D III with a model number appropriately indicating this. I'll include a comprehensive chart of the differences between the 6D, 5D II and 5D III at the end of this review.
The 5D II was wildly popular. It offered incredible image quality for the price. The 6D is destined to follow in the 5D II's success with even better image quality (though with a slightly lower megapixel count) and a host of improvements/features.
Following are the key 6D features from Canon's perspective.
EOS 6D Key Features
I'll begin this review with a look at the 6D sensor and the image quality it delivers.
|Canon PowerShot G1 X||1.9x||18.7 x 14.0mm||4.3µm||4352 x 3264||14.3||f/6.9|
|Canon PowerShot G12||4.7x||7.4 x 5.6mm||2.7µm||3648 x 2048||10.0||f/4.3|
|Canon PowerShot G9||4.7x||7.6 x 5.7mm||2.5µm||4000 x 3000||12.1||f/4.0|
|Canon EOS M||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||4.3µm||5184 x 3456||18.0||f/6.8|
|Canon EOS Rebel SL1 / 100D||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||4.3µm||5184 x 3456||18.0||.87x||95%||f/6.8|
|Canon EOS Rebel T5i / 700D||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||4.3µm||5184 x 3456||18.0||.85x||95%||f/6.8|
|Canon EOS Rebel T4i / 650D||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||4.3µm||5184 x 3456||18.0||.85x||95%||f/6.8|
|Canon EOS Rebel T3i / 600D||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||4.3µm||5184 x 3456||18.0||.85x||95%||f/6.8|
|Canon EOS Rebel T2i / 550D||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||4.3µm||5184 x 3456||18.0||.87x||95%||f/6.8|
|Canon EOS Rebel T1i / 500D||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||4.7µm||4752 x 3168||15.1||.87x||95%||f/7.5|
|Canon EOS Rebel T3 / 1100D||1.6x||22.2 x 14.7mm||5.2µm||4272 x 2848||12.0||.85x||95%||f/8.3|
|Canon EOS Rebel XSi / 450D||1.6x||22.2 x 14.8mm||5.2µm||4272 x 2848||12.2||.87x||95%||f/8.3|
|Canon EOS Rebel XS / 1000D||1.6x||22.2 x 14.8mm||5.7µm||3888 x 2592||10.1||.81x||95%||f/9.1|
|Canon EOS Rebel XTi / 400D||1.6x||22.2 x 14.8mm||5.7µm||3888 x 2592||10.1||.80x||95%||f/9.1|
|Canon EOS Rebel XT / 350D||1.6x||22.2 x 14.8mm||6.4µm||3456 x 2304||8.0||.80x||95%||f/10.2|
|Canon EOS 300D Digital Rebel||1.6x||22.7 x 15.1mm||7.4µm||3088 x 2056||6.3||.80x||95%||f/11.8|
|Canon EOS 60D||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||4.3µm||5184 x 3456||18.0||.95x||96%||f/6.9|
|Canon EOS 50D||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||4.7µm||4752 x 3168||15.1||.95x||95%||f/7.5|
|Canon EOS 40D||1.6x||22.2 x 14.8mm||5.7µm||3888 x 2592||10.1||.95x||95%||f/9.1|
|Canon EOS 30D||1.6x||22.5 x 15.0mm||6.4µm||3504 x 2336||8.2||.90x||95%||f/10.2|
|Canon EOS 20D||1.6x||22.5 x 15.0mm||6.4µm||3504 x 2336||8.2||.90x||95%||f/10.2|
|Canon EOS 10D||1.6x||22.7 x 15.1mm||7.4µm||3088 x 2056||6.3||.88x||95%||f/11.8|
|Canon EOS 7D||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||4.3µm||5184 x 3456||18.0||1.0x||100%||f/6.9|
|Canon EOS 6D||1.0x||35.8 x 23.9mm||6.54µm||5472 x 3648||20.2||.71x||97%||f/10.5|
|Canon EOS 5D Mark III||1.0x||36.0 x 24.0mm||6.25µm||5760 x 3840||22.3||.71x||100%||f/10.1|
|Canon EOS 5D Mark II||1.0x||36.0 x 24.0mm||6.4µm||5616 x 3744||21.1||.71x||98%||f/10.2|
|Canon EOS 5D||1.0x||35.8 x 23.9mm||8.2µm||4368 x 2912||12.8||.71x||96%||f/13.2|
|Canon EOS 1D X||1.0x||36.0 x 24.0mm||6.9µm||5184 x 3456||18.1||.76x||100%||f/11.0|
|Canon EOS 1D Mark IV||1.3x||27.9 x 18.6mm||5.7µm||4896 x 3264||16.1||.76x||100%||f/9.1|
|Canon EOS 1D Mark III||1.3x||28.1 x 18.7mm||7.2µm||3888 x 2592||10.1||.76x||100%||f/11.5|
|Canon EOS 1D Mark II N||1.3x||28.7 x 19.1mm||8.2µm||3520 x 2336||8.2||.72x||100%||f/13.2|
|Canon EOS 1D Mark II||1.3x||28.7 x 19.1mm||8.2µm||3520 x 2336||8.2||.72x||100%||f/13.2|
|Canon EOS 1DS Mark III||1.0x||36.0 x 24.0mm||6.4µm||5632 x 3750||21.1||.76x||100%||f/10.2|
|Canon EOS 1DS Mark II||1.0x||36.0 x 24.0mm||7.2µm||4992 x 3328||16.6||.70x||100%||f/11.5|
* DLA (Diffraction Limited Aperture) is the result of a mathematical formula that approximates the
aperture where diffraction begins to visibly affect image sharpness at the pixel level.
Diffraction at the DLA is only barely visible when viewed at full-size (100%, 1 pixel = 1 pixel) on a display or output to a very large print.
As sensor pixel density increases, the narrowest aperture we can use to get perfectly pixel sharp images gets wider.
DLA does not mean that narrower apertures should not be used - it is simply the point where image sharpness begins to be compromised for increased DOF and longer exposures. And, higher resolution sensors generally continue to deliver more detail well beyond the DLA than lower resolution sensors - until the "Diffraction Cutoff Frequency" is reached (a much narrower aperture). The progression from sharp the soft is not an abrupt one - and the change from immediately prior models to new models is usually not dramatic.
Check out this specific diffraction comparison example using the ISO 12233 chart comparison tool. The mouseover feature will show you the degradation at f/11 compared to f/5.6.
The 6D gets a brand new Canon CMOS sensor with state-of-the-art technology. ISO 12233 resolution chart results for the 6D and Canon EF 200mm f/2 L IS Lens are available on the site - showing what the 6D is capable of even with the low contrast and low sharpness setting standards used for these results. With these results, many comparisons can be made, but the 6D and 5D Mark II comparison is the one I wanted to see the most. While the 5D II holds a small megapixel advantage, the 6D delivers results that are at least as sharp.
Many other comparisons can be made using the image quality results from the 200 f/2 IS (use f/5.6 as the comparison aperture). The also excellent 1D X has less resolution and the 5D III, at review time, remains the highest resolution Canon DSLR camera available.
If you have read any of the site's other recent Canon EOS DSLR camera reviews, you will recognize the following color block test that clearly shows and compares sensor noise. And if you have read these reviews, you can skip directly down to the color block noise test as you have already read the test details.
Evaluating and comparing DSLR image quality is very difficult - in part, due to the various imaging pipelines involved. The goal for this comparison is to get as close to the data coming off of the sensor as possible - removing all software enhancements - especially since these enhancements can usually be done on a computer as well as in the camera - which means that these enhancements can equally be applied to all camera models. Note that some of these enhancements are destructive to the pixel-level image quality.
The following test images utilized an identical camera setup, identical targets, identical lighting, identical framing and identical processing with all noise and other optional in-camera processing turned off.
Manually-exposed images were captured from a Foba Gamma Studio Camera Stand-mounted Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L IS USM Lens set to 100mm and a below-DLA aperture of f/6.3. RAW images were captured with Auto White Balance, the "Neutral" Picture Style and again, absolutely no noise reduction (a key factor). RAW file conversion was done using Canon's Digital Photo Pro (DPP) using the "Standard" Picture Style and Sharpness set to "1" (very low). RAW images were converted to 16 bit .TIF files and Photoshop CS5 "Save for Web" was used to create the 70% quality .JPG crops shown below.
With those details out of the way, let's review the comparison images. The files required to be downloaded to make all of the links in this review function properly are very significant in overall size - please be patient while they load.
Chuck Westfall emphasized that Canon's goal for the EOS 6D was cleaner pixel-level image quality. From what I'm seeing, they were quite successful.
Immediately noticeable in the comparison above is that the full frame sensors tested here deliver cleaner images than their smaller-sensored APS-C siblings. The Canon EOS 6D delivers noise levels similar to the smaller-sensor Canon EOS 7D and Canon EOS 60D at an ISO setting of over one stop higher. Compare the 6D's ISO 6400 to the 7D's ISO 3200 for example.
The Canon EOS 5D II is the camera that a lot of us have been waiting to compare the 6D to. In these results, it is not hard to see that the 6D indeed improves upon the long-time favorite. Up through ISO 400, it will be hard to see any difference in real-life results, but I start to see some 6D advantages starting at around ISO 800. The 6D advantage builds as the ISO setting increases. The difference becomes rather easy to see at ISO 3200 and the 6D's lead continues building until it leaves the 5D II in the dust at ISO 51200.
Obviously, the 6D has two stops of high ISO settings available that the 5D II does not have. Since the 6D's max shutter speed is 1/4000, I had to turn off two of the four hot lights to be able to step from ISO 25600 to ISO 51200 and had to narrow the aperture slightly for the ISO 102400 shot.
I again contend that these ultra-high ISOs are good for marketing purposes only. I don't know when I would have a use for images that look this bad. ISO 12800 and 25600 are still not looking very nice to me. I am shooting an indoor action event tonight - and expect to make heavy use of the 6D's ISO 6400 with an f/2 lens mounted. Update: had to go to ISO 8000. Images were noisy, but very usable at smaller print sizes.
The 5D III is a review-time-recent release. I have two of these bodies in my kit - and love what they do for me. But, I do think that the 6D is producing less noise than even the 5D III when compared at their native resolutions. You won't see much difference at lower ISO settings, but somewhere around ISO 800 to 1600, I can start to see a slight difference. The difference between these two cameras, even at very high ISO settings, is not significant enough to be a differentiator in my opinion.
The 6D up-sized images were output to 5D III resolution. The differences between these two cameras become harder to see at identical output resolution, but the 6D retains advantage at very high ISO settings. Other features such as price and AF systems are much more significant differentiators.
Differences in noise levels become easier to see when boosting image brightness during post processing.
As always, noise reduction is available via software - either in the camera or during post processing. Noise reduction is a destructive process - you throw some details away with the noise. I personally lean toward using only light amounts of noise reduction and show you such examples in the "6D NR" results.
Relatively new is Canon's Multi-Shot Noise Reduction. When using MSNR, four images are captured in a full-frame-rate burst with each shutter press. These four images are merged into a single JPG image in-camera. This is a great concept with solid improvement showing in the results - perhaps 1 to 2 stops of benefit in some comparisons.
Some of the downsides to Multi-Shot Noise Reduction include:
MSNR is currently available only with JPG output with oversharpened results using the Standard Picture Style with Sharpness set to only "1" (very low). I want MSNR added to DPP for RAW capture - perhaps as another HDR preset?
Multi-Shot Noise Reduction will not be so useful with moving subjects. Needing a still camera and still subjects removes some of the usefulness of this feature since you could just use a tripod and longer exposure at a lower ISO setting. Long exposure NR must be off to enable MSNR.
The 6D automatically reverts from MSNR to Standard NR in Basic zone modes, during video recording, in Bulb mode and when the camera is powered off. Flash is not supported in MSNR mode.
The camera remains "busy" for a brief period of time after the MSNR 4 shot burst - while it processes the merged image. Don't plan to take a quick follow-up shot.
Below is another comparison example that includes fine details. These samples were taken from the same shot and processing as described above. Fine details better-show resolution and better-hide high ISO noise.
The 6D delivers very clean results again in this comparison.
Notice that the Multi-Shot Noise Reduction samples do not appear oversharpened in the fabric area of the sample photo, but that many image details are being removed at higher ISO settings.
The Canon EOS 6D's 20.2 mp 14-bit RAW file sizes fall into place as I would expect. The following table shows comparative RAW file sizes for a photo of a standard in-studio setup with a moderately high amount of detail taken with the referenced Canon EOS DSLR body.
|Model / Example File Size in MB @ ISO:||(MP)||100||200||400||800||1600||3200||6400||12800||25600||51200||102400||204800|
|Canon PowerShot G1 X||(14.3)||19.1||19.6||20.2||20.9||21.7||23.1||24.9||26.2|
|Canon EOS Rebel SL1||(18.0)||23.7||24.2||24.8||25.8||27.1||28.7||30.8||33.4||37.2|
|Canon EOS Rebel T4i||(18.0)||24.1||24.5||25.2||26.1||27.6||29.0||31.1||33.7||37.4|
|Canon EOS Rebel T3i||(18.0)||25.5||25.9||26.6||27.5||28.7||30.3||32.4||34.9|
|Canon EOS Rebel T2i||(18.0)||25.5||25.8||26.5||27.4||28.6||30.2||32.3||34.9|
|Canon EOS Rebel T1i||(15.1)||20.6||21.0||21.5||22.4||23.4||25.0||27.1||29.8|
|Canon EOS Rebel T3||(12.2)||17.8||18.0||18.3||18.9||19.7||20.6||22.0|
|Canon EOS Rebel XSi||(12.2)||15.4||15.9||16.6||17.5||18.7|
|Canon EOS Rebel XS||(10.1)||10.4||10.6||10.9||11.3||11.9|
|Canon EOS 60D||(18.0)||25.2||25.6||26.2||27.0||28.3||29.9||32.2||34.8|
|Canon EOS 50D||(15.1)||20.3||20.7||21.3||22.1||23.2||24.7||26.7||29.5|
|Canon EOS 7D||(18.0)||24.1||24.5||25.3||26.2||27.3||28.6||30.7||33.2|
|Canon EOS 6D||(20.2)||25.3||25.6||26.0||26.7||27.9||29.2||30.9||33.1||35.3||38.6||42.5|
|Canon EOS 5D Mark III||(22.3)||28.6||29.0||29.5||30.3||31.6||33.1||35.3||37.8||40.6||44.7||49.2|
|Canon EOS 5D Mark II||(21.1)||26.9||27.1||27.7||28.6||29.7||31.3||33.6||36.7||41.2|
|Canon EOS 1D X||(18.1)||23.7||23.9||24.3||24.8||25.7||26.7||27.9||29.7||31.8||34.5||37.4||41.3|
|Canon EOS 1D Mark IV||(16.1)||22.0||22.2||22.8||23.4||24.3||25.3||26.7||28.5||30.8||34.2||35.9|
|Canon EOS 1D Mark III||(10.1)||13.0||13.3||13.8||14.5||15.3||16.4||17.8|
|Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III||(21.1)||25.6||26.5||27.4||29.0||31.0||33.4|
Canon RAW file sizes increase with: 1. Resolution 2. Bit Depth (14-bit is better) 3. Detail (noise adds detail, so high ISO file sizes increase). Memory and disk are cheap - buy more. :)
One hundred thousand is a big number - this is the shutter durability rating the 6D receives. Higher ratings are available, but a maximum frame rate 4.5 fps means you have a LOT of shooting time to invest to reach this number.
|Model||Shutter Durability Rating|
|Canon EOS Rebel SL1 / 100D||n/a|
|Canon EOS Rebel T5i / 700D||n/a|
|Canon EOS Rebel T4i / 650D||n/a|
|Canon EOS Rebel T3i / 600D||n/a|
|Canon EOS Rebel T2i / 550D||n/a|
|Canon EOS Rebel T1i / 500D||100,000|
|Canon EOS Rebel T3 / 1100D||n/a|
|Canon EOS Rebel XSi / 450D||100,000|
|Canon EOS Rebel XS / 1000D||100,000|
|Canon EOS Rebel XTi / 400D||50,000|
|Canon EOS Rebel XT / 350D||50,000|
|Canon EOS 60D||100,000|
|Canon EOS 50D||100,000|
|Canon EOS 40D||100,000|
|Canon EOS 30D||100,000|
|Canon EOS 20D||50,000|
|Canon EOS 7D||150,000|
|Canon EOS 6D||100,000|
|Canon EOS 5D Mark III||150,000|
|Canon EOS 5D Mark II||150,000|
|Canon EOS 5D||100,000|
|Canon EOS 1D X||400,000|
|Canon EOS 1D Mark IV||300,000|
|Canon EOS 1D Mark III||300,000|
|Canon EOS 1D Mark II N||200,000|
|Canon EOS 1DS Mark III||300,000|
|Canon EOS 1DS Mark II||200,000|
The 6D slightly improves upon the 5D Mark II's 3.9 fps frame rating with a reasonable 4.5 fps spec. Relatively speaking, the 4.5 fps rate is not very fast ... but I relied upon the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III's only slightly faster 5.0 fps for many years.
You can make slower frame rates work for many subjects with timing of the shutter release becoming more important. The 6D's very short <60ms shutter lag (improved from 73ms in the 5D II) is especially helpful for exposure timing.
|Model||fps||Max JPG||Max RAW||Startup||Shutter Lag||VF Blackout|
|Canon EOS Rebel SL1 / 100D||4.0||28/1140||7/8||.1s||75ms|
|Canon EOS Rebel T5i / 700D||5.0||22/30||6/6||.1s||75ms|
|Canon EOS Rebel T4i / 650D||5.0||30||6||.1s||75ms|
|Canon EOS Rebel T3i / 600D||3.7||34||6||.1s||90ms||130ms|
|Canon EOS Rebel T2i / 550D||3.7||34||6||.1s||90ms||130ms|
|Canon EOS Rebel T1i / 500D||3.4||170||9||.1s||90ms||130ms|
|Canon EOS Rebel T3 / 1100D||3 / 2||830||5||.1s||110ms||150ms|
|Canon EOS Rebel XSi / 450D||3.5||53||6||.1s||90ms||130ms|
|Canon EOS Rebel XS / 1000D||3 / 1.5||n/a||5||.1s||90ms|
|Canon EOS Rebel XTi / 400D||3.0||27||10||.2s||100ms||170ms|
|Canon EOS Rebel XT / 350D||3.0||14||4||.2s||100ms||170ms|
|Canon EOS 60D||5.3||58||16||.1s||59ms||100ms|
|Canon EOS 50D||6.3||90||16||.1s||59ms||100ms|
|Canon EOS 40D||6.5||75||17||.15s||59ms||100ms|
|Canon EOS 30D||5.0||30||11||.15s||65ms||110ms|
|Canon EOS 20D||5.0||23||6||.2s||65ms||115ms|
|Canon EOS 7D||8.0||110/130||23/25||.1s||59ms||100ms|
|Canon EOS 6D||4.5||73/1250||14/17||.1s||<60ms|
|Canon EOS 5D Mark III||6.0||65/16k||13/18||.1s||59ms||125ms|
|Canon EOS 5D Mark II||3.9||78/310||13/14||.1s||73ms||145ms|
|Canon EOS 5D||3.0||60||17||.2s||75ms||145ms|
|Canon EOS 1D X||12/14||180||38||.1s||36-55ms||60ms|
|Canon EOS 1D Mark IV||10.0||121||28||.1s||40-55ms||80ms|
|Canon EOS 1D Mark III||10.0||110||30||.2s||40-55ms||80ms|
|Canon EOS 1D Mark II N||8.5||48||22||.2s||40-55ms||87ms|
|Canon EOS 1DS Mark III||5.0||56||12||.2s||40-55ms||80ms|
|Canon EOS 1DS Mark II||4.0||32||11||.3s||40-55ms||87ms|
The Canon EOS 6D uses SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards and supports the fast UHS-1 (Ultra High-Speed) standard. The secondary total high speed burst shots figures above (after the "/" in the table) are UHS-1 specs. I personally prefer SD/SDHC/SDXC cards to CompactFlash - especially when the read/write speeds are equal. The lack of pins is one reliability advantage of the SD connection. Another is the easy uploading to my laptop via its built-in card reader.
To test burst rate, I shoot in M mode (wide open aperture, 1/4000 shutter speed), ISO 100, MF, IS off, lens cap on and all noise reduction off. For this test, I used a Sony 32GB SDHC Class 10 UHS-I Card Using this card, the 6D delivered an above-rated 21 RAW frames in 4.5 seconds for an about-as-rated 4.5 fps rate. Additional shots were captured every .55 seconds thereafter.
Here are the MP3 sound clips for your review.
The 6D has a very quiet normal shutter and the "Silent" drive mode is even quieter (though not completely silent as the name suggests). A Silent burst mode is also provided. Having a quiet camera is very advantageous when shooting in a quiet venue (where you don't want to become the center of attention) - or when shooting something you don't want alerted to the camera sound (I'm thinking wildlife - not your camera-shy father, aunt ... of course). I have been using the 5D Mark III's similar silent mode for shooting concerts, recitals, etc. - it is a very welcome 6D feature for me.
What I have found to be the biggest downside to using Silent mode has been a relatively minor one - the modestly increased shutter lag. The increased lag has not bothered me at the times when silent mode is needed as fast action events are seldom quiet.
"Silent" will be very highly welcomed by event and wedding photographers along with photojournalists. The 6D's Silent mode will also be welcomed by videographers shooting the same events as photographers. And by those in attendance at the events.
The 6D's available shutter speed range is 1/4000 to 30 sec. as well as bulb. The 6D's X-sync speed is 1/180 sec.
Following is a visual example of a 4.5 fps capture sequence. Note that there are many horse leg positions missing from this capture rate.
I once again subjected myself and a review camera's AF to the challenge of capturing fast and bouncing cantering/galloping horses. This is of course fun for both the kids and I. They were supposed to be riding through one at a time, but decided to mix things up to be funny. Makes me laugh.
For these shots, I mounted a Canon EF 500mm f/4 IS II USM Lens to the 6D. I knew that the lens was up to the challenge, but was very anxious to learn if the camera was.
The Canon EOS 5D Mark II took a lot of criticism for autofocus issues, especially in low light environments such as weddings. Although I didn't use the peripheral AF points on the 5D II too much, I found the center AF point on that model to work quite well. And the peripheral points generally worked fine for me when I used them - as long as I focused on a strong point of contrast in the frame (a key point for making AF perform well).
The Canon EOS 6D receives a "New 11-point AF array featuring a high-precision center cross-type point with an exceptional EV -3 sensitivity rating for accurate focusing even in extremely low-light conditions." [Canon]
Of the 11 points: The center is cross-type at f/5.6 with extra sensitivity when an f/2.8 or wider max aperture lens is used. The upper and lower AF points are vertical line-sensitive at f/5.6. And the remaining AF points are horizontal line-sensitive at f/5.6. The 11 AF points are laid out in the typical Canon 9-pt diamond pattern with 2 additional AF points located between the center and the 2 outermost points - as made obvious in the diagram above. The 6D does not support AF with lens or lens + extender combinations with max apertures narrower than f/5.6.
Made to focus in very low light condition: EV-3 is the strongest low light AF performance of any Canon AF system at Canon EOS 6D review time. EV-3 is the equivalent of moonlight.
I can focus the 6D's center point on a subject with reasonable contrast down until autoexposure gives me a setting of 160 at 10 seconds and f/2.8 (really dark) with the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L II USM Lens mounted (note that the 6D's metering range spec is listed at EV 1-20). The Canon EOS 1D X's center point could not focus on the same subject with the same lens mounted. Note that the 6D focuses very slowly under these dismal lighting conditions - but locking slowly is far better than failing to lock.
I'm having very good success with the Canon EOS 6D's center AF point. And this is again the AF point I am using most frequently on this camera. It properly and accurately locks onto subjects as I would expect.
The peripheral AF points are also working fine for me with not-too-wide apertures selected - most images are accurately focused when using them. My peripheral AF point in-focus hit rate using the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 L USM Lens at f/1.2 is noticeably lower with the 6D than with the 5D Mark III. I also run into situations where the single-direction line sensitivity causes problems. For example, I was trying to focus on a couch pillow with obvious contrasting lines running in the wrong direction - the 6D's left-most AF point could not lock focus. The camera would focus hunt and then quit.
AI Servo AF tracking subjects approaching (or leaving) at a fast rate is where an AF system is most challenged. To facilitate your action capture, the 6D AF system has some configuration capability including AF tracking sensitivity (from locked on to responsive in 5 steps) and AF acceleration/deceleration tracking (from 0 to 2). I'm currently using the default settings.
The first action I shot with the 6D was an indoor soccer game (using the Canon EF 200mm f/2 IS USM Lens). The lighting was terrible - spectrum-starved and dim. My settings were f/2 and 1/640 at ISO 8000. Using center-point-only AF produced an only fair in-focus hit rate at this event.
My results with the fast-moving horses were better. Testing AF is very subjective and an infinite number of AF circumstances are available. But fast-moving horses are a relatively common subject for me - and photographing them gives me a good subjective test of a camera and lens' AF capabilities.
The 6D did a good job tracking these animals with the center AF point working quite well. The peripheral AF points did not perform as well, but their results were not bad - I'm not disappointed.
While the 6D's AF system is capable of focusing in incredibly dark environments (you wedding photographers know exactly what this means), it does not have the overall performance of the 1D X/5D III's best-available-at-review-time 61pt AF system.
While shooting the AI Servo AF test as exampled above, I had changing light conditions. My standard action-under-changing-light-conditions setup is manual exposure (1/1600, f/4 in this sample) with Auto ISO. This allows the camera to automatically determine the brightness of the final image using the ISO setting.
While the above shot had nearly perfect brightness out of the camera, many of my shots had a lot more sky in them and shooting against a bright sky of course tends to result in a darker auto-exposed image than desired. Why Canon does not provide an option to dial in +/- exposure compensation in manual mode with Auto ISO on any review-time-current DSLR model escapes my mind. The addition of this EC option should be a no-brainer.
The 6D receives the nice 63-zone dual-layer iFCL metering sensor that we have seeing in recent/better EOS models.
Here is a visual comparison of the back of many Canon Digital SLR bodies:
The back of the 6D shows a rather large departure from the 5D Mark II. Perhaps the first change you will notice in this comparison is the 6D's smaller size. The 60D is one of the closest size comparisons to make with the 6D. Of course, adding the optional Canon BG-E13 Battery Grip (see second row option) changes everything regarding overall size.
Noticeable is that the 6D has a truncated, more-squared design look for the camera back left side.
Once again, you will notice that there is a new control/button layout to master. You will quickly notice that, in 60D-fashion, the entire bank of left-side buttons are gone. The Menu and Info buttons, formerly in the left bank, move up to the top left corner. The displaced Live View button, sans the Print alternative, moves to the now-typical, convenient right-of-the-viewfinder location and gains the video option.
While I'm still not a fan of Canon's new image review zoom method (press the magnify button and then roll the top dial), I do like this magnify button location for easy reach with the right thumb - this is a better location in my opinion. For my use, the playback and magnify buttons are redundant - two presses of the magnify button provide the same display as the playback button.
The 6D picks up the Quick settings button (welcomed), but loses the joystick multi-controller. Replacing the joystick is an EOS 60D-like controller that features an 8-way button circling the set button, inside the main control dial. I appreciate this controller more and more the longer I use it - but I do miss the old joystick - especially when quickly changing AF points.
The delete button moves to the right of the LCD. The controller lock switch moves off of the power switch (this is good) and the power switch moves to the now-common top position. I'm not a big fan of the top-mounted power switch - I cannot power the camera on with my grip hand without putting the camera down first, but this is not a big deal.
The 6D gets a 3" (77mm) 4:3 1.04 million dot Clear View LCD resin-covered display. This is not the slightly larger 3.2" (81mm) 3:2 1.04 million dot Clear View II glass-covered display found on the 5D Mark III and some other EOS models - and it is not a Vari-Angle LCD variant. But the LCD display is a high quality one that works well. Putting the 6D and 5D III LCD beside each other with an identical photo showing, it is not easy to see a difference - the 5D III shows slightly deeper blacks.
Moving to the top:
On the top, the 6D gains one button (matching the 60D), but loses the dual-feature functionality of the 5D II buttons with a net loss of two top button-access settings. Those going missing are the White Balance and Flash Exposure Compensation buttons. I'm guessing that some of you will miss button access to FEC, but this feature is available on the Quick button menu.
Compared to the modes found on the 5D Mark II, the 6D loses a Custom mode, gains SCN (Special Scene) mode and gets an upgrade to the fully automatic mode - Scene Intelligent Auto mode.
Scene Intelligent Auto, the green square + mode, combines point and shoot simplicity with artificial intelligence to make the results professional grade. "Joining Picture Style Auto, Automatic Lighting Optimizer, Automatic White Balance, Autofocus, and Automatic Exposure, Scene Intelligent Auto mode analyzes the image, accounting for faces, colors, brightness, moving objects, contrast, even whether the camera is handheld or on a tripod, and then chooses the exposure and enhancements that bring out the best in any scene or situation." [Canon]
SCN (Special Scene) mode allows selection of auto modes designed for specific scene types including Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Night Portrait, Handheld Night Scene and HDR Backlight Control. These modes, commonly found on the more-consumer-oriented DSLR mode dials but missing on the 5D II and III, are now Quick menu accessible while SCN mode is selected.
Nice (and new) is that the mode dial can be rotated continuously in either direction with no stops. Notice the even spacing layout of the options on the mode dial - there is no break to indicate a hard rotation stop.
Fortunately, Canon did not sacrifice the comfortable grip when creating this downsized DSLR. As you can see, the 6D's grip still protrudes an amount similar to the 5D II.
Build quality was also not sacrificed in the 6D. My understanding is that this camera has a level of weather sealing, but I have not been able to get clarification on what that level is. This camera feels very solid. The 6D's front and rear body covers are Magnesium Alloy, but the top cover is a Fiberglass-reinforced Polycarbonate construction. The top cover material was selected so as not to inhibit the built-in WiFi/GPS communications.
This DSLR has built-in WiFi connectivity and GPS communications. The 6D is Canon's first DSLR camera to receive these previously external-only optional features built-in. With the 6D's built-in WiFi capabilities, you can wirelessly:
Remotely connecting to the 6D via Canon's EOS Remote app (for iOS and Android operating systems) is going to be very popular. Especially since the app is free - and it works. Search Google Play or the Apple AppStore for "EOS Remote" to load this app on your smartphone/tablet. The link to Canon UK at the end of this review demonstrates the setup process and use of EOS Remote.
I downloaded and set up EOS Remote on my Droid X phone. The process did not go quite as smoothly as I expected, but ... I didn't need directions. :) I instructed the camera to connect directly to the phone (without a wireless access point in the middle) and then connected the phone to the camera using the camera's WiFi network settings (the app's connection option was not working for me).
I could then see the Live View image on the phone, change basic settings on the camera (aperture, shutter, ISO, focus point location) and take the picture - even from another room - or on another floor. Photos captured were then be available on my phone for sending as desired. I haven't pounded on this app for hours, but ... it definitely feels like first try at software that could become great in the future. I had some trouble with keeping/re-establishing the connection to the camera and moving the AF point around on the phone's Live View display did not always work.
The other WiFi connection method I've tested is the 6D connected to the network wireless access point and then accessed from my laptop which was wirelessly connected to the same network. After pairing the laptop to the 6D using Canon's WFT Pairing software, Canon EOS Utility can be used to control the 6D. EOS Utility offers a broader range of features/functionality and worked much better for me.
The 6D’s integrated GPS is for geo-tagging your images - or for mapping your route. Location data saved to your image file includes longitude, latitude, elevation (usually - it was missing from a couple of my images), Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and satellite signal condition. You can also use the GPS logger function to map your travel route, which is then displayable using the supplied Map Utility software.
Built-in GPS has not interested me. I know where I took my pictures. And you probably do too. But not everyone else knows - and sometimes your pictures may not be seen in or may be released from your presence. I am aware of major companies now requiring that GPS coordinates be provided in all images supplied to them. Meeting this requirement is very easy with the 6D. And seeing your travel path and shot locations on a map is fun - and makes sharing the trip with others easier.
The included ImageBrowser EX software (weighing in at a somewhat heavy 250MB install) includes EOS Map Utility. You can load a set of images and a GPS Logger log file to see your travel path and photo locations on a Google map. I took the 6D on a 3 mile trail run, stopping to take a picture periodically. The 6D's GPS functioned accurately and the results appeared very accurate on the map. I was left wanting distance and elevation change information to also be provided.
But you may not always want others to know where a shot was taken - for safety, competitive or other reasons. John McAfee did not want you to know where a review-time-recent picture of him was taken, but GPS coordinates from a web-posted picture of him led to his quick capture by authorities. While I hope that you are not avoiding capture, you might want to give consideration to which of your released pictures have GPS coordinates included in their EXIF data. The EOS 6D arrives with WiFi and GPS functionality disabled by default.
At review time, the off-the-shelf 6D models (WG) have the WiFi & GPS built in. But, according to the owner's manual, "The EOS 6D (N) does not have the WiFi and GPS functions ...)". The Canon EOS 6D CD included in the box references a model (W) that I expect would include the WiFi feature but not the GPS. So, apparently there may be 6D models showing up in the wild without one or both of these features. Update: The 6D (N) is now available in some countries.
Battery life will be reduced when GPS/WiFi are enabled. I was not able to determine that the additional drain on the battery was significant. GPS may not work well indoors (especially below ground level) or in other locations where that front-of-hot-shoe-located GPS receiver cannot adequately receive satellite information.
Nice is that the built-in GPS can keep the 6D's clock precisely set.
You saw the 6D's small comparative size in pictures, now here it is in hard nambers.
|Model||Body Dimensions||CIPA Weight|
|Canon PowerShot G1 X||4.6 x 3.2 x 2.6"||(116.7 x 80.5 x 64.7mm)||18.8 oz (534g)|
|Canon PowerShot G12||4.4 x 3.0 x 1.9"||(112.1 x 76.2 x 48.3mm)||13.7 oz (389g)|
|Canon PowerShot G9||4.2 x 2.8 x 1.7"||(106.4 x 71.9 x 42.5mm)||12.9 oz (365g)|
|Canon EOS M||4.3 x 2.6 x 1.3"||(108.6 x 66.5 x 32.3mm)||10.5 oz (298g)|
|Canon EOS Rebel SL1 / 100D||4.6 x 3.6 x 2.7"||(116.8 x 90.7 x 69.4mm)||14.4 oz (407g)|
|Canon EOS Rebel T5i / 700D||5.2 x 3.9 x 3.1"||(133.1 x 99.8 x 78.8mm)||20.5 oz (580g)|
|Canon EOS Rebel T4i / 650D||5.2 x 3.9 x 3.1"||(133.1 x 99.8 x 78.8mm)||20.3 oz (575g)|
|Canon EOS Rebel T3i / 600D||5.2 x 3.9 x 3.1"||(133.1 x 99.5 x 79.7mm)||20.1 oz (570g)|
|Canon EOS Rebel T2i / 550D||5.1 x 3.8 x 2.4"||(128.8 x 97.5 x 61.9mm)||18.7 oz (530g)|
|Canon EOS Rebel T1i / 500D||5.1 x 3.8 x 2.4"||(128.8 x 97.5 x 61.9mm)||18.6 oz (527g)|
|Canon EOS Rebel T3 / 1100D||5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1"||(129.9 x 99.7 x 77.9mm)||17.5 oz (495g)|
|Canon EOS Rebel XSi / 450D||5.1 x 3.8 x 2.4"||(128.8 x 97.5 x 61.9mm)||18.4 oz (522g)|
|Canon EOS Rebel XS / 1000D||5.0 x 3.8 x 2.4"||(126.1 x 97.5 x 61.9mm)||17.5 oz (497g)|
|Canon EOS Rebel XTi / 400D||5.0 x 3.7 x 2.6"||(127 x 94 x 65mm)||19.9 oz (564g)|
|Canon EOS Rebel XT / 350D||5.0 x 3.7 x 2.6"||(127 x 94 x 64mm)||19.0 oz (539g)|
|Canon EOS 60D||5.7 x 4.2 x 3.1"||(144.5 x 105.8 x 78.6mm)||26.6 oz (755g)|
|Canon EOS 50D||5.7 x 4.2 x 2.9"||(145.5 x 107.8 x 73.5mm)||29.1 oz (826g)|
|Canon EOS 40D||5.7 x 4.4 x 2.9"||(145.5 x 112 x 73.5mm)||29.5 oz (836g)|
|Canon EOS 30D||5.7 x 4.2 x 2.9"||(144 x 105.5 x 73.5mm)||28.1 oz (796g)|
|Canon EOS 20D||5.6 x 4.2 x 2.8"||(144 x 106 x 72mm)||27.5 oz (781g)|
|Canon EOS 7D||5.8 x 4.4 x 2.9"||(148.2 x 110.7 x 73.5mm)||32.2 oz (914g)|
|Canon EOS 6D||5.7 x 4.4 x 2.8"||(144.5 x 110.5 x 71.2mm)||26.6 oz (755g)|
|Canon EOS 5D Mark III||6.0 x 4.6 x 3.0"||(152 x 116.4 x 76.4mm)||33.5 oz (950g)|
|Canon EOS 5D Mark II||6.0 x 4.5 x 3.0"||(152 x 113.5 x 75mm)||31.9 oz (904g)|
|Canon EOS 5D||6.0 x 4.4 x 3.0"||(152 x 113 x 75mm)||32.0 oz (906g)|
|Canon EOS 1D X||6.2 x 6.4 x 3.3"||(158 x 163.6 x 82.7mm)||47.6 oz (1349g)|
|Canon EOS 1D Mark IV||6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1"||(156 x 157 x 80mm)||48.5 oz (1374g)|
|Canon EOS 1D Mark III||6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1"||(156 x 157 x 80mm)||47.6 oz (1349g)|
|Canon EOS 1D Mark II N||6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1"||(156 x 158 x 80 mm)||55.5 oz (1574g)|
|Canon EOS 1DS Mark III||6.1 x 6.3 x 3.1"||(156 x 159.6 x 79.9mm)||49.5 oz (1404g)|
|Canon EOS 1DS Mark II||6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1"||(156 x 158 x 80 mm)||55.2 oz (1564g)|
The DSLRs shown below are aligned approximately on their hot shoes.
Once again we see that the EOS 6D matches up well with the EOS 60D - trading a small amount of depth for a small amount of height.
The 6D's left-side ports include a 3.5mm microphone terminal, N3 type port (for a remote controller), USB 2.0 port and mini-HDMI (Type C) port.
Like all of the other recent EOS DSLR cameras, the Canon EOS 6D is capable of delivering world class video image quality along with its also-world class still image quality. The 6D's video features are very similar to those of the 5D Mark III.
Available NTSC and PAL recording sizes and frame rates are:
1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps) (actually 29.97, 25, 23.976 fps)
1280 x 720 (60, 50 fps) (actually 59.94, 50 fps)
640 x 480 (30, 25 fps) (actually 29.97, 25 fps)
With its ability to start new video files during filming, the 4GB /12 min HD Movie clip limit has now been surpassed. "Legal reasons" (to fall below the EU's higher tax rate video camera designation) now limit the maximum total HD clip length to 29 minutes and 59 seconds (generating three files). The 6D " ... automatically splits files greater than 4GB (FAT specifications) for extended recording without interruption." [Canon]
The .MOV file format is used with MPEG-4 AVC / H.264 and new, selectable IPB (Bi-directional compression) or ALL-I (Intra-coded Frame) compression methods. IPB offers a higher compression rate by compressing multiple frames together while ALL-I compresses each frame individually - allowing for more precise editing. ALL-I compressed footage will be about three times larger (but requires less computing power) than IPB compressed footage. Note that ALL-I compressed HD video clip length is limited to 11 and 12 min.
The 6D supports the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) timecode standard of Hour:Minute:Second:Frame (0-29 for 30 fps) with four options (and more sub options) for this counter. A drop frame count menu is available to compensate for counts when using frame rates such as 29.97 fps.
Video exposure control is via Program AE or fully Manual exposure. ISO 100 through 25,600 are available (extended ISO range is not available in video mode) as well as ±3 stops of exposure compensation in 1/3- or 1/2-stop increments.
Linear PCM audio recording options are the internal microphone capturing 16bit mono sound or the 3.5mm stereo input jack. Manual audio level control is available (64 steps) as is a wind filter/attenuator. The 6D does not have a headphone jack.
Both chromatic aberration and peripheral illumination correction are now available in 6D video.
The 6D video pre-focusing options are the same as with Live View Shooting. Manual focusing still rules for quality DSLR video production.
The EOS 6D includes a variation of Canon's recently-introduced HDR feature.
You can generate JPG HDR images directly in-camera using 3 base exposures. In HDR mode, the 6D will capture 3 images with one shutter press and then will generate and save a JPG result image. The three base images are captured using automatic exposure bracketing or at a user-specified bracketing of +/- 1-3 stops along with base EV compensation. Unlike with the 5D Mark III, RAW image capture is not an option and the original images are not retained.
To capture RAW HDR images and to retain the base images, use Automatic Exposure Bracketing (AEB). AEB has been supported in Canon EOS DSLRs for a long time (now 2, 3, 5, or 7 shots in the 6D), and the resulting images can be used for HDR processing - but not in-camera.
As with the 5D Mark III, I'm not sure why the mirror operates between each of the three HDR exposures unless mirror lockup is used - but then a second (and blind) shutter release is required. The two second self-timer with mirror lockup delivers the three shots with the mirror locked up using only one shutter release press - the ideal solution if using a tripod.
Handheld HDR is supported with an Auto Align option. The downside to auto align is that your image is slightly cropped as demonstrated below. Be sure to allow for this cropping in your framing.
HDR is not right for all situations, but it is awesome for many still life and landscape shots. I'll be sticking with RAW AEB capture for my 6D HDR shooting. I'll create my final images in Photoshop or DPP.
The 6D picks up the in-camera RAW processing feature seen in Canon's latest DSLRs. To date, I have never used this feature. But, with the WiFi file sharing possible with this camera, this feature definitely becomes more useful. Capture in RAW and send a JPG to your social networking page for example.
Very helpful to me is the 6D's Electronic Level. While this implementation of electronic level provides horizon-level indication. While only roll level indication is provided (not pitch), roll is most important to most of us. The level can be displayed on the LCD in Live View by pressing the Info button.
The level can also be displayed in the viewfinder. While the 6D allows configuration of many button functions, the viewfinder level option is not available for most. I currently have the DOF Preview button programmed to show the level in the viewfinder. The 6D's bottom-of-the-viewfinder level indication is not nearly as nice as the 5D Mark III's on-viewfinder-LCD implementation, but it works fine.
The 6D has been given an integrated sensor self-cleaning system, but I have not been able to gain much information about it. My 6D sensor came with a large piece of dust on it, but a puff of air from my Giottos Rocket Air Blower eliminated that. I have had no unusual dust problems since.
The Canon EOS 6D has a host of other features to improve your image captures or simply to make life better. Some of these include: AF Microadjustment (up to 40 lenses by serial number), Highlight Tone Priority, Auto Lighting Optimizer (4 settings), Long exposure noise reduction, High ISO Noise Reduction (4 settings), Peripheral illumination Correction, Chromatic Aberration Correction and Multiple Exposure.
The EOS 6D uses the popular Canon LP-E6 Battery Pack. This battery model is used by other EOS DSLRs including the 60D, 7D, 5D II and 5D III. It's great to be able to share one battery model across various DSLRs - with only one small charger needed when traveling with any combination of these models.
The LP-E6 Battery is small (you can easily fit several in most pockets), but it is rated for a significant 1,090 shots. My first charge drain down resulted in 1,766 shots at 32% battery life remaining - or an expected 2,600 shots at that usage rate. This shooting included about 1,100 shots taken in battery-friendly high-speed burst mode. Still, that leaves nearly 700 shots taken in one shot mode (some with Live View enabled) with 32% battery remaining. I would expect to hit a near-rated 1,029 shots from a single charge even without including those 1,100 shots being counted.
The EOS 6D provides a shows 6 level battery indicator and a percent remaining value in the Battery menu.
Optional for the 6D is the Canon BG-E13 Battery Grip (shown installed above). The battery grip accepts 2 LP-E6 batteries, nearly doubling the shot-per-charge capacity of this camera. Better yet is the vertical grip the BG-E13 provides. The downside to using the BG-E13 is the additional size and weight. The grip is easily removable, giving you the choice of options best for you at the time.
Also optional for the 6D is a flash. Like the rest of Canon's full frame bodies, no pop-up flash is provided. Consider the Canon Speedlite 90EX Pocket Flash for your basic fill flash needs as well as the ability to master remote flashes.
When you buy a Canon DSLR camera, you are buying into an incredible family of lenses and other accessories. One must-have accessory is the tiny Canon Remote Controller RC-6. And of course, the most important must-have item is one or more lenses.
For most photographers, the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens purchased in the 6D with-lens kit is an ideal choice. The discount offered with the kit is significant. And the lens is excellent - it's been my most-used lens since it was introduced.
Another general purpose lens I very highly recommend is the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L II USM Lens. If you need to stop action in low light or need to get the shallowest DOF possible in the 24-70mm range, the 24-70 L II lens is awesome. The 24-70 L II is the sharpest general purpose zoom lens available at review time. Otherwise, the 24-105 provides a longer focal length range in a smaller/lighter package - and has image stabilization.
One more lens to keep an eye on is the not-yet-available-at-review-time Canon EF 24-70mm f/4 L IS USM Lens. I have strong confidence in this lens, but have not had firsthand experience with it at this time.
There is a huge range of other incredible Canon lens options available to meet nearly every need a photographer can encounter.
Is the Canon EOS 6D the right DSLR for you?
From an image quality perspective, The 6D betters all but perhaps, arguably, one or two other Canon EOS DSLR cameras introduced to date. Those models are the 5D III (for resolution) and the 1D X (possibly for lower noise levels). The 6D is a huge image quality upgrade from any of the APS-C Canon EOS models - and a strong upgrade from most in many other regards.
One advantage retained by some of the recent APS-C models is the pixel density on the sensor. A higher pixel density provides more "reach" when you are shooting focal length limited. The EOS 7D has a much faster frame rate and (arguably) better peripheral AF point performance to its credit.
Those shooting with a 5D Mark II have a harder decision to make. The 6D has better high ISO image quality, but these two cameras are very similar in regards to image quality.
I feel that the 5D Mark III remains a solid upgrade from the 6D, but the 6D has some features that will make it the right choice for many - especially the price feature.
Below is my attempt at a comprehensive list of the substantive differences between the Canon EOS 6D, the 5D Mark II and the 5D Mark III. Please let me know of any differences omitted here. Note that a few 6D features not yet mentioned in this review are revealed in the chart below:
|Feature||EOS 6D||EOS 5D Mark II||EOS 5D Mark III|
|Memory Card Format||SDHC/SDXC UHS-I||CompactFlash||CompactFlash (UDMA) &|
SDHC/SDXC (not UHS-I)
|Image Processor||DIGIC 5+||DIGIC 4||DIGIC 5+|
|Max Frame Rate||4.5 fps||3.9 fps||6.0 fps|
|Silent Drive Mode||Yes||No||Yes|
|Max Shutter Speed||1/4000||1/8000||1/8000|
|Shutter Durability Rating||100,000||150,000||150,000|
|Full Speedlite 600EX-RT Control||Yes||No||Yes|
|AF Points||11 (1 Cross)||9 (1 Cross) + 6 Assist||61 (up to 41 Cross, 5 Dual Cross)|
Variety of AF Area Selection Opts
|Low Light AF||EV -3||EV -0.5||EV -2|
|Indep Vert/Hor AF Pt Selection||Yes||No||Yes|
|AF Microadjustment||Up to 40 Lens Serial#s|
Independent Wide/Long FL Adj
|Up to 20 Lenses||Up to 40 Lens Serial#s|
Independent Wide/Long FL Adj
|LCD Monitor||3" (77mm) 3:2 Clear View|
1.04 million dot
|3" (77mm) 4:3 Clear View|
.92 million dot
|3.2" (81mm) 3:2 Clear View II|
1.04 million dot
|LCD Monitor Cover||Resin||Glass|
|LCD Auto Brightness||No||Yes||Yes|
|Electronic Level||Yes (Roll)||No||Yes (Roll & Pitch)|
|Electronic Viewfinder LCD||No||No||Yes|
|Exposure Control||63 Zone Dual Layer SPC||35 Zone SPC||63 Zone Dual Layer SPC|
|Exposure Compensation||+/-5 EV||+/-2 EV||+/-5 EV|
|Flash Exposure Comp||+/-3 EV||+/-2 EV||+/-3 EV|
|AEB Shots||2, 3, 5, or 7||3||2, 3, 5, or 7|
|Scene Intelligent Auto Mode||Yes||No||Yes|
|Custom Shooting Modes||2||3||3|
|Full Range Auto ISO in M Mode||Yes||No||Yes|
|Creative Auto Mode||Yes||Yes||No|
|Special Scene Auto Modes||Yes||No||No|
|HDR Mode||Yes (JPG Only)||No||Yes (JPG or RAW)|
|Sep Joystick Multi-controller||No||Yes||Yes|
|Capacitive Touch Pad on QCD||No||No||Yes|
|WiFi Capability||Built-in||External||External or via Eye-Fi SDHC|
|SMPTE Timecode Standard||Yes||No||Yes|
|IPB or ALL-I Compression||Yes||No||Yes|
|Size||5.7 x 4.4 x 2.8"||6.0 x 4.5 x 3.0"||6.0 x 4.6 x 3.0"|
|144.5 x 110.5 x 71.2mm||152 x 113.5 x 75mm||152 x 116.4 x 76.4mm|
|Weight||26.7 oz (755g)||28.6 oz (810g)||33.5 oz (950g)|
I'm sure that I missed some of the differences between these cameras - The 5D Mark II's 228 page owner's manual has grown into the 6D's 404 page owner's manual. The 6D's separate WiFi & GPS manual is another 51 pages.
One more difference I think we are going to soon see between the 6D and 5D II is availability. Canon has not publicly stated that the 5D II has been discontinued (as of review time), but I don't see any reason for the 5D II to remain in Canon's lineup. I expect it to disappear from retailer's shelves in the near future.
On a personal level: At review time, I am fortunate to be shooting with a kit that includes a pair of Canon EOS 5D Mark III bodies and a Canon EOS 1D X body. I have not found any 6D features compelling enough to give up the higher-featured bodies I'm shooting with now.
But, I could be very satisfied with the Canon EOS 6D for most of my photography needs. The 6D's size and weight are going to convince some otherwise. The 6D is a well-built, competent, professional-grade DSLR that delivers very impressive image quality at a low price point in a small body size. It is an ideal choice for travel, portrait and landscape photography.