If you currently have a Rebel/***D or **D series camera, the Canon EOS 6D
and EOS 7D Mark II
will likely be considered prime upgrade candidates as you look to expand your imaging capabilities. As such, let's take a look at these two DSLR bodies to see which upgrade option may be right for your needs.
First, let's take a quick look at the EOS 6D's benefits over the 7D Mark II:
- Full frame sensor capable of cleaner imagery at higher ISOs
- Larger ISO range: Auto (100-25600), 100-25600, L: 50, H1: 51200, H2: 102400 vs. Auto (100-16000), 100-16000, H1: 25600, H2: 51200
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- Higher battery life: Approx. 1090 (at 23°C, AE 50%, FE 50%) vs. 670
- Slightly smaller/lighter: 5.7 x 4.4 x 2.8" (144.5 x 110.5 x 71.2mm), 26.6 oz (755g) vs. 5.85 x 4.43 x 3.08" (148.6 x 112.4 x 78.2mm), 32.10 oz (910g)
Now let's check out the EOS 7D Mark II's benefits over the 6D:
- Compatability with EF-S lenses
- Dual Pixel CMOS AF Sensor
- Pop-up master flash vs. No flash
- Headphone socket vs. None
- Multi-controller joystick & AF area selector vs. None
- More powerful image processing: Dual DIGIC 6 vs. DIGIC 5+
- More advanced AF system: 65-point all cross-type AF (f/2.8 dual cross-type AF point at center) vs. 11 points (f/5.6 cross type at center, extra sensitivity at f/2.8)
- More advanced metering system: 252 zone Dual Layer SPC vs. 63 zone Dual Layer SPC
- More sensitive metering range: EV 0 – 20 (at 73°F/23°C and ISO 100) vs. EV 1 – 20
- Faster continuous shooting and larger buffer: Max 10 fps (infinite JPEG, 31 RAW) vs. 4.5 fps (1250 JPEG, 17 RAW)
- Faster max. shutter speed: 1/8000 sec. vs. 1/4000
- Larger viewfinder coverage: 100% vs. 97%
- More movie encoding options: .MOV & .MP4 (max. 1920 x 1080 [59.94, 50 fps] inter-frame) vs. .MOV (max. 1920 x 1080 [29.97, 25 fps] intra or inter frame), no .MP4 option
- Faster Interface: SuperSpeed USB 3.0 vs. Hi-Speed USB 2.0
- Dual Memory Cards: CompactFlash (UDMA 7 compatible) & SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I) vs. SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I) only
At the heart of it, you're looking at a comparison between Canon's low-end, budget conscious full-frame camera and their high-end, top-of-the-line APS-C model. Based on Canon's historical naming conventions, the camera bodies' names suggest the the EOS 6D is placed just above the 7D Mark II in the lineup spectrum, but that's simply a sensor-based categorization. Otherwise, as is clearly evident, the 7D Mark II provides a significant superset of features over 6D.
There are two key differentiators that usually appear in our camera comparisons – resolution and price – which remain unlisted above. In this case, these attributes fail to be differentiating factors between these particular cameras. Both DSLRs feature the same 20.2 MP resolution (although the 6D's sensor is larger, providing a larger pixel pitch) and both are priced similarly (the 7D II's MSRP is $100.00 USD higher, although instant and/or mail-in rebates can level out pricing).
Who should opt for the EOS 6D?
If you are looking for the absolute best image quality, especially at higher ISOs, you will certainly benefit from the 6D's full frame sensor. If who want a true 35mm angle of view from Canon's EF, TS-E & MP-E lenses, the choice is easy – get the 6D. If you want built-in Wi-Fi, the EOS 7D Mark II doesn't have it; the 6D does. The 6D makes for an excellent dedicated studio/portraiture body. Although the 6D is slightly smaller and lighter than the 7D II, I wouldn't necessarily consider it compelling differentiator between the two bodies.
Who should opt for the EOS 7D Mark II?
With a myriad of features not included in the EOS 6D, the 7D Mark II could be considered the jack-of-all-trades in this comparison. And if you're upgrading from another APS-C body, the 7D II allows for a seamless transition because of its compatibility with designed-for-crop-sensor, EF-S lenses, while still being compatible with EF, TS-E & MP-E lenses.
If you shoot sports or wildlife, you'll love the 7D II's advanced AF system and substantially faster 10 fps burst rate. If you're interested in filmmaking with your DSLR, the 7D II's expanded movie options, headphone socket and excellent Dual Pixel CMOS AF – allowing for superb focus tracking in movie mode – are huge benefits.
Aside from the advanced AF system, faster burst rate and impressive movie options, the 7D II's dual memory card slots is another feature that I consider to be a significant benefit over the 6D. The extra memory card slot provides the benefit of redundancy should a memory card become corrupted (or otherwise unavailable due to forgetfulness). If redundancy is not needed, the extra memory card slot can provide up to twice the storage available for use. And if the benefits of redundant/more storage are deemed unnecessary, you can always throw a Canon W-E1 Wireless Adapter
in the SD card slot for the benefits it provides.
As is typical of Canon DSLRs, each of these cameras can easily be utilized to create stunning imagery. Your personal priorities and intended subject matter will ultimately determine which of these bodies is the best investment for capitalizing on your photographic opportunities. Hopefully, the comparison above has provided some insight into which of these bodies is the right addition for your camera kit. If not, check out Bryan's full reviews
for more in-depth information on these (and many more) cameras.