Should I get the Canon EOS 6D Mark II or the EOS 6D?

When an updated camera model is introduced, it's fair to wonder if your needs will be best served by the new model or whether the older model will serve your intended purposes sufficiently with cost savings being the primary benefit.

With the Canon EOS 6D Mark II's announcement, I'm sure many people are considering either a camera upgrade or the addition of a second camera to their kit. And since the original 6D is still available (at least for now), it makes sense to look closely at these two cameras to see if the 6D II's updated features are worth its higher price for your specific needs.

As the 6D doesn't really have any signifcant advantages over the 6D Mark II aside from a lower price, so we'll simply take a look at the upgraded features of the 6D II to put the current cost differential into context.

Advantages of the EOS 6D Mark II over the 6D:

  • 26.2 MP CMOS sensor with Dual Pixel CMOS AF vs. 20.2 MP (no DPAF)
  • 45-point AF system (all cross-type) vs. 11 points (f/5.6 cross type at center, extra sensitivity at f/2.8)
  • Up to 21 active AF points with f/8 max aperture vs. no active AF points at f/8
  • 7560-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor affecting 63 segments vs. 63 zone Dual Layer SPC
  • 6.5 fps. (up to 21 images in RAW) vs. 4.5fps. (up to 17 images in RAW)
  • DIGIC 7 vs. DIGIC 5+
  • Customizable, Intelligent Viewfinder with transparent LCD overlay vs. standard viewfinder
  • AWB (Ambience priority/White priority) vs. AWB (Ambience priority only)
  • Vari-angle touchscreen LCD (1.04 million dots) vs. fixed
  • Flicker Light Detection and Shutter Timing vs. none
  • Full HD 1080p 60 fps movies with 5 axis electronic image stabilization vs. 1080p 30 fps (no electronic stabilization)
  • WiFi, NFC, Bluetooth & GPS vs. WiFi and GPS
  • Intervalometer with 4K Timelapse Movie Mode featuring 3840px UHD resolution vs. no intervalometer or in-camera timelapse

Who should opt for the EOS 6D Mark II?

If you are a wildlife photographer, the 6D II's significantly better AF system and the ability to utilize lens + extender combinations with an f/8 maximum aperture ultimately make it a much better choice compared to the 6D and its 11-point AF system. Those needing to capture wildlife at the peak of action will also benefit from the 6D II's faster burst rate. If sports photography is on your to-do list, then these same features along with Light Flicker Detection and Shutter Timing will be prove quite advantageous to you as well.

Event photographers will especially appreciate the 6D II's upgraded AF system and [almost certain] great image quality at higher ISOs, as both will be very beneficial for documentary style photography in light-starved venues.

Do you plan on photographing your child/children as they play? The 6D II's advanced AF system will ensure you get more in-focus shots compared to its predecessor.

Filmmakers will especially appreciate the 6D II's Dual Pixel CMOS AF sensor with its ability to track action in movie mode. Other features that filmmakers will enjoy include the vari-angle LCD (with touch-focus), the ability to capture video at 60 fps and in-camera 4K timelapses (though many may still prefer to compile their timelapses in post-processing). Even if not utilizing the in-camera timelapse movie feature, the built-in intervalometer negates the need for an additional accessory to capture timelapses.

Even if you're not a serious filmmaker, the 6D II's Movie Servo AF can help you to capture high quality home movies that your family will enjoy for years to come.

The customizable Intelligent Viewfinder is a convenient feature that nearly every photographer can appreciate, with the ability to display a single axis level indicator, gridlines or other relevant information. For those who enjoy sharing their images quickly and easily, the 6D II's NFC & low-energy Bluetooth connections may also prove to be a differentiating factor.

Who should opt for the EOS 6D?

If you don't believe the sum of the value of the benefits listed above justify the incrementally higher cost of the 6D Mark II, then the original 6D may be the perfect camera to add to your kit (or otherwise build your kit around). It features excellent full frame image quality and is great for landscapes, cityscapes, architecture/real estate, vacations, family gatherings, studio portraiture and macros.


The Canon EOS 6D Mark II included a lot of feature updates that 6D owners had been asking for, including (but not limited to) a more advanced AF system and a Dual Pixel CMOS AF sensor. The 6D II is intended to be the full frame camera for the budget-conscious consumer, just as the 6D was at its introduction. However, this time around, that same consumer group will be getting a much more versatile camera for their very reasonable investment.

If your budget doesn't extend to the 6D II's introductory price, the 6D is the lowest-priced full frame Canon DSLR on the market right now, and it's well worth the price. However, for a little more, the 6D II is an even better value considering its overall feature set.

Check out our Camera Specifications Tool to fully compare these cameras:

Posted: 7/5/2017 7:13:27 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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