With the announcement of the EOS R, many may be wondering if diving into Canon's mirrorless system is the right step forward in regards to their next camera upgrade or if the Canon EOS 6D Mark II will fill their needs just fine. Therefore, we're going to take a closer look at these two cameras to see which might be the better choice for your needs.
Canon EOS R & Canon EOS 6D Mark II Shared Primary Features
Primary Advantages of the Canon EOS R
Primary Advantages of the Canon EOS 6D Mark II
Other Differences Between the Canon EOS R and Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Who should opt for the Canon EOS R?
If you read our Canon EOS R vs. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV comparison, you'll recognize a lot of the benefits listed below. The reason is simple – many of the EOS R's benefits are unique to Canon's new mirrorless system, especially in regards to the R's use with adapted lenses, and those benefits remain the same when the camera is stacked up against any Canon DSLR.
The EOS R features an RF mount. Upon the camera's release, the selection of RF lenses will be relatively small (only four have been announced). While that may seem limiting, the truth is that the EOS R with its RF mount will be even more versatile than the EF-mount 6D mark II if adapted lenses are taken into consideration. With the Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R, Control Ring Mount Adapter and Drop-In Filter Mount Adapter, the EOS R is compatible with EF/TS-E/MP-E and – in a first for Canon full-frame cameras – EF-S lenses as well. So while the selection of RF lenses may be limited for the time being, the unique capabilities afforded by Canon's mount adapters will make the EOS R very attractive for several types of photographers.
Which photographers, precisely? Landscape photographers, portrait photographers and videographers will especially appreciate the benefits of the Drop-In Mount Adapter. How often do landscape photographers want to use CPOLs (circular polarizers) or ND (neutral density) filters with wide angle or ultra-wide angle lenses that are incompatible with front filters? Up until now, using filters with such lenses required the use of cumbersome 3rd-party front filter adapters. With the EOS R, those photographing the great outdoors can enjoy the benefits of a lighter camera body as well as a universal CPOL/vari-ND filter solution for their existing lens collection when traveling to their favorite sunrise location. Landscape photographers often want to stack a circular polarizer with an ND filter on a wide angle lens featuring front filter threads, but the resulting mechanical vignetting (and the increased likelihood of stuck filters) makes using the combo impractical. The Drop-In Filter Mount Adapter with Variable ND filter –with 1.5 - 9 stops of density – can easily be paired with a front-mounted circular polarizer like the B+W XS-Pro CPOL. A B+W XS-Pro CPOL will allow landscape photographers to cut through glare to capture dark blue skies and saturated foliage yet is thin enough not to cause mechanical vignetting on most wide angle lenses. And with a rear-mounted variable ND, a photographer can simultaneously reap the benefits of a long shutter speed to capture the movement of flowing water, clouds, rustling trees, etc.
The EOS R will be the better option to capture recitals, dance and theater performances with its absolutely silent shooting mode.
Those shooting portraiture will certainly appreciate the EOS R's Eye Detection AF, especially when a wide aperture prime lens is being used either natively or with an adapter. The EOS R's AF system is able to lock focus on and track subjects over a significantly larger portion of the frame compared to the 6D II's 45-point phase-detect AF system, allowing for greater flexibility in subject framing without having to focus and recompose. And because the EOS R utilizes the sensor for focusing, calibration issues associated with traditional phase-detect AF systems can be avoided altogether, better ensuring focus accuracy.
If a photographer's off-camera flashes are not capable of high-speed sync, the Drop-In Filter Mount Adapter with Variable ND can enable use of a shutter speed below the camera's x-sync speed (for the R, 1/200 sec.) while using flash and a wide aperture for great subject/background separation.
The EOS R can record video at 4K resolution while the 6D Mark II tops out at 1080p. Videographers can either use the extra resoltion to create highly detailed movies or otherwise create stabilized 1080p video and/or create panning movements within the 4K frame. Videographers can also make use of the Drop-In Filter Mount Adapter, especially when used with the variable ND to record video at optimal shutter speeds (typically, 2x the frame rate). With filters attached to the back of lenses, lens changes can occur more quickly (no need to unscrew/mount a separate ND filter) and the variable ND could easily replace numerous traditional ND filters in a filmmaker's kit.
Who should opt for the Canon EOS 6D Mark II?
There are benefits and drawbacks to Electronic Viewfinders (EVFs) and Optical Viewfinders (OVFs); neither will be best for/preferred by everyone. The 6D Mark II's viewfinder blackout time is actually shorter than the EOS R's viewfinder stutter during capture, making tracking laterally moving or erratic subjects easier with the OVF. If an optical viewfinder is preferred for any reason, the 6D II is, of course, the obvious choice. Other than that, the primary reasons to get a 6D Mark II are battery performance, preference for unadapted lenses and price. The EOS 6D Mark II's is rated for significantly more shots per battery charge compared to the EOS R. If you're often forgetting to charge and/or pack extra batteries, the 6D II may be the better camera for you. Those who simply don't like using adapters will also be better served by the 6D II. And finally, those whose budgets do not extend to the EOS R, especially when the cost of adapters are considered, may take advantage of the 6D II's slightly lower price tag (instant rebates may augment that difference from time to time).
The EOS R's ability to use adapted lenses, and the unique capabilities provided by the adapters, makes Canon's full-frame mirrorless introduction a camera you can effectively use now and well into the future, taking full advantage of all the new RF lenses headed down the pipeline. If compared to DSLRs, the EOS R's features position it somewhere between the 5D Mark IV and 6D Mark II, but certainly closer to the former than the latter. Without instant rebates in place, the price difference between the EOS R and 6D Mark II isn't all that much, even with a Mount Adapter EF-EOS R thrown into the mix. Therefore, most will find the EOS R's benefits to be well worth its incremental cost over the 6D Mark II's MSRP.