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Canon EOS 6D Camera Body Review

Looking to find more information regarding the Canon EOS 6D Camera Body? Read our latest review to learn more about the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS USM, its specifications, and if it’s a good camera lens for you. 

Canon EOS 6D Camera Body Overview

The Canon EOS 6D was launched in November of 2012 at Photokina trade show. As Canon’s first budget-friendly full-frame camera, the Canon 6D quickly ended up being a popular choice amongst numerous professional photographers, thanks to its exceptional image quality and light-weight building.

As you may already know, the Canon 6D came out at the same time Nikon released its budget full-frame Nikon D600 DSLR. A lot of what I state about the Canon 6D is certainly from the perspective of a long time Nikon shooter.

However, the Canon 6D has a few strengths worth mentioning that do matter to me personally, which I wish the Nikon D600/ D610 had. First, the Canon 6D has an integrated GPS. For a picture photographer, this may be a worthless function, however for a landscape photographer, having the ability to get GPS details from each place where I shoot is very valuable. Sadly, GPS is Nikon’s weak point and I do not like the concept of installing a GPS unit on the hot shoe, which has to be linked to the side of the camera! I have actually attempted it when and will never ever do it once again, hoping that we will someday see an integrated GPS module … Nikon finally introduced GPS in the Nikon D5300, but they once again missed it out on the recently revealed Nikon D810, so I am still waiting!

Another feature that can be quite beneficial when taking a trip is WiFi. Although it is cool to be able to control the camera remotely by means of WiFi, my main interest remains in having the ability to wirelessly transfer images from my camera to my phone to quickly share photos with my buddies and household. The Nikon D600/ D610 does not have this feature and also needs an external unit.

The Canon 6D is quite solid in terms of construct and quality, while the Nikon D600 was a catastrophe, thanks to its sensor dust problem. After lots of months of failing to acknowledge the issue, Nikon quietly released the Nikon D610 as an update, specifying that the camera was introduced “in reaction to demand from a multitude of users for a quicker continuous shooting rate and the addition of a peaceful constant shutter-release mode”, which was a total lie. After lots of problems and a number of suits, Nikon was finally pressured to confess the fault and provided a D600 service advisory to take care of the problem. From this point, Canon 6D just had a single problem connected to submitting videos to YouTube, which Canon later on repaired with a firmware update. This circumstance showed that we should look beyond pure specifications when assessing our requirements. What’s much better, a camera with some constraints that works well or a better-featured camera that has ongoing dust issues?

Canon EOS 6D Camera Body Specifications

Below is a summary of this camera body’s specifications:

Indicative Price: $2,099Custom White Balance: Yes
Body Type: Mid-size SLRUncompressed format: RAW
Body Material: Magnesium Alloy, polycarbonate top plateJPEG Quality Levels: Fine, Normal
Max Resolution: 5472×3648Manual Focus: Yes
Image Ratio w:h: 3:2Lens Mount: Canon EF
Effective Pixels: 20 megapixelsShutter Speed Range: 30-1/400 sec
Sensor Size: Full FrameVideo Resolutions: 1920×1080, 1280×720, 640×480
ISO Range: 50-102400Weight (grams): 770g
Battery Life (CIPA): 1090Sealing: Splash and dust resistant
Dimensions: 145 x 111 x 71 mmStorage Types: SD/SDHC/SDXC

Canon EOS 6D Camera Body Performance

Below are the measures we score when reviewing and looking at camera bodies:

Canon 6D Construction

The Canon 6D has a similar building and construction as the Nikon D600/ D610, which is the combination of polycarbonate and magnesium alloy. The 6D’s front and back plates are magnesium alloy, while the top and bottom plates are plastic. Here is an image that highlights the camera building:

On the other hand, the Nikon D600/ D610 has a magnesium alloy top and back, while its front and bottom are plastic. I wouldn’t state one is much better than the other in building and construction, as both are quite good for their class. Both are weather-sealed and are supposed to hold up against light moisture, cold, rain, and heat.

When it comes to handling, I found the Canon 6D exceptional ergonomically. Being a Nikon shooter, it took me a bit to get utilized to controls, however when I did, the 6D was a breeze to utilize.

My biggest gripe with the 6D is the viewfinder– it is recessed really deep inside, making it nearly difficult to tidy rapidly. This can be a problem in scenarios where the viewfinder is misted up– you will have a hard time reaching the glass surface to clean it. The Nikon D600/ D610 does not have this issue and their viewfinder eyepiece is simple to reach and tidy.

Canon utilized hardened glass protector in front of the LCD with anti-reflective covering, which makes it very practical to utilize in the field. The screen looks a little darker, however playing back images in an outside environment is a much better experience on the 6D than on the D600/ D610 that have a protective plastic cover.

For much better ergonomic experience, I would recommend making a couple of tweaks to the camera setup, particularly to the way the multi-controller behaves. By default, the multi-controller navigation does nothing when looking through the viewfinder, but you can change it to allow you to pick autofocus points. To do this, simply press the “Q” button, then browse to “Custom Controls”, scroll down to the very last option “Multi-controller AF point direct selection” and set it to “AF point direct choice” instead of the default “OFF”. Once you do this, you will be able to alter the AF focus point with the multi-controller navigation on the back of the camera.

The above setting modification, in addition to other camera menu recommendations are supplied in my “recommended Canon 6D settings” post.

Canon 6D Menu

The menu system on the Canon 6D is a bit various compared to the menu system of the Canon 5D Mark III. Rather of the 6 main icons and dots beneath sub-menus, there are 15 menu products and no sub-navigation. It looks a little chaotic in comparison but does not make it even worse in terms of navigation and ease of usage. A lot of settings are obvious and if you get puzzled about any of them, I would advise having a look at the above-referenced suggestions short article.

Image Sensor, Dynamic Range and AF Performance

Canon has numerously been blamed for reusing the exact same sensor innovation on numerous generation cameras, the sensing unit that Canon developed for the 6D is excellent in terms of handling sound. As you will see from the Camera Comparison page of this evaluation, the Canon 6D carries out very well compared to its direct competitor, the Nikon D600, surpassing it in performance at high ISO levels and maintaining more information, colors and vibrant range.

Canon 6D Sensor

A close look at DxOMark’s sensing unit ranking page exposes that the Canon 6D has a hard time catching up with other full-frame offerings in terms of ISO performance and color depth, this is one location where I have to disagree with DxOMark’s outcomes. When I was looking at direct exposure differences in between the D600 and the Canon 6D, the former was approximately 0.8 stops brighter than the 6D.

Speaking of dynamic variety, DxOMark placed the 6D at # 100 spot, which puts the camera right next to the Nikon D300, an APS-C sensing unit camera! In some cases one has to wonder if such measurements remain in any way meaningful or even pertinent, as I have a difficult time believing that the 6D would yield the very same vibrant range as a camera that was produced in 2007 and has more than two times smaller sized sensing unit … Yes, in my experience Canon RAW files tend to yield poorer results compared to Nikon when recovering shadows– this is shown on Page 2 of the Canon 5D Mark III review, where I compared shadow information healing between Canon 5D Mark III and Nikon D800. The distinction is not as drastic as DxOMark leads us to believe …

Overall, Total am very impressed extremely what the Canon 6D sensor is capable of. Its ISO performance, vibrant range, and color depth are exceptional and the 20.2 MP resolution seems to be a great balance in between pixels and sound for many photography needs.

Autofocus Performance

One area that Canon has been dragging and recycling for a while now is autofocus systems. Canon chose to utilize its ancient 11-point autofocus system from the 5D Mark II, which only has one cross-point sensing unit in the center.

This 11-point AF system is not as flexible as the AF system on the 5D Mark III and at the same time is also inferior to the 39-point autofocus system discovered on the Nikon D600/ D610 electronic cameras that utilize 9 cross-type sensors. Although Canon mentions that the AF system is fast and accurate, that just actually uses to the center focus point. When you relocate to other focus points, autofocus performance certainly suffers, especially in low-light circumstances.

So if you desire a camera for sports and wildlife, I would advise going up to the 5D Mark III at the minimum. Another choice at the cost of image quality is the Canon 7D, which likewise has an exceptional AF system. In my opinion, Canon might have made the 6D a far better camera if it used the 7D AF system instead. Oh well, you can not ask for it all I think! Nikon followed a similar route with an older and inferior autofocus system, but a minimum of its 39 point AF system gives you more alternatives …

If you discover yourself in a circumstance where the AF system of the 6D loses focusing ability and/or the accuracy, I would suggest to change to the center focus point and use the focus and recompose strategy rather.

Camera Metering

Canon also reused its old 63 zone metering sensing unit from the 7D, instead of the 100,000-pixel RGB sensor that is utilized on the flagship Canon 1D X (not that there was anything wrong with the older metering sensor). Regardless of its age, I found the metering sensor to be relatively accurate in most circumstances. All metering modes (evaluative, center-weighted, partial and area metering) worked as anticipated and when I did have direct exposure issues in some rare situations, looking after the exposure concerns with the 3-step exposure payment using the huge rotary dial on the back of the camera was pretty easy.

Shooting Speed (FPS) and Battery Life

The last dissatisfaction with the 6D for sports and wildlife professional photographers is its continuous shooting speed of 4.5 FPS, which is rather slow for fast-action photography. In contrast, the Nikon D600 started out with 5.5 FPS and the speed was increased to 6 FPS when the D610 was released. That’s an obvious distinction in performance.

As for battery life, the 6D has precisely the exact same battery as the Canon 5D Mark II, 5D Mark III, 70D, 60d, and 7d DSLRs, so its performance differs from model to design. On the 6D, the battery yields around 980 shots (CIPA), which is great. The Nikon D600/ D610 can yield around 900 shots. It will quickly reach 1200 shots if you moderately utilize the sneak peek and Live View functions. My average was in between 1100 and 1200 shots on a single charge (with GPS and WiFi shut off). The battery indicators on the leading LCD and in the camera menu appear to be quite accurate, so it should be a respectable sign of both charge capacity and battery health.

Camera Live View

Canon’s application of Live View is excellent. I enjoy the way Canon developed the Live View/Movie switch with the Start/Stop button that changes in performance depending on whether you are in film or live view mode.

Chromatic Aberration Correction

Similar to the Canon 5D Mark III, the 6D also comes with a built-in Chromatic Aberration Correction function, in addition to vignetting and distortion corrections. Unlike Nikon DSLRs that perform automated chromatic aberration correction with an algorithm that works with any Nikon lens, Canon decided to configure correction for specific Canon EF lenses. While this method may be more accurate, it has one significant drawback– the lens database saved on the camera needs to be updated when a brand-new lens appears. In addition, such corrections are not possible with third party lenses like Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art.

Now bear in mind that both Nikon and Canon apply lens corrections on JPEG images. When composing RAW files, both save their proprietary lens correction information differently and these corrections can just be read with maker software application like DPP (Canon) and Capture NX (Nikon). If you import RAW images into Lightroom, none of the used lens corrections will be visible, so you will need to use Lightroom’s “Lens Correction” module rather.

Film Mode

There is no 4K video assistance, the 6D has the exact same exceptional HD film tape-recording capabilities as the 5D Mark III. Canon obviously does not want its DSLR line to contend with high-end dedicated video recording cams like the EOS 1D and EOS C300, which is why there are some constraints.

As I have mentioned on the very first page of the review, I find the WiFi feature of the Canon 6D to be rather helpful when taking a trip. First, you can quickly send images to your smartphone or tablet by merely linking to the gadget directly. No requirement for a cordless network, you merely established the Canon 6D in “gain access to point mode”, select the developed cordless network from your device, then get in touch with a provided password. Yup, it is that easy and it truly works! Here is a screenshot of my phone connecting with the 6D:

Canon 6D WiFi Connection

As soon as you verify the connection on the camera, the status will alter from “Pairing” to “Connected” and you are in business! From here, you can quickly move images by choosing “Camera Image Viewing” choice as seen below, choose the images you want and move them.

Second, you can utilize WiFi to control the camera from another location. As soon as connected, you can navigate to “Remote Shooting” and you will be able to leap to Live View screen, change camera controls, modification focus and take pictures.

Canon 6D WiFi Live View

There are not that lots of options and the controls are simplified compared to some other push-button control services on the marketplace, but it is still done rather well and appears to be pretty steady. Whatever dealt with the first shot and I did not have any concerns with connecting devices, moving images or managing the camera.

Built-in GPS

The GPS ability also works quite well, which is a big plus for travel and landscape professional photographers. The camera certainly requires a clear sky to find satellites at first, once it is done, the tracking works rather well when traveling. When traveling by vehicle and it was continuously tracking Latitude, Longitude and Elevation just like my car GPS did, I set the camera in the passenger seat. Accuracy appeared to be very good when I compared the details with my vehicle GPS.

Find the “GPS” option in the camera menu under Setup # 2 sub-menu, then go to “Select GPS gadget” and set it to “Internal GPS” (yes, you can link external GPS units as well). I set up the 6D on “Auto upgrade” for “Auto time setting” and “Position upgrade timing” to “Every 15s”. I disabled GPS logging, however if you want to keep a log, you have that alternative under “Log GPS position”.

Please note that the camera contrasts are just based on image quality. Note that all images were down-sampled/ stabilized to 20.3 MP resolution.

Camera Lens Comparison: Canon 6D Vs. Nikon D600

Let’s take a close look at how the Canon 6D compares to the Nikon D600 in terms of ISO performance. If you take a look at the EXIF data, you will discover that there is a complete stop distinction in shutter speed between the 2 cameras. When carrying out contrast tests, I discovered that the Nikon D600 was yielding brighter exposures. My light meter was showing constant exposures with both electronic cameras installed, so I understand that the difference was not in my lighting or setup.

For consistency, I utilized 2 Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art lenses– one for the Canon mount and one for the Nikon mount. Both were stopped down to f/5.6. I have 2 theories for this difference– either among the electronic cameras is not able to stop down the lens properly, or there is a genuine difference in brightness between the two electronic cameras.

When looking at lenses on both cams, the aperture size of the Canon 6D definitely looked smaller, but I am not exactly sure if that’s regular, given the truth that Canon’s mount is larger and the flange range is various in comparison. Remarkably, the Canon version of the Sigma lens had its diaphragm turned! Either way, the only reasonable way to compare performance between the 2 electronic cameras was to normalize the brightness. After several tests in 1/3 EV increments, the optimum brightness level was reached at a complete stop mark. Images might appear a little more vibrant for the Canon 6D, but minimizing the direct exposure by 1/3 was too much for the shadow area, which is why I did not change it any further.

The Canon 6D carries out effectively when compared to its direct competitor, the Nikon D600. Although there is almost no difference in sound performance at low ISOs, the Canon 6D clearly takes control of past ISO 1600. The Nikon D600 reveals higher noise levels/ larger grain, more false colors and loss of colors throughout the image, and more loss of details at ISO 6400 and greater. The difference is not extreme, I would say between 1/3 and 2/3 of a stop, but it is still there. Please keep in mind that the above contrast was “stabilized”, with D600 images reduced from 24.3 MP to 20.2 MP to match the resolution of the Canon 6D. The D600 would appear even worse in contrast if you were to look at pixel level performance of the two cameras.

Since the D610 has precisely the same sensing unit as the D600, the above contrast is also legitimate for the D610.

Conclusion

The camera has an excellent balance of resolution and it exceeds its direct competitor, the Nikon D600/ D610 at high ISO levels. Its pixel-level performance is outstanding and the additional functions like WiFi and GPS make up for its drawbacks. Its ergonomics are outstanding and the grip is more comfy than the one on the D600/ D610. Most notably, unlike the Nikon D600 that was plagued by its dust issues, the Canon 6D has actually been a strong camera considering that it came out, with no extensive quality control issues.

Overall, I am really amazed with the Canon 6D. It is a really capable camera that can deliver exceptional outcomes, specifically when paired with outstanding Canon L lenses or the new Sigma lenses, such as the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art.

As Canon’s first affordable full-frame camera, the Canon 6D rapidly became a popular option among numerous professional photographers, thanks to its excellent image quality and light-weight construction. From this point, Canon 6D only had a single issue related to publishing videos to YouTube, which Canon later on fixed with a firmware upgrade. Canon has actually numerously been blamed for recycling the exact same sensor technology on numerous generation cameras, the sensing unit that Canon established for the 6D is excellent in terms of handling noise. In some cases one has to wonder if such measurements are in any way meaningful or even relevant, as I have a difficult time believing that the 6D would yield the very same vibrant variety as a camera that was produced in 2007 and has over twice smaller sensor … Yes, in my experience Canon RAW files tend to yield poorer results compared to Nikon when recovering shadows– this is shown on Page 2 of the Canon 5D Mark III evaluation, where I compared shadow information recovery in between Canon 5D Mark III and Nikon D800. When looking at lenses on both cameras, the aperture size of the Canon 6D certainly looked smaller, however I am not sure if that’s regular, given the fact that Canon’s mount is bigger and the flange distance is different in contrast.