Canon EOS 6D review

Build and handling

Measuring 144.5x110.5x71.2mm and weighing 755g with battery and card inserted, the EOS 6D is the smallest and lightest full-frame Canon DSLR - a fraction smaller than even the EOS 7D. These factors can make quite a difference when considering a long day out shooting, and I found it perfectly comfortable lugging around the EOS 6D for extended periods. Unlike professional models, however, the camera is only partly constructed of magnesium alloy - its front and rear panels - while the top cover is made from polycarbonate. That said, the body feels well made and durable, and is weather-sealed to repel dust and moisture.

As for the design and layout, the EOS 6D is most similar to the EOS 5D Mark III, although it also shares many of the same buttons as the older EOS 7D and 60D models. A large portion of the body is covered with a grippy leather-effect finish, and the handgrip has an understated groove to fit the hand. There are numerous buttons on the exterior, each beautifully dampened, and between them covering most of the key controls. There is no joystick, which is instead incorporated into the rear wheel as a multi-controller. This is an excellent design feature that we have seen before in the EOS 60D.

Most cameras at this enthusiast level feature a built-in flash, so it is something of a surprise that the EOS 6D does not. Instead, the camera has a standard hotshoe to fit an external flash unit. The maximum flash sync of 1/180sec is a little disappointing, but this is also the case with the Nikon D600. Also, both cameras have a top shutter speed of 1/4000sec, which is 1 stop slower than most professional and enthusiast-level cameras. A nice touch in the bulb mode is that the length of capture is continuously displayed on the top LCD screen.

Mirror lock-up is controlled separately to the drive mode, so both mirror lock and timer mode can be used together to ensure a steady, tripod-mounted camera for landscape shots. Furthermore, a port allows a remote trigger to be attached, which is necessary for crisp images when shooting in bulb mode.

A good degree of in-camera editing, such as exposure adjustments, is possible via the raw-image processing menu, while navigation of the playback menu is intuitive. The zoom control is quick to work, with image scrolling and navigation operating independently via the multi-controller and  rear wheel. There is no rating button on the camera's rear, but each image can be rated instead in a menu that is accessed by the quick menu button when in playback mode.

Like the EOS 7D and EOS 5D Mark III, the EOS 6D uses an LP-E6 battery, which in this case is claimed by Canon to supply a n excellent 1,090-shot life. However, the battery life is reduced when GPS is activated, especially with the GPS logger switched on, because it is continuously at work even when the camera is switched off.