Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS extend the possibilities with Canon’s ‘affordable’ 20.2-million-pixel, full-frame EOS 6D. Read the Canon EOS 6D review...

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Canon EOS 6D

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Canon EOS 6D review


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Canon EOS 6D review – Build and handling

Measuring 144.5×110.5×71.2mm 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.

  1. 1. Canon EOS 6D at a glance:
  2. 2. Canon EOS 6D review - Features
  3. 3. Canon EOS 6D review - Wi-Fi
  4. 4. Canon EOS 6D review - Build and handling
  5. 5. Canon EOS 6D review - White balance and colour
  6. 6. Canon EOS 6D review - Metering
  7. 7. Canon EOS 6D review - Noise, resolution and sensitivity
  8. 8. Canon EOS 6D review - Autofocus
  9. 9. Canon EOS 6D review - LCD, viewfinder and video
  10. 10. Canon EOS 6D review - Dynamic range
  11. 11. Canon EOS 6D review - The competition
  12. 12. Canon EOS 6D review - Our verdict
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  • entoman

    I’ve got two 6D bodies, used primarily for butterfly photography in rainforests and cloudforests. The camera is a real joy to use, excellent ergonomics, great meter, fantastic silent shutter, huge clear viewfinder. Autofocus options are limited but I find the centre-spot to be extremely fast and accurate, even with moving butterflies in poor lighting conditions. The megapixel count is a bit lower than the equivalent Nikons but the image quality is extremely good – razor sharp, and noise is virtually non-existent even at ISO 3200! Amazing. My only complaints are regarding durability and quality control. One of my bodies went haywire and became completely unusable when used for a few hours on a hot humid Amazon river-beach. The other body has 2 “live” always-on pixels – easily fixed with Photoshop healing tool, but nevertheless an irritation.

  • Prescott Vong

    Canon EOS 6D is a “king” in low light environment or when flash is not allowed. I tested high ISO 6400, 8000, & 12800 during indoor wedding dinner, it is almost without noise, some pictures are low noise. It is a perfect camera for single shot perfect picture.

  • Jim

    I have this camera and did a basic course with it and found it very good but I would think they would make the add on view finder a bit less expensive

  • Roger Macdonald

    An interesting combination of killer features and a poorely thought user out interface. Having used it once I am totally addicted to the GPS feature, similarily the wi-fi is (I think) unique in this type of camera. Image quality is superb but there are several features that are just not up to the job, single axis levels for example and that only visible in the viewfinder if you hold down the DOF button! I could go on.

    Finally why do I have, on my first day of use, to go and buy a third party lens cap and camera strap?

  • Malcolm Andrew

    The 6D is my first Canon camera, having always been a Nikon man. I wanted to scale up to FX from a Nikon D90 but was put off buying the Nikon D600 because of the host of comments about dust/oil on the sensor. The 6D hasn’t disappointed me. It has excellent build quality, the controls are more thoughtfully designed than the Nikon (and most are on the right on the back), and I just love the built-in GPS and wifi. With the Eos Remote app, I can operate the camera from my iPhone. I bought the 6D with the kit lens (24-105mm f4) which got good reviews and has produced excellent results for me. I tried the autofocus in servo mode on moving steam trains from track side this weekend and was impressed with the performance. I have also been using the ISO in auto mode, I thing I don’t usually do (preferring to set it manually), but have found that the camera chooses very intelligent settings in a variety of lighting conditions. Although I have had the camera for only a few weeks, I am very pleased with my migration to Canon and with the 6D.

  • garrie

    beware… i live in Beijing and the camera i bought here was sold without GPS or mention that it was!