Canon EOS 6D

To D or Not to D, That is the Question

Well, actually it's not. The question is more like "do I go for the Canon EOS 6D, 7D or 5D Mark II"? "Do I go for a cropped sensor or make the switch to full frame"?

Canon EOS 6D Front
Canon EOS 6D Back

Canon have today announced the new EOS 6D, a new DSLR that snuggles nicely in between the 5D Mark II and 7D so why would you choose the 6D over these two tried and tested DSLR's? After all, the prices are fairly similar now, especially between the 5D Mark II and 6D (prices direct from Canon’s website at time of writing):

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II - $2,199
  • Canon EOS 7D - $1,599
  • Canon EOS 6D - $2,099

So if you had $2k burning a hole in your pocket, which would you go for? Canon EOS 7D plus lens or body only for one of the others?

Here are the main features for the Canon EOS 6D

  • 20.2 Megapixel Full Frame CMOS Sensor
  • ISO Range 100-25,600 (L:50, H1: 51,200, H2: 102,400)
  • Digic 5+ Image Processor
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    New 11 Point AF with high precision cross-type AF point
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    iFCL, 63-zone dual layer metering sensor
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    4.5 fps continuous shooting
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    EOS HD Video with manual exposure control and multiple frame rates (1080: 30p (29.97) / 24p (23.976) / 25p, 720: 60p (59.94) / 50p, 480: 30p (29.97) / 25p)
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    Built-in wireless transmitter for transferring images directly to social media sites though Canon Image Gateway using an Android or iOS Smartphone
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    Built-in GPS receiver
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    EOS integrated cleaning system
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    3 inch clear view LCD monitor, 160 degree viewing angle, 1,040,000-dot resolution
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    HDR and multiple exposure modes
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    Compatible with SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards including the new Ultra High Speed (UHS-1)

All in all it seems pretty good but you have to ask yourself if the features in the Canon EOS 6D are enough to make you part with $2k over the EOS 7D or 5D Mark II. For me, the full frame sensor (once you've had one, you never go back) and the Wi-Fi capabilities are pretty sweet and the 20mp sensor is just about right as long as it performs well, in low light particularly.

Missing?

I would like to have seen 60fps at 1080p video as this rate has been appearing in lesser cameras for a while now. Still, for $2,000…

Other than that, much like the iPhone 5 isn't enough for me to upgrade from the iPhone 4s, I don't think this camera would make me want to upgrade from my 5D Mark II's or my 7D if I still had it.

However, maybe you are using older technology such as the 5D Mark I, 50D or similar? If so, I would think that the Canon EOS 6D would be a fine upgrade and entry into the full frame market. For what it is worth, HD video on a full frame DSLR is unbeatable!

Here are some sample images and video clips at Canon: http://web.canon.jp/imaging/eosd/samples/eos6d/

Canon EOS 6D Top

Here is the official press release:

Canon Announces Its Smallest and Lightest Full-Frame Digital SLR Camera For Serious Photographers

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., September 17, 2012 - Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today introduced the EOS 6D Digital SLR Camera, a versatile mid-range full-frame camera with the durability and performance professionals require and the creative imaging options serious photographers crave. Canon has coupled the incredible image quality of a newly designed 20.2-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor and DIGIC 5+ Image Processor with the creative potential of built-in Wireless and GPS features. The camera also includes an 11-point AF array and 63-zone dual-layer iFCL metering sensor together with 1080p Full HD video capabilities, in an affordable camera body. Building upon the qualities that made the EOS 5D Mark II camera so successful, the EOS 6D bridges the gap for budget-minded photographers, videographers and cinematographers who are eager to step up into the world of full-frame imaging.

“The introduction of this camera completes a well-rounded ecosystem from input through output for Canon, allowing us to provide the right combination of features for every level of photographer. We believe the EOS 6D Digital SLR Camera along with our new PIXMA Pro printers will help unlock the creative vision of so many who aspire to capture and display their artistic abilities,” stated Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A.

Designed for advanced amateurs and videographers making the move to a full-frame Digital SLR, the EOS 6D fits neatly into Canon’s professional imaging system with an advanced feature set including full manual options for creative control in addition to new and intuitive automatic settings to help even novice photographers capture great images. The camera’s construction helps meet the needs of professionals with a 100,000-cycle shutter durability and EOS Integrated Cleaning System for high-quality vibration-based dust removal. Among the many advancements in Canon’s new EOS 6D is the Company’s proprietary DIGIC 5+ Image Processor that powers the camera’s fast 14-bit analog-to-digital conversion for exceptionally smooth colour tones and gradation. The camera offers a full-frame, 20.2-megapixel CMOS sensor and continuous shooting up to 4.5 frames per second (fps).

Thanks to the combination of its new CMOS image sensor and the powerful DIGIC 5+ image processor, the EOS 6D provides a wide ISO range from 100-25600 with a low setting, L: 50 and two high settings, H1: 51200 and H2: 102400. These outstanding low-light capabilities allow the EOS 6D to easily capture dimly lit scenes such as wedding ceremonies, indoor corporate events, or landscapes at dusk. To support the ample sensitivity of the new camera’s sensor, the EOS 6D camera’s Auto Focus (AF) system includes a newly-developed 11-point AF sensor featuring a high-precision center cross-type point with an exceptional EV -3 sensitivity rating for accurate focusing even in extremely low-light conditions.

The EOS 6D has a large 3.0-inch Clear View LCD monitor with 1,040,000 dot VGA resolution and 170 degree viewing angle, with high-transparency multi-coating for maximum protection and clarity when viewing images or navigating menu screens. When used for Live View shooting, the camera’s bright high-performance LCD screen provides 100 percent coverage, for easy focusing and framing.

Full-Frame 1080p Full HD Video

Videographers, student filmmakers, and creative independent spirits will appreciate the full-frame video capabilities of the EOS 6D in an affordable and compact body. Borrowing from the best of the EOS 5D-series, the EOS 6D provides full manual control over exposure and audio levels while recording video. The camera features NTSC and PAL video modes at multiple frame rates, recording 1080p at 30 (29.97), 24 (23.976) and 25 fps, 720p at 60 (59.94) and 50 fps and standard video at 30 (29.97) and 25 fps. The camera provides up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds of continuous recording (with 4GB automatic file partitioning) in selectable All i-framei or IPB compressions with embedded timecode. Especially when used with large aperture lenses, the EOS 6D camera’s full-frame sensor offers a tremendous degree of creative control over depth-of-field, helping users to achieve pro-quality cinematic effects in Full HD video recordings.

Built-in Wireless and GPS

For the ultimate in DSLR connectivity and control, the EOS 6D features a built-in wireless transmitter which allows the camera to share images and video with the user’s choice of wireless devices such as select PowerShot cameras, Smartphones, or tablets, as well as cloud-based destinations including social networking sites through the Canon iMAGE GATEWAYii iii. A very intuitive and useful wireless feature is the new, free Canon EOS Remote app available for iOS and Android systems which will allow a Smartphone or wireless device such as a tablet to remotely connect, control and operate the connected EOS 6Div. This seamless connection and control will open new opportunities for professional photographers shooting weddings or remote wildlife, without the need for tethered operation or accessories.

For on-location shooters, landscape photographers or enthusiast photo travellers, the EOS 6D features a built-in GPS receiver to record longitude, latitude, elevation and Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) as EXIF data for seamless geo-tagging while shooting. The GPS coordinates are appended to each image and easily syncs with Canon software or mapping apps on social network sites to show image locations. Use of UTC data allows images to be chronologically mapped and trails plotted and recorded.v

Boundless Creativity

To help photographers unlock their full creative potential and explore all the different avenues of digital photography, the EOS 6D includes several creative modes for image capture. First is the HDR (High Dynamic Range) mode allowing the camera to capture three separate exposures and combine them in-camera for a stunning image capturing both enhanced shadow detail and bright highlights. Next is the camera’s Multiple Exposure mode where users can combine up to nine individual images into a single composite image, with no need for later computer post-processing.

Four different compositing methods are provided for maximum creative control, including Additive, Average, Bright and Dark. Compositing results can be viewed in real time on the camera’s LCD monitor, and there is a one-step Undo command that allows photographers to delete an image and try again if desired. The EOS 6D will even allow photographers to specify a previously captured RAW image as the starting point for a new Multiple Exposure composite image. In addition to HDR and Multiple Exposure modes are Canon’s standard Scene Intelligent Auto and special scene modes to capture great images with ease. The camera is compatible with SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards including the new Ultra High Speed (UHS-I) cards.

Pricing and Availability

The EOS 6D Digital SLR Camera will be sold in a body-only configuration at an estimated retail price of $2,099.00 and it will additionally be offered in a kit version with Canon’s EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM zoom lens at an estimated retail price of $2,899.00. Both configurations are expected to be available in December 2012.

About Canon U.S.A., Inc.

Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions. With approximately $45.6 billion in global revenue, its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), ranks third overall in U.S. patents registered in 2011† and is one of Fortune Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies in 2012. In 2012, for the ninth consecutive year, Canon U.S.A. has received the PCMag.com Readers’ Choice Award for Service and Reliability. Committed to the highest level of customer satisfaction and loyalty, Canon U.S.A. provides 100 percent U.S.-based consumer service and support for all of the products it distributes. Canon U.S.A. is dedicated to its Kyosei philosophy of social and environmental responsibility. To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company’s RSS news feed by visiting www.usa.canon.com/rss.

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† Based on weekly patent counts issued by United States Patent and Trademark Office.

All referenced product names, and other marks, are trademarks of their respective owners.

Prices, specifications and availability are subject to change without notice.

i UHS-I Card is required for All i-frame compressions

ii One time registration is required on CANON iMAGE GATEWAY.

iii This software enables you to upload images to social network services. Before uploading images, please be aware that image files may contain privacy related information such as people and places. If necessary, please delete such information. Canon does not obtain, collect or use such images or any information included in such images through this software.

iv Compatible with iOS version 5.0 or later and Android devices version 2.3/4.0 or later. Data charges may apply.

v In certain countries or regions, the use of GPS may be restricted. Therefore, be sure to use GPS in accordance with the laws and regulations in the country or region. Be particularly careful when travelling outside your home country. As a signal is received from GPS satellites, take sufficient measures when using in locations where the use of electronics is regulated.

EOS 6D - key features

  • Full-frame 20.2 Megapixel sensor
  • Tough, lightweight construction
  • Max ISO 25,600 (expandable to ISO 102,400)
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    11-point AF sensitive down to -3EV
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    GPS3 records your location
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    Wi-Fi2 file transfer and remote control
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    Full-HD video

1 Correct at time of issue, according to Canon research (17 September 2012)

2 Wi-Fi support varies by device and region

3 GPS use may be restricted in certain countries or regions. Use of GPS should comply with the laws and regulations of the country and area in which it is being operated including any restriction on the use of electronics

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