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Canon EOS 6D Mark II Expert Review

Canon EOS 6D Mark II Expert Review - We review the new Canon EOS 6D Mark II, the long awaited update to the 6D, with a new 26mp Full-Frame sensor, and vari-angle touch-screen.

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Canon EOS 6D Mark II in Digital SLRs



Canon EOS 6D MarkII (8)

It’s been nearly 5 years since the Canon EOS 6D was announced in September 2012, and Canon’s replacement, the Canon EOS 6D Mark II – is designed to offer a compact full-frame Digital SLR, with high image quality and excellent low-light performance. The 6D II has an all-new 26-megapixel full-frame sensor, with dual pixel AF, as well as an updated 45-point AF system. The Canon EOS 6D Mark II is available for £1999 body only.

Canon EOS 6D Mark II Features

Canon EOS 6D MarkII (7)

The 6D Mark II offers a range of updates and features that make it a significant update to the original 6D, here we run through some of the main differences:

Canon EOS 6D Mark II updates compared to the 6D:

  • 26 mp Full-Frame sensor
  • ISO range up to ISO40,000 (extended range ISO50 to ISO102400)
  • 3inch vari-angle touch-screen
  • 45 AF points (all-cross type) (increase over the 11 on the 6D)
  • 6.5fps continuous shooting (increased from 4.5fps)
  • DIGIC 7 image processor (15x faster than DIGIC 6 - 6D featured the DIGIC 5+)
  • 1200 shot battery life
  • Bluetooth added

Using a new dual-pixel AF CMOS sensor, the camera offers rapid live-view focus, with focus points covering 80% of the sensor. The number of focus points available has been increased to 45 cross-type AF points, with 27 of these f/8 focus points. 

There's also a slight improvement in the optical viewfinder, with 98% coverage compared to 97% on the 6D. Magnification remains the same at 0.71x. Battery life is improved, with the 6D Mark II offering 1200 shots, compared to 1090 shots on the 6D.

The 6D Mark II offers a more compact, and more competitively priced option compared to the 30 megapixel 5D Mark IV, being over £1300 cheaper. Here we run through the main differences between the 6D, 6D Mark II and 5D Mark IV:

Canon EOS 6D (Mark I) Canon EOS 6D Mark II Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
20mp FF sensor 26mp FF sensor 30mp FF sensor
3inch screen 3inch vari-angle touch-screen 3.2inch, 1.62m dot touch-screen
97% OVF, 0.71x magnification 98% OVF, 0.71x magnification 100% OVF, 0.71x magnification
11-AF points 45-AF points 61-AF points
- Dual-pixel AF Dual-pixel AF
ISO50-102400 ISO50-102400 ISO50-102400
4.5fps continuous shooting 6.5fps continuous shooting 7fps continuous shooting
FullHD video (30fps) FullHD video (60fps) 4K CINE video, mic, headphone
GPS + Wi-Fi built-in GPS + Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth built-in GPS + Wi-Fi built-in
USB2 USB2 USB3
1090 shot battery life 1200 shot battery life 900 shot battery life
£1349 £1999 £3349

 

There have been a number of improvements, over the 6D, including improved focus, with both an increase in the number of focus points, as well as the introduction of sensor based dual-pixel AF. The camera offers improved speed, with 6.5fps continuous shooting and a video showing this can be seen below:

A new battery grip is available, offering extended battery life. The original 6D will still be available whilst stocks last but is no longer being manufactured.

There are full manual controls, scene modes, and creative effects, plus two custom modes on the mode dial. For beginners there is a Scene Intelligent Auto mode.

GPS and Wi-Fi was built-in to the 6D, and the 6D Mark II adds to this with built-in NFC and Bluetooth. NFC makes it easier to connect the camera to a compatible smartphone (with NFC). Bluetooth can be used for low power image transfer. GPS lets you Geotag images, and you can also use GPS information to ensure that the time recorded in EXIF data is accurate. 

The camera is weather-sealed, and there is a 3inch vari-angle touch-screen on the back of the camera. You can use the touch-screen to change settings, and browse the menus. It can also display a dual-axis electronic level.

The 6D Mark II records FullHD video at frame rates up to 60fps, with 5-axis digital IS available. There are built-in stereo microphones, and a mic socket can be found on the side of the camera.

Canon EOS 6D MarkII (15)

Key Features

  • 26mp Full-Frame Dual-Pixel AF CMOS sensor
  • DIGIC 7 image processor
  • 98% view optical viewfinder, with 0.71x magnification
  • 3.0inch vari-angle touch-screen, 1040K dots
  • 45-AF points, all cross type, 27 with f/8 sensitivity, -3EV
  • ISO100 to ISO40,000 (Native), Extended: ISO50 to ISO102400
  • 6.5fps continuous shooting
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC
  • GPS built-in
  • FullHD video at 60fps, with 5-axis digital IS, Mic socket
  • HDR movie recording, Timelapse 4K movie creation
  • Weather-sealed body
  • 1200 shot battery life

Canon EOS 6D Mark II Handling

Canon EOS 6D MarkII (9)

The Canon EOS 6D Mark II will feel comfortable and easy to use for anyone who has used other EOS cameras, and features a new focus button next to the shutter release button to give quicker access to the camera's updated focus system. The layout of the rest of the buttons on the back of the Mark II are almost identical to the original 6D, apart from a few minor tweaks, along with a space to allow you to move the vari-angle screen.

The camera has a solid body made out of polycarbonate resin with a special conductive fiber, the chassis is made out of aluminium alloy and polycarbonate resin with glass fiber. It's also weather-sealed. Weighing 765g (with battery and memory card), the camera is only 10g heavier than the 6D, and only 35g heavier than the Canon EOS 80D (with APS-C sensor). The 6D Mark II uses the same battery as the 6D.

The camera has a deep hand grip with ample rubber, with a good sized rubber grip at the rear for your thumb, as well as rubber on the left of the camera to aid two handed grip. The camera has a locking mode dial, which means you have to press the centre button before turning it, and the on/off switch can be found underneath. The top LCD can be lit up with the press of the light button, and the ISO button has a small dot so that you can easily find it.

Using the rear dial in P (Program) mode you can quickly change the exposure compensation, or in manual modes, use both the top and rear dials to adjust aperture and shutter speeds. You can use the lock switch to stop the rear dial being accidentally used. Using the Q button you can quickly change settings on the rear screen, using either the control pad or using the touch-screen. It doesn't take long to get used to the location of the controls, and you can also view settings in the viewfinder, as you change them, so that you don't have to hold the camera away from your eye. 

Canon Eos 6d Ii Focus Through Viewfinder
Canon EOS 6D Mark II Focus Through Viewfinder

There are 45 AF points, arranged in the centre of the frame, covering a smaller area than the 5D Mark III and 5D Mark IV - both feature 61 AF points. Using live view you can select a much wider area of the frame covering 80% vertically and 80% horizontally. The specifications say there are 63 live view AF positions, although when selecting the focus point, there appears to be more than this. Focus was generally reliable in a variety of shooting conditions. 

The optical viewfinder (OVF) is quite reasonably sized, with a soft rubber surround. The screen is clear, bright, and has excellent viewing angles. As you can tilt the screen you can shoot at more creative angles. The screen doesn't rotate fully forwards, but is easily viewable for self-portraits and framing the shot in live view. You can view the dual-axis electronic level on the screen, but not in the viewfinder.

Canon EOS 6D MarkII (10)

Menus – The menus should be familiar to anyone who's used any of Canon's recent Digital SLRs, and wach mode has a welcome screen. A number of options are available in the menus, however, the more advanced focus options are found in the custom menus. You can use the touch-screen to select and change options. In the custom menus you'll find more advanced AF settings, including AF microadjustment. When using the Q menu, there is built-in help giving you more information. 

Wi-Fi features - Setting up a connection to your smartphone or tablet is relatively easy. The app, Canon Camera Connect, guides you through the process making it as easy as possible for you. Once setup, it’s easy to transfer images over, as well as remotely control the camera. If your smartphone features NFC, then you can use this to quickly setup the connection. 

Canon EOS 6D MarkII (11)

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 1200 shots according to Canon / CIPA test results, which is excellent, and an improvement over the original 6D. 



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Comments


JackAllTog Plus
8 4.9k 58 United Kingdom
29 Jun 2017 10:52AM
Drool - better focusing and low light performance and an extra 25% more pixels for a bit more detail.

Can we see some test images at the upper ISO limits, and get a feel as to how much better focus tracking is on moving subjects in moderate light situations?
Also is colour richness / dynamic range still good at say ISO 800?

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themak 4 1.0k Scotland
29 Jun 2017 2:18PM
26.2Mp must be the Canon 'this one goes to 11' moment.
JackAllTog Plus
8 4.9k 58 United Kingdom
29 Jun 2017 2:40PM

Quote:26.2Mp must be the Canon 'this one goes to 11' moment.

I though the main trade off was ISO noise vs pixels, and Canon potentially have improved usable ISO somewhat AND also got more pixels. so maybe this even goes to 12.5 now. More pixels is generally not a bad thing apart from the file sizes. And you don't need to shoot full size if you don't wish to.

BTW - thanks before this i had no idea what up to 11 meant.
ChrisV Plus
11 2.0k 26 United Kingdom
29 Jun 2017 3:26PM
Predictably massively overpriced for what it is. Yes there are now a lot of smaller sensor cameras on the market in the same price bracket, but they all offer something that is in some way top specification - this Canon, like all Canon's pitched at a lower price level, gives the usual impression of being deliberately hobbled to differentiate it from its higher priced stablemates. There are other full frame DSLRs on the market that are much older, but don't look out of date next to the 6DII and are far more keenly priced.
themak 4 1.0k Scotland
29 Jun 2017 4:14PM

Quote:Predictably massively overpriced for what it is.

To be fair, they're all at that game - mk 2 models at double the price across the board, it seems.
banehawi Plus
13 1.7k 3779 Canada
11 Aug 2017 2:41PM
Ill stay with the 6D, which by all accounts has a greater dynamic range. Way too pricey.
JackAllTog Plus
8 4.9k 58 United Kingdom
11 Aug 2017 3:08PM
I'm watching the prices on this swing widely, AmazonUUK is +/- 300 in the last few days, Digital Rev (Grey importer) is 500 below launch price on a special 2 day deal - are people worried that they have ordered to much stock and need to shift it - is the MK2 still a good FF entry but no longer a 6D mk1 upgrade step?

I like what Willie says above as i have a 6D, but wanted the MK2 to offer more DR.

11 Aug 2017 6:39PM
Lack of 4K video and mediocre dynamic range at this price? What was Canon thinking?
I predict there will be a lacklustre response in as far as sales go for Canon for this Full frame upgrade. Sony just over took Nikon in sales-Canon can't be far behind with missed opportunities like this .Very disappointed in the 6D MK 11
Walt Knox
11 Aug 2017 7:44PM
There is a lot of talk about the reduced DR on this camera; take everything on the internet with a large pinch of salt.
1. Canon do not clip the lower levels of the sensors range, so when you increase the shadows you will get some red banding. This can be removed in post processing, so do not believe it is the disasters some sites would have you believe.
2. Nikon clip,the blacks in their sensor output at about 15%, so there is no red banding.
3. The photographic DR in Canon and Sony (Nikon) sensors is about 1 EV difference or less. A 14 bit ad converter cannot give a DR greater than 14, and the widely used DXO DR numbers are mathematical projections. ( see their methodology)
4. So if you like the camera, don't be swayed by its 'poor DR' there is a lot more to photography than that.

And, finally, 'weather sealing' is not complete around all the ingress points - see Canon's own diagrams of the rubber sealed areas and the 'tight body seal' junctions. It will not object to a bit of light rain, but I wouldn't want to use it in a continuous Lancastrian downpour without a cheap bag cover.

It is expensive, but since last year with the drop,in the value of the pound against the foreign currencies, everything has gone up, and will continue to do so. The Pentax K1 was 1699 at launch, now 1999, Canon lenses have also gone up about 20%. It may not come down in price that quickly.

Regards,
Scotty.
I
Nigeyboy 9 823 United Kingdom
13 Aug 2017 7:53AM
The bonus here is there will now be a flood of 6D MkI's on the used market places - time to grab a bargain I think . . . .

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