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Canon EOS 6D Mark II Expert Review - Performance

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Canon EOS 6D Mark II Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Shutter Response <0.1secs (<0.05sec LV)
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.175secs (0.3-0.6secs LV)
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response  0.125secs (0-1-0.3secs LV)
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 0.5secs
Shot to Shot without Flash 0.3secs
Shot to Shot with Flash N/A
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
6.5fps (280 shots), 6.5fps LV
Continuous Shooting - Flash N/A
Continuous Shooting - RAW 6.5fps (21 shots)

Focus and shutter response are both quick, although focus was slightly slower in live view (LV) mode. We tested focus speeds with the Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L. Live view continuous shooting speed is 6.5fps. We used a Sony G SD memory card


Canon EOS 6D Mark II Sample Photos

Sample Photos - Using a full-frame camera, with bright lenses can make keeping the subject's eyes in focus more difficult. This isn't helped by the need to focus and re-compose shots due to the focus points being in the centre of the frame when you're not using live-view. Switching to live-view focus gives you a wider focus area, but we'd rather shoot using the optical viewfinder for portraits. 

Colour and exposure is reliable, and the camera gives excellent colour straight from the camera. You can adjust the picture style, and there a number of presets built-in. These can be adjusted, with settings for sharpness (including strength, fineness, threshold), contrast, saturation, and colour tone. You can select an HDR mode in the menus, and there are options for Natural results, as well as "Art" effects. Auto Lighting Optimizer will help record additional dynamic range in photos, and there's also a Highlight tone priority option. 


Canon EOS 6D Mark II Lens test images

Lens Performance - The camera delivers clean, noise free images at the lowest ISO settings. Lens aberration correction is built-in to the camera, and works with Canon lenses, correcting for peripheral illumination (vignetting), chromatic aberrations, distortion, and diffraction. Because of this, we didn't find any issues with lens distortion, although did need to remember to correct this when converting from raw images. The lens data built-in to the camera can be updated using Canon's software. Shooting raw it's easy to recover +/- 2 EV if you under or over-expose images, however this has been the case for several years now. 

To get the best out of the increased resolution, high quality lenses are recommended. We shot with the 50mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.8, 24-70mm f/4L and 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lenses. We were most impressed with the prime lenses, for portrait shooting, and the 24-70mm f/4L for general use. The macro performance of the 24-70mm f/4L lens is particularly impressive. 


Canon EOS 6D Mark II ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Noise performance is very good up to and including ISO3200. Noise increases at ISO6400, but images are still good. ISO12800 shows more noise, but we would still be happy using these images. ISO25600 shows more noise, and fine grain, but should still produce usable images. Noise becomes worse at ISO51200, and we'd recommend avoiding this setting, unless you plan on processing the image further, or resizing images. 

Compared to the original 6D - there are better results at ISO102400, however there is little difference in noise performance at other ISO speeds, and disappointingly the camera doesn't move us much further forwards in terms of noise performance, over the 6D, except in terms of resolution. There is reduced dynamic range at ISO50 (Low), as it the case with most cameras offering an extended (low) ISO speed. There are High ISO speed noise reduction options, with 4 settings, plus Multi Shot Noise Reduction.


Canon EOS 6D Mark II White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) gives slightly warm results under tungsten lighting, and by using the white priority setting, the AWB can give much more accurate results, which is great for product shots. Using the tungsten preset gives warm results. The camera performs well under mixed lighting, with a slightly warm result. AWB performs well under fluorescent lighting, and the preset gives a very slight colour cast. Thanks to the "White priority" AWB setting, and the good AWB performance, you shouldn't need to use any of the presets.

Digital Filters - Creative Auto mode lets you select a number of different effects, including: Standard, Vivid, Soft, Warm, Intense, Cool, Brighter, Darker and Monochrome. You can also adjust the background blur. The scene mode features all of the usual modes, including Food, plus Handheld Night mode, and HDR backlight control. These last two take a number of shots and merge them. In camera raw editing lets you adjust settings, saving the edited file in camera as a JPEG image. 


Video - The camera records FullHD video at frame rates up to 60fps, with stereo microphones built-in. The ISO speed available goes up to ISO25600 in Auto mode. Manual ISO settings can be expanded to H1: ISO51200, and H2: ISO102400. A full range of frame rates are available, including 59.94, 50, 29.97, 25, and 23.976fps. Videos are recorded as MP4 (MPEG-4 AVC, H264) files, with options of IPB Standard or Light, this results in a bitrate of 58-59mbps. 

You can adjust the audio levels manually, or leave them on auto. There are wind filter and attenuator options. HDR movie recording is possible as one of the scene modes. In-camera 5-axis Digital IS available (options are: Off, Enable, and Enhanced). As the electronic image stabilisation reduces video quality, we'd recommend the use of a lens with optical image stabilisation, or the use of a tripod (or monopod). 


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Photographs taken using the Canon EOS 6D Mark II

FloatingOn FootThe importance of being CoffeeMake hay while the weather is goodAsking for DirectionMaking way to DepartureDot Moth CaterpillarRainy RaptorBurbage VistaWindsweptThe three "Levanne"ColorsLake Serru and Lake Agnel in the National Park "Gran Paradiso"Burbage BrookWalking through Shadows

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JackAllTog Plus
11 6.1k 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?
themak 7 1.0k Scotland
29 Jun 2017 2:18PM
26.2Mp must be the Canon 'this one goes to 11' moment.
JackAllTog Plus
11 6.1k 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
13 2.3k 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 7 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
16 2.3k 4163 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
11 6.1k 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.

Nigeyboy 12 927 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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