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Canon EOS R6 MK II Camera Review

The full-frame mirrorless Canon R6 MK II has been put to the test by John Riley who has been capturing sample photos with the Canon R6 update.

| Canon EOS R6 Mk II in Mirrorless Cameras

Canon EOS R6 MK II Camera Review: Canon R6II With RF 15 35mm Lens Ready For Travel | 0.5 sec | f/16.0 | 36.0 mm | ISO 100

Quick Verdict

The Canon EOS R6 II is a well designed full frame hybrid mirrorless camera that delivers fine-quality images. It handles superbly. It also offers a high level of specification that is likely to cover most enthusiast and professional needs. There is highly effective IS built into the body, which can work with the IS in some lenses. The power of 8 stops advantage in terms of camera shake cannot be underestimated, releasing much of the need for a tripod in travel, museum and architectural photography. It also has good video capabilities that offer excellent, stable video without the need for the complexities of fully professional video cameras. In summary, a great all-rounder, perhaps a tad expensive but otherwise a highly desirable camera.


+ Pros

  • 24.2MP CMOS sensor
  • DIGIC X Processor
  • 3.69M dot EVF
  • 40fps with electronic shutter
  • 12fps with mechanical shutter
  • Pre-shooting capture options
  • AF subject tracking people, animals, vehicles
  • 8 stops stabilization
  • 4K 60p video via oversampling
  • 6K RAW video
  • 8-bit H.264 codec
  • 10-bit H.265 codec
  • Focus breathing correction
  • Dust and moisture resistance

- Cons

  • Expensive
  • Quoted operating temperature only down to 2C


The range of Canon RF mirrorless cameras is rapidly expanding. As the range matures, there are more and more fine lenses and more and more choices of camera body. The R6 II follows on from the already highly successful R6, refining a fine camera even further. We end up with a very attractive-looking hybrid model with a high-quality 24.2MP sensor and fairly basic but solid video specifications. Let's see how we do out in the field and also of course in the studio shooting test subjects. The lens used to partner the R6 II is the also reviewed Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM, itself Highly Recommended.


Canon EOS R6 MK II Features

Canon EOS R6 MK II Camera Review: Canon R6II Front Panel | 0.3 sec | f/16.0 | 88.0 mm | ISO 100

Manufacturing quality is clearly excellent, using a magnesium alloy chassis and outer panels of polycarbonate resin reinforced with glass fibre. Measuring 138.4 x 98.4 x 88.4mm, the R6 II weighs in at a solid 558g or 670g with card and battery. Battery life is quoted at 760 shots when using the monitor and 450 shots when using the EVF. The body is dust and moisture-resistant, with the usual caveat that this does not mean waterproof. The operating temperature is quoted at 2C to 40C, a bit disappointing considering that many current cameras are rated down to -10C.

The viewfinder comprises a 0.5-inch OLED EVF with 3.69M dots, with a 100% view but just 0.76x magnification. The viewing image may be slightly smaller than it could be, but it is crystal clear and absolutely up to the standard of most optical viewfinders. The monitor is a vari-angle 7.5cm (3 inch) TFT LCD touchscreen with 1.62M dots. This is equally clear and sharp. There is no built-in flash.


Canon EOS R6 MK II Camera Review: Canon R6II Back Panel | 0.5 sec | f/16.0 | 115.0 mm | ISO 100

The top plate has re-jigged the position of the various controls, so maybe somebody at Canon has been listening. The on/off switch continues to inch its way towards being around the shutter release, and although it's not quite there yet it is positioned so that it does make one-handed operation of the camera a little easier. It is incorporated around a control dial that as default operates the ISO. This actually does work, and changing ISO here, using the forward control dial to adjust the aperture and using the forward control ring on the lens to control exposure compensation makes Aperture Priority shooting efficient. This is my preferred way of working, but if the photographer has a different approach then there is the facility to change the functions, and even perhaps the direction of operation, of most of the lens and body dials and control rings. The video stop/start red button is also on the top plate, well positioned to enable shudder-free operation when shooting handheld video. The selection of still or video is via a small switch on the left side of the top plate, set on its own.

The Q menu button is found on the camera back, given its own space, and gives access to all the commonly altered functions.


Canon EOS R6 MK II Camera Review: Canon R6II Top Panel | 0.4 sec | f/16.0 | 135.0 mm | ISO 100

The AF/MF selector is found on the lens, as is control of the Image Stabilization system. The AF is super-fast and silent, the camera contributing AF tracking of Humans, Animals (Dogs, Cats, Birds and Horses) or vehicles (Racing cars, Motorbikes, Aircraft and Trains). An Auto option lets the camera decide what the subject is, and there is even a setting that registers a subject to the camera only focuses on that one thing, even if it temporarily leaves the frame. An interesting feature is the ability to pre-shoot. With stills, this means a half-press on the shutter release button, during which the camera is recording and keeping the files in the buffer. When the release button is depressed fully the last 0.5 seconds are kept and saved to the card. This is ideal for capturing the right moment when, for example, a bird is about to launch into the air. The same idea applies to video, where the pre-record duration is 5 seconds. AF is operational from EV -6.5 to +21, with a standard ISO range of 100-102,400. Metering range is EV -3 to +20, plenty of scope for metering those black cats in coal cellars.

The full-frame CMOS sensor has 24.2MP. There is a low pass filter fitted, but this does not seem to impact on image crispness. The processor is Canon's blisteringly-fast Digic X. Images are recorded on either of the 2 SD cards in RAW, JPEG or HEIF formats. There is full compatibility with SD, SDHC, SDXC and UHS-II cards. The two card slots are behind their own access door on the right grip. The door opens wide enough so there is plenty of room to get fingers in to extract the cards.


Canon EOS R6 MK II Camera Review: Canon R6II With RF 15 35mm Lens Showing Articulated Screen | 1/4 sec | f/16.0 | 28.0 mm | ISO 100

Connectivity is via WiFi or Bluetooth v5.0, with FTP support meaning that cloud services can be accessed. Connecting the camera and smartphone is via Canon Camera Connect. Both iPhone and Android phones can also be directly connected to the camera by wire, which offers the fastest and most reliable response. Physical connections include mike, USB Type-C with charging supported and mini HDMI (Type D) out.

The back of the camera sports an excellent touch-sensitive monitor, plus various dials and buttons. The vari-angle monitor design is useful, especially for low-level shooting on location. The set button is surrounded by a wheel that thankfully does not operate as a four-way controller as well as an adjustment wheel. The four-way controller is a joystick and this is kept well out of the way. This moves the focus point and pushing the joystick in centres it. For those who like centre-spot focus, some mirrorless cameras can stray from that point very easily, especially when the camera designer has placed the buttons in a less-than-optimal way. Here Canon has done well and the camera is big enough for anything likely to be nudged when carrying to be kept well out of the way.

Some thought has gone into the design detail of the R6 II and this can make a big difference to the end user's experience of the product.


Key Features

  • 24.2MP full-frame CMOS
  • 2 card slots: SD/SDHC/SDXC/UHS-II
  • Shutter speeds 30s to 1/8000s (Mechanical shutter)
  • Shutter speeds 30s to 1/16000s (Electronic shutter)
  • ISO 100- 102,400
  • Image Stabiliser: up to 8 stops with lens IS
  • 12fps mechanical shutter
  • 40fps electronic shutter
  • AF to -6.5 EV
  • Metering to -3 EV
  • Detection AF for People, animals or vehicles
  • Dust and moisture resistance
  • Full HD up to 120p
  • 8.3MP frame grab from 4K UHD movie
  • OLED 0.5 inch EVF with 3.69 million dots
  • Vari-angle touch screen 7.5cm (3 inch) LCD with 1.62 million dots
  • Bluetooth v5.0
  • WiFi
  • Cable connection for iPhone and Android phone
  • 670g incl battery and card
  • Battery capacity 760 shots, using screen
  • Battery capacity 450 shots, using EVF
  • Creative Filters
  • Picture Styles


Canon EOS R6 MK II Handling

Canon EOS R6 MK II Camera Review: Canon R6II With RF 15 35mm Lens Top View | 0.3 sec | f/16.0 | 31.0 mm | ISO 100
Cameras gel with the user, or not, but it is increasingly true that it may not matter as much as it did. If we don't like how a dial works, we can maybe change its direction of travel, or whether or not it moves quickly or slowly. We might be able to change its function altogether. This means that, increasingly, the camera we have can be adapted and set up to suit the individual, making the product fit our own requirements rather than just the requirements of the designer.

Already mentioned is the ability to set up this camera for our own requirements. Straight out of the box, the choice of defaults is highly practical to begin with, but for anyone with different requirements there is a multitude of options and it should be easily possible to personalise operations.

Of the features on offer, the IBIS system works particularly well, offering a very stable platform for both stills and video. This really frees the photographer from most of the need for a tripod, particularly ideal when in locations such as museums, as well as being a boon when travelling. However, this does nothing for moving subjects, so for wildlife on the move turning off the IS may be the best choice, also in the process avoiding any slight delay whilst the system stabilises. Add to this pre-recording and the blistering 40fps burst mode, and we have what could be a real game changer in wildlife photography.


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