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Canon EOS R6 Review

We review the new Canon EOS R6, Canon's new 20mp full-frame mirrorless camera, with up to 20fps continuous shooting, 4K video recording, and traditional handling, could this be the full-frame mirrorless camera for you? Find out in our review.


|  Canon EOS R6 in Mirrorless Cameras
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Canon EOS R6 (15)

The Canon EOS R6 is Canon's new 20mp full-frame mirrorless camera, designed for stills photography and 4K 60/50fps video... it has a price tag of £2499 body only, which makes it more expensive than the 30mp EOS R (RRP £2349), and much more expensive than the entry-level 26mp EOS RP. (£1219). However, as the R and RP are in short supply, the best way to look at the Canon EOS R6 is to ignore the EOS R, and EOS RP, and think of it as the new entry into the EOS R market, and with a 20mp full-frame sensor, it should give good low-light performance, with low noise levels.


Canon EOS R6 Features

Canon EOS R6 (3)

People often complain about the "low resolution" of the 20mp Micro Four Thirds cameras, and then along comes Canon with the 20mp EOS R6. Is there really that much difference between a 20mp sensor, and a 24mp sensor? There's not a lot in it, as you're talking about the difference between a 5472x3648 pixel image and a 6000x4000 pixel image. That's just an extra 500 pixels along the top, and 300 pixels along the bottom, hardly a big deal.

If you want maximum resolution, then have a look at the 45mp Canon EOS R5, 45mp Nikon Z7, 47mp Panasonic Lumix S1R, and 61mp Sony A7R Mark IV, but if you want speed and low-noise, then 20mp is a good starting point. (There are a number of other cameras with a 20mp sensor, including the Nikon Z50, 20mp, Canon EOS 7D II, 20mp, EOS 1DX III 20mp, to name a few).

Camera / and Photography Features:

  • 20mp Full-frame CMOS sensor
  • Sensor-based image stabilisation (IBIS) - works with any lens
  • 3.69m dot electronic viewfinder (EVF), 0.76x magnification
  • 3.0inch vari-angle touch-screen, 1.62m dots
  • 12 / 20fps continuous shooting (mechanical / electronic)
  • ISO100 to ISO102400, Low ISO50, High ISO204800
  • 6072 autofocus points/positions
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF
  • Face and Eye-AF tracking
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Dual SD card slots

The camera has DSLR styling and is more traditional looking when compared to the original Canon EOS R. It uses an updated version of the standard LP-E6N battery, the LP-E6NH battery, allowing for backwards compatibility, but with the new battery, it also allows in-camera charging.

Video features aren't up to the same level as the R5, but still offer a good range of features, outlined below.

Video Features:

  • 4K UHD 60/30/25/24fps
  • FullHD High-speed 120/100fps
  • HDR FullHD Video

Canon EOS R6 (11)

 

The camera uses the RF-mount, and Canon has been introducing new lenses rapidly, giving a wider choice of lenses, in addition to letting you use an EF-RF adapter so that you can use your EF lenses with the camera. However, it's worth noting that there are still a relatively limited number of smaller lenses, with most being aimed at the professional market.

You'll find a traditional mode dial on top of the camera, letting you still switch between the standard P, Av, Tv, M shooting modes, giving you manual controls, and in addition, there is Canon's Fv (Flexible Priority AE shooting) mode, Bulb, Automatic, and three custom modes.

Wi-Fi (2.4ghz) and low-power Bluetooth are built-in letting you connect the camera to your smartphone or tablet, to transfer images and video or control the camera remotely. You'll need to put Canon's Camera Connect app on your device.

 

Canon EOS R6 (12)

Key Features

  • 20mp full-frame CMOS sensor
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF II
  • Up to 20/12fps continuous shooting
  • In-body Image Stabilisation (up to 8-stops)
  • ISO100 to ISO102400 (ISO50/ISO204800 extended)
  • 4K UHD 60fps video recording
  • FullHD video up to 120fps
  • 3.69million dot EVF, 0.76x magnification
  • 3.0inch 1.62million dot vari-angle touch-screen
  • Dual card slots (SD UHS-II)
  • Weather-resistant
  • Wi-Fi (2.4GHz), Bluetooth

 

Canon EOS R6 Handling

Canon EOS R6 (6)

Handling - The camera weighs in at 680g (slightly less than the 738g of the R5) with battery and memory card. You can find some smaller RF lenses available for the RF-mount, but many are large and heavy lenses.

The Canon EOS R6, much like the R5, has great ergonomics, with a large, comfortable handgrip, as well as a plentiful covering of rubber grip. This makes the camera easier to hold with one hand, although, with larger lenses like the 24-70mm f/2.8 attached, you will want to use two hands. Build-quality is excellent, with the camera feeling extremely solid and well-made.

The mode is switched using the Mode dial on top of the camera, and you'll find the video mode easy enough to find, with its own setting on the mode dial. You'll find an M-Fn button on top of the camera, and this multi-function button can be customised, as well as a number of other buttons, so that you can set up the camera to your own personal preferences.

In terms of controls, the EOS R6 looks very similar to other Canon EOS cameras, and you'll find all the main controls in all the usual places, including a handy joystick near where your thumb lands when holding the camera. There's nothing really to complain about here, everything is where you expect it to be especially if you're a Canon user.

Canon EOS R6 (14)

The camera includes animal (cats, dogs and birds) and people detection for autofocus, and you can select what you want the camera to prioritise. With this, the camera can also focus on the subject's eyes, whether it's a human or an animal you're pointing the camera at. There are 6072 focus areas, covering almost the whole sensor, meaning you can get your subject in focus throughout the frame.

What is the AF-EV range? With an excellent autofocus EV range, down to -6.5 EV, the camera can focus well in low-light, and indoors. You also get numerous AF menus full of options to customise your focus, with Canon's AF Cases available, with further customisation of tracking sensitivity available, and acceleration/deceleration tracking. If this is all a bit too complicated, then you can also use the new Case A - Automatic setting where the camera will automatically decide on the best settings for you.

Display - The screen is a 3.0inch vari-angle touch-screen, with 1.62million dots. It looks great and makes it very clear and easy to see what you're shooting, and the options are also very clear. If you're using the screen to change settings or adjust the focus position, then this can leave fingerprints on the screen, however, there is an anti-smudge coating, so this isn't as bad as some camera screens. Viewing angles are good, and as you can tilt the screen when needed, it makes it easier to position to reduce glare when outside in bright conditions.

There's a good amount of space on the side for the ports, however, if you do use them, then it's likely the cables will block your view of the screen, if you're using it for vlogging. The Canon EOS R6 does not feature the top LCD display, for that, you'll need to look at the EOS R5. It's also worth noting the EOS R5/R6 has a Micro HDMI out, rather than a full-size HDMI out.

Dual SD card slots mean you can record photos to both cards at the same time if you wanted, giving you extra safety for precious moments.

Canon EOS R6 (18)

The Electronic ViewFinder (EVF), has a high-resolution of 3.69million dots, with 0.76x magnifications, and dioptre correction. There's an eye-detection sensor so the camera will automatically switch between the rear screen and the EVF when needed. The EVF is excellent, with a high resolution, a good refresh rate, and great colour reproduction. You can still tell that it's an electronic viewfinder, as your eye will still see more dynamic range through an optical viewfinder.

Canon EOS R6 (16)

The menus are clearly laid out and will be familiar to anyone who has used another Canon camera in recent years. Each section is colour coded to help aid navigation. You can use the touch-screen to select options in the menus. If you switch to the video mode (using the INFO button, after you've pressed the Mode button), then you'll get a set of video-focused menus and options.

Battery life is rated at 510 shots when using the LCD screen, however, this drops down to 380 shots when using the electronic viewfinder (EVF). So it'll be important to watch your battery if you mostly use the EVF. You can connect a USB-PD power bank, using the USB Type-C connection to charge and power the camera, as long as you're using the provided LP-E6NH battery. If you're concerned about battery life, then the optional BG-R10 is available and supports two batteries.

Canon EOS R6 (10)


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Comments


sherlob Plus
14 3.1k 129 United Kingdom
5 Oct 2020 9:34AM
I'm not 100% sure what lens was used for the ISO tests, but there is a marked drop off in sharpness in the corners that is notable across the ISO images which makes some aspects of the comparison difficult IMHO.
Borzyk 3
5 Oct 2020 1:11PM
What´s about the limited recording time?
ChrisV Plus
13 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
6 Oct 2020 11:35AM

Quote:Noise performance is particularly impressive, with the camera retaining detail in images, even as the ISO speed increases.


Really? You describe the images at ISO 25,600 and perhaps even 51,200 as 'usable'. They might be usable for web, or small prints, but in the samples you've published [including the colour charts] detail is as smeary as a not particularly good smartphone image. I think it's a pretty disappointing performance - I'd like to see how it stacks up against other marques. 'Impressive' is not the word that readily springs to mind.
7 Oct 2020 7:55AM
High ISO performance is IMPRESSIVE. Anything at and beyond ISO 12800 for any camera brand is for documentation purposes where absolute image quality takes a step back because, capturing the moment is paramount. If a photo is usable for social media it counts as usable. Social media is a fact of life. Using very high ISO for any professional job that requires the absolute photo quality and detail capture is out of question no matter what kind of camera or brand one uses. To declare any brand that very high ISO performance of its cameras are not usable is loaded with personal agenda. usability of an image also depends on the size of final image and the platform it is used for.
ChrisV Plus
13 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
7 Oct 2020 12:45PM
Having compared the R6 against tests of other marques at higher ISOs it does appear to be competitive in terms of performance. I don't know what's going on with the images in this review - perhaps noise reduction was set to high - a massive amount of detail seems to be smeared away at ISO25600.

As for the term 'usable' that's a pretty moveable feast isn't it? You could argue the preposterous ISO 3m+ output from the Nikon flagships is usable for certain applications, but they're the sort of 'image' you could arrive at by taking an underexposed image captured at ISO 12800 and banging on the equivalent number of exposure boost in Photoshop. The main aim being to claim bagging rights for maximum sensitivity when it really is of no practical value.

Doing the comparisons it did shock me a little that the size for size output R6 to Panasonic G9 [which has only a quarter of the sensor area] the difference in performance was only a bit over one stop rather than the two you would expect. The full frame S Panasonic possibly opened up slightly more of a gap, but not by much. I'm not sure what to take from that - IBIS in the smaller format seems a tad more effective too which lessens the difference further in the right circumstances. Perhaps there are slightly more gains to be made in the larger format, noise wise? There is of course the advantage of more dynamic range and more effective subject isolation control at the trickier close quarters photography.
DonaldS1000 New Member
9 Oct 2020 4:45AM
It’s obvious that the writer of this review has not spent much time with this camera because they state the 4K video as a strength of the camera - but dozens of other reviews point out the camera quick shutdown and needing to cool down for some time when shooting 4K video.

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