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Canon EOS R6 Review - Performance

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Canon EOS R6 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.


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Canon EOS R6 Sample Photos

Sample Photos - The camera gives Canon's signature colour reproduction, with quite neutral colour reproduction. For more punch, you can under-expose and adjust the picture style used. Images can look a little over-exposed at times, however, this is fairly typical behaviour for Canon cameras, and can easily be adjusted to your own personal tastes. Face and eye-detection autofocus work well, and AF performance was generally good, although could miss moving rapidly people at times. AF tracking was impressive, and there are multiple options to customise how the camera responds to moving subjects. Animal recognition works, to detect dogs, cats, and birds.

The RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS lens performs well, with sharp detailed images. Thanks in part to lens correction built-in to the camera, we didn't spot any issues with vignetting, purple fringing, or chromatic aberrations. We also didn't spot any lens flare. The lens gives a reasonable close-up performance, able to focus on small subjects.

The camera supports HEIF files, which aren't currently supported by Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom, which can be a pain if you end up shooting HEIF images. In-body image stabilisation works in combination with lens-based optical image stabilisation (OIS) if the lens has this built-in. This can help give great results at slower than expected shutter speeds.

Picture Styles can be customised with options for sharpness (strength, fineness, threshold), contrast, saturation, and colour tone. We've shown the built-in styles, and there are a further three customisable user-defined styles.


Canon EOS R6 ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Noise is very low and detail highest, at the lowest ISO speeds. Noise starts to appear at ISO6400, and fine detail starts to drop, with this continuing as you go up the ISO range. Images may still be usable at ISO speeds up to ISO25600 and perhaps even ISO51200 depending on your needs. We wouldn't recommend going beyond ISO51200, although it's worth noting that colour saturation remains quite good. 


Canon EOS R6 White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) gives a warm result under tungsten (and mixed) lighting, with the "Cool" option giving a slightly more neutral result. The tungsten preset does a good job producing a whiter image, which will be useful for product shots. AWB performs well under fluorescent, and natural lighting. The fluorescent preset gives a colour cast.


Video - To switch between 60/30/24fps and 50/25fps you need to switch between NTSC and PAL video modes in the setup menus, an annoying inconvenience. If you lower the resolution of video to FullHD, 30fps, you can select HDR video recording. You can record high-speed FullHD video at 120/100fps. ISO100 to ISO204800 is available for video. 4K UHD video recording uses 94% of the width of the sensor.

The longest time you can record one clip is 29 minutes, and Canon has more details on recording here, including the "cool down" period needed if the camera overheats. The camera also supports timelapse video recording.

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Image stabilisation works well, and with a combination of in-camera sensor-based image stabilisation and optical image stabilisation in the lens, we got some very steady footage, even though we were simply holding the camera, without the use of a tripod. Auto-focus performance was good, and using AF tracking meant the camera successfully tracked the subject.

Video quality is excellent, autofocus performs well, exposure is reliable, and colour reproduction is particularly pleasing (with a little exposure compensation).

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Photographs taken using the Canon EOS R6

Red LeggedCatch Me If You CanLucaRing-billed GullZebra LongwingBig BeakMalay LacewingGolden-crowned kingletOliviaAmy by RubyDowny WoodpeckerEuropean Herring GullBald EagleBanding Bald EagleFish-fight

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sherlob Plus
16 3.3k 133 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 5
5 Oct 2020 1:11PM
What´s about the limited recording time?
ChrisV 16 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.
oselimg 10 Turkey
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 16 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.
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.
philtaylorphoto 21 334 2
28 Nov 2020 8:16PM
I covered a siege in a street at night this week.

25,600 ASA was perfect on a 5D3 for news use. That's a professional use. Would I shoot portraits for wall hanging at that, well no.
I have now taken over 7,000 images with the R6. The images I get are first class and match or exceed the images from my 5D Mk IVs using the same glass. I agree with the reviewer on most things but I have found one flaw with the camera. In a studio when using studio flash the EVF gives a very poor view of the subject which is rather annoying. Additionally when my model was dancing the camera failed to find focus on several occasions. The 5D Mk IVs didn't have this problem.
The comments regarding video make no sense to me as someone who regularly takes video (With a dedicated video camera). I have seldom shot for more than 5 minutes per burst and the R6 will comfortably cope with that. If people are wanting to use it for creating video content for the internet, I would suggest it isn't intended for that. At a recent wedding I shot both stills and video and had no problems. This is a STILLS camera and the video is a mere bi product of the technology, albeit a very useful one.

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