The EOS 6D has lived in the shadow of its 5D siblings despite offering a lot of the same
attractions for a lot less money. After five years we were starting to think Canon might have forgotten about it. The good news is that there’s now an EOS 6D Mark II which is again designed to be Canon’s most affordable full-35mm D-SLR, but it boasts a lot of significant improvements, so it’s not quite as pared-back as its predecessor.
The weather-sealed GRP-and-alloy bodyshell remains much the same as before in terms of size and styling, but the 7.62 cm LCD monitor screen is now adjustable for tilt and swing (actually a first on a full-35mm format Canon D-SLR). It has a resolution of 1.04 megadots and offers touch controls. The optical viewfinder uses a proper pentaprism and provides 98 percent scene coverage. A single slot for SD format memory cards is retained and, also as before, there is no built-in flash.
On the inside the 6D II has a new sensor, processor, autofocusing module and metering system… so that’s basically a complete overhaul. The sensor is an all-new CMOS with a total pixel count of 27.1 million (26.2 MP effective) and it incorporates Canon’s ‘Dual Pixel AF’ system for phase-difference detection autofocusing in live view or when shooting video. An optical low-pass filter is retained. The sensitivity range is equivalent to ISO 100 to 40,000 with expansion settings to ISO 50 and 102,400. The processor is Canon’s lastest-gen ‘DiG!C 7’ engine which enables Full HD video recording at 50 fps and continuous shooting at full resolution at up to 6.5 fps (4.0 fps in live view). A bigger buffer memory extends the burst depths to 110 best-quality JPEGs or 21 RAW images (more with a UHS-I speed card). The optical AF system employs 45 measuring points – all cross-type arrays with a dual cross-type array at the centre – and has low-light sensitivity down to -3.0 EV (at ISO 100).
Exposure metering is based on a 7560 pixels colour-sensitive ‘RGB+IR’ sensor which delivers 63-zone multi-segment measurement with selective area, spot or centre-weighted average options. The shutter speed range remains at 30-1/4000 second with flash sync up to 1/180 second.
Presumably to keep some distance from the EOS 5D IV, the new 6D doesn’t have 4K video, but its capabilities have been upgraded to include built-in stereo microphones, increased bit rates for Full HD recording (up to 60 Mbps) and obviously improved autofocusing performance – particularly subject tracking – via ‘Dual Pixel CMOS AF’. Time-lapse movie clips can be created in 4K at 25 fps.
Other notable features include flicker detection, both WiFi/NFC and Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity, a built-in GPS receiver, multiple exposure facility (up to nine), intervalometer and multi-frame HDR capture. The Mark II also gets a hike in price to around $3000 for the camera body, but that’s still significantly cheaper than any 5D model. Incidentally, along with the original 6D, the 5D Mark III is also bowing out… so if you want one, get it now.