Test Review: Canon EOS 6D

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January 11, 2013 at 10:30 am  •  Posted in Review by  •  1 Comment

Canon EOS 6D

Canon EOS 6D

The EOS 6D is Canon’s first entry-level full-frame sensor camera. It offers 20-MP resolution and a concept of operations that is directed to beginners (with Scene modes, for example), but with the results of a professional system.

Comments on Image Quality

The standard test box shot has a natural look with realistic colours (automatic white balance is perfect in this case). Sharpness is very good, especially differentiation of red colours for example (spool in the upper right).

The standard test box shot has a natural look with realistic colours (automatic white balance is perfect in this case). Sharpness is very good, especially differentiation of red colours for example (spool in the upper right).

Colour: The automatic white-balance system causes a slightly cooler look. Some blue colours are very saturated and shifted into the magenta direction, which causes a higher average result for the saturation. Skin tones are reproduced well, though lighter skin tones show a little shift into the magenta direction. Green and yellow nuances are reproduced nearly perfectly; the red tones have a slightly too high yellow rate (typical for Canon cameras).

Sharpness: The camera showed excellent results in the sharpness and resolution tests. It achieves a maximum of 3524 lines per picture height (nominal resolution: 3648 lines) and creates images with a very crisp look. This is also a result of the internal sharpness filtering. In standard image mode (used for all tests), nearly all Canon SLRs use a more intense filtering than Nikon cameras, for example. That’s the reason why the overshot effects in EOS 6D images of 24 percent are high (compared to professional SLRs). Nevertheless, these images still have a very natural look (compared to consumer cameras with high internal sharpness filtering). The colour differentiation and sharp reproduction of fine details (red spool in the standard test box) is very good.

Noise: The luminance noise level is very low. The y-factor stays between 0.46 and 0.54 in ISO 100 to ISO 3200 settings. The noise spectrum is very smooth. Only at ISO 25600 does it get a little rougher and cause some colour noise artifacts.

The camera had an excellent performance in the dynamic range test. The maximum of 11.3 f-stops is at a very good level for a full-frame system. But it is more important that the high dynamic range is available even in higher ISO speed settings. The camera offers 10 to 11 f-stops in all ISO modes up to the highest speed setting of ISO 25600.

Comments on Handling

The camera offers a large mode dial on the top. It allows the choice of standard exposure modes, scene modes, two user-defined modes and the iA automatic mode. The status LCD and the function buttons in front help set up all parameters fast and efficiently.

The EOS 6D is Canon’s new entry-level system full-frame camera. It is a lot smaller than the EOS 5D Mark II or Mark III. The size of the body is more comparable to a larger APS-C system than to full-frame systems. The handling of the camera is also based on the APS-C models. While cameras like the 5D use a large set-up dial, a control field, two parameter dials and a joystick to setup all parameters very quickly, the Canon 6D uses a (8-way) control field, a set-up dial that encircles this field, and a standard parameter dial near the shutter-release button. The two dials are used to change both exposure parameters (shutter speed and aperture) simultaneously, but due to the position of the dial on the back, it is not as comfortable as using a second dial near the top (position of the thumb of the right hand when holding the camera in standard shooting position).

There are a lot of function buttons that help in setting up additional parameters. Most important is the Q button, which is used as a quick menu button and shows the most important image parameters directly on the screen. By using the control field and the two dials, it is very easy to change parameters. The (illuminated) status LCD on the top allows the control of all settings and quick changing of parameters like ISO speed or drive mode. The camera offers additional function buttons in front of the status screen that are very handy.

The LCD screen has a resolution of 1040000 RGB dots. The 8-way control field with the set-up dial, the Q button and the switch to activate the live preview and video recording allows a fast handling of the camera.

The LCD screen has a resolution of 1040000 RGB dots. The 8-way control field with the set-up dial, the Q button and the switch to activate the live preview and video recording allows a fast handling of the camera.

The LCD screen on the back is very large and has a high resolution (1040000 RGB dots). But it is fixed, and a swivel LCD would be helpful, especially when shooting video. The EOS 6D is able to record movies in full HD resolution and all standard modes like 30p (29.97 frames per second), 25p and 24p (23.97). If the photographer uses the smaller video format with 1280 x 720 pixels, the camera is able to record movies with up to 60p/50p. Beside the standard H.264 mode, the camera offers an ALL-I video mode for better image quality (intra and inter frame recording).

Just like many APS-C cameras made by Canon, the 6D uses an AF system with only 11 AF sensors. (Most entry-level APS-C cameras use 9 AF sensors.) So the AF system isn’t as powerful and efficient as the more sophisticated AF systems of Canon’s 5D Mark III, for example. Nevertheless, the 6D performed well in our AF tests. In particular, the cross-type sensor in the centre allows fast and direct focusing set-up because it is very sensitive to light. It allows focusing even in very dark situations.

With its own Wi-Fi system, the camera is able to send images directly to smart phones or to an imaging PC system that is integrated into a WLAN. The supplied software lets you use your PC or Mac as a wireless remote control for the EOS 6D.

Pros:
+ Canon’s new entry system into full-frame photography
+ high-resolution images with very good colour
+ GPS system
+ Wi-Fi system
+ Full HD video recording (standard recording frequencies with 29.97, 25 and 24 frames per second; 1280 x 720 with up to 60 frames per seconds); additional microphone jack for better sound recording

Cons:

- missing a swivel monitor
- no internal flash system (additional flash system is necessary)

This review is based on precise lab tests conducted by BetterNet GmbH and provided by the Technical Imaging Press Association (TIPA). TIPA is the largest family of independent photo and imaging magazines worldwide. Photo Life is an active member of TIPA.

SPEC SHEET: Canon EOS 6D
BASIC TECHNICAL DATA:
Resolution 5472 x 3648
Resolution Sensor 20.0
Colour depth (in bits) 42
Size of sensor (in inches) 0/0.00
Size of sensor (in mm) 36.0 x 24.0
TAKING PICTURES:
Start-up time (in sec) 0.35
Shutter delay (in sec) without pre-focusing 0.28
Shutter delay (in sec) with pre-focusing 0.01
Continuous shooting speed (frames per second) 4.5
Max. burst during continuous shooting speed 999.0
Fastest shutter speed (in sec) 1/4000
Long time exposure/shutter speed (in sec) 30
Self timer yes
Exposure Settings:
Aperture pre-setting, shutter speed pre-setting, manual exposure settings
Automatic bracketing
Exposure programs 7
White balance:
Auto yes
White balance settings 6
Individual white balance yes
ISO:
ISO min 100
ISO max 25600
ISO steps 25
Manual ISO control yes
FLASH:
Integrated flash no
Flash mode:
On, off, automatic-flash, slow-sync, anti-red-eye, rear curtain sync
External Flash:
X-Sync no
Accessory shoe yes
FILE FORMATS:
Standard file formats JPEG, RAW, DCF
JPEG compression grades 3
LCD AND PREVIEW:
Size (in inches) 3.0
Resolution of LCD (in pixels) 1040
Zoom mode during preview yes
Index during preview yes
Slide show during preview yes
VIDEO:
Video available? yes
Max. width 1920
Max. height 1080
Picture frequency 30
POWER SOURCE:
Rechargeable battery yes
Battery type Li-Ion
Battery charger included? yes
Power connector yes
Power supply unit? no
STORAGE SYSTEM:
Supported memory cards SD Card, SDHC Card, SDXC Card
PC CONNECTION:
PC connection USB, HDMI, WLAN
TV out PAL/NTSC + HDMI
DIMENSIONS:
Dimensions (width x height x depth in mm) 144 x 110 x 71
Weight (in g; body without battery and memory card) 755
ACCESSORIES:
Docking station no
Printed manual yes
Manual on CD yes
Bag no
Remote control no
Tags:

One Comment

  1. Shummer / February 4, 2013 at 6:29 pm / Reply

    FF format is becoming the norm for dSLRs. Film is slowly become more irrelevant. A D800 retort should appear soon.

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