My brief thoughts on the Canon 6D MKII

Updated: Feb 5, 2018

The camera everyone loves to hate

Canon 6D MK II review, the camera everyone loves to hate. Except those who use it….

Last year Canon finally updated it’s long awaited entry level full frame DSLR, the 6D and creatively labeled it the 6D MKII. I never had the urge to write a camera “review” because there are people much better suited for it than I am and frankly, I don’t have enough experience to justifiably impose my opinion onto others about specific body or component.

The negativity this camera received forced me to share my thoughts. People called it the worst camera of the year and other “expletives” that are unwarranted and slightly exaggerated.

Granted, compared to the other recent cameras of late 2016 and 2017, it’s not exactly exciting, of even feature packed. What it is, is a pair or work boots, that let you run wildly a bit.

I won’t dwell on the specs since there are about 2 millions other articles online listing the specs, but I might be able to help you a bit if you’re thinking about this, or the 80D, which is very similar. The 80D has a 24mp APS-C sensor, whereas the 6DII sports a 26 MP full frame. Having used both the 80D and the 6DII, I can highlight some of the differences, which may not be so obvious at first glance since they look the same, which is a good thing in this case.

People attacked the 6D for lacklustre specs as far as dynamic range and video capabilities are concerned, some are valid, some are totally irrelevant to 90% of users.

At 100ISO using same focal length, F-stop and shutter speed, you’d really struggle to tell it apart from the 80D. I know I couldn’t really. Where the difference becomes obvious, is over 1000 ISO or so. Clearly a full frame would have an edge over APS-C, but I was very surprised by the difference. If you’re looking to shoot low light, there is no comparison. I’m not advocating shooting high ISO of course, but it’s safe to say that the 6D looks cleaner at 12800 ISO than the 80D at 6400. With the 6D, you don’t have to worry a whole lot about it as pictures look good up to 8000 really. If it comes down to financial considerations, It’s a harder decision since the 6D costs nearly twice as much for the body, so theoretically, you could get the 80D and a 1.4 or 1.8 lens, and you have the low light performance of the 6D with the f4 kit lens…..

Going with the 6D also means that you’re not going to have a headphone jack which is good to have if you shoot video, plus your max shutter speed goes down to 1/4000th of a sec instead of 1/8000th which could make a huge difference when shooting birds or fast moving objects. The 6D also loses build-in effects, such as miniature and a few others included with the 80D’s firmware, but people spending this much money on a camera are probably beyond that anyway and prefer to tweak their own raw images. You do however get a built-in raw image processor, which is pretty handy in a pinch and I’ve used it several times since getting the camera a month ago.

You also lose the built-in flash but that’s not a loss really since built-in flashes tend to suck anyway so I won’t dwell on that either….

Other things people complain about are lack of 4K video and crammed focus points. Both are an issue, but not really. Not for me anyway. True, Sony cameras offer 4K video with built-in optical stabilization and I have to say, video coming straight out of the Sony A6500 looks very very good, but I stopped using 4K for the most part, as it is very hardware and storage demanding. I do wish that canon put 120fps HD video into this camera, but why would they….. That’s reserved for the 1DX MKII and their cinema cameras. They really seem to want to keep their still and video cameras separated whereas with sony, I think the line is more blurred. They don’t seem to worry about their own products biting a chunk out of another product. I must say, the low light performance of the sony A6500 is better than that of the FS5 camcorder, costing 4 times as much. So 120 FPS would have been nice, but 60 is enough for basic slow motion or super smooth video.

I have to agree with the crammed focus points….. Both 80D and 6D MKII have the same focusing system it seems, but on the 6D, they take up less of view so technically speaking, the 80D has better edge to edge coverage. I haven’t found this to be an issue, but I could see it being a problem for sports or bird photographers.

Canon 80D focus point

Canon 6D MKII focus points

If you need better focusing but don’t want to jump ship, you’ll have to go 5D MKIV which is of course a better camera, BUT you lose the tilty-flippy screen, which I absolutely love and don’t want to live without. That is such a big deal, that it might be the reason I went with this instead of a Sony mirrorless…..

Some samples grabs.....

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