Upon the announcement of the Canon 6D; we weren’t so impressed. Admittedly, it features some awesome technology such as the new meter, built-in Wi-Fi, and more. At Photo Plus Expo, I finally was able to get some personal fondling time with the Canon 6D: the company’s latest full frame DSLR targeted at enthusiasts.
Specifications taken from the B&H Photo Video listing
|Focus Type||Auto & Manual|
|Focus Mode||Single-servo AF (S), Continuous-servo AF (C), Manual Focus (M)|
|Viewfinder Magnification||Approx. 0.71x|
|Diopter Adjustment||- 3.0 to +1.0 m|
|Display Screen||3″ Rear Screen LCD (1040000)|
|Max Sync Speed||1 / 180 sec|
|Flash Compensation||-3 EV to +3 EV (in 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps)|
|Continuous Shooting||Up to 4.5 fps|
|Dedicated Flash System||eTTL|
|External Flash Connection||Hot Shoe, PC Terminal|
|Start-up Time||0.1 Seconds|
|Self Timer||2 sec, 10 sec|
|Connectivity||AV Output, HDMI C (Mini), USB 2.0|
|Wi-Fi Capable (With Optional Transmitter)||Yes 1|
|Battery||1x LP-E6 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery Pack, 7.2VDC, 1800mAh|
32 to 104 °F (0 to 40 °C)
Humidity: 0 – 85%
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||5.7 x 4.4 x 2.8″ / 14.5 x 11.2 x 7.1 cm|
|Weight||27.16 oz / 770 g|
The Canon 6D, first off, is really quite small. If I had to think characterize it, I would think of a 60D with a full frame sensor stuffed inside. It feels nowhere as beefy as my 5D Mk II or the 5D MK III.
In fact, the camera reminds me a bit of a short, chubby kid; or a plump puppy for some odd reason…but complete with a big imaging sensor and all that jazz.
The top of the camera much very retains higher end EOS traditions with the LCD panel for quicker access to your settings.
Canon continues to add this special mode dial to their DSLRs with the locking button in the middle to keep your camera settings the same.
The back of the camera reminds me of not only the 60D, but also the 5D Mk II. The joystick control is gone; which makes me a sad panda. Instead, the camera borrows from the 60D and puts that control in the middle of the back aperture dial/multi-control dial. The user also has access to the quick menu, magnification, playback, delete, info, menu, and the video/still mode. Additionally, the AF-on back control, and other traditional Canon buttons are on the top right of the back end.
Ease of Use
The camera felt very simple to use; the menus indeed didn’t feel anywhere as biblical in length as the Canon 5D Mk III’s. For most photographers that will just want to shoot, review, and upload, you surely won’t have a problem at all. The key to using the 6D is that for the majority of the time, the users that this camera is targeted at won’t have to really be in the menu system to adjust various parameters like color profiles, micro-adjustment, Speedlite control, etc.
Again though, these are often settings that you control once and forget about later on. With that said, potential owners of the camera should expect to go through the menus quite a bit for the first two or three weeks just to get all their settings in place and to their liking.
The Canon 6D’s autofocus was not only smart, but also pretty fairly quick. If you’ve felt the 5D Mk III’s or the 7D’s, you’ll be happy to work with the 6D.
If you’re going to choose the center focusing point for most of your shooting because you prefer the focus and recompose method, I strongly urge that you spring for the 5D Mk II instead because Canon is giving you an excellent autofocusing option and you won’t be utilizing the potential that this camera really has.
One of the really cool things about the Canon 6D is the Wi-Fi remote shooting and image review function. Not only is it very useful and can be a load of fun, but it’s also pretty darn quick.
To set it up, the user accesses the quick menu and goes over to the Wi-Fi function.
After this, the user then chooses to connect to a smartphone, a laptop, or a DLNA device depending on their needs at the moment.
Once you choose the setting you want (in this situation we connected to Chuck Westfall’s cellphone), you can confirm the connection.
After this, you’ll need to select the Canon EOS remote app available for free on the iPhone and Android devices. When you open the app up, it will give you the choice of either importing the images in or remotely shooting.
As a clarification, the 6D will send images to your phone at a 1920 x 1080 size, but they will only be previewed unless the user chooses to download the images.
In the remote shooting setting, the user can choose to either sync view screens or just control the camera. Even if you turn off Live View mode in the 6D, the app can still see what the camera does.
Using the touchscreen on the phone, the user can choose an area of the frame and then double tap to magnify it.
Then the small circular button on the screen can be used to autofocus; and like the actual camera, you’ll need to hold it down. To get out of the magnification view, the user just double taps the screen again. To take the picture, they press the big circular button. Upon writing to the card, the image then comes up in a small section of the bottom of the app’s screen.
We tested the focusing over and over again in different situations and it didn’t fail. It was quite impressive at just how much the 6D’s autofocus is in contrast AF mode over previous camera models.
As a sidenote: it can sometimes take a second or two to sync the screens. Also, exposure controls like shutter speed, aperture, and ISO are available.
This was a pre-production model of the Canon 6D, so I wasn’t allowed to put a card in the camera.
There are quite a bit of use features for potential buyers of the Canon 6D to be excited about. Not only the Wi-fi abilities, but the awesome camera meter (which is much improved over previous versions which tended to underexpose images and therefore created nightmares in the studio) as well as the new white balancing system. The autofocus system is also quite good.
But that’s the thing: all that goodness is on the inside. The outside of the camera feels a bit pre-mature in that it should have a few more buttons perhaps and also the multi-directional joystick. To be fair though, I spent around an hour with the camera and not long enough to give it a full assessment. We will be calling in a unit soon though.
The Canon 6D is available at Amazon for those interested.
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