First Impressions: Canon 6D Mk II

Yup, the Canon 6D Mk II is real–and I had the chance to play with it a while back. The new camera is an interesting upgrade that is bound to be a hit with Canon die hard fanatics and those who love DSLRs. But those of us who have moved onto mirrorless cameras or have been considering them may be just a bit disappointed. In many ways, the Canon 6D Mk II feels like the Canon 5D Mk III. The original Canon 6D, which I own, feels like a true update to the Canon 5D Mk II–and so this evolution only makes sense. Like the original before it, the Canon 6D Mk II isn’t really designed to be a workhorse camera the way that the 5D series have always been. However, there are a lot of features that will surely make it an appropriate secondary camera.

For example, the Canon 6D Mk II has a 26MP full frame sensor and can shoot from ISO 100 to 40,000. It’s capable of shooting 6.5fps, which is more than enough for most people. Additionally it has built in WiFi and the quiet shooting mode. Like the 5D Mk IV and 5Ds, this camera has a touchscreen that lets you quickly navigate the menu system. Combine this with the weather resistance and you’ll be really happy.

Some of the biggest shooting upgrades that come with the Canon 6D Mk II though are the 4K time lapse movie mode, 1080p HD video updates, and a vari-angle LCD screen.

But otherwise, that’s it: no Dual Pixel RAW, no 4K video mode, no joystick to move the AF button around (you’re still using the D pad), etc.

Video Preview

Tech Specs

  • 26MP Full frame sensor
  • Vari-Angle LCD screen
  • ISO 100-40,000
  • DIGIC 7 processor
  • Built-in Wifi/NFC/Bluetooth/GPS
  • 6.5 continuous shooting abilities
  • Quiet shooting mode
  • Dust and weather resistance
  • 45 autofocus points around the center, all are cross type
  • Full 1080p 60p HD video (no 4K video output)
  • 4K time lapse movie mode
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF
  • Touchscreen

Ergonomics

The Canon 6D Mk II is in many ways a lot like the Canon 5D Mk III and the original Canon 6D. It’s very minimal on the front and there isn’t really a whole lot in the way of controls there. But interestingly enough, I found the PC sync port there. The original Canon 6D didn’t have this.

Move around to the top of the Canon 6D Mk II and what you’ll find are a number of things that are very familiar. There’s the control buttons, the exposure dial near the front and shutter button, the hot shoe and the mode dial. Said mode dial is protected using a button in the middle.

Come to the back of the Canon 6D Mk II and you’ll spot a number of still familiar controls. The majority of them are on the right side with the rest being placed around the screen.

The Canon 6D Mk II has a single card slot. Make with that whatever you will.

What’s really nice about the new Canon 6D Mk II is that you’ve got this vari-angle LCD screen that comes out. Combine that with the touch functionality that you’ll be pretty happy with what you can do. Some photographers may prefer the tilting screen but in this case, you’ve got a bit more versatility.

Build Quality

The Canon 6D Mk II is touted to be weather resistant and dust resistant. During my time in Yellowstone National Park with the camera, I ran through a rainstorm. The camera and the 24-105mm f4 L IS II lens attached to it survived without any sort of issues. I was pretty soaked. To be fair, I’ve experienced significantly harder rainfalls in my life.

Vs the Canon 6D

So when you’re getting here is some interesting differences. The Canon 6D Mk II is on the right with the Canon 6D being on the left.

The Canon 6D Mk II and the Canon 6D don’t have a whole lot of major differences when you look at them on top. If anything, the only major difference here is the AF type/point selection button.

Here’s a view of the other side of the front; you’ll spot the PC sync port on the Mk II version.

The Canon 6D Mk II is on the left here; and you’ll see a number of differences. The lock button is different, the LCD screen is vari-angle and touch screen, and there are a few more buttons too.

Autofocus

We’re not going to speak in great detail about the autofocus since our current NDA agreement with Canon doesn’t allow us to get deep into it. But if you’re used to working with the higher end Canon DSLRs, then know that the Canon 6D Mk II can more or less hold its own. In the dim light of night, bright daylight, or the early sun rising the Canon 6D Mk II didn’t really miss any photos that I was focusing on. I specifically chose my focusing point beforehand.

Ease of Use

The Canon 6D Mk II has an incredibly simple interface just like many of their previous cameras. The menu system is touch capable and you can easily slip from one section to another within a few seconds. For years, Canon has been doing this and the industry has yet to really catch up. The Sony menu system is set up very similar, but it doesn’t really allow of touch capabilities.

Image Quality

Because we played with a pre-production Canon 6D Mk II, we’re not allowed to really talk in depth about the images. A lot of these images are JPEGs but some are RAWs that were edited in DPP–which was also a beta version of the program.

With all that said, I decided to simply just go as artistic as I wanted. Tungsten White Balance, Daylight white balance, Black and white, slow shutter speeds to be experimental, etc.

Heck, I even tried selfies.

First Impressions

So far I’m really liking the Canon 6D Mk II. I need to call in the review unit for a final, more independant test. However, at the moment I’m not quite sure that I’m going to upgrade. My current Canon 6D is still capable of making great prints, I don’t mind focusing and recomposing, and if I need to use a tilting LCD screen of some sort then Sony has great options that are also lightweight.

But I could possibly be eating my own words soon.