When comparing the Canon EOS R6 to its main rivals, there’s nothing that makes it stand out, especially not for $2,499.
Over the last couple of months, the amount of noise about the new Canon EOS R5 has been almost deafening, but when it comes to the Canon EOS R6, the noise hasn’t been quite as loud, and now we know why. The Canon EOS R6, which was announced today alongside its bigger brother, the EOS R5, and a bevy of new lenses, is an odd one. The spiritual successor to Canon’s 6D DSLR line comes in with a whopping price tag of $2,499 and specs that aren’t exactly awe-inspiring (a 20mp sensor for instance). Let’s talk about it and break the specs down a little more after the break.
The Canon EOS R6 is an important camera for Canon. In fact, it could be argued that the Canon EOS R6 is even more important than the R5 simply because the Full-Frame entry-level camera market is heating up faster than ever. Since Sony launched the a7 III, their competitors have tried their hardest to launch cameras that could rival it, but they have either fallen slightly short when it comes to specs (Nikon Z6), or they have overpriced their cameras (Panasonic S1). Let’s take a look at the specs of the Canon EOS R6 and its main rivals.
The Canon EOS R6 and the Competition
|Canon EOS R6||Sony a7 III||Panasonic S1||Nikon Z6|
|AF Points||6,072 selectable, in 1053 zones||693||225||273|
|Burst Speeds||12fps mechanical||10fps mechanical||9fps mechanical||12fps mechanical|
|Dual Card Slots||Yes – Dual UHS-II||Yes One UHS-II and one UHS-I||Yes UHS-II and CF Express||No – One XQD slot|
|EVF Resolution||3.69m dots||2.36m dot||5.76m dot||3.69m dot|
|LCD Touchscreen||3-inch vari-angle (unknown resolution)||2.95-inch 921,600 dots||3.2-inch 2.1m dot||3.2-inch 2.1m dot|
|Subject Tracking||Animal and Human||Animal and Human||Animal and Human||Animal and Human|
|Video||4k 60, 1080p up to 120fps, 10-bit 4:2:2, crop on 4K UHD,||4K|
24, 25 and 30p
Full HD up to 120p, 8-bit 4:2:0
|4K 10-Bit 4:2:2 up to 60fps, 1080p up to 150fps||4K 10-Bit up to 30fps, 1080 up to 120fps|
On paper, the Canon EOS R6 just doesn’t look that unique apart from the native ISO and the amount of AF points. As we found out with the EOS R and RP, more AF points do not always mean better AF performance. Of course, having the camera in hand and actually using it will provide a different perspective. We are really looking forward to getting our hands on Canon EOS R6 so that we can test it for ourselves.
At $2,499, the Canon EOS R6 May Be a Hard Sell
So, the Canon EOS R6: it packs a 20MP sensor, IBIS (which varies the number of stops gained by up to 8 stops based on the lens used), dual UHS-II card slots, a good, but not excellent EVF, 4K video, and weather sealing for $2,499. The camera looks every bit a Canon with a large grip and well placed controls, and the Canon faithful will love the fact that the R6 also features a thumbstick, and a rear dial, which made the old 5D series cameras such a delight to use. At $2,499, though, it really doesn’t sound that appealing. Couple this with the fact that the system doesn’t have a fully fleshed out lens selection, and no third party lens support (yet), andit will be a pretty hard sell.
I wrote an opinion piece about the Canon EOS R6 not too long ago, and in it I suggested the price might be $2,299, and the feedback we got from our readers is that $2,299 would be the price limit and that anything higher would rule them out. Oops, has Canon messed this up?
With the a7 III, Sony has a proven, class-leading AF system, and it has a higher resolution sensor for under $2,000. Take into account the number of E-Mount lenses from Sony and third parties, and again, on paper, the a7 III sounds like the better deal. Nikon and Panasonic have found just how hard this market segment is. While the Nikon Z6 and the Panasonic S1 are great cameras, their launch prices and feature sets rendered them a hard sell, and I can’t help but feel Canon has made a massive mistake with the pricing of the R6. If Sony releases the a7 iV with a price tag under $2,000, the R6 will find itself in all sorts of trouble.
“…the Canon EOS R6 will have a nice trick up its sleeve, and it means it should work very well with the new, more affordable, fixed aperture 600mm and 800mm prime lenses, and the slower variable aperture lenses that Canon will be pushing out.”
There’s Hope for the R6
We may find that the 20MP sensor is a low light master. The Canon 6D line has always been known for its low light performance. The 6D still holds legendary status among astrophotographers, and the 6D II excelled at higher ISOs as well. If this is the case, the Canon EOS R6 will have a nice trick up its sleeve, and it means it should work very well with the new, more affordable, fixed aperture 600mm and 800mm prime lenses, and the slower variable aperture lenses Canon will be pushing out.
A lot will also be riding on the new Dual Pixel AF II autofocus system. Canon told us that 100% of the sensor is covered. The R6 is capable of tracking humans, animals (cats, dogs, and birds), and it has deep learning technology embedded in the camera too. If the Canon EOS R6 can deliver at high ISOs, and it can best the a7 III/a7 iV when it comes to autofocus performance, there is a glimmer of hope for the camera. Still, honestly, with the climate we currently find ourselves in, $2,499 might be a little too rich for the masses this camera targets.
We hope we will be pleasantly surprised when we get the camera in our hands for review. You can be sure that we will put the Canon EOS R6 through all of the real-world tests we usually do, and we will get our thoughts out to you as soon as possible. What do you think about the specs of the Canon EOS R6? Do they excite you? What about the price? Is it everything you had hoped for? Let us know in the comment section below.