Last Updated on 08/22/2023 by Hillary Grigonis
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Content creation is becoming a necessary evil for today’s photographers. Love it or hate it, potential clients want to see it, and they also want to see your face. Many manufacturers are continuing their quest to make the quintessential all-around camera. The Canon EOS R6 Mk II is one of the newest offerings attempting to achieve that goal.
The Canon EOS R6 Mk II is packed with features that both seasoned professionals and budding photographers will appreciate. This workhorse is sure to satisfy both still photographers and videographers. Is it worth the $2,499 price tag? We think so. Keep reading to find out why.
This review has been updated in August 2023.
Table of Contents
The Big Picture
The Canon EOS R6 Mk II is a competent little camera. It’s built to withstand nature’s elements and feels good in your hands. The camera boasts new bells and whistles enthusiasts will appreciate while rarely missing a frame. Even seasoned pros will have fun with new panning and intelligent autofocus features.
The price for global entry starts at $2,499 before buying any lenses. It’s expensive for many new photographers looking to purchase their first system. And as capable as this camera is, I missed a few things like not having a top LCD panel. I also wish the top panel resembled the one on the R5 a bit more for added cohesiveness.
But the good far outweighs these nitpicky complaints. The EOS R6 Mk II has superb autofocus and tracking capabilities, high ISO performance, and dynamic range. The EVF is pleasing to look through, and Canon’s LCD touchscreen is responsive, boasting some of the most user-friendly menus.
Images are sharp, with accurate skin tones and beautiful colors. Videographers, hybrid creators, and still photographers will appreciate the Canon EOS R6 Mk II as the brand’s newest all-around workhorse. It’s excellent for portraits, landscapes, real estate, photojournalism, and street photography.
- Canon has fantastic ergonomics
- Robustly built to withstand the elements
- Bright LCD screen with easy-to-use menus
- Image Quality
- A versatile workhorse for photographers of all skill levels
- Pricing starts at $2,499
- I’m not too fond of the new On/Off switch or its location
- It lacks a top LCD panel
Canon has added a few fun features to its newest workhorse. The EOS R6 II boasts a new Special Scene mode, for example. Photographers of all skill levels will enjoy how effortless it is to capture panning automotive images. Each mode makes capturing challenging images more attainable for new photographers. It also includes fun special filters for creative effects.
It’s great to see the Scene Intelligent Auto mode make another appearance with this camera. Switching focus subjects is easier than ever before. Canon has also included a new Hybrid Auto mode which records a few seconds before and after the captured frame.
The EOS R6 Mk II is compact and fits comfortably in the hands. Some photographers might not be able to tell the difference between this and its previous version.
The R6 Mk II features a new On/Off switch. Turn the dial on the left of the viewfinder to switch between video and stills modes. The mode dial boasts several new features, and its top panel is also home to exposure controls, a record button, and the M-fn button.
The back panel is reminiscent of its predecessor. You’ll notice a familiar interface with EVF, rate and menu buttons, the Q button, and a newly designed joystick. It also features a bright LED screen that can be positioned to best suit your needs. Or twist it around for added protection when it’s not in use.
The left side of the Canon R6 Mk II houses headphone and microphone jacks, a remote control jack, HDMI Port, and a USB-C port.
It boasts two SD/SDHC/SDXC card slots. The battery access and a tripod mount are on the bottom.
Canon has once again done an excellent job designing a comfortable camera. The buttons and joystick are exactly where they should be, while its multi-angle LED screen is bright and reactive. The Canon R6 Mk II features similar weather resistance to the original model. It performed flawlessly in -20 degree windchills with blowing snow.
One of the things I appreciate most about Canon is its autofocus capabilities, and the EOS R6 Mk II excels here. Autofocus is swift and accurate. Manual focus is easy to achieve with focus peaking.
The R6 Mk II does an excellent job tracking people, animals, birds, and vehicles. Its wide tracking, eye AF, and single focus points are great. I had a lot of fun watching the camera work its magic while tracking vehicles at a busy intersection as well as ducks in a quaint park, which was a lot of fun.
I tested the various modes with the Exposure Preview turned on and off to see if there were discernible differences. I came up short as any differences are negligible. I had the most success when using AI Focus with subject detection enabled and a single focus point.
The EOS R6 II features new modes, making it even easier for newer photographers to achieve focus in challenging situations. Seasoned photographers will also appreciate some of the features. Intelligent autofocus is excellent. It quickly adapts focus as your viewpoint and subject changes. I could see the group focus and intelligent autofocus being handy at large weddings.
Ease Of Use
Canon users will feel right at home with this camera. Photographers of all skill levels will appreciate its menus and find it easy to learn. Canon made the EOS R6 II a workhorse that both enthusiasts and professionals will use.
The LCD screen is bright and responsive. All the buttons and dials perform as you expect them to. I wanted to use the Photo/Video switch as an On/Off switch because that is where it is located on the R5. The new power switch and its location isn’t my favorite. I also prefer to have a top LCD panel.
The pairing of the R6 II’s IBIS and RF lenses with image stabilization makes capturing slower shutter speeds easier without a tripod. Canon’s dual-pixel autofocus continues to be a great feature. I did not experience any overheating while capturing video. The battery life isn’t as good as my OG 5D Mk III, although it’s better than a lot of other mirrorless offerings.
The EOS R6 Mk II features make it easy to capture action images with its high-speed continuous capabilities. The electronic shutter makes it possible to capture 40fps, while the mechanical shutter only offers 12fps. Make sure to use a fast-writing SD card, or it will buffer before the camera does. One thing to note is that the rolling shutter can cause unwanted results with objects moving at a glacial pace.
The Canon EOS R6 Mk II features a 24.2 MP sensor, making it a great all-around camera for most photography applications. Fashion photographers who depend on details are some of the few that may need a higher resolution for the finer details.
August 2023 Update
The Canon R6 II menu is lengthy but well organized, and I love how the two top dials quickly navigate using the dials. But the camera’s menu also has great touch functionality. And firmware 1.1.2 has improved this when the touch screen settings are turned to sensitive, along with fixing a few bugs. With the touch settings at sensitive, I had fewer instances of fat-fingering the wrong menu item. Navigating by touch is pretty seamless. I still prefer the ergonomics of keeping my fingers on the dials. But some will like that touch capability, particularly beginners, as it’s sometimes hard to remember which dial moves which way.
The new Special Scene modes make capturing challenging scenes attainable. Backlit images, handheld night frames, and action images are easier to achieve. Choose a subject that can hold still as the camera captures several frames for backlit photos for best results.
The Scene Intelligent Autofocus mode makes it easy to switch from urban images to birds flying overhead or a car passing by. I had a lot of fun capturing panning automotive images. It is easy to capture a usable image at slower speeds.
Hybrid Auto is made for content creators in mind. It captures a few seconds before and after an image is captured. The filters are also enjoyable. Photographers can let the camera create autofocus and set the desired hue for food photography. Here are a few of my favorite pictures with the new features.
Although the above features are geared toward beginners, seasoned photographers will appreciate some of the added conveniences. Professional photographers will also enjoy its incredible ISO performance, dynamic range capabilities, and swift autofocus. The EOS R6 II is designed to be a workhorse and built to withstand the elements.
The Canon EOS R6 Mk II performed admirably in our Sunny 16 test. It did an excellent job producing an image encompassing the zone system. Rest assured that its metering system is accurate and trustworthy.
Images produced with the R6 Mk II feel akin to what we have come to expect from Canon. White balance is accurate, and skin tones are fantastic. The dynamic range produces tones that touch on every level of the zone system.
Here is the same image zoomed in at 100%. The 24.2MP sensor offers plenty of details for how most photographers will use the camera.
Canon’s EOS R6 II produces high-quality JPEG images that I’d feel comfortable showing any of my clients. The pictures are vibrant with plenty of detail.
High ISO Output
I was very impressed with the camera’s High ISO Output. Pictures captured at ISO 12,800 are perfectly suitable for digital reproduction. It creates better results than my 5D Mk III at ISO 6,400.
The Phoblographer’s high ISO tests also require printing photos. So we printed an ISO 6400 images at 17 inches by 22 inches using the Canon Prograf-1000 printer. We’re pleasantly surprised at how clean the photo is. At acceptable gallery viewing distance, you’d immediately think this is a very clean image. When you put a finder loupe to it, the story becomes a bit different. The ISO grain is tight, but it’s visible.
Compared to a few other prints that we’ve done:
- It’s a less sharp print than the Canon EOS R7, though slightly cleaner, but that’s also due to an APS-C sensor with more pixel density.
- Compared to the Fujifilm XH2, the Canon EOS R6 II output isn’t as notably clean under a loupe, but it’s just as pleasantly gorgeous. But the XH2, with its 40MP APS-C sensor, is surely more detailed.
- Compared to the Canon EOS R original, the noise structure and details are incredibly similar. In fact, even when looking at the photos under a loupe, I couldn’t tell the difference.
- The Canon EOS R5 has a noisier sensor at ISO 6400 even from a distance. But it’s also much more detailed.
So if you really care about high ISO output, the Canon EOS R original and the Canon R6 II are very comparable.
Raw File Versatility
The Canon EOS R6 Mk II provides photographers extra flexibility with its raw file versatility. Improperly exposed images are pretty simple to correct.
I purposely overexposed this image to see what could be done. For the most part, the highlights are recoverable. Only the brightest whites are lost.
This image was underexposed by several stops. Shadow recovery isn’t as good as I’ve found with Sony mirrorless cameras. However, it provides plenty of latitude. It’s pretty remarkable.
Extra Image Samples
From day one, The Phoblographer has been huge on transparency with our audience. Nothing from this review is sponsored. Further, lots of folks will post reviews and show lots of editing in the photos. The problem then becomes that anyone and everyone can do the same thing. They’re not showing what the lens can do. So we have a section in our Extra Image Samples area to show edited and unedited photos. From this, you can make a decision for yourself.
Who Should Buy The Canon EOS R6 Mk II?
Anyone looking to buy a workhorse that can do just about anything should consider purchasing the Canon EOS R6 Mk II. It’s an all-in-one camera that aims to please videographers, still photographers, and content creators. Plus, its newest features removes a lot of the guesswork for newer photographers.
Canon knows how to build a comfortable camera that can meet the demands of today’s world. The EOS R6 Mk II is a rugged workhorse that performs in -20 degree windchills and heavy powdery snow.
It’s jam-packed with features that make digital photography accessible to the masses. The new intelligent autofocus navigates varying subjects and swiftly achieves focus. The regular autofocus modes are swift and accurate when photographing in manual mode. There are very few missed frames.
All in all, there’s a lot to like about Canon’s newest camera. It’s not perfect. I’d prefer a different style On/Off switch. The left side of the viewfinder feels like a much better location and is in line with the R5. It would also be nice to have a top LCD panel. And as a fashion photographer, I often need extra megapixels for the smallest of details.
Nitpicking aside, the Canon R6 Mk II is a capable workhorse that will satiate photographers and videographers alike. It’s an excellent choice for weddings, portraits, landscapes, cityscapes, commercial, real estate, and street photography.
Tech specs are from the Lensrentals listing.
- Brand: Canon
- Camera Type: Mirrorless
- Shutter Type: Electronic Shutter, Mechanical Focal Plane Shutter
- Mechanical Shutter Speed: 1/8000 to 30 Seconds
- Electronic Shutter Speed: 1/16000 to 30 Seconds
- Bulb/Time Mode: Bulb Mode
- ISO Sensitivity: 00 to 102,400 in Manual, Auto Mode (Extended: 50 to 204,800)
- Metering Method: Center-Weighted Average, Evaluative, Partial, Spot
- Exposure Modes: Aperture Priority, Manual, Program, Shutter Priority
- Exposure Compensation: -3 to +3 EV (1/3, 1/2 EV Steps)
- Metering Range: -3 to 20 EV
- White Balance Presets: Auto, Cloudy, Color Temperature, Custom, Daylight, Flash, Fluorescent (White), Shade, Tungsten
- Continuous Shooting (Mechanical Shutter): Up to 12 fps at 24 MP for up to 1000 Frames (JPEG) / 110 Frames (RAW)
- Continuous Shooting (Electronic Shutter): Up to 40 fps at 24 MP for up to 190 Frames (JPEG) / 75 Frames (RAW)
- Interval Recording: Yes
- Self-Timer: 2/10-Second Delay
- Built-in Flash: No
- Maximum Sync Speed: 1/250 Second
- Flash Compensation: -3 to +3 EV (1/3, 1/2 EV Steps)
- Dedicated Flash System: eTTL
- External Flash Connection: Intelligent Hot Shoe
- Focus Type: Auto and Manual Focus
- Focus Modes: Continuous-Servo AF, Manual Focus, Single-Servo AF
- Autofocus Points (Photo, Video): Contrast Detection, Phase Detection: 1053
- Autofocus Sensitivity: -6.5 to +21 EV
- Battery Type: 1x LP-E6NH Rechargeable Lithium-Ion, 7.2 VDC, 2130 mAh (Approx. 760 Shots)
- Tripod Mounting Thread: 1x 1/4 “-20 Female (Bottom)
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 5.4 × 3.9 × 3.5″
- Weight: 1.3 lbs. (With Battery, Recording Media)
- Sensor Resolution: Actual: 25.6 Megapixel, Effective: 24.2 Megapixel (6000 × 4000)
- Sensor Type: 35.9 × 23.9mm (Full-Frame) CMOS
- Image Stabilization: Sensor-Shift, 5-Axis
- Built-In ND Filter: None
- Capture Type: Stills & Video
- Media/Memory Card Slot: Dual Slot: SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II)
- Video I/O: 1x Micro-HDMI Output
- Audio I/O: 1x 1/8” / 3.5mm TRSStereo Microphone Input on Camera Body, 1x 1/8” / 3.5mm TRSStereo Headphone Output on Camera Body
- Power I/O: 1x USB-C Input
- Other I/O: 1x USB-C (USB 3.2 / 3.1 Gen 2) Data/Tether Input/Output (Shared with Power Input)
- Wireless: 2.4 / 5 GHz Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) Control, Bluetooth
- Global Positioning (GPS, GLONASS, etc.): None