The New Canon EOS 6D Full-Frame DSLR: Practical and Functional

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Canon has just announced their newest full-frame DSLR, the EOS 6D. This camera is a step closer to bridging the gap between cropped sensors and professional full-frame bodies, without alienating the compact form that is desirable from a camera with a smaller sensor. The integration of a large 20.2 megapixel CMOS sensor provides a high level of image quality that is well-paired with a powerful DIGIC 5+ image processor, with 14-bit A/D conversion, for fast processing speeds and the advantage of an expanded sensitivity range up to ISO 102400. Additionally, this camera combines an intelligent iFCL exposure metering system and 11-point autofocus system for delivering well-exposed, sharp imagery. Full HD video is supported up to 1080/30p format, and a maximum full resolution continuous shooting rate of 4.5 fps enables this camera to perform well when capturing moving images. The 6D is also Canon’s first EOS DSLR to integrate a built-in Wi-Fi transmitter and GPS receiver for greater connectivity between your camera and other mobile devices.

Full-Frame Image Sensor and Processing System

The large full-frame 20.2 megapixel CMOS sensor delivers a high level of image quality and visual depth while offering finer detail and sharpness. The larger sensor also provides more room to control your plane of focus and apply selective-focus techniques.

This sensor works in harmony with the powerful DIGIC 5+ image processor for expedited 14-bit A/D conversion, resulting in true image fidelity and rich detail. This process also contributes greatly to low-light sensitivity, which has a native range from ISO 100 to 25600, and can be expanded to an extremely wide ISO 50-102400. This processor technology helps to greatly reduce noise when working at such high sensitivities in very dark conditions. Additionally, the image processor provides an impressive continuous shooting rate of up to 4.5 full-resolution frames per second.

The 6D incorporates the ability to automatically composite High Dynamic Range images and record multiple exposures within the same frame. HDR mode will record multiple bracketed exposures and automatically layer them together in order to extend the dynamic range to incorporate greater shadow and highlight detail than possible from a single exposure. Multiple Exposure mode functions similarly, but allows you to dictate when and where the separate exposures take place; enabling more creativity for how you choose to build up exposures. Scene Intelligent Auto and other special scene modes also improve the overall quality of your exposure by combining a host of technologies, including Picture Style Auto, Automatic Lighting Optimizer, Automatic White Balance, Autofocus and Automatic Exposure. These modes work together to analyze the scene you are photographing and produce the most effective exposure settings to clearly render your subject matter.

EOS HD Video

The EOS 6D is a highly efficient tool for recording HD video, and it allows you to capture full HD 1920 x 1080p at 30, 24, or 25 frame-per-second rates. Manual exposure control is possible while recording video, allowing you to apply creative aperture or shutter speed combinations for more control of motion or focus. You can also embed timecodes while recording, making this a highly viable option for multi-camera shoots. Clip lengths of up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds are possible when working with standard-quality video, or up to 20 minutes when recording the highest-quality video. Additionally, the 6D will automatically partition files in excess of 4GB for longer, uninterrupted stretches of recording. Both IPB and All i-frame compressions are available, depending on your editing preferences and final output destination. In regard to audio, manual level control is possible in 64 steps and there is the option to attach an external stereo microphone for a wider range of audio-recording options.

Autofocus and Exposure Metering Technologies

A new 11-point autofocus system has been incorporated into the design, which includes a highly precise center cross-type AF point with EV-3 sensitivity for better low light focusing capabilities. This focusing system covers the image plane to achieve intelligently based focus regardless of where your subject is located within the frame. A bright, clear viewfinder also ensures a better view of the scene at hand for precise manual-focusing ability.

Exposure metering is handled through an iFCL system, which employs a 63 zone, dual layer metering sensor to acquire the most precise light readings. This system works in close collaboration with the 11-point autofocus system and utilizes both focus and color information to determine an overall exposure reading.  Since color and subject distance information is collected, exposure consistency, from scene to scene as well as in situations with extreme light variances, is maintained.

Built-In Wi-Fi and GPS

The EOS 6D is the first EOS DSLR to incorporate a built-in Wi-Fi transmitter and GPS receiver, allowing this camera to instantly transfer and receive information while shooting. The Wi-Fi transmitter enables you to wirelessly transfer your images directly from the camera to the CANON iMAGE Gateway, which then allows you to relay your images directly to social networking sites. You can also instantly share work with other Wi-Fi-enabled Canon cameras or directly to an iOS or Android mobile device when using the EOS Remote app. In addition to simple sharing of imagery from the camera to the mobile device, the EOS Remote app also allows you to exercise remote control of your camera from your device.

The GPS unit can automatically record location data including latitude, longitude, elevation and universal coordinated time, and embed that information into the metadata of your files. This allows you to geo-tag your images and create virtual maps of your travels once images have been off-loaded to a computer.

Body Design and Functionality

The camera’s design revolves around the objective to be as small and lightweight as possible while still containing the large-sized sensor and DIGIC 5+ processor. This results in the most compact full-frame DSLR currently produced by Canon, without sacrificing on image quality. The smaller form factor makes the 6D an ideal choice for moving from an APS-C-sized DSLR to full-frame without the weight burden of a professional-sized unit. The construction also includes a durable shutter that has been rated to 100,000 cycles and benefits from an EOS Integrated Cleaning System for effective vibration based dust removal.

A 3.0” Clear View LCD monitor is located on the rear of the camera and provides a wide 160° viewing angle and high 1,040,000-dot resolution for vivid live view monitoring and image review. This screen is also coated with multi-coated, high-transparency materials for bright, clear viewing with minimized reflections.

This camera is available with the body only or in a kit with a lens. The kit lens available is the 24-105mm f/4L IS EF USM AF lens, which provides an ample range of focal lengths from general wide angle to portrait length. It is image stabilized for helping to reduce the effects of camera shake, up to three stops. It also incorporates one Super-UD glass element and three aspherical elements to help minimize chromatic aberration and image distortion throughout the zoom range.

The EOS 6D is set nicely in the scheme of Canon’s DSLR lineup and spans the chasm between professional full-frame DSLRs and prosumer APS-C DSLRs. This middle point will prove to be a useful stepping stone in regard to working with a wider array of lenses and a sensor format that is capable of recording greater image detail and quality. Combined with the inclusion of EOS HD video, quick performance and the innovative Wi-Fi and GPS capabilities, the 6D is a truly cohesive and well-rounded camera for a wide array of photographers.

Canon EOS 6D
Camera Type Digital AF/AE single-lens reflex camera
Recording Media SD, SDHC, SDXC
Image Sensor Size 35.8 x 23.9mm (full frame)
Compatible Lenses Canon EF lenses (except EF-S and EF-M lenses)
Lens Mount Canon EF mount
Image Sensor Type CMOS
Effective Pixels 20.2MP
Total Pixels 20.6MP
Pixel Unit 6.55 μm square
Aspect Ratio 3:2
Color Filter System RGB primary color filters
Low-Pass Filter Fixed in position in front of the CMOS sensor
Recording Format Complies with Design rule for Camera File system 2.0 and EXIF 2.30
Image Format Still: JPEG, RAW (14-bit, Canon original), RAW + JPEG
Video: MOV (image: H.264, audio: Linear PCM)
File Size L: 5472 x 3648 (20MP)
M: 3648 x 2432 (8.9MP)
S1: 2736 x 1824 (5MP)
S2: 1920 x 1280 (2.5MP)
S3: 720 x 480 (0.35MP)
RAW: 5472 x 3648 (20MP)
M RAW: 4104 x 2736 (11MP)
S RAW: 2736 x 1824 (5MP)
Color Space sRGB, Adobe RGB
Picture Style Auto, Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, Faithful, Monochrome, User Defined 1-3
White Balance Settings Auto, Preset (Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten Light, White Fluorescent Light, Flash), Custom (Approx. 2000-10000K), Color Temperature (Approx. 2500-10000K), White Balance Correction, and
White Balance Bracketing
Color Temperature Compensation +/- 9 levels either blue/amber or magenta/green bias
Viewfinder Type Eye-level SLR (with fixed pentaprism)
Viewfinder Coverage Approx. 97%
Viewfinder Magnification/Angle of View Approx. 0.71x / 33.3˚
Eye Point Approx. 21mm (-1m)
Dioptric Adjustment Correction -3.0 to + 1.0m
Focusing Screen Eg-A II provided (interchangeable with Eg-D and Eg-S, incompatible with Eg-A)
Mirror Quick-return half mirror (transmission: reflection ratio of 40:60)
Autofocus Type TTL secondary image-forming phase-difference detection system with AF-dedicated CMOS sensor 
AF Points 11
AF Working Range Center AF point: EV -3 to 18 (at 73°F / 23°C, ISO 100)
Other AF points: EV +0.5 to 18 (at 73°F / 23°C, ISO 100)
Focus Modes One-Shot AF, AI Servo AF, AI Focus AF, Manual focus
Exposure Metering System Max. aperture TTL metering with 63-zone SPC 
Exposure Metering Modes Evaluative, Partial, Spot, Center-weighted average
Exposure Metering Range EV 1 – EV 20 (At 73°F / 23°C, 50mm f/1.8 II lens, ISO 100)
Exposure Control Creative Zone: Program AE (shiftable), Shutter-priority AE, Aperture-priority AE, Manual exposure, Bulb, Custom shooting mode
Basic Zone: Scene Intelligent Auto (Program AE/non-shiftable), Creative Auto, Special Scene (Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Night Portrait, Handheld Night Scene, HDR Backlight Control mode
ISO Sensitivity ISO 100-25600 (expandable to ISO 50-102400)
Exposure Compensation +/- 5 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 steps
Shutter Type Vertical travel, mechanical, focal-plane shutter with all speeds electronically controlled
Shutter Speed Range 1/4000 to 30 sec (X-sync at 1/180 sec.)
Shutter Release Soft touch electromagnetic release
Self-Timer 10 or 2 sec. delay
Shutter Lag Time 0.060-0.144 sec.
Compatible Speedlites EX-series Speedlites
Flash Metering E-TTL II autoflash (evaluative flash metering and average flash metering)
Flash Exposure Compensation +/-3 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 steps
Drive Modes Single, Continuous, Silent single, Silent continuous, 10 or 2 sec. delay
Continuous Shooting Speed Up to 4.5 fps (3 fps in silent continuous)
Maximum Burst
(8GB Memory Card)
JPEG Large/Fine: Approx. 73 Shots
RAW: Approx. 14 Shots
RAW+JPEG Large/Fine: 7 Shots
Video File Format MOV (Image data: MPEG-4 AVC / H.264, Audio: Linear PCM (Stereo))
Video File Size Full HD:
1920 x 1080 (30 fps/25 fps/24 fps): 235MB/min. with IPB compression / 685MB/min. with All-I compression
HD
1280 x 720 (60 fps/50 fps): 205MB/min. with IPB compression / 610MB/min. with All-I compression
SD
640 x 480 (30 fps/25 fps): 78MB/min. with IPB compression
Video ISO Range ISO 100-12800 (expandable to ISO 25600)
Clip Length 1920 x 1080
30 fps/25 fps/24 fps: 32 min. with IPB compression / 11 min. with All-I compression
1280 x 720
60 fps/50 fps: 37 min. with IPB compression / 12 min. with All-I compression
640 x 480
30 fps/25 fps: 97 min. with IPB or All-I compression
(*Maximum recording time is limited to 29 min. 59 sec.)
Video Focusing Modes FlexiZone (Single), Face Detection Live mode, Quick Mode AF,
Manual focus
Video Exposure Control Program AE or Manual
Video Exposure Compensation +/-3 Ev in 1/3 steps
Monitor Type TFT LCD
Monitor Size 3.0" / 7.6cm
Monitor Resolution 1,040,000-dot
Monitor Coverage Approx. 100%
Monitor Brightness Control Manually adjustable (7 levels)
Monitor Coating Resin cover and anti-reflection AR coating
GPS Information Longitude, latitude, elevation, Coordinated Universal Time
GPS Reception Frequency 1575.42 MHz (L1 band)
GPS Position Update Timing 1 sec./5 sec./10 sec./15 sec./30 sec./1 min./2 min./5 min.
GPS Position Accuracy Within approx. 98' / 30m
GPS Log File Format NMEA-0813 format
Wi-Fi Standards IEEE802.11b/g/n
Wi-Fi Communication Range Approx. 98' / 30m
Wi-Fi Maximum Link Speed IEEE802.11b: 11 Mbps
IEEE802.11g: 54 Mbps
IEEE802.11n: 150 Mbps
Interface USB 2.0, AV stereo out terminal (NTSC/PAL selectable), mini-HDMI
out terminal (Type C), N3-type remote control
Power Source LP-E6 rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Battery Life (At 73°F / 23°C) Viewfinder: Approx. 1,090 shots
Live View: Approx. 220 shots
Startup Time Approx. 0.1 sec. (CIPA)
Operating Temperature 32-104°F / 0-40°C
Operating Humidity 85% or less
Dimensions 5.7 x 4.4 x 2.8" / 144.5 x 110.5 x 71.2mm
Weight 26.7 oz / 755 g (CIPA)

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This seems like a great camera -- I'd buy one tomorrow if I could. But when will actually be available -- October 1? October 31? December?

I have to admit that it frustrates me the way Canon launches products. They'll announce a camera that would be perfect for a trip you have planned, but then not stock it until weeks or months later -- often after you no longer really need it. (By contrast, I could go out and buy the newly-announced Nikon d600 right now.) Frustrating.

All I can say is what a disappointment !! I certainly won't be putting my hand up..

Well, great. Another amateur camera with professionnal technology and performance for about $2.000...
So now, what is the interest of buying an Eos 1Dx or a 5D MkIII ???
Thank you Canon and Nikon for these great marketing ideas..

Such a failure in price and options compared to the last 2 Nikon cameras released. The wifi ability is just an OK feature. As a canon shooter, I will be seriously consider switching to Nikon.

Does it have multiple exposure feature? The highest shutter speed is only 1/4000, it is a kind of slow.

How does this camera body compare to the Canon EOS 5D mark III? By calling it the 6D it appears that Canon is implying that this camera is the next step up from the 5D, but I don't think that is the case. It would be helpful if BHPhoto would do a comparison article to let us know what you get for the additional approximate $1000 difference between the 6D and the 5D Mark III.

The Continuous Shooting Speed - Up to 4.5 fps is a weak spot for me. My 7D shots 8 fps.

Is continuous auto focus in video mode available on this one?

How does this compare to the 7D? I own one of those, and I love it. Besides the expanded ISO (102400 is too high anyway to take meaningful pics without noise), this doesn't seem to improve too much on the 7D, apart from the full size sensor, wifi (useless), GPS (useless) and a new metering system. It has fewer AF sensors (11 vs 19), a slower shutter, and the total pixel count (which doesn't matter anyway) is only 2mp more.

All in all, not worth the price tag if you ask me.

Hard to justify stepping up to this from the 40D if my EF-S lenses won't work with it. Now to look at the 7D or 60D to do 1080... Sigh.

I have a 5D Mark II is this one better than the one I have? My major concern is the image quality, detail on shadows and highlights, and noise.

I noticed one comment about buying a 5D MKII before the release of the new 6D. I was seriously considering the 5D MKII to replace my 50D but now I am not sure. What are the pluses and minuses for waiting for the 6D

AF is a joke, so are some other items. GPS was overdue and WLAN is nice to have but doesn't compensate for the other drawbacks. All in all very dissapoiting; Canon did just as much as needed, D600 is far better.

Looks good but a bit pricey. Wonder whether it will solve my problem of shooting flash with aperture priority.

When I set a shutter speed in aperute priority in my 50D and shoot with a speedlight, the camera overides my set speed and sets it won, usually slower one. This contradicts what the camera and flash hand books say (that the shutter speed should not change). Is there something I am doing wrong or missing folks?

Very disappointed in this release. Sd memory and it doesn't have dual slots? Max shutter speed of 1/4000 of a second? Only 4.5fps continuous drive?

But they threw in wifi and GPS.

Total waste of a release if you ask me.

Hi everyone,

Can I use the wifi life view (video) on multiple android devices and being able to use the live view on the camera? I would like to know if I could use that as a monitoring device for video? Example: I am shooting a promotional video, the director and the customer are using their tablets to see a life feed of what I am shooting (preferably with out them being able to change the setting on the camera).

Thanks

Is there any lens adapter for EF-S lenses?

I just bought a EF-S lens and it's not compatible with my 6D.
Is there any adapter for EF mount?

I am sorry but there is no adapter to use your EF-S lens with the 6D. The Canon 6D is only compatible with EF lenses. On the flip side, APS-C cameras can take both EF and EF-S lenses. The EF-S category of lenses came out in 2003 to answer the need for affordable high quality lenses, particularly wide angle, for APS-C cameras. To make these smaller, lighter, but good quality lenses for APS-C format, the lens needs to be closer to the sensor with a short back focus. (With EF-S, the s stands for “Short”) This short back focus makes the lens stick further into the camera’s body. Unfortunately this prohibits a full frame camera’s mirror, like the 6D’s, from operating. Finally, if you were to get EF-S lenses mounted on the 6D, wide angles would not cover the sensor and instead would make black corners in the image.

A supplement to the above: ANY EF-S lens will fit and work correctly on the 6D. So far I've tried the Canon EF-S 18-55 IS II and the TAMRON SP AF 17-50 f/2.8.

The lens will focus but a strong vignetting and framing will occur because EF-S lenses are supposed to work with a smaller size sensor. So you can go on and use those lenses keeping in mind that you're going to need cropping in post processing. This also means that you won't be able to exploit the full zoom range (A 15mm gives a usable area of a equivalent 28mm EF lens)

The canon 10 - 22 mm lens does not work with the 6D camera. If you force it on, the mirror does not have room to move, so you only see 10% of the picture. Forcing the lens on, can also rip the rubber seal on the lens connection.

I've reveiwed the Canon EOS 6D cursorily and I have questions about the wifi function.

Can images be reviewed via wifi on a smartphone or other device as quickly as they can be reviewed on the LCD on the back of the camera?

The Canon EOS 6D manual indicates that, by using wifi, images can be reviewed on a smart phone or media player. Can images be reviewed on a tablet?

Can images be reviewed by wifi in a remote location, that is, does the 6D generate a wifi hostspot, or must a wifi network be available to use a remote device for image review by wifi?

Can image review on a remote device by wifi be accomplished when shooting RAW, or must RAW+JPG or JPG modes be used?

Will my 430ex flash work on the 6d? Not the exii

I Just wanted to point out one major issue if you are a video person. I just got this camera from B&H and the SDHC card included in the package is "SanDisk 16GB SDHC Memory Card Ultra Class 10 UHS-1"
its a 30mbs. When you are shooting video you will get a message on screen "Movie recording has been stopped automatically". Sometime is happens 15sec in sometimes 2 min in. No pattern other than it stops in the middle of shooting video. Tried 1020x1980 30fps in both low and high compression. Frustrating. I called B&H and they are sending a new card, they said my SDHC card might be defective. I dont think its the case at all its the write speed (mps) your SDHC card has.
I just ordered a "Lexar Professional 600x SDHC UHS-I 32GB" for $28, it has a 45mbs write speed. Hope that works. if not then i see a "SanDisk 32 GB SDHC Memory Card Extreme Pro Class 10 UHS-I" for $61. If that doesnt work then this camera is bologna.

As far as stills go, image quality compared to my MKII 5D looks identical. Tested a 35mm Prime and the colors look rich.Video quality (when it worked) looked fantastic. The SDHC card handled lots of rapid fire. Best of all this thing focus's fast! alot faster that the MKII did (in a low light situation) and the shots were in focus.

If I can get the video thing figured out this camera is a winner and a money saver if you are considering a MKIII 5D.