Sunday, March 24, 2013

Canon 6D - Equipment Review

Canon EOS 6D
Canon EOS 6D

With the release of the Canon EOS 6D full frame cameras have been brought to a price point near $2000.00 making them accessible to more people. While introduction of the 6D has made full frame more affordable it still brings a wide range of options to the shooter. However it is not really the step-up from the Canon 7D that I was expecting - it is more like a step sideways.

The full frame sensor and the 24-105mm f4 L lens do capture I higher image quality then the 7D with the 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 EF-S, for most people this gain is not going to justify the $600.00 price difference just between the bodies of the two cameras plus a $450.00 differences in the lens cost. The 6D does bring other value to the table, primarily the GPS and Wi-Fi functionality being built into the camera, but again I do not know that this really justifies the cost difference. 

The 6D also supports the new 600 EX-RT flash system which allows you to control up to 5 flash groups from the rear of the camera, but without the pop-up flash control of the 7D it is not really a gain. You either have to invest in a radio trigger or use one of the flash units as a master controller and have it camera mounted (or camera connected via cable). So in this case you are pretty much breaking even, especially if you consider that to take advantage of the D and E flash groups you have to invest in $600.00 flash units since the older flashes do not offer these group options. The only real gain this has over the $250.00 430 EXII is the radio trigger, but that can be a very important feature depending on where you shoot.

The area the 6D is really lacking compared to the 7D is ease of control. It does not have nearly as many options right at your fingertips. The 6D has one less custom setting as well. And to top that all off the autofocus system is a little sluggish compared to the 7D, has less focal points, does not remember which point is used in each orientation (landscape or portrait), and is much more difficult to drive lacking the hat switch the 7D uses for its autofocus. In all of these areas the 6D is really a step behind the 7D.

A couple of further aggravations, the built in GPS and Wi-Fi meant the magnesium allow body was not an option requiring the 6D to be manufactured out of plastic. These features, while very handy, also draw heavily on the battery. And with the requirement of a plastic body the 6D sacrifices some of the weather and shock resistance of the 7D. Another dissapointing fact, the 6D has a much slower burst rate as well. So for my money, if I had to choose between the 6D and the 7D - for most instances I would recommend the 7D, a few people will need the full frame or GPS, Wi-Fi options the 6D offers that the 7D does not, and those are the only cases where I would recommend the 6D over the 7D.

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