Gear / Long-term test
Canon EOS 6D
Daniel Lezano reveals why this relative veteran still represents a great option for general photography.
… Well, the Canon’s handling is as favourable today as it was at launch. the robust feel of its body and relatively compact size means it’s as suitable for travel as many APS-C models, whilst its very neat control layout is as beginner-friendly as a highly-specified model could be. Canon has refined its controls over the years and i for one find the set-up extremely logical and easy to use. If you’re moving up from an APS-C Canon model, you’ll feel instantly at home. Buttons for a number of the key functions, like ISO, metering patterns and AF modes are found by the info LCD panel on the top plate, while the Q button on the rear allows you to rapidly change various other modes via the rear LCD monitor and the four-way control. Also on the rear is a large control dial, which allows for very fast changes of variables such as aperture or exposure compensation. Press the Menu button to get to the depth of the camera’s features, with the clean menu system allowing access to an extensive range of options.
Despite being three years old, the resolution of the 20.2-megapixel sensor still stands up well to newer models. Certainly, I’ve never looked at any of the images I’ve shot on the camera and thought that the quality was inferior. Far from it, the EOS 6D’s images boast excellent sharpness, colour reproduction and contrast. it also handles noise extremely well, so you can use it at up to ISO 1600 without any major concerns. The Evaluative metering system is very consistent, so much so that I rarely switch to an alternative. When some adjustment is needed, the AE-lock button and rear dial are conveniently within easy reach.
The lack of a built-in flash isn’t a big deal for me either, as when using flash I prefer to do so off-camera. For those wanting decent flash control, you’ll find the Canon’s menu system offers plenty of options.
Where the Canon does show its age is in the autofocus department. the EOS 6D sports only 11 AF points, with just the one cross-type sensor, located at the centre.With my main interests being portraits and close-ups, I didn’t find this particularly limiting, but it’s certainly something to note as the majority of cameras boast far more AF points. While the AF is fast and accurate for general use, it’s not so good at tracking subjects, which along with the relatively slow 4.5fps shooting rate, means it’s not such a great option for tracking wildlife and action. and, while the LiveView AF is good, it’s still slow and erratic compared to rivals.
The EOS 6D was one of the first models with integral Wi-Fi, with an app providing remote control of functions. While it can work OK, i do find it a tad glitchy at times.
At launch, the Full HD capabilities of the EOS 6D was on a par with rivals, but since then, 4K has become far more prominent. This, along with the mono mic and lack of headphone jack means this won’t be the first choice for dedicated videographers.
There are many newer and better specified cameras on the market, boasting a wider range of features and better overall performance. But there isn’t a full-frame model as affordable as the EOS 6D, which, despite its age, still delivers great results. If you do consider buying one, keep an eye out for a further price drop, as it wouldn’t be a surprise if a Mark II arrives soon.
Gear / Long-term test
Canon EOS 6D
by Daniel Lezano
more in Digital SLR Photography – Issue 123