Canon EOS 6D review
The camera can also transfer photos directly between cameras. When connected to an existing Wi-Fi network, it can send photos to a Wi-Fi printer, upload to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, send emails and act as a DLNA server. It also supports wireless tethered shooting, with comprehensive control and a detailed live view feed in the accompanying Windows and Mac OS X software. Configuring these functions is cumbersome and long-winded, though. There's a manual that's dedicated to the wireless functions but it's missing various crucial bits of information.
GPS is also built in. It took about five minutes to calculate its position, but because the GPS radio remains active when the camera is powered down, this is just a one-off wait at the start of a day's shooting. An icon on the passive LCD screen serves as a reminder that it's active. It would be even better with a hardware GPS switch.
Overall, the implementations of GPS and Wi-Fi are among the best we've seen, and they're as welcome here as they are on consumer-oriented compact cameras. They're also features that distinguish the 6D from the Nikon D600. The D600 has the option to add Wi-Fi via the Nikon WU-1a dongle, which only costs around £50, but its Wi-Fi based features are much more limited. The optional Nikon GP-1 GPS unit is rather more expensive at around £200.
The 6D looks very similar to the Canon EOS 60D . It's virtually the same size and weight but it omits the 60D's integrated flash and articulated screen, and its button layout has been tweaked to give better access to live view and video recording. Both cameras have a row of buttons for quick access to autofocus mode, metering and drive mode and ISO speed, but it's disappointing that there's no white balance button. Calibrating the manual white balance is particularly long-winded, involving taking a photo, delving into the main menu to take a reading from this photo and then setting the white balance to Custom.
The depth-of-field preview button beside the lens mount spectacularly fails to fall under the finger, but otherwise, the controls are quick and intuitive. The Auto ISO limit can be set from 200 to 25600, and we particularly like how Auto ISO is available in manual exposure mode. This might seem odd, but it's great to be able to set both the shutter speed and aperture manually to control motion blur and depth of field, but still let the camera expose the scene automatically.
The viewfinder is bigger than the 60D's but it's not quite as big as on its full-frame peers because the coverage is 97%. This seems to upset other people more than it does us, though. The captured image is a little bigger than what is shown through the viewfinder, but it's no great shakes.
The relatively basic autofocus sensor is a much bigger concern. It has 11 points, and only the centre is cross-type for increased sensitivity. That doesn't compare well with the Nikon D600's 39-point, nine cross-type autofocus, and even the 60D has nine cross-type points. The 6D also shares a problem with the D600 in that its autofocus points are bunched up in the centre of the frame. This means that shots have to be recomposed after focusing if the subject is towards the edge of the frame.
Performance is generally excellent, with just 0.6 seconds to switch on and shoot and 0.3 seconds between shots in normal use. The 4.5fps continuous mode is a little disappointing, though. With the same processor as the 5D Mark III and a slightly lower-resolution sensor, we can only assume that Canon has deliberately hobbled the 6D so it can't match the 5D Mark III's 6fps burst mode.
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