Canon EOS 6D review

Flawless image quality at a tantalising price, but the basic autofocus won't suit everyone

29 Jan 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

Page 1 of 3Canon EOS 6D review


36x24mm 20.0-megapixel sensor, N/A zoom (N/A equivalent), 755g

Full-frame photography has got a lot more interesting in the last 12 months, especially for people whose next camera isn't a business expense. The Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Nikon D800 and Sony Alpha A99 all helped to redefine what an entry-level full-frame SLR was capable of. Hot on their heels came the Nikon D600 and now the Canon EOS 6D, which both redefine what an entry-level full-frame SLR should cost.

Canon EOS 6D

The 6D's 20-megapixel sensor is marginally the lowest resolution of these five cameras, but that's still enough for A3 prints at 300dpi. The flip side is that noise levels are slightly lower than from the 5D Mark III – a truly incredible achievement. JPEGs at ISO 100 and 1600 were virtually indistinguishable, and the top ISO 25600 setting produced perfectly usable results. With the help of Canon’s sublime JPEG processing engine, image quality is beyond criticism. All five full-frame cameras capture stunning photos, but for us, this is marginally the best of the bunch.

Canon EOS 6D smple shot

The subtle nuances of skin tones are captured superbly, and so too are the strands of hair across the eye

Canon EOS 6D smple shot

Shooting in the shade with a 400mm lens pushes the ISO speed up to 1000 but there's barely any evidence of noise

Canon EOS 6D smple shot

Noise here is incredibly low for a ISO 25600 shot

The 6D is also the first SLR to incorporate Wi-Fi. There's an accompanying EOS Remote app for Android and iPhone (but not a native iPad app), and it's much more sophisticated than the Camera Window app for the Canon PowerShot S110. The Remote Shooting mode provides a responsive live view feed in the app, with touchscreen autofocus and efficient control over exposure settings. The only downside is that the camera's primary autofocus is disabled to allow for a live view feed. Contrast-detect autofocus must be used instead, which typically means a two-second lag between pressing the remote shutter button and taking a photo. The Android app gets around this by having separate buttons for autofocus and shutter release, but the iPhone app currently lacks this feature. Then again, remote shooting usually involves a tripod and a static subject, so it's not too much of an inconvenience to focus once and then switch to manual focus.

Canon EOS 6D

Remote Shooting mode in the iPhone app, complete with exposure controls at the bottom

Canon EOS 6D

And here's the Android app. Note the extra button at the centre-right for invoking autofocus

Image browsing includes options to view a grid of 15 thumbnails, or four larger thumbnails with accompanying date, ratings and exposure data. Tap a thumbnail and a 2.4-megapixel copy is transferred in about two seconds for a full-screen view. From here, there are options delete or give a star rating (with ratings synced back to the camera), to email the photo and to save it to the phone or tablet's local storage. However, there's no option to inspect or save full-resolution photos, so it's not possible to check for focus. The app doesn't support video either. It can't stream pre-recorded clips to a tablet, and doesn't work as a remote monitor while recording – a big disappointment. In fact, video recording isn't allowed at all when Wi-Fi is enabled. It's not enough just to be not using Wi-Fi – it must be disabled in the menu first.

Canon EOS 6D

Browsing photos from the app is superbly implemented, with detailed information and the ability to rate photos

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