Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Canon EOS 6D Verdict and Video Review

Just like the BMW 3 series, Canon introduces entry level full frame luxury with the 20 megapixel Canon EOS 6D with a street price under $2000. In the EOS full frame lineup, the Canon EOS 6D is the smallest and least expensive compared to the venerable Canon 5D Mark III and the ultimate Canon flagship, the 1DX.

To the majority of DSLR owners, the lesser expensive APS-C cropped sensor sits comfortably in their camera bag. Why full frame then? Full frame means a true focal length equivalent of your lenses. A wide angle 14mm lens with a full frame sensor will give that extra wide reach for landscapes and architecture. The larger surface area of a full frame sensor produces a dreamier background bokeh with your glass compared to cropped sensors. A must for portrait photographers.

Enough of the "why?" and now more to the "what?"...The Canon EOS 6D touts a 20 megapixel CMOS sensor with a DIGIC 5+ processor to keep up with the 4.5fps shutter rate. The smaller form factor of the Canon 6D is just about the body equivalent of the Canon 60D. Also like the 60D, the Canon 6D has only a single Secure Digital memory card slot. Similar to the rest of Canon full frames, no built in flash. The Canon 6D has a 97% viewfinder coverage with interchangeable screens to satisfy most demanding photographers.

The Canon EOS 6D is the first Canon DSLR with built in Wi-Fi connectivity to mobile devices and GPS capability. With the free Canon EOS Remote App for both Apple and Android operating systems, you can remotely control, capture and view images on your Apple iPad or even a Samsung Galaxy Tablet. For social media fanatics out there, you can photograph in full frame glory and wirelessly transfer your images directly to your Apple iPhone's Camera Roll. Fuzzy cellphone Facebook pictures are now things of the past...

A true test for ISO capability is a tungsten lit portrait at ISO 3200. In the usual Canon fashion, ISO 3200 is nice and clean with wonderful skin tone and detail. The Canon EOS 6D boasts an expandable ISO range of 100 to 102800. Enough range for even the faint of heart...

He shoots, he scores! The Canon EOS 6D has 11 AF points to satisfy most soccer moms and dads. The 11 AF points does not compare to the flagship Canon 1D series, but the sports photography performance of the Canon 6D is decent in my opinion. With my Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 IS lens set at wide open, I was able to track my son with any of the 11 AF points in the viewfinder with no problem.

Now for the video nitty gritty. A dedicated selectable video/still record button gets you up and running for multiple resolution HD video with your choice of ALL-I or IPB compression. The Canon 6D touts the extended record time up to 29 minutes and 29 seconds with built in Time Code. Only one SDHC memory card slot for all those disappointed redundancy fans. Low light video capability? ISO 3200 is nice and clean. The Canon EOS 6D HDMI output is a selectable info overlay cropped 1080i signal that does not black out when you press the record button. An audio input allows external stereo microphones for dual channels of manually adjustable audio but of course no headphone jack to monitor audio like the Canon 5D Mark III. Ugh!

How about aliasing and moire? I pointed the Canon EOS 6D in the direction of busy textured surfaces such as brick walls, patio screens and landscape foliage with no success. Despite all the online reviewers out there, in my honest opinion I found no horrible or distracting aliasing and moire with my practical hands on review. Other than the usual CMOS jello shutter and vertical smearing of fast moving objects, the Canon EOS 6D is a quality FULL HD DSLR.

My Canon EOS 6D video review opinion? The Canon EOS 6D has outstanding full frame video quality but of course no headphone jack for true video fans like the more expensive Canon EOS 5D Mark III. Entry level is entry level, full frame or not...Is almost $1000 a worthy upgrade to the Canon 5D Mark III for audio monitoring ? IMHO, YES!!! For aspiring filmmakers upgrading from a Canon EOS Rebel T4i/650D to glorious full frame affordability of the Canon EOS 6D? Of course, an astounding YES !!!.

My Canon EOS 6D verdict? The Canon EOS 6D is a full frame still image powerhouse that caters to old school 35mm photographers. Now considered "Dinosaurs" of our time, still photographers cherish a picture worth a thousand words. Despite all the fancy gadgetry and Full HD video, the Canon EOS 6D shines as a phenomenal still image maker with outstanding resolution and low light capability. The extras are for the other 99%.

You can view more pictures and videos in my Canon EOS 6D Verdict and Video Review Gallery shot with the Canon EOS 6D paired with the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS and the 70-200mm f/4L IS lenses.

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  1. Is that an iPad you are holding to control teh camera?

    1. Robert R.,

      Yes, I am using the Canon EOS Remote App with the Apple iPad generation 1. Although, the Canon EOS Remote App is only Apple iPhone native at this time, the Apple iPad works just fine.


      Chad Soriano

    2. Chad, have you filmed any video using the 6D in low light environments? I have a 60D and if I use an ISO of 1600 I see a lot of noise in the blacks.

    3. Hi JDL,

      Yes, I used the 6D in low light environments during video capture. I can shoot a reasonable clean picture at ISO 3200 using good glass. Even with the 60D, you want to use fast prime lenses during low light shooting. The noise that you describe at ISO 1600 comes from your lens most likely. Are you using the standard kit lenses? I find that the optical quality of the kit lenses produce noise in tungsten low light situations. If you are looking for inexpensive low light prime lenses, the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 pancake, the EF 50mm f/1.8 and the EF 35mm f/2 are decent in dark environments. I hope this helps out...
      Sincerely, Chad Soriano

    4. Chad, what are your 'base' settings for filming with the 6D? I just got one. Stepping up from a T2i. Thanks!

    5. David,
      My base settings for filming include a shutter speed set at 1/60th, an ISO in steps of 160 and preferably an aperture wide open. To control the exposure, I use a variable ND filter in bright situations. I also try to do a custom white balance to get the proper temperature for decent colors. I also use Standard Picture Style, BTW.

  2. Hi, could you please let us know if the iphone app would allow remote video triggers? In other words, can I remotely start and stop video recording using the app? thank you...

  3. Danny,
    The Canon EOS Remote App does not allow for remote video recording for start and stop control. It only controls still photo capture and playback. Try the $300 CamRanger USB wireless remote for this video feature.

    Sincerely, Chad Soriano

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