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1,983 of 2,039 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A small, capable, conservative full-frame DSLR
This camera has top-tier image quality in a polished, compact package well-suited to travel. Those upgrading from a 5D II or 7D may prefer the sharp response and focusing performance of the 5D III. Buyers without an investment in the Canon system may find Nikon's D600 a better value.

I've finally had enough of a hands-on with this camera to draw some...
Published on December 7, 2012 by D. Alexander

62 of 75 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars My initial copy of Canon 6D was not reliable - sent back for repair 3 times. The replacement has been good.
Based on my 9 month experience with canon 6d and canon service people, here is my rating on canon 6d:
Image quality: *****
Camera reliability:*** (initially was * based on my exprience with my old 6d. The refurbished replacement so far is *****. Average of the two ***).
Focusing: ***

I bought this camera on December 4th, 2012. I...
Published 17 months ago by Minghui Yao

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1,983 of 2,039 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A small, capable, conservative full-frame DSLR, December 7, 2012
This review is from: Canon EOS 6D 20.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Body Only) (Electronics)
This camera has top-tier image quality in a polished, compact package well-suited to travel. Those upgrading from a 5D II or 7D may prefer the sharp response and focusing performance of the 5D III. Buyers without an investment in the Canon system may find Nikon's D600 a better value.

I've finally had enough of a hands-on with this camera to draw some conclusions about it. My main body is a 5D II and I've owned or used almost all of Canon's crop bodies.


Build quality on first impression is similar to the 60D and 5D II. Solid enough, with a slightly narrower grip than most previous Canon bodies, those two inclusive, but still comfortable to my large hands. This body is petite for full-frame, about 10% smaller by volume than the 5D II and 15% under the 5D III. Weight is similarly svelte, below every 5D and the 7D, and about even with the 60D. The larger cameras will balance a bit better with heavy lenses; this 6D will be the preferable travel body by a small margin.

New relative to the 5D II are improved weather sealing and a much-appreciated mode dial lock. It's not clear how comprehensive the sealing is; I still wouldn't take it in the rain, and very few non-L Canon lenses are weatherproof. The LCD screen has a fatter aspect ratio and somewhat better contrast. As seems to be the new Canon norm, the 6D has mushy buttons that activate at some indeterminate point.

Novel, however, is the button layout. The top panel retains the 60D's configuration of four buttons, each with one function. The 5D series, 7D, and prior XXD models have three buttons with two functions per. You lose direct adjustment of flash exposure compensation and white balance, but frankly, most people will find this simplified layout preferable. I still forget which dial controls which function on my 5D II. The rear panel looks superficially like the 60D with the same right-hand bias, though the functionality has been shifted around. A mitigating factor is that, as on the 7D, 60D, and subsequent bodies, you can bind custom functions to many buttons. I didn't find it a major trial to adapt from the 5D II, but you'll definitely want to spend a few days with it before you have to work under pressure. Rebel owners will find the adjustment more significant.

This 6D has a single SD card slot. The 5D II uses CF, which is rapidly becoming the purview of only high-end bodies. CF is faster, harder to lose, and costs more. SD is fast enough for a body in this speed class. This is nonfactor unless you have a sizeable collection of the opposing format. The 5D III has a dual slot that can speed some workflows and provide media redundancy.

Like all Canon full-frame DSLRs, this body doesn't have a popup flash. I'm not lamenting the absence, it was a bone to casual shooters more than a serious tool. Max sync speed for most Canon bodies is around 1/200, so integrated flash only works for outdoor fill with narrow apertures. Indoors as a main light source, the tiny size and close proximity to the lens lead to red eyes and a flat, unflattering high-contrast look. A much preferable setup for any Canon DSLR pairs a 430EX or 580EX, ideally diffused or aimed to bounce off a nearby surface.

Shutter lag now rivals the 5D III and 40D-7D, a few ticks quicker than the 5D II and any of the Rebels. This responsiveness bodes well for the first shot. Later shots come at 4.5 fps, a rate ideal for candids, but not for sports. The 5D II and III are respectively worse (3.9 fps) and better (6 fps). Of greater interest: like the 5D III, the 6D now has a 'silent' shooting mode that lowers the volume and pitch of the mirror clunk by half. Every wedding I've ever shot would have benefited from that.

The screen interface follows the mold of every Canon body since the 40D. It has a series of horizontal tabs with options. The major UI change is that instead of 9 tabs that also scroll vertically, you get 15 that don't. The advantage is that you can rapidly wheel through tabs and see everything there is to see without scrolling; the disadvantage is that it looks intimidating and there are multiple tab groups of the same icon. The 'Creative' modes show every tab. Some are hidden in Program and Auto modes. We've done a full about-face since the original 5D, which had a handful of tabs and piles of scrolling.

A major new feature also common to the 5D III is a better implementation of Auto-ISO. It's often the case in changing light where you want to shoot a lens wide open for subject isolation, but with a fixed or minimum shutter speed so you won't risk motion or hand blur. On the 5D II, that was a no-go; Auto-ISO didn't work in Manual mode, and the minimum shutter chosen in the other modes was too low. This camera will do Auto-ISO in M between any lower and upper bound you choose. Or you can set a minimum shutter for Av or P mode. Wonderful and overdue, this.

Some other new features are worthy of note. They've added a single-axis level that's useful for landscapes and architecture. The GPS feature will tag images with a location and can also keep a constant breadcrumb position log (at significant cost to battery life) that you can layer on a map later. And they've added wireless networking, so you can control the camera by smartphone or laptop with a live video feed. I can do that with my 5D II, but it requires a cable or USB-wireless converter dongle. In theory, you can also upload to Facebook by way of a Canon bridge website, but I didn't test this.


AF is a marginal improvement over the 5D II. Performance and customizability are somewhat better, but usability suffers.

First, context: unlike a phone, point-and-shoot, or mirrorless body, DSLRs don't use the image sensor ("contrast detect") to focus for still photography through the viewfinder. That means you don't get face detection or any sort of scene recognition at all. Instead, you've got a handful of 'AF points' in a diamond configuration. Each point covers a tiny area of the frame. If you let the camera choose the point, it'll pick whichever is sitting on a contrasting edge (i.e., a clear dark/light edge; anything that isn't a flat color). Maybe that'll be an eye. It could just as easily be a button. The first major habit to acquire with a DSLR is picking your own focus points. The easier that is, the faster you can accurately shoot.

On the 5D II, there's a joystick on the back to individually select any of the 9 AF points with a single click. The phase sensor has 6 invisible AF-assist points to help track motion. Minimum light to focus with the center cross-point is -0.5 EV; in my case, that translated to an exposure of 1/50, f/2, ISO 25600 with a 100/2. Very dim, but not impossible to see and not out of the ISO capacity of this body or certainly the 6D. Shooting by moonlight or dim exterior lighting could benefit from greater AF sensitivity.

The 6D excels in this area. The center point is rated to -3 EV, a full 2.5 stops below the 5D II and is, in theory, at least a stop under any other Canon DSLR. There's essentially no handheld exposure, even with an f/1.4 or f/1.2 lens, for which this camera won't catch focus. But it's missing the 5D II's joystick; you have to awkwardly shift your thumb further down to use a less precise 8-way rocker panel. If you choose not to bind AF to the shutter button, you'll wear out that digit in a hurry. Also, the system now has 11 AF points (with no additional coverage), so you can't directly select the two outer points anymore.

As to motion tracking, the 6D's AF diagram suggests it may also have 6 or 8 AF-assist points. The manual doesn't say, and if they exist, they're not selectable. Either way, the same rules from the 5D II apply: if you're tracking a high-contrast object centered in the viewfinder in decent light, it works well enough. All bets are off if you need to rely on the outer points. Likewise for using the outer points with wide-aperture lenses; they don't always hit. You'll want to take a lot of safety shots if focus is critical.

There are a few new custom functions to fine-tune AI Servo. As with the 5D II, the 6D supports AF microadjustment, though now with separate settings for the wide and long ends of zoom lenses. Also interesting is the ability to link the AF point with camera orientation; helpful if you're switching from portrait to landscape repeatedly.

To the extent it's possible to narrow a wide array of AF characteristics to a 10-point scale, here's how I'd subjectively rate Canon's various bodies:

Center point / Outer points / Motion tracking | Body

9 / 9 / 8 | 5D III
6 / 6 / 6 | 7D
6 / 5 / 5 | 40D/50D/60D/T4i/T5i
8 / 3 / 4 | 6D
6 / 3 / 4 | 5D II
6 / 3 / 3 | T2i/T3i/SL1

Some scenarios will show greater disparities than these numbers suggest. A 6D in very dim light may well catch focus where every other body on this list fails. Likewise, very fast or erratic objects may flummox every camera here but the 5D III. I've ranked the 5D III's center point higher because, while it can't match the 6D in moonlight, it has significantly higher accuracy and consistency with recent Canon lenses.


Excellent. Per-pixel sharpness is very high and superior to crop bodies-- par for the course for a full-frame sensor near this pixel density. Dynamic range is similar to the 5D II and 5D III. Noise performance in raw is a third-stop better than the 5D III, one stop ahead of the 5D II, and a little over 2 stops past the T2i/T3i/60D/7D. I'd run this body to ISO 12,800 without much thought. Colors at low ISO are indistinguishable from any other Canon DSLR.

Shadow noise has improved over earlier bodies. A common shooting technique is to meter for highlights and raise the shadows in post to make darker details visible, the manual equivalent of Canon's 'Auto Lighting Optimizer'. Boosting the shadows with a 5D II eventually reveals banding patterns and a blue cast. The 5D III fixes the banding, but retains the color cast. The 6D doesn't have either. While Nikon still holds a narrow lead on this point, 6D files are cleaner than every other Canon body save the 1D X.

To get the most out of this DSLR, you'll want to shoot raw. Raw lets you defer decisions (e.g., white balance, sharpening, noise reduction, color, distortion, tone curves, exposure, and so on) that distract from catching whatever moment you're after. Adjustments to raw files in post are vastly more flexible than the Picture Styles that control the 6D's JPEG engine. Those provide only rudimentary adjustments to tone, sharpening, and color.

With challenging lighting (mixed white balance, high or low dynamic range, or changing light), Picture Styles can give a suboptimal result, complicated in part by metering. In low-dynamic-range scenarios (e.g., a cloudy day), 'evaluative metering' tends to give a dull, low-contrast picture. With a high DR scene (e.g., a sunny day with deep shadows), blown highlights and clipped shadows will be exacerbated by a high-contrast Picture Style set for the earlier scene.

If you're careful configuring the body and the stars align, you can get decent JPEG output and forego work in post, but I consider a fast computer and a photo management system like Adobe Lightroom to be less complements than necessities.


I want to segue into this section because it's entwined with image quality. Comparing full-frame and crop isn't quite apples to apples. It's much easier to find crop lenses with good edge performance. Canon's current full-frame DSLRs make hash of almost all the mid-range variable-aperture zooms they've released over the years. I was pleased with my 28-135/3.5-5.6 IS on my 40D. Very consistent sharpness across the frame, even wide open. On full-frame, the same lens falls down. Poor edge performance, lots of aberrations.

Expect to pay 30-100% more on glass to feed this camera relative to EF-S lenses. Full-frame L glass costs a mint, but most of the third-party wide to mid-focal lenses don't emphasize edge performance. I've used a 14/2.8, 17-40/4, 16-35/2.8 II, 24-105/4, 100/2, and 200/2.8 among others. The latter two are stellar across the frame, as is the Samyang ultrawide. The 24-105/4L, 17-40/4L, and 16-35/2.8L II are merely good. None perform that well in the corners at wide apertures. Older wide-angles like the 17-35/2.8 fare even worse.

What should your kit be? Some considerations:

* Primes are lighter, smaller, cheaper, often available in wider apertures, often optically better, and have less manufacturing variation. They're less convenient, less versatile, updated with new technologies (e.g., stabilization, better lens coatings, weight reductions, faster or more accurate AF) less often, and can cause you to miss shots in fast-paced shooting environments.

* There are different requirements for movie lenses and still lenses. No Canon full-frame zooms are optimal for movies. Some are more optimal than others (e.g., less focus breathing, more parfocal, less distortion, smoother operation, distance scale). Primes often fare better.

* An f/2.8 lens on this body is just fast enough for most indoor use without flash. You'll want a flash for anything slower. A flash can provide more even, pleasing pictures, at the expense of a bulkier, attention-attracting rig.

* Kits with more than three primary lenses can become unwieldy in use. Two are preferable. My walkaround kit is a 16-35/2.8 and a 100/2, or a 24-105/4 alone if I expect to shoot movies. Professional event shooters tend to rely on the 16-35/2.8, 24-70/2.8, 70-200/2.8, and faster primes like the 85/1.2 as necessary.

* Third-party lenses tend to have less upfront cost, better warranties, and more aggressive designs. AF and optical performance is often (but not always) inferior to OEM lenses, quality control is less consistent, and resale values are lower. Value varies by lens model. Some are better than the OEM equivalents (e.g., Tamron 70-300 VC, Sigma 35/1.4). Some fill holes in the OEM lineup (e.g., Sigma 120-300/2.8 OS). And some are lesser substitutes, but still competitive (e.g., Sigma 70-200/2.8 OS, Tamron 70-200/2.8 VC). Third-party lenses that duplicate the OEM with similar performance may not always be preferable to used copies of the OEM model.


Out of the box, 6D video has five characteristics: lovely depth-of-field-control with the right lenses, clipped colors, high contrast, about 720p worth of actual detail at the 1080p setting, and issues with aliasing and moiré common to most Canon DSLRs. Moiré (false coloring and an interference pattern on subjects with repeating fine detail) in particular is more noticeable than with the 5D II and well behind the 5D III.

There are a few improvements over the 5D II. Canon has added time code support for better synchronization of events in post and superior on-camera editing controls. We now have 720p/50 and 720p/60 to complement the 1080p/25 and 1080p/30 modes. The compression algorithm is better, as is noise performance, and there's a slightly superior (though still quite slow) contrast-detect focusing algorithm.

Unbelievably, Canon still hasn't included focusing aids for manual focus. It's very difficult to judge focus from the LCD screen without overshooting and undershooting. Professionals that have to focus on the fly use a magnifier that sits on top of the LCD or rely on focusing aids in Magic Lantern, a third-party piggyback firmware available for the 5D II (but not yet for the 6D). For that reason alone, video here remains very much a professional feature.

In terms of post-processing flexibility, Canon EOS video is like shooting JPEG, but worse because the H.264 video codec throws away even more unseen data. You have none of the lossless adjustability of raw, so it's pivotal to lower contrast to preserve detail in the highlights and shadows, dial back the colors to prevent clipping, and lower sharpening so you can add it back in post without causing nasty artifacts. You do that by setting the correct white balance in advance and by creating or downloading a custom tone curve with low contrast, color, and sharpening. The latter won't affect your stills if you shoot in raw, so you can cater it solely to video.

Camera shake is another issue. If you're going to shoot without a tripod or Steadicam rig, get a stabilized lens. In fact, just buy the 24-105/4L IS. No other lens has the combination of size, weight, edge performance, range, stabilization, consistent aperture, speed, and partial parfocal (holding focus through the zoom range) ability.

The next best choice might be something like the Tamron 24-70/2.8 VC or Canon's upcoming 24-70/4L IS. Anything over 50mm that isn't stabilized will challenge your ability to record smooth footage. You can fix that later by transcoding to an editable format and using the anti-shake facilities of Adobe Premiere, Sony Vegas, or Virtual Dub with Deshaker, but that's a pain and they all crop the frame. Start with stabilization from the outset and save yourself the bother.

Stabilized lenses cause a new problem: the IS system is audible on the audio track. It's obvious with the 70-200/4L IS, noticeable with the 24-105/4L IS, and a background hum with the 70-200/2.8L IS I/II. That's in addition to dial clicks, finger movement, and wind noise, which obscure what would be fairly mediocre sound quality in the best case. The 6D records CD-quality 48 KHz 16-bit stereo tracks; the fault is with the internal monaural mic and amplifier. The simplest, most portable solution is to attach an external battery-powered mic to the flash hotshoe. The two most popular are around $250 from Rode. Zoom's H1 stereo recorder is a cheaper, more versatile alternative that can also be camera-mounted.


For video, buy SD cards 32 GB or larger. My pair of 16 GB cards have been inadequate for even a one-day event. Choose SanDisk. I've never had a SanDisk card of any size fail, they maintain higher resale value than other brands, and they tend to write somewhat faster than competitors with the same speed rating.

Interface responsiveness isn't much affected by card speed. Faster cards have three advantages: they can shoot longer bursts at 4.5 FPS, clear the picture buffer more quickly, and fulfill Canon's write speed requirement of 20 MB/s to record video at the highest quality. Buffer depth is 17 raw files with a UHS-1 ('Ultra High Speed') SD and 14 with a conventional card. Buffer cycling times are much lower with UHS-1. In one-shot mode, this difference is invisible; very fast cards would only make sense if you were time-limited on card-to-computer transfers with a USB 3.0, SATA, or Firewire card reader.

If you buy protection filters for your lenses, try Hoya's "DMC PRO1 Clear Protector Digital" line. They have very high light transmission and don't cause visible flare. Digital sensors filter UV natively, there's no reason to pay more for that feature. I've written reviews on the relevant Hoya product pages with more details and why you might (or might not) want a filter.

Third-party batteries are hit or miss. The 6D won't read the charge capacity of many LP-E6 copies that worked fine with earlier bodies. STK has a battery chipped specifically for this camera that's worth considering. Compatibility aside, Canon OEM batteries tend to retain more charge capacity for a longer period. Your call whether that's worth five times the price.


(+) Focus tracking
(+) Focuses with f/8 lenses vs. f/5.6 (e.g., f/5.6 lens + 1.4X TC)
(+) 24 vs 20 MP
(+) Shadow noise at low-ISO
(+) 5.5 vs 4.5 fps
(+) Dual-SD slots
(+) DX crop mode
(+) Headphone monitoring port
(+) Pop-up flash
(+) More physical controls
(+) Auto-ISO even better

(-) No GPS
(-) No Wifi
(-) Center-point focus in very low light
(-) Noise at high-ISO
(-) Live View mode more limited
(-) Larger, heavier
(-) Early copies were prone to accumulating sensor cruft

On balance, while the 6D is a fine evolution of two older bodies (the 5D II and the 60D), the D600 is a simply a tier above in specification. The two brands give and take on the system level; Canon has a better service department and an edge with telephoto zooms and tilt-shift. Nikon has the best wide-angle zoom available on any mount. Consider the cost of your likely kit before judging by body prices.


* If you're new to DSLRs:

Yes, with caveats. DSLRs give you lens flexibility, subject isolation, better low-light performance, and potentially superior motion tracking. They're also bulky, expensive, a suboptimal design for video, and inconsistent in the point-and-shoot modes. Mirrorless designs are more compact, easier to use, and better for video, but not as capable for stills or movement. Prosumer single-lens cameras are smaller, much cheaper, and with jack-of-all-trades functionality that less demanding users may find preferable.

Relative to crop DSLRs, full-frame bodies like the 6D give you better low-light performance. They cost more, require larger and more expensive lenses, and tend to be somewhat less responsive to fast action outside of the top product tiers.

If you've settled on full-frame, the two chief competitors are Canon and Nikon. Canon is a bigger company with a wider, more modern, and more readily available lens line, but it also tends to have more rigid product segmentation that can leave lower camera bodies wanting for some features. If you can swing the cost, both companies produce products capable of almost any photographic endeavor.

Among Canon's full-frame line, the choice is between an old new-stock 5D II, 6D, and 5D III. The 5D III is a faster body with extras like dual card slots that professionals appreciate. It also has a dramatically superior AF system for motion tracking and automatic AF point selection. Given that f/2.8 full-frame zoom lenses start at over $1000, the 6D's $800 price advantage over the 5D III on sale isn't enormous in the larger scheme. Something to consider if your subjects move a lot. The 5D II is fine if discounted 20% relative to the 6D; at the same price, I'd take the 6D for the new sensor, silent shutter, and Auto-ISO.

* If you have a Canon Rebel DSLR before the T4i:

Yes, if you're willing to trade comparatively cheap and small EF-S lenses for stellar noise performance, a bright viewfinder, superior low-light focusing, and a rear control dial, among the 6D's other enhancements.

* If you have a Rebel T4i, 60D, or 7D:

Same as above, but you're also trading speed and motion tracking, and the 6D doesn't gain as much in usability. A 60D isn't far removed from this 6D in feel. The 7D is a league apart: a league of amphetamines. If you want speed, low noise, and even better AF tracking, the 5D III is your body.

* If you have a 5D II:

No, if you're shooting predominately raw. There's little functionality in the 6D that can't be added to the 5D II and the bodies are very similar in capability. The exception is very low-light shooting. Moonlight, street-shooting at night, or star trails that benefit from locking onto a faint point source to set infinity will all be easier on a 6D, and the extra noise performance doesn't hurt. You're likely to miss the 5D II's AF joystick.


I like this camera body. Stills image quality is extraordinary, and for that purpose, there's little to fault. Taken in isolation, the 6D is an enormously capable and polished photographic instrument, and $600 less than the 5D II was in 2008.

The quibbles appear when you consider it in the context of the larger market. It's an expensive camera with many of the same faults and limitations that were laboriously documented in the 5D II four years ago. The competition hasn't been resting on laurels; quality control aside, Nikon's D600 is more capable in many ways and similarly priced. I'd still choose Canon on the strength of the Canon system, but others may find greater value elsewhere.

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1,121 of 1,178 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 6D vs 5D Mark III and Nikon D600, October 28, 2012
This review is from: Canon EOS 6D 20.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Body Only) (Electronics)
Just received a 6D as a backup to my 5D Mark III. I am not going to bore you with the specifications that you can Google to find. I know most of you are reading this because you are getting into an entry level full frame camera or go straight to pro. Among your choices are Canon 6D, 5D Mark III and Nikon D800/D600. Since I do not have a D800 around I won't be able to cover it here but you can find lots of other reviews. This review will be done with a side by side comparison of the actual photos.

ISO noise comparison
After spending the night taking several comparison photos at ISO 3200 F4 1/125, 6400 F4 1/500, 12800 F4 1/250 and 25600 F4 1/1000, here is my conclusion. Photoshop enlarged at 350% shows the 6D has about one stop advantage over the 5D Mark III and 1-1/2 stop over the Nikon D600. That did not come as a surprise since the 6D has the lowest resolution among the 3 DSLR.

Update 12/7/2012: When these photos were reviewed in raw, I discovered the 6D filter setting is different, making it looked like it had lower noise. The 6D is in fact only about half stop better in ISO performance than 5D when compared in raw and one stop better than the Nikon D600.

Auto Focus
5D Mark III is the fastest, then D600 then 6D. They are all very close and hard to tell even in low light condition. All 3 shows remarkable focus speed. 6D occasionally will hunt for split seconds. D600 and 5D both have no hesitation locking in especially the 5D. To compare how fast each focuses, I listened to the motor sound of the lens.

Update 11/26/2013: The center focus cross type sensor on the 6D is more accurate and faster than the 5D and the D600. I use this point focus mode almost exclusively in sports photography.

Auto White Balance
5D Mark III and 6D both have excellent auto white balance under different lighting condition. Nikon D600 however has a greenish or yellowish tone, turning a red rose into orange under fluorescent light. Kelvin level can be corrected of course under Lightroom but it is very difficult to tune it in the camera.

View Finder
5D Mark III has similar view finder as the 6D and both are brighter than the D600. This makes it a lot easier to focus especially in poor light. This is a big deal for my aging eyes and the brighter view finder is truly helpful on the Canon. I believe this is due to larger mirrors used in the Canons. The 6D does not have the 100% view but since I am not a pro, it really does not bother me.

The 6D is the lightest of the 3 cameras but the 6D does not feel cheap in the hands. There is lots of advantage of being light especially I am going to use it on an Octocopter for aerial videos and photos.

Edge sharpness
6D clearly leads here. May be Canon has improved the image processing firmware. 5D is not too far from the 6D but beats the D600.

There is not much of a difference in the mega pixel of these cameras, at least not enough to tell the difference even on a 24 inch monitor.

Updates 2/24/2013
I have compared all 3 cameras extensively in video mode. Most of my videos were aerial filmed from a Turbo Ace hexacopter and octocopter in light wind. So this will be a good test how they performance. First, I found there is no difference on the rolling shutter between the 3 cameras. All DSLR still suffer this problem and this is where some of the cinema cameras such as the Red Scarlet/Epic shine. As for the moire and aliasing the Mark III is the clear winner. I barely notice any moire and aliasing on the roof tops and power lines. If you are going to do video on a more professional level, you should stick with the Mark III unless you invest on a Red or something quite affordable like the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema. I was told by a friend that the Pocket Cinema after color grading, can top the 5D video due to its 13 dynamic range. As for the dynamic range, the D600 excels among the 3 cameras but by a narrow margin. The D600 has about 11.5 stops and the Mark III/6D are at 11 stops. The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema and Red scarlet/Black Magic have 13-14 stops. Red shoots in 4K/2K which makes it more ideal than any DSLR for video. My only problem shooting video with the Red is flight time as it weights about 10 pounds with all gears. If my Octocopter struggles to keep it in the air, imaging what it is going to do to your arms. I can't wait to see the new Turbo Ace CineWing 6 Hexacopter which will carries the 6D with 15 minutes flight time. It is exciting how these multi rotor copters advanced, allowing me to view the world from a different perspective. I will keep you updated on the aerial photo/cinematography technology with some breath taking aerial photos/video.

Updates 11/24/2013: The 6D gave me about 2 minutes flight time on the Turbo Ace CineWing 6 Hexacopter. That is a total of 14 minutes in the air to get the shots I need. I could shoot photos with a remote trigger from a mile away. Technology has advanced exponentially from last year. The Hexacopter practically flew itself and the aerial photos were jaw dropping.

Updates 12/12/2012:
To see the latest video review, go to Youtube and search for "Canon 6D vs Nikon D600 vs 5D Mark III Hands-On"
Go to[...]
To be honest I am quite impressed by the 6D and so far it's a keeper.
I have kept a record of the 12 photos with 4 different ISO settings for each of the 3 cameras which I will include in my comprehensive upcoming Youtube review.

Updates 12/4/2012: Moire is still best on the Mark III. No DSLR so far comes even close and that includes the 6D. The D600 suffers the same moire syndrome as the other DSLRs. That is disappointing as I was going to shoot lots of video with my Hexacopter Octocopter since it is so light and easy to handle in the air. Now I have to avoid the roof tops.

Between the Canons and Nikons, I've got say I am quite fond of the Nikon D600. It has better dynamic range and I missed the built-in flash on both Canons. The D600 truly shines here as it is inconvenient to lug around a full size flash with my Canons. Canon's perspective is the build-in flash is not for a pro level camera but they are so wrong. I use the D600 flash mostly for fill-ins or trigger.

My humble view of the dual SD card slots is that it is over hipped. I only use SD in my Mark III and when I absolutely have to have backup in critical shoots I would rather have 2 cameras. The dual cards are confusing unless you are totally organized. It is hard to remember which card and which photos were already loaded to the computer and I have to remember to delete the photos in each card. There is also a bug in the Mark III firmware. If you set the SD as primary and remove it later, shoot some photos with the CF, the camera will no longer recognize your SD as primary when you reinsert it. You will have to manually set it each time otherwise you will be searching for photos in the wrong card. When using dual cards, if your habit is to leave everything in the card for days and not download them to the computer frequently, you will not remember which photos are in which card and which ones are duplicate backups. Also remember, the dual slot does not work under video mode. Many of you here may be more organized and more diligent downloading your photos and will prefer this feature so that is just my personal preference.

Updates 11/21/2013: The dual slot is actually comes in very handy but in a very different way. I am using my CF slot to store 2 backup SD inside a small plastic bag to prevent them shorting the circuit. It saved me serveral times when I forgot to put the SD card back or ran out of memory.

Infrared sensor. On the 6D and Mark III, the infrared sensor is on the grip and it works quite well taking photos of yourself or using a remote trigger directly in front of the camera. The sensor on the D600 on the other hand is located behind the camera. It is almost impossible to sense remote in front of the camera but it is very convenient if you are behind. The D600 is a great camera for shooting candid photos of animals/people or if you are using a remote shutter trigger behind the camera. IMHO, the camera design should have 2 sensors, one in the back and one in the front. You have to do a lot of remote shutter shots to appreciate this.

Dynamic range. The D600 is better in dynamic range than the Mark III and 6D. This is another area the D600 shines. The 6D is sharper but the D600 has more detail in bright and dark area. I believe the 6D sharpness has something to do with the way the images are processed.

Grip size. The two Canons fit larger hands than the Nikon D600. I have a medium size hand and the Canon grip fits just right, the D600 grip is too small for the average hands. With a caliper I measured where you clamp the grip between your fingers and your palm and the Mark III is 33.2mm, 6D 31.5mm and D600 28.3mm.

The review is based on photos and videos taken with the same manual settings and similar lenses. I tried hard to cover the important points but there are always going to be things that should be added. Please let me know before you vote "NO" and I will be happy to help anyway I can.

My gear
Red Epic-M
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema
Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 6D
Nikon D600
Nikon D90
Canon T4i
Nikon D40
Sony Nex 5N
Sony Nex 5R
Sony Nex 7
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497 of 532 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Worthy Upgrade for a Canon Rebel User, December 31, 2012
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This review is from: Canon EOS 6D 20.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Body Only) (Electronics)
Canon 6d Review

I've now been using my 6d for a bit over a week and feel that I've handled it enough to write a comprehensive review. First, let me tell you that I upgraded from a Rebel T2i, which I absolutely loved. I'm by no means a pro, and I don't typically get paid for my work; but I would classify myself as a photo enthusiast. I travel a lot and size and weight were factors in my decision to go with the 6d. I also like to shoot with available light, which is why I wanted to go full frame for the high ISO performance. For some reason it says I purchased the body only, but I actually bought the kit.

Let me address some of the "cons" that people are complaining about right out of the gate. I'm going to assume that most people considering the 6d are like me - looking to upgrade from a nice point and shoot style camera or a Rebel series or other APS-C style DSLR. Nearly everything that people are stating are "cons" I never had on my Rebel in the first place, so I don't miss these features. The AF system has gotten a lot of attention, but on my Rebel, I used the center point 90% of the time for focusing. The center point on the 6d is just amazing. It focuses in an almost completely dark room. Certainly it will be able to focus for any situation when you are going to shoot hand held. I will take the simplified control of 11 AF points and an absolutely fantastic center focus point over 61 points (caveat: I don't shoot sports or other fast moving objects so I wouldn't really benefit from the addition points for tracking a moving subject).

I rarely, if ever, shoot video so not having a headphone jack doesn't bother me in the slightest. Also, not having a built in flash is no big deal to me either. I'm going to assume that people looking at this price range for a camera have an external flash and understand the limitations of a built in flash. I never used the one on my Rebel anyway. Finally, not having two SD card slots doesn't seem like a big loss to me. While I think the redundancy of two slots might be nice, I've never had an SD card fail on me and perpetually back up my images anyway.

24-105mm f/4 Kit Lens:
Honestly this was probably what was holding me back the most about going full frame. I previously have been using the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS and I have to say that better than 90% of my pictures taken with my T2i were shot using this lens. While the 17-55 doesn't have a red ring or L in its name, it defiantly can run with the L glass. I worried that going from a relatively fast 2.8 (EF-S lenses do not fit on the 6d) to an f/4 would be limiting, but I also didn't want to give up IS and the 24-70mm was out of my price range anyway. Let me say that given the higher ISO performance, I don't really miss the stop I lost going to an f/4 lens. I actually like having a bit more reach with the 24-105. I would defiantly have kept my 17-55 f/2.8 if I could have, but I also don't feel limited by the 24-105 f/4. In the future I plan to get the 16-35 f/2.8 for use alongside the 25-105 f/4. So in summary, if you are like me and hesitating about giving up your 17-55mm f/2.8 for the 24-105 f/4, don't worry - the kit lens is fantastic and you won't regret going full frame for a second.

ISO Performance:
Let me sum it up in one word: amazing. I hate noisy pictures and I'd hesitate to shoot much above ISO 400 with my T2i. I have no problem shooting at 3200-6400 with the 6d. I took some shots basically in the dark at 25,600 and they were defiantly usable. Low light performance is just amazing. I can't comment on how it compares to other full frame cameras, but I do know there is just no comparison between APS-C sensors and this one.

Auto ISO on this camera is awesome. I never used Auto ISO on my T2i (as I said above I hate noisy images and didn't like the camera constantly trying to push up the ISO). The Auto ISO on this camera lets you set a minimum shutter speed (great for people, like myself, who rarely use a tripod). It brings the shutter down to (near) the minimum, and then starts to the boost the ISO. Additionally (like most SLR's) you can set the maximum and minimum Auto ISO speeds.

I touched on this above, but for its limitations, I actually like the AF system. I shoot mostly still subjects in available light and absolutely love the center AF point and its ability to focus in near dark conditions. AF is fast and of the few hundred pictures I've taken so far, hasn't missed yet. I like the simplicity of the 11-point AF system. I find the 61-point system hard to navigate. Coming from a Rebel, the AF system is very similar so there was really no learning curve when going to the 6d.

Design & Button Layout:
The 6d is surprisingly small and light. It's honestly not much bigger than my T2i, and only slightly heavier. It defiantly doesn't feel cheap though. It feels rugged, well built, and substantial in your hand. It doesn't have the plastic feel that the Rebels do. It feels like a pro-level camera. Coming from a Rebel, I felt pretty at home with the button layout. A few things are in different places (e.g. the mode dial is on the other side to make room for the top LCD screen) but I was adjusted within a day or so. The mode dial lock is a cool little feature, but I can't say I ever had an issue with the mode dial moving itself on my Rebel.

The 8-way rocker is a bit annoying, but still a step above the four way buttons on the Rebel series. It's also nice to have the wheel on the back to adjust aperture (or shutter speed) in Manual mode, instead of having to press and hold a button and use the main dial on the T2i. The menu system feels well laid out and everything is pretty easy to find. Also having two custom spots on the mode dial is a nice addition (people seems to be complaining there are only 2 instead of 3, but let me say that 2 is much better than the zero I had before!). You can use the custom spots for pretty much anything (I have my set up for exposure bracketing and portraits). The ISO button location also takes a bit of getting used to when moving from a Rebel to the 6d, but the reassessed button and raised dot make it relatively easy to adjust quickly. Also you can customize a lot of the button assignments in the custom functions menu.

Battery life seems to be pretty good so far. As expected, using GPS and WiFi considerably shorten the life, but it's certainly still acceptable. A note about aftermarket batteries: they work, but the camera doesn't play nice with them. If you put in an aftermarket battery the camera warns you that it isn't a Canon battery and asks if you want to continue. It also doesn't know how much battery life is remaining. I'm hoping the aftermarket battery manufacturers will update their batteries soon (Wassabi indicated within a month or two they would be releasing an update).

WiFi & GPS:
I bought this camera not really thinking I would use either of these features very often, but let me say they are welcome additions. The WiFi is pretty simple to set up (if you've ever set up a router or even configured your smart phone to connect to WiFi then you shouldn't have any issues). In less than 20 minutes I tried out connecting to an iPad, Android phone, laptop, and even a uploading directly to Facebook without any issues at all (note that you have to connect to your laptop first to set up Facebook and you have to register with Canon). Transferring images wirelessly from the 6d to a laptop is surprisingly fast and easy. Also, viewing images on an iPad wirelessly is easy (**01/07/2013: Canon confirmed to me that no dedicated iPad app is being developed and you must use the iPhone app). I don't have much to say about GPS, other than it works. I stepped outside and it acquired a satellite signal pretty fast. You can view the geotagged information either in the provided Canon Maps application or in Adobe Lightroom. I think this will be really great when I am traveling. Note that the GPS stays on even when the camera is off (WiFi does not, however). You can turn off (or at least turn down the frequency) of the "bread crumb" feature (which tracks your location at set intervals to plot your path) to save some battery life.

**01/06/2013: The 6d only supports 2.4 GHz wireless bands, so if you are running a 5 GHz band router you won't be able to connect. Note most routers operating in the 5 GHz band also support 2.4 GHz so it may just be a matter of changing some setting on your router.

Advanced Shooting Modes:
HDR, white balance and exposure bracketing, and multiple exposure modes are all really great features. I love to shoot HDR and the camera does a pretty decent job of aligning and merging the images when shooting hand held. I do feel limited in that you can only take three exposures in HDR mode. I also find it a pain to have to turn off RAW mode in order to turn on HDR. I actually prefer the exposure bracketing. You can bracket up to seven shots in 1/3 EV steps (note that if you want to bracket more than the default three shots you have to change a setting in the custom functions menu).

The camera contains a lot of features for JPEG shooters (since I shoot mostly RAW I don't use these features often, but they seem nice to have for people who don't use post processing software). The camera will now do lens profile corrections (fixing distortion, brightness, vignette, etc.) for the lens that is attached. I always apply this to my photos using Lightroom and it's nice to have in-camera.

In sum, the 6d is a fantastic camera. I don't at all feel hampered by the so called "limitations" pointed out in some of the reviews (lack of pop of flash, only 11 AF points, a single SD card slot, etc.). If you are upgrading from a Rebel you will love the improved center AF point, high ISO performance, speed, build quality, advanced shooting modes, and WiFi and GPS built in. I don't feel the need to compare this camera to Nikon's or Canon's other offering, because honestly this is a fantastic camera in its own right. I was already invested with several lenses in the Canon system, so Nikon was never really a consideration for me. The choice was really between the 6d and the 5d M3 and given the relatively large cost difference the 6d was the clear choice. Also if your considering the 5d M2, I think the benefit of five plus years of development has greatly benefited the 6d, and therefore would highly recommend the 6d over the 5d M2 for the sensor and new Digic 5+ processor.

+Awesome low light / high ISO performance
+Great center AF point for very low light focusing
+WiFi and GPS built in provide awesome flexibility in shooting, especially for travelers
+Relatively light and small (for a full frame) without sacrificing solid construction
+Very bright and clear viewfinder (especially when compared to the Rebels)
+Digic 5+ processor provides great JPEG improvements and fast enough shooting speed

-Kit lens is only f/4, and the 24-70 f/2.8 is pricey!
-HDR mode is slightly cumbersome to use and disappointing with its three shot exposure limitation
-Button layout takes a bit to adjust to

Please feel free to sound off in the comments with questions!
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121 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a great camera, December 20, 2012
I guess my requirements in a camera are different than anyone else's but here goes. I have been a working pro for over 30 years and have always used the most basic cameras you could imagine, Hasselblad and 4x5 Toyo. Frankly, I don't give a rats rosy red rear end about WiFi, GPS, in camera video etc. They are beside the point as far as I'm concerned and usually are just things that keep the old Canon vs Nikon thing going. The only thing I care about is the quality of image coming out of the camera, and I thoroughly object to paying for a camera body that will be out of date in four years that cost more than I paid for my Hasselblad with three lenses. That said this camera body fits in very nicely with my needs. Who says it's a consumer or prosumer body? Are you kidding me? It's a camera and having the six thousand dollar body or the five hundred dollar body doesn't make you a pro; you do! Now that I have vented here's what I see. Image quality is as good as you will get from a digital camera at this time. The grain and crispness of the image on my 27" MAC monitor are excellent. The first time I used the camera it was amazing how quiet it is; very quiet. There are some things I don't like about the focusing system but that has been the case on every autofocus camera I've ever used. The camera will not get it right everytime, however it is very fast and quiet in focusing. I also have a 60D and use it a lot. The single feature that I see on the 60D that is absent on this body is the articulating screen, but not for the reason most people think. I do a lot of studio work and one thing I hate is for the client to ask is they can see the raw image, or they try to sneak around the back of the camera to see what's on the monitor. With the articulating screen I just turn it over and no image appears on the back of the camera. They just assume it's the way "professional" cameras work since their camera has a picture that pops up immediately after it's taken and the question never comes up. I like this camera a lot; really more than the inevitable comparison camera body; the 5DMkii. I rented a body for a week to see if I liked it. After doing nearly 1,000 images with it, this will be the camera body I get. Very good camera and unless you're going to abuse it I have a very hard time understanding why it is that there is such a kerfuffle about it having a polycarbonate body and not an all metal body. I don't know about you but if I have to use the camera in the middle of a rain storm or eastern New Mexico dust storm I put a rain coat on it. If I drop it I expect it not to work so to me the ruggedness, or lack of ruggedness is a silly argument. This body is definitely the most "bang for the buck" if you're in a Canon system. If you're in a Nikon system you have my deepest sympathies.
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50 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Upgraded from 5Di - best decision ever!, March 10, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Canon EOS 6D 20.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Body Only) (Electronics)
I have a small studio and shoot mostly families. I just finished my third shoot with this camera. I debated over upgrading from the 5D to the comparably priced 5Dii or jumping to the 5Diii. For costs the 5dII is closer to the 6D but image wise, the 5Diii is closer. I decided the cost was the biggest factor and I thought the WiFi function would be fun - it turned out to be the best decision.

Build wise, the 6D is much lighter, which is great. Coming from the original 5D model, the image improvements and high ISO is stunning. For the majority of my business my clients probably won't be able to tell a difference up to 11x14's but for the occasional 20x30 prints, I can tell a difference. Plus I can crop like crazy the resolution is so amazing. No need for longer lenses anymore. I am a semi-pro, locally published photog and always get a kick out of the "prosumer", "enthusiast" and "pro" debates. The fact is that the images are only as good as the composition and lighting allows and the camera is just a tool. Don't let folks make you feel bad for choosing this camera over more expensive bodies, the images this produces are amazing. Worry about your light and your glass. Some complain about not having dual card slots. I haven't ever had a body with two card slots except when I briefly shot with a 1Dsii, but it was pretty heavy to lug around for the kind of shoots I do. When I shoot weddings, I use two bodies and capture all scenes with both bodies and after over 30 weddings haven't ever had an issue, and If and when I do, I should have it covered by shooting with two bodies anyway.

I am a center point focus kind of shooter and although this doesn't have the phenomenal focusing capabilities as some of the bigger bodies, it is still incredibly good. I shoot with almost exclusively "L" glass and the focus so far has been near immediate and spot on. Luckily all my lens tests have been dead accurate and I haven't had to make any adjustments, which you can do with this camera.

The auto ISO and white balance is a huge improvement for me. I shoot in a lot of mixed lighting situations and so far the 6D has performed like a champ. I have already printed off images at 6400 ISO and they are comparable to what I was doing at 400 on the old 5D. My f4 24-105 just became my all purpose lens, finally. I am excited to see how far I can push the ISO and still have marketable images.

The WiFi is awesome. I thought it might be a fun gimmick, but now after three shoots, it is transforming my workflow. I am having issues with the remote feature working with Windows8, but am pretty sure it is an issue on my end. However, the WiFi remote on my iPhone and android tablet is a feature that I am thrilled about. The greatest feature is after my shoot, I connect my camera to the tablet and my clients can scroll through the images and rate them on the spot, even while I am still shooting. They love it and I love it. Mommy is over there watching the images as they are taken and by the time I finish shooting, she is ready to order.

So far the ONLY thing I wish this camera had was the pc port on the side to connect my camera to my studio lights in the event my wireless trigger fails. I ordered the Vello hotshoe pc port adapter just in case that happens.

There are so many upgrades I am discovering, every day I find something new that thrills me. There are probably more features that I won't use than I actually will use. I basically need a good body that takes great images. So far, I couldn't be happier.

Oh yeah, I hear this thing also takes great videos. Someday I may have to try that out too.

In summary, this is a major upgrade for me. The resolution I get from this body allows me to crop so much, I may not need my f2.8 70-200 IS anymore. The high ISO performance is going to allow me to use my f4 lenses more and take shots I wasn't able to in the past. The WiFi is a great tool that I didn't think I would use professionally, but I can already see it improving my sales. I have nothing bad to say about this camera. And to think I was about to start checking into Nikon...well played Canon, looks like I will still be around as a customer for a great deal longer.
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55 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Game changer..., March 7, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I remember the first time I used the original Canon Rebel. That glorious feeling of going from a digital point-and-shoot to a real SLR... the feel of the body, the satisfying ka-click of a real shutter, the depth of field, the control... I was hooked immediately.

After later evolving to a 40D and then to a 60D, I never thought I would have that "oh wow" feeling again until I took a wild chance and spoiled myself. The 6D arrived, and from the moment I looked through that big, bright (and wide!) optical viewfinder, and experienced the amazing flick of the new "silent" shutter, as good as the 60D was, I felt I had jumped to a whole new level. I was not anticipating the new shutter - it's amazing - soft and quiet and very professional with very low volume and vibration. The feel of this thing is like the first time you throw a perfect shifter in a high-end sports car, or slip your arm around a beautiful woman. Okay, maybe that's a bit too poetic... but trust me, you'll find yourself wanting to pull out this baby and flick off a new photo every chance you get.

And that was just the start...

I turned on the GPS (indoors) and took a few photos a minute later - downloaded them into Lightroom - and LR showed me a satellite view of my house, right down to the corner of the house in which I took the photos! I could not believe how accurate, and how quickly it acquired its location.

I haven't used it extensively, but the built-in wi-fi capabilities are pretty amazing too. View images and control your camera remotely from a smartphone or tablet. It transmits a live picture to your device (in my case, a Galaxy Android tablet) and let's you make a few adjustments remotely. It would be nice if it gave you a little more control though. You can also put it into DLNA mode to share with other devices on your network. Once I turned it on, my Playstation3 instantly saw the camera and allowed me to surf through the photos that were still on the camera on my lap. Pretty neat. I wish the UI guys had spent a little more time on the wifi profile menus - they are a lot less intuitive than the other settings. But it works well.

I am amazed at the high-ISO performance and it's noise reducing DIGIC 5 processor!
You can push it to ridiculous heights before it becomes obvious at anything but pixel-peeking levels. Even the 50,000 and 100,000 ISO range, while obviously noisy, are an acceptable "better than not getting the shot at all", and anything up to 3200 is barely noticeable unless you pixel peek. EVen images shot at 12,500 look pretty good once passed through the noise and color filter in Lightroom. In normal ISO ranges, colors are exceptionally vibrant and solid.

The HDR feature is nice, but gives a bit more muted, low-contrast look than I usually achieve doing it manually with Photomatix. I'm not sure I would depend on it for taking realistic photos, but I look forward to really putting it through its paces soon. [UPDATE: I was too kind. The HDR feature is pretty much worthless in my opinion. It just doesn't do very good job. I've quit using it.]

I went to a large local photography club the day after I bought it and they were showing off how you could buy a GPS accessory for their 7D for "only" a few hundred dollars, or a wifi/tablet app for a couple of hundred dollars more, and they had all these doo-hickeys hanging off their camera, and there I was, holding this little marvel with all of this built right in, and for a price that, while certainly not inexpensive, is a bargain within the category of full-frame cameras.

Naturally, if you're not aware, as a full-frame camera, the field of view is much wider. That nice, inexpensive f2.8 Canon 40mm pancake lens now becomes a real joy to use with this camera. I splurged and got the kit with the 24-105L lens, which seems to be a wonderful lens, but I will withhold my full review of the lens until I get more time in the field with it*.

There is no built-in flash, which does not bother me as I hate the harsh on-board flash, and with the low-light capabilities of this camera, it becomes even less necessary. Of course you can still use a Speedlite.

If you have anything prior to the 60D, you will love this upgrade. And if you can spare the cash, it's even a big step up from the 60D as well.

This thing is a game changer.

Don't skip paying the rent or buying food for your children to buy one, but it's well worth skipping a few luxury items and pampering yourself with this exceptional piece of technology.

* Update: still adore this camera, but I've got good news/bad news regarding the lens. I spent hours doing side-by-side pixel-peeking comparisons between this expensive (24-105L) kit lens, and the much cheaper 28-135 kit lens that came with my 40D - a lens I always considered an "average" quality lens. You can easily spend 3 times more for the L series 24-105, yet when I compared identical images side by side I found very little to justify the fancy new lens. The build quality and styling is definitely better, and the lens zoom doesn't creep on you when you angle the camera downwards, and if focused perfectly, the L has a little better edge sharpness, but this full-frame sensor on the 6D really brought the old 28-135 to life - the majority of the frame was even sharper, and with better contrast than the L! I would have thought that a full-frame camera would magnify the deficiencies of the cheaper lens, but it really took fantastically detailed images. I have no explanation. I have no real complaints about the 24-105L, other than I was utterly disappointed that it did not stomp on its much cheaper little brother. So... nice lens, but this camera made the old lens pretty nice too. It would be tough to justify buying this lens again. I'd at least do some comparison shopping.
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153 of 176 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Upgraded from a T2i crop to the 6D, December 9, 2012
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I upgraded from a Rebel T2i w/ 18-135. Here's are my thoughts after taking the camera out on a shoot last night with the 24-105mm L.


Coming from a T2i, one thing that was incredibly difficult to get used to was where the ISO button is located at. It's no longer an isolated button but now a part of a group of 5 other buttons. The buttons are laid out as AF -> Drive -> ISO -> Metering -> LCD light. On the 5D MK3, the buttons are Metering/White balance -> AF/Drive -> ISO/Exposure -> LCD Light. The reason this is important is because from an ergonomic perspective, it's normal to just shift your right index finger from the jog wheel straight down to the ISO button and it's the first button right there. On the Canon 6D, I have to move my finger down and shift it over. I'm getting used to it, but I can't count how many times I've tried to change my ISO and I kept hitting the Metering button and kept taking my eye out of the viewfinder to make sure I didn't change any metering values. Luckily, even if you hit the metering button, settings don't change until you move the jog wheel. So if you're looking through the viewfinder and you hit a button and ISO doesn't show up, then shift your finger left one button. I'm sure this will just take time getting used to.

The viewfinder is significantly brighter which was something I never appreciated until using the 6D.

In regards to the focal points, the number of focal points seems to make a larger impact on this full frame camera than it did on my crop body (which only had 9 AF points which seemed plenty on the T2i) That is, all 11 of the focal points are towards the center of the frame and on the full frame it seems like there's a lot of places left "open" with no focal points. In other words, it seems like the focal points only cover about 50% of the viewfinder coverage whereas on my crop body (with only 9) it felt like the focal points covered 75% of the viewfinder. Does this matter in the real world? I've not yet to run into any problems, and I suppose one could always use live view focus if for whatever reason one needed a much more precise focus than the 11 AF points.

The quality of the center AF point however is superb, and I was surprised I was able to get focus in some situations where my crop body failed in low light situations.

In regards to low light image quality, I hated using anything ISO 3200 or higher on my crop body. Pictures were usable but often image quality suffered in graininess and I wouldn't use them for anything professional and even ISO 1600 was borderline but acceptable on my T2i. On the 6D however, I am impressed with the images at ISO 6400, and so far pretty good results at ISO 12800 as well. This was actually one of the biggest driving factors in me upgrading from a crop to a full frame, and I can say that the 6D does not disappoint in this regard.

The in-camera HDR is pretty effective. I was surprised at how easy it was to take HDR images without a tripod and have them automatically stitch together and still come out looking good. I am of the mentality that there are certain photos that HDR absolutely adds to a picture, but other times it can distract. The fact that it's so easy to get an HDR picture without a tripod in the field is definitely a plus for me. Keep in mind though that the HDR function will only be available if you are shooting in JPEG mode, so if you're currently set in RAW you'll have to change that setting before setting up the in camera HDR. Once you're finished with any HDR shots, you'll also have to remember to put your camera back in RAW mode.

Another nice feature is that there are different raw sizes. RAW - 20MP @ 5472x3648, RAW(M) - 11MP @ 4104x2736) and RAW(S)- 5MP @ 2736x1824. Exactly what it sounds like, but something I wasn't used to seeing on my T2i which always shot in full-size RAW. So if I'm just going out not doing anything serious, it's nice to have the option of a smaller file size while still retaining the benefits of a RAW image. Then again, if I'm not doing anything serious, I would probably just use a cell phone camera. Therefore, neither a pro or a con.

In regards to the Wifi features, I will say that the remote EOS app (Android and iPhone) is a far better solution than an articulating screen. When doing self-portraits, it is nice to be able to frame the picture with your phone remotely (remote shooting feature). After my shoot last night, I connected my phone and stuck the camera in the bag as I walked to my car. It felt a lot nicer reviewing my pictures through my phone (and deleting the ones I didn't like) using a touch interface. This is not necessarily a pro or a con, but it was refreshing and I found it to be a better solution as I could zoom with two fingers, pan, etc. I can also see that having a tablet with a larger screen would be useful in reviewing photos in the field. One other thing to mention is that transferring RAW files is pretty slow wirelessly, and it's probably quicker to just pop out the card and stick it in than it is to turn on the wifi settings in camera and then connect through the app.

Overall, I'm very satisfied in the upgrade from a T2i to this 6D and I feel it was the correct choice over the 5D MK3 for the following reasons (in order from greatest to least benefit:

Slightly better ISO performance (1/2 stop from what I read) over the MK3 -- This may simply be due to the lower resolution / MP count.
Slightly improved (-3EV) center focus (as opposed to the -2.5EV on the MK3)
~$900-$1000 dollar price difference
Wireless / Remote EOS app. (The MK3 supports this but at the cost of a $500 dollar add-on)

The MK3 would be a better choice because:

More focal points
Slightly higher resolution
Location of the ISO button (just my opinion)
Dual Card slots (although for me this has zero purpose.)
Faster FPS (also has zero purpose cause if I ever need to 'machine gun' my camera 4.5 FPS a second is still plenty fast on the 6D)

Update: Canon has released a statement saying that they will allow the center point of the 5Dmk3 to autofocus at F/8 with a firmware update in April of 2013. That opens up a lot of cheaper lens solutions (100-400L 4-5.6) to be used with a 1.4TC to have a max reach of 580mm while retaining autofocus at f/8. This may have been a bigger decision point had I had known about this before purchasing the 6D. However, to the 6D's support, you can swap out the standard focusing screen with an EF-S focusing screen for manual focus. There's also live view focusing, so it's not really a dealbreaker.

Update: 1/1/2013

Couple of additional thoughts as I've had this camera. The EOS Remote shooting app for Android and iOS is really a great thing to have on a camera. I just got back from vacation with family and friends and as soon as I took a family photo (some were of people who I didn't know) I was able to ask them for their phone or email address and immediately send it to them. Almost like a modern day Polaroid. I also was able to get impromptu shots of me with my friends by setting the camera on my camera bag and doing the framing with the three of us sitting in front of a fireplace.

I've also thought about the lack of dual card slots a bit more, and I think that if you're going to earn money off your camera it might be better to get the 5D MK3 just in case you happen to have a card failure while shooting a wedding or other one time events that you can't reshoot. It's nice to have the extra insurance, but that's about all it gives you. Granted, I doubt a card failure would happen during an important shoot, but it's possible and could prevent you from delivering a product. I think if you're team photographing that this camera supplements a 5dmk3 well, but I like the extra insurance of having backups *just* in case a card failure were to happen as a single shooter. Certainly not a deal breaker by any means, but just food for thought.
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55 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quiet Simple, Efficent Tool..., January 9, 2013
This review is from: Canon EOS 6D 20.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Body Only) (Electronics)
I have waited for this camera since September 2012 and it has met and exceeded my expectations.
I bought it directly from an Amazon vendor because they gave a free Lowepro bag and 32GB SDHC card with the purchase. I have used (rented for weeks) the 5D Mk2 and own a 5D Mk3 and the 6D is a better camera than the 5D Mk2. The 5D Mk3 is a $900 better camera than the 6D. If I had the 5D Mk2 I would keep it as a secondary and get the 6D as my primary. For now I leave my 5D Mk3 in the bag and pull out the 6D every time for the last 30 days because it's so simple and fun to work with.

The 6D is very light, simple to use and the photo quality is exceptional for this price point. It makes my slow lenses faster and my fast lenses very fast. This cameras ISO 2,000-4,000 to the eye is nearly the equivalent of ISO 600-1,200 on older digital cameras which will make it much easier to stop down and work well in low light with depth. If you pixel peep, higher ISO's (+8,000) are mildly noisy (to my eye) but the Digic 5+ does a decent job managing things. I actually carry less equipment because the 6D is so versatile and flexible. It could be considered (in some circles) an entry level camera because it's design is simple but camera function and quality of properly exposed images are impressive. I find this to be a very easy digital camera to pick up and use, even in the dark. Menu access and adjustments are simple and most can be done with 1 hand. Something else of note with this camera is that in RAW, even if you over or under expose a shot, when you go to edit the photo the details are still there to correct unlike many older digital cameras when you over expose and attempt to fix the photo file the details are gone or when you underexpose and try to lighten the noise increases....the files from the 6D are so heavy with info you will more easily save poorly exposed images. My 1Ds was terrible with overexposure.

After considerable use im not as happy with the Auto Picture Style and Scene Intelligent Auto (A+) jpg limitations as I was initially. My workaround has been to convert to tif before any editing. In silent mode this camera is so quiet, people posing don't know when I have snapped the photo and often, I have already taken the shot or 3 or 4 shots unheard from 15 feet away. It is definitely stealthy. If there is conversation going on in the room the camera will not be heard in silent mode.

Wi-Fi is functional and easy to use if you understand basic Wi-Fi principles but my primary concern is image quality and it comes close to the 5D Mk3 and for nearly $900 less I feel that got my money's worth.

I think the professional and the novice will enjoy using this camera. It's an excellent tool to learn and grow with or to jump right in and make money for the professional.

Im a freelance photographer and I most often shoot events, concerts (low light) and single subject portrait work. I don't miss the on board flash. The SD card versus the CF card or dual cards is a non issue for me. My primary concern is image quality. Ease of use is a bonus. I don't shoot video very often as of yet but it seems adequate.

I have 2,981 shutter actuations (at least 2,950 actual photo taken) on this camera as of January 9, 2013

If you want a 5D Mk3 this is not an alternative though it comes close in many ways. If your primary concern is to save money and you are a good shooter get the 5D Mk2 but you will get what you pay for. If you are moving up from a cropped sensor camera, experienced or new to photography you will be impressed with this camera and satisfied with your purchase.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great camera, December 15, 2012
This review is from: Canon EOS 6D 20.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Body Only) (Electronics)
The image quality and high ISO performance from this camera will blow you away. My first impression was that it is a full 2 stops better than my 7D; to be conservative, I will say a stop and a half. Other reviewers have put this sensor at roughly equal to the 5DMK3. I am not sure how it compares to the 1DX, but the fact that we can even ask that question tell you how good this camera is. (The 1DX costs 3 times as much.)

At the highest ISO settings, the 6D will take images of things I can barely see. They will not be "fine art" quality, but if you think that Bigfoot is throwing rocks at your cabin in the middle of the night, this camera could make you famous. In slightly brighter conditions, this allows you to use a faster shutter and/or smaller aperture to get the same exposure. Most of the best shots, indoor or out, happen in less than "daylight" conditions.

The controls on this camera are simpler and easier to use than the 7D, without giving anything up. (Who really needs a dedicated picture style button?) I also like the locking mode dial, having ruined a number of pictures over the years by brushing this dial on my coat, gloves, camera bag, etc.

The built-in GPS is a cool feature, but you should know that it uses power even when the camera is off. My battery went from 97% to 70% overnight, with the switch turned off.

I was a little disappointed with the autofocus screen, not so much because of the number of focus points, but their arrangement. I would like to see them extend closer to the edges and corners of the frame, rather than clustering in the center. To be fair, this arrangement is pretty much standard. The 6D is very similar to the 5Dmk2, but with greater low-light sensitivity.

This camera is offered with the 24-105L as the kit lens. This is one of the most popular and highly-rated lenses of all time, and in the kit it is real bargain.

For me, the 6D is a good complement to the 7D. The 7D has a terrific AF system and gives greater reach to a telephoto lens, while the 6D provides more wide-angle options and superb low-light capability. The 6D is marketed as an "entry level" full frame camera, but I know that many pros are MORE concerned than some enthusiasts about getting a return on their camera dollar. I predict that you will see a lot of pros (who aren't shooting sports) look very closely at this camera.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comming from a 7D..., January 31, 2013
This review is from: Canon EOS 6D 20.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Body Only) (Electronics)
Selling my 7D to upgrade to a 6D was a hard decision for me to make (I ponder on this for a couple of months). In part because of the absolute ruggedness of the 7D, but also for some of the photographic features it has (8 fps, 19 cross-type autofocus points, etc.). I felt like I would lose a lot of features just for the full frame sensor.

Things I don't like about the 6D:
1. Very basic autofocus (I don't understand canon on this, this is a rebel AF in my opinion except for the center point)
2. Lack of joystick to move autofocus point
3. Button layout. I liked some of the buttons on the left like the 7d or 5DIII.
4. Plastic camera top
5. Plastic LCD screen cover
6. 1/4000 sec max shutter speed
7. SD card instead of CF

My style of photography is mostly people and some wide-angle as well. It is obvious that the 7D was designed for sports/wildlife photographers. My only major complain about the 7D is the poor ISO performance typical of APS-C sensor cameras, so I went for it and got the 6D.

After a few weeks of using the 6D I think I made the best decision I ever made.
Although the 7D focusing system seems superior, in practice I've seen that in my work this makes little to no difference.

I can say that the IQ and ISO performance of the 6D is FAR superior to the 7D. Plus the depth of field and reclaiming my wide-angle is something that not a lot of us think it's important until you see it in a full frame camera.
The 6D is slightly smaller and lighter than the 7D, but I see this as a good thing.
The Wi-Fi is very useful and fun to use.
I don't think I'm going to use the HDR and GPS functions, but it's good to know they are there.
Fortunately I do have some Canon L glass and I've always regarded these lenses because they produce great pictures, but the combination of L glass and FF sensor is something entirely different and superb.

My recommendation is ... if you have a 7D, and are thinking about a 6D and your style of photography fits a full frame camera, go for it! You will be rewarded!
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