26.20
Megapixels
Canon EF 35mm
size sensor
image of Canon EOS 6D Mark II
Front side of Canon 6D Mark II digital camera Front side of Canon 6D Mark II digital camera Front side of Canon 6D Mark II digital camera Front side of Canon 6D Mark II digital camera Front side of Canon 6D Mark II digital camera
Basic Specifications
Full model name: Canon EOS 6D Mark II
Resolution: 26.20 Megapixels
Sensor size: 35mm
(35.9mm x 24.0mm)
Kit Lens: n/a
Viewfinder: Optical / LCD
Native ISO: 100 - 40,000
Extended ISO: 50 - 102,400
Shutter: 1/4000 - 30 seconds
Dimensions: 5.7 x 4.4 x 2.9 in.
(144 x 111 x 75 mm)
Weight: 27.0 oz (765 g)
includes batteries
Availability: 07/2017
Manufacturer: Canon
Full specs: Canon 6D Mark II specifications

Canon 6D Mark II Review -- Now Shooting!

by and
Preview posted: 06/29/2017
Last updated:

Updates:
06/29/2017: Hands-On Preview
07/14/2017: Performance page (from a production-level unit)
07/20/2017: First Shots (from a production-level unit)
08/14/2017: Field Test Part I
08/31/2017: Field Test Part II

 

Click here to go straight to our Canon 6D Mark II Product Overview

 

Canon 6D Mark II Field Test Part II

We test the 6D II's video features and performance

by Jeremy Gray | Posted 08/31/2017

Canon 6D II Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II: 349mm, f/6.3, 1/1000s, ISO 640.
This image has been cropped. Click for original image. Click here for RAW image.
Recap of Field Test Part I

In Field Test Part I, I looked at the body design, the image sensor and image quality, autofocus, overall performance and shooting modes, including the new built-in 4K time lapse mode. There is a lot to like about the 6D Mark II so far, but its sensor is an area of weakness.

In Part II of the Canon 6D Mark II Field Test, I will be looking at the 6D II's video features and quality, connectivity options and give a further analysis of how the camera performs in real-world shooting situations, including for wildlife, landscapes and portraiture.

Canon 6D Mark II Video

Video Features

Let's get one big issue out of the way, the Canon 6D Mark II does not record 4K video. In the current market, that's not unheard of -- after all, only a small handful of full-frame DSLRs offer 4K video recording -- but is a notable omission from the Canon 6D II's features list. If you need a full-frame camera that records 4K UHD video, this simply is not the camera for you. However, many don't need 4K UHD video. After all, the vast majority of homes don't have a 4K display yet, so 1920 x 1080 resolution is surely still sufficient in many cases. The 6D Mark II records 1920 x 1080 resolution video at up to 60 frames per second -- a faster framerate than its predecessor, which topped-out at 30 fps.

The 6D II has a port for an external microphone. However, it does not include a headphone jack, which is disappointing for users looking to monitor audio through the camera during recording.

We discussed the built-in 4K time lapse feature in Part I of this Field Test, but what other video modes are there? The 6D II includes an HDR video mode, which is rather interesting. It works fairly well, although the results can be a little unnatural at times, and HDR video can have a slightly soft look. The process works by recording at 60 frames per second and combining darker and brighter frames into a final 30 fps video. In the video compilation below, you can see a number of clips comparing HDR and non-HDR video, with HDR video clips appearing first. They are also labelled. It's a neat feature and definitely a nice inclusion.

Canon 6D II HDR Video Comparison Compilation
1920 x 1080; 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM lens.
Download Original (695.8 MB .MP4 File)

The 6D Mark II also includes 5-axis in-camera digital stabilization during video recording, making it the first full-frame EOS camera to include this feature. This digital stabilization works even when using non-IS lenses. Digital image stabilization works, but it also noticeably reduces the quality of the video, making it softer, especially when using the "Enhanced" digital image stabilization. Further, the stabilizing effect can result in somewhat jarring distortion and digital effects, giving the footage a sort of warped look. Overall, it's useful, especially if using longer focal lengths, but is certainly no substitute for a tripod.

Canon 6D II Image Stabilization Comparison Compilation
1920 x 1080; 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM lens.
Image stabilization settings noted on each video clip.
Download Original (486.3 MB .MP4 File)

Another thing to consider is the image stabilization's effect on the video frame. In the video clip below, you can see the frame with the Canon 24-105mm f/4L II lens set to 24mm when using no stabilization, using standard stabilization and using enhanced stabilization. The decrease in the width of the frame (effectively increasing the focal length of the lens digitally) is dramatic. At the beginning of the video you can see a still frame of the scene, cropped to 16:9 (full width, but the top and bottom have been chopped off).

Canon 6D II Frame Size Comparison
1920 x 1080; 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM lens at 24mm.
Image stabilization settings noted on each video clip.
Download Original (116.8 MB .MP4 File)

Video Quality

The Full HD video from the 6D Mark II is not super sharp to begin with, but it does hold up pretty well at higher ISOs. Through ISO 1600, the video quality remains quite stable. At ISO 3200, the video gets noticeably softer, but is still quite smooth and looks good. At ISO 6400, the visible noise starts to become much more apparent and at ISO 12,800 and 25,600, the noise is very distracting. The colors remain impressive throughout the entire video ISO range of 100 to 25,600, however, which is very good.

Canon 6D II ISO comparison
1920 x 1080; 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM lens; ISO setting noted on each video clip.
Download Original (425.2 MB .MP4 File)

Dual Pixel CMOS AF

Dual Pixel CMOS AF has proven to perform well on other Canon DSLRs, with the 6D Mark II proving to be yet another excellent example of the phase-detection-based Live View/video autofocus technology.

With its Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus system for Live View and video recording, the 6D Mark II offers quite good autofocus performance. It is quick to acquire focus, even when performing large focus shifts, and does a great job of staying locked on the subject without making constant noticeable small focus adjustments, which often occurs with contrast-detection AF systems. In the video below, you can see (and hear) the Canon 6D II performing autofocus adjustments. After the clip from the 6D II, I have included a clip shot with my phone of me recording the video seen below, so you can have a sense of how quickly the autofocus is adjusting. It is not a perfect representation, but it should help illustrate the impressive speed of the 6D II.

Canon 6D II Autofocus Demonstration
1920 x 1080; 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM lens at 50mm; Tap to focus.
Download Original (307.8 MB .MP4 File)

General Video Recording

The Canon 6D Mark II does a good job handling dramatic changes in exposure as well, both in terms of overall brightness and color temperature. In the edited clip below, I was recording with the 24-105mm f/4 lens in an automatic shooting mode with image stabilization turned on. The autofocus did fairly well in the challenging situation -- my dog is a busy one -- but the exposure did really well, providing natural-looking shifts without any jarring transitions.

Canon 6D II Sample Video
1920 x 1080; 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM lens. Auto exposure.
Download Original (94.3 MB .MP4 File)

Connectivity

Wi-Fi

With Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth built-in, the 6D Mark II has plenty of connectivity options. The connection process proved to be very straightforward on my iOS device, following the same pattern as most other cameras, requiring me to enable wireless communications on the camera, select the camera from my phone's Wi-Fi settings and then open the Canon Camera Connect app. Once that was done, it was good to go.

The Bluetooth connection process is similarly straightforward, although it doesn't require going into your iOS device settings at all. Bluetooth functionality is very limited, but it does allow you to connect faster when switching to a Wi-Fi connection, so that's nice. When connected via Wi-Fi, you can view and transfer images and remotely control the camera. The connection remained stable during my testing provided I was within 25 feet or so from the camera, after that, the live view when using the remote control functionality got sluggish.

Canon 6D II Review: Field Test -- Wireless App Screenshots
The Canon Camera Connect App works well. On the right, you can see a focus adjustment function in action.

When close to the camera, the live view on my phone was very good. It was nearly real-time. The functionality is good too, allowing changes on the camera itself to be registered in the app without the need to reestablish the connection. It's surprising how many cameras don't work that way over Wi-Fi.

Overall, I have no complaints with the performance or functionality of the Canon 6D Mark II's wireless feature set. It's easy to use and works well.

GPS

The Canon 6D Mark II includes built-in GPS functionality, which is very cool. There are a few settings you can adjust, including a pair of modes to choose from. The first mode keeps GPS active even when the camera is powered off, which reduces battery life. The second mode turns off the GPS with the camera, but the GPS will remain enabled if the camera turns off via Auto Power Off. You can also set the camera to change its time via GPS, select a GPS update interval (options are every 1 second, 5s, 10s, 15s (default), 30s, 1 minute, 2 minutes and 5 minutes. Further, you can view GPS information and also enable a GPS Logger. The connection was reliable during my testing and didn't have a noticeable impact on battery life, although I did not use the GPS function all day, so it's difficult for me to say how much it affects battery life. I used the default 15 second update interval.

Canon 6D II Review: Field Test -- GPS Menu
The Canon 6D Mark II includes built-in GPS functionality, which is a nice feature that works well.

HDMI

The 6D II has an HDMI output which, oddly enough, does not do anything until "control over HDMI" has been enabled in the camera's menus. Once enabled, the camera's display is mirrored to the connected television and you can capture images in Live View, record video and perform image playback among other things. A neat feature is the ability to use the touchscreen for playback functionality, such as swiping through images and zooming in and out even though the display is off while the camera is connected over HDMI. Definitely a nice feature when viewing and sharing your work on the big screen.

In the Field

During my extensive time in the field with the Canon 6D Mark II, including my early hands-on in Yellowstone National Park in June, the one issue with the camera that stood out is its poor autofocus point coverage when shooting through the viewfinder. While focusing and recomposing is a perfectly viable technique to use for many subjects, when shooting moving subjects, that split second it takes to focus, move the camera and then capture an image can make all the difference. When shooting wildlife, in particular, this is a problem. I came to accept that I was going to have to crop the image later to get the desired composition, not wanting my subject to be so close to the center of the frame.

Canon 6D II Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS II: 105mm, f/5, 1/250s, ISO 100.
This image has been modified. Click for original image. Click here for RAW image.

On the topic of shooting through the optical viewfinder, I found the viewfinder eyepiece to be very uncomfortable to use. It just never felt good and I could not get used to it. Further, the 98% coverage caught me off guard a few times and resulted in small distracting elements being present along the edge of the frame. It's a small issue, but one I don't expect from a $2,000 full-frame DSLR. Similarly, the directional pad on the back of the camera never felt good either. It was inconsistent in registering presses throughout my time with the camera, and I finally relented and used just the touchscreen for playback functions and menu navigation. While not important during this time of year here in Maine, for about half of the year it's not unusual for me to wear gloves while shooting and unsurprisingly the directional pad was difficult to use with gloves on. On the plus side, the touchscreen worked with my gloves, so that's great.

Canon 6D II Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS II: 105mm, f/4, 1/200s, ISO 800.
Click for full-size image. Click here for RAW image.

Let's get to more positive aspects of using the camera in the field. I didn't discuss the continuous autofocus while shooting through the viewfinder much in the first Field Test and after more time with the camera, the AF Servo definitely impressed me. It was not perfect -- no camera is -- but it was good and generally consistent. When shooting at 6.5 frames per second, there were frames where the focus was off, but the camera typically recovered within a frame or two, even when dealing with difficult changes in depth.

Canon 6D II Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Canon EF 2Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens at 227mm, f/5.0, 1/1000s, ISO 640.
This image has been modified. Click for original image. Click here for RAW image.

Overall, the Canon 6D Mark II did pretty well in the field, but some of its issues are particularly problematic for me and frankly rather surprising given the camera's class and price point. It's rare for me to have any concerns with the handling of a Canon camera, their ergonomics are typically very good, but the uncomfortable viewfinder and poor directional pad were a constant thorn in my side. While the autofocus point coverage through the viewfinder is limited, the autofocus performance is definitely very good, so for most situations, the AF was sufficient.

Canon 6D II Field Test Part II Summary
Disappointing video features make the 6D II a poor choice for multimedia users
Canon 6D II Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS II: 24mm, f/4, 1/200s, ISO 320.
This image has been modified. Click for original image. Click here for RAW image.

What I like in Part II:

  • Built-in digital stabilization for video
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF works well
  • Wi-Fi functionality is good
  • Includes built-in GPS functionality

What I dislike in Part II:

  • No 4K video
  • Video quality is underwhelming
  • I expect better video features and functionality from a $2,000 full-frame DSLR in 2017

In this second Field Test, the Canon 6D Mark II performed fairly well, although its lack of video features is certainly a weak area for the camera. The Full HD video performance is generally good, and the HDR video is neat, but the lack of 4K severely limits the usability of the 6D Mark II as a modern multimedia camera.

Further, in the field, some issues persisted from the first Field Test and others presented themselves more frequently. The poor autofocus point coverage, which I previously noted, became an even bigger issue as I did more wildlife photography and did a portrait session with the 6D II. The directional pad on the camera body itself, something I thought I'd get used to, remained frustrating to work with.

Canon 6D II Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS II: 35mm, f/9, 1/30s, ISO 125.
This image has been modified. Click for original image. Click here for RAW image.
Overall Field Test Conclusion

What I like most overall:

  • Comfortable camera grip and good button layout
  • Fast and reliable autofocus performance
  • Good image quality straight from the camera
  • Built-in 4K time lapse mode
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF works well during video recording

What I dislike most overall:

  • Uncomfortable directional pad
  • 98% viewfinder coverage is odd considering the 6D II's price
  • Mediocre dynamic range
  • ISO variant sensor
  • Limited autofocus point coverage through the viewfinder
  • No 4K video
  • Full HD video quality is not very good

The Canon 6D Mark II is a mixed bag. In some ways, it's a very good full-frame DSLR. In other ways, it's a disappointing successor to the popular 6D. How I felt about the 6D Mark II changed from shooting situation to shooting situation. In real-world use, the body feels very good, the tilting touchscreen is excellent and the autofocus performance, both through the viewfinder and when using Live View, is reliably quick. However, in demanding situations, such as landscape scenes with large shifts in brightness values, the shortcomings of the 6D Mark II's sensor become very apparent. Add in the ISO variance, which limits the usability of RAW files when doing extensive post-processing, and the 26-megapixel sensor simply doesn't deliver the quality I expected.

Canon 6D II Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Canon EF 2Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens at 349mm, f/6.3, 1/1000s, ISO 1000.
This image has been cropped. Click for original image. Click here for RAW image.

With that said, for Canon shooters with a crop sensor camera who want to make the move to full-frame, the 6D II may be a good option. Its image quality, while not up to par with some of its competition, can still be very good in certain situations. However, if someone is looking to build a full-frame system from scratch, the 6D II has some limitations, especially for videographers given the camera's lack of 4K UHD video recording.

Canon 6D II Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS II: 70mm, f/4.5, 1/250s, ISO 100.
This image has been modified. Click for original image. Click here for RAW image.

At the end of the day, the Canon 6D Mark II has many strong features but is not without its issues. For longtime Canon users, especially those who have been ardent users of the original 6D, whether the new 6D II is a home run or a swing and a miss depends almost entirely on how you intend to use the camera. You can capture nice still images across a wide range of situations with the 6D Mark II. However, if you are doing extensive RAW processing or looking for great multimedia capabilities, the 6D II will likely disappoint. No camera is perfect, of course, but ultimately, the 6D Mark II doesn't come as close to perfect as I would expect.

 

• • •

 

Canon 6D Mark II Review -- Overview

by

Canon 6D Mark II Review -- Product Image

Despite debuting all the way back in 2012, the Canon 6D remains an extremely popular camera -- #25 on Amazon's Best Seller's list for DSLRs, in fact. Marketed as Canon's "entry-level" full-frame DSLR, the 6D offered a brilliant, large CMOS sensor, but saved cost in a few areas, such as build quality, memory card choice, AF system sophistication, among others. It didn't skimp too much, though, as it was still quite full-featured, and yet offered then-unique features for a Canon full-frame DSLR: built-in Wi-Fi and GPS. All told, it was a lighter, smaller and more affordable alternative to Canon's main full-frame staple at the time, the 5D Mark III, and an excellent choice for advanced amateurs and enthusiasts looking to upgrade to the full-frame experience without completely wiping out their bank account.

Now, finally, five years later, the Canon 6D Mark II is making its highly anticipated debut, and it addresses many of the shortcomings of the original, such as the AF system and burst performance, for example. In keeping with its heritage, the 6D Mark II is still Canon's affordable-class full-frame DSLR, sitting under the 5D Mark IV, and maintains a more compact and lightweight design, and of course, a more affordable price point. Plus, like its predecessor, the 6D II offers a few new features not currently available in a Canon full-frame DSLR.

Sensor & Processor: Canon ups resolution, brings latest processor to DSLRs

At the heart of the camera is a Canon-designed and manufactured 26.2-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor (with a fixed low-pass filter), offering a nice, but not extravagant resolution bump from the 20MP sensor of the original. The 5D Mark IV and 5DS R models, for example, still offer much more resolution, at 30MP and 50MP, respectively, but at 26MP, the 6D Mark II should offer plenty of fine detail for large prints or flexibility for cropping for most situations and applications.

Canon 6D Mark II Review -- Product Image

Paired with the new sensor is a DIGIC 7 image processor, the first 7-series processor in a full-frame Canon DSLR. In terms of the image quality improvements, in addition to pure resolution improvements thanks to the sensor, the new image processor helps the camera with high ISO performance. With a native ISO range of 100 all the way up to 40,000, the Canon 6D Mark II should be more powerful in low-light situations than the original model, which only offered up to a native ISO 25,600. The camera offers an expanded ISO range, down to ISO 50 and up to ISO 102,400 -- the same expanded range as the original 6D.

Just how well the camera performs in low-light with high ISOs remains to be seen -- check out our gallery for some beta-sample real-world images -- but the large area of the full-frame sensor and latest-generation DIGIC processor of the 6D Mark II should make it quite a solid low-light performer.

Canon 6D Mark II Review -- Product Image

The Canon 6D Mark II offers a faster burst rate than the 5D Mark III

In addition to the high ISO performance gains, we finally get to one of the main issues that Canon focused on for improvements to the 6D Mark II: burst rate increase. The original 6D shot at a maximum of 4.5fps (or 4.4, according to our lab tests), but the 6D Mark II is said to shoot up to 6.5 frames per second thanks to the faster processor -- which is also slightly speedier than the 5D Mark III and only a bit slower than the 7fps 5D Mark IV.

Now, for super-fast, pro-level sports and action, 6.5fps is hardly "up to snuff" nowadays. If you need faster shooting in a Canon body, the 7D Mark II offers up to 10fps if you're okay with an APS-C body, or if you need full-frame and money is no object, the 1DX Mark II is there with its amazing 14fps burst rate. However, the Canon 6D Mark II seems to strike a good balance of high-resolution and high-speed performance; 6.5fps is still quite the capable continuous burst rate for most photographers who aren't dedicated sports photographers.

According to Canon's specs, the 6D Mark II's buffer capacity when shooting RAW files has been improved despite the larger files and faster burst speed. RAW-only buffer capacity is rated at 21 frames when using a UHS-I memory card, while the original was rated at 17 shots. RAW+JPEG (Large/Fine) capture looks to be a better improvement, with the Mark II rated at 18 frames whereas the original was rated at a mere eight frames. For Large/Fine JPEGs, the Mark II's buffer capacity is rated at a generous 150 frames, though the 6D was rated at a whopping 1250 frames, but keep in mind the smaller files and slower burst speed.

Canon 6D Mark II Review -- Product Image
The optical viewfinder in the 6D Mark II offers approximately 98% field coverage, has about 0.71x magnification and a eye point of around 21mm.
Borrowed from the 80D, the 6D II gets a more advanced AF system

Another significant improvement for the 6D Mark II is its autofocus system, which gains a big upgrade over the original model. The original model used a rather modest 11-point AF system, while the 5D Mark III offered a whopping 61-point system. It was a fairly stark difference in AF point flexibility and overall AF performance. Now, the 6D Mark II utilizes a 45-point, all-cross-type AF system. The center AF point is a dual cross-type point that supports both f/2.8 and f/5.6 apertures, and 27 total AF points support autofocus down to f/8 -- great news for teleconverter users.. (Note that the number of available AF points, cross-type points and dual cross-type points vary depending on the lens being used, as with other Canon DSLR models.)

Essentially, the Canon 6D Mark II utilizes the same autofocus system as the Canon 80D, and the AF point spread covers the same area, which is the one primary downside to its inclusion in the 6D II. Given the APS-C sensor of the 80D, this 45-point AF system covers a good portion of the sensor area (62% of the horizontal width and 48% of an image's height), however when used on a full-frame sensor, the array of AF points is clustered more in the central area of this larger sensor. Nevertheless, the AF points are quite densely packed next to one another, which should help successfully nab a sharp image, especially when using continuous AF. Like the 80D, the 6D Mark II's phase-detect AF system allows for autofocus in very low light conditions, down to -3EV with the central AF point.

Canon 6D Mark II Review -- Product Image

Like other Canon EOS DSLRs, the 6D Mark II offers both Single-Shot AF mode and AI Servo (continuous AF), plus an automatic "AI Focus AF" mode that automatically switches between single-shot and C-AF as the scene requires. The 6D Mark II offers a variety of AF point configurations beyond the single-point setting, including Zone AF (points divided into nine groupings), Large Zone AF (three large point groups) and Automatic selection AF (where all 45 points are active, and the camera automatically picks a point or points).

The camera's metering system gets a solid upgrade compared to the original's 63-zone, dual-layer iFCL metering sensor from the 7D and 5D Mark III. Now, the 6D Mark II uses the 80D's 7,560-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor. In addition to its metering functionality, works in conjunction with the AI Servo AF II autofocusing system to provide skin tone and color detection for better facial recognition and subject tracking.

Like most recent Canon DSLRs, the new 6D Mark II now also offers Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology in addition to its traditional through-the-viewfinder phase-detect AF. As we've seen with other "Dual Pixel" Canon cameras, this Live View focusing tech uses phase-detect pixels on the sensor surface to provide super-quick and very precise autofocusing in Live View shooting and video recording -- all without the visible hunting and wobbling effects seen with contrast-detect AF systems. In our testing, Dual Pixel CMOS AF-capable cameras offer outstanding live view AF with super-quick speeds, so we are expecting similarly excellent performance from the 6D Mark II.

Similarly light, but with one striking new feature for a full-frame Canon DSLR

Overall, the Canon 6D Mark II maintains similar design principles as its predecessor, in that it remains a fairly compact and lightweight full-frame DSLR. Compared to the original, the 6D Mark II weighs more or less the same, approximately 685g compared to 680g for the 6D -- or about 1.5 pounds. This is compared to the 800g (1.8 pounds) weight of the 5D Mark IV, making the 6D Mark II a bit more easy to carry around. Size-wise, too, the 6D Mark II keeps about the same overall footprint at the original model, which again is subtly smaller than its bigger 5D-series sibling.

For a detailed look at the 6D Mark II's design and handling out in the field, click here to jump straight down to Jeremy Gray's Canon 6D Mark II Hands-On Preview.

In the meantime, we'll touch on the major design aspects and changes to the new 6D Mark II. For the most part, the 6D Mark II looks just like any other modern Canon DSLR, which is pretty great when it comes to familiarity and operability -- especially if you're already accustomed to the Canon EOS system, menus UI, button layout and general control scheme. Regarding button layout and design, the 6D II looks very similar to the 5D Mark IV, but compared to other full-frame Canon DSLRs, the 6D Mark II has one striking new feature: a fully-articulated 3.0-inch touchscreen LCD.

Canon 6D Mark II Review -- Product Image
The Canon 6D Mark II features an articulated 3.0-inch touchscreen LCD with 1.04 million dots of resolution, provides approximately 100% field coverage, and includes adjustable brightness as well as coatings to reduce smudges and reflections.

Typically relegated to Canon's more entry-level and less weather-sealed DSLRs, the 6D Mark II is the company's first full-frame DSLR to include this handy vari-angle rear LCD touchscreen. And despite it likely being more fragile than a fixed LCD, Canon states that the 6D Mark II offers a tough, water and dust-resistant body, with the same degree of sealing as on the 5D Mark IV, which is quite impressive.

As most will probably already realize, the benefits to an articulated LCD over a fixed one include easier and more comfortable shooting from low or high angles. Plus, you can also tweak and tilt the screen to help avoid any nasty glare when out in bright sunlight -- although the optical viewfinder can seriously help in that regard, at least when you're shooting stills. However, where a vari-angle LCD really shines is with video recording. When shooting video, be it on a tripod or shoulder rig, or simply in-hand, you can easily flip the screen out to pretty much any angle that you require for comfortable filming. Plus, the 6D Mark II's screen flips around a full 180-degrees, so if you're a solo filmmaker, you can easily self-record interviews or film vlogs and still be aware of your framing and exposure.

Plus, with touch capabilities and the 6D II's Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology, the tap-to-focus makes it a breeze to quickly and smoothly adjust focus, for both photography and video shooting.

Lack of 4K is glaring, but video on 6D II is good for entry-level

And while we're on the topic of video, let's dive into the 6D Mark II's video specs and features. While the Canon 6D Mark II is a full-frame DSLR with an articulated screen, which seemingly positions it as an indie filmmaker's dream camera, the 6D Mark II doesn't include all the bells and whistles for video as do some of Canon's higher-end models. Namely, the lack of 4K video recording resolutions is the most glaringly absent feature. Alas, the Canon 6D Mark II offers video recording a maximum of Full HD resolution at up to 60 frames per second at a bitrate of up to 60Mbps (1080p60). The 60p frame rate is great for fast action subjects, and particularly with instances where you may want to slow the footage down in post for 30p or 24p videos.

Product Image

The 6D Mark II, however, does offer a sliver of 4K functionality and that's a new built-in Timelapse movie mode; a feature not present in the original 6D. Here, the 6D Mark II offers timelapse movies capture in either 4K Motion JPEG recording (4K 30p playback) or Full HD (ALL-I 1080p30 playback). The camera also includes Canon's HDR Movie mode (1080p30 IPB).

As for other movie file formats and quality settings, the 6D Mark II doesn't offer as diverse of a selection as on, say, the 5D Mark IV. Other than the aforementioned timelapse movie mode, all other video resolutions and framerates use M-PEG4/H.264 MP4 file formats with the space-saving IPB compression scheme. The camera does not offer MOV format or the higher-quality ALL-I (intraframe) compression.

As with most other Canon cameras, the maximum sustained video recording time limit is 29 minutes, 59 seconds, after which point recording will stop and must be re-started manually. The camera does include a 3.5mm microphone input jack, but it doesn't have a headphone jack, which is another limiting factor for more advanced videographers.

Overall, the video features on the 6D Mark II aren't groundbreaking but are decent for new shooters or for those who primarily focus on still photography, but want to dabble with video every now and then. The lack of 4K is likely disappointing to a good swath of folks looking for a new video-capable DSLR, as we've seen more and more new cameras from other manufacturers add 4K in the recent past. However, if you only need 1080p, the 6D Mark II jut might fit the bill.

Storage, Connectivity & Battery Life: SD again, wireless galore & better battery

Like its predecessor, the Canon 6D Mark II uses a single SD card for file storage, as opposed to CompactFlash and/or CFast like larger full-frame Canon DSLRs. The camera is compatible with SD/SDHC/SDXC cards, including UHS-I-type card (no UHS-II support). Eye-Fi wireless connectivity memory cards are also compatible.

Product Image

You may not need to use an Eye-Fi card, however, as the 6D Mark II has a slew of built-in wireless connectivity features. Indeed, like its predecessor -- which was the first full-frame Canon DSLR to have Wi-Fi -- the Mark II version offers the latest set of wireless connection options. There's both Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity as well as Bluetooth 4.1 (Bluetooth Low Energy), which maintains an always-on, low-power connection to a paired smart device in order to easily see and transfer images without manually reconnecting to its Wi-Fi.

With a compatible iOS and Android smart device, the user can connect to the 6D Mark II for both image browsing and transfer as well as remote control shooting capabilities.

The 6D Mark II also has built-in GPS connectivity that lets you geotag your photos. In addition to the GPS satellite system for the USA, the 6D Mark II is also compatible with the Russian GLONASS and the Japanese QZSS systems.

Product Image

As for battery life, thanks to the updated LP-E6N rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack, the CIPA-rated battery life is slightly extended compared to the original 6D in both viewfinder and Live View shooting. At typical operating temperatures, the 6D Mark II earns a CIPA rating of 1200 shots/charge for the OVF and 380 for the rear LCD, a bump up from the respective 1090 and 220 shot/charge ratings of the original. When using the new, optional BG-E21 Battery Grip (no, the 6D's battery grip will not fit this new model), the battery is practically doubled. Though the 6D II uses the newer LP-E6N battery packs, the camera is still compatible with the older, lower-capacity LP-E6 batteries.

Canon 6D Mark II Pricing & Availability

Scheduled for availability starting in late July 2017, the Canon 6D Mark II is slated to have an MSRP of US$1,999 for the body-only configuration, which is slightly under the $2,100 body-only of the original upon its debut. The 6D Mark II will also be sold in two kit-lens configurations, one with the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM for US$3,099 and another with the non-L EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM for US$2,599. The BG-E21 battery grip will list for around US$240.

Canon 6D Mark II Hands-On Preview

Hands-on in Yellowstone

by Jeremy Gray |

Canon 6D Mark II tech section illustration Introduction
Earlier this month, Canon arranged for various members of the press to gather at Yellowstone National Park to test out the Canon 6D Mark II ahead of its reveal. If you want to learn more about the camera's features and specs, click here. The following will be a recap of the experience in Yellowstone along with observations about the camera itself.

Note: It is important to keep in mind that my hands-on experience here was with a pre-production sample of the Canon 6D II and that all images in our gallery from Yellowstone were captured with a non-final camera. Further, all RAW processing was done with a beta version of Canon's Digital Photo Professional 4 software with the processed files then edited to taste in Adobe Photoshop. Full-resolution JPEG samples are available for you to view, but original RAW files are not.

Arrival and Gear Pickup
After an early start to the day and a lot of traveling, I arrived at the airport in Bozeman, Montana, after having been treated to wonderful views of the Rockies during the last leg of my journey from Minnesota to Montana. I had never been to that area of the country, so seeing massive mountains jutting out of the rugged landscape was a new, awesome experience and it got me excited for the event.

Canon 6D Mark II Field Test Part I

Does the Canon 6D Mark II avoid a sophomore slump?

by Jeremy Gray |

Canon 6D Mark II field test photoIntroduction
When the original Canon EOS 6D launched in late 2012, Canon made a camera specifically for prosumers who wanted a full-frame DSLR but didn't want to pay for a more expensive Canon 5D Mark III. The full-frame camera market is vastly different than it was nearly five years ago. With the EOS 6D Mark II, Canon has made some notable improvements and added new features. What does the Canon 6D II offer? Let's find out.

Familiar 6D II body features notable upgrades including tilting touchscreen
Camera Body:
The Canon 6D Mark II looks very similar to its predecessor, but there are some important differences between new and old. One of the most obvious is the new tilt/swivel touchscreen display (more on that in the next section). As soon as you pick up the 6D Mark II, it'll be familiar for seasoned Canon shooters. The controls are located in familiar places and are well placed on the camera body.

 



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