• 35mm 855.6mm2
  • 20.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 25600
  • 35mm 864.0mm2
  • 22.3 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 25600

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Comparison Review

The biggest difference between the 6D and its older sibling is price: right now you can pick up a 6D for nearly $1500 less than the 5D Mark III. Despite the price difference, the 6D maintains much of the 5D Mark III's functionality, even adding some features.

Let's get another big difference out of the way: autofocus points. The 6D offers a measly 11, just one of which cross-type, versus 61 and 41 offered by the 5D Mark III. AF points are critical to autofocus tracking, so you can eliminate the 6D from consideration if you plan to do a lot of sports photography.

The 5D Mark III is also the better camera if you do a lot of video work. We found the 5D Mark III to be highly effective at limiting video moiré, which wasn't the case for the 6D. The 5D Mark III's headphone jack is also invaluable for shooting video.

Beyond AF and video advantages, the 5D Mark III offers a number of features not found on the 6D: more rugged body, higher shutter life rating, more card slots, decreased shutter lag and faster continuous shooting, among others.

The 6D still manages to best the 5D Mark III in certain ways. By opting for the 6D, you gain built-in wifi and GPS, while losing 20% of the 5D Mark III's weight. You'll also enjoy a much quieter shutter.

What it comes down to is this: if you make your living off the camera, the extra $1,500 for the 5D Mark III is a no-brainer. On the other hand, if you don't plan to stress the AF system, don't do a lot of video or you prefer Wi-Fi and GPS to the grab bag of features offered by the 5D Mark III, pick up the 6D body-only or in a kit.

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Advantages

Canon 6D over Canon 5D Mark III

  • Wi-Fi
    Wi-Fi vs None
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • GPS
    GPS vs None
    Geotag your photos

Canon 5D Mark III over Canon 6D

  • More cross-type AF points
    41 vs 1
    Cross-type AF points improve autofocus performance
  • Headphone jack
    Yes vs No
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Dual card slots
    Yes vs No
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • More AF points
    61 vs 11
    More AF points improve autofocus
  • Lighter weight
    950g vs 1448g
    Lighter weight
  • Less shutter lag
    0.120 vs 0.290 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • Faster RAW shooting
    3.7 fps vs 1.9 fps
    Faster RAW shooting in single-shot mode
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    3.6 fps vs 1.9 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (single-shot mode)
  • Faster shutter
    1/8000 vs 1/4000 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light

The Competition

Compared to Nikon D610

Canon 6D
Nikon D610
  • $1799
  • 35mm
  • Wi-Fi
  • GPS
  • $1497
  • 35mm
  • Fast startup
  • More cross-type AF points
Canon 5D Mark III
Nikon D610
  • $3099
  • 35mm
  • More cross-type AF points
  • More AF points
  • $1497
  • 35mm
  • Fast startup
  • Newer

Compared to Canon 1D X

Canon 6D
Canon 1D X
  • $1799
  • 35mm
  • Wi-Fi
  • GPS
  • $6799
  • 35mm
  • More cross-type AF points
  • Dual card slots
Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 1D X
  • $3099
  • 35mm
  • Headphone jack
  • More pixels
  • $6799
  • 35mm
  • Higher extended ISO

Compared to Nikon D800

Canon 6D
Nikon D800
  • $1799
  • 35mm
  • Bigger pixels
  • Wi-Fi
  • $2407
  • 35mm
  • Fast startup
  • More cross-type AF points
Canon 5D Mark III
Nikon D800
  • $3099
  • 35mm
  • Bigger pixels
  • More cross-type AF points
  • $2407
  • 35mm
  • Fast startup
  • More pixels

Compared to Sony A99

Canon 6D
Sony A99
  • $1799
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $1998
  • 35mm
  • Focus peaking
  • Tiltable Screen
Canon 5D Mark III
Sony A99
  • $3099
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $1998
  • 35mm
  • Focus peaking
  • Tiltable Screen

Compared to Nikon Df

Canon 6D
Nikon Df
  • $1799
  • 35mm
  • Wi-Fi
  • GPS
  • $2747
  • 35mm
  • More cross-type AF points
  • Newer
Canon 5D Mark III
Nikon Df
  • $3099
  • 35mm
  • 60p
  • More cross-type AF points
  • $2747
  • 35mm
  • Bigger pixels
  • Newer

Review Excerpt

  • Excellent image quality on par to more expensive full-frame DSLRs (including the 5D Mark III); Responsive all-around performer; Superior HD video-shooting chops; Built-in Wi-Fi with remote control and sharing features, Built-in GPS and geotagging.

  • Lacks a built-in, pop-up flash; No external headphone jack; Rather basic 11-point autofocus system; Mediocre burst speed.

  • Superb still and video image quality; Powerful, fast, and accurate AF system with loads of cross-type points, loads of configurability and great frame coverage; Rugged, weather-sealed body with great control layout and user-interface configurability.

  • Dynamic range is limited by noise in deep shadows; Somewhat heavy-handed noise suppression and sharpening at default settings. (Shooting RAW avoids both.); No AF illuminator.

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