Canon 6D Conclusion
Canon 6D Conclusion
Despite a few quibbles, the 20.2-megapixel Canon EOS 6D lives up to its promise of housing a glorious, full-frame CMOS sensor inside a smaller, lighter, and more affordable digital SLR camera body designed for prosumers, enthusiasts, and even novice photographers. Are we in love with everything about this camera? No, but Canon's done a great job of not dumbing down, or cheapening the 6D to fit its $2,000 "sweet spot" pricing.
First, the good stuff. The 6D's 35.8 x 23.9mm CMOS image sensor might be a bit smaller than the imaging chip in the Canon 5D Mark III, but its individual photosites are bigger since it has slightly less resolution. The result is exceptional image quality, in both good and poor available light, that puts it on par to the 5D III, which was one of our favorite cameras of 2012. We got bright, punchy color in good lighting from the 6D, which wasn't too oversaturated as with some DSLR models. Skintones also looked healthy and life-like, unlike some cameras which tend to pump up the pinks and reds to produce an artificial, "doll-like" look.
Our portraits, particularly those shot with fast lenses with wide apertures, produced stunning results, with the 6D's big imaging chip producing an eye-catching shallow depth of field, which made our subject pop. But the 6D really shined in low light at high ISOs, producing clean and visually appealing images at up to ISO 3,200, and very usable results at up to ISO 12,800. The camera did have some issues when shooting in dodgy, indoor incandescent light, particularly when we used the Auto or Incandescent White Balance settings. Things got much better when we manually adjusted the White Balance, but some novice photographers who might be drawn to the 6D may not want or know how to do that.
Photographers of all backgrounds, however, will likely be drawn to how fast the 6D is to use and how logical its menu system and controls are. While the 6D is $1,500 less expensive than the 5D Mark III, it still has a solid, rubberized camera body with a comfortable hand grip and a well-placed shutter that just begs to be pressed. We also found the 6D's excellent HD video quality to be on par to the 5D III, with the ability to produce creamy clips with very little rolling shutter when we panned.
On the downside, Canon has had to nip and tuck a few things to meet the 6D's more affordable pricing and smaller and lighter build. There's no pop-up flash on the camera. And there's no handy, multi-direction joystick control on back or headphone jack. It also particularly bothered me that Canon omitted a button control for White Balance on the camera. Additionally, the 6D's 11-point autofocus system is not as advanced as the Canon 5D Mark III's system -- nor that of the directly competitive Nikon D600 full-frame DSLR. And last but not least, the 6D's burst speed is a little on the slow side. But the Canon 6D adds a few tricks that the competition doesn't have, including a full-featured, built-in Wi-Fi system that allows for sharing and remote control, as well as built-in GPS with geotagging.
Overall, Canon squeezes so much good stuff into the trim and affordable full-frame 6D, it's an easy Dave's Pick.
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