Canon’s 6D is the smallest full-frame DSLR on the market (HxWxD: 145x111x70mm), and is in direct competition with the Nikon D600 to be the best value. At 20.2MP the 6D is the lowest resolution full-frame sensor available, though that shouldn’t put you off as 20.2MP is far more than the majority of users will ever need. The 6D has an impressive ISO performance, with its standard ISO settings going up to a very useable 25,600. That makes this a great camera for photographers who have to shoot in low light conditions.
Having 11 focus points on the 6D doesn’t look very impressive on paper, though they actually cover a wider area within the frame than the 39 AF points on the D600. In testing the autofocus system had very little trouble finding focus, even pointing into the sun.
The 6D performs best in its class in terms of battery life, offering 1090 shots from a single charge, and it is the only full-frame camera available that has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing you to download your images wirelessly. There is also built-in GPS which records exactly where on earth every shot is taken, HDR functionality and impressive silent shooting capability.
While the 1040k dot LCD screen on the 6D is only 3in, it is of an excellent quality, with high contrast and accurate, vivid colours. It is also anti-glare, which is useful on bright days. The 6D’s automatic lens aberration correction means the camera is more forgiving when using lower-quality lenses.
The Canon 6D handles amazingly well. Despite its size and weight, the body feels very comfortable in the hand. The placement of the buttons on the back is extremely well thought-out so that all the most commonly-used controls are the easiest to change. The large dial on the back is extremely useful for flicking through images quickly and is one area where the handling of this camera outshines its Nikon and Sony counterparts. The custom modes allow users to save and recall settings helping make the 6D especially quick and easy to use. The menu system is intelligently designed so that all camera functions can be located quickly.
Released at the same time as Nikon’s D600, the 6D is extremely similar in price, features and handling. The 20.2MP sensor produces stunning image quality, and the high-res 3in screen and better ISO response both outperform its Nikon counterpart. The incredible battery life of 1090 shots from a single charge and the Wi-Fi function are features not found on any other full-frame camera. On the downside, the 6D only has 11 focus points and one memory card slot. Overall, the 6D is a seriously impressive camera with very few niggles and offers excellent value for money.
- Body price: £1119 (As of June 2016)
- Effective resolution: 20.2MP
- Focus points: 11
- Battery life: 1090 shots
- LCD: 3in 1040k dots
- Card slots: 1x SD
- Shooting speed: 4.5fps
- ISO range: 100-25,600 (expands to 50-102,400)
- In-built features: HDR, GPS, Wi-Fi
- Visit: www.canon.co.uk
This review was first published in the Spring 2013 issue of Practical Photography - download back issues here.