Canon EOS 6D Mark II Snap Verdict

Sitting beneath the 5D Mark IV in Canon’s full-frame DSLR line-up the 6D Mark II is attractively priced and a solid upgrade on the original 6D. The sensor is new and brings a 6million-pixel jump in resolution yet thanks to improvements in technology that the passage of almost five years brings and the Digic 7 processor the standard sensitivity (ISO) range has also expanded to ISO 100-40,000.

You may need to keep an eye on the highlights and reduce the exposure a little if you’re using Evaluative metering but generally, the 6D Mark II is a solid performer that delivers images with attractive colours and plenty of detail in the ISO 100-6400 range.

For

  • Full-frame 26.2Mp sensor
  • Fast and accurate AF system for use with the viewfinder
  • Useful vari-angle screen with well-implemented touch-control

Against

  • AF points grouped around the centre of the frame
  • No 4K video recording
  • Rather limited dynamic range

What is the Canon EOS 6D Mark II?

Announced at the end of June 2017, the Canon EOS 6D Mark II is the replacement for the Canon 6 which was unveiled all the way back in September 2012. It’s a full-frame DSLR aimed at enthusiast photographers and it sits above the Canon EOS 80D and below the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV in the manufacturer’s line-up.

Five years is a long time in digital camera development and the 6D Mark II launches into a market that has more current full-frame camera models than were around when the 6D launched. Mirrorless camera technology has also matured significantly and APS-C format cameras like the Fuji X-T2, Fuji X-Pro2 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 II and full-frame models like the Sony A7-series have turned many former DSLR users towards a new camera system.

All this means that Canon needs to impress with the EOS 6D Mark II if it’s going to attract the kind of sales that the company would hope for. No surprise then, that a lot of the key specification of the 6D Mark II has changed from that of the original 6D and in addition to a new sensor with a higher pixel count, there’s a newer processing engine, faster continuous shooting rate, improved focusing systems and a better viewfinder and screen along with a boost to the standard sensitivity (ISO) range. Let’s take a look in bit more detail.

Canon EOS 6D Mark II Review: Front

 

Canon EOS 6D Mark II Features and Specification

  • Processor: Digic 7
  • Sensitivity range: Stills: 100-40,000 expandable to 50-102,400
    Movie: 100 – 25600
  • Reflex AF system: 45 cross-type AF points
  • Live View AF System: Dual Pixel CMOS AF with 63 AF points
  • Max shooting rate: 6.5fps
  • Max video resolution: Full HD (1920×1080)

Sensor

Canon has given the 6D II a new full-frame CMOS sensor with 26.2 million effective pixels. This sensor is a Dual Pixel Megapixel CMOS device which means that there’s phase detection focusing available in Live View and video mode, the original 6D relies on a slower contrast detection system.Canon has given the 6D II a new full frame CMOS sensor with 26.2 million effective pixels. This sensor is a Dual Pixel CMOS AF device which means that there’s phase detection focusing available in Live View and video mode, the original 6D relies on a slower contrast detection system.

The 6D Mark II’s Dual Pixel AF system can be set to operate in Face detection and tracking, Smooth zone AF or Live 1-point AF mode. When Servo AF is selected in video mode the camera automatically adjusts focus to keep the subject under the active AF point sharp.

The new sensor is paired with a Digic 7 processor, Canon’s latest processing engine and this enables a native sensitivity range of ISO 100-40,000 with expansion settings taking this to ISO 50-102,400 (the 6D’s range is ISO 100-25,600 expandable to ISO 50-102,400). That represents a 2/3EV increase in the maximum standard range despite the 6 million pixel hike in resolution that the 6D Mark II makes on the original model.

Another impact of the Digic 7 processor is that the 6D II has a maximum continuous shooting rate of 6.5fps (frames per second), that’s just 0.5fps behind the 5D Mark IV. This rate can be maintained for up to 21 raw files or 150 jpegs.

Autofocus system specification

While the 6D Mark II doesn’t have the 61-point autofocus (AF) system of the 5D IV it makes a significant upgrade on the 6D’s 11-point system with 45 AF points. All 45 points are cross-type when used with lenses that have maximum apertures of f/5.6 and 27 function (as linear points) with lens and teleconverter combinations that have a maximum aperture of f/8 or larger. Of these 27 points, 9 are cross-type at f/8. In addition, the centre point is dual cross-type with the diagonal cross lines being active at f/2.8 and the vertical and horizontal lines operating at f/5.6.
All this, plus the -3EV sensitivity rating means that the 6D Mark II is designed to be better able to detect and focus on subjects than the original 6D.

There are 16 options in the Custom menu relating to continuous autofocus. These include aspects such as Tracking sensitivity, Acceleration/deceleration tracking and AF point auto switching which enable you to tailor the camera’s response to suit the subject and shooting conditions. However, the Case Studies that help you select these settings to suit particular shooting situations, which are found in cameras like the 5D Mark IV and EOS-1DX Mark II are not present. This is rather odd as they seem more suited for use by enthusiasts than they are for pros.

Video

Although the EOS 6D Mark II can only record video at a maximum of Full HD (1920 x 1080) quality at up to 60fps, it’s the first Canon camera to offer a 4K time-lapse movie mode. In addition, there’s an intervalometer to enable more diverse movie making.

In another first for a full-frame EOS camera, the 6D Mark II has built-in 5-axis movie stabilisation that counteracts shake when footage is captured hand-held and on-the-move.

As with Canon’s other recent cameras, the EOS 6D Mark II has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity with the latter being ‘always on’ to make re-establishing a Wi-Fi connection for remote control or image transfer very easy. While this connectivity could be used to tag images with GPS data from a phone, the 6D Mark II has GPS built-in.

As the 6D is an enthusiast level camera, and designed to be more affordable than the 5D Mark IV, Canon has only given it one card slot. It’s an SD/SDHC/SDXC port compatible with UHS-I cards. There’s also a microphone input but no headphone jack so there’s no way to monitor the audio as you record.

Canon EOS 6D Mark II Review: Quick Menu

Camera NameCanon EOS 6D Mark II
Camera type:DSLR
Date announced:29th June 2017
Price at launch:£1,999/$1,999 body only, £2,379$2,599/ with 24-105mm 3.5-5.6,
Sensor size:Full frame (35.9 x 24mm)
Effective pixel count:26.2 million
Lens/Mount:EF
Processor:Digic 7
Sensitivity range:Stills: 100-40,000 expandable to 50-102,400
Movie: 100 - 25600
Reflex AF system:45 cross-type AF points - 45 f/5.6 cross-type, 27 f/8 points (9 cross-type), centre point is f/2.8 and f/5.6 dual cross-type
Live View AF System:Dual Pixel CMOS AF with 63 AF points (on 9x7 grid)
Max shooting rate:6.5fps for 150 jpegs or 21 raw files
Max video resolution:Full HD (1920x1080) at 59.94, 50, 29.97, 25, 23.976 fps
Storage:SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I)
Viewfinder:Optical with pentaprism 98% coverage
Screen:Vari-angle, touch-sensitive 3-inch Clear View LCD II with 1,040,000 dots
Dimensions:144.0 x 110.5 x 74.8mm
Weight:765g (body with battery and memory card)

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Canon EOS 6D Mark II
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