Inside the Canon EOS R6 is a 20Mp full-frame sensor that’s said to be very similar to the one in the company’s flagship DSLR, the EOS-1D X Mark III. The key difference is thought to be a change to the design of the low pass filter.
Like the Canon EOS R5 launched at the same time, the EOS R6 has a Dual Pixel CMOS AF II sensor which means that there’s phase-detection autofocusing available whether you’re shooting stills or video. Canon is claiming a world record for autofocus speed at 0.05sec for the R5 and R6.
What’s more, the whole sensor is covered with autofocus (AF) points and in stills mode there’s up to 6,072 available for selection. There’s also face, eye and animal AF tracking available, which combined with the 12fps (frame per second) maximum continuous shooting rate with the mechanical shutter and 20fps maximum shooting rate with the electronic shutter, is likely to appeal to keen wildlife, sport and action photographers. And the fact that the AF functions all work in video mode (including Eye AF) is great news for videographers too.
Further good news is that the Canon R6 inherits similar low-light capability to the EOS-1D X Mark III. Consequently, it has a native sensitivity range of ISO 100-102,400. If that’s not enough, the expansion settings take it to ISO 50-204,800. Meanwhile, if you’re shooting video there’s a native range of ISO 100-6,400, which is expandable to ISO 204,800.
This is matched by the Canon R6’s low-light focusing credentials. While the R5’s AF system is claimed to be sensitive down to -6EV, the R6’s AF system can function at down to -6.5EV. That’s incredibly low light and a new record for a Canon EOS camera.
Shooting in dim conditions can also necessitate slow shutter speeds, but that’s OK because the Canon R6 has 5-axis in-body image stabilisation built-in. This works in harmony with the stabilisation in Canon’s IS lenses and is claimed to offer up to 8 stops of shutter speed compensation. That’s a new high for the photographic industry.
It’s going to be exciting to see how long an exposure you can use and still get a sharp image. When a wide lens is mounted, it should be possible to blur water and crowds of people while still getting motionless objects sharp without using a tripod.
Although it doesn’t have the class-leading video resolution of the Canon R5, the Canon EOS R6 is no slouch when it comes to video credentials.
It can record 4K (3840 x 2160) video at up to 59.94fps, however, there is a slight crop as only 94% of the horizontal area of the sensor is used. This 4K video is produced by oversampling from 5.1K for better quality. There’s also a 4K movie cropping mode available that uses 62% of the horizontal area, which means there’s much greater cropping.
If you want to add drama to action shots, Full HD footage can be shot at up to 119.88fps for slow-motion playback.
It’s possible to record the highest resolution video to an SD UHS-II card in 8-bit H.264 or 10-bit 4:2:2 H.265 and Canon Log is available for greater post-capture gradability.
Incredibly, Canon has enabled a zebra display for the first time in an EOS camera to help guide exposure.
Other niceties include an HDMI micro port (Type D) for connecting an external monitor, a microphone port and a headphone socket.
Memory cards and battery
There’s good news on the memory card front as the Canon EOS R6 has dual card slots and they both accept SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-II media. That’s ideal for 4K video recording.
Also, although the Canon R6 is supplied with a new LP-E6NH (7.2V 2130mAh 16Wh) battery, it is compatible with the LP-6N (7.4V 1865mAh 14Wh) that is used in Canon’s recent enthusiast-level DSLRs and the EOS R.
Canon has included Bluetooth and Wi-Fi (2.4Ghz) connectivity in the Canon EOS R6. This enables it to connect to a smartphone or a WiFi network to share files. There’s also FTP/FTPS transfer.
The Canon R6 can also be controlled remotely using the Camera Connect and EOS Utility apps, and it can be tethered to a PC or Mac via WiFi or a high-speed USB 3.1 Gen 2 connection.
Alternatively, images can be transferred automatically to the image.canon cloud platform for sharing or printing. They can also be integrated with Google Photos or Adobe Creative Cloud workflows.