The Canon EOS 6D: A lovely camera, but watch the tradeoffs
-In some respect, it's hard to tell who Canon's targeting with the EOS 6D, its budget full-frame camera.
On one hand, it's got some fairly consumery features.
Single SD card slot?
Viewfinder with less than 100 percent coverage?
Wimpy autofocus system?
On the other hand, it's missing things like a built-in flash that you'd expect in a non-pro camera.
But it's not that the 6D isn't a really nice camera.
I happen to like it a lot.
It's got great photo and good video quality, a relatively fluid operational design with a soft shutter action, and a solid but not weatherproof build.
Photos are everything you'd expect from a full-frame model, sharp with good tonal range and their usable well into the higher ISO sensitivities with lots of details in the highlight and shadow areas.
The Wi-Fi implementation fares pretty well as long as you bypass all the stuff that requires a Canon Image Gateway membership, such as direct uploads to other web sites.
The camera remote app lets you change shutter speed and aperture, ISO sensitivity, and exposure compensation, which is a lot more than you get with other apps.
As usual, the GPS operation was pretty spotty here in New York City.
I could get a signal while shooting in Union Square, but practically nowhere else.
And if I forgot to turn it off, it
drained the battery by incessantly hunting for a signal.
That's par for the course, though.
My biggest gripe is probably the somewhat sluggish autofocus performance.
While the camera performs pretty quickly in good light and it has a reasonably deep buffer to maintain its 4.5-frame-per-second continuous shooting rate, the autofocus really slows down in dim conditions.
I think what's most frustrating is that the 6D should be clearly better than the older, cheaper 7D, and it's not.
While the 6D's full-frame photo quality noticeably outshines its APS-C-based siblings and it has a much broader feature set in checkbox ways, the 7D has a better viewfinder, faster autofocus, a more durable shutter mechanism, and an extra custom setting slot, just to mention a handful of things.
If you're thinking of moving up from one of Canon's APS-C-based models, like the 60D, it's definitely worth it for the photo and video quality.
If you're considering it instead of one of the more expensive full-frame models,
it's a fine alternative if you don't mind the 97 percent coverage viewfinder, single card slot, less durable shutter, lack of a headphone jack, fewer customizations, and all those other little ways in which you might have to compromise.
I'm Lori Grunin and this is the Canon EOS 6D.
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