Canon EOS 6D Mark II Review

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Canon EOS 6D Mark II

The Canon EOS 6D Mark II did not make its debut until much later than expected. In point of fact, it was around five years after the first announcement of the Canon EOS 6D, which, at the time, was the most reasonably priced full-frame DSLR that was on the market.

In spite of the fact that it lacked some of the more desirable features that could be found on Canon’s more expensive models higher up the range, it provided customers with a very inexpensive entry point into the world of full-frame photography.

A lot had changed in the five years that passed between the launch of the original 6D in 2011 and the launch of its successor in 2017; not only did Nikon offer some very tempting competition in the form of the D610 and D750, but Sony’s Alpha A7 and A7 II also offered an additional affordable route into full-frame photography. Although there have been full-frame cameras released since then that are both speedier and more sophisticated, the question is whether or not the EOS 6D Mark II is still competitive.

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Canon EOS 6D Mark II Digital SLR Camera Body (Renewed)

Last update was on: September 29, 2022 11:37 am
$1,162.00 $1,222.00
  • Full-frame CMOS sensor, 26.2MP
  • 3.0-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots
  • 1080p video capture

After a gap of five years, Canon has released the EOS 6D Mark II, which features a plethora of enhancements over its predecessor, the EOS 6D.

The new sensor in the EOS 6D Mark II is a 26.2MP CMOS sensor, which not only provides a sizeable increase in resolution compared to the 20.2MP chip in the EOS 6D but also provides a lot more pixels than the EOS 5D Mark III’s 22.3MP sensor. The headline change may be the new sensor, which is featured in the EOS 6D Mark II.

The new sensor has a native sensitivity range that can be enlarged to an equivalent of ISO50-102,400, matching the expanded sensitivity ranges of both the EOS 6D and the EOS 5D Mark III. This range is 100–40,000, and it can be expanded to an equivalent of ISO50–102,400.

The EOS 6D Mark II features Canon’s DIGIC 7 processing engine, which is capable of processing information some 14 times faster than the previous DIGIC 6 (the EOS 6D featured the DIGIC 5 engine), and should see it handle image noise better at higher sensitivities. While these cameras may all have the same maximum ISO, the EOS 6D Mark II is the only one of the three that features the DIGIC 7 engine.

It was the first time that the DIGIC 7 engine was used in a full-frame EOS DSLR; prior to that, it had only been featured in some of Canon’s recent APS-C DSLR bodies and PowerShot compact cameras. While the most recent DIGIC 8 has made its way into cameras such as the EOS R and RP, this was the first time that the DIGIC 7 engine was used in a full-frame EOS DSLR.

One of the shortcomings of the original Canon EOS 6D was that it only had a viewfinder that covered 97% of the frame. This 3% difference may not seem like much, but stray elements can still creep into the edge of the frame if you’re not careful, and you’re likely to only notice these flaws once you’re reviewing your images on the rear display.

The good news is that this statistic has been improved on the EOS 6D Mark II; however, the increase is only 1%, and the camera now offers a coverage of 98%; therefore, it is still not quite capable of matching the coverage provided by cameras such as the D750, which provides approximately 100% coverage.

Design And Handling

The body is made of aluminum alloy and polycarbonate.
Resistant to both dry air and wet conditions
Weighs 765g

The Canon EOS 6D Mark II is constructed from the same aluminum alloy and polycarbonate with glass fiber that was used to make the original EOS 6D. Despite the fact that it does not have quite the same ‘pro’ feel as the EOS 5D Mark III or Mark IV, it nonetheless feels quite well put together.

It is also pleasing to see that the camera has dust and moisture seals; having used the 6D Mark II in some very wet conditions in Norway, during which time the camera got drenched on more than one occasion, we can attest to the fact that this camera is more than capable of holding its own when the elements are working against you.

Those who are looking to upgrade from an earlier model may be a little disappointed to learn that the BG-E13 battery grip that was designed for the 6D is not compatible with the EOS 6D Mark II. Instead, a new BG-E21 battery grip is included with the new camera. The camera is ever so slightly more compact than the EOS 6D.

The grip on the body of the 6D Mark II is excellently sculpted, which ensures that the camera fits very comfortably in the hand. Additionally, the weight of 765g with the battery and card installed is just 10g heavier than the original 6D. However, it is actually not much lighter than the 800g EOS 5D Mark IV. When used in conjunction with the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM lens that we shot with, it also had a really well-balanced feel in the hand.

If you’re familiar with the arrangement of the buttons and controls on the EOS 6D, you’ll feel right at home with the EOS 6D Mark II. The control structure of the two cameras is almost identical, so you shouldn’t have any trouble transitioning between the two.

There is a big LCD display on the top plate of the camera that provides access to a wealth of information, and in the space between the LCD and the front command dial are controls for the autofocus, drive, ISO, and metering functions. The only thing that has been changed is the inclusion of a tiny button next to the command dial. This button provides access to the camera’s focusing modes, which is intended to complement the more advanced autofocus technology of the 6D Mark II.

Because it has the same control layout as the EOS 6D, the EOS 6D Mark II doesn’t have a joypad on the back of the camera to quickly move the AF point like some of the other EOS DSLRs do; instead, you use the multi-directional controller to do this. This is because Canon chose to stick with the same control layout as the EOS 6D. Although it would have been preferable for this additional option to have been included in the camera, selecting the AF point may still be done in a relatively short amount of time utilizing this way.

That leaves only the back display, which, as we’ve already established, can now be tilted away from the body in order to accommodate a variety of different shooting angles. The display on the EOS 6D Mark II has a 1,040,000-dot screen, which looks good enough, but its resolution does not improve over that of the display on the EOS 6D. However, the touch interface on the EOS 6D Mark II is one of the best around, and it works wonderfully for everything from adjusting settings to scrolling through images.

Autofocus

  • The 45-point angle of attack, all cross-type
  • down to a sensitivity of -3 eV
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF system

Even at the time that it was introduced, the 11-point AF system that came standard on the original EOS 6D appeared antiquated, and it received some criticism as a result, notably due to the fact that only the center point used a cross-type sensor. It should thus come as no surprise that the autofocus coverage of the EOS 6D Mark II has been significantly expanded.

Instead of using the 61-point autofocus system from the EOS 5D Mark IV, the Canon EOS 6D Mark II looks to its APS-C stablemates for inspiration and utilizes a 45-point autofocus system that is remarkably similar to the one found in the most current Canon EOS 80D and EOS Rebel T7i / 800D cameras.

The good news is that all 45 points are cross-type, with the central point being dual cross-type, which features a second point oriented at 45 degrees to the regular point for even greater precision. The bad news is that rather than featuring a single cross-type point (cross-type points are sensitive in both the horizontal and vertical planes for greater accuracy), the sensor features all 45 points as cross-type.

In addition, when utilizing a lens or lens/teleconverter combination with a maximum effective aperture of f/8, 27 of these remain operational, with nine remaining cross-type.

You have about 16 different choices to play around with if you want to customize the autofocus system on the EOS 6D Mark II, which provides you with a respectable degree of flexibility over the customization process. On the other hand, there are no AF “case studies” included (which specify the tracking sensitivity, acceleration and deceleration tracking, and AF point switching depending on the subject you’re shooting), unlike what we’ve seen on other Canon cameras such as the EOS 7D Mark II and the EOS 5D Mark IV.

Because the coverage of the 45 AF points is rather significantly weighted towards the center of the frame, you will need to routinely recompose photographs if your subject is not in the center of the frame.

Aside from that, the performance of AF is extremely impressive. During our trip to Norway, we took photographs in a wide range of lighting environments, and we discovered that the focus was quite good, with objects being collected quickly and precisely in the majority of instances. Even in low light, the EOS 6D Mark II didn’t have any trouble focusing, which is probably in part due to the fact that the autofocus mechanism on the camera is sensitive down to -3EV.

When we were following the automobile in front of us, the focusing mechanism performed a good job of following the car in its wake.

When we were following the automobile in front of us, the focusing mechanism performed a good job of following the car in its wake.

In addition, the EOS 6D Mark II comes equipped with Canon’s remarkable Dual Pixel CMOS AF for capturing still images and videos in Live View. It is a significant advancement over the rather cumbersome technique of the EOS 6D, offering smooth and quick focusing, particularly when used in conjunction with the touchscreen to pick the point of focus that you want to have the camera concentrate on.

The Quality Of The Images And Their Performance

  • a fire rate of 6.5 frames per second.
  • Up to 21 raw frames and 150 JPEGs can be captured in a single burst.
  • The battery capacity of 1,091 shots

The fact that Canon has increased the burst rate of the EOS 6D Mark II to 6.5fps, up from the 6D’s 4.5fps, does not come as a surprise to anyone. Not only that but the burst depth has also been enhanced, with the new camera being capable of recording a series of 21 raw files in contrast to its predecessor’s ability to only take a succession of 17.

Although a burst depth of 150 frames is hardly restricting, it is interesting to note that the maximum number of shots that can be captured in a single burst with the EOS 6D Mark II is just 150, which is a significant reduction from the maximum of 1,250 shots that could be captured with the EOS 6D.

It is also interesting to note that Canon has not included support for UHS-II for the single card slot on the EOS 6D Mark II. This could have resulted in an increase in that number; however, the extent of any benefit would be contingent on how quickly the camera is able to process the information, to begin with.

It doesn’t matter which way you look at it; this isn’t a camera that’s particularly geared toward sports photographers. However, 6.5 frames per second is a very credible burst rate for a full-frame camera at this price point, and it could be a good fit for situations in which the original EOS 6D may have been inadequate.

The 7560-pixel RGB+IR operates admirably in the vast majority of settings.

The Evaluative, Partial, Centre-weighted, and Spot metering modes are available on the 6D Mark II in addition to the same 7560-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor that is used in the Rebel T7i and 800D.

It is important to keep in mind that the weighting is applied to the active AF point, which can mean that you need to use exposure compensation in high-contrast situations; we experienced a couple of occasions where the same shot threw up two different exposures simply because we shifted the AF point slightly. Although the evaluative system does a sound job most of the time, as we’ve found with other Canon DSLRs that use this system, it is important to keep in mind that the weighting is applied

The auto white balance function of the EOS 6D Mark II performs quite well. There are actually two options for the auto white balance setting: the Ambient Priority mode produces results that are slightly warmer, allowing you to keep the overall atmosphere of the scene, while the White Priority mode is capable of producing results that are clean and neutral even when using artificial lighting.

In addition, Canon has included the flicker detection option that was present on earlier EOS DSLR models. This option is designed to assist with maintaining consistency when shooting in artificial light sources. Those that photograph indoors at events or sports, for example, where such lighting is frequently employed, may find this to be very exciting news.

The LP-E6N device has a battery life that is rated for up to 1,200 shots, which is really impressive. The battery status meter on the Canon 6D Mark II rarely moved at all during the course of two days of intensive shooting.

Image quality

  • Expandable from 50 to 102,400, with an ISO range of 100 to 40,000
  • +/-5 EV exposure correction in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 stop
  • Disappointing dynamic range

It is unusual for cameras at this level to have sensors with more than 24 megapixels, thus the fact that the EOS 6D Mark II has a sensor with 26.2 megapixels gives it an advantage over its nearest competitor, the Nikon D750. In practice, however, this makes a small difference to the amount of additional detail that the EOS 6D Mark II can resolve. It is equivalent to the D750, which enables you to print photographs as big as A3+ and even enormous prints if necessary.

The full-frame sensor with 26.2 megapixels is capable of producing high levels of detail.

When it comes to ISO performance, the EOS 6D Mark II delivers a decent, though ordinary, showing. JPEG files provide the impression of being quite clean over the whole ISO range; but, when you look at the raw files that correlate to those JPEGs, it becomes clear how much noise reduction was performed on the JPEGs.

Raw files provide a good comparison to the photographs taken with the EOS 5D Mark III; but, considering the five-year gap in technological advancement, we would have anticipated some improvements to have been made. Results at ISO800 hold up well, with minimal signs of noise, while results at ISO4000 are pretty good too; there are certainly signs of luminance noise at this sensitivity, but surprisingly little chroma noise in the results. Results at ISO6400 hold up well, with minimal signs of noise in the results (color speckling).

Beyond that, while both luminance and chroma noise becomes more noticeable, it is still feasible to achieve a passable image with a reasonable level of detail at ISO12,800 and with some post-processing; we would generally avoid going any higher than that unless it was absolutely essential.

When taking into account how sensitive the ISO 4000 setting is, the findings are rather consistent.

The dynamic range is an area in which Canon DSLRs have been rather lacking when compared to competing cameras from Nikon and Sony; hence, there was a certain degree of pressure put on the brand new 26.2MP sensor to make up for this shortcoming.

However, while it is feasible to recover a considerable portion of the lost detail (as seen above), when you look carefully, the noise is considerably more evident in comparison to an image that was captured with a Nikon D750. The fact that the 24.2MP APS-C sensor seen in cameras such as the EOS 80D holds up marginally better when photographs captured at lower sensitivities are pushed farther in post-processing is even more disheartening.

Conclusion

Canon has undoubtedly made a number of significant advancements with the introduction of the EOS 6D Mark II in comparison to its predecessor, the EOS 6D. These advancements include the incorporation of a number of brand-new features, such as an updated sensor, more effective autofocus (AF) system, a higher burst rate, and a faster processor. It is a camera that outperforms the EOS 6D in many respects, including being more well-rounded and having greater specifications, but it is not perfect.

The limited dynamic range is a major letdown, and although the improvement in autofocus speed is very much appreciated, the coverage still leans much too far toward the center of the frame. Some people will be let down by the fact that the model does not support 4K video, and it is also unfortunate that the viewfinder does not cover the entire frame.

These shortcomings take away some of the shine from an otherwise very good full-frame DSLR camera that is a joy to shoot with and comes with a touchscreen that can be adjusted to different angles, which is a pleasant feature. Users of Canon cameras who are interested in making the transition to full-frame photography will be pleased, but users of other brands may find better options elsewhere.

Canon EOS 6D Mark II Specs

MSRP$1999 (body only), $2599 (with 24-105mm 3.5-5.6 IS STM lens), $3099 (with 24-105 F4L II lens)
Body type
Body typeMid-size SLR
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution6240 x 4160
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels26 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors27 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (35.9 x 24 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorDIGIC 7
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 100-40000 (expands to 50-102400)
Boosted ISO (minimum)50
Boosted ISO (maximum)102400
White balance presets6
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, normal
File formatJPEG (Exif v2.3)Raw (14-bit Canon CR2)
Optics & Focus
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Autofocus assist lampNo
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points45
Lens mountCanon EF
Focal length multiplier
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFully articulated
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,040,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeOptical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage98%
Viewfinder magnification0.71×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Exposure modesProgramShutter priorityAperture priorityManual
Scene modesPortraitGroup photoLandscapeSportsKidsPanningClose-upFoodCandlelightNight portraitHandheld night sceneHDR backlight control
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via hot shoe)
Flash X sync speed1/180 sec
Drive modesSingleHigh-speed continuousLow-speed continuousSilent singleSilent continuousSelf-timer (10 sec/remote control)Self-timer (2 sec/remote control)Self-timer (continuous shooting)
Continuous drive6.5 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 secs)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpotPartial
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3 (3 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Modes1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 60 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 30 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 12 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 23.98p / 30 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1280 x 720 @ 60p / 26 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC1280 x 720 @ 30p / 4 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I compatible)
Connectivity
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (Mini-HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portNo
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n + NFC + Bluetooth
Remote controlYes (wired, wireless or smartphone)
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLP-E6N lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)1200
Weight (inc. batteries)765 g (1.69 lb / 26.98 oz)
Dimensions144 x 111 x 75 mm (5.67 x 4.37 x 2.95″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSBuilt-in

Canon EOS 6D Mark II Price

$1,162.00 $1,222.00 16 new from $1,162.00
in stock
Canon EOS 6D Mark II Digital SLR Camera Body (Renewed)
$1,399.00 $1,799.00 30 used from $950.00 8 new from $1,399.00
in stock
Canon EOS 6D Mark II Digital SLR Camera Body, Wi-Fi...

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