The Canon 6D – A New Challenger to the 5D’s Reign

A New Full Frame DSLR From Canon

As an occasional visitor to the Canon Rumours website I was aware that a new Canon DSLR was imminent but I must admit the announcement of the EOS 6D at the 2012 Photokina show took me by surprise. I, like a few other I suspect, were contemplating an EOS 3D, something that would sit in-between the 5D MIII and the EOS 1DX in Canon’s line up. However the more I look at the 6D’s specs the more this camera seems to make sense, so lets take at look what’s in stall for potential 6D owners:

The EOS 6D creates a new entry point into Canon’s full-frame DSLR line-up, and is perfect for those who want greater control over depth-of-field, or to maximise the impact of shooting with the EOS System’s extensive range of wide-angle EF lenses.

Key Features

  • 20.2MP full frame CMOS sensor
  • DIGIC 5+ image processor
  • ISO 100-25600 standard, expandable to 50-102800
  • 4.5 fps continuous shooting
  • Silent shutter mode
  • 1080p 30 fps HD video
  • 11 point AF system, sensitive to -3 EV
  • 63 zone metering system
  • 97% viewfinder coverage
  • 1040k pixel 3-inch ClearView LCD
  • Single SD card slot
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS
  • Single-axis electronic level

Initial Pro’s & Cons

As a landscape photography there are several features of the new 6D that really make it quite appealing to me. The lighter, smaller, more compact size will make it ideal for travelling as does the in-built GPS. The latter (in my opinion) a serious omission by Canon from the 5D MIII, especially when you think most compacts include GPS as standard now. I’m disappointed to see it’s only ‘dust and drip-proof” and not weather proof though. Just how much do a few extra rubber gaskets cost? I really think it’s time all expensive DSLR should be weather sealed as standard.  I can’t really say Wifi functionality is a deal breaker either, and I guess those upgrading will probably already own a pretty fast card reader. I’m also disheartened by the SD only card slot which seems to be another step towards the gradual demise of the CF card. I much prefer the good old CF card larger though it may be, it’s a lot less easier to loose or misplace than a SD card.  The new 11-point autofocus system has the ability to focus in exceeding low light which (moon light apparently) which sounds great for those of us who venture out in the dark, pre-dawn, hours to set up for that sunrise shot. The 6D also possesses an HDR capability too, but rather oddly I’ve read this is a jpeg only option and not RAW (what on earth were Canon thinking?). In many respects this cameras specifications are very similar to the current 5D MII and in a few exceed it, so the choice on which camera to buy now to is getting more complex.

So Who Is the 6D For?

The general consensus seems to be that the 6D is pitched at APS-C owners to tempt them to upgrade to full frame, but their EF-S lenses won’t be any good on the 6D, so they will have to invest in new lenses too. It may be tempting for potential new DSLR buyers to jump in at the full-frame end though. I can’t help but feel that this camera is aimed at current 5D and 5D II owners who find the cost of upgrading to the 5D MIII just too expensive and that’s surely the majority. Clever Canon however,  they release the 5D MIII to good technical reviews, gain orders from those who can afford the upgrade, then wait for furore over it’s over-inflated price to die down to release the 6D. If you’re the owner of a first series, vanilla 5D and want to upgrade soon then you have a difficult choice to make; do you pick up a 5D-II at a bargain price before they disappear off the shelves, or will you be tempted to wait for the additional features of the 6D? And what about 5D MII owners? Well if your looking for a second body then the 6d is a serious contender, but for upgrade’s I’m sure the 5D MIII is still the most desirable.

 

Destined to be the New 5D?

When the 5D  first appeared it took the DSLR market by storm and has become Canon’s all time best selling DSLR. It marked a new entry point for full-frame photography which was grasped in abundance. The latest incarnation of the 5D however, the Mark III has been shunted up market by Canon, putting it beyond the reach of many perhaps. The 6D now takes on that mantle of Canon’s entry point to full-frame photography. It’s a big gamble by Canon to shift focus from their best ever model number, and clearly they hope it will have he same impetus and success as the original 5D. Will it become the ‘new’ 5D? We’ll just have to wait and see.

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