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Hi, welcome to the Canon 6D review. About a year ago the Canon 6D was announced by Canon
as the lightest, smallest full-frame SLR in the world. So, as a landscape
and travel photographer this really intrigued me and I bought one of
the first copies to ship. So this review is not going to be based on marketing sheets
or data sheets or anything like that. This is going to be based on hands-on
experience with the camera. I'm really excited to be doing this review
now after having used the camera for the last year and I've put on about 50,000 shutter
actuations, so it's gotten some good use into it in the first year. So
in this review we're going to take a look at my experience with the
camera and we're going to take a look at all the good things, the bad things, and all the
stuff in between.
Landscape photography is a very unforgiving avenue when it comes to the conditions that
equipment has to endure - saltwater, salt flats, high mountains, hail,
rain, sleet, sand, snow, saltwater - these are all conditions that the
Canon 6D has been subjected to, fortunately and unfortunately, in the past year of use.
So, when first holding the Canon 6D for the first time, the lightness and the smallness
is really noticeable. In fact, if you're used to using a Canon 5D or
a Nikon D3 or a Nikon D700 or a D800 or something like that, in that
range, this thing is really, really light. For durability, I'd say it's extremely impact
and extremely pressure resistant. So the internal frame of this camera
is, of course, metal and the back and the front plates are metal just
like the 5D family bodies. But, the top case is actually a polycarbonate reinforced fiberglass
material. Now, this is different than any material that Canon
has put out in its full frame bodies in the past, and the reason that Canon
selected to use this material is due to the WiFi and the GPS, to allow it to permit it
through the material. The durability and the design - really nice. Ergonomics
of this camera are really good, but it is slightly smaller in
physical size. So, if you can fit all four of your fingers on the camera grip of the
5D original, 5D Mark II, 5D Mark III, you can still do that on this one, but
for people who have big hands, you might not and your pinky might
actually be hanging off.
I had some doubts about the top-case material which is made of polycarbonate reinforced
fiberglass, but after having gotten it, you know, in the field and actually
getting some really good use on it, it actually performs very well.
Actually, it performs, in my opinion, just as well the magnesium alloy found in the 5D
Canon implemented a new sensor in the 6D and the pixel level detail of this full frame
CMOS sensor is capable of producing incredibly detailed images. I've
printed large format prints from the 6D all the way up to 40x60 inches and
the level of detail is just incredible, and I'm finding that the print quality between
the original 5D, 5D Mark II, 5D Mark III and 6D - they're pretty much indistinguishable
from each other. I was thinking there might be better quality
in terms of, you know, image quality and print quality but I'm seeing the same results. But,
just as important as image quality is, however, is the quality
of optics in the light path - you can't overlook that and previsualization.
As Ansel Adams once said, image quality is only as good as visual quality.
The Canon 6D has Canon's most powerful image processor - the DIGIC 5+ - and the Canon 6D's
DIGIC 5+ processor is 17x faster than a DIGIC 4 and 30% faster than
a DIGIC 5. The image processor in a camera is responsible for reducing
noise as higher ISO's, among other things, and the DIGIC 5+ represents the best to date,
so the introduction of the DIGIC 5+ also introduced chromatic aberration
correction based on Canon lens profiles which are embedded or added to
the memory of the in-camera memory on the 6D and the 5D Mark III. So these in-camera
profiles are there for, you know, intended to reduce chromatic aberrations
for Canon's lenses, but in real world results I haven't really seen that
much of a difference on this. So, again, the DIGIC 5+ is great, but what all this marketing
really boils down to is better noise at higher ISO's and higher ISO's.
So, one of the biggest and most important questions when researching, reviewing, or
buying a camera is image quality. For me, it's the most important question - everything
else is secondary. So, what is the image quality like on the
6D? Well, let's take a look at a few examples at actual size to get a better idea.
So, let's take a look at this image in Grand Teton National Park. I was there shooting
a sunrise, and this is one of my favorite national parks. This sunrise photograph
was taken this passed fall during the national park closure.
Now, image quality is dependent on the quality of optics in the light path - filters, lenses,
etc. So, in talking about image quality we're also talking about
optic quality. But let's take a look at a few camera specific image
quality characteristics, separate from the lens. So, let's zoom in here. I consistently
see excellent color rendition from this camera. Images that come
out of the camera are either typically clean and well saturated. I
actually find the color rendition to be identical to the 5D bodies - all the way from the original
5D to the 5D Mark III. That is to say it's excellent. And the
dynamic range of the 6D is excellent for this range of cameras. So, in
this image we're getting pretty good dynamic range between the front of the barn with the
mountain peaks. And notice the landscape just below the clouds. So, all
in all, this image looks pretty good and it looks as I remembered it.
OK, let's take a look at this image. Now, harsh light, harsh environmental conditions,
and landscapes that will blow your mind is what Death Valley is all about.
Let's take a look at this sunset photograph which also doesn't have much
post except for sensor dust. Actually, let me show you really quick what it looks like
right out of the camera. So this is the raw file, out of the camera. Again,
my post-processing work flow, in it I don't use much post outside of
analog darkroom procedures such as dodging, burning, crop, straighten, those kinds of
things, and sometimes, on some of my images, I use zero post-processing.
Therefore I rely on the camera to accurately record the color saturation as
I remember it, and I'm finding that out-of-camera image quality on the 6D is excellent. OK,
back to the adjusted image here - use your video play-head to scrub
back and forth below this video to get a better idea of the before and
after comparison. But, let's dive into the actual size and take a look at what we have
here. So the dynamic range of this image is pretty typical of how the 6D
performs. There's pretty good highlight headroom in the sky here, probably
could have been better if I'd used ISO 100. The ridge-line sharpness is also excellent
and controlled well against the sky. Again, I'm just going to reiterate that
the image quality is only as good as the lens and most Canon L lenses
are pretty good in this respect. But, for dynamic range, highlight control, and definition
of the distant mountain details, this one is looking pretty good.
The foreground of this image has wonderful detail in the plants and it
looks like snow or ice but it's actually salt, and the salt has an incredibly high-level
of detail. When printed out to 40x60 this is really impressive - the detail
here is just amazing. So, again, a lot of this is depending the
quality of optics throughout the light path, but with high quality optics, the 6D captures
detail very well and the file is ready for print without much post-processing.
Now let's take a look at a sunrise photograph in Bryce Canyon. Bryce Canyon National Park
is a pretty impressive landscape and I think this photograph is a
pretty good example of quality. Notice the yellow to pink in the ridge-line
in the top quadrant. The yellow to pink is a very delicate color gradient and the 6D
picks up and preserves it pretty well. Now you may not have guessed it by just
looking at this photograph, but this was captured in the fall. And if
you notice towards the center of the frame we have some yellow trees, and although a
very small detail, only noticeable on close inspection of a large
print or actual size like we're looking at here, it was captured pretty well
by the 6D sensor. And the lower right quadrant is looking pretty good too, a decent amount
of definition there between the foreground and the background, not too
muddy. So sharpness here is good and we're getting a bit of lower right
quadrant light fall off, but again now we're getting into optic quality. One of my favorite
parts of this image is the gradient in the sky - a beautiful deep
purple here in the top quadrant, fading into an orange with a narrow band
of pink, then to a blueish on the horizon, leading into the distant ridge-line. The gradient
and the colors here are pretty delicate and can actually be destroyed
with a simple one to two stops of overexposure. And moving to the right
of the side of the frame, we see that highlights have been controlled over here pretty well
as well. So, all in all this is a pretty decent image, not the best
in the world, but I think it's a good example of dynamic range, sharpness,
and just overall image quality.
So in summary, the image quality in the 6D matches that of the 5D family all the way
down to the original 5D. In other words, it's excellent but it's as you'd
expect if you are an owner of any of the cameras in the 5D family. The
DIGIC 5+ found on the 6D and 5D Mark III delivers the best high ISO noise performance found
on any of the Canon cameras and the color rendition and the dynamic
range and saturation on the 6D perform impressively.
So, Canon advertises the Canon 6D to be "completely sealed" from external contaminants, like the
5D family, like in the 5D Mark II and the 5D Mark III. In my
opinion, that's just marketing hype, and although it is very well weather-
sealed, I'm not sure if it meets the hype. To give you an example, when I was shooting
the sunset at the Golden Gate Bridge, I was shooting and I had about ten
gallons of sea water dump on top of me. A wave came over and broke and
boom there was seawater all over everything and with this lens and this camera. And I
thought that the lens and the camera were done for, but after I dried it
off and I shaked it off a little bit, actually the camera body worked fine,
the lens did as well, but the Canon 6D performed perfectly afterwards. I don't think that after
that incident a regular non-weather sealed camera would've
survived. But, on the other hand, here in Death Valley National Park where I am
right now doing this review, I actually have to clean the camera sensor once every week
or once every two weeks - it's that bad. Much of my genuine excitement
about being in the natural world with a camera has to do with close
moderation of gear and carrying as little as I possibly can. The Canon 6D fits into
that ultralight category and not too many full frame cameras do, in fact, it's
one of the only ones on the market as of this review. So, it definitely
fits into that special category of ultralight full frame cameras and you still get that
image quality that is so essential.
Probably the
biggest feature difference between the Canon 6D and the 5D Mark III is the auto-focus and
I often like to say that the auto-focus is the Canon 6D's
worst and best feature. There was some friction with the Canon 5D Mark II
when it was released because it had a nine point auto-focus system. Contrast that against
the Canon 5D Mark III sixty-one auto-focus system. The Canon 6D
has eleven. So the Canon 6D has the lowest light auto-focus performance of
any camera Canon has introduced to date and maybe any other still camera in this class
of cameras on the market. So, what does this mean? Well, if you shoot in
low-light or if you shoot with ND filters on the front, or anywhere where
it's difficult for the auto-focus to detect contrast between edges then this is definitely
one of the biggest features that you can get on the 6D.
OK, so to summarize: if you are shooting sports or fast action for more than 80 percent of
your images this camera might not cut it with its simple AF system
and its low number of AF points. But, if you shoot sunsets or sunrises or
if you shoot anything in low light this camera is currently the king of low light auto-focus
performance, and it is, at the moment, unparalleled. This is a huge win
for me personally as I often use ND filters and an ND filter is designed
to stop light down and if you hold it up to the light it's completely black, which means
that it's really hard to compose images, but it's even harder to manually
focus. Typically auto-focus stops working when you reduce the stops
to a certain amount, whereas with this camera I can typically auto-focus even with the darkest
ND filters on the front of the lens. I can even shoot moonlight and
have it accurately obtain a lock in the foreground.
So the Canon 6D is Canon's first camera that they've implemented an integrated GPS on and
for commercial photographers, wedding photographers, event
shooters, this feature may not be so important, but for travel, landscape,
and wildlife photographers, or any other kind of photography where accurate location based
information is useful, this feature is going to be huge. It has a secondary
benefit of not just being able to tell you exactly where you are when
you took the photograph, but it also sets the date and time. Remember in those days
when you had to actually change the time zone when you moved from one place
to another? You never have to do that ever again. Or remember the days
when you had thousands of photos and you didn't? OK, so those are gone too. So it's a really
useful feature in and of itself just for setting the time zone,
but given that it also tracks your location and for all your photographs now
you have the location based information - that's pretty huge. OK, so another interesting development
with GPS is that as the old professionals are predicting
that Google and other search engines will actually place a higher
emphasis on images with GPS coordinates in the future. So, having images that have GPS
data in the exif data have inherently more SEO value as a result. Now
although this is definitely not an advantage right now, you can at least
know, feel safe to know that you're future-proofing your images, not just for yourself right now,
but also for potential future SEO. So the GPS is a really
useful feature and for some photographers it's a game changer, but there
is one huge downside to GPS and that is, is that it doesn't have an idle shut off time.
What does that mean? It means that if you put your camera on the shelf
and leave it in the off position and come back in a week, it'll actually
be dead. Why? Because the GPS is drawing power and it's enabled and it still stays on even
if you turn the camera power off, when the camera's in the off position.
Why? Why would they do that? Well, it doesn't really make sense
and you just can't try to rationalize why they would forget that. But, it does kind
of make sense in an engineering way where if the GPS were to turn off every
single time that the power switch is turned off, well, it would have to
re-engage with the satellites every single time you turn the power on. But, why not just
set an idle shut off time for the GPS? For example: the camera has an
idle shut off time of, say, one minute to four minutes to thirty minutes
to never. OK, great, so why not just put underneath the GPS menu an idle shut off time that's
separate and actually longer than the idle shut off time of the
camera. Well, if Canon had their guys from the user experience department
on the clock they probably would've figured that out. But, as it stands right now, it's
a feature that will actually give you dead batteries pretty quickly if
you're not careful. There are a couple of ways around it. The first way is
to just remove the physical battery. That sucks, that's not really an option, but I
guess it sort of is, and the second option is to actually add the GPS to
your menu. So, push the menu button and then once you get into the menu
you select GPS, select the internal GPS then you do in the off position. So, sort of a
workaround, but not really. So again, hopefully they can get their act together
and fix this error in the future in the form of a firmware update.
So the next feature I want to talk about is WiFi. Now this was one of the biggest hyped
features on the 6D. In fact, it completely overshadowed the GPS when it
first came out. So, how does the WiFi work, you know, is it useful, and
all that stuff. Well, it's utterly useless. The only two things that I can foresee you
using the WiFi for on this camera is either: a) using it for, as a remote;
using your iOS device or some other kind of device, or b) using it to
transfer files from the camera to your computer. Now, let's talk about the first one, using
it as a remote. Canon has an EOS remote app for the iPhone and it's
completely useless. They probably had one iOS developer on it and they
probably outsourced the guy. Like, it's really, really bad. It's basically useless. Not to
mention there's no intervalometer on it which is, you know...
How easy would it be to build that into the software? Really easy, right?
They just forgot about it or they just didn't want to do it. Either way, the app is completely
useless and you can't really use that as a reliable remote. So,
the second is transferring files and not only has Canon made it ridiculously complex to
set up and just basically time consuming (in other words, the time that it would take to
set up, your images would already be transferred to the computer if you put it in directly
into your Mac.) Doesn't make a lot of sense, does it? So, they've made the transferring
of images via WiFi overly convoluted and complex for normal people like us and it just takes
too much time, not to mention that once you do get the connection established between
the two, it's actually pretty slow. Whereas an SD card typically runs between 40 and 80
megabytes per second, this thing, not even close. So, it's nice in the fact that the
camera is, you know, quote, unquote "future-proofed" in that aspect, but at its present state it's
an utterly useless feature.
So, I hope that you enjoyed this review as much as we enjoyed creating it and if you're
able to determine better whether or not this camera is good or is not
good for you, excellent; that was the purpose of this review. So if you
enjoyed this review, check out 6dreview.com. That's where we've put all of the information
that we know about the 6D and all of our hands on experience on that
one site. So, there you'll find a written review which has a lot more
information than we were able to cover in this YouTube video, as well as a lot of high-res
images. Also, we have an e-book that is coming out, really soon, in
fact as of this recording publish date, it's probably out already and the
e-book is amazing. You've got to check it out. It's completely interactive; you're able
to have all the information you need at your fingertips, including high-res
images and lots of galleries right inside the e-book. So, feel free to
check that out at 6dreview.com; it's a really useful document and we had a ton of fun creating
it. It took a long time, but I think it came out really nicely.
So again, check out 6dreview.com to download that. For more information
on this Canon 6D feel free to let us know if you have any other questions or comments,
leave them in the comments below - we read every single one of them,
and I try my best to get back to you.


Canon 6D Review 1+ Year of Hands-on

1008 タグ追加 保存
郭志文 2016 年 1 月 31 日 に公開
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