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Canon Announces New Budget Full-Frame DSLR Camera, the 6D

09.17.12 @ 2:20PM Tags : , , , , , ,

Canon has joined Nikon, Panasonic, and Sony by announcing a brand new camera aimed at both the stills and video market, but this time, it replaces the camera that changed the entire market for good 4 years ago, the 5D Mark II. The Canon 6D is set to go head-to-head directly with Nikon’s recently announced D600, but the only question is how well does it stack up, and does it have what it takes to move people away from their 5D Mark IIs? Here is the Canon introduction video:

Sample movie shot with the 6D:

The important specs:

  • 20.2MP Full-Frame (35.8 x 23.9 mm) CMOS Sensor
  • 3.0″ Clear View High Resolution LCD
  • DIGIC 5+ Image Processor
  • ISO 100 – 25600 (Extended 50-102400)
  • ALL-I or IPB Compression (Similar to 5D Mark III)
  • 1920 x 1080: 30 fps, 24 fps, 25 fps // 1280 x 720: 60 fps, 50 fps
  • Built-In Wi-Fi and GPS Connectivity
  • Single Card Slot: SD/SDHC/SDXC
  • 11-Point AF with Center Cross-Type Point
  • 63-Zone Dual Layer Metering Sensor
  • Max Shutter Sync: 1/180 sec
  • 30 sec – 1/8000 sec shutter
  • Up to 4.5 Full Resolution FPS
  • 97% Viewfinder Coverage
  • AV Output, HDMI C (Mini), USB 2.0 (no uncompressed HDMI out)
  • Built-In HDR and Multiple Exposure Modes
  • LP-E6 Battery (Same as Mark II and Mark III)
  • 29:59 record limit per clip
  • Availability: October
  • Price: $2,100 Body Only, $2,900 with 24-105mm f/4

Here’s a little bit from The Verge about video quality:

…the company told us that the video quality should be more in line with the 5D Mark II than the 5D Mark III. We asked Canon to clarify whether this means that the 6D skips lines when downsampling video…but we haven’t heard back yet. Unfortunately, the camera lacks the ever-important headphone jack that the company finally introduced on the Mark III earlier this year.

We’ll see what that means for image quality. The Mark III does not resolve nearly as much detail as a lot of the competitors, but it also does not suffer from aliasing and moire pattern. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem like that will be the case here, and it’s likely the camera will suffer from the same issues as the Canon 7D and the Mark II. Canon is certainly positioning the line in a very strategic way, and if you want true video quality, you’ll have to move up to the C100, which will set you back $6,500. Now, certainly you could make very nice-looking video with this camera, just like the Mark II is capable of great results, but after 4 years, it seems the true video improvements have all gone to the higher-end cameras.

The omission of the headphone port is a very strange one. The camera seems to feature the same type of audio controls that the Mark III has, but without being able to actually hear the audio going into the camera, it’s rather useless. Canon seems to be positioning it as a step-up from a Canon 7D, rather than a step down from a Mark III — because in a lot of ways it’s a huge step down — except for high ISO performance, which should actually rival the higher-megapixel 5D Mark III. We’ll see what the video quality is like, but it seems like it will be comparable to the Mark II (at least at lower ISOs), with the additions of the better compression. If you’re a Canon APS-C DSLR user, and you’re looking to move up, this is certainly the cheapest option.

WiFi integration and GPS tagging are definitely interesting features, and it’s the first time a Canon camera has featured these internally right out of the box. These are more for the still photography side of the camera, so they aren’t as important for video shooting — though it’s not clear whether we’ll ever be able to monitor live-view using smart-phone app that uses the WiFi integration.

If you’ve got a lot of EF lenses, the video noise performance and compression formats may be a good enough upgrade — especially if you’re Mark II owner. If you don’t own a camera right now, or you aren’t tied to Canon, there are a lot of interesting options that are being released right now, and many of them may be better options if you’re planning to use the camera for video only. The only hope now for many is that Canon will at some point release an even more budget-friendly C100 camera, to truly put a video camera in the hands of people who can only afford a camera like the 7D or the 6D. We’ll just have to wait and see. You can pre-order the camera using the links below, and also check out a few more photos.


[via Canon Rumors & The Verge & planet5D]

Related Posts

  1. Canon Announces EOS-1D X Camera with Full Frame Sensor and Enhanced Video Performance
  2. Nikon D600: Full-Frame DSLR with Uncompressed HDMI for $2100
  3. Canon 5D Mark II, Still the Best Full Frame HDSLR, Goes on Sale with Free Bundled Accessories


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  • You haters are just so narrow minded.
    The world of photography does not revolve around film makers.
    They do not care much about any minor group of people, no matter how passionate they are.
    It’s all about the business end of things. In other worlds, profit.
    6D has two words general consumers want to hear — “full frame” and “Canon” — that’s all that is needed for many consumers to buy this camera at a “reasonable” price.
    Of course, it doesn’t make sense for techies like us, but the public, in general, are ignorant. Most likely, it will make money, and that’s all it matters to Canon.
    Like so many things out there, the best isn’t always popular, and what is popular is often crap.

    • john jeffreys on 09.17.12 @ 9:29PM

      this is a film website. if you are a photographer, please feel free to leave. the door is right over there *points*
      the world of photography actually DOES revolve around filmmakers. film is an evolved form of photography. take a series of photos (like a guy getting punched in the face), multiply it by 24x per second, and you get a movie. which one describes the subject and “tells the story” more effectively and efficiently? Photos can be cool and pretty in their own way, but almost everybody who is artistic in the 21st century starts out taking pictures and ends up making films.
      Also, this is not really a consumer camera.

      • “which one describes the subject and “tells the story” more effectively and efficiently?”

        A photo. One frame to tell a story is more effective and efficient than hundreds of thousands. That should seem obvious mathematically.
        With that said, I think the antagonism coming from both Bill and you is unnecessary. Photographers and filmmakers are both artists and shouldn’t be arguing about which medium is lesser or more relevant. Let’s try not to let negativity get out of hand and stay civil with each other.
        Also, Bill makes a good point. In terms of business, Canon is being conservative while still making a good marketing strategy to many consumers.

        • Did you not just contribute to the “which medium is lesser” argument by stating that a photo tells a story better?

          • You’re right, it sounds like that, but not what I intended. Sorry for the confusion. John asked a question he thought was rhetorical, and I played devils advocate with a possible counter-argument. (For reference, I’m a film major.) To clarify, I don’t actually believe either photo or video is a right answer…I find the question flawed.

          • He is right, though. On both accounts.

            I’m a film director, btw.

      • What’s up with ppl saying something like “this is a film website. if you are a photographer, please feel free to leave.”

        Apply that silly logic to the very site where you’re posting such comment.
        ‘This is a film website, why are we reviewing a stills camera? please feel free to leave.”

        • Leica makes stills cameras, and even they now have video. These are hybrid cameras – once you put a mic port on the camera it’s also intended for video use.

    • I’ve never bought the argument that if it sells, then it must be good and critics of a product that is under-specified versus the competition just “don’t understand business”. A new company offering such a product in today’s extremely competitive camera market wouldn’t last long. Because it’s Canon they can get away with it. But if you think Canon still photographers are happy with a FF camera with only 97% VF coverage and 1 cross-type AF point, you haven’t visited any of the dedicated Canon forums where this model has been met with an overwhelming amount of negative criticism.

      I shoot Nikon so I really have no interest in this camera, but the differing approaches of Nikon and Canon to an “affordable” FF DSLR are most striking.

    • You should go to dpreview Canon to see how this camera is being received. Threats upon threats criticizing the 6d. In fact it even started before, when people where questioning the 5dmark3 pricing against what many feel is a more appropriate competitor, the d600. The D800 being considered at another level. Now just look at the Nikon forum and the difference.

    • I do agree with you. There seems to be quite a lot of negativity I’ve noticed surrounded by the 6D amongst the professional market. Such as criticism about the removal of the audio output. Now I understand that for many professional who are looking for a camera they can make money from (i.e a piece of a equipment that can be used for their business) this feature would be and important one, and also perhaps the inclusion of an HD-SDI port.

      But really? A significant factor present in the commercial film industry is “time”. We’re all being paid for our time as professionals, and if we can’t monitor our audio and the audio screws up, we have problem! and we don’t necessarily have the time to fix it! It’s not that lacking the ability to monitor audio makes poor quality audio, it’s simply a feature that is more-so important to the professional filmmakers who to THEM.. it’s just a business, and they’re being paid for their time.

      I want this camera so that I can film quality shorts at an affordable price, with (to me) what appears to be an attractive camera! I want professional video quality, (at an affordable price) for myself. It’s not necessary for me to have all the fancy-smancy features that comes with a camera that is used by filmmakers who make a profit.

  • I can’t wait till we get some test video footage comparing the D600 to the 6D.

  • In the second video above, am I the only one who felt bad for the little sea turtle? Couldn’t they pick it up, and put it in the water?

    Anyway, is it me, or does the video look slightly soft?

    • best thing to do is always to leave nature alone, lil’ turtles normally come out of the egg from under the sand and take the long walk to the sea, that’s just marvelous nature….

  • In my imagination.

    Canon President: O.K. people I’ve called a meeting over the weekend of all the department heads for a very important meeting.

    Marketing head: What’s that?

    Canon President: Sony, Panny, Black Magic are all developing cameras that put our once mighty 5d to shame.

    Engineering Dept: Why don’t we make something better? We have the capability.

    Canon President: Because that goes against our corporate modo. Tell him Marketing!

    Marketing Dept: Yes, our job is to stifle the industry and recycle our old technology into new packaging then hit the blogs with hype and create a frenzy during someone else’s release date.

    Canon President: Well, that is true Marketing but try and add some nice adjectives next time.

    Engineering Dept: OH? In that case why don’t we just drop a full frame sensor into a smaller cheaper body and give it a new name?

    Canon President: Can it be put together by this Monday?

    Engineering Dept: Sure can.

    Marketing Dept: Doesn’t have to be put together by Monday. We can just announce it and then bring it out in two or three months.

    Canon President: Oh, good do that.

  • Its a nice camera, i wouldn’t buy it. Why didn’t they put any audio output so you could hear while you record like the mark3?

  • Ryan Farner on 09.18.12 @ 2:26AM

    So I may have not seen the answer to which one to buy for a good Video first photos second new Camera. Nikon D600, GH3, D6- or none and wait for something better in this 1300 to 2500 price range?

  • Jim Daugherty on 09.18.12 @ 3:24AM

    Canon is spoon feeding us imaging technology. NO HEADPH0NE PORT???? In two generation the Black Magic Camera will be the Indie Filmmaker camera and Canon will have piss away a market that they started.
    Good luck with the Wedding Photogs…

  • To be quite honest with all of you, a) Yes the 6D sucks and b) Canon is doing us all a favor.

    At the end of the day, you want to spend the $6500 on the C100 and skip all the DSLR nonsense. Yes DSLR video was revolutionary 4 years ago but it’s done now. The C100 has the best of both worlds and once you’re done rigging out a DSLR so you can just do basic work (preamps, NDs, run-n-gun etc.) you are already close to the $6500, and yet you won’t match the IQ, RS, none of it. You will get full frame and better stills with the 6D, but if that is important spend the extra $800 odd on the 5D3 which you are going to want about a month after getting the 6D.

    I don’t think people are too poor to afford a better camera really, if they’re doing this at all. I think it’s an issue of self-worth…people are afraid it would be pretentious to have professional gear for their cinematic or photographic ideas. Well why don’t you deserve it? Just tell yourself you do deserve the best things to work with, and cut the nonsense. The right camera will serve you for years and the right lenses will serve you for decades. Say no to toys, and yes to doing things right the first time.

    What you will have trouble affording is constantly doing things wrong by looking for fool’s bargains. These products are all at the start of their lifecycles and will be current for a good while.

  • Mike Hendzel on 09.18.12 @ 5:46AM

    Any word on if will have video autofocus like the T4i?

  • [•] InFrame on 09.18.12 @ 5:58AM

    I wonder if Canon will do a firmware update on the 5DIII for 1080p 60fps and peaking… As for price point it should finally shut up a hell of a lot of whingers complaining about the 5DIII price… Canon have listened.. Now back to telling my 5DIII and GH2 that I won’t sell them ;-)

  • Line skipping in 2012? What a freaking joke. I’m on the Sony FS700 train anyways, so no big deal. Probably pick up a GH3 as a back up. I hope someone makes a Metabones style adapter for Panny. Canon is done for filmmakers. The C100 is just too overpriced as is the C300 for what you get.

  • This video puts me to sleep cause it is too long and one of the most boring music i ever heard. Its my first time sleeping on a camera promotional video.

  • I wish more people would realize what this camera is truly used for more than anything. It’s a stills camera. Yes, it would be great to have a headphone output on a VIDEO CAMERA. DSLR’s are great for photography and video but do realize the market these cameras are aimed at, are for photographers with the hopes of pulling in some videographers also. Sometimes things have to be sacrificed to keep the cost at a certain market value. As a Director of Photography, I’m not worried about the in camera audio anyways. The audio I care about is the audio we pay our Sound Engineer and Boom Operator for. That’s the sound I’m worried about.

    I’m excited to see and hear more about this camera, cause I may be making another investment. So far I’m in the whole on a brand new Blackmagic Cinema Camera for filmmaking, a GH3 cause of the price alone, and I’ll probably be selling the 60D and T2i I don’t use anymore for the 6D as a B-Cam to my 5DMKIII on weddings and event shoots.

    • And another thing… I’m pretty sure SESCOM makes a cable that will allow you to monitor your sound through the AV OUT DIGITAL if you really needed to.

    • But the competition had headphone jacks, so your reasoning doesn’t wash.

      • Do you honestly think Canon is competing with Nikon? I’m sorry but nooo…. They’re not. Nikon is just now getting to where Canon was 4 years ago. They may put a few things on their product here and there that entice people to buy over Canon, but anyone who is a true Canon fan… are going to stick with Canon. Who in their right mind would actually go, you know what… Canon doesn’t have a headphone port so I’m switching to Nikon, and at the same time, I have to buy all new lenses and gear to suit the new Nikon. Nooo…. Canon is better in low light, we’ve proved it already and Nikon is just now catching up to the game. You reasoning for choosing a camera based on the competitors headphone jack doesn’t wash up!

        • “You reasoning for choosing a camera based on the competitors headphone jack doesn’t wash up!”

          When did I say this?

          • You put words in my mouth over a jack and then completely ignore the Nikon’s other features like uncompressed HDMI.

        • Yes, of course Canon competes directly with Nikon. Why would you make such a ridiculous statement to the contrary?

        • Man, you live in what world. In photo world the Nikon have been beating the Canon since 2007 with the Nikon d3 and d300 followed by the D2x. Now they have given another two way punch with the d800 and d600. Dont belive me go to Dpreview Canon forum to see the outrage about Canon offering against Nikon. Still not convince go to Dxomark to see the Nikon d600 (second best behind d800 on all camera tested against even the 5d3).

          Now in video the one or two thing you are referring to Nikon are huge. One example is true uncompressed 422 hdmi out. Add a $ 300 hyperdeck shuttle and you can have dnxhd 220 mbit intra frame recording in 422. Add a $ 1000 Ninja and you can record as above and get a monitor with peaking, false color, waveform etc. or buy a Pix 220 which will give you the recording and monitor plus sound devices hollywood standard preamps for recording sound. All this small thing like this that your beloved Canon company does not give you to protect it cinema line of Camcorder.

  • Gary Simmons on 09.20.12 @ 5:17PM

    I like canon I own one I am both a photographer and cinematographer though Im newer to the latter. So where is it written in stone which is more worthy and why should I leave the room there should not be any such bickering in here be open minded what I see people complaining about make me think I walked into some kids playground fight so just stop and chill now on this new camera when is canon going to give us 60p with 1080p definition even their most expensive cameras(DSLR’S) still lack this basic feature. thats the only negative thing I have to say grow up you malcontents and focus on the art.

  • There should be a way to flag people, warn them and ban them if they violate the last Amendment.
    Discuss but dont start arguments.

  • When is black magic going to make a good stills camera…. hurr derp!!

  • Tim Rockwood on 09.20.12 @ 9:08PM

    “The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory.” (Aldo Gucci)
    “The quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten.”
    (Henry Royce)

    As a doc producer who co-owns a c300 and hires great DPs, may I remind the forum that rentals are smart solutions to filmmakers who plan well.

  • Daniel Mimura on 09.28.12 @ 8:30PM

    Damn…I wish Canon, as well as Sony and Nikon for that matter, would stop making so many products.

    The general argument seems to be, “but we have so many choices now”…we can have something custom tailored to each of us…to every need, to every price point…

    …but it’s complicated, both for the manufacturer to the sellers, as well as the customer.

    If anyone’s read that bio of Steve Jobs, when he came back to apple…basically there were WAY too many different computers…it makes inventory a difficult issue, and cameras are now in the same boat…with Moore’s law, with constant updates and evolving technology (where you don’t just throw in Kodak or Fuji’s latest stock to your decade old camera)…it’s a muddled mess.

    Jobs slashed most of it and decided to just have 4 computers. A pro desktop, a consumer desktop. A pro laptop, a consumer laptop. The mess the Mac pro has become has been more of a AJ (After Jobs) issue.

    There are plenty of individual little differences between features of all of Sony/Nikon/Canon’s cameras…but fundamentally, what people need isn’t addressed by those differences…instead buyers have to sift through the myriad of different features to see what they can live with or without.

  • Adam Harper on 11.8.12 @ 2:24PM

    Okay so first of all it does do anti aliasing/moire. It says so on the website. Second, once you add a sharpen filter in post (like the 5D Mark iii) the detail shines out greatly, it does this because of he anti aliasing. So you end up with a clear wonderful video. Third…who records audio to the camera? Most film makers record audio to an external device (The zoom H4N is great) so from a film makers point of view and from the things I stated its a wonderful camera for the price for video perhaps not for photography., It should be better video than the 7D and 5D Mark ii in line thth the 5D Mark iii. If you do get this, shoot in i frames and add a sharpening filter in post.

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