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Canon 5D Mark II, 5D Mark III, and the New 6D Face off in a Moire and Aliasing Test

If you’re looking for a new full-frame camera from Canon, you’ve got some options now that the new Canon 6D is beginning to ship. We’ve already seen some samples from that camera, but it’s hard to know how it compares to the other models without looking at all of them directly. Mitch from planet5D has gotten a hold of the Mark II, Mark III, and 6D simultaneously to see if the new model still exhibits some of the same issues that the Canon 5D Mark III has fixed.

Here’s Mitch with the Full-Frame Shootout:

It’s clear that the 6D is not going to best the 5D Mark III. Canon made sure that was the flagship of these cameras, and it’s still the best-looking camera under the 1D X, which is debatably a little sharper, possibly at the cost of letting in a bit more false color. If you’ve been using the Mark II forever and you haven’t run into anything that has bothered you considerably, I don’t think the 6D will be much different. The 6D has other considerations that make it a better camera than the Mark II, like the HDMI output, the internal recording codec, etc., so all of these things would be upgrades for anyone who has been hindered by those in the past.

It may be disappointing to some that the 6D won’t be as good as the Mark III, but it’s clear they’ve put most of their energy into a few select models and will basically recycle video into the other cameras as they see fit. I would be fine shooting with the 6D, as I loved the Mark II except for the little quirks that have been improved upon (though we’re still missing the headphone port). If you’re not trying to shoot a lot of detailed wide shots, most of the problems you see above will be out of focus in the background. That’s not to say you’ll never see them, but this test was specifically designed to break the cameras, and while the Mark III came out on top, it’s also $1,000 more expensive. For some people, that may be too much for a dual purpose camera, so it’s good that you can weigh your options among all three models.

, who shot some of the previous test footage, added a clip to his beta test of the 6D, and I’ve embedded that below. I think it’s a good counterpoint to the footage above — instead of breaking the camera, it is attempting to make the camera look as good as possible at higher ISOs (800 and 1250) with 30% post sharpening and a little bit of color correction:

What did you think of the 6D? How did it compare for you to the other cameras? What did you think of it in the second clip, does that change your mind at all?

Link: Canon Full Frame Shootout! — planet5D


We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

Description image 71 COMMENTS

  • I had high hopes for the 6D. Really disappointing results.

    • not surprised. Canon is all about forcing you into their ridiculously priced products. if they made the 6D better than the 5D2, it would cannibalize the sales of the 5D3. and the 5D3 has been crippled to protect their cinema line. the 6D is a truly useless body, made just to “compete” with Nikon’s D600.

    • Luis Fernando Soní on 12.4.12 @ 11:42AM

      I was really hoping for something better. Seems like, as always with Canon, it’s just another full frame market niche tactic instead of a real new and better alternative.

    • Is it really surprising at this point? Coming from the company that announces a highly competitive firmware upgrade for the Mk III…but decides to wait over 6 months to release it.

  • It’s very smart marketing by Canon….if u were selling the 6D would you match or make it better than the 5dMk3 of course not b/c that would cripple sales of the 5D3….it makes perfect sense from a salesman eye….So if u don’t like the 6D shut up go out and work to save a extra $1000 and get the “real ” camera…..simple as that…..I’d rather shoot with 6D than any of the crop sensor camera by Canon… it is a upgrade for ppl who haven’t shot full frame……other than that 5D MK3 here I come!!!!

  • Still gonna buy the thing. It’s obviously not as perfect as the MkIII, but the 6D is $300 more than the MkII, a four-nearly-five-year-old camera. Do anticipate picking up the Mosaic brand moire-eliminating filter though, if that’s what everybody’s worried about. Completely wanting a 2012 FF but the MkIII was just too far above what I can do right now, the 6D fills the gap beautifully.

    • I’ve had a little bit of a look around for such a filter Bob and haven’t yet found one for the 6D. Have you had any luck?

  • No offense, but this is simply someone point a camera at what looks to be the most run down part of this particular town. First off, its an ugly scene. Second off, half the portions of the test are not even completed. there are parts of the video where the person forget to put in text or animate the video across the screen. How can you put any stock into a test made by someone who put such little attention into the details of the test your basing your opinions on?

    No camera is going to come straight out of the box and shoot perfect, thats why the skill of the camera operator is more important than the specs and brick wall tests. My 6D gets here tomorrow, and the only test I need is the reaction from my clients when they see the final videos. The opinions of people who shoot brick walls and the run down parts of town really don’t factor into my decision as to what camera I should by. Sorry if that sounds harsh but it needs to be said.

    • These are real issues with these cameras. After owning your 6D for long enough the moire/aliasing issues WILL get on your nerves. Trust me. I wouldn’t buy the 6D for this reason alone and it’s the reason I ended up selling my 5D Mark II. It’s unacceptable that a new camera should have these issues. Un. Acceptable.

      • For people for whom the 5D3 is financially out of reach, or who are just indignant about Canon’s pricing, I would probably go Sony NEX. E-mount has a future, and there are good EF adapters for it now that even autofocus. Sony’s implementations aren’t shabby at all, the ergonomics are fine. I wouldn’t buy a 1st gen lineskipper like the 6D either for primarily video use…though for stills it will beat a Rebel I suppose. I am also not a fan of MFT, I think that’s a dead end both in equipment investment and practical learning.

      • Once YOUR work requires better quality… YOU don’t need better quality work.

      • i absolutely agree. 4 years ago it was a big thing what the mk2 was able to do but to pay a lot of money for a camera in 2012 which makes funny stuff with patterns in the picture? i don´t know. i would go for a gh2 or 3 or spend a bit more money and go for the mk3. i have a mk3 and a mk2 and don´t use the mk2 for filming anymore cause the difference in quality is too huge. also apart from the moire. for photographing the mk2 still is very good.

    • Lmao!!!!! He fixed the video since then with the blank text blocks….software issue….he really should at least look at the video first instead of trying to rush to be the 1st person online with a shoot out….Come Mitch!!!!! pay attention….lol….great work tho I guess

      • @kendrick – you’re right – I failed miserably on this one. There were indeed software problems – and I spent much of the day yesterday (monday) helping CrumplePop with trying to diagnose the issues – but I should have triple checked the output of the video. FCPX screwed me big time here because all the side by side shots are still perfect inside FCPX, but on export, they are always out of sync. I did have only 30ish minutes with the 6D but spent over 10 hours trying to get the video edited correctly. Great learning experience for me! :)

        • Yeah what a great time saving ‘pro’ tool FCPX is turning out to be. I laugh at all those stupid AVID and PPro editors, stuck using industry proven workflows and techniques, blazing through their edits…what are they going to do with all that extra free time…

  • Vincegortho on 12.4.12 @ 1:26PM

    Is anyone counting on the uncompressed HDMI upgrade for the Mark3?
    Will the image be any sharper?
    Will the image actually look like 1080p?
    At the least, the artifact from the cheap codec should be gone, right?

  • I love how the mark iii’s moire footage of the brick is shot either closer or zoomed in more than the others, effectively ruining the results.

    If the 6d is better than the t2i, that’s all I care about. Films are about story and performance. If the viewer gets taken out of the film cause of moire or banding, chances are he’s a filmmaker. People don’t care. I made a film on the t2i and no one has complained about the visuals.

    I remember having Jvc hi-8 cams as a kid. We made movies with what we had access to. Still do.

  • Honestly, I don’t think the footage you posted as a counterpoint doesn’t do that at all. It’s in completely different setup with the cameras locked down and no moire centric patterns to attack it. So in my mind, that’s apples and oranges.

  • Why even shoot at dumb bricks???? Just get a person with a stripe shirt… easy is that?

    • I was thinking the same thing. Not that it matters, all these canon models produce horrible waxy skin tone anyway.

  • When I’ve saved enough money, the 6D will be my next camera. I currently own a gh2, so the morie issue doesn’t bother me because for those kinds of shots I’d use the gh2 for them. I’m planning on getting it for a few reasons: low light high iso performance on par with 5D III, the high bit rate ALL-I codec (that I don’t need to hack to get), the level of depth of field control that is tough to achieve on a m4/3 sensor with a 2.8 zoom, level of dynamic range and if I install magic lantern (I’m sure they’ll have a version for this for the 6D) I’ll get focus peaking. I think that the 6D and the gh2 complement each other as cameras really well. One camera’s weakness is the other camera’s strength.

    • ….um, why in heaven’s name would you not just get the GH3? I can’t think of a single reason the 6D would outperform it from a video perspective, but I can’t think of tons of reasons in the opposite direction.

      • Correction – I *can* think of tons of reasons in the opposite direction.

      • The gh3 is impressive, but not a huge leap from the gh2 in IMO. The low light performance may have been approved slightly, but not to level of a 6d or 5d as far as having usable footage at ISO10000-12800. I’d like to be able to shoot in conditions where I don’t have control over the available light. Sure I could spend 1000+ on a super-fast, manual focus, single focal length prime lens to somewhat close the gap but I find that less flexible solution vs. just getting a 6D and using a variety of different lenses that are more affordable and versatile.

        Which brings me to my next point, investment in lens. With my gh2, I’m using old Minolta lenses that were a hand me down from my father. So I haven’t invested in m4/3 lenses. The reason why I haven’t made the full plunge yet getting in m4/3 lenses has to do with fact getting a full-frame lens are a better long term investment when in comes to upgrading to different camera bodies. m4/3 lenses? So far my upgrade path is gh3, af100, and BMC with a passive mount. Canon EF? c100,c300, 1DX, 1DC, Red Scarlet, fs100, fs700, BMC with a active mount, and practically any cinema camera with a swappable mount. Plus, I can buy new lenses (and not adapting old ones) at a lot more affordable prices with manufacturers like Tamron and sigma. m4/3 is still catching up in variety but are not as affordable with the lack of 3rd party manufacturers. Plus, with the sensor size the depth field of the lenses have different characteristics.

        Depth of field? I have to use a lens at 1.4 on my gh2 to get the same level of depth of field on a full frame at 2.8. At 2.8 on a gh2, is about the same in dop as f 5 on a full frame. Switching between a bunch of prime lens on a run and gun shoot vs. using just one zoom that can achieve the same level of subject isolation is a lot more practical. Even if I use a 35-100 2.8 or a 12-35 2.8 lens on a gh2, I STILL got to grab a prime do the same things I want to do with DOP.

        Does the gh3 have an improved codec? Sure, but the ALL-I has a higher bit rate without any hacks. Plus if I do hack it (with Magic Lantern) I can get focus peaking. Something that has yet to be achieved by Panasonic or the camera hacking community with the gh2/gh3/af100. 60fps at 1080p on the gh3? I rarely if ever find the need to shoot slow-mo. And if I wanted that, I pick up a much cheaper Sony a57 that has plus focus peaking, and in-body IS (not mention will also use my Minolta set).

        But having said that, I love my gh2. There a lot situations rather it be outdoors during the day or under controlled conditions where it would still be my “A” camera. But there are some limitations to it that are remedied by getting the 6D. Using a combination of both cameras, I’d be able to handle all situations and types of shooting possible; rather it be weddings, low budget movies, outdoor/indoor events, etc. and still would be able to meet my personal aesthetic.

        • I’m not sure what sample videos you’ve seen, but the GH3′s capabilities in low-light are pretty impressive – and low-light was definitely the GH2′s achilles heel. Shadows are finally crisp rather than noisy. I’d hate to be stuck with ugly moire and god knows what other crippled nonsense on a 6D.

          And, IMO, ultra-shallow DOF is an overrated gimmick that has run its course. And on the rare occasion I need decent DOF, the 20mm f1/7 is an outstanding, affordable native m4/3 lens that produces video as pretty as nearly any Canon prime I’ve used. And it’s ludicrously slim and lightweight, too.

          • Are there videos you can post of link of that shows what your detailing about the improved iso performance? If presented new info, I’d be more than open to reconsider the gh3.

          • Did some more searching on the net for high iso tests with the gh3, some calcuations with dop, and researched some more affordable prime lenses, taking all of that into account, I’ll choose the gh3 afterall. The low light performance looks to improved to a HUGE leap from what it was before and thats good enough for me.

      • THE GH3 is not all what it seems, technicallhy the GH3 IS bigger than gh2 which defeats the purpose of micro 4/3rd camera. Also technically the GH3 is just a OLYMPUS OM-5 with higher bitrate with a sony sensor.

        The fact that its a sony sensor is not a problem, have no problem with a company developing a new sensor with whoever, the problem is that the sensor is an existing sensor that was not even optimized for video in the OLYMPUS.

        RIGHT NOW THERE IS NO for sure DSLR TO PICK, the 6d and mark 3 both do not have hdmi out uncompressed, so its upscaled garbage HD, THE GH3 has a sony existing olympus sensor with decent low light and a video’ish look. the NIKON’s uncompressed video are gimmicky .

        Just confused, while i would snag a c100 in a second, the fact of no SLOW MO OPTIONS IS just ludacris.

    • If video is what you’re buying for, get a GH3. Believe me.

    • If video is what you’re buying for, get a GH3. Believe me.

    • I’ve a 6D. Low video bitrate at Low light conditions even on ALL-I. Lower than a 60D…

  • They’re all shit. Canon is going backwards.

  • Hard to take any of this seriously. Too much self promotion, too many distracting links, and not a well thought out or precise test. I’m not sure what to make of it.

    • True that. “PlanetMitch” is the king of self-promotion. He’s done everything in his power to shoot down the Blackmagic Cinema Camera because he knows just how shit his beloved Canon’s are next to it.

      • @Voltaire: I’m the “king of self-promotion”? Good to know I’m the king of something – HA! I’m also impressed that you think I have the “power to shoot down the Blackmagic Cinema Camera” – I just voice an opinion – certainly not saying anything bad about people using it. It likely will become a very good camera. And I’m certainly not the only one who doesn’t think highly of the BMC image. If I were as married to Canon as you say, you’d think I would have had glowing things to say about the 6D.

    • @Jamie – I had literally 1/2 hour to get the camera, set it up and shoot. They didn’t want me to have it for any longer than that. So I thought I did O.K. with the time I had. Not great obviously and I did have trouble with the plugin from CrumplePop (which turns out to be an Apple problem). I’ll be happy to post your next camera test on planet5D – please contact me and we’ll get it set up.

      • Calm down Mitch. I’m not sure why you think it’s that important that the world needs your review asap. Slow down, take a breath and figure out a better use of the 30 minutes you did have.

        I don’t do camera tests. For them to be valued they need to be well thought out. This was not thought out. It wasn’t based upon anything professional. If you are going to put forth your quirky [somewhat annoying] personality then be prepared to take some shots.

        • Man up and put your real name/email address on here if you’re going to say shit like that. Fucking nobody.

          • john jeffreys on 12.6.12 @ 12:47AM

            OOOOHHHHH *eats popcorn*

          • Ha ha. Well. I apologize for my language but I don’t think it’s right to personally attack someone that hasn’t done anything to you. Especially anonymously on the internet. I have talked with Mitch a couple of times and he seems like a nice guy. I have also seen people be rude to him and he responds with way more respect than they deserve.

        • I am calm. I am quirky and if you don’t like me, don’t watch. I can take criticism – but appreciate it more when it is constructive. It is interesting that those people who get tons of views and positive reviews on places like youtube and vimeo are what I consider quirky. It works, people like it or they don’t. Have you ever watched @digitalRev? or @froknowsphoto? I’m no where as crazy as those guys.

          What would have made my test more professional? Do I have to wear a tie or something? I did a side by side test with 3 cameras at once. Thought it was pretty good considering the time I had.

          And let me ask you about this… ” Too much self promotion,” – I mentioned planet5D twice I think and yes, I have a planet5D shirt. Help me understand what I’ve done that is so horrible.

          • Mitch, not so horrible but amateur.

            - you didn’t bother to check your work before you uploaded [text issues]
            - you don’t take responsibility for your work, you blame time, you blame software and you blame the store for not allowing you to take the camera out. We all know that guy who has excuses.
            - the actual camera test, as you call it, doesn’t start until 2:50, before this we have almost 3 minutes of waffling and self promotion. I counted 10 promotions in those first 3 minutes.
            - too many redundant shots of the cameras, the dolly shot was particulary pointless.
            - the first part of the test is not useful, the cameras are moving inconsistently, their frame of reference is off, if you want to show moiré don’t have the cameras moving so quickly that we can’t see without pausing, already there are artifacts introduced in web compression.
            - at 4:10 there is useful info but why magnify, give us time to look.
            - no comment on rolling shutter tests.
            - why sharpen 6D at all, seems like an afterthought, no comparison.
            - the comparison ‘test’ ends at 5:40. So in 7 minutes you have just under 3 minutes of ‘test’.
            - from 5:40 to end I count another 11 promotions.

            Obviously your presentation style is not for me but I can’t quite figure out the point of this, a bit narcissistic.

          • @Jamie – for some reason I can’t reply to your comment directly (no reply button below your comment)

            I do appreciate your constructive input – while I don’t agree with much of it – tho I do agree I have lots to learn and am eager to do so – which is why I put myself out there. I’ve learned that not everyone appreciates or likes what I do, but I’m out there trying and learning from my mistakes – which is more than I can say for most people who trash talk.

            My comments to your points:
            - I did check my work in FCPX (but didn’t triple check the final output) – lesson learned
            - I don’t blame anyone but myself for the failures in the edit etc. The other bits you call blame are information. I don’t consider it ‘blame’ to tell people the conditions under which the video was put together. We had 30 minutes. It isn’t blame, it is simply part of the parameters of the test. I was trying to be considerate to the store who was lending me product in the middle of a very busy time.
            - don’t know how you can call the first 2:50 self promotion. I often have people wanting to see the physical differences in the cameras. People generally want to understand the setup before they see the results. Yes, I also did explain products and people want to know who contributed and what certain things are. If I don’t identify the gear, people then ask… “what is that thing holding all three cameras?” etc. Describing the setup and products is not self promotion!
            - ok, you didn’t like the photos – but I was trying to give info about the setup and to point out the color differences and size differences in the bodies. People often ask for that. You don’t like it… can’t please everyone.
            - frame references were exactly right in FCPX before export. I failed to double check export. Admitted that already. MY fault
            - 4:10 – thanks – didn’t know if people wanted me to pause. Good input.
            - rolling shutter – ok
            - sharpen – well, people wanted to know that with the 5D3 (and other cameras), so I put that in. Should have shown other cameras too but I didn’t want the test to be too long (have been criticized about that too)
            - tried to keep it short – didn’t have enough footage to do much more (again only 30 minute time constraint)
            - yes, again, I like to thank those who helped, sent products for me to test, and those who have questions about what products I used.

            Again, I appreciate the constructive input (finally).

            You may not get the point of the test, but I have gotten lots of kind words about this testing and tho not perfect, many appreciated me doing it and have reached out to tell me so. You didn’t… but being constructive is a heck of a lot better than posting anonymous bashing. You consider my quirky personality annoying, well, I consider your negative attitude and anonymous posting annoying. Are we even? :)

  • WHy are we still comparing H.264 footage to more H.264 footage. This is boring, this codec is old and is absolutely archaic. New Cameras, Pro Res, RAW ! cmon!

  • Best solution is to use MK II with VAF-5D2. i’m using it myself and Moire and aliasing is not a problem any more. I use it for professional purposes and I’m so happy with results. Every 5d Mrk II owner should buy this incredible piece of equipment.
    Considering low gray market prices for mark II, it is the best option ou there.

  • I’m not surprised or disappointed with the 6D features, I am disappointed in the price of the 6D and 5D3. Based on the market price of the 5D2 (when the 3 was announced) the mk3 should have hit at $2400 and the 6D at $1700 US. I figure the 6D price will be there really soon and the mk3 will continue to OVER priced. Only time will tell

  • Does anyone know of a anti moire/aliasing filter for the 6D similar to Mosaic Engineering’s VAF-5D2 (for 5D MkII)?

  • People who are crying for the aliasing should remember that this camera is first than all a camera, made to take photos. An antialiasing filter would have added a feature for videomakers but photographers would have bothered for an alleged or less loss of definition. At this point it just seems that Canon created, maybe without realizing it, a camera, the 5d MkIII for videomakers, and the 6D without an antialiasing filter and more high iso capabilities for photographers.

  • The 6D is a better choice for filmmakers than a 5D mark II.
    Here’s why :

    Yes the mark II is slightly cheaper but paying a premium for old technology is not
    a wise investment, unless you can get an amazing deal on a used body. Price wise the 6D is better value.

    Much better ISO performance hands down than the Mark II

    30min recording limit and time code

    Future magic lantern support and you never know what can be achieved with those guys on this new technology. They’ve done all they can with the Mark II.

    Anti aliasing filter is now available for the 6D and may work better at wide angles than the one on the 5D

    Future firmware updates from Canon may unlock more features.

    The Wifi function could be really useful once they make it functional for video. Imagine doing away with your monitor and use an ipad or laptop (perfect for clients).

    For me the better ISO performance and wifi should warrant this as a good filmmaking tool.

  • Price isn’t the only consideration when comparing 6D with 5D II or III. I find those cameras too heavy. But ending up with unusable video is a high price to pay.

  • I want buy a new full frame camera for architecture and interior photography
    I m confused which camera is best for the job
    5d miii or 6d?

  • Guys, I currently shoot with a 550D but want to upgrade to one of the full frame DSLR’s (Not just for the full frame ‘look’ – but they seem to give more detail and are nicer to grade with) Would the 6D be a good upgrade? As far as I can tell on ebay, gumtree and what not the 6D is actually a couple of hundred quid cheaper than the 5d mk 2. But I see a lot of people condemning it. Thoughts?

    • John, it will be a indeed leap of faith. Upgrading to a full frame will enhance the final photographs and you will appreciate the tonal values and contrast levels. Go for it.

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  • Totally better detail in CANON 6D

  • Since its already a full frame pro camera..and why on the shutter dont goes over 1/4000?

  • It would have been wonderful, if only Canon would have brought the price of 5D Mark II down and made it compete with 6D :)

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