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.