The Canon EOS 6D–Hmm?

Ok from the title of this post it may sound like I am thinking of buying a 6D… that would be nope for a few reasons I will explain in this post.  The rest of it is going to be my thoughts about this camera but please note I have not shot with it and to be honest probably never will, this will be more my 2 pence worth on what I know so far from press info and spec lists.

Ok those of you who know me/follow my work will probably know I recently picked up a used Canon 5D2 for a real good price so am now shooting full frame and love it.

Ok the first reason I would not buy a Canon 6D is well the 5D2 I just bought, yes the AF has its issues at times but I am more than happy with it and am currently looking for another good deal to add a second body.  The other reasons are down to just 2 of the specs on the 6D..

1. Max shutter speed 1/4000th sec on a single digit body (6D) at this price point.  Really Canon really – But surely 1/4000th sec is fast enough?.. yes for allot of things but not for any real fast action say like a punch/kick or even a bat swinging.   Lets say I was making an image of a Martial Artist throwing a fast spinning kick breaking a board, I want to light it with flash (using HSS) with out over powering the ambient but instead using it as fill, the 1/4000th sec shutter speed will not in many cases freeze the kick or fragments of the board… But the flash will hear you say yes but given the exposure will be made up of both flash and ambient you will still see blur.  Being able to take the shutter speed above 1/4000th sec will get you better results.

Also consider this second scenario.  You are shooting at high noon using hard light from the sun, you want to shoot wide open (f1.8, F1.4 may be F1.2).. ah oh your set to ISO 100 and your camera is telling you your over exposed with 1/4000th sec flashing at you because you can’t go any faster.. So you dial in ISO LO (50) ok that might work but if your more than 1 stop over exposed at 1/4000th sec  your still hosed and you will have to stop down your lens.  A camera body with 1/8000th sec will give you some more head room to play with. 

2. 1/180th sec Sync Speed – Ok 1/180th is a half stop value, I run 1/3rd stops on my cameras so to me the 6D’s top sync would be 1/160th.  Ok so its only 1/6th of a stop down from my 5D2 which syncs at 1/200th but it is 1/2 stop down from my 60D which will sync at 1/250th. 

Why is this max sync speed so important?  When dealing with flash your shutter speed will primarily control ambient light, that ambient light travels through the same aperture as your flash and remember aperture controls flash exposure.  If I want to kill or underexpose the ambient light I will need as fast a shutter speed (sync speed) as I can get, beyond that at ISO 100 I will need to start stopping down the aperture (which controls flash exposure) to tackle the ambient, I won't even think about lowering my iso as it will reduce both ambient and flash equally much the same as aperture will.  The questions in this scenario are do I want to stop down and do I have enough flash power to cope with the stopped down aperture.

The rest of the spec’s are fine (see below) the main one is its full frame and will hopefully be a cheap way in to shooting Full Frame with a new Canon body. The 6D is not due out until December so we have to wait to the reviews.  Also I am not sure if this is the replacement for the Canon 5D2 or not given the price point on both bodies, time will tell.  Lets look at the other specs below.

  • Full-frame 20.2-megapixel sensor  - Plenty of resolution.
  • Tough, lightweight construction  - Similar size to the 60D
  • Max ISO 25,600 (expandable to ISO 102,400) –Good iso range. no info on performance yet.
  • 11-point AF sensitive down to –3EV  - I fully expect this to be better than the 5D2.. not difficult.
  • GPS* records your location – A first I believe for a DSLR
  • Wi-Fi** file transfer and remote control – Another first for a DSLR
  • Full-HD video – Similar to the 5D3 with compression choices.

The 6D records to SD cards, which are fast, cheap and readily available – Pro’s looking for a cheap back up body to a 5D2/5D3 or may be a 1D body might not like SD cards given they will most likely use CF cards, I am aware the 5D3 will also use CF and SD.  Canon have thankfully kept the same LP-E6 battery used in the 60D,7D,5D2,5D3 which is great. 

Personally I am not interested in GPS or wireless and would not be willing to drop the shutter speed and sync speed spec’s in place of GPS and wireless this is because I shoot allot using flash on location.

I am sure the the 6D will make a great upgrade for 550D,600D,650D, 60D shooters when they want to jump to FF but be aware the limited specs I have mentioned above, of course this will depends on what you shoot.

I would still buy a new 5D2 over the 6D any day, for one its cheaper (currently) and even cheaper used and it is better spec’d for the work I do.  I am not against the 6D, its just not for me… that and I am still trying to figure out who Canon is aiming this thing at given its price point.

Feel free to add your thoughts below.