Canon 6D vs Canon 6D Mark II

Introduction

Following the recent trends in photography can get quite difficult as most of the manufacturers are using quite new technologies that promise to significantly improve your photography. Camera companies now deliver impressive technologies that may help you achieve better shots, however, recently all the buzz has been about Full-Frame cameras and how it will make you 10 times the photographer that you are.

If you are not in the know, full-frame cameras regardless of DSLR or mirrorless, do not take necessarily take better photos, and in the hands of an inexperienced photographer, the results are still lackluster. However, a full-frame camera, essentially takes better photographs in terms of image size, because most of the DSLRs take with normal APS-C sensors take cropped photos. Which translates to advantages for landscape, sight, portrait and studio photography.

Canon has released some good full-frame models since 2012 with the legacy Canon 6D. It was released as the first budget-friendly full-frame camera in the market, and it was a dream come true for photographers as it delivered excellent image quality. It was and continues to be really popular with photographers that want to jump to the full-frame ship.

On the other hand, we have the Canon 6D Mark II which was released in 2017, which is an improved model of the legacy model and naturally comes with a heftier price than its older brother. It is still an affordable full-frame DSLR though.

Head To Head Comparison

Canon 6D

While DSLR cameras with APS-C sensors have been the first-hand choice for enthusiasts, most of the professionals have already jumped the ship to full-frame models. The Canon 6D is a perfect option if you want to tread full-frame seas, thanks to its affordable price, a nice set of features, great image quality, and impressive functionality.

For enthusiasts that want to jump to the full-frame world but can’t afford high-end models, the Canon 6D comes as a lifesaver, and naturally, as it is a 7-year-old model by now it is extremely affordable. It comes with an impressive sensor, WiFi connectivity, GPS support, sturdy build, low-light performance for the ages, Full HD recording capability at 30 frames per second and a nice screen this device doesn’t leave a lot left to be desired.

This is a beautiful camera that rocks a very impressive build quality, as it is constructed with a combination of polycarbonate and magnesium alloy, to be precise the top and bottom of the device is constructed from polycarbonate, and the front and back plates are built from magnesium alloy. Thanks to that it is capable of handling any weather, as it is dust and water sealed, plus it can withstand extreme hot and cold weather. In addition to that, it is extremely ergonomic thanks to its protruded grip that makes it exemplary to hold and shoot with.

The Canon 6D uses a pretty old autofocus system, as it is ancient by now. It uses an 11-point autofocus system with just 1 cross-point in the middle, while this may be great for a normal DSLR, it is not very satisfactory for this kind of camera. However, with a bit of patience and centering the subject, it focuses pretty quickly even in low light conditions.

This particular model is equipped with a 20.2MP CMOS image sensor with an impressive native ISO range that spans from 100 to 25,600 and can be expanded up to ISO 102,400, which is excellent. It is also worth mentioning, that like all Canon cameras, this uses a homegrown sensor as well. This sensor is excellent in handling noise and in high ISO levels it blew out its direct competitors by a mile.

The continuous shooting speed of the Canon 6D is 4.5 frames per second which are good for the price of this product but don’t expect to shoot wildlife photography with it. The battery life is also excellent as it manages to shoot close to 1000 photographs with a single charge. The metering sensor, despite being very old, it delivered excellent performance and accuracy, and all its modes worked particularly good. On top of that, the exposure settings are pretty good and deliver good control when you need to.

The Canon 6D is an excellent camera for users that want to tread the full-frame waters without breaking the bank. It is a very fun camera to use that delivers excellently balanced performance, especially in low light conditions.

Canon 6D Mark II

As I mentioned earlier the Canon 6D Mark II was released in 2017, and this full-frame camera is one of the most impressive devices on the market. If you consider the legacy 6D a bridge, this is a more sophisticated and specialized product that delivers a powerful performance that is dedicated to professionals.

If I have to explain the Canon 6D Mark II’s performance, features, build and quality with just one word, I would say pleasing. Since this camera delivers amazing connectivity options a great vari-angle display, touchscreen controls, great build quality that delivers amazing balance and comfortable shooting, perfect LiveView, improved autofocus system all-around, better sensor, and solid battery life. However, it has a hefty price tag.

The Canon 6D Mark II is a very well built device, that doesn’t necessarily feel professional, but is professionally constructed. Unlike the legacy model, it uses a combination of aluminum alloy and polycarbonate with glass fiber construction on its body, making it extremely durable and light for its category at 765grams. It is also dust and moisture-sealed, and to test it out I tried photographing in the pouring rain, and it had absolutely no problem with the weather. It is also smaller than the 6D and is more ergonomically balanced, and it delivers a better grip.

Earlier I said that the 6D has a very dated and ancient autofocus system. This time around Canon got things right in that aspect, as this camera comes with a 45-point autofocus system, which all of them are cross-type. It is also worth noting that it is pretty sensitive down to -3EV making it excellent. You also get plenty of customization for the AF points and setup, and it is worth mentioning that in low light ambients, it focused almost as quickly as in well-lit ambients.

This camera utilizes a 26.2MP Dual Pixel CMOS sensor, that delivers amazing sharpness and performance, making it perfect for larger prints, on top of that it has a DIGIC 7 image processor. It has ISO range from 100 to 40,000, which can be expanded from 50 to 102,400, which is pretty solid and the results came out as pretty solid even in high ISO levels. There was a little noise when I went higher into the high ISO, I was still quite impressed by it.

In terms of performance, the Canon 6D Mark II can deliver 6.5 frames per second in burst shooting and has a buffer depth of 21 raw files and 150 JPEGs. On top of that, it is important to mention the battery life that is pretty close to 1,100 shots, very impressive and powerful. The speed is not essentially perfect for sport photographers, for a full-frame camera of this price it is excellent and will deliver consistent results.

Overall, the Canon 6D Mark II is still an affordable full-frame DSLR camera that delivers excellent all-round performance and it is a perfect tool for semi-pros and aged enthusiasts.

Feature Comparison

Canon 6D Canon 6D Mark II
Camera Type
Full-Frame DSLR
Full-Frame DSLR
Megapixels
20.2
26.2
ISO Range
100-25,600 (102,400)
100-40,00(102,400)
Flip-Out Screen
NO
YES
Microphone
YES
YES
Viewfinder
Yes
Yes
Touchscreen
No
Yes
Video Recording
Yes
Yes
Sensor Size
CMOS
CMOS

Conclusion

Coming to the end of this comparison, I have to say that both of these cameras are excellent options for photographers that want to give a full-frame DSLR camera a try without spending a small fortune on it. However, there are some things to consider and it will all come down to your budget, skill level, and personal preference.

If you want a good entry-level full-frame camera that delivers the amazing image quality and is pretty cheap upfront, then the legacy 6D is the perfect camera for you. However, be ready to sacrifice a little on autofocus, burst shooting, pixelate, touchscreen, and overall speed. This is the best budget option for a full-frame DSLR.

Going on further, if you are ready to spend a little more but still want to get the most value for your money, the Canon 6D Mark II is the perfect tool for you, since it comes with a better and improved autofocus system, new image processor, better sensor, touchscreen display, better controls, and overall performance. This one delivers the most bang for your buck.

We have the old but gold in one hand, and the new and improved on the other. If you have the funds go for the Mark II, but if you just want to get your foot in the door, opt for the Mark I.