With the original Canon EOS 6D announced back in January 2013, the announcement of its replacement comes as no big surprise. So what exactly are the new features of the Canon EOS 6D Mark II, and what do these features mean for photographers and videographers. We break down the key features.
Canon EOS 6D Mark II: New 26.2-million-pixel CMOS sensor
This the big one. The EOS 6D Mark II has a brand new 26.2-million-pixel CMOS sensor. As a new sensor it is something of an unknown quantity, but what we do know is that it has a maximum extended sensitivity setting of ISO 102,400 that is the same as its predecessor. However, there is a slightly improved native sensitivity with a maximum of ISO 40,000 rather than ISO 25,600. This is a very slight change in specification. It will be interesting to see just whether there are any improvements to the dynamic range or noise levels given that the sensitivity hasn’t been very extended.
However, one of the most important features of the camera, and sensor, is that it has the Canon Dual Pixel AF technology, which is basically on-sensor contrast detection AF. This means fast and accurate focusing when in Live View mode, and most importantly video.
Canon EOS 6D Mark II: Autofocus
When it comes to the AF system Canon really aren’t playing games. The EOS 6D Mark II has a respectable 45 AF, but all of them are cross-type points. This means more accurate autofocusing across all the keys areas of the frame. All of these points are sensitive at f/8, however, the centre point has f/2.8 sensitivity, and is actually a dual cross type point at f/5.6. What does all mean? Well, basically the centre point will be fast and accurate even when shooting in low light conditions.
Canon EOS 6D Mark II: Body Largely unchanged
Consumers have now been able to get there hands on DSLR cameras for 15 years and with each successive generation camera bodies have evolved to the state that we are now looking at slight refi events rather than sweeping changes. The EOS 6D Mark II is of course no different, and externally the body of the EOS 6D Mark II looks virtually identical to its predecessor. In fact it has all of the hallmarks you would expect of a Canon EOS DSLR. Good news for existing Canon users.
Canon EOS 6D Mark II: Articulated touchscreen LCD
Perhaps the biggest change on the camera is the articulated touchscreen LCD. It is the first full frame DSLR to have an articulated touchscreen. A few years ago photographers questioned the need for an articulated screen on high-end camera, claiming the articulation was merely a gimmick for entry-level cameras. However, as photographers have used them more and more they have been a notable omission from full frame DSLR cameras.
The screen of the EOS 6D Mark II will help with low and high angle shooting, and of course for video. With the sensor having Dual Pixel AF and the screen being touch compatible it will allow videographers being quickly focus pull behind different points in the scene.
Canon EOS 6D Mark II: No 4K video
Ok, so this isn’t a new feature, more like a reminder that Canon has yet to filter down 4K video capture from its EOS 1D X Mark II and EOS 5D Mark IV. In this regard it is lagging far behind much of the competition, especially when even action cameras, compact cameras and virtually every new mirrorless camera can now shoot 4K video.
With the additional of an articulated touchscreen offering huge appeal for videographers, the Canon EOS 6D Mark II seemed like the perfect camera to bring 4K in to the lower end pf the DSLR line-up. But it seems like Canon may be waiting for an EOS 7D Mark III to do this. At this current rate it seems those Canon users wanting 4K, but without forking out for a 1D X Mark II, EOS 5D MArk IV or EOS C200, may be waiting until next year.
Canon EOS 6D Mark II: …But it does have 4K Timelapse
Another first for Canon DSLR to have a 4K time-lapse mode and an intervalometer. So you can use the intervalometer to shoot 8-million-pixel images and have the camera render this to a 4K movie sequence.
Canon EOS 6D Mark II: Pricing and Availability
The EOS 6D Mark II will be available in July with a price of £1,999.99 body only or £2,379.99 with an EF 24-105 STM lens