Time to Get the New Canon 6D?
By now, you must have read all the previews of the Canon 6D. Please note that almost all of the people previewing and/or expressing their opinion (including me) about the Canon 6D, have not seen it, have not touched it and even less have taken any “real” photos with it.
The vast majority of the people imply that a full frame camera is better than a crop camera. It's wrong, they are different. The full frame has advantages and the APS-C crop camera has its own set of advantages. Usually, if you are a tele person then the APS-C camera will be a better match with your vision. If you are a wide angle person then a full frame camera will be a better match with your vision. See my analysis: http://www.foto-biz.com/Canon/Full-frame-vs-crop-cameras.
The Canon 7D is my main “workhorse”, but I could be enticed into buying a full frame.
My Canon 6D analysis:
- The price: Fantastic, just above $2,000 which is only slightly more than when I bought my Canon 7D. The official price of the 5DMk3 is $3,495 but the street price has started to drop. People have reported that just last week, Adorama sold 800 Canon 5DMk3 at $2,795 on eBay.
- The AF: it looks very similar to the existing AF of the 5D and the 5DMk2 with a better center cross point. The problem for me is that I can't remember when was the last time I used the center point. I use mostly the Zone AF that is orientation linked.
- High ISO. I've checked with Lightroom, I have no photo at ISO 6400, only 139 photos at ISO 3200 and 832 photos at ISO 1600. I'm not an high ISO guy, I prefer to use flashes.
- Shutter life: 100,000 with the Canon 6D. I do around 35,000 photographs per year. This should last me around 3 years and that's good enough in my books.
- Lenses: The quality of the lenses will go down! Most of my work lenses are full frame. With an APS-C camera, I only use the center and the edges are cropped. The center will be nice and sharp, the concern becomes how will those lenses perform at the edges of the frame.
For work, my most used lens is the 70-200mm L F/4 IS with the lens in the 130mm to 200mm range. With a Full Frame, like the 6D, it would mean a range from 216mm to 320mm.
- 4.5 fps. No problem for me. I often use the Low-Speed 3 frames per second, except for the birding where 8 frames per second is very nice.
- Bracketing 3 frames. I need, actually I want, the 5 or the 7 frames bracketing. I'd use it a lot. This would be a significant improvement for me.
- 97% viewfinder coverage. Good enough for me, not perfect but more than adequate for me.
- Customization. The situation is not clear, at least to me. What I like most about the 7D is the fantastic customization, especially in the focusing system with speed, AF linked to the orientation, the buttons… The customization makes my life much easier and allows me to get more “good photographs.”
- Sync: 1/180s, it's slow, very slow but all is not completely lost, that's why there is Hi-speed Sync that allows to go well passed the 1/180s. The problem is that we will use and abuse bigger and more powerful flashes. The problem will be in bright and sunny outdoors.
- Wi-Fi: Nice to have but right now I have no need for it. I don't want to show the people the photos straight from the shoot without the basic post processing and the basic culling of the photos that are out of focus, the eyes closed, the white balance… On the other hand, for event and to display the photos on a projection screen at the event would be a good thing1.
- Video. I'm not into video at this point, the video seem to be on par with the 5dMk2 which is “darn” good but the 6D seems to be missing the timecode for synchronization…
- GPS. Personally, I stay away from the GPS. I could use it but it doesn't work indoor and I would have to strip the GPS information for any photo to be given to any customer or for the web.
Three years later, the Canon 7D is still an awesome beast with almost no competition. The new firmware must mean that Canon will keep it for at least another year. By that time, I will re-examine the 5DMk3 and if it makes business sense, for me, to go full frame. Right now the Canon 6D does not make business sense.
The Canon 5DMk2 was excellent with skin tones, but right now the Canon 5DMk3 is unrivalled when it comes to skin tones and the richness of whites (as in wedding dresses), even the Nikon D800 doesn't come close. How will the 6D perform? And it will not be the DxO marks that will tell us that, only actual photographs of people will do.
This is not really a contradiction. With portraits people critic, try to rearrange… At an event, everybody agrees it's a “snap” and as long as it's not a “real bad one…” Any bad photo will be quickly replaced by the next photo. ↩