Canon EOS 6D hands-on review
The Canon EOS 6D is the lightest and cheapest full-frame DSLR Canon has ever made. It has just been unveiled, and we were luck enough to get a thorough hands-on session with this impressive-sounding high-end camera. It'll be available in December and will set you back £1,799. But were we impressed with its performance and design?
Canon EOS 6D design and controls
The Canon EOS 6D features a 20-megapixel sensor and the DIGIC 5 processor that's used in the EOS 5D Mark III. However, coupled with Canon's slimline 40mm pancake lens it's hardly a surprise that the Canon EOS 6D lens and body combination feels extremely light in the hand. For a small and light model, we were struck by quite how well-sculpted the grip is. And though it may not share the beefy and muscular feel of the larger EOS 5D Mark III, it's comfortable to hold and feels solid too.
Canon gave us a full priming on exactly what materials go into making a Canon EOS 6D camera. As one might expect for an enthusiast model, it has a magnesium alloy front and rear cover construction. In-hand, it feels like a blend of the EOS 5D Mark III and the Canon EOS 60D bodies, with dimensions similar to those of the 60D.
Canon EOS 6D features and display
The scroll dial on the back of the Canon EOS 6D is noticeably smaller than that of more advanced EOS full-frame models, and this leaves quite a bit of free space beside the 3in, 1,040,000-dot Clear View II LCD preview screen.
Interestingly, Canon has opted to use a fixed screen rather than a Vari-angle display. Some may be left miffed by this decision, but the first impression it leaves is very positive. Taking a few snaps ovelooking Cologne, where the Canon EOS 6D was launched, and reviewing them on the back of the camera instantly showed quite how bright and sharp and image the screen can produce.
Handling in-use is good too. Rather than using your left hand to zoom into an image, as you do on the EOS 5D Mark III, the zoom button is located on the right side of the camera, which we'd have to say we prefer.
Comparing the rear controls of the Canon EOS 6D to the 5D Mk III, it's the 6D that has the more spacious design but, importantly, it doesn't loose any crucial buttons. All the controls you need to quickly activate Live View and record HD video are there, and the mode dial features its own lock - a feature we've become accustomed to seeing on most Canon EOS DSLR's since the 5D Mark II. However, there's no dedicated shooting rate button meaning that is command has to be done through the menu.
Canon EOS 6D performance
The Canon EOS 6D boasts an 11-point AF system. It may not be anywhere near as complex at the 5D Mark III's 61-point autofocus, but early impressions of its speed and accuracy during our brief hands-on were entirely positive.
AF points are illuminated in red as you compose and half-depress the shutter button, and the EOS 6D locked on to its target and emitted the reassuring focus bleat quick-sharp. It's worth bearing in mind though that the AF system only features one cross type point in the centre. Compared to the Nikon D600 and its 39-point, 9-cross AF system, it can't compete technically.
Canon EOS 6D interface
The Canon EOS 6D sounds very similar to the 5D Mark III when snapping, although its top shooting rate is significantly slower, by 1.5fps. Other points to note include the slight changes to menu system. The function icons at the top of the display are slightly smaller than in previous EOS models, and there appear to be more of them.
Navigating the menu is extremely too. The main controller d-pad sits within the scroll dial - a great design tweak that makes the Canon EOS 6D intuitive to use, especially when moving the point of focus through the frame.
Set to sell for £1799 it feels like the Canon EOS 6D offers a lot of camera for your money. However, we're holding back our verdict until we get to have a proper look at the camera's image quality. Stay tuned for the full review.
Check out our round-up of the best digital cameras >
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