“With the ergonomics of a DSLR however the advantages of a mirrorless, the EOS R6 is a compelling hybrid.”

Sharp images and movies

Easy autofocus

Quick taking pictures pace

Glorious stabilization

Good low gentle efficiency

Snug grip

A bit cumbersome

Buffer struggles with lengthy bursts

Animal Eye AF under-performed

Quick 4K recording attributable to overheating

Canon had a little bit of an identification disaster making the swap to full-frame mirrorless, with the throttled price range RP and good, however not very aggressive, EOS R. The corporate’s second set of full-frame mirrorless cameras, nonetheless, seem to vow extra of what Canon’s DSLRs have been identified for, after which some, with in-body picture stabilization, 12 fps bursts, and the subsequent technology of Twin Pixel autofocus contained in the Canon EOS R6 and R5.

Hillary Okay. Grigonis/Digital Developments

The R6 is the cheaper of the 2 newly-announced cameras, promoting for about $2,500 for the body-only and providing a decrease decision 20.1-megapixel sensor, a plastic physique as a substitute of magnesium alloy, and skipping a few of the R5’s largest options, like 8K video. However whereas the characteristic checklist is shorter, the R6 nonetheless manages to incorporate the identical in-body stabilization, the identical burst pace, and an identical autofocus system.

Taking pictures with the R6 appears like taking pictures with a DSLR — aside from the digital viewfinder — all the way down to the grip, management scheme, and even measurement. That could possibly be sufficient for the DSLR hold-outs to make the swap with out sacrificing ergonomics, picture high quality, or efficiency. However is the R6 sufficient for Canon to compete in an more and more crowded full-frame mirrorless market?

A mirrorless digicam in a DSLR-like physique

Hillary Okay. Grigonis/Digital Developments

Taking pictures with the EOS R6 appears like working with a DSLR — till you place the digicam as much as your eye, and the digital viewfinder offers the dearth of a mirror away, that’s. The physique is nearer in measurement to an APS-C DSLR than a full-frame mirrorless digicam. Nonetheless, the width of the digicam, together with the grip, is nearly a full inch bigger than the Sony a7 III and greater than a half-inch greater than even Nikon’s Z 5. The R6 is even barely deeper than Canon’s personal EOS 7D Mark II (one such APS-C DSLR), although barely shorter and narrower.

The essential factor is that the R6 is snug to carry.

Which means the R6 isn’t actually supplying you with a lot of a measurement benefit if that was your major cause to change to mirrorless, however Canon is probably catering to the photographers that favor the ergonomics of a DSLR over a mirrorless digicam. The essential factor is that the R6 is snug to carry. And whereas in regards to the measurement of a DSLR, utilizing the R6 saves you from carrying round an additional 5 ounces over an identical DSLR just like the 7D Mark II.

Hillary Okay. Grigonis/Digital Developments

The management scheme additionally channels Canon DSLRs, all the way down to the autofocus joystick that’s annoyingly disabled till you dig via the menus to seek out the choice to show it on (a baffling choice). Regardless of the additional actual property and non-entry degree designation, Canon didn’t handle to suit a second LCD display on the high. Additionally missing is the swap to vary the LCD display from stills to video, although the file button will nonetheless begin a film from any mode. Switching focus modes or altering the burst pace requires digging within the fast menu or re-assigning a few of the digicam’s actual property utilizing the customized button choices. The rest of the controls, nonetheless, ought to really feel acquainted to Canon DSLR customers, proper all the way down to the depth-of-field preview button.

The acquainted controls — and menu system — creates a mirrorless digicam that Canon DSLR holdouts will discover straightforward to adapt to. Customers switching from one other system must get used to some oddities, like navigating the menus with the three management wheels as a substitute of an arrow keypad. Although in equity, you may at all times use the contact display.

Hillary Okay. Grigonis/Digital Developments

The R6 is provided with a three.69 million dot EVF — it’s not the best high quality that we’ve seen and never as detailed because the EOS R5, but it surely’s ample and corresponding to different cameras at an identical worth level. The viewfinder does blackout whereas taking pictures, however the burst pace is fast sufficient that it’s not terribly onerous to comply with the motion within the viewfinder as soon as a burst begins. The rear touchscreen, a 1.62 million-dot decision, flips out to the aspect for viewing from any angle, together with for selfies and vlogs whereas the digicam is on a tripod.

A characteristic lacking on a number of mirrorless fashions, the R6 gratefully presents two SD card slots. Battery life has a CIPA ranking of 510 photographs with the monitor and 380 with the viewfinder. However, like with most cameras, the CIPA ranking is a gross underestimate — I shot 2,500 images utilizing a mixture of the LCD display and viewfinder, together with a lot of lengthy bursts, earlier than the battery warning began flashing.

In-body stabilization

Composed in Photoshop from a sequence of RAW bursts captured on the Canon EOS R6 at 1/10th of a second, f/1.eight, ISO 2000. Hillary Okay. Grigonis/Digital Developments

Canon dissatisfied many when it launched the unique EOS R with out in-body stabilization, and the EOS R6 makes up for that with a 5-axis stabilization system that’s rated, on paper, for as much as eight stops together with a particular set of lenses. On-sensor stabilization is cause alone for Canon shooters with a mid-level DSLR to change to the mid-level R6.

The stabilization system is great for each low gentle, wide-angle photographs, and reducing the shutter pace with longer lenses. I shot fireflies at nightfall with the 35mm f/1.eight lens at 1/10th of a second handheld, and most of my photographs have been nonetheless sharp.

The stabilization system is great for each low gentle, wide-angle photographs, and reducing the shutter pace with longer lenses.

Whereas the R6 boasts a stabilization system that’s glorious for a full-frame digicam, it doesn’t essentially beat out the competitors. Whereas Nikon and Sony’s techniques are solely rated to 5 stops, I used to be in a position to shoot at an identical shutter pace with the Z 6 handheld — 1/eight of a second bracing my elbows on a desk and 1/20th of a second with out help. The R6 was solely barely higher at 1/10th of a second with none help.  

Olympus, regardless of itemizing a most of seven.5 stops of stabilization and Canon claiming eight stops, was nonetheless steadier than the R6, to match apples to oranges by pitting a Micro 4 Thirds digicam towards full body. As soon as I pushed the R6 underneath 1/10th of a second and bought into the seconds-long publicity occasions, pictures have been now not sharp. I shot handheld lengthy exposures that have been greater than six seconds lengthy with the OM-D E-M1 Mark III that also got here out tack sharp. Canon’s stabilization is great, sure, but it surely doesn’t actually supply the massive benefit over different stabilized our bodies that it seems to in case you have been technical specs alone.

Fast autofocus and bursts

Hillary Okay. Grigonis/Digital Developments

The R6’s autofocus additionally impressively managed to focus at nightfall, offered the autofocus level was positioned in an space with some slight distinction. The autofocus system even managed to lock on — albeit, slowly — to a glass jar at nightfall, a topic and lighting circumstances which might be historically difficult for many cameras.

Steady autofocus additionally stored up effectively, even on the most pace, and solely sometimes dropping focus. The autofocus appeared to maintain up effectively with topics each transferring in a path parallel to the digicam, and topics heading straight in the direction of me.

Eye AF is included and retains up rapidly. The R6 managed to maintain the eyes in focus for nearly each shot of an lively 7-year-old operating towards the digicam. Whereas the Eye AF does a superb job maintaining, it’s not fairly as adept at some techniques that I’ve tried at specializing in eyes which might be partially obscured — the R6 had a more durable time with faces turned towards the aspect, and whereas some techniques will impressively nonetheless give attention to eyelashes and closed eyes, the R6 didn’t.

Whereas the attention AF is nice right here (although not fairly the very best), we are able to’t say the identical factor for the animal face and eye-tracking. In distinction to our expertise with the EOS R5, Eye AF on the R6 didn’t work in any respect on my chocolate lab and as a substitute needed to give attention to her nostril. I solely bought the animal eye AF to work as soon as on my cat, who has extra distinction in his face than a brown canine with brown eyes. Observe, the animal monitoring characteristic impressed on the R5, which has extra pixels for the Twin Pixel autofocus system to work with. It’s attainable that has one thing to do with the considerably completely different outcomes we discovered between the 2 techniques.

The place the autofocus system struggled most is with blacks and shadows. The R6 had points when the AF level was positioned on a darker portion of the picture, although the digicam simply locked on in similar lighting seconds later as soon as the publicity compensation boosted these shadows out of the blacks. For many pictures with a correctly lit topic, it is a non-issue, however the digicam will wrestle in situations comparable to silhouettes, in addition to specializing in black objects.

The wonderful stabilization and mostly-great autofocus is paired with a handy guide a rough 12 body per second burst mode and a 20 body per second burst utilizing the digital shutter. The buffer is respectable for a mid-level digicam at 63 photographs taking pictures RAW + JPEG, it doesn’t matter what the burst pace is ready to, earlier than slowing its tempo. As quickly as a few of these pictures filter, you’ll be able to resume taking pictures. Annoyingly, the fast menu is locked out whereas these pictures are processing, making it troublesome to regulate settings rapidly (an issue that has traditionally been a difficulty on different mirrorless cameras from Sony, for instance). A full burst takes a very good 30 seconds to filter utterly earlier than you’ll be able to entry the menu. Set to JPEG solely, the buffer clears virtually immediately.

Picture high quality

The EOS R6 comprises the identical sensor as Canon’s flagship DSLR, the 1DX Mark III: a 20.1-megapixel full-frame sensor. That’s not as detailed or sturdy because the R5’s 45 megapixels or competing fashions just like the 24 megapixel Nikon Z 6 or Sony A7 III, however the trade-off for fewer megapixels is usually much less noise for low gentle photographs.

The ISO efficiency and stabilization combine to make the R6 a superb possibility for taking pictures in low gentle.

That concept holds water with the R6, with its glorious dealing with of noise at excessive ISO. Noise begins to succeed in extra noticeable ranges, together with some colour noise, round ISO three,200 however doesn’t get annoying till cropping or printing full measurement at ISO eight,000. Lowering the noise of the RAW information till simply earlier than sharpness begins to endure, I might even name ISO 12,800 nonetheless ok to share on Instagram or make small prints and even push to ISO 32,000 if needed. Some banding does happen when pushing the ISO a lot additional, however the noise renders the picture low high quality anyway. That’s, in fact, underneath excellent circumstances together with taking pictures with a tripod and no publicity changes in submit. Even so, these outcomes are notably spectacular.

The ISO efficiency and stabilization combine to make the R6 a superb possibility for taking pictures in low gentle. In excessive distinction lighting, the R6’s RAW information have been in a position to recuperate a good quantity of element from the shadows and even some slight restoration of highlights and whites. On the flip aspect, the RAW information is also simply manipulated for added distinction. Check out how backlit pictures at golden hour look straight from the R6 in an unedited JPEG, in comparison with a RAW file edited to recuperate the shadows, and that very same RAW file edited for drama and distinction:

Unique JPEG Hillary Okay. Grigonis/Digital Developments

Edited RAW for distinction Hillary Okay. Grigonis/Digital Developments

Edited RAW for shadow restoration Hillary Okay. Grigonis/Digital Developments

The R6 was additionally impressively sharp all through the ISO vary. Whereas the lens performs a bigger position in a picture’s sharpness, pictures from each the 35mm and 24-105mm RF lenses have been glorious. Sharpness across the eyes in portraits was notably spectacular when taking pictures with each Eye AF and single-point AF.

Colours coming from the R6 have been precisely what I anticipated from a Canon. I discover Canon’s colours a bit on the cool aspect — however that’s each fully subjective and simply adjusted in submit.

Whereas not as detailed as a sensor with extra megapixels, the R6 presents glorious picture high quality for a mid-level full-frame mirrorless. Sharpness is stable, noise discount is great, and colours have been on par with what I’ve come to count on from Canon DSLRs.

Video high quality

The R6 has taken much less room within the headlines in comparison with the R5’s 8K, however video continues to be spectacular coming from the R5’s cheaper sibling. The R5, with its 8K, oversampled 4K, gradual movement 4K, and RAW video is extra excellent for critical videographers than the R6. However, the R6 packs a number of stable video options.

Video may be recorded at 60 fps in 4K in 10-bit. Whereas not the 8K of the R5, the R6 oversamples the video, which implies it takes knowledge from your entire width of the 5K sensor to create the 4K video. The results of that is that movies are splendidly detailed, and the stabilization presents a giant increase for taking pictures handheld. Autofocus has a clean transition, however the digicam does find yourself trying to find the main target typically, a holdover from the problems talked about earlier with autofocus.

Video size on the R6 is proscribed to about 30 seconds, however can resume recording instantly for an additional 10 minutes in 4K 30p. 4K 60p will want a cool-down interval after recording a 30-minute video, and recording in temperatures higher than 73 levels will lead to shorter recording occasions. That’s as a result of lack of a cooling fan, which Canon says is a choice to maintain the physique of the digicam smaller.

Our Take

Hillary Okay. Grigonis/Digital Developments

The Canon EOS R6 is the mirrorless digicam that house owners of the corporate’s mid-level DSLRs have been holding out for. The digicam appears like working with a DSLR, however presents the in-body stabilization and digital viewfinder of a mirrorless digicam with out making main sacrifices — if any — to efficiency or picture high quality. And, in fact, it really works with Canon lenses (with an adapter). It’s a bit cumbersome, the buffer locks out the fast menu for a bit too lengthy, eye AF isn’t fairly pretty much as good because the competitors and animal AF didn’t work in any respect, and movies should be quick to forestall overheating — however, there’s nonetheless rather a lot to like.

The R6 is a wonderful digicam — and the best choice for utilizing Canon lenses on a mirrorless, in need of splurging on the R5 — and eventually competes with different manufacturers. However whereas the R6 now competes effectively, it places Canon extra on par with different mirrorless rivals than forward of them. Sony and Nikon’s choices are considerably smaller and supply extra megapixels, and whereas Canon has extra bodily actual property, it’s lacking some controls we actually want it had. The R6’s picture stabilization solely appears to be like considerably higher on paper, and in real-world exams, it didn’t supply a lot of a bonus over 5-stop techniques.

Is there a greater various?

If you wish to preserve your Canon lenses, the one higher various is the Canon EOS R5, with comparable options however the next decision and an animal AF that’s really fairly spectacular. However, for photographers not but invested in a lens system, the R6 might not supply sufficient of an incentive to change. The Sony A7 III is cheaper, with just a few extra megapixels, however the ergonomics and menu may be irritating for photographers accustomed to DSLRs. The now-replaced A7R III has 42.2 megapixels at an similar worth level and whereas it presents bigger pictures, has the identical points discovered within the A7 III. The Nikon Z 6 is $500 much less, with a barely increased decision, smaller physique, and secondary LCD display, however lacks twin card slots and the low gentle autofocus is inferior to the R6’s.

How lengthy will it final?

Not like the R5, the R6 has a polycarbonate physique — the kind of plastic generally discovered on entry to mid-level DSLRs. Whereas not as rugged, it feels stable within the palms and is weather-sealed. Barring any catastrophic drops, the R6 ought to final just a few years, although with Canon being a rookie to full-frame mirrorless, we wouldn’t be stunned if new options in one other two years make you need to improve earlier than you must.

Must you purchase it?

In case you are a Canon DSLR shooter able to make the mirrorless swap and can’t afford to go for the high-end R5, then sure, purchase the R6. Photos and efficiency are glorious, and the R6 feels very similar to utilizing a Canon DSLR. If you need a mirrorless digicam that’s considerably smaller than a DSLR, or are on the lookout for options like distinctive animal AF or in case you taking pictures requires a quick buffer, you could be greatest served to look elsewhere.

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