Canon EOS 6D Mark II: a coherent SLR But some notable shortcomings

PROS:

  • Good general ergonomics.
  • Touch screen and swivel.
  • Wi-Fi, NFC.
  • Image quality up to 6400 ISO.
  • Extended AF areas.
  • Reactivity of the device in Live View and Video mode.
  • Quality of video mode.

CONS:

  • No built-in flash.
  • No headphone jack.
  • Dynamic a little weak.
  • Autofocus in low light and optical sight.

BOTTOM LINE :

The Canon EOS 6D Mark II takes advantage of numerous remarkable developments, such as the integration of the Dual AF Pixel technology, or a new 26-megapixel sensor and the Digic 7 processor, which gives it a good reactivity performance. The picture quality does not regress, but does not surprise either. Thus, the owners of 6D will probably hesitate to take the plunge, especially since several shortcomings are repeated on the Mark II (we think especially the absence of 4K video, second SD slot or headphone jack). The 6D Mark II is nevertheless a coherent reflex, which holds the road. It has ample content for amateurs of 24×36 in search of a first SLR, or professionals looking for a reflex supplement.


Four and a half years after the Canon EOS 6D , the red brand finally upgrades its entry-level DSLR 24×36 with the Canon EOS 6D Mark II. Numerous major evolutions will refresh the case, such as a new 26-megapixel CMOS sensor coupled with Dual Pixel AF technology, but also a new Digic 7 processor and an adjustable touch screen. However, there is still no video recording in 4K / UHD and some ergonomic defects of the 6D resurface. Will the whole be convincing enough to move from one to the other?

Difficult to integrate the medium of reflex with sensor 24×36 without exceeding the bar of 2 000 $. More or less in the nails, the Canon EOS 6D Mark II comes face the K-1 (the high-end reflex of Pentax), Nikon D750 and even Sony hybrids of the series Alpha 7.

GETTING STARTED

Modernized, the lines of the Canon EOS 6D Mark II soften. The reflex thickens slightly and retains the Canon DNA. It looks much like a Canon EOS 80D than one of its 5D elders. Customers of the brand will not be lost and will find the familiar layout of the keys, the control screen on the hood and the PASM mode dial on the left. However, some ergonomic deficiencies identified in his elder still appear on the 6D Mark II: it is still lacking built-in flash or control joystick, yet present on all other models with 24 x 36 mm sensor.

The wide viewfinder is still as nice to use, but still does not cover 100% of the field (about 98%). That is one of the elements we would like to see evolve. The LCD screen, with a definition of 1,040,000 points for 7,7 cm diagonal, evolves however remarkably: now swiveling on ball joint with 360°, it is also tactile multitouch . This is particularly useful for quick navigating menus or selecting an AF point with your fingertip. Too bad it is not yet possible to use the optical viewfinder while changing the collimator (unlike the Nikon D5600, for example). The composition grid is still not available for optical viewing, but appears in video mode or playback mode.

On the right side of the device, we find the location of the SD card. A second location, like what the Pentax K-1 or the Nikon D750 offer, would have been welcome. Connectivity is also incomplete: it lacks a headphone jack. You will however find the microphone jacks, HDMI and USB. Wi-Fi and NFC ensure fast transfer of files to a smartphone or remote control of the device.

Finally, the biggest ergonomic evolution of the EOS 6D Mark II is the arrival of the touch screen and steerable. This is a delight and facilitate the handling of users who swear by that, and it is suitable for those who wish to invest in a first SLR. On the other hand, we do not believe that this single argument suffices to convince the owners of 6D to take the plunge.

REACTIVITY

The arrival of Dual AF Pixel technology, the new Digic 7 processor, and the evolution of the number of collimators (from 11 to 45 crossed collimators) considerably improve the reactivity of the 6D Mark II, or in Live View. 

The autofocus however has a small weakness in optical sighting in low light. Indeed, as soon as the camera loses the point, the autofocus operates in three stages and slows the general cadence – this is what drives our time to exceed the second. In Live View, the autofocus reacts differently and does not present this problem, thus displaying very homogeneous results.The latency between two views is honorable, always under the half-second bar. The results are two times better (in time) than those of the 6D, except in situations of low light that penalizes the device, as mentioned above. The burst mode takes again of the hair of the beast to exceed the 5 images per second; it’s less powerful than the Sony Alpha 7s , for example, but close enough to the Nikon D750 and a notch above the Pentax K-1.

QUALITY OF IMAGES

The EOS 6D Mark II features a new 26.2MP Dual Pixel AF CMOS sensor coupled with the latest generation Digic 7 processor. Despite these evolutions, the ISO range always extends from ISO 50 to ISO 102 400 in wide sensitivity (yes, the EOS 6D was already capable of such prowess). Like the recent Canon hybrids, the 6D Mark II offers a new automatic white balance mode with “white priority”. We have used it and its rendering is closer to reality. We recommend it even indoors, in order to limit this tonality often too hot in tungsten lighting, visible even in automatic white balance.

Not surprisingly, the rise in sensitivity is homogeneous and reveals precise and detailed images. Up to 1600 ISO, the details are clearly visible. Starting at 3,200, electronic noise and smoothing appear slowly, but the images remain largely usable up to ISO 6,400 or even 12,800 ISO after some improvements in sharpness in post-production. Beyond 25 600 ISO, we can guess the forms, but the details have disappeared and the desaturation is making its appearance.

The gain in picture quality compared to the 6D is not obvious; the device is doing very well, but not surprising. The JPG processing associated with the new processor generates slightly more saturated images, but in general they seem a bit flat and lack detail compared to the images generated by the Pentax K-1 or the Nikon D750.

In the field, we were disappointed by the dynamics of the sensor, too low for our taste: the latitude of work is about 5 IL. It’s rather disappointing for a 24×36 sensor. It is of course possible to make up for some post-production exposure deviations from a RAW format, but this is a significant point, and we have noted it several times on the recent Canon SLR.

VIDEO

The Canon EOS 6D Mark II is a classic full HD 1920 x 1080 px recording in 60/50/30/25 / 24p and does not work on the 4K / UHD, only available in timelapse . Its 5-axis electronic stabilization offers two options: “activated” (the image is cropped to 90%) or “optimized” (image cropped to 70%). The touch screen makes it easy to select the AF point and quickly switch between focus areas. The autofocus tracking is lively and controlled. Video recording can be activated regardless of the PSAM mode; the manual mode always allows setting the sensitivity, speed and aperture during filming. However, it is not possible to record a picture.

The video quality is in the image of the photo quality: good overall, but sometimes penalized by the low dynamics of the camera, especially when the contrasts of the scene are strong.

 

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