As new full-frame cameras seem to the big trend at this year's Photokinda event, Canon has officially announced the EOS 6D, a DSLR that is their smallest and lightest camera with a full-frame sensor. The 6D's specs fall in line with what rumors and leaks had reported all last week, including a new 20.2 MP full-frame sensor and use of the DIGIC 5+ processor from the 5D Mark III. Many Canon watchers had been hoping for cheaper full-frame camera after reports that both Nikon and Canon would introduce "affordable" FF models, but the $2100 price tag for both Canon's 6D and Nikon's D600 still puts FF in the realm of professionals or deep-pocketed enthusiasts. Along with Sony's FF point and shoot (the $2800 RX1), it seems none of the camera makers are ready to disrupt the prosumer market with FF cameras at the $1000-1500 range, where the popular D7000 and 7D still sit.
What's surprising though is that the 6D doesn't seem to be impressing professionals with specs that are uncharacteristic of a $2000+ camera. Most glaring is the AF system, which uses a unimpressive 11 focus points, only one of which is crosspoint. We weren't expecting the staggering 61 crosstype system used in the 5D Mark III, but it is even a step back from the 16 crosstype system found in the 2-year old 7D. Even the now-dated 5D Mark II has 9 AF points (1 crosstype), and its street price has dropped to under $1900. Other concerns include the 97% field-of-view viewfinder, 4.5fps maximum burst, and lack of headphone jack for video recording. The absence of a built-in flash is a fair trade given that Canon is going for the smallest weight and size in this class, though omitting a flip-out LCD like the one found in 60D and T4i is disheartening.
What the 6D lacks in sheer technical prowess it tries to make up for with two new features not in other Canon DSLRs. The 6D is the first Canon DSLR to have built-in Wi-Fi and GPS tracking, features previously offered only through expensive accessories in the pro line. The Wi-Fi connection can be used with desktop or smartphone apps for remote shutter and viewfinder capabilities, in addition to automatic uploading to photo services (I don't know anyone who actually does this outside of special use cases like liveblogging). GPS tracking will let you geotag location details in photos' EXIF data, which is very useful for landscape photographers.
Nitpicking photographers on camera sites have been vocal about the trade-offs both Canon and Nikon have made in their new "enthusiast" full-frame cameras, calling out specs like flash sync delay and max shutter speed in comparison to the cameras' respective next step up in the 5D Mk3 and D800. But the complaints really boil down to pricing and the disappointing stemming from widespread speculation that full-frame cameras would hit the $1500 mark.
Here's how the newly-announced EOS 6D fares against other Canon offerings, and more importantly, Nikon's similarly priced D600 full-frame DSLR.
|Key Specs||Canon 6D||Canon 60D||Canon 7D||Canon 5D Mk2||Canon 5D Mk3||Nikon D600|
|Autofocus Points||11 (1 crosstype)||9||16 (all crosstype)||9 (1 crosstype)||61 (all crosstype)||39 (9 crosstype)|
|Video Recording||1080p 30fps||1080p 30fps||1080p 30fps||1080p 30fps (12 min)||1080p 30fps||1080p 30fps|
|LCD||3.2" 1040k dots||3" 1040k dots||3" 920k dots||3" 920k dots||3.2" 1040k dots||3.2" 921k dots|
|Weight (inc. batt)||770 grams||755 grams||900 grams||890 grams||950 grams||850 grams|
|Storage||SDHC/XC||SDHC/XC||CF||CF||SD + CF||SD (2 slots)|
|Other Features||mini HDMI, Wi-Fi, GPS, mic in||Flip-out LCD, mini HDMI, mic in||mini HDMI, mic in||mini HDMI, line in/out||mini HDMI, line in/out||mini HDMI, line out|
|Street Price (body only)||$2100||$865||$1500||$1900||$3500||$2100|
Canon's 6D is available for pre-order now, and will start shipping in October.