Canon 6D MK II: Full, in-depth review

A winner

Canon 6D MK II
  • Canon 6D MK II
  • Canon 6D MK II
  • Canon 6D MK II
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5


  • Vari-angle Touch LCD screen
  • 45-point AF system - up from 11-point AF system
  • Excellent image performance - better than the original 6D
  • Light weight at 650gm
  • Better sealing for all weather conditions


  • No 4K video except in time lapse mode
  • No built-in flash
  • No slot for a second memory card

Bottom Line

Arguably, still the best DSLR at its price point in the market, if you can forgive Canon for not adding 4K video except in time lapse mode. Original 6D users should definitely upgrade.

Would you buy this?

Read more: First Look: Nikon D850

45-point cross type auto focus system, yay!

One of the biggest changes is the new 45-point all cross type auto focus system, for precise auto focus and subject tracking. One of the biggest criticisms of the old 6D was its 11-point centre cross-type system which was limiting.

Credit: Canon

That said, the new 45-point system is bunched towards the centre of the frame as it is with all DSLRs. Hopefully, somebody is going to start spreading them out a little bit in the near future. Then, of course, everybody else will follow suit.  

It is much, much better though. I can see the difference in the photos I take - although I shoot, mostly, with a single point focus, the option to now place that on anyone of 45 active cross points (with lenses no slower than f/5.6) brings the MK II up to standard with its competitors.  And, of course, you have the option of shooting with all 45 points in play.  

So how does the new auto focus system work in low light conditions, say down to EV-3? I don’t think there is that much much difference between the old and the new. The ability to shoot up to ISO 102,400 is just a piece of marketing braggability. At that ISO, the image is basically useless. In fact, let’s be quite realistic here: anything over ISO 12,800 is pretty damn ugly when it comes to the blurring of noise and detail. I found that noise levels are more than acceptable at ISO 6400 but start to seriously affect the picture at ISO 12,800.  

Look at the settings … An aperture of 18, 1/200, a comfortable ISO and the result is picture perfect. 25mm, 1/200, ISO 1000, f18Credit: Mike Gee
Look at the settings … An aperture of 18, 1/200, a comfortable ISO and the result is picture perfect. 25mm, 1/200, ISO 1000, f18

What the new DIG!C 7 imaging sensor does deliver through is stunning colour. Get your lens and camera settings right and you’ll find you need to do much less post-processing tweaking when shooting in RAW. And I’m going to assume the majority of photographers reading this are shooting in RAW - if you shoot JPEGs the quality is excellent up to ISO 1600, pretty good at ISO 3200, and bearable (just) at ISO 6400. But, of course, with JPEGs you have far less room to move in post-processing.

Another positive is the addition of a new control button near the shutter button. I won’t use it all the time but it’s definitely useful.

One of the winners with the original 6D for me was Wi-Fi - I love having the ability to be able to download photos to my smartphone using the in-built Wi-Fi or use the phone to shoot remotely. The 6D MK II adds Bluetooth and Near Field Communications. 

Credit: Canon

Once the camera and smartphone are paired - and that is a very easy process, Bluetooth low energy maintains the connection in a standby mode and then switches smartly to Wi-Fi when you want to download and so on. No more switching on and off to avoid battery drain. The Canon Camera Connect app seems to work far better with the MK II than the original 6D where I found the older EOS Remote app worked better. 

This is a little thing but to me it’s important. I  like the idea of using GPS, particularly when I’m on the road, to identify where I shot a photo later on but the battery drain associated with the GPS, which was on all the time if activated - even when the camera was turned off, meant constantly going into the menu and turning the feature on and off. As a result, I never bothered turning it on. The 6D Mk II has a Mode 2 option that turns off the GPS when the camera is off. Brilliant!

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Read more on these topics: Canon, DSLR cameras, Canon Camera, Canon 6D MK II
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