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

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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?

So what’s missing?

Importantly, particularly for wedding and multi-day event photographers who may be shooting lot of video - there isn’t a second card slot (back up can be vital); No built-in flash - it doesn’t worry me but it would be a nice extra; here’s the big one - no 4K video unless you put it in time lapse mode. Maximum regular video recording size is 1920x1080 (FHD) 60p.

For me this isn’t a deal breaker - I shoot very little video and when I do I prefer to use my partner’s Go Pro HERO5. However, 4K video is important to a lot of photographers so the question remains: why wasn’t it included? The much cheaper Nikon D7500 has it, Mr Canon!

In the end, all detail aside, it comes down to how the camera performs. I road tested the 6D Mk II with the four lenses mentioned above: the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM, the EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM, and the EF 135mm f/2L USM. They are all L series lens - Canon’s best. They may cost more but if you want seriously good photos you need top quality lenses.

The 6D MK II paired with each of these lenses performed brilliantly. I love the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM - it is just THAT much better than the original - talk about sharp!; the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM is rapidly becoming my favourite Canon lens - hell, I’ve even used it for street shooting. For portraits, the EF 135mm f/2L USM is just about unbeatable; and the EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM gives you the perfect ultra wide angle option. The photos in the galleries give a good indication of just what can be achieved.

 The Bottom Line

So to the all important question: is the 6D MK II worth the extra dollars? It comes in at $2599 for the body-only. You can shop around and buy a top line Canon 5DS for considerably less than it’s official $4499, but you are probably buying online and not getting an official Canon warranty. The Canon 6D MK II is arguably still the best DSLR in its price bracket - and the sheer welter of new features are enough to recommend upgrading to any 6D user.

The quality of the photographs is stunning as long as you have top shelf lenses and the operator knows how to shoot with a DSLR. And that’s always the key with photography: a poor user will get poor pictures; a photographer who understands how to shoot a DSLR will get great pictures. Don’t expect the 6D MK II or any top-line DSLR to do everything for you and pop out fabulous images. They are complicated beasts that require time, repeated use, knowledge and know-how to get the best out of them. But the Canon 6D MK II is a little beauty.

NOTE:  Post-processing - The photos accompanying this review were post-processed from the original RAW files in Photoshop into the Macphun Creative Kit, Luminar and Aurora HDR are all plugged in, giving me another two processing platforms with hundreds of tweakable filters. Pros Faster - up to 6.5 frames per second from 4.5 fps Higher resolution - 26.2MP up from 20.2MP Vari-angle Touch LCD screen  45-point AF system - up from 11-point AF system Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC Excellent image performance - better than the original 6D As-you-shoot 4:3, 1:1 square and 16:9 crop modes in addition to the native 3:2 image size The GPS Mode 2 option Light weight at 650gm Better sealing for all weather conditions An extra control button Cons No 4K video except in time lapse mode No built-in flash No slot for a second memory card Those 45 AF points are all in the middle

Turn the page for our full image galleries.

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