We road tested Canon's entry-level full-frame camera at the Australian International Airshow
The Canon EOS 6D is a digital camera with a full-frame, 35mm sensor. It's aimed at enthusiasts rather than professional users and it's not as expensive as Canon's other full-frame cameras, including the EOS 5D Mark III.
We took the EOS 6D for a spin around the Australian International Airshow at Avalon to see what it can do. The full-frame sensor allows for plenty of light to be captured. Coupled with a very bright, almost cloudless day, the conditions were trying -- especially for our photographic skill level.
Nevertheless, we think we snapped enough decent shots to show that this camera is cable of capturing highly detailed images. We also tried taking some photos inside planes, pumping up the ISO to levels we probably we wouldn't even dream of using on lesser cameras.
The EOS 6D has a 20-megapixel sensor that measures 35.8x23.9mm and this is bigger than a typical 'crop' sensor in Canon's other enthusiast cameras, such as the EOS 60D (that sensor is 22.3x14.9mm). Even with the bigger sensor, the body of the 6D doesn't look too different to the 60D and, in fact, it's a relatively compact camera that feels slightly lighter in the hand, perhaps owing the fact that it doesn't have a pop-out, swivelling screen, nor a built-in flash like the 60D.
We used one of the kit lenses for our tests: the 24-105mm macro lens. It's a wide lens, which, when coupled with the full-frame sensor, allows you to frame scenes with a very wide view. You can get closer to your subject than you could with a 'crop' sensor and still fit a large object within the frame (and without excessive barrel roll). Note that with a full frame camera, you need full frame lenses to go along with it (EF rather than EF-S lenses).
Manual mode was used for all of our test shots. We tried to be artistic with this one and capture the moon between the blades of this rotor.
The clarity and detail that's captured by the EOS 6D really is impressive. We plan on counting the rivets on this DC-3 one day.
With the macro lens, you can zoom in nice and close to subjects that are behind barriers.
Likewise, we were able to get close to this fighter and capture the cross-head screw holding the plane together. Who knew fighter jets were so skinny?
With so much sunlight around the place, exposing shadowed areas was a little difficult. Here you can see the area outside of the shadow is pretty much blown out. Yet, it's indicative of what it looked like in real life.
Lots of light and a clear sky allowed smoke shows to be captured nicely.
For this shot, we stuck the camera inside the dark wheel well of a military refueling jet without being able to see what we were shooting (the 6D's screen is fixed in place and hard to see in live view when the camera is held up high). We also pumped up the ISO to 6400. You can see that it captured some great details. Who knows what all those pipes do?
This was shot inside a C-17 Globemaster transport plane, but we used a more subdued ISO speed of 3200. Again, a high level of detail was captured.
The vibrant results of the EOS 6D's JPEG capturing mode are on show here.
This image has been cropped to highlight the most important part.
This image has been cropped even more than the previous image so as to contrast the white smoke against the black smoke while getting rid of the blue sky around it. With 20 megapixels to play with, and a sensor that can capture a lot of detail, closely cropping images without losing much defintion is possible (within reason).
More smoke trails captured with a slight under-exposure setting.
A heavily cropped action shot of the F-22 Raptor with its bomb bay open for display.
We used burst mode to capture a series of shots as the Raptor performed a sharp turn. We then cropped each image, created a composite of all the images and colour corrected the background.
The EOS 6D has a rating of 4.5 frames per second (fps) in burst mode, which isn't as fast as the 8fps of the EOS 7D, or even the 5.3fps of the 60D, but it's still more than useful for action sequences such as this one. We used a Class 10 SD card in our tests.
That's all for now. We'll bring you our full review of the EOS 6D soon, with more sample photos which probably won't be photos of planes.
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