Canon EOS R6 Review: Sufficient to Sway Even Cussed DSLR Followers

Canon EOS R6

MSRP $2,500.00

“With the ergonomics of a DSLR however the advantages of a mirrorless, the EOS R6 is a compelling hybrid.”


  • Sharp pictures and movies
  • Clean autofocus
  • Quick taking pictures pace
  • Wonderful stabilization
  • Good low gentle efficiency
  • Snug grip


  • A bit cumbersome
  • Buffer struggles with lengthy bursts
  • Animal Eye AF under-performed
  • Quick 4K recording attributable to overheating

Canon had a little bit of an id disaster making the swap to full-frame mirrorless, with the throttled price range RP and good, however not very aggressive, EOS R. The corporate’s second set of full-frame mirrorless cameras, nonetheless, seem to vow extra of what Canon’s DSLRs had been identified for, after which some, with in-body picture stabilization, 12 fps bursts, and the following era of Twin Pixel autofocus contained in the Canon EOS R6 and R5.

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The R6 is the cheaper of the 2 newly-announced cameras, promoting for about $2,500 for the body-only and providing a decrease decision 20.1-megapixel sensor, a plastic physique as an alternative of magnesium alloy, and skipping a few of the R5’s largest options, like 8K video. However whereas the characteristic record is shorter, the R6 nonetheless manages to incorporate the identical in-body stabilization, the identical burst pace, and the same autofocus system.

Capturing with the R6 seems like taking pictures with a DSLR — apart from the digital viewfinder — right down to the grip, management scheme, and even measurement. That might be sufficient for the DSLR hold-outs to make the swap with out sacrificing ergonomics, picture high quality, or efficiency. However is the R6 sufficient for Canon to compete in an more and more crowded full-frame mirrorless market?

A mirrorless camera in a DSLR-like physique

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Capturing with the EOS R6 seems like working with a DSLR — till you place the camera as much as your eye, and the digital viewfinder provides the dearth of a mirror away, that’s. The physique is nearer in measurement to an APS-C DSLR than a full-frame mirrorless camera. Nonetheless, the width of the camera, together with the grip, is sort of a full inch bigger than the Sony a7 III and greater than a half-inch greater than even Nikon’s Z 5. The R6 is even barely deeper than Canon’s personal EOS 7D Mark II (one such APS-C DSLR), although barely shorter and narrower.

The necessary factor is that the R6 is snug to carry.

Meaning the R6 isn’t actually providing you with a lot of a measurement benefit if that was your predominant purpose to modify to mirrorless, however Canon is probably catering to the photographers that favor the ergonomics of a DSLR over a mirrorless camera. The necessary factor is that the R6 is snug to carry. And whereas in regards to the measurement of a DSLR, utilizing the R6 saves you from carrying round an additional 5 ounces over the same DSLR just like the 7D Mark II.

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The management scheme additionally channels Canon DSLRs, right down to the autofocus joystick that’s annoyingly disabled till you dig via the menus to search out the choice to show it on (a baffling resolution). Regardless of the additional actual property and non-entry degree designation, Canon didn’t handle to suit a second LCD display on the high. Additionally missing is the swap to vary the LCD display from stills to video, although the report button will nonetheless begin a film from any mode. Switching focus modes or altering the burst pace requires digging within the fast menu or re-assigning a few of the camera’s actual property utilizing the customized button choices. The rest of the controls, nonetheless, ought to really feel acquainted to Canon DSLR customers, proper right down to the depth-of-field preview button.

The acquainted controls — and menu system — creates a mirrorless camera that Canon DSLR holdouts will discover straightforward to adapt to. Customers switching from one other system should get used to a couple oddities, like navigating the menus with the three management wheels as an alternative of an arrow keypad. Although in equity, you can all the time use the contact display.

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The R6 is provided with a 3.69 million dot EVF — it’s not the very best high quality that we’ve seen and never as detailed because the EOS R5, nevertheless it’s ample and akin to different cameras at the same worth level. The viewfinder does blackout whereas taking pictures, however the burst pace is fast sufficient that it’s not terribly exhausting to observe the motion within the viewfinder as soon as a burst begins. The rear touchscreen, a 1.62 million-dot decision, flips out to the facet for viewing from any angle, together with for selfies and vlogs whereas the camera is on a tripod.

A characteristic lacking on a number of mirrorless fashions, the R6 gratefully gives two SD card slots. Battery life has a CIPA ranking of 510 photographs with the monitor and 380 with the viewfinder. However, like with most cameras, the CIPA ranking is a gross underestimate — I shot 2,500 pictures utilizing a mixture of the LCD display and viewfinder, together with a lot of lengthy bursts, earlier than the battery warning began flashing.

In-body stabilization

yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7Composed in Photoshop from a collection of RAW bursts captured on the Canon EOS R6 at 1/tenth of a second, f/1.8, ISO 2000. Hillary Ok. Grigonis/Digital Tendencies

Canon disenchanted many when it launched the unique EOS R with out in-body stabilization, and the EOS R6 makes up for that with a 5-axis stabilization system that’s rated, on paper, for as much as 8 stops together with a selected set of lenses. On-sensor stabilization is purpose alone for Canon shooters with a mid-level DSLR to modify to the mid-level R6.

The stabilization system is superb for each low gentle, wide-angle photographs, and decreasing the shutter pace with longer lenses. I shot fireflies at nightfall with the 35mm f/1.8 lens at 1/tenth of a second handheld, and most of my photographs had been nonetheless sharp.

The stabilization system is superb for each low gentle, wide-angle photographs, and decreasing the shutter pace with longer lenses.

Whereas the R6 boasts a stabilization system that’s wonderful for a full-frame camera, it doesn’t essentially beat out the competitors. Whereas Nikon and Sony’s techniques are solely rated to 5 stops, I used to be capable of shoot at the same shutter pace with the Z 6 handheld — 1/8 of a second bracing my elbows on a desk and 1/twentieth of a second with out assist. The R6 was solely barely higher at 1/tenth of a second with none assist.  

Olympus, regardless of itemizing a most of seven.5 stops of stabilization and Canon claiming 8 stops, was nonetheless steadier than the R6, to check apples to oranges by pitting a Micro 4 Thirds camera in opposition to full body. As soon as I pushed the R6 underneath 1/tenth of a second and received into the seconds-long publicity instances, photos had been not sharp. I shot handheld lengthy exposures that had been greater than six seconds lengthy with the OM-D E-M1 Mark III that also got here out tack sharp. Canon’s stabilization is superb, sure, nevertheless it doesn’t actually provide the massive benefit over different stabilized our bodies that it seems to for those who had been technical specs alone.

Fast autofocus and bursts

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The R6’s autofocus additionally impressively managed to focus at nightfall, supplied the autofocus level was positioned in an space with some slight distinction. The autofocus system even managed to lock on — albeit, slowly — to a glass jar at nightfall, a topic and lighting situations which might be historically difficult for many cameras.

Steady autofocus additionally stored up nicely, even on the most pace, and solely sometimes dropping focus. The autofocus appeared to maintain up nicely with topics each shifting in a course parallel to the camera, and topics heading straight in the direction of me.

Eye AF is included and retains up shortly. The R6 managed to maintain the eyes in focus for nearly each shot of an brisk 7-year-old operating towards the camera. Whereas the Eye AF does a wonderful job maintaining, it’s not fairly as adept at some techniques that I’ve tried at specializing in eyes which might be partially obscured — the R6 had a harder time with faces turned towards the facet, and whereas some techniques will impressively nonetheless give attention to eyelashes and closed eyes, the R6 didn’t.

Whereas the attention AF is nice right here (although not fairly one of the best), we are able to’t say the identical factor for the animal face and eye-tracking. In distinction to our expertise with the EOS R5, Eye AF on the R6 didn’t work in any respect on my chocolate lab and as an alternative needed to give attention to her nostril. I solely received the animal eye AF to work as soon as on my cat, who has extra distinction in his face than a brown canine with brown eyes. Word, the animal monitoring characteristic impressed on the R5, which has extra pixels for the Twin Pixel autofocus system to work with. It’s potential that has one thing to do with the considerably completely different outcomes we discovered between the 2 techniques.

The place the autofocus system struggled most is with blacks and shadows. The R6 had points when the AF level was positioned on a darker portion of the picture, despite the fact that the camera simply locked on in an identical lighting seconds later as soon as the publicity compensation boosted these shadows out of the blacks. For many photos with a correctly lit topic, it is a non-issue, however the camera will wrestle in eventualities corresponding to silhouettes, in addition to specializing in black objects.

The wonderful stabilization and mostly-great autofocus is paired with a handy guide a rough 12 body per second burst mode and a 20 body per second burst utilizing the digital shutter. The buffer is respectable for a mid-level camera at 63 photographs taking pictures RAW + JPEG, it doesn’t matter what the burst pace is ready to, earlier than slowing its tempo. As quickly as a few of these photos filter out, you’ll be able to resume taking pictures. Annoyingly, the short menu is locked out whereas these photos are processing, making it tough to regulate settings shortly (an issue that has traditionally been a difficulty on different mirrorless cameras from Sony, for instance). A full burst takes an excellent 30 seconds to filter out utterly earlier than you’ll be able to entry the menu. Set to JPEG solely, the buffer clears virtually immediately.

Picture high quality

The EOS R6 accommodates the identical sensor as Canon’s flagship DSLR, the 1DX Mark III: a 20.1-megapixel full-frame sensor. That’s not as detailed or strong because the R5’s 45 megapixels or competing fashions just like the 24 megapixel Nikon Z 6 or Sony A7 III, however the trade-off for fewer megapixels is commonly much less noise for low gentle photographs.

The ISO efficiency and stabilization combine to make the R6 a wonderful possibility for taking pictures in low gentle.

That concept holds water with the R6, with its wonderful dealing with of noise at excessive ISO. Noise begins to succeed in extra noticeable ranges, together with some coloration noise, round ISO 3,200 however doesn’t get annoying till cropping or printing full measurement at ISO 8,000. Lowering the noise of the RAW recordsdata till simply earlier than sharpness begins to endure, I might even name ISO 12,800 nonetheless ok to share on Instagram or make small prints and even push to ISO 32,000 if essential. Some banding does happen when pushing the ISO a lot additional, however the noise renders the picture low high quality anyway. That’s, after all, underneath very best situations together with taking pictures with a tripod and no publicity changes in put up. Even so, these outcomes are notably spectacular.

The ISO efficiency and stabilization combine to make the R6 a wonderful possibility for taking pictures in low gentle. In excessive distinction lighting, the R6’s RAW recordsdata had been capable of recuperate a good quantity of element from the shadows and even some slight restoration of highlights and whites. On the flip facet, the RAW recordsdata may be simply manipulated for extra distinction. Check out how backlit photos at golden hour look straight from the R6 in an unedited JPEG, in comparison with a RAW file edited to recuperate the shadows, and that very same RAW file edited for drama and distinction:

canon eos r6 review 1i6a1636 originalUnique JPEG Hillary Ok. Grigonis/Digital Tendencies

canon eos r6 review contrast edit 1636Edited RAW for distinction Hillary Ok. Grigonis/Digital Tendencies

canon eos r6 review shadow recovery 1636Edited RAW for shadow restoration Hillary Ok. Grigonis/Digital Tendencies

The R6 was additionally impressively sharp all through the ISO vary. Whereas the lens performs a bigger position in a picture’s sharpness, photos from each the 35mm and 24-105mm RF lenses had been wonderful. Sharpness across the eyes in portraits was significantly spectacular when taking pictures with each Eye AF and single-point AF.

Colours coming from the R6 had been precisely what I anticipated from a Canon. I discover Canon’s colours a bit on the cool facet — however that’s each solely subjective and simply adjusted in put up.

Whereas not as detailed as a sensor with extra megapixels, the R6 gives wonderful picture high quality for a mid-level full-frame mirrorless. Sharpness is stable, noise discount is superb, and colours had been on par with what I’ve come to count on from Canon DSLRs.

Video high quality

The R6 has taken much less room within the headlines in comparison with the R5’s 8K, however video continues to be spectacular coming from the R5’s cheaper sibling. The R5, with its 8K, oversampled 4K, sluggish movement 4K, and RAW video is extra very best for critical videographers than the R6. However, the R6 packs a number of stable video options.

Video may be recorded at 60 fps in 4K in 10-bit. Whereas not the 8K of the R5, the R6 oversamples the video, which implies it takes information from all the width of the 5K sensor to create the 4K video. The results of that is that movies are splendidly detailed, and the stabilization gives a giant enhance for taking pictures handheld. Autofocus has a easy transition, however the camera does find yourself looking for the main focus typically, a holdover from the problems talked about earlier with autofocus.

Video size on the R6 is restricted to about 30 seconds, however can resume recording instantly for an additional 10 minutes in 4K 30p. 4K 60p will want a cool-down interval after recording a 30-minute video, and recording in temperatures better than 73 levels will end in shorter recording instances. That’s because of the lack of a cooling fan, which Canon says is a choice to maintain the physique of the camera smaller.

Our Take

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The Canon EOS R6 is the mirrorless camera that homeowners of the corporate’s mid-level DSLRs have been holding out for. The camera seems like working with a DSLR, however gives the in-body stabilization and digital viewfinder of a mirrorless camera with out making main sacrifices — if any — to efficiency or picture high quality. And, after all, it really works with Canon lenses (with an adapter). It’s a bit cumbersome, the buffer locks out the short menu for a bit too lengthy, eye AF isn’t fairly pretty much as good because the competitors and animal AF didn’t work in any respect, and movies must be quick to stop overheating — however, there’s nonetheless rather a lot to like.

The R6 is a superb camera — and the most suitable choice for utilizing Canon lenses on a mirrorless, in need of splurging on the R5 — and eventually competes with different manufacturers. However whereas the R6 now competes nicely, it places Canon extra on par with different mirrorless opponents than forward of them. Sony and Nikon’s choices are considerably smaller and provide extra megapixels, and whereas Canon has extra bodily actual property, it’s lacking some controls we actually want it had. The R6’s picture stabilization solely appears to be like considerably higher on paper, and in real-world checks, it didn’t provide a lot of a bonus over 5-stop techniques.

Is there a greater various?

If you wish to hold your Canon lenses, the one higher various is the Canon EOS R5, with related options however the next decision and an animal AF that’s truly fairly spectacular. However, for photographers not but invested in a lens system, the R6 could not provide sufficient of an incentive to modify. The Sony A7 III is cheaper, with a couple of extra megapixels, however the ergonomics and menu may be irritating for photographers accustomed to DSLRs. The now-replaced A7R III has 42.2 megapixels at an an identical worth level and whereas it gives bigger photos, has the identical points discovered within the A7 III. The Nikon Z 6 is $500 much less, with a barely greater decision, smaller physique, and secondary LCD display, however lacks twin card slots and the low gentle autofocus is inferior to the R6’s.

How lengthy will it final?

Not like the R5, the R6 has a polycarbonate physique — the kind of plastic generally discovered on entry to mid-level DSLRs. Whereas not as rugged, it feels stable within the fingers and is weather-sealed. Barring any catastrophic drops, the R6 ought to final a couple of years, although with Canon being a rookie to full-frame mirrorless, we wouldn’t be shocked if new options in one other two years make you need to improve earlier than it’s important to.

Must you purchase it?

If you’re a Canon DSLR shooter able to make the mirrorless swap and can’t afford to go for the high-end R5, then sure, purchase the R6. Photographs and efficiency are wonderful, and the R6 feels very like utilizing a Canon DSLR. If you would like a mirrorless camera that’s considerably smaller than a DSLR, or are in search of options like distinctive animal AF or for those who taking pictures requires a quick buffer, you could be finest served to look elsewhere.

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