Select your language
  • Deutsch

    Dieser Inhalt ist nur auf Englisch verfügbar.

    Sämtliche Inhalte auf der CPN-Website sind auf Englisch verfügbar. Einige Inhalte, wie z. B. Produktbeschreibungen, aktuelle Produkteinführungen und einige technische Artikel, sind ebenfalls auf Deutsch, Spanisch, Französisch und Italienisch erhältlich. Derzeit sind nur Cinema EOS-Inhalte auf Niederländisch verfügbar. Wählen Sie in der Liste oben Ihre Sprache aus, damit sämtliche darin verfügbaren Inhalte automatisch entsprechend Ihrer Wahl dargestellt werden. Ansonsten wird als Standardsprache Englisch verwendet.

  • English

    This content is only available in English.

    All content published on the CPN website is available in English. Some content – such as product descriptions, recent product launches and some technical articles – is also available in German, Spanish, French and Italian. Currently only the Cinema EOS content is available in Dutch. Choose your language from the list above and all content that is available in your language will automatically be displayed in your language, otherwise the default language will be English.

  • Español

    Este contenido solo está disponible en inglés.

    Todo el contenido publicado en la página web de CPN está disponible en inglés. Parte del contenido –como descripciones de producto, lanzamientos recientes de productos y algunos artículos técnicos– también están disponibles en alemán, español, francés e italiano. Actualmente solo el contenido de EOS Cinema está disponible en holandés. Elija su idioma en la lista anterior y todo el contenido que esté disponible en su idioma aparecerá automáticamente en ese idioma, o , si no, en el idioma predeterminado que es el inglés.

  • Français

    Contenu en anglais seulement.

    Tout le contenu publié sur le site Web de CPN existe en anglais. Une partie du contenu (comme les descriptions de produit, les lancements récents de produit et certains articles techniques) est également publié en allemand, en espagnol, en français et en italien. À l’heure actuelle, seul le contenu sur l’EOS cinéma existe en néerlandais. Choisissez la langue dans la liste ci-dessus, et tout le contenu offert dans votre langue s’affiche automatiquement ; par défaut, le reste s’affiche en anglais.

  • Italiano

    Questi contenuti sono disponibili solo in inglese.

    Tutti i contenuti pubblicati sul sito CPN sono disponibili in inglese. Alcuni contenuti come descrizioni di prodotto, lanci di prodotti recenti e alcuni articoli tecnici sono disponibili anche in tedesco, spagnolo, francese e italiano. Attualmente solo i contenuti di EOS Cinema sono disponibili in olandese. Seleziona la lingua dall'elenco in alto e automaticamente si visualizzeranno tutti i contenuti disponibili in quella lingua; diversamente la lingua di default sarà l’inglese.

  • Nederlands

    Deze inhoud is alleen beschikbaar in het Engels.

    Alle inhoud die op de CPN-website wordt gepubliceerd, is beschikbaar in het Engels. Bepaalde inhoud, zoals productbeschrijvingen, onlangs gelanceerde producten en sommige technische artikelen, zijn ook beschikbaar in het Duits, Spaans, Frans en Italiaans. Momenteel is alleen de inhoud over Cinema EOS beschikbaar in het Nederlands. Kies de taal uit bovenstaande lijst, waarna alle inhoud die beschikbaar is in de gewenste taal, automatisch in die taal wordt weergegeven. Anders is Engels de standaardtaal.

Technical

Inside the
Canon EOS 6D

December 2012

The 20.2 Megapixel Canon EOS 6D DSLR is a much anticipated addition to the EOS range, offering many of the benefits of the EOS 5D Mark III in a superb small and light package for easy operation. It’s ideally suited to photographers shooting portraits, landscapes and travel images where the full-frame sensor and high ISO capabilities make it a perfect choice. Please click on the section headings below to find out more...

KEY SPECIFICATIONS

The EOS 6D is a highly specified full-frame DSLR camera that includes an 11-point AF system, 63-zone iFCL metering, and shooting speeds up to 4.5fps in a small and light body.


The EOS 6D is a full-frame, high-resolution camera with great low light performance: ideal for landscape, travel and portrait photographers.

  • 20.2 Megapixel, full-frame CMOS sensor.
  • Compact size (144.5x110.5x71.2mm) and weight (755g with battery and memory card).
  • 11-point AF with centre-cross AF with improved low light AF performance (EV -3).
  • 63-zone AE Sensor.
  • DIGIC 5+ processor.
  • Up to 4.5fps shooting speed.
  • 1,250 JPEG or 17 RAW buffer.
  • Silent shooting mode.
  • ISO 100 to 25,600 as standard, ISO 50 to 102,400 with expansion.
  • +/-5 stops of exposure compensation.
  • HDR shooting in-camera.
  • Full HD Movie shooting with ALL-I or IPB compression.
  • 29mins 59sec clip length in Full HD Movie.
  • Timecode setting for HD Movie shooting.
  • 7.7cm (3.0”) 3:2 aspect ratio Clear View LCD monitor; 1.04 million dots.
  • Built-in GPS receiver.
  • Built-in WiFi transmitter.
  • EOS Integrated Cleaning System (EICS).
  • Card slot for SD, SDHC and SDXC cards.
  • Single-Axis Electronic Level.

IMAGE QUALITY, PROCESSING & PLAYBACK

With a 20.2 Megapixel, full-frame CMOS sensor the EOS 6D offers high-resolution, low-light performance. The sensor works in combination with a DIGIC 5+ processor that processes large amounts of data rapidly.


Full-frame CMOS sensor

Canon has a long history of designing and building its own CMOS sensors and is unique in the world of photography in that it also designs and produces the machines that make the sensors, providing complete control from the start of the production process.

The full-frame sensor in the EOS 6D features an advanced CMOS architecture, similar to the performance offered by the more advanced EOS 5D Mark III, to achieve high dynamic range and low noise at high ISO settings, with low power consumption. It features a 20.2 Megapixel high-resolution sensor and offers excellent control over depth-of-field, thus enabling the capture of a wide range of scenes.

The full-frame CMOS sensor of the EOS 6D offers increased light sensitivity, image noise reduction at higher ISO speeds, and a wider dynamic range.

CMOS sensors make use of microlenses to direct the light into each pixel well. Canon’s first full-frame sensor with a gap-less microlens design was found in the EOS-1D X DSLR and the sensor in the EOS 6D features similar technology for improved light gathering ability in low light, plus new photodiodes with improved transistors inside each pixel for high sensitivity. Gap-less microlenses mean that no matter what angle the light arrives at the sensor from it is directed into a pixel well where it can be used most effectively. In essence it means that no light that gets to the sensor is wasted by not making it into a pixel.

The sensor in the EOS 6D has been developed to excel at shooting stills and also at capturing 1080p Full HD movie footage. Compared to the sensor in the EOS 5D Mark II both the sensor and the associated image processing have been developed to show reduced moiré patterning and false colour; offering greater detail and improved image quality for shooting movies.

The EOS 6D’s CMOS sensor uses gap-less microlenses located above each photodiode to maximise the light gathering capability, whatever angle the light arrives at the sensor from.

Image processing

Like the EOS 5D Mark III, the EOS 6D makes use of a single DIGIC 5+ image processor. This allows the EOS 6D to deal with large data streams quickly and efficiently. A DIGIC 5+ processor is 17 times faster than the DIGIC 4 processor found in the EOS 5D Mark II. This increased processing power has enabled a variety of advances, both in image quality and camera functionality.

ISO performance

Combined with the new CMOS sensor, the ISO performance on the EOS 6D is similar to that of the EOS 5D Mark III (around two stops better than the EOS 5D Mark II). Such high quality ISO performance opens up low light shooting and allows you to capture images that are smoother, with more detail and less noise. The top standard ISO speed is 25,600. With ISO expansion, this can be pushed to ISO 51,200 (H1) or 102,400 (H2). For EOS Movie shooting, the range is ISO 100-12,800, and when using the Auto ISO setting with Manual exposure, the AE Lock button can be used to lock the exposure by locking the ISO setting.

Further helping to minimise noise at high ISO settings, the EOS 6D features both High ISO Noise Reduction and Multi-Shot Noise Reduction settings. In High ISO Noise Reduction, the camera can be set to ‘High’ and yet the shooting speed for continuous shooting will not reduce.

Multi-Shot Noise Reduction offers an alternative to slow shutter speeds that risk blur when a tripod isn't available. It doesn't rely on high ISO settings but instead takes four separate still images, in rapid succession, at relatively fast shutter speeds (speeds will vary, depending on lighting in the scene). These are then combined, in-camera, into one finished image with the combined brightness of the four individual images, the sharpness of one image taken at a fast shutter speed, and a lower ISO value than would have been possible in a single shot. As long as the camera is hand-held steadily, the system aligns all four images into one finished, sharp image.

The DIGIC 5+ image processor shown on the main circuit board of the EOS 6D.
The processor offers a number of advantages including in-camera Chromatic Aberration Correction that removes colour fringing and halos around high contrast edges, thus improving overall image quality and maximising the performance of Canon EF lenses.

Multiple exposure stacking

Another feature added by the DIGIC 5+ processor is the ability to shoot multiple exposures, where several images are ‘stacked’ on top of each other. The DIGIC 5+ processor allows image stacking of between two and nine separate frames to create one single, final image. This feature is available for both RAW and JPEG images, though if M-RAW or S-RAW are set, the recording quality will automatically switch to RAW.

There are two exposure settings that can be adjusted to tailor the final output to suit your needs. These are Additive and Average.

The Additive exposure control is for those photographers who are used to shooting multiple exposures with film cameras. Instead of taking each image with the correct exposure, the total exposure is added up from each individual image. To achieve the correct result, you should underexpose each image so that the resulting image is correctly exposed once they are all combined together.

The Average setting provides an automatic exposure control whereby each image is automatically underexposed so that the final image is then correctly exposed. Unlike with the Additive setting, all of the images in the multiple exposure will be averaged and taken at the same exposure level setting.

High Dynamic Range (HDR) backlit correction

In addition to the Multiple Imaging, the EOS 6D also features in-camera High Dynamic Range (HDR) backlit correction, thus allowing the creation of expanded dynamic range JPEG images. With HDR shooting, the camera will capture three images for each shot taken, with one being under-exposed, one correctly exposed and one over-exposed. These are then combined in-camera to create a single image.

When shooting HDR images, you can select the exposure range between the captured images or allow the camera to work it out automatically to suit the overall contrast. The manual range is between +/- 1 to 3EV.

The EOS 6D has a top standard ISO speed of 25,600 (shown here in its top LCD screen), but this is expandable up to ISO 102,400 via the H2 setting.

Handheld Night Scene

When shooting in low light, it can be hard to achieve a sharp image free of camera shake, without resorting to a tripod. With Handheld Night Scene, the EOS 6D will capture four images in succession, with one press of the shutter button. These four images, taken at shutter speeds that aim to minimise camera shake, are then combined into one image, with their exposures being added, to create a single image with reduced blurring.

In-camera lens correction

The enhanced DIGIC 5+ processing has also allowed developments in in-camera lens correction. Recent EOS cameras have featured Peripheral Illumination Correction, where the camera can correct for corner shading as images are captured. Chromatic Aberration Correction, also found on the EOS-1D X and EOS 5D Mark III DSLRs, works in the same way but removes colour fringing and halos around high contrast edges, thereby improving the overall image quality and maximising the performance of your Canon lenses.

SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards

The EOS 6D makes use of the SD memory card format. It is compatible with SD, SDHC and the newer SDXC cards. This ensures large capacity, high speed cards can be used. These are especially useful when using the camera’s 4.5fps shooting speed or when shooting Full HD Movies with the EOS Movie function.

The EOS 6D accepts SD, SDHC or SDXC memory cards in the card slot on the right hand side of the camera body.

Image playback

The DIGIC 5+ processor also brings benefits in image playback. While reviewing images on the rear LCD screen, you can overlay any of the three grid display options (3x3, 6x4 or 3x3+diag) to check composition. The magnification control for reviewing images works in the same way as the EOS 5D Mark III and EOS-1D X, allowing you to set a magnification level of 1x, 2x, 4x, 8x, 10x or ‘Actual Size’. It can also be set to give the same magnification as the last image you looked at so you can compare images without having to zoom in and out.

EOS Integrated Cleaning System (EICS)

The EOS Integrated Cleaning System (EICS) was introduced on the EOS 400D in 2006 and works on three principles – to reduce dust generation; to repel dust sticking to the sensor; and to remove any dust that does stick. The system is not just mechanical. There is also a software element that works with Digital Photo Professional – the RAW processing software supplied free in the box when you purchase any Canon EOS camera.

The EOS 6D’s sensor uses a similar EOS Integrated Cleaning System to that found in the EOS 600D and it includes a fluorine anti-static coating that helps prevent the sensor from attracting dust. In addition it also has a more efficient ultrasonic vibration that is more effective at shaking dust from the sensor than previous EICS systems.

AUTOFOCUS SYSTEM

The EOS 6D has an 11-point autofocus system that has been newly developed specifically for the camera and can shoot down to a low-intensity limit of EV -3 (equivalent to shooting under moonlight conditions).


11-point AF system

An EOS 6D viewfinder display showing the cross-type, vertical-line and horizontal-line AF points of the camera.

The EOS 6D features a similar focus point layout to the EOS 5D Mark II, however with the addition of two extra focusing points (to make it 11 points, rather than 9 points) and with much increased sensitivity for focusing in low light. The additional points, compared to the EOS 5D Mark II, are located either side of the central point, giving more options when choosing exactly which AF point to use.

The biggest development in the AF system of the EOS 6D, is the increased sensitivity for low light focusing. The Canon EOS-1D X and EOS 5D Mark III full-frame DSLRs are able to focus in EV -2, which is the equivalent of shooting by the light of a full moon. However, by using the central cross-type AF point, the EOS 6D is able to focus in EV -3; that is 1-stop less light than is projected by a full moon.

AI Servo functions

To ensure the optimum performance from the new AF system, you’ll need to understand a little more about how the system works so you can set it up correctly for your chosen subjects. To help with this, the AF system in the EOS 6D features four configurable settings that control how the AI Servo functions work.

The AF sensor unit of the EOS 6D.

The first setting is Autofocus Tracking Sensitivity. This determines how quickly the camera will re-focus on a new subject entering the AF area. For subjects where you are likely to encounter obstacles between you and your main subject, this should be turned down. Equally, if you struggle to keep a focus point on a moving subject, you will find benefit in setting this option lower than 0. For subjects where you may wish to jump quickly from one subject to another, it may be advisable to increase the sensitivity.

The second option is Acceleration/Deceleration Tracking. This is useful for subjects that change speed, like a racing car. With three setting levels, you can adjust the focus response for greater stability in the AF system. The 0 setting is designed for subjects that don’t change their speed much during motion. Settings 1 and 2 are designed for subjects that move suddenly or that accelerate or stop suddenly. They should not be used with smooth moving subjects as it could make the focus more unstable for those subjects.

An EOS 6D AI Servo function 4 – 2nd Image Priority – menu screen showing the Speed and Focus settings.

The third setting is AI Servo 1st Image Priority. This determines how much time the camera has to find and lock onto focus before releasing the shutter. If you want the fastest possible response when you press the shutter button, this should be set to Release priority, however, if you would rather give the camera more time to achieve focus, it is better to select Focus priority. The final setting is the same as this, but determines how the AF functions for the second image, and any subsequent images, in a burst. Again, the options are for Speed (the camera will take images as quickly as possible), or Focus (the camera may shoot slightly slower, but will allow more time to achieve accurate focus).

Autofocus Point Orientation

As part of the extra AF system customisation that’s available on the EOS 6D, you can select different AF configurations based on the orientation of the camera. You can select up to three different AF point selection methods corresponding to whether you hold the camera in a landscape orientation, portrait with the grip up, or portrait with the grip down orientation. Simply rotating the camera will choose whichever AF point or AF point selection method you have set for that orientation.

This is very useful for many situations. For example, at a wedding you may choose to use one AF point when shooting in a landscape format but a different AF point for focusing on a face when shooting in a portrait mode.

AF Adjustment

Introduced with the Canon EOS-1D Mark III DSLR, AF Microadjustment allows you to move the exact point of focus slightly forwards or backwards to ensure that the camera and lens are in perfect alignment. Because of the increase in resolution of camera sensors, any slight focus mis-alignment is more visible when reviewing images. Although all Canon cameras and lenses are made to extremely high tolerances, there is a tolerance range and, in some cases, the camera could be at one end of the range and the lens at the other. In this instance, you would notice the focus point is either in front of, or behind where you thought it should be.


METERING & EXPOSURE CONTROL

The EOS 6D incorporates an intelligent 63-zone metering system that works in conjunction with the camera’s autofocus system to deliver perfectly exposed images in all shooting situations.


63-zone Dual-layer Metering Sensor

The EOS 6D features a similar metering sensor to that found in the EOS 5D Mark III – the iFCL 63-zone Dual-layer Metering Sensor – to capture perfectly exposed images time after time. FCL stands for ‘Focus, Colour and Luminance’ and hints at the fact that the metering system not only measures colour and luminance data, but also analyses the data provided by each point of the AF system.

The metering sensor has 63 measurement zones and is a Dual-layer design, with each layer sensitive to different wavelengths of light. Electronic sensors in general are more sensitive to red light. This means when photographing subjects with lots of red in them – for example, skin tones – the sensor receives a stronger signal as it only detects brightness levels. This can lead to the wrong assumption that there is more light than there really is. The Dual-layer system overcomes this by having one layer sensitive to red/green light and one layer sensitive to blue/green light. Both these layers measure the light in their respective spectra and the metering algorithm then combines the two to provide an accurate light reading.

An image representing the iFCL 63-zone metering system, and 11 AF points, of the EOS 6D DSLR.

Metering algorithm

Along with a similar exposure meter the EOS 6D features the same metering algorithm as the EOS 5D Mark III. The EOS 6D always measures focus with all AF points, regardless of the selected AF mode. During the exposure reading the EOS 6D looks to see which points, in addition to the selected point, have achieved or almost achieved focus. This information lets the camera know which part of the image is the subject. It then takes metering readings from the zones corresponding to the AF points that have achieved, or almost achieved, focus and combines them with readings from all the other zones. This allows for consistent shot-to-shot exposure, even in complex situations – where there are reflections from a model’s glasses, for example.

Metering modes

With Evaluative, Spot, Partial and Centre-weighted metering options provided you can choose exactly how the light in a scene is measured and ensure you get perfect exposures every time.

Exposure compensation

Exposure compensation is possible with the EOS 6D from +/-5 EV in 1/3-stop or 1/2-stop increments. This can be combined with auto exposure bracketing (AEB) in two, three, five or seven-shot sequences.

SHUTTER

The shutter of the EOS 6D is very durable, with a 100,000-cycle durability rating, and offers a wide shutter speed range, from 30 seconds up to 1/4000sec (in 1/2- or 1/3-stop increments).


Shutter durability

As photographers take more and more images, so the durability of the shutter becomes more important. The EOS 6D has a shutter rated to 100,000-cycles for high durability that will meet the needs of most photographers.

Shutter speeds

The shutter speed range of the EOS 6D is 30-1/4000sec (in 1/2-stop or 1/3-stop increments), plus BULB shooting (the shutter speed range available varies according to the shooting mode).

The shutter unit of the EOS 6D.

High-speed sensor readout

Although the mechanics of driving the shutter and mirror are important in achieving a high frame rate, the second part of the puzzle is the data. A full-frame, 20.2 Megapixel sensor shooting at 4.5 frames per second produces a large signal stream that needs to be removed from the sensor rapidly. To enable this, the EOS 6D uses a high speed A/D readout unit to pass the data quickly from the sensor to the camera’s DIGIC 5+ image processor.

Drive system

The EOS 5D Mark II featured a frame rate of 3.9 frames per second. By comparison, the EOS 6D is able to shoot at up to 4.5 frames per second, so it is more suited to shooting moving subjects.

To cope with this higher frame rate, the drive system of the EOS 6D has been designed using technology from the EOS 7D and EOS 5D Mark III cameras. There are two independent motors: one to drive the mirror and the second to drive the shutter. Ensuring a stable viewfinder image and a static image projection to the AF sensor is a crucial requirement in high speed shooting.

Top plate of the EOS 6D showing the camera’s top shutter speed – 1/4000sec – on the LCD panel.

High-speed and silent shooting

The EOS 6D’s drive modes include Continuous shooting and Silent shooting as well as a Silent Continuous shooting setting. High-speed drive mode delivers continuous shooting up to a maximum speed of 4.5 frames per second (in both One-Shot AF and AI Servo AF modes), while providing a stable image in the viewfinder. Like the EOS 5D Mark II, EOS 7D, and the EOS 5D Mark III the EOS 6D makes use of the same LP-E6 Lithium Polymer battery that can provide a continuous current until it is drained, so the frame rate will not drop as the battery drains.

In the Silent Continuous shooting mode the camera’s shutter and the mirror’s reflex action are driven slower and so the maximum possible frame rate is slightly slower than the 4.5fps available in normal shooting. The silent shooting feature will appeal to wedding photographers and photojournalists who are looking to remain discreet and as anonymous as possible.


SHOOTING

The EOS 6D features a number of shooting modes that ensure optimum image results in terms of contrast, colour tone, sharpness, saturation, white balance and many other parameters.


EOS Scene Detection System

First seen on the EOS 600D, the EOS 6D features the EOS Scene Detection System that automatically analyses the shooting conditions with relation to a subject’s face, colour, brightness, movement, contrast and focus distance.

In addition to the normal Picture Style settings of Standard, Landscape, Portrait, Neutral Faithful and Monochrome, there is also an Auto setting. Based on the scene information collected by EOS Scene Detection System, this Auto Picture Style allows the camera to tailor the response of contrast, colour tone, sharpness and saturation for optimum results. It is very good for general purpose shooting, but is especially effective with nature and landscape images, as well as those taken at sunset.

The EOS Scene Detection System is also used to improve the accuracy of white balance settings. These changes are most noticeable when shooting portraits or sunsets, where the skin tones will be more accurately recorded and sunset colours will be more vivid. They are also evident when shooting under low colour temperature light sources like tungsten lighting. In the past, these scenes could produce very yellow or orange images. However, with the EOS 6D, this is much reduced, resulting in more natural looking images.

An EOS 6D menu screen showing the Custom Shooting Mode options.

Auto Lighting Optimizer (ALO)

Auto Lighting Optimizer, a feature of several Canon EOS DSLR models, has been improved to give better results when shooting sunsets, highly saturated scenes or scenes with highlights that could be easily over-exposed. This is especially useful with backlit subjects, where auto exposure could render a subject under-exposed. With ALO enabled it will allow you to achieve the best balance of exposure across the frame even when shooting, for example, backlit portraits.

Custom Shooting modes

Like other models in the EOS range, the EOS 6D also features Custom Shooting Mode options. There are two C-Modes – C1 and C2 – and they allow you to store regularly used settings for quick recall. As with the EOS 5D Mark III, if you make a change to the settings you have recalled while shooting, the stored C-Mode settings will be updated automatically. This avoids your settings being reset to the stored settings if the camera is left for a short while and goes to sleep.

FULL HD MOVIES

Full HD Movie shooting was introduced in the EOS 5D Mark II, in 2008, and is now incorporated across the entire Canon EOS DSLR range (bar the 720p EOS 1100D). The EOS 6D features essentially the same EOS Movie shooting functions as the EOS-1D X.


Frame rates

Because HD Movie shooting is so important, the EOS 6D contains all of the same features as the EOS-1D X and EOS 5D Mark III in relation to movie shooting settings. This means there is the ability to shoot 1920x1080 at 24, 25 and 30fps, as well as 1280x720 at 50 and 60fps.

Movie compression methods

The EOS 6D, like the EOS 5D Mark III, features additional compression settings for EOS Movie shooting; these are IPB and ALL-I. This was first seen on the EOS-1D X DSLR and while the camera still records movies using the H.264 codec, it is the compression type within this codec that has been changed.

When shooting movies, the frames that are captured are usually split into key frames or Intra-Frames and predicted frames. These Intra-frames are used as reference frames to help with compression.

The first type of compression available is IPB. The B in IPB stands for Bi-directional compression. With IPB differential compression is carried out by predicting the content of future frames, with reference to both previously captured frames and subsequent frames. Like the IPP compression method used in EOS DSLRs before the EOS-1D X some data is stored in a Group Of Pictures (GOP), meaning that frame-by-frame editing will result in lower image quality. When using IPB, editing video in-camera to trim clips can only be done in one-second increments.

An EOS 6D menu screen showing the movie recording sizes and compression method options.

The second method of compression is designed for users working in high-end editing systems or those looking for the very highest quality. This compression is called ALL-I. ALL-I is an ‘Intra-coded Frame’ based system that differs from IPB and IPP because all frames captured are treated as Intra-frames or key frames. Although each frame is still compressed, there is no further compression as each frame is seen as an individual image.

When filming with ALL-I, file sizes will be around three times larger than with IPB, and it is easier to edit to an individual frame without degrading the image quality. Despite the extra file size, ALL-I compressed footage actually requires less computer processing power than IPB or IPP and consequently will playback more smoothly on lower specification computers. This is because there is no rendering needed to extrapolate data from the GOPs used in IPP and IPB.

Movie clip size and lengths

Like the EOS-1D X and EOS 5D Mark III, the EOS 6D has the ability to record continuously for longer than the 12 minutes of previous EOS cameras (caused by the 4GB file limit of the FAT 32 format of memory cards). Due to European legal regulations the maximum total clip length when shooting HD is 29 minutes and 59 seconds. This clip length change has been brought about by the EOS 6D’s ability to automatically start new files. Once the 4GB limit is reached, the camera simply starts creating a new file, without the movie recording being stopped. On the memory card you will then find several 4GB files that, when played back consecutively on a timeline, will give a complete run of up to the 29 minute 59 seconds limit. On the camera each 4GB file has to be played back individually. So that you know when a new 4GB file is going to be created, the recording time or the timecode displayed on the movie-shooting screen will flash for around 30 seconds before the file size reaches 4GB.

Timecode

Important for professional users, and first seen on the Canon EOS-1D X DSLR, the EOS 6D features a timecode ability that follows the standard of Hour:Minute:Second:Frame, as defined by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE). The frame count runs from 00 to 29 frames, so if, for example, you are filming at 30fps frames are counted to 29 and 1 second is added to the 30th frame to return the counter to 00.

An EOS 6D menu screen showing the movie timecode setting options.

The timecode can be set in one of three ways. The default setting is Count Up. Within Count Up, there is the option of either Rec. Run or Free Run. With Rec. Run, the timecode will only advance while a movie is being recorded. It is useful when filming with a single camera as it helps to organise the clips into chronological order. In Rec. Run, the timecode will continue even if the memory card is replaced with a new one. Since the total shooting time is recorded, the count will not be reset even if a movie file is deleted or the memory card is formatted.

In Free Run, the timecode will continue to count even when no movie file is being recorded. This is useful when filming with several cameras. When editing footage together, the clips can then be arranged chronologically.

Option 2 within the timecode settings is the ‘Start time setting’. Here you have the option of defining the starting timecode in HH:MM:SS:FF using the manual input setting option. You can also reset the timecode to 00:00:00:00 using reset, or you can also set the timecode to the current camera time by using the HH:MM:SS fields.

The third option is ‘Movie play count’. The two options within this setting are Play Time and Time Code and they determine what is displayed while the movie is played back on the camera. In Play Time, the elapsed time after the start of shooting will be shown on the rear LCD panel during playback. With the Time Code setting, the associated timecode will be shown during playback.

Left hand side of the EOS 6D, showing cable socket, microphone input jack, AV out and HDMI out terminals.

Audio control

Like other models in the EOS range, the EOS 6D features an internal microphone that captures 16bit mono sound at 48KHz as well as a 3.5mm stereo input jack that also records at 48KHz. The audio level setting features 64 steps and in the setting screen is shown with level meters to assist in setting the correct recording level.

Drop frames

When filming at 30fps or 60fps, the actual frame rate is not a whole number, but 29.97fps and 59.94fps respectively. By using the drop frame menu setting, you can select whether to count the number of frames recorded as if you were filming at a round figure of 30 or 60fps, or whether you want to count but compensate for the difference in the actual number of frames and the counted number of frames. For example, if you were filming for 10 minutes at 29.97fps, the number of frames recorded would be 17,982. However, if the count is done as 30fps, then the frame count would be recorded as 18,000 frames. This could introduce errors when you compare the playback time and the timecode in HH:MM:SS:FF. The shorter your video clip, the less important this difference becomes.

For longer video clips this difference can become significant and, in that instance, you should set Drop frame to enable. In this case, the frame count will drop two frames every minute so the number of frames counted is the same as the actual number of frames. This doesn’t mean that two frames will actually be dropped, simply that the counter will drop two frames from its total. This two-frame counter drop will happen for every minute from one to nine minutes. For the tenth minute, the counter will treat the minute as if there were 1800 frames in the minute (rather than the 1798 there actually are) – in other words it will not drop two frames from the counter for that minute. In this way, the actual frames recorded and the frame counter will match exactly every tenth minute, so the playback time and timecode will match exactly.

Thumbnails

With previous EOS cameras copying .MOV files shot on an EOS DSLR back onto a memory card would not allow the files to be played back on the camera without the .THM thumbnail files being present as well. Like with the EOS 5D Mark III, the EOS 6D writes the metadata directly into the .MOV file, allowing the camera to decode the file and play it back without the .THM file being included.

VIEWFINDER & LCD SCREEN

With a 97% coverage (approx.) viewfinder and a 7.7cm (3.0”) Clear View LCD rear screen, with 1.04 million dots, the EOS 6D offers superb options for image composition and playback.


Viewfinder

The viewfinder in the EOS 6D is similar to that found in the EOS 5D Mark II. The magnification is the same (0.71x) as the EOS 5D Mark II and the eyepoint is 21mm. The coverage is approximately 97% of the frame.

As a true optical viewfinder, the EOS 6D is able to make use of interchangeable focusing screens to suit your needs. Along with the standard screen there are three optional screens, including a Super Precision Matte screen suitable for use with lenses that have an maximum aperture of f/2.8 or faster. This screen makes manual focusing easier and is especially useful when shooting portraits.

Clear View LCD

The EOS 6D features a 7.7cm (3.0”) Clear View LCD rear screen and the resolution has been increased from 920,000 dots on the EOS 5D Mark II to 1.04 million dots. As well as being great for image review the screen makes Live View shooting of stills or Full HD video footage a pleasure.

The EOS 6D has a 97% viewfinder and a 7.7cm (3.0”) Clear View LCD on the back of the camera.

Electronic Level

Like the EOS 7D and EOS-1D X, the EOS 6D features an Electronic Level that can display an alignment level for roll on the rear LCD screen and within the viewfinder. This function is great for landscape and architectural photographers who need to ensure the camera is level in order to avoid sloping horizons or poor alignment of the camera with the subject. It is also useful in low light shooting, where it can be hard to see reference points through the viewfinder.

On the rear LCD screen, the level can display 360° of roll 1° increments. When in Live View Mode a smaller display is overlaid on top of the image. The electronic level is accurate to +/-1° at up to +/-10°. Between +/-10° and +/-45° the accuracy is +/-3°.

OPERATION & CONSTRUCTION

The EOS 6D features a number of improved handling features, including a lock on the mode dial, plus customisable controls and a rugged, part-magnesium alloy, dust- and drip-proof body.


Controls

Much requested by professional and amateur photographers alike, the EOS 6D features a lock on the mode dial, as first seen on the EOS 60D. This makes it impossible to accidentally knock the mode dial and so change from one mode to another without meaning to.

Like the EOS 7D and EOS 5D Mark III, the camera’s ON/OFF switch is now located on the top plate behind the mode dial rather than on the rear of the camera. Also, like the EOS 5D Mark III, there is a lock switch to disable the Quick Control Dial. This lock can also be used to lock the Main Dial and Multi-controller individually as well, using a Custom Function to determine which functions are locked.

Top plate view of the EOS 6D: the ON/OFF control is behind the mode dial on the left hand side of the top plate.

In terms of size, the EOS 6D is very similar to the EOS 60D. It is designed to be light, compact and easy to use. With a part-magnesium alloy shell, it is also durable.

Custom Functions

Unfortunately it is not possible to have a camera built specifically for you. However, the Custom Functions (C.Fns) found within EOS digital SLR cameras give you the next best thing as they allow you to modify the way that the camera functions to fit exactly what you’re shooting, or how you like to interact with your camera.

To simplify camera setup, the Custom Functions are divided into three distinct groups that control separate areas of the camera’s functions:

C.Fn 1 – Exposure
C.Fn 2 – Autofocus
C.Fn 3 – Operation/Others

The EOS 6D has a tough, yet lightweight, construction from a combination of materials, including a part-magnesium alloy body shell.

Body construction

The EOS 6D’s body construction is a combination of durable materials – a polycarbonate base plate to which the part-magnesium alloy body shell is attached. The camera also features a robust dust-proof and drip-proof construction, where body panels interlock rather than adjoin, and all seams, buttons and dials are provided with secure rubber sealing. The protection provided by the design and sealing is equivalent to that of the EOS-1N film camera; the weather-sealing standard by which other professional cameras were judged.


BUILT-IN WiFi & GPS

In a first for the EOS System, the EOS 6D features both a built-in WiFi transmitter, to allow you to send images wirelessly directly from the camera, and a built-in GPS unit.


WiFi system

The built-in WiFi system of the EOS 6D is 802.11b/g and n compatible, with a communication range of up to 30m. To make it easy to check the signal strength, there is also a signal level meter visible on the LCD monitor. The WiFi unit has six different functions, three of which work in very similar ways to the external WiFi devices available for other EOS models.

Function one allows you to send JPEG images from the EOS 6D to another Canon camera, both EOS and compact cameras, providing that camera also has an internal WiFi unit. With two EOS 6Ds, you can also transfer EOS Movie files between them.

Function two allows you to connect the EOS 6D to your smartphone. With the EOS Remote app installed you can browse, rate or delete images stored on the camera, transfer images from the camera to the smartphone and email images stored on the camera via your smartphone. Possibly most interestingly, the app allows wireless control of your EOS 6D directly from the smartphone.

Function three takes the remote camera control and adds it to your computer, using EOS Utility. This allows full remote control of the camera as if it is connected by a USB cable. This includes Live View and the ability to drive the lens focus motor from the computer.

The status of the built-in WiFi and GPS are indicated in the LCD panel on the top plate of the EOS 6D.

Function four is for printing. With a compatible WiFi printer, you can use all the features of direct printing, as if you had a cable connection, but without having to worry about the need for a cable.

Function five takes the wireless sharing of images to the next step by allowing you to directly upload images from the camera to the Canon Image Gateway (CiG) web service. If you are shooting EOS Movies, these can be uploaded directly to YouTube. Please note for these functions the user must go via an access point.

Function six allows sharing of images with DLNA-compatible devices such as televisions and games consoles. It makes sharing your images and movies with friends quick and simple and avoids the hassle of cables.

Built-in GPS unit

In another first for the EOS range, the EOS 6D features a built-in GPS unit that allows you to geo-tag your images directly without the need for an external add-on device. The GPS function allows you to geo-tag images with location data that can be stored within the EXIF data of each image. To ensure good reception, the GPS unit is located at the top of the pentaprism housing and features a high sensitivity GPS chip so even in locations with tree cover and tall buildings you can still receive a GPS signal.

The GPS unit of the EOS 6D is located at the top of the camera’s pentaprism housing so it can operate to the maximum possible effect.

Like the external GP-E2 device, that was launched with the EOS 5D Mark III and is also compatible with the EOS 6D, the built-in GPS unit can be used to accurately set the camera time as well. This is done by reading the time from the GPS satellite’s atomic clock. You can select to have the time auto update so that when you turn the camera on and a GPS signal is received, the time will be updated. The accuracy is approximately +/-1 second.

Also like the GP-E2, the EOS 6D GPS chip can be used as a GPS logger. This allows you to log your movements at regular preset intervals. Once back at your computer, this logged data can then be linked up pictures with a map overlay through the provided ‘Map Utility’ software.

ACCESSORIES

The EOS 6D has a dedicated Battery Grip, the BG-E13, which provides additional power for extended shooting and easily allows for either horizontal or vertical shooting.


With the Battery Grip BG-E13 photographers can shoot both vertically and horizontally with the EOS 6D.

Battery Grip BG-E13

A new dedicated Battery Grip BG-E13 provides additional power for extended shooting, while also making it easy to shoot both vertically and horizontally with the EOS 6D thanks to an additional shutter button, AF-ON, AE lock and AF point selection controls. When used with two LP-E6 batteries, the battery grip offers double the number of shots, and it can also be used with AA batteries for added convenience and flexibility.