Canon 6D Review: Why the Canon 6D Makes a Great Entry Level Camera

canon6dreviewWhether you are an amateur snapper or a professional photographer, the Canon 6D offers features and benefits that will impress you. The Canon 6D is Canon’s first digital-single lens reflex camera or DSLR camera, and it is packed with the features you would expect to find in a professional camera without the professional price tag attached. This makes the Canon 6D a great entry level camera for photographers who want to transition to a professional level.

The Canon 6D offers users a 20 megapixel full-frame sensor using the DIGIC 5 image processor ensuring top quality images. To get the most out of any camera, you should have a good knowledge of the fundamentals of photography. To learn the basics, sign up for The Fundamentals of Photography course today.

The Canon 6D Design

The Canon 6D measures in at 145x111x71.2mm with a total weight of 755g which is lighter than the 5D Mark III and the camera seems to fit in your hand a lot better, for those of us with smaller hands. It’s not the lightest camera out there but still light enough to ensure you keep the camera with you to capture those all important moments.

The 6D has magnesium alloy panels in the front and rear of the camera and it is also manufactured with a polycarbonate top which ensures that the camera is protected from dust and moisture and those unavoidable mishaps. These features are not as robust as the features of the 5D Mark III but nonetheless offer you sufficient protection from damage.

When you purchase the Canon 6D camera you receive the rechargeable battery, the battery charger, neck strap, eyecup, AF and USB cables as well as receiving a comprehensive printed user manual. The battery is the same type used by the other Canon cameras so you can use the battery with various cameras. The camera also comes with EOS digital solutions software and a CD that contains the software instruction manual to ensure you have the tools to create the photographs you have always dreamed of as well as being able to access the remote apps and other cool features of the Canon 6D.

The Canon 6D Controls

The Canon 6D offers controls that are logical and convenient to use. The on/off switch is located on the left shoulder of the camera along with the mode dial. The mode dial allows you to select the standard, manual or semi manual modes along with other program exposure options.

The modes offered include several automatic modes that offer a standard list of scene selections to allow beginner photographers to access automatic setups for all occasions. The scn option offers portrait, landscape, close-up, sports, night portrait, handheld night scene and backlight. The mode dial also allows you to store two custom shooting modes. Custom settings are stored under the C1 and C2 modes.

On the top right-hand shoulder of the camera you will find controls for the Autofocus (AF) options of the camera. You will also find a button to control the Drive mode selection. There is an ISO speed setting button next to the Drive mode selection. The metering mode selection button is next to that followed by the panel illumination button. The LCD info display provides you information on your camera exposure, focus and metering modes as well as battery life, GPS and Wi-Fi status. Once you get the hang of it, the settings are easy to see and manipulate if necessary.

The one million pixel, 3 inch screen at the back of the camera houses the menu and setup. The menu button to the left of the screen allows you to access the standard and high range features found on the Canon 6D. The menu is quite easy to access and fairly simple to set up. The playback control is next to the screen allowing you easy playback of videos and photographs you’ve taken The compare and rate buttons are also found next to the screen.

It has a single SD slot on the right side of the camera. The downside is that it only takes one SD card at a time, but then again SD cards are much cheaper than their compact flash card counterparts and of course SD cards don’t need a separate reader like flash cards. SD cards can be read on PC or Mac. So for weddings and longer shoots or landscape photography, remember to take a few SD card along with you. You can sign up for a comprehensive course on Landscape Photography here.

Image Quality

The Canon 6D allows you to capture 20 megapixels stills that are packed full of stunning detail. The color, depth of field and detail make for richer photographs and the intuitive menu and settings mean that photography beginners have the ability to capture stunning images without first having to complete an entire course in professional photography.

The 100% crop feature does not impact details and using the 100% crop feature allows you to create stunning close up photographs. This feature is particularly useful for image close-ups like those you want for tabletop photography. For a course in tabletop photography, to learn about the latest tips and professional tricks, sign up today for Tabletop Photography from udemy.

The continuous shooting mode allows you to shoot at a maximum of 4.5 frames per second, which is not exceptionally fast if you are shooting action sports. But for other less vigorous applications, it’s still good enough for your average motion shots and for capturing your amazing safari moments.

The silent shutter feature makes the camera far less intrusive at events like weddings and museums. If you would like some tips on wedding photography, then read Wedding Photography Tips: 6 Easy Ways to Take Better Wedding Photos.

Images are very clean and also stay clean even into the high ISO ranges with noise becoming an issue from about the ISO 12800 range for printing purposes.

Video Quality

The Canon 6D also offers top quality video options. The video under low light certainly seems to offer very acceptable quality videos. The onboard microphone does a fairly good job of capturing sound. The video quality would most likely make any amateur proud. It may be a little on the light side for professional film-makers.

The one downside to the Canon 6D is that it does not have an external jack for a headset to monitor audio levels so if you are looking at a camera for video purposes then the Canon 6D may not be the best camera for you.

The camera allows for an external microphone. If you want to ensure top quality audio for your videos, then you should probably consider investing in an external microphone for your camera.

The video captured by the Canon 6D, keeping the shutter speed low in video mode, allows you to capture video that has a cinematic and natural quality to it.

Video can be captured in full HD and the video can be saved in the standard MPEG format. The camera also allows you to take full control of the settings using the manual exposure option and the camera also allows you to take control of your audio using the audio level controls.

Options allow you to embed time codes in your videos. There are different options for compression using the I-frame which will result in bigger files that will allow for more precise editing or the IPB compression mode which results in smaller video file sizes. Video can be shot in 1920 x 1080 resolution, in 1280 x 720 or 640 x 480, allowing you the freedom to choose the size of the video depending on your intended use and application of the video. The 4GB capacity allows for continuous recording times of about 30 minutes.

Viewfinder and Display

The 3 inch high resolution viewfinder with one million pixel resolution is large, clear and bright. The quality and simplicity of the viewfinder makes finding your photography subjects a real pleasure. The downside to the viewfinder is that it only offers 97% coverage. This means that your images will contain slightly more than you see on the viewfinder. Once again for the amateur or beginner this 3% does not represent much of an issue but for professionals it may be significant. There is however one way to work around the 97%, you can switch to the live view mode to frame your subject and get a 100% view on live view.

The Canon 6D offers great features for portrait photography. If you are interested in using your new Canon 6D for portraits, sign up for a course in Portrait Photography with Simple Gear today.

Wifi and GPS

The built in Wifi option on the Canon 6D allows you to send photographs to your smartphone or laptop quickly and easily so it eliminates the need to carry around extra cables. You can also print your images to a Wifi printer near you. The Wifi also allows you to operate the Canon 6D remotely via the EOS utility on your PC or Mac. You can upload your images to Facebook or even view them on a suitably equipped television.

The Wifi options are accessed via the menu and setting up connection points between your camera and laptop or camera and smartphone and are fairly simple, ensuring you can easily access the Wifi functions. Some of the Wifi features do however require that you register and work through the Canon image gateway site.

One of the best features about remote connection is the fact that you can, using the remote EOS app, shoot images remotely and the app allows you to adjust settings on the camera such as the aperture, shutter speed and ISO settings so using your Smartphone to shoot your images opens up a world of possibilities.

The Canon 6D also has built in GPS functions that, according to most sources, function well even outside major cities.

The antennas for the Wi-Fi and GPS capabilities are safely housed within the polycarbonate case so they are protected within the body of the camera and safe from the environment.


The Canon 6D autofocus system is really simple to use. It offers an 11 point autofocus system with the center point being the only cross-type point. It is sensitive to horizontal and vertical lines. The Canon 6D may lose some detail using autofocus for tracking fast action photographs, but in lower light levels the Canon 6D autofocus system really comes into its own.

The Canon 6D offers three different autofocus modes. There is an AF mode for still photography. There are also settings for moving subjects and tracking action. The great thing for beginners is that the Canon 6D automatically changes from the still shot mode to the action mode if the camera senses that the subject of the photograph is starting to move. This could be a really handy feature for amateurs interested in fashion photography. There are some great Fashion Photography Tips on the udemy blog for those who are interested.

The Canon 6D also allows you to easily cycle through the AF points using the command dial button or control pad and as you cycle through the AF points, the current AF point is illuminated on the viewfinder so it’s really simple to see which AF point you are using. If you are a novice then here are 10 Digital Photography Tips for the Absolute Beginners,

The Canon 6D also allows some customization to the autofocus feature. Although the options are not as broad as the options offered  by the Mark III, the options are available for the more experienced photographer.

In Live view, the Canon 6D also offers a choice between three different autofocus modes. The default option in Live view uses a contrast based system that ensures crisp detail. The second option also uses the contrast based system for focusing but incorporates settings for face detection and finally the third option allows you to switch back to the 11 point auto focusing system.

Switching between modes is simple and a half press on the shutter release button will enable you to switch between the various modes.

Canon 6D Conclusions

Although some of the disadvantages of the Canon 6D have been mentioned above, you can’t argue with the fact that the Canon 6D is the cheapest full frame DSLR on the market and this puts it within reach of the aspiring photographer. It offers most of the bells and whistles of the more expensive cameras and if you are interested in going from amateur to professional, then the Canon 6D may offer the entry level camera you could really use. For a course to help you make the transition from amateur to professional, sign up for the Total Training in Commercial Photography course from Udemy today.