Canon 6D officially announced – a more compact and affordable 5D Mark III

Canon 6D full frame DSLR

The full frame Canon 6D has just been formally unveiled as Photokina opens for the press. A competitor to the Nikon D600 (also to be unveiled today) this is a near identical camera to the 5D Mark III in many respects especially video it seems. But like the 60D compared to the 7D, it is cheaper and smaller.

It features a new 20MP sensor but a similar (if not identical) DIGIC 5+ processor of the 5D Mark III.

It has built in WiFi and GPS unlike the bigger brother. The only real compromises seem to be in the AF system, lack of 100% viewfinder, lack of headphone jack, slightly slower burst rate for stills and lack of left side button panel.

Here thanks to DPReview are the specs in full:

  • 20.2MP full frame CMOS sensor
  • DIGIC 5+ image processor
  • ISO 100-25600 standard, 50-102800 expanded
  • 4.5 fps continuous shooting
  • ‘Silent’ shutter mode
  • 1080/24/25/30p ALL-I video recording, stereo sound via external mic, no headphone jack
  • Single SD card slot
  • 11 point AF system, center point cross-type and sensitive to -3 EV
  • 63 zone iFCL metering system
  • 97% viewfinder coverage; interchangeable screens (including Eg-D grid and Eg-S fine-focus)
  • 1040k dot 3:2 3″ ClearView LCD (fixed)
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS
  • Single-axis electronic level

The WiFi function allows direct upload to Facebook or Twitter from the camera, or direct to a tablet.

Price is TBA. The camera won’t be in the shops for 2 months but should hit the shelves in time for Christmas.

Build quality wise, the camera features a poly-carbonate top plate but is otherwise magnesium alloy like the 5D Mark III.

I’m expecting the video mode to be very similar to the 5D Mark III. As usual in the specs, gritty details are limited about what it does but I can see it has the ALL-I codec which is a good sign. The 650D lacked this and didn’t fix moire or aliasing. If either are present in the 6D it would of course not be worth the saving over the 5D Mark III if video is what you will be using it for.

It will be interesting to see how the lower megapixel count affects low light performance – I’d say the difference of 2MP will make any improvement extremely minimal, and the pixel design will have a larger affect. It could be that it isn’t as good as the 5D Mark III in this respect. Again I will seek some answers at the show tomorrow!

Full press release at DPReview here.