Canon EOS 6D & EF 24-70mm f/2.8 Mark II: Hands on review

I have recently had the pleasure of handling a pre-production version of the new Canon EOS 6D & Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 Mark II. As both items were pre-production and the camera was running an incomplete firmware version, I was unable to submit any images and thus an unable to make a true evaluation.

That aside having first picked the camera up it felt very much smaller than the 5D MK III, never the less it felt reassuringly substantial and well put together with a comfortable rubberized hand grip.

Sitting comfortably in the hand, all the rear buttons (Q, playback, image magnification, live view, focus / metering options as well as the manual exposure wheel) fall within easy reach of the users thumb.

The camera layout in terms of button placement feels like the perfect amalgamation of both the 600D and 5D MK III and it is reassuring to see the inclusion of the same chunky exposure dial design along with a lock release button that was first included on the 600D.

Another welcome inclusion is the lock switch which controls the operation of the aperture wheel.  As simple as this sounds, the purpose of this lock is to prevent the accident use of exposure compensation, a problem that easily be incredibly easy to induce with earlier cameras such as the original 5D and 5D Mark II as well as earlier crop sensor models.

The only reservation in terms of handling was the missing the quick jog dial which when navigating menus has to be done using the wheel which feels a little unusual.

The 6D as mentioned, is based upon the feature set of the Canon 600D, but being their entry level affordable full frame Digital SLR they have included features found on the more expensive 5D Mk III such as DIGIC 5 processing, 63 zone metering, custom settings, HDR facility and the full HD video recording  capabilities and associated controls.

In addition for the first time Canon have included both GPS and Wi-Fi capabilities built in to the camera body as opposed to a costly add on accessory. The GPS facility and Wi-Fi features are easy to setup and use it will be interesting to see if the use of these features have an impact on battery performance.

The menu comprises of 15 individual tabs, the icons of which seemed a little smaller than found on previous models, this could however be a consequence of the camera running an unfinished firmware.

Canon have also chosen to upgrade the Peripheral Illumination correction facility and have now included chromatic aberration to the automatic lens correction. Another welcome is the provision of the My Menu facility although I would have hoped that due to the increased number of menu entries they could have increased the number of settings to be memorized from six to perhaps ten or more.

In normal operation the camera seemed considerably quiet, using the silent shooting facility even quieter and coupled with 11 point focusing system and the new 24-70mm f/2.8 Mark II focus was very responsive.

In conclusion, the EOS 6D is a welcome entry in the full frame market with a price and importantly specification which will not only shake up the competition but set the standard for future models, as such I look forward to put the camera through its paces once launched.

At Park Cameras, we are also offering an incredible deal whereby, if you pre-order the EOS 6D with us, you can win your money back! Full details, including terms and conditions can be found on our promotions page, along with a number of other money saving offers that are available this Autumn / Winter.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 Mark II

I found this new lens extremely solid in terms of construction and quiet in operation.

Canon have now included  the provision of a zoom lock that can be engaged at the wide angle 24mm end, this welcome feature has no doubt been included to overcome barrel droop problems of the previous version.

Altogether this welcome upgrade will be the obvious standard lens packaged with the 6D.

Anthony Sinfield
Training Manager