My personal impressions on Canon’s 6D Mark II

I have had the opportunity to work on a very intense 48h with the Canon 6D Mark II camera. I thought sharing my experience with all of you in this post on my blog, might be interesting

Just a few days ago, I had the pleasure of participating in the # Canon48 challenge. It was a question of taking some very particular photos, with very little time to plan them: a self-portrait shot remotely from Canon’s application for smartphone called Camera Connect, a time-lapse and a wide-angle shot in a dim light. All this was done within 48 hours, starting on Wednesday at 9am. The essential requirement was using the gear arranged for the occasion: the body of the 6D Mark II and two lenses, 16-35 f4 L and 24-105 f4II L.

The initial impressions when unboxing the camera were already positive: the whether proof body and its ergonomics are in the line with which Canon accustoms to equip its top class equipment, although in this case, this model is an entry level full-frame, rather aimed at advanced amateurs and enthusiasts. Perhaps because of that, the body is something more compact and therefore both lighter and more comfortable to carry in an already backpack full of heavy photographic stuff.

I did not take long to see a big difference with previous models which I have previously worked with: this camera incorporates a fully articulating touchscreen. As I could check later, it can be really useful to work at odd angles. As far as the lenses are concerned, there was not much a surprise since they both are L series. Moreover, they have built-in image stabilization as well as being both robust and finely built.

Once the first contact was made, it was time to try the camera conveniently.

The first test consisted of taking a self-portrait. To be honestly, I first thought it was going to be a torment, but it actually turned out to be relatively simple. The EOS 6D Mark II is fully controllable from any mobile phone through the Camera Connect app. This fact makes possible to control any parameter in remote, while viewing the entire frame on the smartphone screen. In this case, having a complete view of the frame in the palm of my hand, I did not have to take a stab in the dark repeatedly to see if the «character» included was at the exact point where I wanted him to be. The most important thing for me of this function is that there is no need to do dozens of tests until you finally get the desired photo. It definitely comes right away.

The result was the following:

©David Rocaberti - All Rights Reserved
EOS 6D Mark II + Canon 16-35 f4 Camera Connect App 35 mm f5,6 0,8s ISO 250

In the second part of the # Canon48 challenge, I had to delve into the camera menus in order to take a time-lapse. The camera takes care of everything but choosing the location. From its native menu, each and every one of the parameters (just adjusting an easy-to-use intervalometer) is selected. Once the hundreds of images have been registered, they can be set up (if desired with background music) in a single video file, without any need of using any additional software. On this occasion I was able to reliably verify the importance of having a fully articulating touchscreen. It certainly allowed me to find a totally stable point on whichI could leave the camera during the whole process, which was at an otherwise inaccessible point of a footbridge that trembles at every step of the dozens of pedestrians who constantly pass by. The definition of the resulting video image reaches an impressive 4K, with remarkable levels of sharpness.

I think the following image, taken during the process, clearly speaks of the level of detail offered by the used gear:

©David Rocaberti - All Rights Reserved
EOS 6D Mark II + 24-105 f4 II L 50 mm f22 10s ISO 50

For the last part of the challenge, in my opinion the most interesting one, the assignment was taking a photo using the wide angle lens in low light conditions.

I have always been fascinated by the ability of photography to capture moments that the naked eye can not even visualize; in fact, in recent years I have been specialized in night shots, a very demanding type of photography as far as gear. Under this prism, the camera must be a full frame as they render excellent results at high sensitivities. The 6D Mark II complies with all requirements; in fact, I have to acknowledge that it is the best camera I have used for such shots. Despite the fact that I turned off the built-in camera noise reduction (it’s just my personal choice), the resulting images are very good, even when taking jpgs. In this case, I ended up taking an image that I had not planned in advance: I set a person facing the camera in frame, who would both give scale and add a little mystery to the image. This possibility was given because the exposure times were noticeably shortened since I was able to use very high sensitivities.

The following image is shown as follows:

©David Rocaberti - All Rights Reserved
EOS 6D Mark II + 16-35 f4 II L 16 mm f4  4s ISO 6400

I’d like to point out some other aspects that have been very useful to me during the 48h of the #Canon48 challenge:

  • The dual pixel autofocus, which is as far as I know the same as its big brother, the EOS 5D Mark IV. I can only say that it is breathtakingly fast, even in low light conditions. In my opinion, this is the main feature of the 6D Mark II
  • The capacitive touchscreen, which makes navigating menus much easier, allows you to make color adjustments in live view mode and therefore do away with correction filters. Also, based on the above point, you can use the screen to focus on the desired place of our frame merely tapping with one finger
  • The fact of having become a peripheral of the mobile phone. You can send images by FTP or publish them on social networks in a matter of seconds, without having to go through our computer
  • Range of native sensitivities from 100 to 40,000 ISO (forced values: 50-102,400). I must say I took very decent images at 12,500 ISO in 2 seconds exposures. No further comments 🙂
  • In-built GPS, which is very useful to remember exactly where a certain photo was taken
  • Digital stabilization in video mode

Let me conclude by saying on the one hand that I find the 6D Mark II as a very interesting camera for  demanding users, who want to have quality gear without breaking the piggy bank. On the other hand I also do not see negligible the idea that this camera can be aimed to be a back up body for some fellow professionals.

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