Coincidence ? No, certainly not. A few days only after Nikon unveiled the almost-affordable compact Full Frame DSLR D600, Canon unleash today the EOS 6D, more or less answering the same need for a lower priced FF DSLR, yet bringing Wi-Fi and GPS as top features.
If the Nikon D800 has a little brother with the D600, now the Canon EOS 5D Mark III has its own little brother with the compact Full Frame DSLR EOS 6D unveiled today as the Photokina 2012 kicks off. The new camera body is rather compact for a Full Frame DSLR with a form factor and a weight similar to the EOS 60D, says Canon, an APS-C DSLR. But the EOS 6D provides a full-frame sensor in a weather sealed casing, which could quickly establish itself as the best travel companion for many photographers thanks to a duo of rare features on a SLR : a GPS sensor and Wi-Fi connectivity .
The Canon EOS 6D is equipped with a 24x36mm Full Frame sensor of 20.2 megapixels of resolution, a CMOS, that can evolve from ISO 100 to 25,600 (expandable to ISO 50 and ISO 102,400) designed to offer the best low-light image quality possible. I’ll sure check how good it is compared to the 23MP EOS 5D Mark III sensor because from what I saw, the Nikon D600 20MP sensor is not as good as the 36MP one of the D800, but you’ll have all info and downloadable photos in my Nikon D600 review. Obviously, low light sensibility has been at the center of the design of this SLR. Thus, the 11-point autofocus is very sensitive also in low light with a detection threshold of only -3EV thaks to the only cross type sensorin the center of the frame. Note that Nikon also claims a similar level of sensitivity on the autofocus of the D600. The EOS 6D exposure metering is left to the care of the iFCL 63-area system, which was inaugurated by the EOS 7D.
This is the latest processor, the DIGIC 5 +, which drives the EOS 6D and makes possible some advanced modes that need a huge computing power such as HDR, or multiexposure which assemble up to 9 frames in one single image. The Canon 6D burst frame rate reaches 4.5 fps. and the shutter has a quiet mode.
With embedded Wi-Fi, the Canon EOS 6D can share photos taken just seconds after, with any Wi-Fu device, a computer, a tablet, a smartphone or directly to Facebook or YouTube for videos when connected to a Wi-Fi network. It can also be wirelessly connected a Wi-Fi TV which supports the DLNA standard to view photos and videos on a large screen. With a smartphone connected to the 6D, you can remotely control the camera with a dedicated iApp for iOS and Android devices like what you can do on the Sony NEX-5R with the Smart Remote app for instance.
It always cost a bit of battery life, butI really appreciate the convenience of a built-in GPS sensor on a camera. It automatically tags you images metadas with location so that you can later browse through your photo library on a map with Lightroom, Aperture, iPhoto, locate them on Google Earth, etc.. Canon Map Utility, a software included with the EOS 6D, will create a journal of your travel itinerary via the log function of the EOS 6D GPS.
Canon EOS 6D : a Weather-sealed light SLR
It measures 144.5 x 110.5 x 71.2 mm and weighs 770g, the EOS 6D DSLR is definitely a compact SLR (the Nikon D100 is around 100 gr.s heavier). However, the Canon 6D is weather-sealed, resistant to dust and water spills. Its frame is partially made of magnesium alloy parts. Canon told me they wish it would have been fully made of this robust alloy but they could not because of the Wi-Fi and GPS sensors. Its 3 “/ 1.04 million dots LCD is not swiveling as it is on the EOS 60D. For a better handgrip and to double the battery life, the EOS 6D can receive the optional BG-E13 that can be used with two LP-E6 batteries and even be powered with AA batteries.
Canon EOS 6D price and availability
Canon obviously expected Nikon to unveil the D600’s price to work on their marketing position. They have plenty of time to do so as the D600 should be available in December 2012. The D600 will be delivered this week by Nikon. Canon will sell the EOS 6D the exact same price as Nikon is launching the D600 : €2099. The EOS 6D will also be available bundled with the canon EF-24-105mm F4L IS USM lens for €2,899. The fight is on !
But, I can already say that the Canon EOS 6D will sell like crazy. It will certainly hit the market at a price of $2000-2400 and with the GPS and Wi-Fi as bonus features, this compact FF DSLR seems well engineered. I bet that many EOS 60D users will be willing to upgrade to the EOS 6D just like many D90, 300, D7000 equipped photographers have already ordered their D600 the day it was announced.