When Canon announced the EOS R6, it appeared to have a camera that lived up to the promise of its RF-mount system and could compete with the competition. A 20.1-megapixel sensor, in-body stabilization, Dual Pixel autofocus, and 10-bit 4K 60 fps video capture are all included in this $2,500 camera, making it an excellent value for the money.
At first, it appeared that Canon had done everything correctly, but then the truth set in. While the small body is easy to maneuver, it has a poor heat dissipation system, making it unsuitable for extended shooting sessions. Adding insult to injury, the Dynamic Range of the video is lower than the Dynamic Range of rival Sony and Panasonic models that are less expensive.
Canon’s R6 and R5 mirrorless cameras, both of which are capable of shooting 8K video, were released at the same time. While the R5 is a pricey, specialized camera, the R6 is a mainstream model with plenty of competition. However, the R6 has a few tricks up its sleeve, so let’s see how it stacks up.
So, let’s start with the camera’s most divisive feature: video. Aside from a few minor flaws, Canon appears to have hit the mark here. With only a small, seven percent crop, it captures crystal-clear 5.1K video at 4K 60p. The Canon log and HDR modes, which both work in 10-bit and provide the most dynamic range and editing flexibility possible, are also included.
In comparison to the EOS R, which disappointed video enthusiasts with its limited 4K recording options that only go up to 30 fps with 10-bit color and has an awful 1.8 times crop, which turns a 50mm lens into a 90mm lens, this is a huge improvement. On the other hand, the R6’s video capabilities should place it on par with or even ahead of similarly priced Nikon, Sony, and Panasonic models when it comes to top picks.
However, overheating is a major drawback. At room temperature, you can shoot in 4K at up to 30 fps for 40 minutes before the camera shuts down, or in 4K 60p for 30 minutes before the camera shuts down. With a time-based recording limit of 30 minutes, that’s not too bad for everyday shooting.
The problem, however, is that you have to wait a long time before you can shoot again—often ten minutes or more. Even after that, it may shut down again after a few more minutes of recording. Even though some mirrorless cameras can overheat, it’s rare for it to reach this extreme. To top it all off, taking a lot of photos can reduce the amount of time you have available to shoot video. As a result, shooting events, interviews, or other scenarios requiring multiple takes is out of the question.
Shooting to an external recorder like the Blackmagic 12G Video Assist or the Atomos Ninja V can help you avoid many of the problems associated with video overheating. According to YouTuber Gerald Undone, these cameras will allow you to shoot unlimited 4K 24p video or less than an hour of 4K at 60 fps. Because of this, you shouldn’t have to buy additional equipment to get the same features as other cameras.
In spite of the R6’s overheating, it’s a great camera for video. It’s perfect for vlogging or shooting on-the-fly with its fold-out screen and compact size. Canon’s Dual Pixel autofocus system performed admirably in my video productions, locking on to my subjects with minimal focus hunting. Before Sony’s A7S III, this system had been the best in the industry for years.
In addition, the combination of in-body stabilization and a stabilized lens made handheld shooting a breeze. Even though I couldn’t use it in place of a proper gimbal, I was pleased with the results.
The downsampled 4K video is extremely sharp in terms of image quality. In C-Log mode, the skin tones and colors are accurate, and this is especially true. This camera’s dynamic range isn’t nearly as good as Panasonic’s S5 or Sony’s A7 III. In spite of this, the R6’s C-Log and 10-bit recording options allow for a wide range of color grading options and HDR video support to enhance post-production footage.
The overheating is only one of several minor flaws. With an adaptor and Canon’s APS-C EF-S lenses, you can shoot 1.6 times cropped 4K video. As a result, the video is slightly softer than the full-frame video because the 20.1-megapixel sensor does not support the full 4K resolution. The A7R III and S5 both provide full-resolution cropped 4K video in the event you need to zoom in on your subject without changing lenses.
There are no aperture or shutter priority options in the EOS R6’s manual or automatic video modes. When I’m shooting in shutter priority mode, the EOS R6 would be perfect for me. This is because the new aperture settings allow it to change the iris smoothly when the light changes to 1/8th of an f-stop. Canon has squandered a golden opportunity here, in my opinion.
Body and handling
With the full-frame mirrorless RF mount system used in the R6 having been available for about two years, it’s a good time to assess the program. Each of the EOS R’s four lenses, with the exception of one, cost upwards of $1,000. As a result, the company has introduced 15 lenses that range in price between $400 and $3,000, including notable models such as the $1,100 RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM (used to capture images and video in this story), the $500 RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM, the $500 RF 35mm f/1.8 IS Macro STM, and the $2,300 RF 50mm f/1.2 lens (baby pictures shot with this lens). The Canon lens line-up is impressive considering it’s only been around for two years.
In terms of weight, the R6 is only 20 grams heavier than the EOS R when equipped with a battery and memory card. With the addition of in-body stabilization and an additional card slot, it’s a remarkable achievement. Even though all those things were packed into a similar-sized body, it’s likely that this problem stemmed from that.
As a result, I was able to carry and shoot it with confidence. Finally, the EOS R’s gimmicky touch bar has been replaced with a more conventional joystick. With this kit, you’ll have everything you need for total manual control, including the ability to remap any of the buttons if you don’t like the default settings.
The R6 has a simple mode dial in place of the R5’s top display. My personal preference is to use a setup like that, which allows me to easily switch between the various shooting and video modes. Overall, the R6 is a pleasure to drive.
However, if you explore the menus, you’ll find that things aren’t quite as pleasant. Compared to Sony, Canon hasn’t updated its menus in a decade, and the A7S III is a notable improvement. Tabbed menus on the Sony A7S III and Panasonic S5 let you quickly navigate and see where you are, but Canon’s system makes you go through each page before you can get to a specific setting you’re looking for. Rather than putting up with it, simply set the camera to ignore it.
A rotating touchscreen, like the one on the EOS R, lets you use the camera from any angle, including one that’s directly in front of your own face. With the exception of the A7S III, no other Sony camera displays support touch for all functions, including autofocus tracking and quick menus and the main camera menu menu.
If you’d rather use an electronic viewfinder, the R6’s OLED EVF has more dots (3.69 million versus 2.36 million) than the Panasonic S5’s. Compared to the S5, that’s a much brighter and clearer setting for a camera in this price range, in my opinion.
The dual high-speed SD memory card slots are sufficient for this camera’s storage requirements. CFExpress cards don’t have the insane speeds, but you won’t have to pay the insane prices.
Even though it has a larger capacity than its predecessor, Canon’s new battery for the R6 can be used in conjunction with the older EOS R and many Canon DSLRs. With the new camera, I can continue to use all of my old Canon batteries and chargers, so that’s a huge plus in my book.
In addition, you get a USB-C port for file transfers, charging the battery, and extending the shooting time, as well as a microphone and headphone jack. Inconveniently, it has a micro HDMI port instead of a full-sized HDMI port, so you’ll need to take extra care when using an external recorder.
The R6 is an excellent choice if photography is your primary focus and videography is a side gig. With the mechanical shutter, it can shoot at an impressive 12 frames per second, while in silent electronic mode, it can shoot at 20 frames per second with continuous autofocus enabled. Faster and more reliable than ever before, Canon’s Dual Pixel hybrid phase-detect autofocus system is a game changer for photographers. As a result, it can be used for everything from sports, portraits, and street photography to everything from sports, portraits, and even street photography.
Faster and less sluggish than any other Canon camera I’ve tried, the AI-powered body, eye and face tracking is now nearly as good at focusing on a subject as Sony’s autofocus. In general, it has a better ability to keep up with subjects and is less likely to be fooled if they move out of frame or turn around than previous Canon cameras. It’s now possible to use it with animal-eye AF, and it works quite well. Autofocus for photography is currently a close race between Canon and Sony, with the latter coming out on top.
The in-body stabilization system on the EOS R6 is also very good at taking pictures. With a stabilized lens, I was able to get sharp images down to an eighth of a second, despite Canon’s claim of up to 8 stops of shake reduction. That alone will improve your low-light photography.
Additionally, the camera’s 20.1-megapixel sensor helps. Yes, compared to the Panasonic S5 and Sony A7 III, it has a lower resolution. I was able to get usable images up to the normal 25,600 ISO range in RAW mode, with noise becoming excessive in the expanded settings above that, but the larger pixels can also take in more light.
Compared to the A7 III or S5, JPEGs have slightly better levels of detail but require slightly less sharpening. Its color accuracy is also excellent, and the skin tones are more appealing than those of other full-frame cameras I’ve tried recently.” It’s easier to edit RAW images if you overexpose them, because RAW images retain more detail in shadows. That’s a huge improvement over the EOS R.
Despite the overheating issue, I don’t believe it will be a deal-breaker for many hybrid shooters who want to capture both stills and video with the EOS R6. However, if you’re looking for a full-frame mirrorless camera that costs less than the R6’s $2,500 price tag, there are plenty of options from Nikon, Sony, and Panasonic.
The Panasonic S5 is a close second if you intend to use it for classic video production, which involves shooting continuously for no longer than ten minutes at a time. If you’re a photographer, you’ll love this camera’s autofocus, which is better than that of Nikon’s Z6 and Sony’s A7 III.
However, if you plan to use the R6 for event coverage or in-depth interviews, you’re better off picking up another camera. Without proper cooling, overheating can be a serious hindrance to shooting. What a shame, as this camera was almost perfect before this flaw appeared.