Canon 6D vs Canon 5D Mark III Which One to Buy

Two full frame cameras from Canon that are somewhat in reach to buy.

Testimonial-david-d

In this review I will be looking at Canon’s affordable full frame camera that is geared towards someone wanting to upgrade from perhaps the EOS Rebel line or perhaps their very first camera.

This review is not directly following it’s release, in fact it has been out now for about 6 months and has already dropped in price a few hundred dollars already.

In this review I will be comparing it to the Canon 5D Mark III which is also a full frame camera to see how it stacks up to it’s big brother.

One of the things I disliked when I first started with the T2i was everyone talking about lens sizes, but then saying, “Oh if you have a crop factor it really isn’t 24mm you will have to do some math in your head to figure what it is”, like you are part of some cool kids club.

On one hand this camera wants to play with the big boys without having a tilt out screen for increased weather protection, but on the other hand we have a flash hot shoe which then doesn’t help for weather protection. As I run through all the similar and differences to the 5D3 it is sometimes puzzling what Canon had it mind.

I tested the 6D with the kit lens the Canon 24-105mm wherever I could I only used that lens for both cameras.

6D Video Training

I have finished my 4 hour training course on the Canon 6D and is now available for purchase for immediate download or streaming. I’m am really proud of this course, it took a long time to make and I feel it will really help anyone wanting to shoot video with the Canon 6D.

This is a beginner level course.

Noise

  • Since I know you guys love the noise tests I will start with that. But to be honest I think we have reached a level that these cameras can pretty much see in the dark and it is not as important as it once was. Where I think Canon needs work is in the dynamic range.
  • In my latest course I came across some thing interesting when looking at noise with the Canon cameras. I found that most of the noise lives between 20-30 IRE.
  • Looks like the 5D Mark III is the winner here, and wow High ISO Noise Reduction works great, why would you ever turn it off.
  • Since I know you might not looking at more real world examples here is a piano recital first at 1600 ISO, then at 6400 focus on the girl in the back.

Dynamic Range or Latitude

  • With stills in RAW mode I am not seeing any difference at all between the two, for dynamic range.
  • I’m not sure why one very popular lab says the 6D has a slightly better dynamic range than the 5D3, because I am not seeing it at all in my real world tests.
  • Also to check the dynamic range I ran through all the picture styles and they all seem to behave exactly as the 5D Mark III does.

Canon 6D review

Sharpness – The 6D Should be Sharper

  • I was having a hard time seeing any sharpness difference between the two with the RAW still images, but when I shot an HDR image with both and processed them actually the same, the 6D seemed slightly sharper, perhaps because of the lack of the anti aliasing filter.
  • Seeing no difference in sharpness for video as well.

6D Training Course on Sale

Canon 6D with 24-70mm Lens

Moire and Aliasing

  • In the beginning moire didn’t bother me that much, then I started to really noticing it after about a year, and now it bothers me so much that it detracts from the story telling and it ruins shots for me.
  • I think if you are trying to step up your level of work you will not want moire in your shots. You can do this by putting in a filter or get the 5D3, or if you are really good you will learn how to not shoot in situations that will cause this, not as easy as you think, this will slow you down if you are a run and gun shooter like me because you will need a very large monitor to check if you are getting moire.
  • You can buy a anti aliasing filter for the 6D for about $350

Auto Focus

Differences

  • Different full frame sensors 22.1 MP vs 20.9 MP.
  • 6D Magnesium alloy, polycarbonate top plate, 5D3 Magnesium alloy
  • As of May, uncompressed HDMI output for 5D3 but not the 6D
  • 6D 770g (1.7 lb) vs 5D3 950g (2.1 lb)
  • 6 FPS (fast) and 4.5 FPS (slow).
  • Only one SD card slot for 6D
  • Only C1 and C2 memories for 6D, no C3 for 5D3
  • No way to reset file number prefix on 6D, files start with IMG
  • Play and zoom buttons are now in a good spot
  • 97% coverage for the 6D versus 100%
  • 6D lacks a headphone out to monitor the microphone input
  • GPS and WiFi for 6D
  • HDR is a JPEG-only mode on the 6D, 5D has RAW

Canon 24-70mm Lens

Similarities

  • No built-in flash.
  • Selectable all I-frame (bigger files for more precise editing) or I-P-B (smaller files) compression.
  • Electronic level
  • Both have time code

GPS and Wifi New Features

  • GPS works for videos! But you can’t view the location in Lightroom but you can in MediaInfo.
  • It is really accurate and you can use it as well to set the time in your camera too.
  • GPS could run down your camera if left on, since it’s always updating at the intervals you set (default: 15 seconds). My test show 5% battery drain overnight if left on. The GPS radio stays on when the camera is switched off, so it needn’t spend ages recalculating its position when you want to take a photo.
  • View and email images directly from your iphone, and control the 6D remotely.
  • Wifi app is nice but no video remote? Loses connection, gopro app is
    better keeps connection.  Can’t send raw. Wifi turns off after camera
    turns off. About 2 meg pixels via email. You can see the video thumbnail but
    that’s it. You can focus nice. Bird photographers love this. Distance
    is great. No need for a remote timer!

MISC

  • The audio preamp noise on the 6D seems to be a little better

Which One is for you?

  • If you do a lot of video I think the clear choice is the 5D Mark III because of the the headphone output, the slightly better high ISO performance, and little to no aliasing or moire.
  • Wedding photographer, might be the perfect camera for you, except not having two card slots to shoot to, but it has a nice quiet shutter.
  • Sports? Not having a fast FPS maybe not but having a nice center focus might be good if that is your style.