- Outstanding ergonomics, with a very comfortable grip and easy to access controls
- The addition of a focus joystick and an additional control wheel are very welcome
- Outstanding touch interface and menu organization
- Bright, clear and large electronic viewfinder
- Fully articulated rear touch screen looks excellent
- Outstanding autofocus, with great speed and accuracy – among the best in the camera industry
- Eye-detection autofocus works extremely well with both humans and animals
- Extremely fast burst rate of 20fps electronic and 12fps mechanical
- Exceptionally deep buffer
- Fast and responsive in everyday tasks
- Truly outstanding In-Body Image Stabilization
- Excellent wireless connectivity features, including seamless connection, transfer of both full size JPEGs and RAW files to mobile devices, and full-featured remote shooting
- An excellent array of shooting modes make life easier in the field
- Good battery life
- Very good dynamic range – a big improvement on previous Canon bodies
- Excellent color we’ve come to expect from Canon
- Good detail for the megapixel count
- Excellent noise control at high ISO
- Full featured and high quality 4K video
- Dual card slots
- Limits customization of buttons and menus unnecessarily
- EVF can lag a little in low light situations
- Some third-party lenses will require firmware updates to work properly with IBIS
- Some items, like Autoexposure Bracketing, have settings spread across multiple pages of the menu
- Can’t save settings to an SD card to transfer or backup
- Can’t move the magnification area for manual focus lenses until you enter magnification.
- Framerate drops at lower battery levels and with older lenses.
- Priced higher than the competition (though perhaps worth it)
The EOS R6 has been a bit overlooked with all the hype for the R5, but I think that the R6 strikes a wonderful balance between cost, features and image quality to make it worth its $2,499 price point. While the 20 megapixel resolution is a little less than less expensive rivals like the Sony A7 III and Nikon Z6, the EOS R6’s sensor is quite excellent, showing very good dynamic range, excellent detail and low noise, while featuring that excellent Canon color.
Most importantly, Canon didn’t skimp on the feature set for the R6 in comparison with its flagship RF mount body, the R5. The R6 has the same outstanding autofocus system, the same outstanding IBIS system, excellent controls, outstanding ergonomics, and is chock full of shooting features.
Overall, the R6 is an excellent camera. The original EOS R left me feeling a bit let down. It was a good camera, but I didn’t feel it offered anything over the competition while costing a fair bit more. The R6 has a similar price premium over the competition, but it does justify that cost, with an autofocus system that is second only to the A9 among mirrorless cameras, in my opinion. The refined subject tracking, outstanding face and eye detection on both people and animals, and the fast action burst rates and deep buffer make the R6 not just a camera that can do action occasionally, but one that can excel at capturing it.
Add in the game-changing IBIS, which I found to be 2 to 3 stops better than the IBIS in my Sony A7R IV, outstanding performance and responsiveness and what we get is a camera that I can truly trust to get the shot in any condition. It’s an eminently enjoyable camera to use. Don’t overlook the R6. It’s an absolute winner.
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13 thoughts on “Review: Canon EOS R6”
Another outstanding review…very thorough for the photography-centric things that I’m more interested in than video capabilities. I’ve also been struggling with the “just 20 megapixel” sensor level of detail. So your photos that show just how much fine detail can be captured help with that. Had a Canon 6D for a long time, (in addition to a variety of their APSC cameras) and have a full quiver of Canon L glass already accumulated, so like many, it’d be a lot simpler and cheaper to ‘stay in the Canon family.” I want to give this mirrorless thing a try so bought the RP, but after trial, found the dynamic range so limited i returned the camera while i still could. Am trying to get the nerve up to lay down the $2,500 for this R6. Your review helps. Thanks. Craig
Glad I could help!
Will the rf lens like 50mm 1.2 capabilities can only be explored on the r5 being a high resolution camera ? Or r6 is just as good ?
I mean, top quality glass is going to be top quality glass regardless of the body it’s used on. You will obviously get more detail out of a lens like that on the R5, but you will get phenomenal quality on the R6 too.
Jordan, A quick question if i may – I see you used the Tamron 17-35 f2.8-f4.0 with this Canon R6. Did you adapt it with the Canon EF-RF lens adapter? And did you see any issues with using that (or any other third part EF mount lenses)? A FF wide prime or zoom is the one type of lens I still need to acquire. I’d love for Canon to make a 20mm f1.8 or f2.0 to be able to use for astrophotography. Any suggestions you can offer on what i might want to consider? Thanks, Craig
Yes, it’s adapted with the EF/RF adapter. The lens works beautifully, but as I mentioned in my review, this particular lens doesn’t work with the IBIS system at the moment. Tamron has released a statement saying they will have a firmware update for the lens soon to enable IBIS on the R5/R6. AF works just like native, and optically it’s an excellent lens, especially for the price. I like the Tamron a lot because it’s compact and light weight (even with the adapter, it’s smaller and lighter than the RF 15-35), and it’s faster than the typical f/4 wide zoom, staying at f/2.8 until 20mm, and f/3.2 until 24mm, and f/3.5 until about 30mm. Sharp to the corners at the wider focal lengths from wide apertures, and the long end is also sharp, but not quite as good as the wide end (my RF 24-105L is better from 24-35mm). Make sure if you look to get one you get the newer OSD version, which is much improved over the earlier 17-35/2.8-4.
I also have a Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 (manual focus) adapted, which I got on the cheap used. If you find a good copy of that lens, it’s a steal for what used prices go for, and it’s also quite good.
I’m hoping the rumored RF 14-35mm f/4 is a reality and is good optically and somewhat reasonably priced.
Jordan, Ok thanks for all the additional info on the Tamron lens. I’ll go back and re-read your review of that. I too value lenses that are a bit more compact and lighter weight. Being able to have that f2.8 for the widest range will help make it workable for night sky shots. I just bought a used (but supposedly still excellent condition) RF 24-105 f/4 from KEH, so will have that for the range that overlaps, per your advice. I like that 24-105 lens’ longish zoom range yet still decent quality. Means i’ll more often take just that one lens with a medium tripod and a couple filters when hiking. Best regards, Craig
I haven’t reviewed the 17-35 yet (but plan on it)…I was referring to my mention in the R6 review about IBIS compatibility.
Great review as always Jordan. Lovely to see how your family is growing and how your photographic journey keeps going from strength to strength. Although I’ve been happily shooting Fuji for the past 4 years the release of the R5 and R6 have given me a hankering to return to Canon. To help me with those deliberations it would be helpful to know, will you be reviewing the RF lenses in future months. Thank you for the great content and warm regards from Cambridge, England.
Thanks for the kind words. Yes, I plan on reviewing quite a lot of RF gear in the coming months. I’ll have reviews of the 24-105L, 35/1.8, 85/2 and 15-35/2.8, and I’m sure eventually many more.
Just by chance I found your great review, because I was looking for any valid information on R6 overheating when taking stills, as I am still on the fence -to enlarge my A6600’s gear with A9 or just go from scratch with R6. As I am sports/action hobbyist I would like to have near perfect AF-C.
Have you encountered any overheating issues when taking stills?
If you can compare C-AF and tracking in R6 vs A9 in sports (no animals, etc) – are they on par or not.
Tom from Poland
I have never had the camera overheat on me, nor even flash a warning badge. Of course, my action shooting has been done in the fall, and also for limited length of time, but I’ve never had a single hiccup. I have not heard many reports of this happening to people, even event photographers or sports photographers…the real issue seems to be heavy hybrid usage, and the R5 seems to be a far bigger offender than the R6.
I haven’t really shot a lot of sports with either camera – but have done shots of my kids running and riding bikes and such, which, when running right at the camera can be challenging. The R6 keeps up with the A9 for all intents and purposes in my testing. They are the only two cameras where you can have significant motion towards the camera, tracking eyeballs, and you can just count on essentially every shot to be in perfect focus on the eye. Neither camera is 100% perfect, of course, but both are in the mid to high 90s in hit rate. I’d probably give an edge to the A9, but for most people, I think it’d be hard to discern a difference between them for most shooting.
Do know that it has been some time since I have shot with an A9, so I have never compared them side by side, so I’m going off memory. I will say (and do in the review), that the R6 gives me a notably higher hit rate than my A7R IV and my former a6400. Both of those cameras are quite good with autofocus, but the R6 is better, more reliable and more accurate on placing the point of focus directly on the iris. It is also better at choosing the closest eye..something my A7R IV will mess up about 25% of the time. I think if you have a stable of Sony glass, it makes more sense to stay there and move to the A9, but I don’t think you’d have an issue using either. One other note: because the A9’s sensor readout is faster, it also is far better for using the electronic shutter. The R6’s eShutter is fairly quick, but it is about 1/3 the speed of the A9’s, so will show rolling shutter more readily than the A9.
Thank yo for your time and answer. It really helps.
So to recap some pros / cons R6 vs A9:
*Sony: older body with better ES – no rolling shutter effect – 20 FPS silent
*Canon R6 – newer body – FPS bursts dependable on battery charge and lenses – possible RS with ES
Both have comparable C-AF capabilities for sports/action.