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Thread started 13 Mar 2014 (Thursday) 05:22
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Some very specific 6D questions

 
Kirth ­ Gersen
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Mar 13, 2014 05:22 |  #1

Some of you will notice that I have a FF lens thread ongoing as well. I now need to finalise what body I will use, and am now just in favour of the 6D. I can afford and would prefer the 5D Mk3, but am struggling to rationalise the extra £800 which would allow me to buy additional lenses or even keep my current 7D.

On the face of it, my needs suit the 6D more. Do very little action, sports, videography. Prefer portraiture and travel photography. Don't make a living out of it. My biggest issue with the 6D used to be the loss of the joystick to change AF points and having to use that horrible looking and badly placed pad, but as the centre one is the only crosstype point, I guess, my use of the others with be very limited, and I won't be changing points very often if at all.

So the crunch points on the 6D for me are:

  • Portraiture autofocus with very shallow DOF. My understanding is that the centre focus point on the 6D is the only really reliable one, and so focus and recompose is predominantly used. But with shallow DOF , focus and recompose may change the plane of focus and make you miss that crucial eyeball sharpness. How do people handle this? Manual focusing? My eyes aren't so good, I do rely on AF heavily. Is it better in live view?
  • Lo key-strobe portraits. Not a game breaker, but I quite like doing low key work, which often gives better results at fast shutter speeds like 1/250. Yet the 6D only goes to 1/180. Has this caused people any issues?
  • Walkaround / Street Photography. Haven't seen much about how good the camera is for this. Does the limited AF cause issues, or does it just make things simpler? Centre point, focus, recompose, click. Do people bother with the other AF points?


Decision time is tomorrow when the sale I am looking at ends.

Canon 6D: Canon 85mm f/1.8 ~ Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 ~ 70-300mm f/4.0 - f/5.6 ~ Carl Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 ~ Carl Zeiss 100mm f/2.0
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Leica M6: Leica Sumicron 35mm ~ Leica Sumicron 75mm
Pentax 67: Pentax 105mm f/2.4 ~ Pentax 55mm f/4.0

  
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OneyedJack
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Mar 13, 2014 06:39 |  #2

I purchased a 6D to replace my recently (and regrettably) sold 5D mkII. As far as ergonomics are concerned it is in fact a step backwards. I do miss the joystick but I never adjusted AF points with it on my mkII. I used the dial nearest the shooting finger and find the 6D similar. I used the joystick to navigate the shooting settings and find the 6D awkward in this respect. The quality of the controls are (probably) the same as most Rebel series cameras and are not on par with your 7D. Professional shooters using a camera as a daily tool would probably work a 6D into an early grave.

Another ergonomic point is body size. THe 6D is smaller. Your 7D with, lets say, a 70-200 2.8 attached is a relatively balanced package and while not light it is (imho) manageable. Not so with the 6D. I find the smaller grip makes handling the camera with larger lens to be odd. Perhaps its my large hands but I cannot comfortably grip this camera with a big lens attached.

For the enthusiast, the 6D is a nice camera. The smaller size is nice(r) for travel. THe WIFI features seem promising although I have not used it much as of yet. AF does seem faster than the mkII and possibly more accurate. I will say that I HATE discussions on AF in reference to just a camera body. Too many variables can affect it. It is very dependent on lens choice and lighting conditions. I find the 6D to be pleasantly acceptable in most conditions (this with 24-105, 70-200 2.8mk2, and 85mm1.8). The off center focus points have worked well for me in most cases (I don't shoot at f/1.2 though).

I do shoot with Elinchrom strobes and the 6D was a sync-speed disappointment. WIth the 5D mkII I could sync at 1/200th comfortably and even 1/250th while using Elinchroms Speed transmitters. The 6D is absolutely limited to the 1/180th even with the voodoo of the Speed transmitters. I get some banding at 1/200th but I suppose if I needed the assurance of the higher shutter speed I could crop. Not sure how it reacts to HSS sync with a speedlites though.

In short, I like the 6D and really like the results it gives but I do miss the "classic" Canon ergo layout. Time will tell how well it holds up.


5Dmk2 | 24-105f4 | 16-35f2.8 | 70-200f2.8

  
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DBNissan
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Mar 13, 2014 07:13 |  #3

I've had my 6D for 8 months now and have been very pleased with it. The ergonomics, as mentioned by OneyedJack, took a bit of getting used to compared to my 50D with joystick. I use it mostly for portraiture and love the results I get with it. I also use a 430EXII and Yongnuo YN-500EX speedlights with Yongnuo YN-622c ETTL wireless triggers. With the combination of ETTL speedlights and ETTL triggers, I have not had any issues with HSS.


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apersson850
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Mar 13, 2014 07:33 as a reply to  @ DBNissan's post |  #4

You can use the dials to select the AF point on a 6D too. But not it's dials, not dial, since you use one for horizontal and the other for vertical movement.


Anders

  
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gabebalazs
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Mar 13, 2014 08:18 |  #5

I think for your use the 6D is perfect.

I do use the outer AF points quite a lot and they are 98% reliable (sounds like a very "scientific" estimate :) ). The remaining 2% is when they encounter a line pattern that fools them. Fortunately, people's facial features (eyes) aren't one of those. I've shot several portrait sessions using mostly the top AF points and they worked fine for me.

I've also shot a youth orchestra concert under indoor stage lights, using mostly the top AF points. No problem there either. (70-200 2.8 lens)

However, there have been reports here on POTN that if you attempt the arguably not very common scenario of trying to track fast moving subjects with off-center points and super fast lens, they will not do a very good job. But again, if someone wants to do that, there are better tools out there, looks like you're not one of them. If you encounter a situation that you need to track a subject, the center point is very good at it.

I've also used my 6D while traveling in the US and Europe. Great camera for street and travel photography. In my opinion the focus-and-recompose method is no issue in those cases, in case you prefer not to use the outer AF points for some reason.

So basically, what you want to use it for, I think the 6D would be better and keep the savings, or buy a really nice lens with it. Seems like for your shooting, the 6D would give you a considerable edge over your 7D. I had a 7D (3 in fact) for 4 years, and while the 6D does not replace it as my wildlife camera (mainly due to fps, "reach", and tracking AF), for most other applications it's clearly better due to the improvement in IQ.

p.s. while I admit that ideally I do prefer the joystick (5D series, 7D), the 8-way pad is ok. I got used to it in a few hours and my 70D also has it. Now, occasionally when I have a joystick'd body in my hands (like my 7D before I sold it), I'm lost and looking how to change settings. So IMHO it's just muscle memory.


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InfiniteDivide
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Mar 13, 2014 08:20 |  #6

I am very pleased with my 6D and had a T4i before buying it.
I could not rationalize a need for the more complex focus system, and have no complaints.
With the savings I chose to get another L lens sooner than expected as well.
My next lens will be the 50L to complete my trinity of primes.
If you were currently using a 7D with 19 point AF, then the 5DIII would be the logical upgrade.


James Patrus
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MalVeauX
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Mar 13, 2014 08:33 |  #7

Heya,

It's beyond over-stated that the 6D has some kind of limited AF. This is absurd. It's no different than most of the entire line. It just doesn't have the robust AF modes/features of the 7D and 5D3 specifically. But it's autofocus is not worse than everything else. I don't know how this gets perpetuated, but it certainly does.

A freaking Rebel can have a single autofocus point chosen to focus, not just the center. If using the 6D, or any recent camera, simply select a single autofocus point in your composition that you want that is on your portrait's eyes. Done. You don't need to always use center point and recompose when using super thin DOF. This is not unique to just the 7D and 5D3. It's on lower Rebels even. Let alone the 6D.

The 6D may not excel at super fast autofocus with all it's focus points the way the 7D and 5D3 do. This would be useful for tracking a bat in flight with AI Servo. You're shooting near static things. You don't need robust autofocus. And I think you're making a negative of the lack of those two systems.

On top of that, frankly, you don't need a full frame camera, nor a new camera for that matter, for your purposes. But if you want to just burn money, that's your business.

Very best,


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Scrumhalf
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Mar 13, 2014 08:38 |  #8

Gabe nailed it. The only "issue" with the 8 pad controller is that your thumb has to move farther to get to it and to manipulate it. Other than that, its working is exactly the same as the joystick. Switching between that and the joystick is no different IMO than driving your wife's car every once in a while - yeah, the radio dial and the climate control buttons are in a slightly different place and behave a bit differently, but it's just a mild annoyance rather than a serious issue. :)


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Mar 13, 2014 08:53 |  #9

6D AF is lacking. I remember my first SLR the T3i and it having non cross type outer points. I missed shots back then and got frustrated I moved to the 60D and then magically all the outer points worked great and no longer misses shots. This was for portraits even. Upgraded to 7D to get MA capability.

Upgraded to 6D for IQ reasons and to have wider wide angle lenses. Works great for most of what I do. However effectively using the outer points brings me back to the T3i days. I just cannot rely on it even for portraits.

5D3 in my future sooner than later.


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MakisM1
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Mar 13, 2014 08:54 |  #10

I think you got a lot of good and valuable advice by the preceding posters. I'll chime in for the 6D, if you are honest with your assessment of needs. I chose the 5DIII because I shoot just about everything (not specializing in sports, or BIF, but I will not shy away from an opportunity either).

Two points:

Somebody mentioned the smaller size. My other camera is a 60D which has very similar size and ergonomics. It is not an issue. The differences in size and weight are minute when it comes to situations that count. If you put on a heavy tele and you hold it properly, there is no problem balancing it with the 60D, the 6D or the 5DIII.

Second. Manual focusing. Both my 60D and the 5DIII can focus anywhere in the screen with Live View. Manual focus at 10x at the exact portion of the subject eyeball is feasible, I'd venture to say that AF in LV is probably accurate, as it does not depend on the single axis points which could be handicapped. All you do is you move the square with that horrible D-Pad to the exact point you want, go to 10x, hit AF. If you don't get what you want, try MF.

Of course this means using a tripod, but for both landscape and portraiture, a tripod might be a good practice.


Gerry
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Kirth ­ Gersen
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Mar 13, 2014 09:59 |  #11

Thanks everyone,

That's pretty much made up my mind in favour of the 6D. To my points: the AF sounds usable in the majority of situations I will be using it. Shallow DOF for portraits can be handled in live view; and high speed sync should deal with the slow flash shutter speed issue.

MalVeauX wrote in post #16755226 (external link)
On top of that, frankly, you don't need a full frame camera, nor a new camera for that matter, for your purposes. But if you want to just burn money, that's your business.

Yeah you're right. I don't need a FF camera - I want one. I want better IQ, better low light performance, better lenses to go with it and a better experience (like a modern AF system). I don't want to burn my money, I want to invest it in my hobby intelligently - like most other enthusiasts on these forums, which is why everyone else has answered my questions courteously.


Canon 6D: Canon 85mm f/1.8 ~ Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 ~ 70-300mm f/4.0 - f/5.6 ~ Carl Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 ~ Carl Zeiss 100mm f/2.0
Fuji X100F
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Kirth ­ Gersen
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Mar 17, 2014 10:51 as a reply to  @ Kirth Gersen's post |  #12

FYI,

On Friday, I bought the 6D with 24-105 and the 200mm f2.8...

... and then cancelled the order today. Why?

1. Over the weekend, I took some very casual shots of my wife on the weekend with the 55-250 set at 125 to see if I could replicate the sort of look the 200mm f2.8 would give. And was very pleasantly surprised. In fact - I wowed myself: OK the sunlight has clipped parts of her face (after PP), and the shot won't win any awards, but even at f5.0 the lens gave reasonably shallow DOF (her hand is going nicely out of focus), there is reasonably nice bokeh, and my wife was shown in sharp relief to the background. In short - the sort of shot that floats my boat. So what could I do with the 7D and say the 135mm f2.0?

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2. I took some shots of wildlife, and was always looking for more reach than the 250. So 200mm on a FF would be really limiting - resulting in costly upgrades. I don't do a lot of that but it can come in handy. I don't want to run two bodies.

3. The 6D was always a compromise - lacking some of the features of the 7D, and I can't rationalise/justify the 5D Mk3. Added to that, I really love my 7D.

4. Maybe some of what MalVeaux said got to me a bit :).

So I think I will wait it out a year or 3. Invest in 1 or 2 more EF lenses (eg the 135 and/or that Siggy 50mm Art), and see what Canon come up with in terms of the 6D mk2 or 5D mk4

Canon 6D: Canon 85mm f/1.8 ~ Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 ~ 70-300mm f/4.0 - f/5.6 ~ Carl Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 ~ Carl Zeiss 100mm f/2.0
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michgirl
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Mar 17, 2014 12:46 |  #13

^^^ Very well said and rationalized. I wish I had been that wise before upgrading to FF 5D ii. Owned the 5d ii for two years and most of that time I was struggling with the feel of it in my hands and felt a little overwhelmed by the camera. I always felt I should have stayed with the Rebel and thought I should return to crop.

Finally, just last week, I sold the 5d ii and debated over the 70d vs 6d. Picked the 6d and think it was the perferct choice for me. Lighter, smaller, easier to grip without giving up FF or outstanding IQ that I loved about the 5d ii.

You made your choice for all of the right reasons. Some of us (MYSELF for sure!) change gear when we didn't really need to.


Robin
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amfoto1
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Mar 17, 2014 13:02 |  #14

IMO, the 6D is sort of a "full frame Rebel".... not that this is a bad thing. It's what makes it a reasonably affordable FF camera. But in some respects, a 6D is a downgrade from a 7D.

Low light shooting is one area where a 6D is an upgrade over a 7D. It's AF is able to work fully 2 stops lower light than 7D's. 6D is rated to -3EV (moonlight... though center point only) compared to -1EV for 7D. Of course the FF camera can render cleaner images at higher ISOs, too. So overall it's a better low light package than the 7D (or any other crop sensor camera).

But you also bring up another problem. If you enjoy using your tele zoom at it's long end, 250mm.... Not only won't the EF-S lens fit on the 6D, to have the same reach with a FF camera you will need a 400mm lens. That will be bigger, heavier and a lot more expensive.

There are also potentially additional costs related to your other lenses. Neither your 10-22 nor 17-55 can even be fitted to 6D, so you'd have to replace both of those, too.

This is what a 135/2 can do on a 7D:

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8364/8345939447_fcf8a26f20_c.jpg

IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5068/5634060556_f7091c8205_b.jpg

IMAGE: http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6061/6120614017_83c3d77d36_o.jpg

But it works pretty well on full frame cameras, too...

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8483/8265507890_56bd33c2d8_c.jpg

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8051/8112941582_436a1bfe8d_b.jpg

Just my 2 cents worth, but I think you might be better sticking with the 7D and maybe picking up a nice lens or two to use on it.

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michgirl
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Mar 17, 2014 13:20 |  #15

amfoto1 wrote in post #16765031 (external link)
IMO, the 6D is sort of a "full frame Rebel".... not that this is a bad thing. It's what makes it a reasonably affordable FF camera.

...Of course the FF camera can render cleaner images at higher ISOs, too. So overall it's a better low light package than the 7D (or any other crop sensor camera).

I like that you said this :D because at times I felt overwhelmed and over my head with the 5dii and thought I should have just stayed with the Rebel.

It is also the reason I ordered the 6d, thinking I would have the best of both worlds.:)

BTW - fantastic images you posted from the 7D.


Robin
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Some very specific 6D questions
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