Canon EOS 6D - Affordable Full-Frame DSLR (Part 5)

5/25/2013 9:06:36 AM


EOS 6D is an easy-to-carry camera. Personally I like the camera figure and see that the control layout is logical and visually reasonable. The menu system is easy to control; one of the strong points of Canon is that it rarely place many items on a page of menu rather than what you can read without having to scroll down, making it very easy to move inside the screen to look for the thing you want. One thing that makes everything easier thanks to this is if the playback menu is arranged at the end, instead of in the middle, will split shooting with camera settings. May be it’s just me, but I see myself rarely need to manage playback settings, so it will be better if I don’t have to swipe through them every time I need to approach the camera settings. As said, you can navigate through the last tab back to the first one and the menu system remembers the last place where you left, and that’s a small complaint.

Some control screens

Some control screens

The end of the Quick Control dial and Multi-controller settings are uncommon and require skillful control, especially when you have big fingers. But I find myself familiar to the way it works quickly. The 8-way path makes it easier and faster to choose AF point and locate more magnifying frame for manual focusing rather than a 4-dimension controller which is more conventional. As for all higher-end Canon DSLRs, the Quick Control dial is also used to compensate exposure and have the risk of accidental control. However, the lock button can deactivate that, as well as the primary dial and Multi-controller if requested.

EOS 6D provides some custom options on the custom functionality, covering everything from increasing exposure and bracket series to AF sensitive adjustment and dial control. Most of the controls can be customized and the menu provides a useful graphics display that shows the button location and the task option.

Press the Q button to activate the info display so that you can scroll down to the requested settings, at that point pressing Set button will take you to the adjustment screen, or to replace you can use the main dial to directly adjust the selected settings. Finally, there are 2 customizations on the mode dial, where you can save all current settings of 6D.


Enabling Wifi

Enabling Wi-Fi

EOS 6D is the first Canon DSLR to be equipped with both GPS and existing Wi-Fi. The dual antennas are placed on the edges of the prism head and can be able to operate through the polycarbonate cover. Canon used to say that the Wi-Fi and GPS signal that is unable to transmit through the metal cover is the reason why these functions are not performed on other models, such as 5D Mark III. While you can add these functions to Nikon D600 though the mounting accessories, having Wi-Fi and GPS integrated in the body is a simpler, neater and more practical solution.

But the integrated hardware is a half of a battle. A few manufacturers have actually taken full advantages of the ability to provide wireless connection, so I truly hope that Canon will move out of all stops to provide Wi-Fi functionality such as remote control and shooting, posting and uploading images to social network without making you tear your hair out in failure or just simply epic fail.

I’m happy to announce that there are no such case and the Wi-Fi functions of EOS 6D all have wide range and implement in a realistic way. 6D allows you to transfer images wirelessly between the suitable-equipped devices, connect to smartphones (iOS or Android) to see images and shoot remotely, print the images by the Wi-Fi printer, operate the camera remotely though wireless connection which uses the EOS utility on a PC or a Mac, upload images on Facebook or Image Gateway platform of Canon, and view images on a proper equipped TV.

Connecting your phone with 6D

Connecting your phone with 6D

Let’s start with the smartphone control. You can connect your phone to 6D by connecting both to a wireless network through an access point, or by setting the camera configuration as an access point and connect to it. Once the Wi-Fi is activated, the connection mode and other functions are chosen from the Wi-Fi functional menu.

Wi-Fi functional menu

Wi-Fi functional menu

You can connect to the camera with the iOS or Android smartphone, I’ve checked it with an iPhone 4S with EOS Remote app allowing you to watch, evaluate, erase and upload images from the camera as well as control it from a distance. You need to be at Live View mode so that the camera can arrange the view onto your phone, and a button is provided on the app to swap in/out of the live view mode if it’s not easy for you to access the camera. There’s a big shutter release button beside a smaller one to activate AF. On the left below the screen is a sequence of info icon to inform you shooting mode, white balance, AF, and Drive mode. The quality and exposure info is arrayed along the bottom of the screen in the same style for the LCD screen of 6D, which itself still works when operating remotely. But a failure is that not all exposure info is displayed until the photo is taken. In Program mode you can’t see the shutter speed or the lens aperture and in Aperture and Shutter priority mode you can only see the primary settings (such as the shutter speed in shutter priority).

EOS Remote app allows you to watch, comment, erase and upload images.

EOS Remote app allows you to watch, comment, erase and upload images.

Full control through exposure settings is provided and while you can’t change both shooting mode and driving mode at least you can shoot continuously by holding the shutter releasing button. It’s a well-designed functional app that works effectively when allowing you to control the EOS 6D remotely. The only criticism I have is that it usually doesn’t feedback and you have to wait for a few seconds, which in some situation can cause catastrophe. Anyhow, as long as you have a trustworthy wireless network, this rarely happens.               

Though, the app is not the only choice to control EOS 6D, you can also function it remotely by EOS utility, though it also includes using a PC or Mac. I test this respect of 6D remote operation on my MacBook Pro with a home wireless network and it runs almost the same way as I have connected the camera to a PC by a USB cable, despite being slower and more hesitant. EOS Utility of course provides wider range for remote operation including timing ability.


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