Canon EOS 6D - Affordable Full-Frame DSLR (Part 7)

5/25/2013 9:06:46 AM

Continuously shooting

EOS 6D can shoot continuously up-to-4.5 frame/second. With a UHS-1 card it’s able to shoot a huge amount of good 1250 Large JPEGS – most cases seems to be infinity – and if you make RAW shot you will run out of buffer and the camera will stop after 17 frames.

To check the announcement of Canon, I adjust 6D with a 95MB/s 16GB SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-1 SD card. To begin, I set the image quality to large-type fine JPEG, turn of lens stabilization, set up IOS 100 and the shutter speed to 1/250 and press the shutter release.

6D takes 100 frames at 4.4fps stable level then I stop shooting. There is no reason to believe that 6D won’t continue shooting up to 1,250 frames, but I’ve been curious so I reformat the card and this time hold the shutter button for a few minutes (at 4.5fps 6D takes about 4 and a half minutes to shoot 1,250 frames). After almost 7 minutes, my finger starts to ache and pain, but 6D still shoots with well-balanced state and when I stop, the counted frame is 1831 with the buffer still showing the capacity for 1600 shots. So, it seems that estimation of Canon belongs to the cautious side and you can shoot large-type fine JPEG more or less infinitively at 4.5fps, though its display is based on your SD card performance.

Incidentally, after shooting 1,831 frames, the buffer of 6D erases pretty much instantly. I shoot a bunch of other 100 frame and calculate how long it takes for the buffer to erase – the light is off even before I can click the clock. Moving on to RAW, EOS 6D burns a bunch of 21 frames at only over 4.5 fps before hesitating and then slowing to a quite unstable speed of under 2fps. This time, the buffer only takes more than 8 seconds to erase.

As said, it’s a good performance, verifying the announcement of Canon about the ability of respectively humble continuous shooting of EOS 6D. If you’re shooting the Large Fine JPEG you can be able to shoot more than infinity at 4.5fps and start a new chain at any time. With RAW file, you’re limited by a chain of 20 shots, and though the buffer takes a while to record you can shoot shorter chain before that thing happens.

Nikon D600 can be able to shoot at marginally faster than 5fps and also provides shooting options in reduced-resolution DX more for the extra half frame/second obtained speed. When I check D600, though, I find out that there’s no difference in speed between 2 modes and the only advantage gained is a little longer chain. D600 can shoot a chain of 100 Fine JPEGs or 16 RAW files, so, in summary, 6D can shoot longer at quite lower frame frequency.


The new designed 20.2-Megapixel full frame sensor of 6D delivers images with the max size of 5,472x3,648 pixels. The expanded ISO sensitivity range is 50-102,400 ISO, beyond the max level of 25,600 ISO of D600. The speed range of the shutter is from 30 seconds to 1/4000 added with the light bulb, completely equivalent to D600.

The image data is saved as JPEG file in 1 of 2 compressed ratios, Large fine JPEG specifies the size between 6-9MB, RAW data can be recorded in CRW.

To see how the quality of Canon EOS 6D measured in fact is, let’s see my quality of Canon EOS 6D and noise result page of Canon EOS 6D, browse to find my Canon EOS 6D image sample or just ignore the hunting and head toward my judging.

Comparing the JPEG quality between Canon EOS 6D and Nikon D600

Shooting by Canon EOS 6D

Shooting by Canon EOS 6D

To compare the real performance, I shoot this scene with Canon EOS 6D and Nikon D600, in some moments using the best JPEG quality settings.

Canon EOS 6D is fitted with Canon EF 24-105mm f4L lens and Nikon D600 with AF Zoom-Nikkor 24-85mm f/2.8-4D IF lens (the only one we have at testing time). Both lenses are set up at 24mm max wide angle to provide an equivalent vision.

Image stabilization is disabled for the test on this bracket and all other settings are set as default.

The image above is shot by Canon EOS 6D. The camera is installed Aperture priority mode with the lens aperture set at f8 and the sensitivity up to 100 ISO. The camera measures a 1/160 exposure. As usual for this test, the camera is set at default setting in contrast. Setting at 100 ISO, Nikon D600 measures the same exposure – 1/160 at f8.

The weather is cloudy but bright, and the tested framework is not as required in terms of tonal range as it is able when there’s much light. The tonal range otherwise proves a challenge for EOS 6D that, despite measuring the accurate exposure, has shortened the slight highlights with small details loss in the sky. Though, this can easily be recovered from the RAW image.

How about the section? 6D make an excellent start with the first cropped image showing good detailed level. The intersection between the ends of the church roof is easy to recognize as well as the doors and windows. The horizontal line of the perimeter wall is nice and clean, as well as the horizon, although I can stage a smallest signal of a halo that runs along its length – it’s most clear at the right edge of the copped image. There’s also good level of detail on the close-up grass and the rock.

At the second section, the horizontal line is not really crisp, but the overall level of detail is still pretty good. The third one near the edge of the frame also holds pretty well with having no evidence about washed-out, optical distortion and aberration (which will be fixed in the camera). The last section from the middle of the frame one more time shows excellent detail level with the sharp edges anywhere from the window frame balcony divider.

Compared with the 24-Megapixel Nikon D600, the section from the 20-Megapixel Canon EOS 6D shows larger area with smaller details. First, it looks like D600 has the edges on 6D; the first section from D600 seems to be sharper with a little more details. The same things happen to the second section, the chimney and window frame seems to be slightly clearer and has more details in the lighthouse. The third section from D600 is visibly soft, but mostly due to the lens that we have to use rather than the due to sensor limit. Anyhow, the fourth section from the center of the frame has a little if there’s anything between them.

Thus, it seems that Nikon D600 has the advantage of marginal JPEG quality. My Canon EOS 6D RAW quality result on the next page will provide proof about the level, if any, of the difference when processing. As an alternative, let’s take a look at how there models compare at higher sensitivity in my Canon EOS 6D Noise result.

Canon EOS 6D JPEG f8, 100 ISO

Canon EOS 6D JPEG f8, 100 ISO

Nikon D600 JPEG f8, 100 ISO

Nikon D600 JPEG f8, 100 ISO

Canon EOS 6D JPEG f8, 100 ISO

Canon EOS 6D JPEG f8, 100 ISO

Nikon D600 JPEG f8, 100 ISO

Nikon D600 JPEG f8, 100 ISO


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