Upload & Sell: On
I have been shooting a 7D for several years and wanted better high ISO and also ultimate IQ for landscape in a lightweight package for backpacking. I had been dithering over the 5dii, 5diii and 6d for months. I got quoted a great deal on a 6D ($1899 brand new body-only at a local camera store) this weekend and couldn't resist.
After shooting with it over the weekend, first impresions:
The camera is light, almost to the point of being a bit plasticky relative to the 7D. Not objectionable though. I wanted light, and I got it. Build feels about 2/3 of the way between the 7D and a rebel, closer to 7D.
Controls take a little getting used to coming from 7D. The locking mode dial is welcome for me. Other changes not as much. The quick-control dial is smaller, and the controller within it is a little fussier and more awkward than the joystick on the 7D. The tecnique for zooming in on the LCD is completely different - push the mangifying glass button, then use the main dial to zoom in. The 6D method is actually more efficient ergonomically, but it's new and different and still seems awkward to me coming from the 7D.
The sound of the shutter is different. Not as nice as the 7D, frankly. A bit..."cloinkier", and the whole operation just seems to take fractionally longer to unfold. Obviously, both the mirror and shutter are larger than the 7D, so that probably explains it.
I've only used the center AF point so far, which has been fast and deadly accurate with all the lenses I've tried, including ones that never worked well on the 7D. In particular, my 24-70 mk i never worked well on my 7D; it was hard to get sharp shots, even after +16 MA using FoCal. It wasn't any better on my son's t3i. I had given up on that lens. But the difference on the 6D is night and day; it is quite good at 2.8, and impressive at f4 accross the full frame, with no MA. I feel like I've gotten a free 24-70 with my 6D, because that lens had been basically a $1400 doorstop when I had only the 7D. All my fast primes (28 1.8, 50 1.4, 100 f2) likeiwse performed commendably on the 6d in casual testing. The 28mm in particular also seemed to benefit on the 7D, maybe because of more accurate AF.
I tried the AF out in the lowest light I could create in our evening living room - darker than I could ever envison for actual picture taking. AF took a second or two, but locked on accurately. More to come on this, but first impression was that the center AF point is everything it's cracked up to be.
I haven't had a chance to do much testing of the high ISOs, but in initial shots, ISO 6400 looked very good relative to 7D, and even 256k looked usable in a pinch. Overall maybe 2 stops better than 7D? More to come...
The acid test...IQ. I had read about the benefits of full frame vs. crop, but this was my first chance to test the claims firsthand. I used my sharpest zoom, the 70-200 2.8 ii, as my test case. I shot at 2.8 and f/8, trying to frame shots equivalently (100mm for the 7D, 160 for the 6D). What I found was that the 6D IQ for equivalently framed shots was indeed better, but not night-and-day better. (Given that I'll continue to use my 7D as my primary body for sports and birds, that's good news Samples attached below for f/8 f/2.8 results were similar.
So far, after two days, the 6D delivers as promised - very high IQ and good high ISO performance in a light, affordable package.
Loving my new toy!
The shot, with the 7D.
Close crop, 7D, near the edge of the frame.
Same image, same aperture, equivalently framed, 6D
Same close crop, 6D