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Why I Upgraded from the 5D Mark ii to the 6D

by Erin Peloquin on April 10, 2014 · 52 comments

Yes, you read that right. I upgraded from a Canon 5D Mark ii to a Canon 6D. But the price, you say! I know, the 6D is only $1900, and the 5Dii’s price never went lower than $2400ish.

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However, the 6D is simply a better camera. Not to mention a camera I never expected to own!

I was actually planning to buy a Mark iii this year. I had money set aside and was just waiting on a sale that approached the holiday’s $2800 range. Of course, it’s never gone below $3300 since I started watching.

As I was trolling the internet looking for sales, I happened to read an article comparing the 6D the the Mark iii. After tons of reading and research, it turns out the cameras both have the same exact sensor, and, for my purposes, there is only one difference: the Mark iii has 61 focus points and the 6D has only 11.

I’ve been doing fine shooting with 9 focus points on the Mark ii, so those extra 52 didn’t seem worth the $1500 price difference between the 6D and the Mark iii.

So, that’s why I bought the 6D over the Mark iii. But you guys want to hear about how the 6D is better than the Mark ii, right?

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The 6D is newer and has improved technology – the new sensor in particular is a huge upgrade over the Mark ii. The Mark ii has been out for years, and the sensor, while high quality, isn’t the best on the market.

Also, the 6D has those 2 extra focus points.

The 5D Mark ii has 21.1 megapixels, while the 6D has only 20.2. The difference in maximum print size at 240 ppi resolution equals less than an inch due to the reduction in megapixels.

The 6D is slightly lighter and just a touch smaller. It actually feels more comfortable in my hands.

Now that I’ve used the camera, I can list my favorite differences between the 5Dii and the 6D.

    • The On/Off switch on the 6D is under the dial where you switch shooting modes. It makes much more sense there than on the lower right corner of the back panel, where it is on the 5Dii.
    • Also, the mode switch has a lock on it. How many times have I picked up that 5D only to find that the mode has switched from Manual to something funky like Bulb. More importantly, how many photos have I missed because of that?
    • I love love love that it uses SD memory cards, unlike the CF cards that the Mark ii uses. I have SD slots in both my laptop and my desktop
      – no more needing to have a card reader cluttering my desk!
    • The wifi in the 6D rocks. I do a lot of photography at church and love to post photos directly from the pew to the church FB page. Using the 6D and my iPhone, that process is easy.
    • Photo quality – yes, it’s better on the 6D than the Mark ii. The increased quality is due to that fancy new sensor. Want to see the difference? Look at the screen shot below.

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The two images above were taken in the late evening with the same lens and the same settings: f/20, 1/125 and ISO 25,600. I took the 5D photo first, moved the lens to the 6D and shot that photo a few minutes later. I zoomed in on each image the same amount in Photoshop before creating the screenshot. You can see the pullback below.

Now my daughter was wiggly and the 6D shot isn’t focused as well as the 5Dii shot. I know that this experiment doesn’t quality as scientific. However, the difference in noise between the two photos is simply amazing to me.

noise 2 cameras1

I’ve only discovered one thing that I don’t love about the 6D. The ISO button is the third button over on the top of the camera, rather than the 2nd. It’s harder to reach. Also, when you click the ISO button, the meter disappears. You have to tell yourself how much you want to adjust ISO before going into ISO adjustment mode. I have found somewhat of a workaround – more on┬áthat later.

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I can’t resist throwing in one more comparison about the 6D to the Mark iii. The Mark iii has 22.1 megapixels, about 2 more than the 6D. In terms of maximum print width at 240 ppi, that equates to a difference of 1.2 inches.

However, a side effect of having additional megapixels is that the appearance of noise can be increased when there are additional pixels to generate noise. Remember that the sensors on the 6D and Mark iii are exactly the same, not only in quality but also in size. The more pixels you cram into the same sensor, the higher your potential for noise.

That means, guess what, that photos from the 6D have the potential to be cleaner than those from the Mark iii. And you can find tests on the internet that prove this!

Just in case you couldn’t tell, I am thrilled with the 6D. I am especially delighted that I didn’t spend the extra money on the 5d Mark iii. ;)

 

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