Just received a 6D as a backup to my 5D Mark III. I am not going to bore you with the specifications that you can Google to find. I know most of you are reading this because you are getting into an entry level full frame camera or go straight to pro. Among your choices are Canon 6D, 5D Mark III and Nikon D800/D600. Since I do not have a D800 around I won't be able to cover it here but you can find lots of other reviews. This review will be done with a side by side comparison of the actual photos.
ISO noise comparison
After spending the night taking several comparison photos at ISO 3200 F4 1/125, 6400 F4 1/500, 12800 F4 1/250 and 25600 F4 1/1000, here is my conclusion. Photoshop enlarged at 350% shows the 6D has about one stop advantage over the 5D Mark III and 1-1/2 stop over the Nikon D600. That did not come as a surprise since the 6D has the lowest resolution among the 3 DSLR.
When these photos were reviewed in raw, I discovered the 6D filter setting is different, making it looked like it had lower noise. The 6D is in fact only about half stop better in ISO performance than 5D when compared in raw and one stop better than the Nikon D600.
5D Mark III is the fastest, then D600 then 6D. They are all very close and hard to tell even in low light condition. All 3 shows remarkable focus speed. 6D occasionally will hunt for split seconds. D600 and 5D both have no hesitation locking in especially the 5D. To compare how fast each focuses, I listened to the motor sound of the lens.
The center focus cross type sensor on the 6D is more accurate and faster than the 5D and the D600. I use this point focus mode almost exclusively in sports photography.
Auto White Balance
5D Mark III and 6D both have excellent auto white balance under different lighting condition. Nikon D600 however has a greenish or yellowish tone, turning a red rose into orange under fluorescent light. Kelvin level can be corrected of course under Lightroom but it is very difficult to tune it in the camera.
5D Mark III has similar view finder as the 6D and both are brighter than the D600. This makes it a lot easier to focus especially in poor light. This is a big deal for my aging eyes and the brighter view finder is truly helpful on the Canon. I believe this is due to larger mirrors used in the Canons. The 6D does not have the 100% view but since I am not a pro, it really does not bother me.
The 6D is the lightest of the 3 cameras but the 6D does not feel cheap in the hands. There is lots of advantage of being light especially I am going to use it on an Octocopter for aerial videos and photos.
6D clearly leads here. May be Canon has improved the image processing firmware. 5D is not too far from the 6D but beats the D600.
There is not much of a difference in the mega pixel of these cameras, at least not enough to tell the difference even on a 24 inch monitor.
I have compared all 3 cameras extensively in video mode. Most of my videos were aerial filmed from a Turbo Ace hexacopter and octocopter in light wind. So this will be a good test how they performance. First, I found there is no difference on the rolling shutter between the 3 cameras. All DSLR still suffer this problem and this is where some of the cinema cameras such as the Red Scarlet/Epic shine. As for the moire and aliasing the Mark III is the clear winner. I barely notice any moire and aliasing on the roof tops and power lines. If you are going to do video on a more professional level, you should stick with the Mark III unless you invest on a Red or something quite affordable like the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema. I was told by a friend that the Pocket Cinema after color grading, can top the 5D video due to its 13 dynamic range. As for the dynamic range, the D600 excels among the 3 cameras but by a narrow margin. The D600 has about 11.5 stops and the Mark III/6D are at 11 stops. The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema and Red scarlet/Black Magic have 13-14 stops. Red shoots in 4K/2K which makes it more ideal than any DSLR for video. My only problem shooting video with the Red is flight time as it weights about 10 pounds with all gears. If my Octocopter struggles to keep it in the air, imaging what it is going to do to your arms. I can't wait to see the new Turbo Ace CineWing 6 Hexacopter which will carries the 6D with 15 minutes flight time. It is exciting how these multi rotor copters advanced, allowing me to view the world from a different perspective. I will keep you updated on the aerial photo/cinematography technology with some breath taking aerial photos/video.meizu mx5 pro
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