If the Canon EOS R6 Mark II were an animal, it would pack teeth like switchblades, razor-sharp claws, a venom pouch, and the foot speed to hunt down anything stupid enough to draw its attention.
Although the Canon EOS R6 Mark II is almost a top to bottom improvement over the original Canon EOS R6 (opens in new tab)on the last point, it manages to surpass even the mighty Canon EOS R3 (opens in new tab) – with an amazing continuous shooting speed of 40 fps. (This actually beats both the Sony A1 (opens in new tab) and the Nikon Z9 (opens in new tab)(also, if you don’t count the Z9 cheat by taking 11MP photos.)
Still, the Canon EOS R6 Mark II is about more than just speed. From its full-width, 6K upsampled video to the all-new 24.2MP sensor to the ability to pre-record both stills and video so you don’t miss a microsecond of the action, this is the most fully loaded mid-range camera on the market.
Canon EOS R6 Mark II: Specifications
Sensor: 24.4MP CMOS
Image Processor: Digic X
Mount: Canon RF
ISO range: 100-102,400 (exp. 50-204,800)
Closing times: 1/16,000-30 s
Image stabilization: 5-axis IBIS, up to 8 stops
Max image size: 6000 x 4000 pixels
Max video resolution: 4K HQ 60p, 1080p 180p
Max burst: 12fps mechanical shutter, 40fps electronic
View-finder: 3.69 m dot OLED, 0.5 inch, 100% coverage, 120 fps refresh
Memory card: 2x SD UHS-II
LCD: 3-inch touch screen on 1.62 m dot with angles
Size: 138.4 x 98.4 x 88.4 mm
Weight: 670g (including battery and memory card)
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Canon EOS R6 Mark II: Key Features
As mentioned, the Canon EOS R6 Mark II is a step up from the R6 in many ways. Chief among these is in terms of resolution, with an all-new 24.2MP image sensor (compared to the original’s 20.1MP).
Maximum continuous shooting speed has been doubled, from 20 fps to 40 fps (when using the electronic shutter; mechanically it’s still at 12 fps), recording both JPG and RAW images.
The new sensor enables the camera to capture full-width 4K 60p video (including 4K 60p HQ, downsampled from 6K), as well as 1080p footage at up to 180p – an increase from its predecessor’s 120p recording. If you want to use the R6 Mark II as a webcam, for live streaming and video conferencing, you can now easily plug and play via USB – no need for additional drivers or software.
Both stills and video have a pre-recording function that allows the camera to start taking photos or videos even before you press the shutter (0.5 seconds for stills, 3 or 5 seconds for video), ensuring you don’t miss a moment even if you is slow with the trigger finger.
The awesome autofocus is now even better than before, taking the Dual Pixel AF II algorithms from the R3 and combining it with even more deep learning. The net result is that tracking now extends to two subject types: horses and airplanes (in addition to birds, dogs, cats, cars, motorcycles, and trains).
As well as other new R system bodies, such as the Canon EOS R7 (opens in new tab) and the Canon EOS R10 (opens in new tab), the R6 Mark II takes the Multi Function Shoe from the R3. It also imports the panorama mode from its APS-C siblings and introduces a new (and very welcome!) focus breathing correction feature.
Canon EOS R6 Mark II: Build and handling
The Mark II is almost identical in size, weight and proportion to the original – and it also retains the same degree of weather sealing. However, there have been some important changes worth noting.
First, the power switch: it’s gone. Well, not quite – it’s just gone from its old position on the left shoulder, replaced instead by a dedicated stills/video switch that’s a big nod to this camera’s clear focus on hybrid shooters. The power switch is now instead on the right shoulder, below the rear exposure dial – which should please street shooters who like to arm their cameras with one hand.
The other change is to the joystick, where the familiar R5 and R6 input has been replaced with a newly designed one (which is also customizable). It lacks the knurled edges at the top left, top right and bottom center of the stick – so if you’re familiar with the previous design, you may find your thumb slips off without the tactile notice that you’re at the edge of the disc.
Canon has also made some useful tweaks to the menus. For us, the coolest thing is having a set of hotkey-like shortcuts to three ISO settings, so you can quickly tap the ISO menu and jump between them without having to scroll the wheel or swipe the screen.
The new Q2 menu is also much appreciated; works much like the original Q menu, this gives you a dedicated context menu to adjust your video settings specifically (the Q1 menu remains dedicated to photo settings). Again, this camera is really tailored to cater to hybrid shooters, rather than feeling like a first-time photography device that just happens to shoot video too.
Canon EOS R6 Mark II: Early Verdict
While we didn’t get to test the new AF subject tracking modes, as there were no horses or airplanes available while we had the camera, we can certainly attest that it does an incredible job of finding and locking on to human subjects.
We shot a group of dancers, and no matter how they turned, spun, jumped or pirouetted, the Canon EOS R6 Mark II never managed to keep them in focus. Again, like the original R6 before it, this camera delivers the best AF performance money can buy.
That extends to video recording as well, along with a new Face Only AF mode that comes straight from the Cinema EOS line. With this selected, if a face is tracked and then leaves the frame, AF will not move focus to the background; it will keep focus where it is until the face re-enters the frame, whereupon it will resume tracking as before.
Speaking of video, everything has been stepped up on the Mark II. Not only do you get full-width 4K, you can also record 6K 60p ProRes RAW via HDMI (3.7K ProRes RAW in crop), the 29:59 recording limit is gone, and the circuitry has been redesigned to allow the camera to capture 40 minutes of upsampled 4K 60p or 6 hours of 4K 30p. There are also new exposure tools like false colors to ensure your images are at the right brightness.
Of course, the magical performance is not limited to video. That 40fps burst is absolutely ridiculous, with a buffer depth of 190 JPEG / 75 RAW images. When you’re not shooting at top speed, the buffer can be virtually unlimited; we held down the shutter for 10, 20, 30 seconds and it didn’t even take a breath.
There are also other welcome creative additions, such as in-camera focus variation – which, unlike other Canon cameras, actually does the composition in-camera rather than you having to do it manually in external software. And thanks to the improved stabilization, which is good for up to 8 stops depending on your lens choice, you can do it without a tripod. We did a 100-shot stack, handheld, and the results were perfect.
Canon EOS R6 Mark II: Sample images
Canon EOS R6 Mark II: Early Verdict
If it doesn’t slide on a banana peel in our lab tests, it’s hard to see how the Canon EOS R6 Mark II could disappoint. This hybrid camera has an obscene amount of firepower on both sides of the coin, with 6K video and 24.2MP stills at an astonishing 40 frames per second.
This is truly a body designed with equal focus on both photography and video, as evidenced by changes to the physical controls and menu system. Flickering back and forth between the two mediums has rarely been easier or packed with so much oomph.
This is by far Canon’s best 6-series camera to date and is a brilliant younger brother to the Canon EOS R5 for those who don’t need ultimate resolution but still demand premium performance.
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