Canon 6D Mark II – Is it Worth Upgrading?

Canon 6D Mark II

Five years after the debut of the landmark 6D full-frame dSLR, (my review is here) Canon recently announced the release of the 6D Mark II. Canon has a full page now on the 6D Mark II showing the new features, as well as a comparison between it and it’s predecessor (6D). Canon makes the case that 6D owners should upgrade, but are the new features really worth it?

High-Level Specs vs 6D

6D Mark II6D (original)
Resolution26.2 MP20.2 MP
ProcessorDigic 7Digic 5+
Max FPS6.54.5
AF TypeDual Pixel CMOSContrast
AF Cross-Type Points451
Max Video1080P / 60 FPS1080P / 60 FPS
WiFi / Bluetooth / NFCYesWiFi Only
Articulating ScreenYesNo
Time-Lapse FunctionYes (up to 4K)No

Is it Worth Upgrading?

If you already have a 6D, the answer depends on how much you value autofocus. If you shoot sports…well, you probably aren’t using the original 6D anyway, but the Mark II’s massively upgraded AF system will have to be attractive to action shooters. The 5-year-old 6D has only 11 AF points and a very unimpressive SINGLE cross-type AF point (dead center). Even 5 years ago, this was not impressive. It is the opinion of many industry observers that Canon intentionally handicapped the 6D’s AF so as not to cannibalize sales of their far more expensive 5D series bodies (and I completely agree).

The same is being said already of the 6D Mark II in regards to maximum video resolution, which remains at a rather ho-hum 1080p @ 60 FPS. The lack of 4K will no doubt turn off prospective buyers who rely on their dSLR bodies to pull double duty as both still and video cameras.

Another boon to action shooters is the upgrade in shooting speed to 6.5 FPS and an extended upper ISO range. Conclusive testing on high-ISO noise performance has not been published as of the date of this article, but if the performance of its predecessary is any indicator, the Mark II will be exceptional in this regard.

The Verdict (for now)

To me, as a non-sports shooter, the key differences are resolution bump and articulating screen. These two are not enough to justify an upgrade for my purposes, especially at a street price of $2,000.