Hello Guest

Author Topic: A day in the field with a 6D. (Perspective from a hard core Sony DSLT shooter)  (Read 3052 times)

Offline Brendon

  • Global Moderator
  • Manic
  • *
  • Posts: 393
Introduction

So for the few that have the misfortune of knowing me are well aware that I am a Sony shooter by choice for the last 4 years or so.

I love to try out new gear and equipment which is why I keep in touch with happenings in ALL systems be it Olympus, Pentax, Nikon and even Canon.

So when my friend bought a 6D I decided to borrow it for 2 weeks to test it out.

We went to Sewri to shoot the sunrise with Ayaz, Doctor Rajesh and a few other friends.

Everyone knows about the specs and features of the Canon 6D so I won't mention them here.

Some comparisons though -

1. Build quality


Both my Sony's are entry level and so build quality wise the Canon was ahead. However I come to appreciate lighter bodies now and didn't like the added weight of the 6D anymore.

2. Viewfinder


I used to go ga ga whenever I saw a FF viewfinder but now adays I prefer EVFs as they are just as large and I can actually see how the image will look like before hand.

For what its worth the viewfinder is not 100% which isn't very good but its large and bright. The default focusing screen lacks any grid lines like the 5D MK 3 and I didn't like it. With an EVF you can add and remove guidelines on the fly. While not very sharp and precise I have still come to prefer EVFs now though for tracking the OVF is still a much better option.

Another issue was manual focusing. Loved the peaking feature and zoom option on my Sony cameras but you don't have those features on an optical viewfinder.

3. Handling


This was more to do with my unfamiliarity with the camera but things like bracketing and bulb mode I couldn't figure out without asking someone for help.

Otherwise the camera was pretty easy to use unlike a Nikon semi pro camera like a D7000 or D800 which I was all at sea with the controls !

I hated that there was no tilt screen as I was forced to kneel down to operate the camera when placed on a low tripod. My legs were sore for 2 days after that kneeling down on the concrete road. A tilt screen is so much easier to use that I would place it very high in my list of requirements for a new camera.

Live view AF was also mediocre and it hunted in bright light too. My Sony is far better in this regard. That said I tried a 70D and that has super fast AF in live view which is nice. Wish Canon would introduce that tech to their FF cameras too in addition to a flip screen.

I liked the large selection of buttons to change a lot of settings without menu diving. Something I have to do with my Sony cameras but both the cameras together are still half the price of the 6D and individually score over the 6D in DXOMark.  8)

4. Autofocus


Since I was mostly shooting landscapes I didn't have to use AF much but for the times I needed to use it I found the bunched up focusing points to be very limiting. Didn't like it at all. The 5D MK3 I used was far better in that regard. For the time I did use AF the speed was very fast though and accurate. My Sony in comparison isn't very accurate at times so the 6D is a bit better in accuracy.

5.Image quality


The images below will explain far better than what I write but I did find that DXO mark was pretty much correct !!!!!!!!! ;D

Basically for images that were slightly overexposed or underexposed I found recovering highlights and shadows not as good as my Sony cameras. There wasn't a world of difference but it was noticeable. Maybe a stop or so of a difference.

That said overall sharpness was better than what any of my cameras could pull out. That is of course more to do with the FF sensor than anything else but I also loved the 24-105mm f4 L. Very sharp lens, superb AF and very useful range. Wished it was 24-200mm but that would probably mean lower performance.

I also tried the 17-40mm L and while I didn't like the lack of perspective distortion compared to my Sigma 10-20mm, I loved the crisp output and contrast.

The 17-40mm is a good performer too and is not too expensive when bought used. A good combo.

Other than the Sewri trip I shot a few photos to check out the high ISO performance. Over here it was a clear win for the 6D. At least a 2.5 stop gain over my Sony. ISO 6400 was freakishly clean and as good as my ISO 800. ISO 12800 though was a bit noisy and maybe closer to my ISO 3200 than ISO 1600 but still usable if the exposure was correct.

Some photos from the trip. Mostly HDRs ! :)

1. Single Exposure with 24-105mm f4 L


2. Single long exposure (30 secs) with 24-105mm f4 L


3. HDR (3 exposures) with 24-105mm f4 L


4. Single exposure with 24-105mm f4 L


5. HDR with 17-40mm f4 L


6. HDR with 17-40mm f4 L


7. Single exposure against bright light with 24-105mm f4 L



Verdict


For a mainly landscape shooter like me I don't like the camera too much. The lack of a tilting screen being one and the lesser dynamic range being the other.

For mainly low light shooters the performance is amazing. Even video performance is very good for those who like to shoot video. Bit rates are high and the jello effect is pretty well contained.

The low number of AF points is a big drawback for someone like me who uses most of my AF points. For those who love focus and recompose the camera should be right up their alley as focusing is good even in low light.

A built in flash would come in very handy but sadly the 6D lacks that. Try explaining that to people who would assume a 1.3 lakh camera would have a flash as even the cheapest point and shoot camera comes with a flash. :P

So from a Sony perspective this camera doesn't really impress me much. Now I need to test its competitor the D600. Need to catch some bakra err friend who is willing to loan one me.  ;D

P.S. I still have this camera with me till Saturday. Anyone needs any more tests let me know and ill try and oblige. :)

P.P.S I would like to thank the following people for their help with these tests -

My friend Cletus who owns the 6D and 24-105mm f4 L for trusting me with the camera for 2 weeks.

Doc Rajesh for lending me his 17-40mm at Sewri.

Ayaz for pushing people to shoot every weekend. Would have been sleeping at home if it wasn't for him.  :like:

Rama Nayak - Who started South Indian restaurants in Mumbai. I love to visit places like Cafe Mysore after a shoot to have some sumptuous breakfast. I mostly come to Sewri for these breakfasts only. :P

Offline theqca

  • Hero
  • *
  • Posts: 2221
    • Framed For Life
Its a very interesting perspective you have there Brendon.

I've always felt that the only functions I would really want on a camera are some dials for things like shutter, ISO, maybe a ring or two for aperture and focus and that's about it.

I also used to think that all the "features" and gizmos being offered these days are targeted at computer geeks who want to use a camera rather than real photographers.

On reading your write up I've realized that there exists a demand for features / functions which some photographers use and if they get used to these features they will miss them when using a camera body that doesn't have them.

So maybe someone like me who doesn't use all these features / functions may come away impressed with a 6D..but someone like you who embraces technological advancements will not be very impressed.

Maybe you now need to test my old zenith :)



« Last Edit: March 21, 2014, 04:43:19 PM by Ayaz »
Nikon FM(black), Nikon FG, Nikon D700, Nikon FM(silver), Nikon FM10, Pentax Spotmatic, Zenith TTL, Minox Wetzlar, Agfa Optima III, Yashica & Rollei rangefinders etc

28mm 2.8, 70-300vr, 200mm f4, 50mm 1.4, 55mm 2.8 macro, 50mm 1.8, 16mm 2.8, 70-210 f4 macro, Lensbaby, Helios 44 f2, 90mm macro, etc

Offline samraj

  • Regular
  • *
  • Posts: 85
:))O0

Sent from my XT1033 using Tapatalk 2


Offline VikramF

  • Mentor
  • Manic
  • *
  • Posts: 344
Hmmmm ... you should be able to turn on the grid lines from the menu.

Am also quite surprised about the comment on the DR (recovering details from over/under exposed areas) as I would have thought that purely from being a FF, it would have your Minoltas beat.

Also surprising (to me) was that a lot of the faff features are actually features that are used and sought after and probably not 'faff'. Hmmm ... the lack of the 100% viewfinder is perhaps the only bit that I would have found 'missing'.
Vikram Franklin
98864 (PM me for the rest - I get strange calls)

Check out my FaceBook Photopage @
https://www.facebook.com/Photography.by.Vikram.Franklin

Offline Brendon

  • Global Moderator
  • Manic
  • *
  • Posts: 393
@Ayaz - Well when I first bought Sony it was really no different from say a Canon or a Nikon camera. My A700 had a beautiful pentaprism viewfinder and it had tons and tons of buttons which I loved.

However Sony moved to EVF and I was forced to embrace shooting with EVF and panaroma mode, face detect etc etc. So I really had no choice but to adapt.

That said I do not use fluff like Panaroma , face detect, JPEG filters etc. But the tilting screen is one thing that really comes in handy especially on a low tripod. Most of the times though I don't use a tilting screen but for landscape photography its very useful.

@Vikram - Oh but DXOmark says otherwise on the DR bit ! :)

Actually shadow recovery is around the same. Its the highlight performance where the Sony is better. My earlier A700 couldn't recover anything when highlights were blown. But the A55 can recover quite a bit of info. I stopped shooting HDRs after I got my A55 as I found the DR generally pretty good for most scenes.

Offline theqca

  • Hero
  • *
  • Posts: 2221
    • Framed For Life
Sorry I forgot to add this earlier... I loved the photos dude.. They're awesome :-)
Nikon FM(black), Nikon FG, Nikon D700, Nikon FM(silver), Nikon FM10, Pentax Spotmatic, Zenith TTL, Minox Wetzlar, Agfa Optima III, Yashica & Rollei rangefinders etc

28mm 2.8, 70-300vr, 200mm f4, 50mm 1.4, 55mm 2.8 macro, 50mm 1.8, 16mm 2.8, 70-210 f4 macro, Lensbaby, Helios 44 f2, 90mm macro, etc

Offline drgap

  • Trusted Member
  • Hero
  • *
  • Posts: 503
loved the photos :-)

u can add the grid lines from the menu

Offline Brendon

  • Global Moderator
  • Manic
  • *
  • Posts: 393
Thanks Ayaz and Doc. :)

@drgap - Oh didn't know that. Dr Rajesh who has a MK3 tried to show the grid but it didn't work. Guess a thorough manual reading was in order. :P

Offline LightWave

  • Administrator
  • Hero
  • *
  • Posts: 908
I located that option later. I had turned it on so I knew it had to be somewhere.

Offline hvdatar

  • Manic
  • *
  • Posts: 405
no wonder.. you have high number of punches in karma..  ;D
Some Canon Gears

Offline Brendon

  • Global Moderator
  • Manic
  • *
  • Posts: 393
Ha ha, yeah my goal is always to be #1 !!!! ;D

TBH the 6D just didn't impress me much for my type of shooting as well as my shooting style but the 5D Mk 3 did. I loved the AF point coverage, 100% viewfinder, joystick, faster burst rate, better build quality etc.

Its also got a lot to do with what I currently work with as the Sony system is pretty different most DSLRs.

I just wished more people would be like Nikon and have a built in flash on their pro cameras. They already cost so much. Charge $50 more and have a damn commander flash !!! :P

Offline theqca

  • Hero
  • *
  • Posts: 2221
    • Framed For Life
no wonder.. you have high number of punches in karma..  ;D

 ;D ;D ;D ;D


Nikon FM(black), Nikon FG, Nikon D700, Nikon FM(silver), Nikon FM10, Pentax Spotmatic, Zenith TTL, Minox Wetzlar, Agfa Optima III, Yashica & Rollei rangefinders etc

28mm 2.8, 70-300vr, 200mm f4, 50mm 1.4, 55mm 2.8 macro, 50mm 1.8, 16mm 2.8, 70-210 f4 macro, Lensbaby, Helios 44 f2, 90mm macro, etc

Offline theqca

  • Hero
  • *
  • Posts: 2221
    • Framed For Life

I just wished more people would be like Nikon and have a built in flash on their pro cameras. They already cost so much. Charge $50 more and have a damn commander flash !!! :P

Ur right Brendon...I think these camera companies may be thinking that all pro's will have a separate speed light - wont every use an on board flash...but the only real use IMHO for that on-board flash is for maybe flash-fill or to trigger other lights / flashes...so i guess even a pro level camera body should have it?
Nikon FM(black), Nikon FG, Nikon D700, Nikon FM(silver), Nikon FM10, Pentax Spotmatic, Zenith TTL, Minox Wetzlar, Agfa Optima III, Yashica & Rollei rangefinders etc

28mm 2.8, 70-300vr, 200mm f4, 50mm 1.4, 55mm 2.8 macro, 50mm 1.8, 16mm 2.8, 70-210 f4 macro, Lensbaby, Helios 44 f2, 90mm macro, etc

Offline Brendon

  • Global Moderator
  • Manic
  • *
  • Posts: 393
^^ Yes I can't really remember the time I last used the onboard flash for a fill flash but I have on many occassions used it to trigger my other wireless flash.

I can understand bodies like a D4 or a 1Dx not having it but I am certain that a vast number of D600, D800, 5D MK 3, 6D type users are either serious amateurs or rich guys rather than pros.

There is no real downside to not having a built in flash. In a pinch you can even use it as a fill in flash if you know what you are doing and your main flash fails.

Currently only the D600 & D800 has a built in flash among the current crop of FF DSLR cameras including the Sony A99.

And the A99 is the only camera that has a tilt screen while still being weather sealed.

So my dream camera will be something like having the build and ergonomics of a 5D MK 3 with a built in commander flash, having a Nikon or a Sony sensor and a tilt screen for a price that a regular 5D mk 3 sells for. :)