This is the third part of my series on the recently announced Canon 6D. The first two series covered.
· A specification comparison of the Canon 6D, 5D Mark III, and 7D
· A discussion on the fit of the Canon 6D for travel photographers
This post will finish the series with my opinions on how the 6D is matched for Nature photographers. Nature photography is a broad subject. There are many types of nature photography including: wildlife, birds, landscapes, macro, long exposure night photography, etc. In this post, I will focus on wildlife and bird photography, macro photography, and landscapes.
I’ve created the following table for comparison and then will discuss the exceptions for each type of photography.
|6D Specs||Wildlife & Birds||Landscape||Macro|
|Digic 5+ Image Processor||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Full CMOS Sensor||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|ISO 100 – 25600, L:50, H1: 51200, H2:102400||Plus||Plus||Plus|
|11-Point AF Array, 1 Cross-Point||No||Yes||Yes|
|3.0-inch TFT LCD Display||Yes||Yes||?|
|4.5 FPS Shutter Speed||No||Yes||Yes|
|Weight – 27.2 oz / 775g||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Single SD Card Slot||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|100,000 Shutter Actuation Rating||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Yes||6D specs would be acceptable for this type of photography|
|No||6D specs might not fit for this type of photography|
|?||May or may not be a fit depending on the implementation and usage|
|Plus||Bonus feature that could be a plus for this type of photography|
ISO Range. The high ISO range of the Canon 6D will be a benefit to most photographers. The ISO range of the 6D is the same as the Canon 5D Mark III which in my opinion is very good. This should help macro and landscape photographers if they need to handhold shots in low light conditions. This will also benefit wildlife and bird photographers attempting to photograph animals at the beginning or end of the day such as capturing short-eared owls in flight in low light conditions.
AF Points. The Canon 6D has 11 AF points which is an upgrade from the 5D Mark II’s 9 AF points. However, this is significantly less than the AF points on the 5D Mark III or the 7D. This should work for landscape and macro photography that is mainly manual focus. This could be a drawback for tracking birds and wildlife.
LCD Display. The 3.0-inch LCD display is the same size as the Canon 7D. A bigger LCD might be beneficial for macro photographers who mainly manual focus in live mode on the LCD. It’s probably not too big of a deal. I’ve done quite a bit of macro photography with my Canon 7D.
Shutter Speed. This could be a show stopper for wildlife and bird photographers. At times, I find the 6 fps of my 5D Mark III too slow for birds in flight. If you photograph birds or wildlife in action, 4.5 fps may cause you to lose shots.
Built-in WiFi. This is a cool feature. I just don’t know how applicable this is to nature photographers. Nature photographers typically don’t work in the range of a WiFi signal unless they have a mobile wireless hotspot in their pocket.
Built-in GPS. Built-in GPS could be very beneficial to nature photographers. I like to Geotag my photos for future reference. A GPS solution fully integrated with the camera could be a big time saver.
Overall, the Canon 6D looks to be a good match for nature photographers. The exception would be for bird and wildlife photographers where the number of AF points and the low frames per second shutter speed could be a drawback.
These are my own personal opinions on the Canon 6D for nature photographers based on the published specifications. If you disagree with my opinion (or agree), share your opinion by posting a comment to this blog post.