Two years is a long time in the world of digital cameras, especially the mirrorless market, so what has changed since the 2020 release of the EOS R6 Mark II and is the older model still worth considering?
We bring you a head-to-head comparison between the new Canon EOS R6 Mark II and the previous EOS R6 to find out what changes and improvements have been made in the 2022 version.
You can read our detailed Canon EOS R6 review to find out exactly what we think of that camera.
The original EOS R6’s 20-megapixel sensor is very similar to the one in the flagship EOS-1D X Mark III DSLR camera.
One of our concerns with the sensor in the Canon R6 is whether it’s high enough quality for the general enthusiast target market, especially if you want to crop your images heavily in post-production.
Canon apparently agrees, with the new version of the Mark II now offering a 24.2-megapixel CMOS sensor, a 20% increase over its predecessor.
Despite the increase in resolution, the Canon R6 II offers the same low-light performance as the Mark I version.
So in both models, the ISO range works from 100-102,400, which is actually one stop more than the original EOS R5. This can be expanded up to ISO 204,800 and up to ISO 50.
The Canon EOS R6 can record 4K video up to 60p at 10-bit with 5.1K over-filtering.
The camera can record in 8-bit 4:2:0 H.264 or 10-bit 4:2:2 H.265 and supports the Canon Log profile.
Slow motion is available using Full HD at up to 120fps with AF support.
The Canon EOS R6 can record 4K video at up to 60p at 10-bit, achieved by upscaling from 6K, promising slightly better quality.
It also ups the ante a bit by offering 6K/60p ProRes Raw recording, but only externally via HDMI rather than internally.
1080p slow-motion recording with AF support is also available, but the maximum frame rate has been increased to 180fps in the new model.
There’s also no 30-minute recording time limit like the original R6 and Canon’s reduced rolling shutter.
Cleverly, if the camera is set to face-only AF and a tracked subject moves out of frame, it won’t immediately focus on the background, but instead focuses on the face when it comes back into the scene.
The Mark II R6 offers several new video features such as focus breath correction, false color exposure assist, 3/5 second pre-recording function, CLog3 profile and quick control screen for video.
The new R6 II has an autofocus system very similar to the flagship EOS R3 sports camera, with improved AI tracking that can now also detect horses, planes and trains.
In the original R6 subject tracking was limited to humans, dogs, cats and birds.
The new model now features a dedicated automatic selection mode for subjects, plus the same dynamic AF mode from the EOS R3 and eye tracking now works in all AF modes.
Both cameras can focus in light levels down to -6.5EV (when used with an F1.2 lens).
The EOS R6 offers both fully automatic exposure (AE) and autofocus (AF) tracking for up to 20fps continuous shooting with silent electronic shutter or 12fps with mechanical shutter.
The EOS R6 II can still shoot at 12fps with the mechanical shutter, but doubles the speed to 40fps with the electronic shutter, thus offering the fastest burst shooting in its class.
The buffer is 190 JPEGs, 140 compressed Raws or 75 Uncompressed RAWs, and the camera’s maximum shutter speed is 1/16,000th of a second when using the silent electronic shutter.
There’s also a new Raw Burst mode where the camera can shoot at 30fps with built-in 0.5 second pre-recording.
body and design
The Canon EOS R6 Mark II is very similar to its predecessor – you’d be hard-pressed to tell them apart from the pointer.
On the right side of the top plate is a new on/off/lock switch and on the left is a new camera/film switch.
The multi-controller on the back has been subtly adjusted, and Canon’s latest multi-function shoe has been implemented.
Otherwise, if you’re upgrading from the original R6, you’ll feel right at home with the Mark II version.
The original R6 was the first EOS series camera to include 5-axis in-body image stabilization (IBIS).
Its intelligent stabilization system offers an impressive 8 stops with some lenses, allowing you to hand-hold the camera for up to 4 seconds and still achieve high-quality results.
The new Mark II features a new 5-axis IBIS unit that continues to provide up to 8 stops of IIS.
Both the Canon R6 and R6 II feature a 0.5-inch 3.69-million-dot electronic viewfinder (EVF) for low lag when shooting fast-moving subjects at up to 120fps.
The new model now includes a special OVF simulation mode similar to the EOS R3, which uses HDR technology to simulate a more “real world” view of the scene.
Both cameras feature the same 3-inch, 1.62 million dot, vari-angle LCD screen that tilts to the side and faces forward for more convenient vlogs and selfies.
Both models support two SD UHS II cards in dual slots, with the ability to record to both cards simultaneously.
The R6 Mark II continues to use the same LP-E6NH battery as the R6, but Canon has managed to extend the battery life.
This CIPA rated battery life provides 380 shots when using the EVF and 510 when using the LCD screen on the R6, which has increased to XXXXXXXXXXXX on the new model.
With built-in Bluetooth and 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi, the EOS R6 can easily connect to smartphones and networks that allow high-speed file sharing and FTP/FTPS transfer.
Canon has made several improvements, including both 2.4GHz and 5GHz wi-fi, Bluetooth 5.0 support, and the ability to act as a webcam or use the camera for live streaming via UVC/UAC.
The new Camera Link 3.0.0 app will be released at the same time as the new EOS R6 II to facilitate these improvements.
Canon R6 II offers two new shooting modes – multiple exposure mode (JPEGs only) and panorama mode, as previously seen on the recently introduced EOS R7. It also offers in-camera focus bracketing which will be a big draw for many portrait photographers.
The Canon EOS R6 Mark II is priced at £2599 body only in the UK and $2649 in Europe.
The EOS R6 retails for £2499.99 body-only in the UK and $2499 in the US when it launches in 2020, so thankfully the price hasn’t gone up too much.
The Canon EOS R6 Mark II is a solid upgrade to an already excellent camera, mainly improving its shooting capabilities and autofocus system with 20% more resolution, more capable video and improved connectivity.
So what do you think? Do you prefer the new Canon EOS R6 Mark II or its still very capable predecessor? Comment below!