EOS R6 Mark II vs EOS R6 vs EOS 6D Mark II: Canon's 6-series cameras compared

What does the Canon EOS R6 Mark II offer that its predecessors the EOS R6 and EOS 6D Mark II don't – and why should you consider upgrading?
A man holds the Canon EOS R6 Mark II in his left hand, and a body of water is visible in the background.

The Canon EOS R6 Mark II features over 70 upgrades compared with the EOS R6, including 40fps shooting and a 30fps RAW burst mode with pre-capture that starts taking pictures half a second before you press the shutter button.

The Canon EOS R6 Mark II succeeds the EOS R6 as the high-performance hybrid camera for photographers and filmmakers. But how does the EOS R6 Mark II compare with its mirrorless predecessor and the EOS 6D Mark II?

Here, we look at the similarities between the EOS 6-series cameras, and what separates them, with expert comments from Canon Europe Senior Product Specialist Mike Burnhill.

A Canon EOS 6D Mark II lies on a white sheet, with accessories including a pair of headphones and additional lenses around it.

The Canon EOS 6D Mark II was launched in 2017, and its longevity is testament to its image quality and ease of use. It features a 26.2MP full-frame sensor and Dual Pixel CMOS AF, and can shoot Full HD video at 60fps.

The Canon EOS R6 Mark II sits on a mossy rock with a forest in the background.

The Canon EOS R6 Mark II introduces a range of high-end image processing options to the EOS 6-series camera range, including Dual Pixel RAW, RAW processing in the Cloud, and HDR with moving objects.

EOS R6 Mark II vs EOS 6D Mark II: mirrorless vs DSLR

Head-to-head, there's one very obvious difference between the Canon EOS R6 Mark II and the EOS 6D Mark II: the EOS R6 Mark II is a groundbreaking Canon EOS R System hybrid camera while the EOS 6D Mark II is a DSLR. Ultimately, choosing between the EOS 6D Mark II or EOS R6 Mark II is a choice of DSLR vs mirrorless.

"Some people still prefer to look at the image provided by a DSLR's optical viewfinder (OVF), compared with the electronic viewfinder (EVF) of a mirrorless camera such as the EOS R6 Mark II – even with its OVF simulation enabled," says Mike.

The EOS 6D Mark II also has a slightly higher resolution full-frame sensor – 26.2MP versus 24.2MP in the EOS R6 Mark II – and a longer battery life. But the two cameras are comparable in several areas. They both have sturdy bodies with intuitive controls that enable you to quickly make manual adjustments, and each is equipped with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a large vari-angle touchscreen.

However, there are some fundamental differences. The EOS 6D Mark II has the EF lens mount, while the EOS R6 Mark II has the advanced, future-focused RF mount. There are currently more EF lenses available than RF lenses, but EF lenses can also be used on the EOS R6 Mark II with no loss of quality or functionality via any of a range of EF-EOS R adapters, which means the EOS 6D Mark II is compatible with a smaller range of lenses and can't take advantage of the newer technologies and innovative features in RF lenses.

Compared with the EOS R6 Mark II, the EOS 6D Mark II is slower and its autofocus isn't as agile. With a blazing 40fps burst rate and intelligent Dual Pixel CMOS AF II, the EOS R6 Mark II is the go-to camera for sports, wildlife and action photography. Its upgraded 6K video features make it the better choice for hybrid shooters too.

The EOS 6D Mark II's more sedate 6.5fps continuous shooting speed is well-suited to more general photography, though. It's a fabulous full-frame all-rounder that takes portraits, landscapes, travel and more in its stride. While the EOS 6D Mark II might lack many of the cutting-edge capabilities of the EOS R6 Mark II, it still delivers in many of the key areas, and if you're simply looking to step up to full-frame photography then the EOS 6D Mark II is an affordable way to get the benefits of the larger sensor.

A technician wearing white gloves cleans the sensor of a Canon camera.

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A photographer points the Canon EOS R6 Mark II at a stunt rider on a bike skidding across a patch of dirt.

"We've added new subject detection to the Canon EOS R6 Mark II, but we've also updated the entire Dual Pixel CMOS AF II algorithm," explains Mike. "So even though, like the EOS R6, it has all the previous settings for detecting birds, cats and so on, the EOS R6 Mark II has even more accurate tracking."

EOS R6 Mark II vs EOS R6: technology

There's just a two-year gap between the EOS R6 and the launch of the EOS R6 Mark II, so you might anticipate a handful of evolutionary bumps in specification, but there are actually more than 70 upgrades in the EOS R6 Mark II compared with the EOS R6.

The advances range from the substantial – including significantly uprated video capabilities – to more subtle refinements, such as the addition of Creative Filters and the option to create a shortcut to your three most-used ISO settings.

Although a DIGIC X processor drives both cameras, the EOS R6 Mark II has an updated version. "It's more power-efficient than the one in the EOS R6," explains Mike. "This means that when you're using the LCD screen, the battery life is improved by around 50%. What's more, the heat generated is less, so you can shoot longer video clips than you could with the EOS R6."

Using its electronic shutter, the EOS R6 Mark II delivers a phenomenal burst rate of 40fps, which is twice as fast as that of the EOS R6. The new full-frame 24.2MP CMOS sensor provides the rapid data readout that's needed for full AF/AE tracking at this blistering high speed, with the added benefit of reduced rolling shutter distortion when shooting fast-moving subjects.

The deep-learning algorithm has been updated in the EOS R6 Mark II. Compared with the EOS R6, the EOS R6 Mark II can recognise a more diverse range of subjects, enabling the AF to lock on to them and track them throughout the frame. Select Animals, and the camera will track horses and zebras as well as cats, dogs and birds. And if you choose Vehicles, then planes, trains and helicopters can be detected in addition to cars and bikes.

As a man films himself using the Canon EOS R6 Mark II with an external microphone attached, the image appears on the camera's rear screen.

Unlike the EOS 6D Mark II, the EOS R6 Mark II has In-Body Image Stabilisation, dual card slots, Dual Pixel CMOS AF II with advanced subject detection, and an electronic viewfinder that accurately previews the image with exposure and other settings applied.

EOS R6 Mark II vs EOS R6: video

Both the EOS R6 Mark II and EOS R6 are capable of recording 4K 60p internally and can capture more dynamic range using Canon Log and PQ HDR. But there are some major differences.

"The big change here is that filming at 4K 60p with the EOS R6 Mark II uses the entire width of the camera's full-frame sensor, whereas it was cropped in the EOS R6," explains Mike. "It's oversampled from 6K for better quality, and there's no longer the 30-minute recording time limitation as there is on the EOS R6, making the EOS R6 Mark II perfect for lengthy interviews and events.

"On the EOS R6, you had to select video mode on the mode dial and then go into the menu to choose either Program or Manual. But we've added a separate video selector to the EOS R6 Mark II, which means you're free to use the mode dial to set the exposure mode for video recording. You're now able to shoot in Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority, as well as Manual, Program and three custom setting modes."

The EOS R6 Mark II brings additional professional video features compared with the EOS R6, including a false colour warning display for accurate exposure adjustments, and 6K RAW output via the HDMI socket. The EOS R6's hotshoe has been updated to include a multifunction shoe on the EOS R6 Mark II, which allows new accessories to be used – including the DM-E1D digital microphone and a TASCAM XLR Audio Adapter for professional sound recording.

A photographer with a camera on a tripod photographs a mountain bike rider performing a stunt in mid-air at night.

Capturing perfect mid-air moments

On an ambitious video and photo assignment where speed and accuracy were of the utmost importance, how did the Canon EOS R6 Mark II fare?
A photographer points the Canon EOS R6 Mark II at a mountain biker as they jump over the brow of a hill.

As well as being able to record 4K 60p video internally for durations longer than 30 minutes, the Canon EOS R6 Mark II offers high frame rate recording at up to 180p in Full HD. "That gives you 6x slow-motion playback, compared with the 4x slow-motion that you typically get with other cameras," says Mike.

The Canon EOS R6 Mark II lies on a wooden table with different lenses.

EF vs RF: the Canon EOS 6D Mark II is compatible with the vast range of EF lenses, whereas the EOS R6 Mark II has an RF lens mount that takes both RF lenses and (via an adapter) EF lenses, giving you the best of both worlds.

EOS R6 Mark II vs EOS R6: similarities

The EOS R6 Mark II and EOS R6 are similar cameras in a number of areas. Their powerful In-Body Image Stabilisation (IBIS) technology delivers up to 8-stops of stabilisation (depending on the lens) and gimbal-like smoothness when shooting video. Both cameras can focus in conditions as dark as -6.5EV – less than the light from a half moon. This is remarkable because, as Mike points out, "the pixels on the sensor in the EOS R6 Mark II are smaller because of the increase in resolution, but it's still able to achieve the same low-light performance even with these smaller pixels."

The EOS R6 Mark II also benefits from advanced technologies that debuted in other EOS R System cameras. It gains the OVF simulation function of the EOS R3, making for a more natural DSLR-like viewing experience when using the electronic viewfinder. The focus bracketing and in-camera depth compositing functions from the EOS R3 and EOS R7 are also available on the EOS R6 Mark II.

For advanced users and newcomers alike

"In truth, it's hard to know where to start when it comes to upgrades in the EOS R6 Mark II," Mike admits, "and so many of them are based on feedback from EOS R6 users.

"You've got things such as variable frame rates when you're using the electronic shutter. There are now H+, H and Low settings, so you've got a choice of not just 40fps, but also 20 and 5 and 1. With the EOS R6 you only had a choice of 20 or 1. And the electronic shutter on the EOS R6 Mark II doesn't have to be silent, either: you can activate a shutter noise and turn the volume up or down to suit your shooting environment."

Along with these advanced functions, some features specially designed for novice shooters make a return in the EOS R6 Mark II. "We've even brought back the feature guide from the EOS 6D Mark II," Mike says. "One of the nice things about that camera is that it's quite easy to use, as its guided mode explains the settings as you go through them. That option wasn't available in the EOS R6.

"We've even added some of the entry-level scene modes and creative filters that are in the EOS 6D Mark II. But you can turn all of that off and use it like a professional camera as well, with the full standard EOS menus and everything you're familiar with. So, the Canon EOS R6 Mark II gives you the best of both worlds – it's a true hybrid!"

Marcus Hawkins

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