Is the Canon EOS R6 the New Bread and Butter Camera for Professionals?

For many years, the Canon 5D series was the camera of choice for a variety of photographers, useful for a wide range of applications and highly reliable. Now that the company has moved on to mirrorless, is the EOS R6 the new 5D? This excellent video review takes a look at the EOS R6 and how it holds up against the venerable 5D Mark III.

Coming to you from Gary Gough, this great video review compares the EOS R6 to the 5D Mark III. You might be wondering why the EOS R6 is being compared to a 5D series camera when the EOS R5 is meant to be the replacement, but I think Gough is on to something. The EOS R5 was such a remarkable leap forward in capabilities that while certainly an impressive camera, it might be more than a lot of photographers actually need. A strong argument could be made for the EOS R6 being the new do-it-all camera with strong (but not extreme) features and the sort of versatility and reliability professionals need. At almost $1,500 cheaper than the EOS R5, its price is a strong factor as well. Check out the video above for Gough's full thoughts. 

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Benoit Pigeon's picture

20Mp brings you back 8 years in the past. That's where the current R6 stands.

Rick Boden's picture

For what I do, aerials and landscapes, I agree. I was very happy with my 5DIII but much happier with the 5DsR.

Daniel Lee's picture

So by this logic how far back does the A7SIII take you back, 15 years?

Benoit Pigeon's picture

Well the original 5D had 12mp 16 years ago... But seriously that’s not the point, all the technology is different now. So let me explain about video. I don’t shoot video and 100% of my income is from still shots. On some shoots I work on location where a video team is also present. They know I don’t shoot video and have no problem with me, just like they don’t shoot stills. It’s very healthy to keep doing what you do and not look like a Jack of all trade. If a client ask me for video, I send them to a video team that is experienced, has the right tools, hire a crew and hire a qualified gaffer if needed and so on.
Canon is screwing the camera market with their video obsession, messed up with their 8k and produces small sensors for the less founded video guys. Then the same 20mp guys complain about the cost of archiving still photos when the necessary storage for video is x time bigger. None of that makes sense to me. I write what I feel I need to as a still photographer and right now, Canon is not a still camera manufacturer. It has become a secondary market - target - for them. In fact looking at Canon’s sale of lenses in 2020 you can’t even notice a boom in R lenses sold. So people are not jumping on the full mirrorless inventory for either video or stills. There are plenty of people who are not interested in 20mp or paying for the added cost of the 8k with the R5. Canon is doing a little of what Kodak was doing 30 years ago by forcing the sale of what they want to sell not necessarily what people want. Then came Fuji who actually did listen to the pros they visited and started applying better variety of film, eventually making the products available all the way to the general public. And Fuji is doing it again right now with medium format cameras, a system I could end up with later this year and turn the page after 25 years with Canon.

Rick Boden's picture

I agree but I think Canon has to make their cameras still and video to be competitive. If they were to bring out a 40MP, lightweight camera(like the Sony a7C but with more MP) I'd be all over it. They can even throw in 4k video if they want.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

Bingo. And probably 90% don't even use 4K. Personally I'd love to see an article with real data showing the percentage of people people even use the video feature of their camera, slr or mirrorless. Magically it's really hard to find! That certainly would please me more than the weekly r6 or r5 reviews we are now stuck with.

David Cannon's picture

I have both the R6 and R5 and find myself using the R6 a lot more than the 5. I shot an ad campaign for Duck Head recently with it and they hired me to shoot three more campaigns for them this year. It is a great all-around camera, and the vast majority of commercial and editorial work doesn't need higher resolution than what the R6 offers.

Topher George's picture

Benoit Pigeon but no one said this about the 1DX Mark iii. 20 MP from that sensor is fine for most everything except of your making billboard prints.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

Agreed, but they are not selling me any camera or R lens at 20mp, absolutely zero chance.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

Actually, you don't need that big for billboard, however, there are large but skinny items I need more resolution than 20mp to shoot.

John TheMan's picture

I don't think you really need more than 20 mpix in many real world amateur and professional circumstances. You need good dynamic range and flexible raw files and good glass and accurate reliable focusing for the kind of work you do. More mpixels are nice because one can crop more which is very nice to have, sometimes. Especially when you really can't get to where you would like to be, or need to be. Or if one wants giant sized prints with high detail when looking close up. But storage space and archiving all have a cost. Frankly for the money and utility I think 20 mpix is more than fine for most work. In fact 15 or 16 probably gives enough, I have some old cameras with 12 mpix and that is about as low as I would care to go. Also, lower mpixels means a sensor needs less stabilization to be able to use the resolution fully, and the glass does not have to be as expensive either.

People seem to be under the impression that billboards need high megapixels, I have never done one, but surely billboards do NOT need high megapixels. You know they blasted movie sized 35mm images a hundred yards onto a giant screen at a drive-in theater for decades. Worked fine. Detail and such is, in many ways an artistic possibility but not a necessity in a good image, same for sharpness. An image is a compilation of factors. However, more mpix is, all things being equal, like costs etc. Nice to have.

Keep in mind that half-assed technique can negate lots of megapixels into effectively many fewer by camera movement or lens issues maybe ISO too. Half-assed is not so uncommon. It's the full-assed that is most dangerous, kind of in every "conceivable" way ;)

jim blair's picture

Billboards don't need high mb, it's not fine art from 1/4 mile away traveling at varying speeds. You only need about 30 dpi of resolution for print.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

Billboard require only between 15 to 30dpi. I've had many photos on billboards. Regarding MP, you can go to as low as 4mp to print 40x40 prints. We did it 20 years ago with a Leaf DCB2, so you can use a 4mp or 20mp as you wish, and as far as storage, it's cheaper than cheap today, definitely not an issue. Shoot less, shoot properly, save just like in the film days, yes we did it with much less captures. The 20mp camera days were 8 years ago, let's move on, Canon is being cheap on the R6.

John Halpern's picture

All of you are spot-on about the megapixels - For everyday professional use around 20mg is fine. Let's face it, most of our work is going online these day - Editorial, Marketing, Ads - that's where my work ends up. Here's the key thing for me about mirrorless - I can FINALLY frame and focus my images quickly throughout the frame. I would say that in about 90% of my images the subject's face is in the upper corners of the frame; I want my camera to be able to focus up there without some quick workaround. To be able to have that ability, along with eye focus detection, is a complete game-changer for me on any assignment.
Later this year when I expect my workload to get back to normal, I'm planning to be trading in my 5d3 + 5d4 for a couple of R6 bodies.