Canon R6-II Hands-on: Faster, More Accurate, Less Heating Problems

Just two years after the launch Original EOS R6Canon revealed its successor, the $2,500 EOS R6 Mark II. It brings a number of key improvements, such as a 24.2MP high-resolution sensor and faster shooting speeds. Most importantly, Canon has significantly reduced the previous model’s problems with overheating.

The EOS R6 was the best camera in this important price range at its launch, thanks to speed, powerful video features, and excellent Dual Pixel Hybrid Autofocus. However, once Sony 2500 dollar A7 IV Coming with similar capabilities, more accuracy and no overheating issues, the R6 lost that particular crown.

At a preview event in San Diego, Canon allowed me to shoot with R6 Mark II models for a few days in a variety of sporting situations. Since it’s not a production model and still has some bugs, this isn’t a final review – but it did give us a chance to share some early impressions.

body and handling

The EOS R6 II is not just a minor update copy “A” from the original. It has significant physical and performance changes, starting with the new 24.2MP sensor. It is not, as rumors suggest, the stacked backlight sensor (BSI) from EOS R3 camera; There is a reason for this model It costs a lot. But it does offer some advantages over the 20MP chip over the R6.

Canon promises improved image quality that goes beyond just the extra megapixels, thanks to its updated image processing. It also offers improved low-light sensitivity despite the slightly smaller pixels. Canon says the rolling shutter is reduced on the R6.

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The R6 features some changes on the outside, too. The power/lock/off switch is now positioned to the right where it is easy to reach but hard to reach by accident. It also has a new video/photo mode switch that keeps these functions and all their settings separate. Flipping also changes the menus, and Canon has provided a convenient, video-specific Q menu.

Steve Dent / Engadget

Other than that, it’s about the same weight and size as the R6, and it has identical grips, uprights, control layout and handling. It also uses its predecessor’s display, which can be flipped out for taking videos or selfies, dual UHS II card slots and a 3.67 million-dot electronic viewfinder. Of course, it comes with microphone and headphone ports, along with a USB-C jack and (unfortunately) a microHDMI jack. It has a new IBS, but it offers the same 8 degrees of vibration reduction as the EOS R6.

The battery is identical, too, but Canon boosts efficiency, from a maximum of 510 shots on the R6 to 760 on the R6 Mark II. In a single day, I shot over 2,000 photos without changing the battery, using mostly a mechanical shutter—which is impressive.

performance and image quality

Mechanical shutter burst speeds at 12fps (RAW, full frame) are unchanged, which is good considering the additional resolution. However, you can now shoot RAW footage in silent mode at 40 fps. Furthermore, the R6 II now comes with a RAW burst option that captures RAW files for half a second before you hit the shutter. This allows you to capture a moment even if you are reacting slowly, albeit at the cost of some battery life. When experimenting with the feature, I’ve found that it probably allows me to take a few shots (out of thousands) that I might have otherwise missed.

Canon R6-II Hands-on: Faster, More Accurate, Less Heating Problems

Steve Dent / Engadget

Those speeds are great, but if images are distorted by excessive rolling shutter (hey Sony), they’re not useful. Fortunately, the rolling shutter is present but it is better controlled than the R6, and much less aggressive than what I saw on the A7 IV. It can take a large number of shots (about 70-75 uncompressed RAW files, or 140 compressed RAW files) before the buffer fills, and resets fairly quickly with fast UHS-II V90 cards. However, it was nice to see the CFexpress slot for faster and better shooting of video files.

The company says the R6 II’s autofocus is more advanced than any Canon model to date, including the R3. It now deals with people, animals, and vehicles, including motorcycles, cars, trains, and horses. It now has an auto-select option that lets the AI ​​decide what to track, which should be a requirement on every mirrorless camera.

The AI ​​tracked my objective eyes smoothly, but it got lost at times and didn’t live up to Sony’s high standards. In continuous continuous mode (without AI), the AF looked as accurate as the R6, amazing shots in most conditions. Occasionally confused by background or close subjects, but again, this was a typical unit; These issues can be improved by the December release date.

Gallery: Canon EOS R6 Mark II Sample Images | 27 photos


It’s also hard to judge image quality at this point, as RAW files aren’t ready for viewing yet. But the JPEGs looked great, with the usual Canon-like warm skin tones and subtle colours. The low-light capability was surprisingly strong, with noise being well controlled at ISO 6400 and beyond.

video

My biggest issue with the original EOS R6 was the video, specifically the overheating issues. This model can only shoot 4K 60p for 30 minutes, and for another 10 minutes or so after it’s cool enough to shoot again. Suffice to say, it is a serious problem for professional shooters.

These issues are effectively gone, and Canon has also eliminated the 30 minute timeout for recording. You can now shoot 4K 60p without cropping for 40 minutes and can go far beyond that. The limit for 4K 60p cropping is 50 minutes, and there are no restrictions on 4K 30p sampling.

Canon R6-II Hands-on: Faster, More Accurate, Less Heating Problems

Steve Dent / Engadget

It also has better video specs overall. Internally, you can shoot 4K at 60fps aggregated from the 5.1K portion of the sensor (or the entire sensor width with some pixel binning). 4K is sampled at 30 fps from 6K using the full sensor width. It now supports 180fps for 1080p, up from 120fps before. Capture files are still limited to MP4 and Quicktime with no ProRes built in – likely a limitation of UHS II cards. Like photos, there is no pre-shoot option that captures 3 or 5 seconds of video in a loop before you hit the record button.

Additionally, the camera supports 10-bit 4K video and increased dynamic range using HDR PQ or CLog3. And you can even shoot 6K RAW on an external Atomos recorder, although this feature is not yet ready for testing.

Gallery: Click Images Canon EOS R6 Mark II | 15 photos


As with photos, video autofocus tracks humans, animals, and vehicles. In my limited testing, it performed well, only occasionally focusing on the background. So far, subject tracking isn’t quite as reliable as I saw it on the A7 IV, but then again, it might get better with some firmware or other tweaks.

The video was sharp and I had no issues with overheating in San Diego, where temperatures were around 80 degrees in the sun. 1080p 180p video looks a bit poor, shot with a few juxtaposed pixels, and 4K cropping lacks sharpness compared to 4K full frame. I was happy with the color, and the low-light video capability was good to excellent.

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Canon R6-II Hands-on: Faster, More Accurate, Less Heating Problems

Steve Dent / Engadget

By reducing heat issues, the R6 II is actually a huge improvement over the original R6. But it also feels like a better camera for photography thanks to the higher resolution, faster speeds, and improved image quality – without the need for a stacked sensor.

Canon’s entire RF ecosystem continues to improve too. Its latest lens is a 135mm f/1.8, joining 26 other full-frame and zoom lenses. Therefore, this system has become surprisingly mature, considering that it was launched only four years ago. I can’t give you a definitive assessment of the key features like image quality and autofocus, as they are still in the prototype stage. However, we expect to revisit the Canon EOS R6 Mark II in the form of a full review once it launches in December.

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