The Canon EOS R6 is a 20-megapixel full-frame mirrorless camera aimed at enthusiast photographers and videographers. It sits below the R5, much like the EOS 6Ds below the 5D DSLRs, and offers a well-rounded combination of features for both disciplines. It’s also one of the first cameras for enthusiasts to shoot both stills and video, and to take advantage of the capabilities of the latest high dynamic range displays. However, its tendency to reach its temperature limits detracts from its video capabilities.
Some of the best mirrorless cameras have real flair, but the Canon R6 is not one of them. There’s no retro charm like Fujifilm or Olympus cameras, and no real attempt to move away from the look of older Canon DSLRs. This is also clearly a conscious decision; Canon’s own marketing for the camera talks about how anyone who has ever used an EOS camera will find it “reassuringly familiar,” and it is. But while that decision makes a lot of sense, it also makes the camera pretty nondescript.
Looks aside, though, the R6’s design has a lot going for it. The body is mostly magnesium alloy, but Canon has added tactile rubber parts where your hands rest, and the grip is large and offers plenty of grip. The camera is quite large more than 15% larger and slightly heavier than the Sony A7 IV, but it’s very well made and offers full protection from dust and moisture, so you can shoot in poor conditions without worrying about damage.
With Canon’s latest Digic X image processor under the hood, the R6 is expected to be a top performer like the 1D X Mark III, where the processor was first used. And our tests prove that it is. The R6 is capable of capturing images at 5472×3648 pixels (compared to the R5’s larger 8192×5464 pixels) in JPEG or 14-bit RAW files. Compressed RAW is also available, but our favorite is the 10-bit HEIF format.
To shoot in this format, you need to enable HDR PQ, which swaps JPEG for HEIF, and you can also convert back to JPEG in-camera. To keep up with the speed of the camera, it’s important that the R6 has an equally impressive buffer memory. Although much depends on the memory card used, the camera transferred a series of 315 images to a UHS-II SD card without problems during our tests.