The Canon EOS R6 will be shipping later this month, and we were lucky enough to get a pre-production model and put the camera through its paces. I'm sure you'll be curious to see how well it works in the field and whether I've noticed any problems with overheating. So let's dive into my Canon EOS R6 test. (Mind you, my opinion and overview of this camera are based on using a Canon R6 in pre-production. The above video and writing reflect my own opinion after working with it.)
The Canon EOS R6 arrived at my house at the end of last week and, like I usually do with all the other new cameras to be checked, I left it next to the front door in its original packaging for a day. Just an old belief that a camera deserves to get used to its new home before it becomes a temporary family member, and trying to give me the extra time to complete other ongoing reviews …
After the aftermath, this was the only day that the Canon EOS R6 and I made friends because frankly nothing prepared me for what's to come.
I've been in this business for a day or two and I've met a few people who are behind making these wonderful advanced tools. As a professional user, I have a lot of respect for what these people plan, manufacture, deliver and do. But nothing prepared me for the encounter with the Canon R6. After all, I've seen many happy faces from happy Canon ambassadors who rave about video quality and ease of use. When testing the Canon 1D X Mark III recently, I thought I would use "the next best". As always, if you want to buy this camera, I recommend that you do your own homework, check other sources of information, and buy from a reputable seller in case you need to return it if it doesn't meet your expectations.
There is a LOT to like in this new camera. Solid 4K image with up to 60 frames per second. 1080 to 120fps (love the warm colors of Canon), untrimmed full screen, internal 10-bit, 4: 2: 2 recording (H.265, IBP), great auto focus in all film modes. Excellent IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilization), C-Log, HDR PQ and more.
EVERYTHING in the above short documentation (except for the main interview with Neal) was shot in the hand! As you can see, the IBIS works remarkably in this camera and can easily mimic "tripod-like" continuous shots. It is also very good to follow people. Yes, there is a certain crop when using the strongest stabilization mode, but I personally prefer this over blurred images.
One thing to keep in mind when using a stabilized RF lens. There is still some stabilization going on when I turn off IBIS, I think from the lens itself (in ON mode).
I think there is no need to introduce Canon's famous dual-pixel autofocus feature as it is one of the best (if not the best) on the market. The EOS R6 (and EOS R5) continue this tradition by using an improved version of this function, the Dual Pixel CMOS AF II. Be it by touching the LCD screen or by activating the rear "jog stick" (activation in the camera menu), the autofocus works most of the time as a pleasure! The Canon AF system is one of them, for example, which allows you to film an interview on a camera without an operator knowing that the focus can be followed well, even if your film subject has moved a bit during filming.
Other notable features:
- Fully movable screen. While this is not new, I like the way it is implemented. Microphones / headphones can be connected to the camera body without fear of restricting the position of the LCD screen during filming
- Audio quality. I really like the sound quality of this little camera. On closer inspection, there is also the option of "decompressing audio" by selecting a specific setting in the menu. Although I acknowledge that this mirrorless camera is not part of the Canon video line, I hope that future models will provide a direct link to an advanced audio attachment à la Sony and Panasonic.
Canon EOS R6 – what deserves attention
While working in C-Log, there is a way to use the “View Assistant” to return “color” to the flat image. While this is a very welcome feature that can be helpful in assessing the pictures you take, the main feature for ease of use is accuracy. The Canon R6 offers BT2020 and REC709 color overlays, but unfortunately I find the REC709 inaccurate (in color) at least in the pre-production camera I tested. Similar functions to support the view can also be found on cameras from other manufacturers.
We haven't yet tested the Canon EOS R6 in our lab for dynamic range and rolling shutter results (we'll do this when we have the final model in our hands), but based on what I've noticed while filming the rolling shutter effect seems terrible.
Lowlight functions: Unfortunately I was unable to test the camera's lowlight functions specifically and will do so when and when we get them next time.
Menu structure and body control: I really like the idea of being able to control a lot of the basic camera functions by assigning functions to the three main wheels. After a short struggle, when it came to the camera menu, I managed to easily assign and access everything I needed. When I write "Kampf" I mean that it initially looked like the camera had "too few buttons" to assign functions, but in fact it didn't because most, if not all, of the video functions needed were accessed could with the "Q" key (after assigning certain functions).
Canon R6 – In the field
Everything was ready for me to do my next short documentary. I make these short films knowing that they will never change the world but could inspire others (besides my passion to tell and share human stories). Neal Somchand and Mari Fujii-san (double "i" is correct here), both were so friendly Opening a small window for their daily activities and culinary state of mind, and the Canon R6 seemed to be the perfect candidate to help me visually tell their story. And let me tell you, boy, I was wrong!
I am one of those who were very excited when Canon launched two new mirrorless cameras (EOS R5 and EOS R6). In addition to the apparently healthy competition, I was delighted that Canon was returning to its roots by trying to redefine the mirrorless camera market with new innovative work tools. The move to regain the heart of video content creators seemed very welcome. (My last adventure footage with a Canon mirrorless camera was just over 18 months ago when I was driving the Canon EOS R to India and shooting a mini wedding documentary.)
Back to the topic "On the field", with some great features that I had hoped for for a successful day of shooting, but eventually everything started to go wrong.
Record time constraints and the problem of overheating
Of course, I was aware of Canon's overheating problem and advising you how to try to combat it alongside the scheduled recording times. However, "data on paper" is one thing and the experience with the submitted documents is another. Let me tell you, if you think the problem of overheating is bad, think twice. It is certainly worse than you can imagine!
Recording time imitations is one thing, but overheating the shutdown at unexpected points on the day of the shoot is really an obstacle. In addition, the recovery time is long (or at least seems long if you are under pressure to continue filming as all of your talents are waiting). When my frustration increased, I tried everything. Ice pack on the camera, strong fan pointing directly at the sensor glass (yes, at some point I didn't care to expose the sensor to the strong wind as long as I can film again) … I also tried to look up at the sky and mumble a few words (if it doesn't help, it won't hurt for sure, I thought). I even promised to be a nicer person and a good friend. Everything to see how the camera works again, BUT nothing bad. The weatherproof camera case did a "great job" in doing what it was supposed to do and not letting anything in. Not even the fresh fan air …
Damn frustrated, I had to apologize to Mari Fujii-san and Neal. Some of the best pictures I was supposed to take that day were missing. Other actions had to be repeated and if it wasn't enough, I had the “brilliant idea” at some point to lower the resolution to Full HD and continue taking pictures, just so as not to waste time. This method worked to some extent, but not always. Some of the kitchen images shown in this video have been scaled up from Full HD to 4K to match the rest of the footage.
The bottom line was that the Canon EOS R6 controlled my day of shooting instead of me controlling it to tell a visual story.
I'm really sorry to report that the Canon EOS R6 doesn't work for me. When filming, you need a reliable tool that maintains the dynamics of a production day (indoor / outdoor shots, different temperatures, etc.). The camera I had is a pre-production model, but as the representative of Canon said, "almost final". I really hope that something can be done to “relieve the pain” and at least shorten the start times of the camera “in between”. Not a perfect solution at all, but maybe it can help some.
The sample material above was taken with a Canon EOS R6 pre-production model. 4K / 24p (and sometimes 1080 / 24p, which were later scaled up to match the rest of the timeline footage), Canon Log, and rated with Lutify.me. Music: epidemic
A big thank you to Neal Somchand and Mari Fujii-san. Your cookbook (to be ordered here. Neal can be reached via a direct e-mail.
Have you pre-ordered the Canon EOS R6? If so, what do you expect? Will you tolerate overheating problems during your production day? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.