Canon 70D vs. 6D - Which is the better "Do-It-All" camera?

Apr 16, 2014
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Hello Everyone,
I am new to these boards so I am sorry if this question is redundant, however I would like some input from more experienced photographers.

I am looking to update my Canon T2i. It has been a good camera for my wife and I, but it just isn't cutting it anymore and we would like to update to something that can really do it all.

As poor college students, we have a tight budget so a 5D mkIII is not really an option right now. But we are looking for a camera we can share and that will be best utilized for our different styles and settings of photography as well as videography.

My wife has seen a recent surge in interest for wedding photography but mostly does engagement, family, and graduation portraits. And really needs a camera that can keep up. She mostly shoots out doors in early morning or dusk lighting and enjoys using a 50mm lens pretty exclusively, but is wanting to also use zoom and wide angle lenses occasionally. My needs are more for video. I mostly do sporting events and dance concerts, but was recently asked to do both a promotional film and a music video. I don't mind using manual-focus, but would prefer a camera that could help me out a bit, especially in filming fast-paced sporting events. I mostly use a 70-200 lens and occasionally a 50mm.

Needless to say, we need to update our equipment ASAP.

Which of these cameras will best serve our needs and why? We are also open to other options.

Thank you so much for your time and advice.
 

Drizzt321

EOR R
Nov 23, 2011
1,667
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I'd say if you need the wider spread AF points for sports, 70D is the way to go, while for the rest of the photography the 6D will be superior. The center AF point on the 6D is actually really very good, and it has better low light capabilities than the 5d3 AF points, although on the 6D it's only the center AF point.

Video, it's somewhat a wash, but if you want to be able to have it AF for you (you tap on the LCD), then 70D is the way to go. If you are comfortable with manually focusing for video like you are now, doesn't matter too much, although the 6D will have a shallower DoF, all other things the same, and will have better low-light IQ.
 

wsmith96

Advancing Amateur
Aug 17, 2012
908
9
Texas
I think that the 70D would be a better choice for you here given your video requirements. The 6D is a very nice camera, but for fast paced video, I think you'll like the 70D's AF system a bit better.

Good luck!
 

Ruined

EOS 7D MK II
Aug 22, 2013
796
0
jeffe26 said:
Hello Everyone,
I am new to these boards so I am sorry if this question is redundant, however I would like some input from more experienced photographers.

I am looking to update my Canon T2i. It has been a good camera for my wife and I, but it just isn't cutting it anymore and we would like to update to something that can really do it all.

As poor college students, we have a tight budget so a 5D mkIII is not really an option right now. But we are looking for a camera we can share and that will be best utilized for our different styles and settings of photography as well as videography.

My wife has seen a recent surge in interest for wedding photography but mostly does engagement, family, and graduation portraits. And really needs a camera that can keep up. She mostly shoots out doors in early morning or dusk lighting and enjoys using a 50mm lens pretty exclusively, but is wanting to also use zoom and wide angle lenses occasionally. My needs are more for video. I mostly do sporting events and dance concerts, but was recently asked to do both a promotional film and a music video. I don't mind using manual-focus, but would prefer a camera that could help me out a bit, especially in filming fast-paced sporting events. I mostly use a 70-200 lens and occasionally a 50mm.

Needless to say, we need to update our equipment ASAP.

Which of these cameras will best serve our needs and why? We are also open to other options.

Thank you so much for your time and advice.
If you can manual focus most of the time and need to shoot in low light at times, get a 6D and a Mosaic Engineering VAF-6D.

If you need speedy autofocus & tracking for your video, get a 70D. But the quality of your video will suffer tremedously in low light compared to the 6D, the 70D will be much noisier.
 

Marsu42

Canon Pride.
Feb 7, 2012
6,316
0
Berlin
der-tierfotograf.de
jeffe26 said:
My wife has seen a recent surge in interest for wedding photography but mostly does engagement, family, and graduation portraits. And really needs a camera that can keep up. She mostly shoots out doors in early morning or dusk lighting and enjoys using a 50mm lens pretty exclusively, but is wanting to also use zoom and wide angle lenses occasionally. My needs are more for video. I mostly do sporting events and dance concerts, but was recently asked to do both a promotional film and a music video. I don't mind using manual-focus, but would prefer a camera that could help me out a bit, especially in filming fast-paced sporting events. I mostly use a 70-200 lens and occasionally a 50mm.
The 6d is a specialized landscape-tourism-stills camera with bad video (moiré) and a very mediocre af system. If you use fast lenses (like 50mm) and want to do any af tracking you won't be happy with it. Though in theory, your 50/70-200mm are designed with ff in mind.

You need to evaluate if the 70d is up to the iso speed requirements for your wedding/indoor shots, the full frame 6d has about 2 stops more iso capability... you will need to make compromises, no one likes to pay €2500 for a 5d3 but Canon has tweaked the lineup so it's the only lower-light all around body.
 
Aug 28, 2013
86
0
34
Seattle / Bellevue, WA
If your wife is getting more serious about wedding and portraiture photography then the 6D is the better choice. However, if you're getting paid for recording dance and sports then the 70D's dual pixel AF system for video is a huge improvement over any previous DSLR.

The image quality of the 70D compared to your T2i isn't much better. I use to own a T2i and now have a 70D & 60D for run & gun videography while I have a 5Dmk3 and a 1DX for photography or studio video work.

The 60D essentially has the same sensor as the T2i and the 70D's sensor doesn't have a noticeable improvement for high ISO. The main improvements the 70D has over the T2i and the 60D is that it utilizes a similar 19 all cross-type AF system seen in the 7D, has a dual pixel AF system for live view that works well in good lighting conditions, and has a touch screen LCD which is helpful for manually changing the focal point in live view. If you're satisfied with the photo and video quality of your T2i, then you'll be fine with the 70D.

The 6D is a whole different camera. First off, it's a full frame camera and as a result its sensor's pixel density is about half of what the 70D is; meaning it will be at least a full stop better in low light. It'll also have a shallower depth of field when using the same lens compared to the crop sensor 70D; enabling more noticeable separation of your subject from the background at the same aperture. The 6D's live view AF system is not much better than the T2i and it does suffer from moire due to the compression on the sensor to 1080p.
 

Marsu42

Canon Pride.
Feb 7, 2012
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der-tierfotograf.de
David_in_Seattle said:
If your wife is getting more serious about wedding and portraiture photography then the 6D is the better choice.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but serious wedding and 6d/5d2 af system doesn't square. You can use it as a 2nd or backup body, but for anything mission-critical that moves this is not the camera you can rely upon. Think of the couple walking down the church alley, your af tracking fails and you have to say "Well, you know, I saved $1000, could you please repeat it?".
 

bholliman

EOS 6D MK II
Dec 6, 2012
1,473
0
USA
www.flickr.com
Marsu42 said:
David_in_Seattle said:
If your wife is getting more serious about wedding and portraiture photography then the 6D is the better choice.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but serious wedding and 6d/5d2 af system doesn't square. You can use it as a 2nd or backup body, but for anything mission-critical that moves this is not the camera you can rely upon. Think of the couple walking down the church alley, your af tracking fails and you have to say "Well, you know, I saved $1000, could you please repeat it?".
There are plenty of excellent wedding photographers using the 6D as their primary camera. Dustin Abbott, who often posts here is one. A local photographer, well regarded as the best in the town I live, uses a 6D as primary and 5D2 for his second shooter and doesn't have any AF issues with these bodies.

I'll be the first to admit the 6D's AF is not nearly as good as the 5D3 or 1Dx, but it's not bad either. Unless you are shooting lots of sports or fast paced wildlife (BIF), the 6D's AF is probably good enough for most uses including weddings.
 

jd7

EOS 7D MK II
Feb 3, 2013
711
85
I'll be the first to admit the 6D's AF is not nearly as good as the 5D3 or 1Dx, but it's not bad either. Unless you are shooting lots of sports or fast paced wildlife (BIF), the 6D's AF is probably good enough for most uses including weddings.
+1
 

unfocused

EOS 5D SR
If you do go with the 6D keep in mind that the practical focal length of your lenses will shift with the full frame.

If your wife likes the look of a 50mm lens, then with the 6D, that's going to require an 85mm lens to replicate the look. Fortunately, if you don't already own it, the 85mm f1.8 is a good quality, inexpensive lens.

If you are used to using a 70-200 on the t2i, keep in mind that you'll need a 300mm lens to replicate the look on full frame.

On the plus side, the 70-200 mm can substitute for the 50mm from a focal-length perspective (although it will be a slower lens).

Personally, I'd go with the 6D if you live in the U.S. Canon Price Watch has just posted a $1,899 deal with a 24-105 zoom. Unfortunately, Canon's refurbished store just ended their sale, where you could get a 6D body for $1,300.
 

Zlyden

EOS T7i
Nov 8, 2013
85
0
Hmmm... actually the questions that need to be answered before making any recommendations are:

1) "What is wrong with T2i?" (T2i is good-ole 550D with 'vintage' 18 MPx sensor, right?)

2) "What lenses do you have? Are these 50 mm and 70-200 all of them you have and plan to use?"

Otherwise the answers are simple:

1) If you need better ISO and more shallow DOF, go 6D. (But you probably will have to change the lenses to match 50 and 70-200 on crop, and these should probably be -- 85 mm and 100-400 mm)

2) If you need faster AF and to use existing lenses, go 70D. (But I personally would wait for another year or two in hope that Canon will make another higher-ISO APS-C sensor.)

And here are probably two more answers (just in case):
1) If you need 'wedding'-stuff, go 5D3.
2) If you need 'video+sport', go 1DX.
 
Aug 28, 2013
86
0
34
Seattle / Bellevue, WA
Marsu42 said:
David_in_Seattle said:
If your wife is getting more serious about wedding and portraiture photography then the 6D is the better choice.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but serious wedding and 6d/5d2 af system doesn't square. You can use it as a 2nd or backup body, but for anything mission-critical that moves this is not the camera you can rely upon. Think of the couple walking down the church alley, your af tracking fails and you have to say "Well, you know, I saved $1000, could you please repeat it?".
Did you read the original post? The guy is debating on purchasing the 70D or the 6D and cannot afford the 5Dmk3. Of course the 5Dmk3 is the better camera, but that doesn't do the guy any good when it's not within his budget and he's in need of an immediate upgrade from his aging Rebel T2i.

I personally use the 5Dmk3 and 1DX for my day job; but was given a 6D loaner by our Canon rep to test out back when it first launched. The 6D's AF system is on par with the 5Dmk2, which was the go-to camera back in it's day for wedding and event photography.
 

MichaelHodges

EOS 7D MK II
Nov 7, 2012
423
0
Marsu42 said:
David_in_Seattle said:
If your wife is getting more serious about wedding and portraiture photography then the 6D is the better choice.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but serious wedding and 6d/5d2 af system doesn't square. You can use it as a 2nd or backup body, but for anything mission-critical that moves this is not the camera you can rely upon. Think of the couple walking down the church alley, your af tracking fails and you have to say "Well, you know, I saved $1000, could you please repeat it?".

Ah, I have to disagree on that one. My 6D is more accurate than my 7D was, with many more keepers in high action shots. It's also far, far superior in low light with the -3 EV center point.




If you don't need all the video features of the 70D, go for the 6D.
 

Marsu42

Canon Pride.
Feb 7, 2012
6,316
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der-tierfotograf.de
David_in_Seattle said:
Did you read the original post? The guy is debating on purchasing the 70D or the 6D and cannot afford the 5Dmk3.
Did you read the original post? The guy is thinking about shooting video and sports and is trying to decide between a 70d and a 6d, the latter can only be called "very mediocre" for these purposes.

MichaelHodges said:
My 6D is more accurate than my 7D was
The 7d is notorious for the imprecise af system, but op is talking about a 5 year newer *70d* (read the op).

MichaelHodges said:
with many more keepers in high action shots.
Did you read the 7d manual if that's what you get :p? Of course I believe you, but generalizing that the 6d gives more keepers for action shots is really stretching it, I suspect even most 6d enthusiasts would disagree here. Given that the 70d has nearly double the fps of the 6d, even *if* some more shots are out of focus (which I somehow doubt) you'll still end up with more keepers.

MichaelHodges said:
It's also far, far superior in low light with the -3 EV center point.
True, 70d "only" works up to -0.5lv - but did you calculate how little light this already is? In these conditions, I wouldn't be tempted to continue shooting with a crop sensor anyway (ymmv).

The 70d is not a low light camera, which definitely limits the op's requirements for dawn/dusk shots - the very reason I bought a 6d. My advice is just not to underestimate the 6d's limits concerning video and tracking, you get what you pay for - the 6d is not a "mini 5d3". The question is what corners the op wants to cut - though since he didn't reply since then he won't read these replies anyway.
 
May 8, 2013
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Marsu42 said:
but serious wedding and 6d/5d2 af system doesn't square.
Good to know that all those "professional" wedding photographers who were, for years, using the 5DII were incapable of taking high quality wedding photographs and weren't serious wedding photographers. ;D :p

Learn something new every day. ;D ;D
 

Marsu42

Canon Pride.
Feb 7, 2012
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AcutancePhotography said:
Learn something new every day. ;D ;D
Sure, just ask me :-> :-> ... if you're out to mis-understand me you're welcome, this gives some fire to the thread :)

Actually serious pro photogs did weddings long before 5d2 days with even less capable af systems or even mf, and in the 1800s couples had to pose motionless for some 10 seconds in front of the camera.

Alas, tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis, and the question is if you can fulfill today's client expectations and survive as a wedding pro w/ yesterday's equipment. I concur 2/3 of being a pro photog is people skills and if clients pay little they cannot expect 2x1dx in the photog's bag, but I simply don't feel the 6d's af is reliable enough. Given your general amount of money you handle as a pro photog, spending this €1000 more for a 5d3 might be a sound investment.
 

MichaelHodges

EOS 7D MK II
Nov 7, 2012
423
0
The 7d is notorious for the imprecise af system, but op is talking about a 5 year newer *70d* (read the op).
It's the same focus system, just a bit neutered. Oh, and I agree with you concerning the consistency. Pretty terrible at telephoto.

Did you read the 7d manual if that's what you get :p? Of course I believe you, but generalizing that the 6d gives more keepers for action shots is really stretching it, I suspect even most 6d enthusiasts would disagree here. Given that the 70d has nearly double the fps of the 6d, even *if* some more shots are out of focus (which I somehow doubt) you'll still end up with more keepers.
I've used both cameras in the field for ursine and ungulates, side by side over thousands of images. The 6D is the better camera for everything. The 7D focus system only seems to do well with high contrast subjects like brightly colored sports jerseys at telephoto. There's something about it having to grab fur and feather that doesn't work all that well, at least on my copies.

Now, the 7D does pretty well shooting high contrast objects (IE not fur and feather) in daytime conditions, but then again, what camera doesn't do well in these conditions? If someone wants to shoot sports or racing from 9 am to 4 pm, great camera. But for dawn and dusk fur and feather, the 6D embarrasses the 7D. The 70D, with my trial runs, felt similar, and I wasn't surprised to learn it has the 7D's focus system. Which means I won't be buying it, which is a shame.

True, 70d "only" works up to -0.5lv - but did you calculate how little light this already is? In these conditions, I wouldn't be tempted to continue shooting with a crop sensor anyway (ymmv).

The camera last to come out at dawn, and first to be bagged at dusk is probably not the better camera within the context of wildlife photography.



The 70d is not a low light camera, which definitely limits the op's requirements for dawn/dusk shots - the very reason I bought a 6d. My advice is just not to underestimate the 6d's limits concerning video and tracking, you get what you pay for - the 6d is not a "mini 5d3". The question is what corners the op wants to cut - though since he didn't reply since then he won't read these replies anyway.
I agree that the 6D is not as responsive as the 70D and 7D. But what it lacks in responsiveness, it makes up for in sheer IQ, dusk/dawn usage, fur and feather, and IMHO, a higher keeper rate even in action shots during critical wildlife times.

I didn't want to think this was true, trust me. How could a lowly, slow, cut down bottom-end Canon FF outperform the top tier crop bodies? I prefer the build of the 7D. I prefer the flip out screen of the 70D, FPS, and buffer. But in the end, when I went through gigs of images, it was very clear, even on similar action subjects, which the better camera was.
 

Marsu42

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Feb 7, 2012
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MichaelHodges said:
It's the same focus system, just a bit neutered. Oh, and I agree with you concerning the consistency. Pretty terrible at telephoto.
I didn't read up on the 70d, but I wouldn't be surprised if it does better than 7d - it's got another af chip setup and Canon seems to have improved af accuracy lately, for example 5d2->6d which also nearly share the same af system. Don't forget the 7d is 5 years old, and this lack of fine-tuning is probably where it shows.

MichaelHodges said:
I didn't want to think this was true, trust me. How could a lowly, slow, cut down bottom-end Canon FF outperform the top tier crop bodies?
Fyi: I own a 60d which is basically a cut-down 7d, but the 60d has less banding and a bit more precise af system (though less af points and a crippled firmware). Next to macro (crop = deeper dof = good) I am always surprised how snappy the 60d is vs. 6d when I use it esp. with the f2.8 100L. I just don't get his "hit or miss" feeling like with the 6d. And no, I don't think my 6d is broken :p

Problem of course is that the crop sensor is mediocre even at iso 800 and starts getting terrible above, that's why I bought the 6d - otherwise I had to stop shooting at dusk or dawn. But for simple daylight shots, w/o thin dof requirements and no need for very heavy postprocessing I'm still saving shutter cycles on my 6d because the 60d does the job.
 

MichaelHodges

EOS 7D MK II
Nov 7, 2012
423
0
I didn't read up on the 70d, but I wouldn't be surprised if it does better than 7d - it's got another af chip setup and Canon seems to have improved af accuracy lately, for example 5d2->6d which also nearly share the same af system. Don't forget the 7d is 5 years old, and this lack of fine-tuning is probably where it shows.
I've read the 70D has major focus issues, too. It's all over the net, unfortunately. Sad to hear this, but I'm not surprised based on my 7D experience.

Fyi: I own a 60d which is basically a cut-down 7d, but the 60d has less banding and a bit more precise af system (though less af points and a crippled firmware). Next to macro (crop = deeper dof = good) I am always surprised how snappy the 60d is vs. 6d when I use it esp. with the f2.8 100L. I just don't get his "hit or miss" feeling like with the 6d. And no, I don't think my 6d is broken :p

Problem of course is that the crop sensor is mediocre even at iso 800 and starts getting terrible above, that's why I bought the 6d - otherwise I had to stop shooting at dusk or dawn. But for simple daylight shots, w/o thin dof requirements and no need for very heavy postprocessing I'm still saving shutter cycles on my 6d because the 60d does the job.
The 60D was/is a real gem by Canon. It didn't have the focus issues of 7D/70D, and just produced better RAW files from what I've seen. If it had MFA, I'd own it. I definitely miss my 50D, too.

Also, I hope the 6d shutter cycle isn't too weak. Love that camera.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
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Marsu42 said:
True, 70d "only" works up to -0.5lv - but did you calculate how little light this already is? In these conditions, I wouldn't be tempted to continue shooting with a crop sensor anyway (ymmv).
This point is often missed by people touting the low-light AF sensitivity of the 6D. Sure, it can AF at -3 EV. One example of settings yielding a -3 EV exposure would be 1/15 s, f/2.8, ISO 102400…unlikely to prroduce a usable result in most situations, and offering no practical advantage over the -2 EV sensitivity of the 5DIII/1D X. As you state, dropping to -0.5 EV for the 70D still puts you in the likely unusable image category from an IQ standpoint – you can achieve focus, but the resulting image has motion blur, too little DoF, and/or too much noise.