?: Your opinion re: Canon R6 low light sports

Sep 7, 2021
6
2
Hello!

Longtime photographer but very new to Canon.

Am looking for a mirrorless full frame body that excels in lowlight and am heavily considering the R6.

I shoot a lot of low light events, parties, indoor sports etc. and havent had the best luck with previous bodies Ive owned with respect to the camera's ability to lock on and track.

In your opinion would you rate the R6 near the top as opposed to other Canon cameras and/or other brands you've shot?

Most of the sports I shoot require a minimum shutter speed of 1/800 and aperture usually around f3.2-f4.0. ISOs can get close to the 10000 range.

Thanks so much for any insight you can give me.
I appreciate your expertise!

best to you,
Rick
 

john1970

EOS R5
CR Pro
Dec 27, 2015
433
521
Northeastern US
Hi Rick,

At ISO 10K you definitely want to use a lower MP camera such as the Canon R6, Sony A9 series, etc. You mentioned that other cameras that you have owned did not lock on and track well, which camera bodies were those?

For low MP cameras you basically have:

1) Canon R6 or R3
2) Sony A9 or A9II
3) Nikon Z6II

Jared Polin, aka froknowsphoto.com, did a comparison of the Nikon, Canon, and Sony tracking abilities and found the Canon and Sony comparable while the Nikon lagged behind a bit.

Eye AF Review 2020

Note that the Z6II was not covered in this review. However, in another review he did test the Z6II AF and found it not the best in class

Nikon Z6II AF

My advice would be to rent any new camera with the lens(es) you want to use and see which works best for you prior to making any large purchases. Good luck.
 

AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
8,851
12,091
Hi Rick,

At ISO 10K you definitely want to use a lower MP camera such as the Canon R6, Sony A9 series, etc. You mentioned that other cameras that you have owned did not lock on and track well, which camera bodies were those?

For low MP cameras you basically have:

1) Canon R6 or R3
2) Sony A9 or A9II
3) Nikon Z6II

Jared Polin, aka froknowsphoto.com, did a comparison of the Nikon, Canon, and Sony tracking abilities and found the Canon and Sony comparable while the Nikon lagged behind a bit.

Eye AF Review 2020

Note that the Z6II was not covered in this review. However, in another review he did test the Z6II AF and found it not the best in class

Nikon Z6II AF

My advice would be to rent any new camera with the lens(es) you want to use and see which works best for you prior to making any large purchases. Good luck.
This has been discussed and explained many times here: when it comes to low light performance, low density megapixel sensors do not necessarily have better low light performance than high density sensors when the image is viewed at the same size for both. Here, for example is the dynamic range vs iso (which is highly correlated with noise) for the R5 vs R6 https://www.photonstophotos.net/Charts/PDR.htm#Canon EOS R5,Canon EOS R6

Screenshot 2021-09-26 at 14.31.42.png
 

unfocused

EOS-1D X Mark III
Jul 20, 2010
6,402
4,031
68
Springfield, IL
www.mgordoncommunications.com
I have no experience with the R6, but if its 20mp sensor is similar to that of the 1DX III, the low light performance will not be an issue. However, I would suggest that if you live in the U.S. you rent one from LensRentals.com or a similar rental house before buying. You mentioned tracking in low light and that very much depends on your use cases, personal preferences and the lighting in the venue. In addition, if shooting sports you may find the length of time it takes to clear the buffer to be an issue. You won't know whether or not it is a problem until you try it for yourself. The R6 is not a 1D and there are subtle but significant differences that make the 1 series (and possibly now the R3) better suited for sports. That's not to say you can't shoot sports with the R6, but just that there will be compromises and I don't think anyone else can determine for you whether or not those compromises will be deal killers.
 
Sep 7, 2021
6
2
Hi Rick,

At ISO 10K you definitely want to use a lower MP camera such as the Canon R6, Sony A9 series, etc. You mentioned that other cameras that you have owned did not lock on and track well, which camera bodies were those?

For low MP cameras you basically have:

1) Canon R6 or R3
2) Sony A9 or A9II
3) Nikon Z6II

Jared Polin, aka froknowsphoto.com, did a comparison of the Nikon, Canon, and Sony tracking abilities and found the Canon and Sony comparable while the Nikon lagged behind a bit.

Eye AF Review 2020

Note that the Z6II was not covered in this review. However, in another review he did test the Z6II AF and found it not the best in class

Nikon Z6II AF

My advice would be to rent any new camera with the lens(es) you want to use and see which works best for you prior to making any large purchases. Good luck.
Hi John!

Thanks so much for your input!

I am currently shooting with a Sony a7riv and prior to that a Nikon D850.

Yes, I have tried the Nikon Z cameras and have noticed that the AF is not up to that of Sony and Canon. The R6 looks like it might be a great one for low light and has superb autofocus.

Thanks again for your help.

best to you,

Rick
 
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Sep 7, 2021
6
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This has been discussed and explained many times here: when it comes to low light performance, low density megapixel sensors do not necessarily have better low light performance than high density sensors when the image is viewed at the same size for both. Here, for example is the dynamic range vs iso (which is highly correlated with noise) for the R5 vs R6 https://www.photonstophotos.net/Charts/PDR.htm#Canon EOS R5,Canon EOS R6

View attachment 200412
Hi Alan,

I wasn't able to locate the prior discussions of this subject and apologize for the redundancy.

best,

Rick
 
Sep 7, 2021
6
2
I have no experience with the R6, but if its 20mp sensor is similar to that of the 1DX III, the low light performance will not be an issue. However, I would suggest that if you live in the U.S. you rent one from LensRentals.com or a similar rental house before buying. You mentioned tracking in low light and that very much depends on your use cases, personal preferences and the lighting in the venue. In addition, if shooting sports you may find the length of time it takes to clear the buffer to be an issue. You won't know whether or not it is a problem until you try it for yourself. The R6 is not a 1D and there are subtle but significant differences that make the 1 series (and possibly now the R3) better suited for sports. That's not to say you can't shoot sports with the R6, but just that there will be compromises and I don't think anyone else can determine for you whether or not those compromises will be deal killers.
Hi unfocused,

Thanks for your comments. Appreciate them very much.

When I was shooting Nikon I would hear people say that the D500 has the same AF system as the D5, but after using it was apparent to me that the D500, while an amazing camera for sports/wildlife, was no D5.

thanks again,

Rick
 

AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
8,851
12,091
Hi Alan,

I wasn't able to locate the prior discussions of this subject and apologize for the redundancy.

best,

Rick
No need to apologise. You are new here. These discussions are buried in dozens of different threads that the regulars should have seen over several years.
 
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Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
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John


Rather than rent, just buy one and try it out for 2 or 3 weeks.

Purchases from B&H have a 30 day return, and in some cases 60 days. If the camera seems to meet your needs, buy it, try it out, and if you are not happy, return it. There is no need to pay $$$ to rent one, that is what the long return period is for, it gives buyers a evaluation period. You can also get a refund of the sales tax if you use their Payboo Card.

B&H Returns.JPG
Cameras
 

john1970

EOS R5
CR Pro
Dec 27, 2015
433
521
Northeastern US
Yes John, that is a great point!

Hard to beat B&H with the generous returns and Payboo discounts!

Thanks for the info!

Rick
Hi Rick,

I would read their return policy very carefully. The B&H return policy states that
  • All returned or exchanged items must be in new condition, in their original box, and must include all packing material, blank warranty cards, manuals, and all accessories.
If you use a camera for 2-3 weeks taking hundreds of photos that is not "new condition", but used.