Canon R6-II Hands-On: Higher Resolution, Faster Shooting And Reduced Heating Issues

    Canon R6-II Hands-On: Higher Resolution, Faster Shooting And Reduced Heating Issues

    Canon has introduced the $2,500 EOS R6 Mark II, the EOS R6’s replacement, just two years after the first model was introduced. It offers a number of significant upgrades, including a 24.2-megapixel sensor with greater quality and quicker shooting times. Most importantly, Canon has greatly lessened the overheating problems with the previous model.

    When it first introduced, the EOS R6 was the greatest camera in this significant price range because of its quickness, potent video features, and superior Dual Pixel hybrid AF. The R6 lost that distinction, though, when Sony’s $2,500 A7 IV with identical capabilities, greater resolution, and no overheating issues appeared.

    Canon allowed me to use R6 Mark II prototypes for a few days when I was at a preview event in San Diego, using them to capture a range of sporting events. This isn’t a final review because it’s not a production model and because it still has some flaws, but it provided us an opportunity to offer some initial thoughts.

    The EOS R6 II isn’t merely a ‘A’ version of the original that has been marginally improved. Starting with the new 24.2-megapixel sensor, it has undergone major physical and performance modifications. It’s not the stacked backside-illuminated (BSI) sensor from the EOS R3, as rumours suggested; there’s a good reason why that model is so expensive. However, it does have several advantages over the R6’s 20-megapixel processor.

    Thanks to the upgraded picture processing, Canon claims increased image quality beyond only the additional megapixels. In spite of the somewhat lower pixels, it also provides better low-light sensitivity. Additionally, Canon claims that the R6 has less rolling shutter.

    The R6 has seen significant exterior alterations as well. The power, lock, and off switch is now located to the right, where it is simpler to reach but more difficult to accidentally press. Additionally, it boasts a new video/photo mode switch that separates those features and all of their settings. The menus are easily altered by flipping it, and Canon has added a useful Q menu designed just for videos.

    Other than that, it is similar to the R6 in terms of weight, size, handling, grip, menus, and control arrangement. Additionally, it uses the 3.67-million-dot electronic viewfinder, two UHS II card slots, and beautiful flip-out display for vlogging or selfies from its predecessor. Naturally, it also has a microphone and headphone jack, a USB-C port, and (sadly) a microHDMI jack. It has the same 8 stops of shaking reduction as the EOS R6, but it features a new in-body stabilisation (IBS) mechanism.

    The battery is the same as well, but Canon improved efficiency, increasing the maximum number of shots from 510 on the R6 to 760 on the R6 Mark II. I shot more than 2,000 photographs in a single day using largely the mechanical shutter without having to change the battery, which is rather remarkable.

    Functionality and Image quality

    Given the higher resolution, mechanical shutter burst speeds (RAW, full-frame) remain constant at 12 frames per second. However, you can now shoot RAW images in silent mode at a brisk 40 frames per second. Additionally, the R6 II now has a pre-shooting option (RAW burst) that records RAW data for half a second before to pressing the shutter. Even if you react slowly, you can still capture a fleeting moment thanks to this, at the cost of some battery life. When I used the feature, I discovered that it may have allowed me to take a small number of pictures (out of thousands) that I might have otherwise missed.

    Although those speeds are excellent, they are useless if photos have a lot of rolling shutter (hello, Sony). Fortunately, rolling shutter is still present but is far less severe than I observed on the A7 IV and more controlled than on the R6. Before the buffer fills, it can take a substantial amount of shots (about 70–75 uncompressed RAW files or 140 compressed RAWs), and with fast UHS–II V90 cards, it resets rather rapidly. However, a CFexpress slot would have been excellent to allow for quicker shooting and higher-quality video files.

    According to the manufacturer, the R6 II’s autofocus is more advanced than that of any Canon model up to that point, including the R3. It presently manages handling people, animals, and automobiles, trains, horses, and motorcycles. Additionally, it now features an auto-select feature that should be standard on all mirrorless cameras and allows artificial intelligence to choose what to monitor.

    Although the AI accurately tracked my subject’s gaze, it occasionally became disoriented and fell short of Sony’s lofty expectations. The autofocus seems to be as accurate as the R6 in regular spot continuous mode (no AI), nailing shots in most situations. Although, as I said, this being a prototype device, these problems may be resolved by the time it was released in December. It was periodically confused by the background or nearby topics.

    The R6 II already outperforms the R6 by reducing heat-related problems. With no need for a stacked sensor, it also appears to be a better camera for taking pictures because of the increased resolution, faster speeds, and improved image quality.

    Additionally, the complete RF ecosystem from Canon keeps improving. With the superb 135mm f/1.8 lens, it now has 26 full-frame prime and zoom lenses. Therefore, for a system that was just introduced four years ago, it has developed to a fairly mature state. Since it’s still at the prototype stage, I can’t offer you a final assessment of important features like image quality and autofocus. But once it debuts in December, we plan to revisit the Canon EOS R6 Mark II and give it a thorough review.