When it comes to buying cameras, every detail counts. Buying a new camera is an investment, and you want to make sure that your investment pays off. With how many different brands and models there are to choose from, it can be a huge headache. In some cases, it can even be difficult to see the meaningful differences between different models of the same camera.
In addition to this, the newer model is not always the better choice (even for the same price). If you’re having trouble deciding between the Canon 6D and the Canon 7D (Mark II), fear not. We have done the work of comparison for you on the 5 most important factors to consider when making that camera purchase you’ve been waiting for.
Arguably the most important aspect of comparison when buying a new camera is the picture quality. If you’re going to get a new camera, you want to make sure your photos look fabulous. The first thing you will likely notice is that the 6D has a full-frame sensor with 2.6x the surface area of the 7D Mark II’s APS-C sensor, meaning that it will gather more light. This is made obvious by the greater sensitivity range of the Canon 6D (ISO 50 to 102,400 equivalents) compared to the Canon 7D Mark II’s range (ISO 100 to 51,200).
The difference in focal length crops between the cameras also means that the 7D will be better for those tight-up shot focusing on a larger subject, while the 6D is more conducive to wide-angled shots (with an impressive ability to focus on the subject no matter what distance they stand at).
Overall, this makes the 6D the slightly better choice for picture quality in general (but the 7D if you have a lot of Canon EF-S lenses instead of full-frame EF lenses).
What good is a camera if it’s dead when you need it most? While both cameras have the same LCD screen in terms of size and dot count, the 7D’s screen uses a ClearView II gapless design to reduce internal glare and an automatic brightness adjustment to save battery in low-light situations while maximizing visibility on bright days without the need for manual adjustments.
It is no surprise that the 7D performs better, coming with a DIGIC 6 image processor chip compared to the 6D’s DIGIC 5+ chip. While the Canon 6D is rated to have a capability of 4.4 frames per second with a 17-frame raw buffer, the 7DM2 comes in with a whopping 10 frames per second for 31 raw frame buffering. All in all, the Canon 7D Mark II is unquestionably the better-performing camera of the two.
One major difference between these two cameras is their autofocus systems. The Canon 6D is equipped with a meager 11-point autofocus system and a single cross-type centerpoint. The 7D, however, has a colossal 65-point array and and each one is a cross-type point capable of discerning detail on both axes.
Another great feature of the 7D is the predictive AI Servo AF III function, which will allow you to get much better action shots than the tracking autofocus of the 6D. This makes the 7D the clear winning for any sports shooting you might want to do.
The 7D is capable of both faster shutter speeds (roughly twice what the 6D can do) as well as faster synced strobes (about 33% faster than the 6D is able to pull off). It also sports loads of extra features, like Dual Pixel CMOS AF, built-in interval timing function, and a 150,000 pixel, 252-zone RGB+IR metering system. And it takes better videos, too.
Because of these awesome features, the Canon 7D blows the 6D out of the water in terms of functional versatility.
In the durability department, the first thing to investigate is the construction of the camera. The Canon 6D has magnesium-alloy front and rear panels with a polycarbonate top panel, built around an aluminum-alloy and polycarbonate chassis. This is slightly less durable than the Canon 7D Mark II, which is mostly made of magnesium-alloy.
In addition to this, the 7D comes with a considerably better level of weather-sealing than the 6D (in a fashion similar to the professional-grade 1D series), which makes it the better choice for handling unpreditable weather and other shooting conditions.
Also, the 7D has a shutter cycle lifetime rated to last roughly twice as long as the 6D so you can keep on shooting long after you would have needed a replacement camera.
As a counterbalancing factor, the Canon 6D, while having a much larger sensor than the 7D Mark II, is actually slightly smaller in size and considerably lighter in weight. That means that you’ll be able to take it with you more easily, wherever you need to go.
All in all, you can expect better durability from the Canon 7D Mark II, so we’re giving it the nod here.
One of the ways in which these two cameras are most comparable is in their pricing. Both cameras, for the body only, will run approximately $1,500 on Amazon and similar marketplaces. That means that you will have to pick solely on the difference in specs and features of the cameras if you don’t want to buy them with a lens. This will be true for you if you already own one type of lens, and will likely influence your decision.
However, if you want to purchase the camera with a lens then you will see a noticable disparity in price. The 6D jumps up to a range of roughly $2,100 – $2,300 while the 7D Mark II runs approximately from $1,850 – $2,150. This means that if you can find a good deal and you want to purchase the camera body with a lens, the 7D will be the cheaper choice.
This gives the 7D a slight price advantage over the 6D when buying the camera with a lens.
When all is said and done, the camera that appears to be the best bang for your buck will be the Canon 7D Mark II. Equipped with superior specifications, greater functional versatility, and a slightly more favorable price range, this is an investment worthy of a true photographer.
Now get out there, find the things worth remembering, and happy snapping.