Canon EOS 6D Sensor Less Noisy Than EOS 5D Mark III

Interesting test made by Don Marcotte, a photographer with interests in astrophotography. He wanted to know which camera sensor among the EOS 6D and the EOS 5D Mark III produces less noise. The test was made with a rather simple setting: long exposures wit the cap on the lens (no light). Before looking at the results it is best to read Marcotte's disclaimer:

Please remember that this test was designed to determine the best camera for a very specific night photography project. I would expect that no one could detect a noise difference between the 6D and 5D3 for the vast majority of daylight photography. Only in low light conditions would a 6D deliver observably better results.

Ok, the EOS 6D produces less noise than the EOS 5D Mark III. Check the following images:

Image credits: Don Marcotte

Above, 15 seconds exposure: Shot using camera store demo units at room temperature. RAW images converted to 16 bit TIFFs by Canon Digital Photo Professional. Created 400px X 400px crops and applied Gamma=3.0 in CS5.

Below, the 30 seconds exposure results:

Image credit: Don Marcotte

It is amazing that Canon's entry level full-frame DSLR produces less noise than the much more pricey EOS 5D Mark III!

On planet5D you can find Marcotte's full description of the test along with more informations and a comparison with the EOS 5D Mark II.

Canon EOS 6D price check: Amazon | B&H Photo | Digitalrev | eBay | Adorama | Canon USA

Canon EOS 5D Mark III price check:Amazon | B&H Photo | Digitalrev | eBay | Adorama | Canon USA [planet5D via PetaPixel]


  • AG

    I think this is just due to updates in Digic processing, which the 5D will get by April.

  • CS

    I thought the digic processing only affects the noise level of jpegs? I’m not sure what it is, but if the price of the 6D drops fairly well similiar to what we’ve seen with the 5D3 I may pick one of these up.

  • anon

    Quite obviously the 6D had long exposure noise reduction enabled and the 5D3 did not…

    • ufff

      well anyone knows that this takes twice as much time…..

  • 23mahjah

    i can get rid of noise easily too.. but what about DETAILs..

    one without teh other is useless.