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Canon EOS 6D Mark II seems to have less dynamic range than EOS 80D and EOS 6D

Canon EOS 6D Mark II Seems To Have Less Dynamic Range Than EOS 80D And EOS 6D
Canon EOS 6D Mark II

This might stir more disappointment than the ridicolous and boring discussion abut the lack of 4K in the Canon EOS 6D Mark II.

A user of the Fred Miranda forum posted some test results he did on raw files shot with the EOS 6D Mark II. According to this figures the EOS 6D Mark II has less dynamic range than the EOS 5D Mark II, EOS 1D X Mark II and even less than the APS-C sized EOS 80D and the EOS 6D.

User cgarcia writes:

At the pixel level, the ISO 100 […] image (IMG_9106.CR2) reaches 11.04 EV at 26MP (11.89 normalized to 8MP) compared with my 6D which reached 11.53 EV at 20MP (12.19 EV normalized to 8MP). The measured read noise is 7.53556 DN (compared to about 4.68699 DN in my 6D). The new sensor uses a 512 blackpoint at ISO 100 instead of 2048 (just like the new crowd of sensors). But unfortunately doesn’t achieves their dynamic range performance. The measured white point is 16383, which could point to a preproduction camera (my 6D doesn’t seem to top there at ISO 100) so the real dynamic range could be even half a bit less.

Instruction to replicate the tests are provided in the discussion thread.

Pre-orders USA:

Pre-orders UK:

World-wide EOS 6D Mark II pre-order links after the break (not all listed retailers may have it in offer yet).

Australia: Amazon, Adorama, B&H Photo, Digitalrev, eBay Australia, Alibaba
Canada: Amazon Canada, DigitalRev, Adorama, B&H Photo, eBay Canada, Canon Canada
France: Amazon FR, DigitalRev, eBay FR, Canon France
Germany: Amazon DE, DigitalRev, eBay DE, Wex Photographie, Canon Deutschland
Italy: Amazon IT, DigitalRev, eBay IT, Canon Italia
United Kingdom: Amazon UK, Park Cameras, Warehouseexpress, DigitalRev,, Canon UK
USA: Amazon USA, B&H Photo, Digitalrev, eBay, Adorama, Canon USA

  • Catfish

    No need to post those preorder links anymore. Which Sony do you recommend to replace a 6D?

    • gasbubble

      You’d have to go with a Sony A7Rii to match the AF on the 6Dii, which is in a different price bracket. I would either wait for the A7iii this fall because it will have DPAF or go with the Fuji X-T2 which I prefer.

      • Anulu

        No, the single a7II has OSPDAF, has much more points and all over the frame not just in the center, has Face and Eye AF with registered faces and priority settings option. The a7II just beat 6DII easily with much cheaper price, and it’s avaible since 2014…

        • Catfish

          Ok, so for the same price as the 6DII I could get the A7II for landscapes *and* the 80D or (used) 7DII for sports, and I wont even have to buy a 1,4x teleconverter for my 300L. Doesn’t sound too bad.

        • Maylon

          No that is not correct… I have a A7II.

          You have the OSPDAF only on the middle of the sensor, it barely crosses over the rule of 3rds cross-section points. Outside of the middle area you have CDAF.

          After using the A7II for close to 2 years I would prefer the 6DII over it (i think). However, if the A7III ends up with an AF system that covers an even wider area (80% of the frame or so), incorporates a joystick and had a better EV focus rating I would again prefer the sony.

          • Anulu

            Middle of the frame but still wider then 6D2, and you have cdaf in the edge 6D2 has nothing in the edge…

          • Maylon

            You can’t view it just like that. If you want to be accurate then you should phrase it all (I was just correcting the previous comment of OSPDAF being all over the frame). I never said the 6DII has anything beyond the centre…. in view finder mode.

            But to be accurate. What you said is true except you left out DPAF in LV for the 6DII coving 80% of the frame. I NEVER use CDAF unless when doing something like landscape, cause CDAF just isn’t usually fast enough for anything moving. In any scenario when I would use CDAF I would just as likely use DPAF in the canon.

            The 6DII is also rated for better low light performance than the A7II. Compared to it I expect its af system to be overall better except for the coverage. Selecting a single AF on the Sony is frustrating at best, and it does stopped down focusing on af-c mode. And last but not least at smaller than f8, low light or a combination of stopped down a bit in less than bright light can result in obvious hunting (switches to CDAF mode even in the centre).

            If I had to choose between the two, 6DII hands down. But I expect the A7III, which is what you should compare it to, will be around the same price point and would/should be better hands down….

          • Anulu

            cdaf is accurate, just little bit slower, in low light much slower

        • David Brown

          I have the sony a7ii & yes it dose have more focus points then the 6d which i also own but, its still not as fast as my canon 5d mkii to focus.

    • EugeneBye

      I reckon even 1″ RX100 will be too much. ;)

  • Dima135

    This is madness.
    Tell me that I’m not the only one who push shadows and shoots in a complicated light.
    Tell me that this is important to someone else. Because I do not understand anything. It does not make sense.

    They could fool everyone in 2012 with 5d3, Because Nikon D800 was too slow ,and D800 was not perceived as a working horse, but as a budget alternative to the medium format. And yet no one knew that there could be some significant difference in the dynamic range. Nobody knew what it was.
    I would say, that they kept a good face If DR would be at the level 13.5 Ev, but with 5d2 level DR thy will not deceive anyone anymore.
    And it is not clear what to expect now from 5dsrII or 7dIII.
    And should we understand that sensor on 1dxII, 5dIV and 80D – was just a “Flirting and short relationship” with the customers needs ?

    • Keith Reeder

      “Tell me that I’m not the only one who push shadows and shoots in a complicated light”

      Nobody shoots in more complicated light than us wildlife photographers – but we know how to deal with it. The 6D Mk II will be FANTASTIC if you know how to process the files.

  • Tech Addict

    I really wanted to upgrade to a full frame from my 70D. I also have several expensive canon lenses. The articles coming out about this camera are very disappointing.

    • Facts not Fakes

      it’s all bullshit, if you liked your 70d you will love th 6d Mkii. Don’t believe the haters and their no fact opinions.

      • Estado51

        Unless he is into wildlife photography which the crop factor is very helpful…but yes, the 6D IQ is gorgeous and superior to the 70D. I have a 6D and despite its limited functionality I love the images it produces.

  • krisak

    Thus a meme is born.

  • Zach Ashcraft

    We’re just gonna take this random guy on the internets word for it? lol

    • Catfish

      The RAW files are there, the software to analyze them is there, even a tutorial is provided. Everyone can confirm those numbers. Only you dont understand it. “LOL”.

      • There are many things many people don’t get in those tests. What is the use of a measurement method, even if it is the right one, if original sources measured are not reliable ? At least, nobody can conclude at this time. It may be right but it may be wrong. The right way is to not pre-order and wait for correct tests to be done.

      • Zach, I am with you… I trust Canon (“In terms of image quality, the sensor in the EOS 6D Mark II is from the same generation as the EOS 5D Mark IV, rather than EOS 5D Mark III, so the image quality will be similar to the EOS 5D Mark IV”), and DP Review (“the 6D Mark II should outperform the original 6D (which it very evidently does) but may not offer the same kind of dynamic range and absolute resolution of the EOS 5D Mark IV”), way more than I trust Rob Dickinson (“Wow even I am wondering if this is right”)… No offence Rob!

      • Keith Reeder

        If you’re prepared to ascribe this conclusion to “those numbers”, you’re an idiot.

        And yeah – *I* understand…

  • Fact checker

    I call bullshit

  • Stevie Jay Elmm

    That’s why with Canon the only camera I’m using these days is the original 5D because 2005 is the last time Canon put any soul and care into their digital cameras. The only other Canon cameras worth owning are the 80D or high end cameras.

    • Keith Reeder

      Stevie, that’s self-evident BS.

      • Stevie Jay Elmm

        I was just kidding man. I use a Canon T6S with the 5D and wish I could afford an 80D. I’d actually prefer the 80D to the 6D mark II. I will say though the original 5D still offers beautiful photos with low ISO.

  • CaMeRa QuEsT

    Nikon management’s reaction: I AM SPEECHLESS

  • Daniel Araiza

    this is a 6D mark II sample i edited in lightroom, it looks great for a jpg, i think the raw will look amazing

  • Daniel Araiza
  • Impressive how rumors runs fast, even without any valuable proof. Those tests results are meaningless as the compared files used are from shots that are not exposed exactly the same. Also, while the measurement method is ok, it is based upon long exposure shots which are not the usual settings test conditions for the shots that are used by standard labs.
    In order to report different sources, even French magazine “Focus Numerique” (which is usually more pro mirrorless/Sony) have tested the camera and said they consider the DR of the 6D2 to be comparable with the one of the 5D4.
    The only thing to do is to wait and see some regular tests (from DPReview or DXOmark to report the most well known of them) made under comparable conditions with a production copy of the camera as nothing can be concluded from current elements, especially with night long exposed shots from a presumed pre-production machine .

  • ruggy

    So dynamic range is down slightly “at the pixel level” but that doesn’t mean the camera is less sensitive because there are also 30% more pixels. That sounds like it would be an increased dynamic range if measured on an area basis, and an effective increase in the ability to capture detail in shadows and near the limits of sensitivity.

    • Keith Reeder

      There ya go…

    • Brian Nadeau

      Agreed, and in the end result, how does the shot look? Usually pretty awesome I’m willing to bet!

  • Allan Wilson

    I call BS on Canon 6D MKII having less dynamic range and the 6D until I see tests performed by some reputable camera sights.

    • Wade Marks

      Of course we have to be careful and wait to see the definitive tests once the camera hits the market. But the person who posted on FM: he is very respected with a proven track record. Also, on DP Review, Bill Claff has a post that confirms the same basic conclusion. Once again, Bill Claff is a very credible source.

      One thing that Bill points out is that the 6d2 has a faster fps than the 6D, and faster fps means a bit more noise, ie, less DR. So Canon is giving you more megapixels and a faster frame rate, with about the same DR, which is overall a big improvement.

      The best way I know of to look at it is this: with the 6D, no one was asking for more DR, but many were asking for more AF points, Dual Pixel AF, and a tilty/touch screen. Canon delivered on all of that. Now granted it may have been nice for them to improve DR, have 4K, etc…and anticipate the market better…but they did give people what they most wanted.

      • Christian Wilde

        Why would faster fps mean more noise? I mean I would understand if they had to optimize the sensor for speed, like the A9, but the 6DII isn’t exactly a speed monster.

        Also: I’m pretty sure a lot of people would have loved to have more DR! To say no one was asking for it is just utterly wrong.

        • Wade Marks

          Faster fps means faster read speed off of sensor, which does add to noise. This may be a very rough analogy, but imagine when someone reads something very fast; they usually miss a few things and make mistakes…vs reading something very carefully for comprehension. But you can ask Bill Claff for a more technical explanation, he’s an electrical engineer.

          As to the 6D comments…if you read the reviews and comments of users for the 6D, they were consistent in that they thought the sensor IQ was great, but wanted more AF points, more fps, dual pixel AF, touch screen. They got that. You did not read very many 6D owners asking for more DR.

          Now I agree that everyone likes more of everything, including DR. I also agree that it would be nice if Canon had not just given 6D users what they wanted, but also anticipated other needs, like DR, 4K video, etc. But Canon did listen and gave 6D users exactly what they asked for.

          • Oh, please. No matter what body you own, every Canon user wants more dynamic range!

          • Keith Reeder

            “every Canon user wants more dynamic range!”

            Utter bollocks. I’ve shot Canon since 2006 and NOT ONCE have I lacked for dynamic range.

            Then again, I know how to expose an image properly…

          • Oh, you used the word “bollocks” so you must be right. So, tell me, I had to shoot a wedding in a Cathedral that was dark as a cave at midnight, and flash photography was not allowed. I bumped up my ISO as high as I could, but the photos looked terrible… What would a great photographer such as yourself, that “NOT ONCE” has lacked dynamic range, do in such a situation? Should I have asked everybody to “freeze” for 15 seconds so that I could properly expose my photo? I know somehow it was my fault for not knowing “how to expose an image properly”, but I don’t know for sure. Can you please explain? I just want to learn from a real pro like you!

          • David Brown

            I would like to learn this too, dose keith do work shops ?

          • alex_m

            Klaus, you have raised a valid point, but let me explain what you seems to overlooked: once you have moved into ISO1600 and beyond territory, theres very little to no difference in IQ if yoiu compare Canon, Nikon, Sony _Full Frame_ cameras. In fact, my trusty 6D original bodies are very good at high ISO level.
            at ISO 100 – are quite right, your Sony sensor would be a much better performer. This is completely different scenario though as you cannot afford shooting low iso in “a Cathedral, that was dark as cave at midnight.
            In this situation I would be shooting, stabilised ( Tripod or Monopod, down to 1/30s – 1/60s shutter speed, as wide apperture as possible provided DoF was sufficient, shooting 24 or 35 F1.4 Prime would help, depending on how you would like to compose, keep ISO in 1600-3200 territory and you should be good.

          • Hi Alex, thank you for your kind comment. It is sincerely appreciated. I did not shoot that wedding with a Sony. I am actually a big Canon fan, and although my work is shot w a Pentax 645Z (which does have a Sony sensor, w a crazy amount of DR and incredible IQ), most of my side work is shot with a 5DS, which I also love even if it does not have the dynamic range of the Nikon D810, though. I really appreciate how detailed you are with your advice, and a prime f/1.4 would have definitely helped. I had the 24-70 f/2.8 II, so I had to make do with that. If you want to freeze the action of people walking down the isle, you can’t really do 1/30s or 1/60s, and even 1/125s will not do it. So you are kind of stuck with f/2.8, 1/200s, which leaves you at the mercy of your camera’s ISO variance (Canon’s weak spot). DP Review has a cool feature where you can compare different cameras IQ underexposed by 6EV. In that regard, both Nikon and Pentax (both of them I think are Sony sensors) leave Canon in the dust. Then again, the Pentax would have NEVER found focus in that situation… (yes, I shoot AF)… I love my 5DS, but I wish it had the dynamic range of the 5D Mark IV. Again, thank you for the kind comment, the helpful advice and all the love!

          • Wade Marks

            There is a tradeoff with sensor read speed and noise; the 5D4 and 1DXii overcome that with other improvements of sensor tech and probably image processor tech. So sure it can be overcome, but Canon has elected to not do so in the 6D. Whether that involves cost or just a desire to differentiate products, we don’t know.

            In some sense, every photographer wants more dynamic range, wants more of everything, but in the case of 6D owners, very few were caught asking for more DR. That’s my point: 6D owners complained about other factors and Canon delivered. Most likely Canon will keep these complaints about the 6Dii in mind and make those improvements in the 6Diii. Now I realize that the time frame for that is a ways off.

          • alex_m

            Wade Marks: “…But Canon did listen and gave 6D users exactly what they asked for…”

            “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

            Henry Ford


      • Keith Reeder

        “Bill Claff has a post that confirms the same basic conclusion. Once again, Bill Claff is a very credible source”

        He’s creditable as DxOMark.

  • Facts not Fakes

    My potato has more dynamic range than my sack of beans and I have the delusional opinions to prove it!

  • man

    Cancelling my order if this is true.

    • Keith Reeder

      Did you know that the 80D has more DR than Nikon’s latest flagship the D5?

      GROW UP.

      • man

        If 80D has better DR than D5, then why doesn’t a larger sensor 6D2 provide a better response than the previous model. Should we conclude that the Canon crop sensor fab is far more efficient and advanced than Canon FF. Then why should anyone buy the 6D2 when they can get an 80D for high contrast images. In fact, Canon should just drop FF cameras if they can’t make a CMOS sensor that can compete.

      • Dima135

        No claims to D5. This is camera for reporting and sports, for high ISO shooters and besides in the Nikon system there are many wonderful cameras oriented to image quality at low ISO In all price segments. 6d2.should have been a third canon full frame with a +/-normal dynamic range, the second, if exclude 6000$ 1dx2 and first for all customers who no needs speed and AF of 5d4, and need only IQ

  • Pancanikonpus

    Good job!

  • Thalis Valle

    hauhauhuhauha canon is really kidding everyone!!! as i said, stop buying canon! it is seriously!

    • Keith Reeder

      Canon users know how to use their cameras, So this (if it’s even true) is an irrelevance.

      If you’re incompetent I can see why it might matter…

      • man

        No sir. For Canon customers, it is completely relevant that a 2017 model has the same CMOS sensor as the 2012 model. Canon has many crop bodies, but the 6D2 is the only one marketed towards enthusiasts. Perhaps they will be better served by a 5D4, so this is an important specification.

      • What’s up with all the anger Keith? All your posts are “you are incompetent”, “you are an idiot”. You shot a nice photo of an owl once, that doesn’t mean you are an expert in every kind of photography. Some photographers do have the need for more dynamic range, and that does not mean they are “incompetent” or “idiots”. I would have thought bird photographers were nicer, kinder people…

  • Dragon

    This article is kind of like the mainstream media reporting on Trump (or maybe a Sony marketing ploy). Some guy has a camera claimed to be a 6D a month before release and posts a picture and now we have running rumor of how horrible the 6D is. For starters, it makes no sense. Canon has clearly switched their sensor production over to the new line with on-chip A/D converters (even for the Rebels) so lower dyn range than the original 6D is highly unlikely. Also, given that the original 6D was noted for having the highest dyn range of any Canon camera (until the 5DS and later the new fab sensors) it is unlikely that the range of the new one would be compromised. Canon is very steeped in tradition (and meeting past customers’ expectations). Just wait for some reliable testing if you have no faith in Canon.

    • man

      If it’s the old sensor, then we should expect the same A/D conversion and same linear response. It could be true since Canon is known to be cost conscious. They just tweaked the CMOS production line for dual-pixel rather than a ground up design. Perhaps this is true reason 6D2 has no 4K, since it’s an old sensor from 2012.

      • Dragon

        Doesn’t make sense that they would put the new sensors in the Rebels and not in the 6D. More likely the story is bogus. In any case, we will know in a few weeks when the NDAs expire.

    • Marko Nara

      I agree, it actually makes no sense at all. Even the low end mirrowless Cameras, that mean almost nothing in terms of selling numbers, have In chip A/D sensors. I will wait to the final production unit to be reviewed to make a final call.

      This same story happend when the 5DMKIV was pre-reviewed before launching. And the camera turn up to be just fine.

  • CN

    This cant be true, can it? Christ, if Canon is really trying to get away with this it would be astounding.

    • Dima135

      Most users are not very demanding, and they will forgive it to canon. Even very good photographers who making just stunning pictures In general can be satisfied with the quality from.. I dont know, for example 10mp CCD sensors like which one in Nikon D80.
      Even in this thread, you can see that a photographer wants to say something about the dynamic range by example on 1.5mp jpeg (By the way, this is a terrible example).
      They do not understand that there are people who view the image quality on a different level, who need something more than 2 megapixels for a web or family archive. Further evolution of sensors (especially on this parameter) is needed only by a small group of stokers or landscape photographers who constantly makes large prints.
      Canon will continue to misbehave

  • Danie Bester

    I am a Canon shooter and really disappointed with what I am hearing. I was hoping that the 6D Mark II’s dynamic range would at least come close to Sony and Nikon, or even matching the 5D Mark IV. As a Fine-art Photographer, who also does commercial Architecture & Interior Photography, the benefit of two extra stops DR, would make my life so much easier. It seems that I have consider the Mark IV now, or jump ship to the A7R II. The only problem is that Sony is no longer in South Africa.

  • David Brown

    This may well be true, it looks like canon may be trying to sell the 6d mkii with older sensor technology,
    Go to the canon website & down load the brochure for the canon 6d mkii & the 80d. The 6dmkii brochure says new sensor, & the 80 d says latest sensor. now compare the auto iso range of the canon 6d & that of the 6dmkii they are both set at 100 – 25600. It looks like the 80d is getting the latest sensor technology & the newer more expensive 6dmkii is not.

  • tomte

    further DR and ISO invariance testing confirm those findings:

  • Ok, so here is the time for self-criticism ;).

    Finally got this camera for a short period last week. My global feeling was that It looks cheap in comparison to the original 6D, while still that doesn’t mean it’s not worth the upgrade, if price is not a concern. For the IQ, from what I saw by comparing some shots processed with DPP : at base ISO, 6D looks a tad better while the 6D 2 looks a tad better at raising ISOs.
    This conclusion was confirmed afterward by processing the same files with Lightroom.

    I’ve not made some scientific tests of course, so it’s only an impression. So, what makes me really returned it was in these points for me :

    – DPAF is not at the top (no burst mode with touch screen, a bit more slow comparing to M6 for instance)

    – on a practical basis, new AF is not giving much more than the older one, though I found it to be a bit more convenient.

    – Build quality falls short in comparison to the original 6D, made me feel it’s not a real valuable successor for the money

    – IQ is globally exactly the same while Canon had more than 4 years to improve it, and I felt like I got nothing more from the 26Mpixels. Don’t really know but did something go wrong with Focus Numerique’s tests ?

    – too expensive for what it gives in comparison to 6D

    Still, I think it’s a nice, very capable and pleasant to use camera. Just not for me. I keep my 6D.

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