Canon 5D Mark II vs 6D — Which Should You Buy?

In this match-up: Canon 5D Mark II vs 6D, we are going to take you through the main features and compare them side by side — In depth. But bear this in mind: When you have to pick between two great cameras it ceases to be a question of which is better overall but which is better for your peculiar needs.

What Camera
Canon 5D Mark II Vs 6D
Get the Canon 5D Mark II now!Get the Canon 6D now!

What an old pro photographer needs isn’t what a newbie needs. What a landscape photographer needs isn’t what a motor racing photographer needs.

So in looking at our comparison, it’s important that you pay close attention to how each feature or difference will affect your use of a particular camera.

One more thing. We have some other Canon-Canon reviews that you could check out like the Canon 6D vs 5D Mark III and the Canon 5D vs 6D.

Canon 5D Mark II Vs 6D – Comparison Overview

Because we know that you might be in a hurry, we’ve compressed the basic information in this article into this section. You can go through it quickly and make a quick decision.

Overall Review Of The Canon 5D Mark II Vs 6D

Both cameras could actually pass for good cameras and we believe that you’ll find good use for either one. The Canon 5D Mark II has a slightly better sensor resolution than the Canon 6D. However, we do not think the difference is so significant that you’ll notice it so much.

On the other hand, the 6D is immediately distinguishable from the 5D Mark II because it has an inbuilt wireless connection. However, as for performance, we can actually say both cameras perform at the same level.

Rating Of The Features Of The Canon 5D Mark II Vs 6D

Both the Canon 5D Mark II and the Canon 6D are DSLRs. So, of course, they both have a mirror and an optical viewfinder. However, aside being DSLRs, these cameras happen to have a number of things in common.

A good number of these similar features good features like the full frame sensor, the microphone port, the weather sealing, the face detection and even the sensor resolution. However, this sensor resolution is slightly different with the 6D offering 20 megapixels and the 5D Mark II offering 21 megapixels.

Since we have started talking specifics, the 6D actually has more features unique to it than the 5D Mark II. With the 5D Mark II, you get better life expectancy of the shutter (150000 vs 100000), a viewfinder that is slightly more accurate (98% vs 97%) and a slightly better sensor resolution (21 vs 20 megapixels).

However, with the 6D, you get an inbuilt wireless connection, inbuilt GPS, a wider ISO range, smartphone control, a longer battery life (1090 vs 850 shots) and even a slightly better screen resolution (1040k dots as against 920k dots).

Nonetheless, both these cameras happen to miss a couple of features in common. They both do not have the inbuilt image stabilization feature, they both have a not so impressive continuous shooting rate and they are both missing the articulating screen.

Price/Value Ratio – Canon 5D Mark II Vs 6D

Will you get value for your money with either camera? Well, it depends on what value means to you. We believe that the 6D is decently priced for what it offers but the 5D Mark II could cost a little less. However, as we mentioned earlier, it basically depends on what you consider as value.

Canon 5D Mark II Vs 6D – Comparison Table

 

Canon 5D Mark II

Canon 6D

Weight 1.8 pounds 1.7 pounds
Dimensions 6 by 4.5 by 3 inches 5.7 by 4.4 by 2.8 inches
Wireless Connection No Yes
Sensor Resolution 21 megapixel 20 megapixel
Continuous Shooting 3.9 frames per second 4.5 frames per second
Battery Life 850 shots per charge 1090 shots per charge
Screen Type Fixed screen Fixed screen
ISO Range 100 to 6400 and can be expanded to 50 to 25600 100 to 25600 and can be expanded to between 50 and 102400

Canon 5D Mark II Vs 6D – A Comparison Video

What Camera
Canon 5D Mark II Vs 6D
Get the Canon 5D Mark II now!Get the Canon 6D now!

Canon 5D Mark II Vs 6D – Which Is Better For What?

Canon 5D Mark II

Canon 6D

The Canon 5D Mark II has a slightly more accurate viewfinder than the 6D. On the other hand, the Canon 6D is the more affordable of the two cameras.
It also has a slightly higher sensor resolution. Also, this camera has an inbuilt wireless connection and even inbuilt GPS.
What Camera
Canon 5D Mark II Vs 6D
Get the Canon 5D Mark II now!Get the Canon 6D now!

Canon 5D Mark II Vs 6D – Common Features

In this section, we’ll get to see how similar the Canon 5D Mark II is to the Canon 6D. We’ve compiled the features that you’ll find on both cameras. However, note that while some of the features will be exactly the same in both cameras, some others will be slightly different.

1. DSLR

First up in our list of similarities is the fact that both cameras are DSLRs. To appreciate what a DSLR is, we’ll have to do a bit of comparison; comparing a DSLR to a mirrorless camera.

The basic difference between a DSLR and a mirrorless camera is the presence/absence of a mirror and an optical viewfinder.

Notice that we said the presence or absence of an optical viewfinder and not necessarily the presence or absence of a viewfinder. This is because while some mirrorless cameras come with an electronic viewfinder (as an alternative to an optical viewfinder), others do not have a viewfinder at all.

That said, here is how things work as a result of this presence/absence. With a DSLR, light passes through the lenses and bounces off the mirror. When that happens, the light splits from the mirror; part of it hitting the Autofocus Sensor and the other part hitting the optical viewfinder.

However, because mirrorless cameras do not have a mirror, the light just hits the sensor straight. The sensor then sends a digital image to the electronic viewfinder or the LCD screen as the case may be.

That said, we are more concerned with the DSLR. DSLRs have been known to be generally heavier than mirrorless cameras and this has been attributed the presence of a mirror.

DSLRs have also been known to generally have a longer battery life than mirrorless cameras. However, nobody has been able to point to any one (or more features) that is responsible for this feat.

2. Viewfinder

One of the reasons we know that both these cameras are DSRs is because they both feature an optical viewfinder. Well, it is practically impossible to find a camera that doesn’t feature a viewfinder, so this is kind of a moot point. However, there is something we want to point out.

Both viewfinders have a decent coverage. That is, with either camera, you should get a decent range of view of whatever it is you are about to capture.

However, the Canon 5D Mark II does it slightly better. While the 6D offers a 97% viewfinder coverage, the 5D Mark II offers 98%. The difference isn’t so much, hence, the reason it made it to our common features section.

3. Weight

Here is yet another factor that isn’t exactly the same with both cameras but is only slightly different. While the 5D Mark II weighs 1.8 pounds, the 6D weighs 1.7 pounds. There’s just a 0.1 pound difference between them and that might not be very noticeable.

That said, we wouldn’t exactly refer to either camera as a lightweight camera. However, we wouldn’t refer to either of them as heavy, either. We would say that they are at an OK weight, if there is anything like that.

You can carry them without feeling like you’ve got the weight of the world. On the other hand, you certainly do want to hold either of them for a long stretch of time.

Now, be sure to note that when we said the 5D Mark II weighs 1.8 pounds and the 6D weighs 1.7 pounds, we were referring specifically to the body and not the body plus any other attachments. The lenses, which you’ll definitely have to attach to the camera, differ varyingly in weight.

However, the way we factor in the weight of the lenses without having to go through their individual weights is by looking at the size of the camera sensor.

If the cameras in the comparison have the same sensor size, they would require lenses of similar size and weight. And if not, you should know that one camera will require larger and heavier lenses than the other.

That said, both cameras in this review have a full frame sensor of basically the same size. As a result, for a similar aperture and focal length, they would both require lenses that are similar in size and weight.

4. Fixed Screen

Both the Canon 5D Mark II have a 3 inch fixed screen which isn’t exactly exciting news. Maybe when they both first came out fixed screens were a thing that everybody was OK with.

However, now, with more innovations with cameras and photography, a fixed screen just does not offer the creativity that people crave.

As against a fixed screen, there is what can be referred to as an articulated screen.an articulated screen is basically the kind that can be turned in certain directions and to certain angles without having to turn the entire camera.

Whatever kind of articulating screen it is (tilting or full-flex), the idea is for you to take shots of your subject from certain interesting angles. And, depending on how wide an angle the screen can be turned to, an articulating screen might be able to allow you take pictures of and/or record yourself.

However, as we said earlier, both the Canon 5D Mark II and the Canon 6D have a fixed screen and not an articulating screen.

5. Continuous Shooting

This is something else we aren’t particularly excited about as we do not consider either continuous shooting mode impressive. We do concede, though, that the 6D does it better (4.5 frames per second) than the 5D Mark II (3.9 frames per second).

The basic idea of having a fast continuous shooting rate is to be able to better capture images that move around a lot. This group of people typically include toddlers and even sports people.

We typically consider any shooting rate below 5 frames per second to be not so impressive. Because really, 3 frames per second is almost the same as taking your regular 1 picture in one second.

So, while the 6D does have a faster shooting rate than the 5D Mark II, neither camera can be considered good for sports photography.

6. Flash Shoe

If you’ve ever taken a picture (with your phone or any kind of device) and the lighting wasn’t the best, we are sure you needed nobody to tell you to use the flash.

Still using you as an example, you’ll have to agree with us that the flash has not always been able to solve your bad light problem. Sometimes, you’ll just have to take that picture somewhere else where the lighting is better.

This is kinda how things work with a camera. Some cameras have an inbuilt flash that comes in handy a number of times. However, because that is not always the best solution, some cameras have an external flash port.

Now, not all cameras have an inbuilt flash and not all cameras have the external flash port. In the case of the cameras in this review, they both do not have the inbuilt flash and both have an external flash port. And this is a lucky thing because the external flash will be of more use to you than the inbuilt flash.

What Camera
Canon 5D Mark II Vs 6D
Get the Canon 5D Mark II now!Get the Canon 6D now!

7. Resolution

While neither camera could be said to have the highest sensor resolution, they both have decent resolution. In addition to the size of the sensor, resolution of the sensor contributes to the quality of photos taken.

The 6D offers a 20 megapixel resolution while the 5D Mark II offers a 21 megapixel resolution. Obviously, the 5D will offer you better quality pictures. However, you should be able to print pictures taken with either camera in large prints and even crop to your heart’s content.

8. Microphone Port

A good number of digital cameras are built with an inbuilt microphone in order for them to be able to record videos. However, in a good number of cases, the inbuilt microphones do not record good quality audio and you’ll probably get a lot of noise as feedback.

This is the reason there is an external microphone port. Using an external microphone to record your videos offers you better sound quality making said camera a good idea for those who are looking to recording videos for their blogs. That said, both cameras in this review have an external flash port.

9. Weather Sealing

Both the Canon 5D Mark II and the Canon 6D are weather sealed. Now, the term weather sealed can be used to refer to dustproof, water resistant, waterproof or a combination of some or all of those.

In the case of both the cameras in this review, weather sealing refers to a dustproof, water resistant combo. Now, be careful to note that there is a significant difference between a camera that is waterproof and one that is water resistant.

A waterproof camera will do fine even if it is dunked in water making it a good camera to take swimming or even diving. However, a water resistant camera can only take a couple of water splashes and drizzles.

So, why you might not want to be ambitious enough to use either the 5D Mark II or the 6D in the rain, you might not need to panic if either gets a little wet.

10. Top LCD Screen Display

This one is a small screen you will find on top of the camera and both cameras feature it. On this screen, you can see and quickly change settings on the camera. This allows for quick and effective settings change.

11. RAW Support

Both the Canon 5D Mark II and the Canon 6D allow for photos to be stored in the RAW format. As against the jpeg format, photos saved in the RAW format retain their quality which is good news, seeing as both cameras have a decent photo resolution. However, photos saved as RAW take up more space than photos saved as jpeg.

12. Face Detection

Both the 5D Mark II and the 6D can detect and focus on faces as you get ready to take your shots. As a result, either camera will make for a good portrait camera.

13. Available Lenses

Finally, both cameras have the exact same number of lenses available; 271, 242 of which are full frame lenses.

Furthermore, both cameras do not have an image stabilization feature. What this means is that photos taken with either camera could end up looking blurry if they are taken with the camera in any kind of motion.

As a result, you’ll need to get optical stabilization lenses to balance things out. To that effect, both cameras have the exact same number of optical stabilization lenses; 65 lenses.

14. Time-Lapse Recording

When a camera time-lapse records, it basically records videos in a lower frequency than the normal mode would. However, when said video is played back, it actually runs faster than a regular video would. Furthermore, unlike some other cameras, the time-lapse recording option is built into both cameras.

Canon 5D Mark II Vs 6D – A Canon 5D Mark II Demonstration Video

Canon 5D Mark II Vs 6D – Unique Features

In this section, you’ll get to see how different these cameras are from each other. We’ve compiled those features that you’ll find in one camera but not the other and also those features that are in both cameras but are significantly different.

1. Wireless Connection

Of the two cameras in this review, only the 6D has the inbuilt wireless connection. We kinda understand why the 5D Mark II does not keep up with current trends in photography seeing as it came about four years before the 6D which was released in 2012.

That said, the basic idea of the wireless connection is to be able to connect to the internet and download certain apps and stuff. In addition to that, you can, via this connection, transfer files from the camera to another device and from the other device to the camera.

However, seeing as the 5D Mark II doesn’t have this feature and both cameras neither have the Near Field Communication nor the Bluetooth feature, transferring files from the camera to an off-camera location wirelessly is practically impossible. You’ll have to pull out the memory card or connect the camera to another device using an USB cable.

Furthermore, of the two cameras, only the 6D can be controlled using a smartphone. You just need to download the appropriate app and make the connection.

Once that is done, you can do your shooting and even change settings right from the connected smartphone. Remember, though, that this is only possible with the Canon 6D.

2. Inbuilt GPS

This one feature is a really impressive one that you don’t get to see with a lot of cameras. The Canon 6D has this inbuilt GPS feature and you can use it to not geotag your pictures. This way, it can be recorded where it is whatever picture you take was taken.

3. ISO Range

This is another factor that tells us how good a quality the picture will be. The ISO range basically tells us how sensitive a camera is to light i.e. how much light the camera can let it.

If you set the camera to a high ISO, the camera is able to let in as much light as possible. This makes it the right ISO for places where the light is too low. The camera, in a high ISO, basically tries to make up for the lack of light.

On the other hand, a low ISO makes the camera take in as little light as possible and offers a lower probability of having grainy pictures. And of course, a low ISO is better option for where the light is just too much. The camera takes care of things by letting in as little light as is necessary.

That said, the ISO range tells us the upper and lower limits of the light sensitivity of a camera. And you’ll agree with us that the wider the ISO range, the better for everyone involved.

That said, the 6D offers a way better ISO range than the 5D mark II. With the 5D Mark II, you get an ISO range of between 100 and 12800 while the 5D Mark II offers between 100 and 6400.

Furthermore, the ISO range of both cameras can be expanded. That of the 6D can be expanded to between 50 and 102400 while that of the 5D Mark II can be expanded to between 50 and 25600. It is very obvious that the 6D offers you more room as regards the ISO range.

4. Battery Life

How long does either camera last? Remember we said that DSLRs are generally known to have a longer battery life than mirrorless cameras. Hence, you should expect to see really impressive battery life with either camera.

That said, the battery life of a camera is measured by how many shots you can get with the camera before you need to charge it. The 6D has a longer battery life than the 5D Mark II and we believe that the difference is significant.

With the 5D Mark II, you get 850 shots before it needs to be charged while the 6D can give you 1090 shots before it needs to be charged. To put things in perspective, that 240 shot difference could be the battery life of some mirrorless cameras.

Canon 5D Mark II vs 6D – A Canon 6D Demonstration Video

What Camera
Canon 5D Mark II Vs 6D
Get the Canon 5D Mark II now!Get the Canon 6D now!

Sony 5D Mark II Vs 6D – Unique Pros

Sony 5D Mark II Vs 6D – Pros Of The Sony 5D Mark II

  • First off, the viewfinder of the Sony 5D Mark II has a slightly wider coverage than that of the 6D.
  • Furthermore, this camera has a faster shutter speed (1/8000s) than the 6D (1/4000s).
  • Also, the 5D Mark II’s shutter has a longer life expectancy (150000) than that of the 6D (100000).
  • Finally, this camera has a slightly shorter shutter lag (0.21 second) than the 6D (0.24 second).

Canon 5D Mark II Vs 6D – Pros of The Canon 6D

  • First off, this camera has an inbuilt wireless connection that should allow you access to the internet and also allow you transfer files from the camera to an off-camera device.
  • Furthermore, the 6D has a significantly longer battery life than the 5D Mark II.
  • Also, this camera has an inbuilt GPS that geotags your photos.
  • The Canon 6D can be controlled using a smartphone. Just be sure you download the appropriate app and then make the connection.
  • Furthermore, the 6D is slightly lighter than the 5D Mark II.
  • Also, this camera is significantly more affordable than the 5D Mark II.
  • The Canon 6D has a few more focus points (11) than the 5D Mark II (9).
  • Furthermore, this camera’s screen has a slightly higher resolution (1040k dots) than that of the 5D Mark II (920k dots).
  • Also, this camera has a significantly wider ISO range than the 5D Mark II.

Canon 5D Mark II Vs 6D – Unique Cons

Canon 5D Mark II Vs 6D – Cons Of The Canon 5D Mark II

  • The Canon 5D Mark II doesn’t have an inbuilt wireless connection, NFC connection or the Bluetooth feature. As a result, you can’t do a wireless transfer of pictures from the camera to an off-camera device. You’ll have to pull out the memory card or use a USB cord.
  • Furthermore, this camera costs significantly more than the 6D.

Canon 5D Mark II Vs 6D – Cons Of The Canon 6D

  • The Canon 6D does not have as fast a shutter speed as the Canon 5D Mark II.
  • In addition, this camera’s shutter does not have as long a life expectancy as the 5D Mark II.

Canon 5D Mark II Vs 6D – Common Pros

 

Canon 5D Mark II

Canon 6D

Flash Shoe This camera has a flash shoe to which you can attach an external flash. This external flash should help you take care of some low flash light situations and should also come in handy if you need to take flash photography. Same as the Canon 5D Mark II.
Microphone Port The Canon 5D Mark II also has a microphone port. As a result, you should be able to record good audio quality. Same as the Canon 5D Mark II.
Weather Sealing Furthermore, this camera is both dust proof and water resistant. Same as the Canon 5D Mark II.
RAW Support The Canon 5D Mark II also supports for photos to be stored in the RAW format. Same as the Canon 5D Mark II.
Sensor Resolution The Canon 5D Mark II’s 21 megapixel sensor resolution is pretty impressive and should afford you decent pictures. Same as the Canon 5D Mark II. However, that of the 6D is 20 megapixels.
Face Detection Furthermore, this camera is able to detect and focus on faces making it goo for taking portraits. Same as the Canon 5D Mark II.
Time-Lapse Recording This camera has an inbuilt time-lapse recording feature. Same as the Canon 5D Mark II.
Top Level LCD Finally, the Canon 5D Mark II has a top level LCD screen from which you can make changes in settings. Same as the Canon 5D Mark II.
What Camera
Canon 5D Mark II Vs 6D
Get the Canon 5D Mark II now!Get the Canon 6D now!

Canon 5D Mark II Vs 6D – Common Cons

 

Canon 5D Mark II

Canon 6D

Image Stabilization This camera doesn’t have an inbuilt image stabilization feature. As a result, photos could come out looking blurry. Thankfully, this can be corrected if you make use of optical stabilization lenses. Same as the Canon 5D Mark II.
Inbuilt Flash Also, this camera does not have an inbuilt flash. You’ll have to always have an inbuilt flash in hand. Same as the Canon 5D Mark II.
Articulating Screen The Canon 5D Mark II doesn’t have an articulating screen. So, you won’t be able to move the screen to different angles to take different shots of your subject. Same as the Canon 5D Mark II.
Continuous Shooting This camera has a 3.9 frame per second continuous shooting rate and we are not very impressed. That of the Canon 6D is 4.5frames per second and we are still not very impressed.

Canon 5D Mark II Vs 6D – What People Think About Both

Canon 5D Mark II

Canon 6D

A good number of people actually happen to like this camera. It looks to us like the fact that this camera has been around for some time, added to the fact that it takes decent pictures, makes people trust this camera. Some users even happen to think that you get the value for your money with this camera. People also seem to really like this camera. The high ISO is something that people really enjoy, especially seeing as it does not result in grainy photos. The Wi-Fi connection is something that people really dig; it allows for swift transfer of photos taken to a different device and you do it wirelessly. A number of people have also positively connected on the fact that this camera can be smartphone controlled.
However, someone seemed to think that you’ll have to invest in better quality lenses which will be more expensive. Also, a number of people opined that working the 5D Mark II is something that takes a bit of getting used to. Plus, there was someone that said something about the camera not having many options that would make it interesting or especially useful to videographers. Apparently, this camera is more of a photography camera. However, some people do not like that the viewfinder is not a 100% coverage because photos appear smaller in the viewfinder than they actually are. The fact that it has only one SD card slot also gets to a few people that are looking to taking as may pictures as possible.
What Camera
Canon 5D Mark II Vs 6D
Get the Canon 5D Mark II now!Get the Canon 6D now!

Canon 5D Mark II Vs 6D – Our Take

Canon 5D Mark II

Canon 6D

We believe that this camera has its uses. It takes decent pictures due to its sensor size and resolution. Also, the camera has a microphone port that will go a long way in helping you record good sound. We also like the weather sealing touch because it sure gives the camera a decent amount of protection against the elements. We actually like this camera and believe it has a few better features than its opponent. This one actually has a Wi-Fi connection and can also be controlled using a smartphone and those are two things you won’t get with the 5 Mark II. The fact that it takes decent pictures is an important feature that we cannot overlook.
However, we are not particularly excited about the fact that this camera does not have an inbuilt wireless connection. Anyway, if you dig this camera, you can get the Canon 5D Mark II now! There are a few things that are slightly off with this camera as we have pointed out. However, if this is the camera you want, get the Canon 6D now!

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