Creativity is a fragile state, easily mired by technicalities.
To understand how this affects photographers, consider this scenario: you’ve been in the field for many hours waiting for a subject when suddenly a moment presents itself. Having to shift your attention away from the action to find and adjust settings or re-focus on a fast moving subject, inevitably results in missed opportunities and dulls the inspiration to create. For this reason, having a camera which compliments your creativity—through simple and instinctive design (of body and software)—makes a world of difference to your enjoyment and distinctive expression as a photographer.
Wildlife Photography Advantages.
Mirrorless cameras have become a staple for many wildlife photographers, and with an increasing array of versatile lenses optimized through intelligent software its easy to understand why.
Canon’s EOS R6 represents one of the most impressive and affordable options to produce professional-grade images. Closing the gap for amateurs developing their skills and passion whilst offering professionals greater versatility, and mobility in the field.
Update: Learn more about the new EOS R6 Mark II.
Comparison Guide: Canon EOS R6 Mark II vs EOS R6 vs EOS R5 comparison.
In this review we explore the impressive features and adaptive qualities of Canon’s EOS R6. Pairing the body with a variety of RF lenses, 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM, 100-400mm F5.6-8 IS USM, 600mm f/11 IS STM, and the 50mm f/1.8 STM to present different options for budget/subject/genre scenarios in wildlife photography, landscape, portrait, and macro.
BODY AND BUILD
The most impressive virtue of the Full-frame Mirrorless EOS R6 is the quality of build. Comparable in dimensions and feel to the more expensive R5 and hybrid system R5 C, both are relatively light and compact, especially good for small hands or anyone with mobility/joint issues (comfort makes long hours easier to endure waiting out a subject or optimizing time/opportunity at a distant location).
AF AND STABILIZATION
Tracking Between the Lines.
In the past, tracking moving subjects (especially swift or irractic aviators like the Crimson Rosella) depended upon the skill and dexterity of a photographer. Still, even the most proficient shooters often miss the action as they scrambled to lock focus on their target. Canon’s 100% autofocus (AF) frame coverage with Dual Pixel CMOS AF II, transforms our ability to react with speed and accuracy. Establishing the world’s fastest focusing speed of 0.05 seconds (based on Canon research). The advanced tracking settings include human eye, face and head detect and animal eye, face and whole body detect.
TIP: Improve focus in urban areas where birds fly between the power-lines by customizing your Case settings (also known as the AF Configuration Tool). Under the AF menu tab 1 you will find 6 case settings with options to modify the tracking sensitivity. Case one is always a good place to start and by decreasing the tracking sensitivity and increasing the acceleration/deceleration you will improve the keeper rate of birds in flight. Another option is Case 2 which is designed for subjects that may have objects appear in front of them, or where the subject may temporarily move away from the AF point.
5-Axis In Body Image Stabilizer (IBIS) is a game-changer for handheld photography even with telephoto and professional glass attached. Image Stabilization is now possible when using non stabilized lenses. Combined with selected Canon RF lenses, IBIS works in tandem with lens-based Image Stabilizer to deliver coordinated control and reduce camera-shake blur up to an incredible 8 stops of shutter speed. This is a valuable feature for mobility, allowing a photographer to forgo the tripod or bean bag when their subject or circumstances require and not compromise sharpness for shake.
OTHER NOTABLE FEATURES
The EOS R6 is is not a dedicated video or hybrid camera like the R5 C but it still offers flexible movie shooting with a range of compression options and frame rates to fit your vision (4K 60p movie recording and Full HD 120p). It will also shoot at up to 20 frames per second with full autofocus and auto exposure tracking support with electronic shutter (birds in particular, are sensitive to sound so no shutter noise is advantageous for capturing candid moments).
Low light image quality will be depend on the lens but the EOS R6 has an expanded ISO range of 100-102400. Achieve low luminance auto focus with a minimum EV for AF of EV-6.53.
With dual SD card slots, instant backup is possible by writing direct to both cards at the same time, or record one file type to one card and another type to the 2nd card.
OPERATIONAL EASE AND SUPPORT
Canon’s Camera Assist step-by-step videos walk you through all the features of your particular camera. From getting set up for the first time to discovering its more advanced features, Camera Assist helps you understand everything your camera can do. Our online tips and tutorials help you get the hang of new photography skills in your own time. Learn about the basics like shutter speed and aperture, all the way up to astrophotography and beyond.
Choosing a lens can be daunting especially with so many options and unless you specialize in a given genre (ex. Macro) then applying the following personal criteria can help. Budget, what you can afford. Weight, how much you can carry comfortably (consider shooting style, travel, joint issues etc.). Subject, where and what you want to photograph (birds, landscapes, insects or all three?).
Canon’s range is versatile enough to accommodate both niche and adaptive requirements. If in doubt, the latter is always a good choice—you can always invest in more specific gear, once you’ve established your style and subject preferences. In this respect, a zoom lens like the 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM or the 100-400mm F5.6-8 IS USM work well, giving you the capability to go smoothly from a long shot to a close-up or vice versa.
Capturing nature from afar with the 100-400mm F5.6-8 IS USM. There are many reasons to own a telephoto lens such as, showing wildlife in context with their environment. But, aside from habitat composition, keeping your distance from a subject (especially timid ones), reduces the stress you place on them which impacts both their welfare and behaviour. At times, photographing from a distance may also be essential for your own safety (ex. unsafe terrain or unpredictable and powerful wildlife).
“Capturing Details from a distance presents a different perspective, one which is often unexpected and enhanced by nuance.”