The Canon EOS R6 Mark II ended speculation that it could have the same sensor as Canon’s flagship sports camera, but the new full-frame mirrorless beast is still a good all-rounder. (Want to jump straight to our initial verdict? Canon EOS R6 Mark II review).
The EOS R6 Mark II is the continuation of the original 2020 EOS R6 and the main update is a new 24.2 MP full-frame CMOS sensor. This gives Canon’s new model a 20% increase in resolution compared to its 20MP predecessor, which will appeal to photographers looking for a little more detail or crop potential.
Previous rumors optimistically predicted that the EOS R6 Mark II could have the same ‘stacked’ 24.1 MP sensor seen in the Canon EOS R3. The stacked sensors have incredibly fast read speeds for fast shots and professional video quality, but they also come at a premium price.
Still, the EOS R6 Mark II’s new sensor doesn’t just offer extra resolution help. It’s also fast enough to shoot 40fps bursts with autofocus in raw or JPEG without any cropping. Granted, it can’t maintain these speeds for very long (just under two seconds when recording raw files), but it’s still twice as fast as the EOS R6 and a potential bonus for action or sports shooters.
Another help in this department is the EOS R6 Mark II’s updated Dual Pixel CMOS AF II system. Thanks to some enhanced deep learning, it can now recognize and track aircraft, trains, and a wider variety of animals than before (including horses and zebras). Perhaps a bit niche, but the AF system is also more confident when shooting people, as we found in our initial preview.
The new camera sensor also supports some improved video abilities. You can record uncropped 4K/60p videos, which are also upsampled from the camera’s native 6K resolution. That’s a recipe for some high-quality videos, although unfortunately there’s still no 4K/120p mode for slow-motion fans.
The EOS R6 Mark II is very similar to its predecessor, which isn’t bad. It has an almost identical physical design with great handling and a new multi-function shoe on top to pair it with accessories like Canon’s new Speedlite EL-5. In the US and Australia it is also priced identically to the original EOS R6, costing $2,499 / £2,779 / AU$4,499 (body only), with that UK price being an increase of around 11%.
You can also pre-order the camera now with the RF 24-105 f/4L IS USM lens for $3,599 / £3,999 / AU$6,399. In the US and UK, you can also get the EOS R6 Mark II with the cheaper RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM zoom lens for $2,799/£3,129, with sales expected to start in late November. .
Analysis: Not stacked, but definitely ripped
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Speculation that the Canon EOS R6 Mark II might have a stacked sensor has proven to be wishful thinking, and that’s not much of a surprise. Only a handful of full-frame cameras have this modern sensor design, and they’re all priced well north of Canon’s new hybrid shooter.
But that doesn’t mean the EOS R6 Mark II is underwhelming or underpowered. Its new 24.2MP sensor might not be stacked or backlit, but it clearly has some pretty fast read speeds, as shown by those 40fps shooting speeds and its ability to record 4K/60p oversampled bluntly.
In other words, mirrorless cameras don’t necessarily need stacked sensors to be considered high quality or professional quality. The EOS R6 Mark II may be a relatively modest upgrade in other areas, but it corrects most of its predecessor’s weaknesses. And, as our hands-on review notes, “few cameras at this price point can match its hybrid abilities” for taking stills and videos.
It’s sure to be an interesting contest with the Sony A7 IV and Nikon Z6 II, so stay tuned for our full Canon EOS R6 Mark II review very soon. And if your budget understandably doesn’t extend to these cameras, check out our guide to Black Friday camera deals for some tips on how to get a bargain this month.