Canon 6D vs 7D: (or sensor vs wallet) which camera is best for you?

Canon 6D vs 7D: which camera is best for you?

In this post, we’ll make a Canon 6D vs 7D comparison, both of which are aimed at advanced-amateur photographers, to see which Canon camera best matches your needs. While the Canon 7D lacks the full frame sensor of the canon 6D, it nevertheless offers a great deal of specs for a now considerably lower street price than when it was launched.

Canon 6D vs 7D: which camera is best for you?So who wins a Canon 6D vs 7D match-up? Well, there are some things to take into consideration first. The point of this comparison isn’t really to say which camera is best. The Canon 6D obviously boasts a full-frame sensor, while the EOS 7D offers a crop sensor.

There are obvious benefits to having a full-frame sensor, and if you know you need a full-frame sensor for your photography, then a Canon 6D vs 7D match-up is a no-brainer! But for the average consumer, for whom a 1.6x crop sensor will fulfill most of their needs, while it’s easy to be drawn in by the allure of the Canon EOS 6D, is the EOS 7D, with its falling price and advantage over its new sibling in some key specifications, not equally a no-brainer?

So let’s ignore sensor size for a moment and assume that if you’re still reading, then having a full-frame sensor isn’t your top need from a camera. The two Canon cameras here do match closely on some of the specs that appeal to advanced amateur photographers, but also have their differences on others – namely, the 7D’s higher frame rate and focus points. So if you’re not so concerned by the EOS 7D’s 1.6x crop factor, it’s falling price (soon to fall more, we’d expect) could make it a real bargain for photographers looking to upgrade from their entry-level DSLR.

But let’s take a look at the Canon EOS 6D.

For starters, the EOS 6D boasts a couple of firsts for Canon: it’s the smallest, lightest and – perhaps most importantly – cheapest full-fame DSLR ever made by the company, and it is also the first EOS camera to include built-in WiFi.

Changing your camera settings, geotagging photos and transferring your shots to your handset is now possible using Canon’s free iOS and Android apps, making it even easier to share photos with the world.

This is an exciting new feature for an EOS camera, but whether it will be the deciding factor when it comes to that all-important purchasing decision is another matter.

Canon 6D vs 7D: is the cheaper 7D a better option?

By comparison the Canon EOS 7D was well received by the public on its launch; its 18 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, high ISO range (up to 6400), 1080p 24fps HD video, 19-point AF and fast processing speed were impressive features and still wouldn’t be considered long in the tooth even today.

But when comparing the Canon 6D vs 7D, does the newer, lighter EOS 6D and its bigger sensor outweigh the sub-£1000 prices for which you can now find the EOS 7D?

It is clear the the Canon EOS 6D is all-singing, all-dancing when it comes to the specs the modern technologically-savvy, advanced-amateur to pro photographer might be looking for; its full-frame 20.2-megapixel sensor, super-fast DIGIC 5+ image processing, 4.5 fps continuous shooting and ISO range might appear to wipe the floor with those of the 7D.

But for all the 6D’s seductive digits, specifications and gimmicks, is it worth spending around £2,000?

If you want/need/cannot live without the latest, lightest, and impressively kitted out full-frame DSLR from Canon, you might be happy investing in the EOS 6D, particularly if you’re looking for a camera that performs well in low-light conditions.

But perhaps the real question to ask is whether you will be using this camera to its full potential and getting the most out of your investment? How often will you need to shoot above ISO 6400? Is the difference in speed in the Canon 6D vs 7D – the former’s DIGIC 5+ processor vs the latter’s DIGIC 4 processor – that vital to your work to make it essential to your purchase?

If your answer to these questions is a negative, and if you don’t have wads of cash to spare on a new camera you might consider the well-regarded EOS 7D. What’s more, if you aren’t looking specifically for a full-frame DSLR and you simply want a high-performance DSLR that sits closer to your budget at around £800 less, the 7D remains a strong candidate.

The Canon 6D is certainly a great choice for landscape photographers or music photographers. But if you shoot a little bit of everything, perhaps the 7D can in fact offer you just want you need in a camera without breaking the bank. Here are our reasons in favour of each camera:

Reasons to buy the Canon 6D

  • Its much larger sensor (more than 2.5x larger than the 7D), and all the creative possibilities it affords
  • Higher sensitivity and better low-light performance
  • Wi-Fi capability
  • GPS functionality
  • HDR function
  • Smaller and lighter

Reasons to buy the Canon 7D

  • Faster continuous shooting rate
  • More cross-type focus points (19 vs 11)
  • More viewfinder coverage (100% vs 97%)
  • Faster maximum shutter speed (1/8000sec vs 1/4000sec)
  • Much cheaper

But don’t take our word for it just yet. We’ll be giving you a full, scientific review 6D in the coming weeks. In the meantime you can catch up with our testing team’s ongoing trials with the camera on their hands-on Canon EOS 6D review over on our sister site, TechRadar.

NEXT PAGE: Canon 6D vs 7D specifications


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  • NSRajaram

    The two are not comparable. 7D MkII like its cousin 70D caters to a different clientele– outdoor, children, pets, sports and wildlife. 6D is more a regular professional camera that I find is excellent for landscape also.