If you want a full-frame, mid-size Canon DSLR, then your current options are the EOS 6D Mark II and the EOS 5D Mark IV.
Both bring about wide-reaching improvements over their respective predecessors, but Canon bills the cameras as two very different machines. One is labelled as an enthusiast's model and the other aimed at professionals. Accordingly, the latter has the significantly heftier price tag, with the price of a very good L lens between them.
You'd expect the dearer EOS 5D Mark IV to offer a lot more, but just what are the key differences between them? Read on to find out.
Read more: The best full-frame DSLRs in 2017
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV vs EOS 6D Mark II: Sensor and processor
- Canon EOS 5D Mark IV: 30.4MP full-frame CMOS sensor, ISO 100-32,000 (exp. ISO 50-102,400); DIGIC 6+ processor
- Canon EOS 6D Mark II: 26.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor, ISO 100-40,000 (exp. ISO 50-102,400); DIGIC 7 processor
On paper there is not much difference between the camera’s newly developed sensors.
The 30.4MP sensor of the EOS 5D Mark IV records images with 6720 x 4480 pixels. The EOS 6D Mark II, meanwhile, features a 26.2MP sensor with image dimensions of 6240 x 4160 pixels.
It’s enough of a difference, but in reality both will produce high-quality, large-scale prints.
The ISO sensitivity range is essentially the same with both cameras, with the EOS 6D Mark II offering just 1/3EV extra at the top end of its native ISO range to make a difference.
The EOS 6D Mark II features Canon’s latest DIGIC 7 processor, while the EOS 5D Mark IV has the previous DIGIC 6+ engine. However, when it comes to the performance of the two, the EOS 5D Mark IV is in some ways slightly superior (see Burst Shooting).
So, with fractionally higher sensor resolution and slightly better burst shooting, the EOS 5D Mark IV arguably has the edge in this particular battle.
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV vs EOS 6D Mark II: Video
- Canon EOS 5D Mark IV: 4K DCI (4096 x 2180p) up to 30fps, with 1.6x sensor crop. 120fps slow motion at 720p
- Canon EOS 6D Mark II: Full HD (1080p) up to 60fps, no slow-motion recording
The video specs of the two are quite different, with the EOS 5D Mark IV boasting 4K DCI recording at up to 30fps and the EOS 6D Mark II able to shoot Full HD (1080p) videos at frame rates up to 60fps.
4K DCI recording is in a slightly wider aspect than in the regular 4K UHD resolution of 3860 x 2180 pixels, which results in a 17:9 aspect ratio, rather than 16:9.
There are, however, a few caveats with the EOS 5D Mark IV’s 4K video recording. It comes with a 1.6x sensor crop (that’s Canon’s APS-C format), which is not best suited for wide-angle shooting but potentially useful for telephoto video recording. Even so, the EOS 6D Mark II has no 4K video at all, so the EOS 5D Mark IV still has the advantage here.
Similarly, it's possible to shoot slow-motion 720p videos with the EOS 5D Mark IV at 120fps, while the EOS 6D Mark II does not offer slow-motion recording at all.
Interface wise, both have a 3.5mm microphone socket and HDMI output, but the EOS 5D Mark IV is the only one to feature a headphone jack.
Regarding HDMI output, both are limited to 1080p out, so you won’t get the most out of the EOS 5D Mark IV 4K shooting when using external recorders.
Overall, the EOS 5D Mark IV is on top here.
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV vs EOS 6D Mark II: Burst shooting
- Canon EOS 5D Mark IV: 7fps
- Canon EOS 6D Mark II: 6.5fps
The 7fps continuous shooting mode of the EOS 5D Mark IV has a slight but negligible advantage over the EOS 6D Mark II's 6.5fps rate, but its in burst depth where the two differ more from each other.
The EOS 5D Mark IV can shoot an infinite number of JPEGs or up to 30 Raw files (providing you're using a fast enough card), while the EOS 6D Mark II can fire away for up to 150 JPEGs or 21 Raw files.
So, once again, the EOS 5D MK IV just edges ahead.
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV vs EOS 6D Mark II: Autofocus
- Canon EOS 5D Mark IV: 61-point AF array; Dual Pixel CMOS AF system (live view and video)
- Canon EOS 6D Mark II: 45-point AF array; Dual Pixel CMOS AF system (live view and video)
Autofocusing appears very similar between the two. Both cameras sport Dual Pixel CMOS AF, Canon's sensor-based phase-detection autofocus. This provides quick and accurate autofocus in both live view and video modes, so both cameras can be used to create professional focus pulls etc
As for autofocusing through the viewfinder, the EOS 5D Mark IV features a 61-point AF array with up to 41 cross-type points (as it depends on the lens used), while the EOS 6D Mark II has 45 AF points, all capable of being cross type.
A significant difference between the two cameras is that the 61-point array of the EOS 5D Mark IV covers a wider area of the frame than the EOS 6D Mark II's, making it more useful for focusing on off-centre subjects.
Both systems give an AF working range of EV -3 to 18, which mean they should focus well in poor lighting conditions.
So, while similar, the EOS 5D Mark IV appears to have the AF edge.
Read more: Canon EOS 6D Mark II Review