What I love about the Canon R6 (and what I don’t)
Back in those hazy, lazy days of late summer - when we all ate out to help out and dared to believe lockdowns were a thing of the past - I took delivery of the brand new Canon R6.
For years I’d had two “B” cameras to compliment my Canon C200. Neither of these secondary cameras were ever quite the C200’s perfect partner, so I often couldn’t decide which pair to take on shoots, and invariably ended up packing all three.
Essentially what I wanted was two cameras in one. The dream was that Canon would release a camera that could replace both my trusty DSLR and my XC15 - a great little video camera in its own right, but with a fixed lens which limited creativity.
I wanted a camera that could fit all the lenses I already had for the C200 and that would blow my socks off in both photo and video modes. It also needed to shoot 4K in high frame rates and be small enough for use on my gimbal. Oh, and if it could take all my existing batteries and media, that would be great too.
The R6 ticked all the boxes.
Here's a picture of the Dream Team. The R6 (right) alongside the C200:
After several months the R6 has exceeded my expectations, with one fairly significant caveat. Here’s what I love about it, and what I don’t.
What I love:
There’s so much to love about the Canon R6: the miracle auto-focus, the low-light capability, the fully articulating screen, the speed, the sharpness, the ergonomics.
All this enables me to shoot beautiful footage. Every time.
But perhaps the thing I love most is what a perfect fit it is for my Ronin-S gimbal. And now Ronin have finally released a firmware update that supports it, their marriage can be wholesome and legitimate.
Whether I’m following a subject down a street or shooting over the shoulder of a driver in a moving car, the R6 on the Ronin-S gimbal gives me staggeringly stable footage. And it all packs down into a bag that I could comfortably take up a mountain - oh ok then, a hill - or take on a plane in hand luggage.
Here’s a picture of the happy couple:
Technically however, they’re not just a great couple, but the ultimate threesome. The setup wouldn’t be complete without the ultra-compact Canon RF 35mm lens, offering an extra step of stabilisation and surprisingly good image quality.
All in all the Canon R6 is an absolute joy.
There’s a reason why I could never recommend the Canon R6 if it’s to be used as a primary camera: the infamous overheating issue.
It’s baffling to me that Canon would knowingly manufacture a camera that overheats and not, say, put a cooling fan inside like everyone else does.
The upshot of this is that if you want to shoot in 4K, you need to be aware that after 30 minutes of continuous recording the camera will shutdown and not be functional again until it’s reached an undefined temperature. This could be 5 minutes or 5 hours. Frankly, who knows.
At worst it’s a crippling design flaw, at best it’s a quirk that needs to be factored in for 4K-only shoots. And the latter is actually quite reasonable as long as it’s being used as a “B” camera alongside another 4K camera (like my C200 for example, with its myriad features, such as a cooling fan!).
Other than that one obvious flaw, the Canon R6 is a great camera. Regardless of the lack of fan, I am a fan, so to speak. I can’t wait to get out there shooting with it regularly alongside the C200. They compliment each other beautifully.
But seriously Canon, for the Mark II, put a fan inside, yeah?