Best full-frame DSLR: 8 cameras from Canon, Nikon and Sony compared

Top pro and consumer models rated

Best full frame DSLR

Price: £1,600/US$2,100/AU$2,300 (body only)
Specs: 20.2MP, Full HD video: 1080p, 11-point AF, ISO 50-102400, Wi-Fi, GPS

Canon's answer to the Nikon D600 comes in the similarly compact shape of the Canon EOS 6D. And while there's almost no difference in their physical sizes, the Canon is nearly 100g lighter in weight. One reason for this is that the Canon 6D's top plate is polycarbonate, but at least the front and back sections of the body are sturdier magnesium alloy.

Overall build quality of the camera feels on a par with the Nikon D600. Indeed, whereas the D600 feels rather like the full-frame equivalent of the D7000, the Canon EOS 6D feels like the full-frame 60D. As such, it's a real shame that Canon omitted the pivoting LCD that's so popular on the 60D. At least there's an AF fine-tune facility, which is lacking on the 60D.

Another glaring omission for a 'consumer' class camera is that the Canon 6D has no pop-up flash. Serious photographers often dismiss pop-up flash, due to their inferior power and quality, but we think they can still be useful for fill-flash, as well as for easy wireless command of more effective off-camera flashguns.

Best full frame DSLR

Another slight disappointment is that the 6D is the only camera in this group in which the viewfinder doesn't give full 100% frame coverage, and it only has a single memory card slot.

The 6D boasts built-in GPS and can automatically geo-tag images. When enabled, however, the GPS remains active even when the camera is switched off, and can drain a fully charged battery in just a couple of days, without the camera ever even being turned on.

Better news, though, is the camera's built-in Wi-Fi, which enables you to shoot remotely and wirelessly via a compatible computer, tablet or smart phone.

Resolution is respectable enough at 20.2MP, but the 6D loses out slightly to the Nikon D600's 24.3MP, while also giving a reduced maximum burst rate of 4.5fps instead of 5.5fps. The camera's autofocus works well even under very dull lighting but, again, the provision of 11 AF points is less than generous, and only the central AF point is cross-type.

Outdoor images

Best full frame DSLR

Natural-looking results are assured, but landscape colours can be a bit muted compared with the other Canon cameras.


Best full frame DSLR

The 6D holds its own against most of the competition, giving similarly impressive resolution throughout its standard sensitivity range.


Best full frame DSLR
ISO 6400

Impressively noise-free at very high ISO settings, aggressive levels of smoothing only start to become evident at ISO 6400.

Colour error

Best full frame DSLR

The Canon EOS 6D tends to warm up cooler scenes, but the end results generally look great.

Image test verdict

Very good image quality is maintained even at high ISO settings, but you may want to increase the saturation of landscape images.

Read the Canon 6D review