Thursday 22nd April – Canon EOS R6 Camera

Coronavirus Lockdown Day 396

1,520 cases: 0 new, 14 active.

Sony Mavica FD-92

Tuesday 18th December 2011 (19 years, 4 months, 4 days ago) I was gifted my first camera—a Sony Mavica FD-92.

Sony Mavica FD-92
Sensor 1/2.7" (5.312 x 3.984 mm)
Resolution 1472 x 1104 (1.1 megapixels)
ISO 100
Storage 3.5 inch floppy disk; MemoryStick
Focus Contrast detect
Shutter 1/500 sec–2 sec
LCD 2.5 in (6.35 cm); 123,000 dots; fixed
Viewfinder N/A
Lens 41–328 mm (35mm equiv.); 8 × optical zoom; f2.8

I used it for 4 years, 10 months, 1 week until I replaced it with a Canon 400D.

Canon EOS 400D

Wednesday 25th October 2006 (14 years, 5 months, 4 weeks ago) I bought my first DSLR—the Canon 400D, with an EF-S 17-85mm f2.8 lens—for $2,000 from Harvey Norman in Oxley.

Canon EOS 400D
Sensor 22.2 mm × 14.8 mm (APS-C)
Resolution 3,888 × 2,592 (10.1 effective megapixels)
ISO 100–1600
Storage CompactFlash (CF) (Type I or Type II)
Focus 9 AF points
Shutter 1/4000 sec–30 sec
LCD 2.5 in (6.4 cm); 230,000 dots; fixed
Viewfinder Optical pentamirror; 95% coverage; 0.8× magnification
Speed 3 frames per second

I used it for 5 years, 1 week, 6 days until I replaced it with a Canon 7D.

Canon EOS 7D

Monday 7th November 2011 (9 years, 5 months, 2 weeks, 1 day ago) my new Canon 7D (which I’d purchased from DWI back on 3rd November for $1,197—$1,261 including shipping and a $5 screen protector) arrived via FedEx at work.

Canon EOS 7D
Sensor 22.3 × 14.9 mm (APS-C)
Resolution 5,184 × 3,456 (18 effective megapixels)
ISO 100–6400 (expansion up to 12,800)
Storage CompactFlash (CF) (Type I or Type II)
Focus 19 cross-type AF points
Shutter 1/8000 sec–30 sec
LCD 3.0 in (7.6 cm); 921,600 dots (640×480); fixed

Optical pentaprism; 100% coverage; 1.0× magnification

Speed 8 frames per second

Thursday 1st May 2014 (6 years, 11 months, 3 weeks ago—and 2 years, 5 months, 3 weeks, 3 days since I bought it) my 7D, along with its lens, were declared unrepairable by Anderson’s Camera Repair, due to “water ingress” and resulting internal corrosion.

Thursday 15th May 2014 (6 years, 11 months, 1 week ago) I got a new 7D from JB Hi-Fi via Coles Home Insurance.

Thursday 26th Feb 2015 (6 years, 1 month, 3 weeks, 6 days ago) after a huge drama where multiple 7D’s would not focus properly, I finally got my 7D fully refunded by JB Hi-Fi, getting the full $1,340 back in gift cards.

All up, I owned a Canon 7D for 3 years, 3 months, 2 weeks and 5 days (not including the times it was in for repair or warranty).

Canon EOS 70D

Thursday 26th February 2015 (6 years, 1 month, 3 weeks, 6 days ago) I bought my new Canon 70D from JB Hi-Fi for $1,038, to replace the series of faulty 7D’s I’d had.

Canon EOS 70D
Sensor 22.5 × 15.0 mm (APS-C)
Resolution 5472 × 3648 pixels (4,1 μm pixel size) (20.2 effective megapixels)
ISO 100 – 12800 in 1/3 stop increments (expandable to H: 25600)
Storage SD/SDHC/SDXC card (UHS-I bus supported)
Focus 19 cross-type AF points
Shutter 1/8000 sec–30 sec
LCD 3.0 in (7.7 cm); 1,040,000 dots; tilt & swivel touchscreen
Viewfinder Optical pentaprism; 98% coverage; 0.95× magnification
Speed 7 frames per second

I used this for 6 years, 1 months, 3 weeks, 6 days until I replaced it with a Canon R6.

Canon EOS R6

Today I bought a Canon EOS R6 for $3,619 from digiDirect in the city, along with an EF-EOS-R mount adaptor (to fit EF lenses onto the new RF mount) for $140—$3,759 all up.

Canon EOS R6
Sensor 36 mm × 24 mm (full frame)
Resolution 5472 × 3648 pixels (20.1 megapixels)
ISO 100–102,400 expandable to 204,800 and 50
Storage 2 × SDXC UHS-II compatible (SD cards)
Focus 6,072 selectable AF point positions; 1,053 AF areas
Shutter 1/8000 sec–30 sec
LCD 3.2 in (8.1 cm); 1,620,000 dots; tilt & swivel touchscreen
Viewfinder 3.69-million dot OLED EVF
Speed 20 fps with completely silent electronic shutter; 12 fps with mechanical shutter
Stabilisation 5-axis image stabilisation

I also bought a Canon EF 24-70 f2.8L II lens second-hand off Facebook Marketplace for $1,600.

It was quite stressful. I’d been looking to upgrade for some time now—in fact, I’d decided during the coronavirus lockdowns last year that one of the things I’d do this year would be to buy a new camera, and get back into photography again, perhaps joining some photography groups, and get myself out of the coronavirus doing-the-same-old-things-over-and-over rut—but I wasn’t sure what to get. I wanted to upgrade to a full frame camera, having decided that I was finding the APS-C crop-sensor a limiting factor and wanting to be able to isolate subjects from their backgrounds easier, and I also wanted better low-light performance, better dynamic range, and faster “live view” autofocus.

Out of the big three (Nikon, Sony and Canon), Sony have had the best sensors in their cameras for nearly a decade now, and have been making mirrorless cameras the whole time. Canon and Nikon were both relatively new to the full-frame mirrorless market, and up until Canon’s new EOS R5 and R6 cameras, they weren’t really competitive with Sony. In fact, Sony’s couple of years old (and far cheaper) a7iii still has better sensor dynamics than the new Canon R6.

After much research, stress, and worrying—and Sony not announcing a replacement for their ageing a7iii—I decided that the hugely overpriced Canon R6 was what I wanted. Of all the currently available mid-range cameras, it has the best and fastest autofocus and the best low light performance—two of the main areas I wanted to improve. Its sensor dynamics haven’t eclipsed its rivals yet—but for the first time in nearly a decade, the do appear to have caught up, and the differences are fairly negligible now. Its biggest downside—other than the exorbitant price—is that it’s only a 20mp sensor, while all its competitors are 24 or higher.

I didn’t got around to seriously looking at pricing until a bit over a month ago, at which time it was $3,510 on Amazon, which with Canon’s $250 cashback would have put it at $3,260. It even dropped to $3,169 (after the $250 cashback) at JB Hi-Fi for a short while during a special back at the start of April.

I took this to be the “normal” price and figured I’d keep an eye on it and wait for a special or for it to go down more—but instead, it went up sharply. Within a few weeks it was $4,349 at JB Hi-Fi and $3,949 at Amazon. The price for grey market out of Hong Kong remained fairly consistent around $3,350.

As I usually do, the more I looked into it, the more stressful it became, and the more urgently I felt I needed to buy one, which all came to a head today when I decided that if I was going to go out west for a few days while Bronwen rode the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail over the long weekend, then I needed to buy a camera (and lens) today—or at the very least, no later than tomorrow.

I found that Videopro were advertising the R6 at $3,520 which was out of stock but could still be pre-ordered, so I gave digiDirect (who were having a “$500 off” sale, bringing their $4,388 R6 down to $3,888) a call to see if they could price match Videopro’s out of stock camera. To my surprise, Tony at digiDirect—after putting me on hold for a while to discuss with his manager—said he could sell an R6 for $3,580 ($3,330 after cashback) if I could get there in the next hour or so before the shop shut.

Despite being more expensive than a month ago, this seemed like a relatively good price compared to everywhere else and was comparable to the grey market price, so I said yes and Bronwen postponed a work meeting and we jumped in the car to drive to the city.

Just as we were getting in the car I got a call back from Tony, saying his manager had told him he couldn’t sell the camera for that price, and that the absolute lowest he could go was $3,680. I was not very happy with this and told him my budget was $3,759 including the lens adaptor (which I could get for $179 on Amazon), and after a short discussion we came to an arrangement where he discounted their $189 lens adaptor down to $140, and the camera down to $3,619, bringing the total package down to $3,759 (which was the same price as the original $3,580 price plus the $179 lens adaptor price on Amazon.)

Bronwen and I re-jumped into the car and rushed into town, where—after a few stressful false starts where a serial number didn’t match and their invoicing system didn’t have a quantity set—I picked up my brand-new Canon EOS R6, and an EF to RF lens adaptor.

Bronwen and I then drove to Bronwen’s parents’ place so Bronwen could pick up a swag, and I opened my shiny new camera box and charged my camera battery while Bronwen had a work meeting.

Canon EF 24-70 f2.8L II lens

After Bronwen’s meeting we drove to Yeerongpilly train station where we met a man from Facebook Marketplace who was selling a Canon EF 24-70 lens for $1,800. We were all quite dubious about the process I think, but after meeting him he seemed quite nice, and agreed to sell the lens for $1,600 (the cheapest new price I’ve seen is about $2,200 grey import from Hong Kong—they’re $2,691 on Amazon and $2,899 at JB Hi-Fi.)

Having now spent a stressful $5,359 on a camera, lens and lens adaptor, we headed home.