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Gear Rumors

Canon to Rethink 6D Market Position After Disappointment With Sales?

By Anthony Thurston on October 14th 2014

Despite all the naysayers, the Canon 6D is actually a pretty fantastic full frame camera. Unfortunately, it appears that Canon may be rethinking the 6D’s position in the market after being not fully satisfied with sales on their entry level full frame camera.

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The 7D Mark II is coming in at $1799, and then the 6D follows at $1899. Between the 6D and the Canon 5D Mark III, there is about a $1500 price gap. According to the rumor report over on Canon Rumors, Canon could be looking to move the 6D series up in the market to be more of a middle ground between the 7D II and the 5D III.

Canon has been pushing the 7D Mark II as being on par with the 6D in terms of image quality. That remains to be seen, but I think that those looking to upgrade to a full frame sensor are not going to care. If anything, the 6D series needs to drop in price, maybe to around the $1500 mark and I think sales would do much better.

canon-6d-body-only

 

As is, I think it’s at the high end price-wise for the people most interested in it, and with Sony’s A7 at ~$1499, I think that Canon would do better to come down to that level, rather than raise the price higher.

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What do you think about the pricing and location on the market for the 6D series? Do you think that a price increase or decrease would fit the 6D better? Leave a comment below!

[via Canon Rumors]

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Amy Solen

    Oh and I saw a camera on a tv show where you can change where the focus is in post processing and it looked extremely intriguing – Lytro Illum… https://www.lytro.com/camera/specs/ I do believe it would have to be one of those cameras that I would have to save up for to be a second camera though. Anyways… back on topic.

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  2. Amy Solen

    So Matthew, what I think you are saying is – I don’t really need a full frame? I guess what I don’t truly understand is, what is the real difference between a full frame and a crop sensor camera. I need to go research that pronto. Google here I come. From the previous research I did, I thought that the full frame was the way I needed to go. I guess I need to revisit and brush up on the data out there.
    You said that I need to “get something that Rebel” – as in get another Rebel? Yikes… I was trying to upgrade away from the Rebel to a more pro camera – so am I to assume I don’t really need to go anywhere higher than a Rebel? If this is the case, then I can indeed buy two bodies in one purchase – which would be cool. Yes, I am shooting with a rebel now, and doing just fine with it. And no, I do nothing in AF – AF=icky. M all the way.
    My “dream” camera is the 5D 3, I know I can’t do that just yet, in do honesty. But I can do the 6D or 7D 2 – was leaning toward the 6D. But then again, I am open for suggestions. So again, if you were me – what would you buy? Figure a 2K budget. Oh and I get a student discount and military discount (no tax). So those both work with me as well.
    Thanks in advance for the suggestions. :)

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    • Doc Pixel

      I would with good conscience suggest the 7D2 for you… specifically because you’re a wedding photographer. Don’t poo-poo on the AF, especially the very fast and able AF system in the 7D2, and quite honestly why I recommend it over the 6D for your genre.

      The 6D is a great camera if you have the time for focusing and doing it manually, and to be considered if you find yourself often in low-light situations. I would stay away from a new 5DMIII for the simple fact that I expect it to be replaced soon, as many Canon rumorists have already stated over the last few months. That means that possible in the summer you could get a very good used 5DMIII for probably up to $1k less than you would pay now (used) with some luck.

      As for full-frame (FF) vs. crop-sensor (CS): simply put, FF has better* performance in low-light and being able to shoot at higher ISO settings (about 1-2 full stops) and still get a quality shot worth using after noise reduction. CS allows for less expensive lenses with greater “reach” (1.5 – 2.0x) the stated focal length on the lens. Example: 24mm on an FF = 36 – 50mm CS equivalent. Bokeh, if your going for it, also suffers slightly as does depth of field compression.

      That’s it… in a very small nut-shell… just in time for nutmeg :) Happy Holidays!

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    • Matthew Saville

      Amy, I apologize for the late reply, but here it is:

      My previous comment was a typo. What I meant to say was, “but yes, get something [better than] that Rebel”

      Also, note that I didn’t say that full-frame was useless or no longer the best, I simply said that “full frame isn’t as necessary as it used to be”. Simply put, the 7D mk2 is a killer camera, at a killer price, and can be used at almost ALL of the high ISO’s that previously only full-frame could accomplish in a professional capacity.

      In other words, yes full-frame is still better, and if you can afford a full lineup of bodies and lenses, then go for it. But any pro who is going to be permanently on a tight budget should no longer hesitate to just fill their bag with a 7D mk2 and a couple killer lenses like the Sigma 18-35 1.8, or 50 Art, in replacement of whatever full-frame lenses might have done the trick previously.

      I’m working on a a more comprehensive article that outlines why I think full-frame is no longer necessary for 90% of photographers, so stay tuned for that!

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  3. Amy Solen

    Ok so to freak all of you out – how about this… I do portrait photography and wedding/engagement shoots with… wait for it… digital rebel xti – yep talk about an oldie (and I have been doing this for over 5 years) … and I am going to upgrade in the next week or so. I want to upgrade to a full frame camera – figured i would just take the leap and go full force. Question is… should I go for the 6D or bigger? Or should I skip canon all together and go with something else??? my xti is my first DSLR – and I have had it since it debuted that October sooooo many years ago. I started professional photography the year after I got the digital. I had a slr film camera before that for years and did portrait photography but didn’t call myself pro then. Anyways, so what should be my upgrade? I am more than open to suggestions. However, I do have to say – I have A LOT of canon lenses and i truthfully don’t want to buy all new lenses so I kinda want to stay with canon but if it would TRULY benefit me to jump ship, then I can sell it all and move on. But whatever I upgrade to, chances are, I won’t purchase another upgrade for atleast another 10 years or so. LOL.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Amy, that’s not at all something to brag about, to be honest. Especially if you only have the one body, and no backup. Maybe it’s fine as a budget business tool for general portrait sessions, I’m sure if you get the AF calibrated nicely and keep your ISO down, you’ll get pretty close to the same image quality as even the latest Canon flagship.

      HOWEVER, you omit the one biggest reason that this setup is downright unacceptable for professional work at weddings: reliability and backup and pushing the envelope,. Simply put, you’re risking the overall quality and safety of your clients final results, if a wedding day starts to go south. So, at the very least you absolutely need a backup. Back when I first started I was using the Nikon equivalent of that Canon rebel, and I did feline. But you know what was the very first thing I did with that first big paycheck? I went and bought a second one of the same exact cameras. It’s just the professionally responsible thing to do!

      Next. It goes without saying, that you should be saving up for something more professional, anything. To be honest full frame isn’t as necessary as it used to be, a 7D mk2 is probably even better than a 5D classic or a 10 was back in the day, and that was an $8K flagship camera! So, don’t feel too pressured to upgrade to a 5D 3 or something good crazy like that. But yes, get something that Rebel, and do it as soon as you can! Your brides and grooms will unknowingly appreciate it when you can bring that next level of reliability and robust performance to the table…

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  4. Jill Schindel

    Well, I’m a serious amateur/enthusiast, and I think the 6D is going to be my next purchase. I think you’re right in your evaluation of the price at which it would move faster. . . I think I would own it already if it was around $1500 (although with sales the current 6D is pretty close – $1699 CDN at my local store right now). The 5D prices me right out, and I just don’t need that level of camera as a non-professional. Move the 6D up into a new price bracket and it would price me out, too. I think there’s a pretty big mental block for the non-pro at around the $2000 mark.

    The 7D is an attractive option, but for the serious hobbyist that wants to handle a full frame, the 6D is what I’m after. Following this conversation with interest.

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  5. Richard Killey

    I bought my 6D primarily for low light situations. Reviews suggested I would get about 1.5 stops better sensitivity.
    Now I want to buy the 7D mark 2 for its focus points and 10 fps (sports) and if quality gets close enough to the 6D, maybe I will let it go.

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  6. Mary Hurlbut

    BTW, any rumors of a MK4 being released soon?

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  7. Mary Hurlbut

    I’ve been coveting the Canon MKIII for years, I thought the price would have dropped by now, but still over $3,000. I’d consider the 6D, just to have a full sensor camera, but only if it’s price drops. Meanwhile my 7D is working for me for now.

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  8. Marc Avice

    Canon 6D is a great camera for people wanted to move to full frame. The price of a 5D III is just too steep for an hobbyist photographer. I think they didn’t manage to sell as much as they intended because of the “bad” publicity of its AF system. But once again for an hobbyist photographer the AF system is ok.

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  9. Trey Mortensen

    One thing that I remember reading a long time ago was Steve Jobs talking about not being afraid of cannibalizing your current products. For example, they came out with the iPad when they already had Macbooks and iPhones. From that, they (arguably) made a whole new segment. It cannibalized the sales of the other two, but the company grew overall. On the other end, Kodak was afraid to cannibalize on their film industry when they started doing digital. Now they are essentially a memory.

    I feel that in order to have true innovation, Canon and Nikon need to cannibalize their sales and come out with some really good things. Some of their products might be cannibalized, but for the sake of overall growth. Sony was not afraid to eat their a99 sales when they came out with the a7 lineup and now they have become much more relevant than they were a couple of years ago.

    On a side note, I have loved my 6D but I always feel like Canon would have hit a home run if they simply put the old 7D or current 70D’s autofocus system in instead of a modified 5d II system like they did. Fortunately, I don’t shoot sports and can get away with the simple AF.

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    • Doc Pixel

      “On a side note, I have loved my 6D but I always feel like Canon would have hit a home run if they simply put the old 7D or current 70D’s autofocus system in instead of a modified 5d II system like they did. Fortunately, I don’t shoot sports and can get away with the simple AF.”

      Another +1 – couldn’t agree more!

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    • Richard Killey

      so true (I shoot sports!!)

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  10. Jeff Morrison

    Great comments

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  11. Tom Marvel

    Is this part of the grand marketing vision of “see impossible”?
    Seeing impossibly small increments of improvement in a tired lineup of cameras?

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  12. Doc Pixel

    I have the 6D and the image quality is stellar. What many people as well as I have said, the biggest problem with the 6D is that they gimped it’s functions far too much to put distance between it the 5DIII.

    IMHO… both Canon and Nikon are going to need to face the facts that: a) there are less and less people interested in DSLRs; b)mirrorless is not just a trend, but a movement by many to more mobility without sacrificing image or video quality; c) smartphone tech is growing exponentially, that even affords pro shooters an ever growing ability to use them along-side dedicated camera maker’s offerings; d) they must at some point merge and cull their offerings – Canon has 13 DSLRS, Nikon a whopping 22 DSLRs in their lineup(!)

    I personally see 5-7 DSLr camera bodies from each being enough to differentiate functionality and price point to appeal to an ever decreasing and disinterested DSLR-buying public… which also includes many pro shooters… and still be profitable.

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    • Anders Madsen

      I both agree and disagree with you: The 6D is a fantastic sensor in a deliberately amputated body, and Canon is a tight spot right now since the Nikon D750 is a direct competitor to the 5D MK3 at a lower price.

      Where I disagree is regarding mirroless: As long as the only full-frame mirrorless (Sony A7) is missing a strong, diverse lineup of lenses, mirrorless will not gain a foothold in parts of the pro market. Yes, you could use Sony A-mount lenses with a converter, but that would negate the size benefit of the mirrorless systems entirely and even add additional weight (the converter) to the setup.

      And no, I don’t give a hoot if Zack Arias claims that sensor size is irrelevant, I see the noise and the DOF difference very clearly regardless of what he says, so crop factor mirrorless is not a direct competitor to a fullframe DSLR in many ways. :)

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    • Jeff Allen

      Mirrorless in the shape of micro 4/3rds I would agree doesn’t have the same IQ as the 6D or 5D MKIII. I’ve the Olympus OM-D E-M10 as a light-weight walk around system in a sling bag it’s better than smartphone pictures and offers inter-changeable lenses but it will not replace my full frame Canons for landscape etc.

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  13. Joram J

    How bout to drop the price a bit on the 6D ($1400/$1500).
    And release a 6.5D (or 4D/3D/6Dx/5.5D) with a faster AF, with place it close to the 5Dmk3.
    And later on release the 5Dmk4.
    In that way canon will have 4 FF dslr’s in a widther price range a more possible costumers.
    ?

    oh, and if they are rethinking things. Or make WIFI useful or ditch it.

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  14. Matthew Saville

    Considering the lack of success that not only the D600 but apparently also the D610 suffered on the Nikon side of the fence, and considering what Nikon did with the D750, I’m not surprised if Canon feels compelled to step it things up to more than just a “6D mk2″… They’ll probably have to create that mythical 3D, or maybe a 4D? 8D? Who knows…

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  15. Aleksander Michaud

    I really can’t recommend the 6D more. Does it have its shortcomings? Of course, just like any camera (the lack of AF points is maddening…). But for full frame image quality that rivals the 5DIII at a much lower price, you can’t knock that no matter what other technical shortcomings it possesses.

    As for the 7DII, I feel like Canon has been saying for years their newest and best crop sensor rivals the full frames but I’m just not ever seeing it. Sure you can make amazing images with a crop (the majority of my time with cameras was spent with a T2i), but upgrading to the 6D changed EVERYTHING for me. Literally. Of course they’re trying to sell crop sensors, but they just ain’t a full frame and never will be.

    Just my 2 cents though, experiences may differ.

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    • Matthew Saville

      You went from a T2i to a 6D, and that disqualifies the 7D mk2 from being comparable?

      It may not match the 6D, but it will certainly be quite comparable to yester-year’s full-frames, I bet. Try comparing the 7D mk2 against the 1Ds, 1Ds mk2, 5D, or even the 5D mk2, …and then we’ll talk. ;-)

      =Matt=

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    • Aleksander Michaud

      Hey Matthew,

      That’s not quite my point, but in essence they kind of aren’t comparable. I see the 7D as a specialty camera, specifically made for sports and wildlife.

      If this isn’t your focus, why would you bother spending that much money for a camera just because it has “comparable” image quality to more broad focused cameras like the 5DIII and 6D where you get the benefits of a full frame sensor. Just go with a 70D and save a bunch of money and get “comparable” image quality, or take the leap into full frame images and get the 6D. If anything, the 7D is the weirdly positioned camera in the market.

      Not trying to start the whole full frame/crop/sports/whatever fight. Just my point of view, not being someone who’s jaw dropped with the 7DII announcement.

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    • Matthew Saville

      I see what you mean, Aleksander, however I also know plenty of Nikon shooters who bought a D3 for landscape photography, and you could certainly say “why bother spending that much money” about using an 8 FPS flagship sports camera for landscapes… Then again, that’s not the best comparison because at the time it was the ONLY full-frame camera Nikon made.

      I would, however, argue that the 7D mk2 has a more “broad focus” than either the 5D mk3 or the 6D. The 6D is merely a killer sensor in a 60D-ish body, and the 5D mk3, well, is difficult to be called “broad focused” due to it’s >$3K price tag.

      My point is, just because the 7D mk2 has 10 FPS doesn’t mean it’s entirely dedicated to action sports. There are plenty of other features and functions that it has that no other crop sensor camera has, and for that matter no full-frame camera has for less than $3K.

      So, essentially, the 7D mk2 is for EVERY pro, semi-pro, and advanced amateur who wants all the features and functions of a system that costs many thousands more over the course of a system’s lifespan…

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    • Michael Leonard

      I own the 6D and although it is a great camera, the 7D mkII is better… at least on paper. If the only notch against the 7D mkII is it being a crop sensor, so be it. If the 6D had the same features as the 7D mkII it would have been considered a 5D mkIII replacement.

      I see a lot of people saying the crop sensors are inferior to the Full Frames, and I think a lot of that is just hype. Full Frames are the “choice of professionals”, so to own one means you are in some sort of pro club. Having owned both types, I can honestly say aside from the minor, and I mean MINOR improvement in apparent IQ from the higher end FF cameras, they are not worth the sizeable jump in price to own just for the sensor.

      The 7D can be used for anything, just as the 6D can be used for anything. Each camera has their strengths and weaknesses, but I don’t find the 7D mkII to be any less capable of turning out great images of landscapes, portraits, wildlife, sports, action, fashion or macro subjects than a 6D or 5D mkIII.

      It depends on only one factor: Price. Since the 6D is still priced around the same as the 7D mkII, even with the FF sensor the 7D mkII is still the better buy.

      Don’t get sucked into this FF vs. Crop trap. For even with a FF sensor, there are many more much larger than those.

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  16. Vladimir Byazrov

    Canon has to be sued for 6D producing so many defective images. This camera is bad for non manual focus use. Simply terrible. Canon has absolutely lost it.

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    • Eric Mazzone

      What do you mean? How can you accurately focus the 6d manually without changing the focus screen.

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    • Cody Edger

      Really? I think the Canon 6D is pretty dang accurate with it’s AF. 8/10 if I had to give it a non-biased verdict.

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    • Cody Edger

      I love my 6D. I always recommend others to choose the 6D when considering upgrading from crop sensor. $1500 would be a much more reasonable price, considering I paid around $2000 when I got mine, however it was worth the $2,000. Very happy with the purchase.

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    • Kevin Cucci

      My 6d produces stunning results. I see no IQ difference in real world scenarios between my 6d and 5d3. This camera is far from terrible. Let’s not be ridiculous.

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    • Jeff Lopez

      Nicely put Kevin

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    • Jeff Allen

      What a completely rubbish comment I’ve been using this camera for two years almost and the imagery is a good as my 5D MKIII with no better or worse success rate. For its money especially now it’s a steal.

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    • Graham Curran

      The image quality with my 6D is great I’m just not going to be using it for sports photography.

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  17. Kim Farrelly

    So lets say I can’t afford to justify $3K on a Full Frame camera $1800 for the same image quality? I’ll take a 7D please. If you believe what Canon are touting about the 7D, the 6D has a lot to be worried about. Trouble is if it get’s a decent update it will cannibalise the 5D3, as I’m sure on some part the 7D will to.

    Perhaps Canon had a miss on the 6D in marketing terms but I now don’t really see a place for it – if APS-C has got so close to FF for IQ but if that was the case why buy a 5D3 then?

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  18. Greg Silver

    I’ve always been fond of the Canon 6D for its low light/full frame capabilities. A drop to around $1,500 would be a very tempting price point for many.

    But even at that low price point is it enough to compete with other DLSRs and Mirrorless with features not only matching it but surpassing the 6D at lower price points.

    Definitely some adjustments will need to be made sooner than later.

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    • Adrian Jones

      I like the point you make here. People often under estimate the power of pricing. The author suggest that lowering the price would make it sell better but if you trying to but if you positioning the product at pro semi pro status your going to have to beef up the specs so that it is more advanced than the mirror-less competitors. And if you beef up specs you’ll have to increase price. I think in the camera world people will pay for quality and innovation. Unfortunately canon has been lacking that of late, but I think that beefing up the specs and a bump up in price will position the camera in a new level of prestige in consumer minds.

      Pretty much If you innovate they will come…..

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