Is the Canon 6D MKII the BEST Vlogging Camera?

Is the Canon 6D MKII the BEST Vlogging Camera?

By Steve Huff

Vlogging is getting huge. It seems that 80% of camera reviews on Youtube today are from Vloggers, and that is blowing my mind (in a good way as the more information the better). Much like this website is considered a “BLOG” by some, a “VLOG” is basically a video version of what is now becoming old school (websites). Video is in, and video is hot. This is clear to see for anyone who happens to go over to YouTube and type in camera names. Go ahead, give it a go and you will find hundreds of videos, if not thousands of videos with people sharing their experiences and images and footage with all kinds of cameras.

These days, many vloggers produce AMAZING content day in and day out. It’s a serious thing for SO MANY out there and this is why cameras like the A7III have been sold out for weeks and weeks. VLOGGERS are buying them up more so than photographers! It is true..more video oriented shooters are out there today and they are buying these new cameras for VIDEO over PHOTO. Times are a changing indeed. Sure, many are buying the for stills but video is gaining steam which is why we are seeing these cameras take on more serious video specs. 

But what makes a good vlogging camera? Well, for starters a swivel screen. Vloggers film themselves and are often out in the wild where they need to not only ensure the auto focus is working, and on their face…but they also need to make sure the shot is framed up right. Some vloggers use Sony, some Canon. No one really uses Nikon as the AF for video is not up to the standards of the others for video and this is the same with Fuji (though some do use Fuji). So mainly we have Sony and Canon being used for video creation by creators out there in the world, on a daily basis.

A video about the 6DII for Vlogging

Sony is offering the best cameras when you factor in price vs features and video features. Fast AF,  4K, 120 FPS, Long battery life, small body…BUT interestingly enough, Sony does not make any full frame cameras with a swivel screen and Canon still beats Sony with the auto focus, but ever so slightly. Remember, I am talking of VIDEO use here, not photo. For photo use, almost any camera made today will bring beautiful results and a great user experience. 

Without the swivel out LCD screen, the Sony seems like the weaker camera for Vloggers which is why we see so many still using Canon, and yes, the tiny little M50 is huge for vloggers starting out, and I also see quite a few using the 1dx MKII for vlogging, which is nuts. That camera (I own it) is HUGE and heavy. Has no swivel screen but the AF is so good, you can trust it. Even so, I see it as more of a pro stills camera and tripod video camera as the photos and video it produces are very nice and the video is cinematic looking as it provides a softer look, like film does, with a gentler color profile.

So many are using cameras like the 1dX II for that cinematic video vibe, and having tested both Sony and Canon, I can say the Canon does offer nicer color and a more film like look over the more “video” look of the Sony. It’s there, so this is why some prefer Canon over Sony for video even today. But keep in mind, Sony has improved their color performance over the years and the new III versions are different from the II’s in regards to color.

A few test photos from the 6DII, click ’em for larger! ISO 1250 to 40,000! All with the 24 L f1.4

The Sony A7III is becoming the go to for many even without the swivel screen but I am also seeing some use it for video with mis-focused shots due to this. There is a give and take here. With Sony you get a lower price, superior sensor, better dynamic range and superior low light for video. With Canon you get (slightly) better Auto Focus, better out of camera color and with a camera like the 6DII, a swivel screen WITH a full frame sensor. In fact, the 6DII is the only camera in the world right now that combines a full frame sensor and a swivel screen. For vloggers this is huge. 

If the A7III had a swivel out screen, the would sell even more than they are now.

If the upcoming A7SIII can incorporate one, look out. It will be THE HOT camera of 2018 and 2019 and the new NikonCanon will not be able to compete. Mark my words, that’s my prediction. 

This begs the question. Which one is better when it comes to Vogging? The A7III or the 6DII? Well, if you do not need 4K which the Sony offers, the 6DII wins SLIGHTLY IMO. Here is why…

The 6DII is $400 cheaper than the A7III, and is easy to get a hold of (The Sony has been sold out since Launch). It gives off the full frame look and has nice out of camera color without the need to do a ton of color work (as you usually need with the Sony) as the out of camera video looks great if not a tad soft (for vlogging, does it matter)? It has dual pixel auto focus which is the best auto focus I have experienced for shooting video. It has good low light performance and most importantly, a swivel out screen so you can frame your shot.

There are weaknesses to the 6DII though. No 4K and the 1080P is a little “soft” when compared to Sony and even the 1dx II. It’s much larger than a Canon M50 (but better quality of course) and heavier. But if quality is your #1 concern and you want a swivel screen and do not need 4K, then the 6DII is, IMO, the best vlogging camera you can buy as of August 2018.

This camera was trashed by many at launch due to the omission of 4K and having no real upgrades to the original 6D from years ago (which is understandable) but many of the negative reviews are overblown as for the cost of $1599 the 6DII takes beautiful photos, has nice low light performance and offers 1080 full frame video with dual pixel AF  and a swivel out screen so you can see what you are doing.

PROS for the 6DII for vlogging:

  1. Full frame with a swivel screen. No other camera has this.
  2. Best Auto Focus in the business for video. Dual Pixel does beat Sony.
  3. Great lenses like the 24 1.4 works wonderfully with video and offers a gorgeous look.
  4. Great battery life
  5. Easy menu system, and control
  6. It does have some image stabilisation (beats the 5 Axis of Sony for video)
  7.  Out of camera color is nice and doesn’t need any work
  8. Audio meters visible for audio recording
  9. Great photos as well! I may prefer the photos to the Sony.

CONS for the 6DII for Vlogging

  1. It’s larger than an A7III
  2. NO 4K at all
  3. 1080 is a tad soft compared to Sony and even the 5DIV and 1dXII
  4. Dynamic Range is limited compared to Sony

The A7III is also a wonderful camera for video and vlogging but if you shoot yourself, you will find the swivel screen a VERY welcome addition. Without it, you basically have to pray that you are in focus and if you are not, your video may be ruined or have to be reshot. THAT is the ONLY weakness of the Sony and the is only in the context for VLOGS, so it is up to you is the extra $400 is worth it for the pros of the Sony over the Cons of the Canon and vice versa. Either way, in this case the camera REALLY doesn’t matter much but who is using it to create. Both are highly capable of producing wonderful images and video.

I own a Canon M50, a 6DII (may get returned) and a 1dXII, all used for video. I also own an A7III (comparison soon). The 1dXII is a beast and offers the best 1080 of them all in regards to picture, color and overall vibe (for my tastes) but it is not a vlog camera. The 6DII loses some of that crispness and color but gains usability and to some, that is most important. To date, I feel there is no better camera over the 6DII for VLOGGING if you want that full frame quality and ease of use.  BUT!!! The A7III will give you crisper video quality even at 1080, that is a fact. Canon crippled the 6DII for serious video work IMO with a lower quality video codec so it is a good thing that they lowered the price to $1599 from the over $2000 that it started at, otherwise Canon would have been stuck with many cameras on the shelves.

As I have always said, shoot with what motivates and inspires you no matter the brand. Use what works for YOU. BTW, the Canon 24 1.4L has become one of my fave lenses. It truly is a stunning lens for Canon shooters.

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19 Comments

  1. You’re welcome! It’s super exciting to see Nikon and Canon finally get serious about mirrorless. Exciting times ahead! I think a lot of photographer’s would agree that you alone probably introduced more people to the world of mirrorless than any photographer. Dam this is making me miss my Panasonic GF1 with the legendary 20 1.7 pancake lens! Talk to you later man.

  2. Hey Steve I’ve been following you since the beginning. Like literally the beginning of this website. I totally dig how you have stayed true to your passion and what you set it to do. I think it’s great that no matter how much love you’ve given mirrorless cameras through the years (especially over DSLR’S) you’re not afraid to go and purchase a couple big DSLR’S and give them the respect they deserve. I hope this website continues to be a great place artist can come to read great stories and share in your photographic journeys ahead. I always feel at home when I come here. As corny as that sounds it is the truth. Thanks Steve

    • Thank you Michael, truly. Yes, over these almost 11 years I have changed, grown, gotten older and in some ways wiser. I just share my passions, my excitement (when I have it) and I have to say, was shooting the 6D II today with the 24L and it’s really a great camera. So I am more open today than I ever was and just go with what works for me, and what I feel could work for others. It’s an exciting time though! Canon and Nikon entering mirrorless, lots more to come. Thank you!

  3. While vlogging might be becoming more popular, from a learning point of view it can be tiring because many times you want to skip to the good stuff whilst the vlogger is still yawning on about his/her pet item. One cannot just skip ahead in a video because you might miss what you’re really looking for. This is where text is still so much better from a point of view of getting at information.
    But, thanks for the information about vlogging with the Canon 6DII.

  4. Canon 6D mark II is still C$2400 or 1.5x US price in Canada. So no good deal.
    It became good deal once Canon lowered the price in US… only US.

  5. Problem with vlogging is content.

    Content content content.

    99% of vlogs are barely watchable. Those that stand out ( Casey Neistat for example ) bring high levels of production quality and skills to editing. Thats why they have more subscribers and get more hits than a TV show.

    A bloke talking to a camera in his front room gets tedious real fast.

    Where is the quality guys? Who makes something worth watching?

    • Oh I agree, it’s a crowded field but that doesn’t take away that it is HUGE, and taking over. Most cameras sold today are sold for video use, more are using them for video than photo and it will only get worse ; ) There are countless vloggers, most who try to copy the popular ones. It will be those with originality who will stand out. But we are entering the “video era” IMO. There was recent poll among school students asking “what do you want to do for your career” and 80% said “be a youtuber”. I think many feel they can be famous but 99% do not understand that only 1-2% make it big. Sort of the new “Hollywood”.

  6. Steve, so much love for Canon lately ;)interesting timing for these articles (Nikon mirrorless Zzzz). In these pace shortly you will become an official Canon ambassador 🙂

    • I still LOVE all GOOD cameras. I still own the X1D, Leica SL, and a Sony A7III. Many lenses. I use those cameras when I feel they will do what I need them to do. The Canon stuff has just been a recent purchase for video use, and mostly NOT for the videos I do for this site. I do video work every day, and needed something with accurate and fast AF with face tracking, great out of camera color, great build, yada yada. Canon did what I needed better than the Sony’s. So I went all in, and when I saw how good the 1dX II was I decided to buy a 6DII for on the go stuff (the 1dx II was never bought for vlogging or on the go video). I have been a mirrorless guy through and through for YEARS! Since the start of this site 11 years ago. But I have found a new appreciation for these Canon DSLR’s though I always loved the Canon colors and glass. The 6DII is not the much larger than an A7III, and is very well made as well. Anyway, I will keep using and testing cameras I feel are good value (1dx II is not good value for 90% of us) and will review those I love and adore. Thank you!

      • I agree that the 6D11 gets a bad rap. Given the lower price you can get it for now, it is a very decent camera. Worth buying if for DPAF alone – plus the big choice of fast lenses.

        • Ive been using it more and I realize fully why it got that bad rap. At its intro price of $2k, the Sony kills it. It lacks 4K, and the higher quality 1080 video of the Sony, and loses out in all out low light and high ISO to the Sony. It’s bigger (though not by much) and after using good EVF mirrorless cameras it is strange going back to the limitations of a DSLR with an OVF. BUT at the price of $1599 it is much better as it offers the Canon color, dual pixel AF, swivel out screen and take a nice looking photo that is quite different from the Sony look. Pros and cons. If this were $1299 it would sell MUCH better for Canon. I enjoy it and it does what I need it to do though, so I am happy with it.

  7. I agree with Paul, Articles are much easier to navigate and I really don’t like to hear someone drone on for 15 min or more. If vlogging is the main driver for video these daysI suggest that manufactures should create video only cameras and unburden “still cameras” with the added cost.

  8. I guess I’m getting old – but I HATE video reviews of cameras etc. I much prefer to read an article. It’s less disruptive to those around and, I find reading more enjoyable to viewing.

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