My straightforward review here compares two amazing products—the Nikon D850 VS Canon EOS 6D. Both companies introduced their new semi-pro Digital-SLRs in the summer of 2017.
No two DSLR cameras are equal just as no two photographers are the same. It’s why we have different products to match the photographic needs, wants, and dreams of those who buy them.
The Nikon sports a 46.0MP full frame sensor while the Canon 6D has a 20.0MP max sensor resolution. Can the Nikon stay on top with all its other features and functions? Keep reading to find out.
Nikon D850 Advantages
- Articulating LCD touchscreen control
- Higher number of focus points
- Bigger LCD display
- Two storage slots (1x XQD 1x SD)
- 8K time-lapse mode
- Twice the shutter life expectancy
- Extended battery life
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The Nikon’s articulating or flip-out LCD screen has some notable advantages. Moving it away from the camera lets you shoot at some unusual angles and thus capture more creative images.
I love adjustable screens for tripod photography in particular. The 90° angle allows me to look down as I compose the shot rather than crouch down. This is a major plus point if you do a lot of tripod work.
Another of those main differences between Nikon’s D850 over Canon’s EOS 6D is the focus points. The Nikon has 142 more (153) focus points than the Canon and 98 (99) extra cross type focus points.
At 3.2″ the D850’s LCD touchscreen is slightly bigger than the cannon’s 3″ non-touch screen. It doesn’t sound much but a little thing like this can make a big difference with larger hands.
There’s no such thing as too much image storage for semi-pro photographers. If you can relate then you’ll want to consider the additional (two total) storage slots to Canon’s one.
You’re out of luck if you want to create 8K time-lapse videos with the Canon EOS 6D. The good news is that you have this option with the D850 thanks to its 45.7MP sensor and the in-built Interval Timer.
The life expectancy of a camera shutter is important for enthusiastic prosumers, semi-pro, and professional photographers. At 200000 cycles, Nikon’s D850 is twice that of the EOS 6D’s 100000.
Battery life is another area where the Nikon D850 wins hands down. You can expect to get around 750 (total 1840) more shots on a single charge than the Canon. This is no small difference.
The Nikon’s dynamic range is higher than Canon’s and it also boasts higher color depth. There are some features the Nikon D850 has that the EOS 6D simply lacks. Let’s look at a few.
The D850 has a headphone port, flash sync port, NFC connection, and Bluetooth. Our EOS 6D doesn’t have any of these this things. The Cannon doesn’t have Focus Bracketing either.
It might look like a surefire winner but don’t make a comparison just yet. There are a few downsides to look at first. There are also some surprises from the Canon’s EOS 6D so keep reading.
Nikon D850 Disadvantages
- Heavy camera body
- Live View Focus only has contrast detection
- Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity can be spotty
- Nikon’s SnapBridge image transfer service unwieldy
Camera weight—and photographic equipment more generally—can be a burden to lug about. If you wear a camera around your neck for long periods the D850 is heavy at 1015g (2.2 lbs.)
Nikon’s Live View only has contrast detection. It would have been nice to see a hybrid setup for a DSLR at this price. It could have used contrast and phase detection, the latter for the AF viewfinder.
There are some reports that the D850 has spotty inconsistent WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. It’s not a view shared by everyone but there’s enough chatter out there to know it’s an occasional problem.
There are complaints that Nikon’s SnapBridge image transfer service is unwieldy. If it’s something you’d use a lot be sure to check for the latest updates before you make a buying decision.
A lot of prosumers and keen amateur photographers will find the Nikon’s D850 price tag out of reach. At these levels it’s expensive. For semi-professionals, though, it’s likely to be money well spent.
Canon EOS 6D Advantages
- Much cheaper price tag
- Built-in GPS feature
- Sports a larger pixel area
- Fairly lightweight body
- More compact size
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The Nikon D850 has more to boast about because it has a higher price tag than the Canon EOS 6D of course. But hey, don’t buy into bells & whistles you have little or no use for.
You’ll know if the cheaper EOS 6D has enough of what you want by the end of this review. The built-in GPS is a nice feature and something the D850 doesn’t have. Not everyone wants or needs GPS though.
The Canon also has a larger 43.29µm2 pixel area than the Nikon’s 18.88µm2. In layman’s terms, this translates to less image noise or distortion which results in better photos at an equal ISO setting.
The EOS 6D is lighter at just 770g (1.7 lb.) and more compact than the D850. It’s better for those who travel a lot or have limited space. It’s something to ponder if the lugability factor is important to you.
The Canon has a few other handy features that may interest you. It’s got a mic port, time-lapse recording, top-mounted LCD display, AE Bracketing, and smartphone remote control.
These two DSLR cameras share a lot of common features despite their price difference. A few of those include wireless connection, external flash shoe, optical viewfinders, and face detection focus.
There’s more to like about the Canon EOS 6D than its attractive price tag. The points covered in this review highlight the most sought-after features for this popular Digital Single Lens Reflex.
Canon EOS 6D Disadvantages
- No illuminated buttons
- NFC Connection or Bluetooth
- No articulating touchscreen
- No autofocus with teleconverters
- No UHS memory cards support
The Canon doesn’t have illuminated buttons. They’re not common in a lot of semi-pro DSLR cameras—yet. If you’ve never used them—and you shoot in low light or in the dark—you gonna love them.
We’re all used to having Bluetooth in our lives to connect between other devices. Unfortunately, the Canon doesn’t include Bluetooth and it doesn’t have NFC connection either. The Nikon D850 has both.
The Canon also falls short with its 3-inches LCD screen. There’s nothing wrong with it per se, it’s just that it’s fixed (not articulating or tiltable). Adjustable screens allow photographers to be more creative.
The EOS 6D doesn’t have an LCD touchscreen. The absence of touch technology will be a major annoyance for some photographers. Multi-touch gestures simply make everything faster and smoother.
The final gripe with Canon’s EOS 6D is that it doesn’t support UHS memory cards. This means the Canon isn’t able to read or write data at ultra-high speeds.
The Nikon D850 is a no-brainer for semi-pros or prosumers with a large budget. If you’re an amateur ready to upgrade then the Canon EOS 6D or the newer 6D Mark II should check most of your boxes.
These are capable and popular Digital Single Lens Reflex cameras with impressive specifications. Which is better depends on your personal list of wants, needs, budget, and photographic hopes.