We’ve reported in recent years how Canon’s newer sensor designs have started to close the dynamic range gap, compared with chips from the likes of Sony and Toshiba. Dynamic range isn’t everything, of course: Canon’s Dual Pixel sensors have brought advances in live view and video autofocus that for many people will be every bit as significant as the noticeable shortfall in Raw file malleability. But it was promising to see Canon getting competitive in an area where it had fallen behind.
Sadly though, it seems the benefits that appeared in the sensors used in the EOS 80D and EOS 5D IV have not been applied to the latest EOS 6D II, and the new camera has less dynamic range than we’ve become used to. Graphs plotted by regular DPR collaborator Bill Claff illustrate this pretty clearly. In this article, we’re taking a look at what this might mean for your images.
Dynamic range assessment
Our exposure latitude test shows what happens if you brighten a series of increasingly dark set of exposures. This illustrates what happens if you try to pull detail out of the shadows of your image.
As you can see, the EOS 6D II begins to look noisy much sooner than the broadly comparable Nikon D750, meaning you have less processing flexibility before noise starts to detract from your images.
The EOS 6D II should have a 1.3EV image quality advantage over the 80D, when the images are compared at the same size, since its sensor is so much bigger. Despite this, the EOS 80D’s images shot with the same exposures look cleaner, when brightened to the same degree. Have a look and you’ll see the difference is around 1EV, despite the head start that the 6D II’s chip should have. This