The R6 has taken the photography world by storm. It seems like everyone immediately jumped ship from the 5D series to mirrorless cameras…no judgment–I did too!
During Black Friday last year (2019), I actually bought a mirrorless Sony camera thinking I was going to change systems altogether. I didn’t immediately catch on to the controls and it freaked me out, so I returned it and bought an EOS-R because at least I could stick with the lenses I had already accrued throughout the first few years of my business. The controls were still much different than the 5D Mark III and 5D Mark IV I was so used to, so I let my husband shoot on it as my second shooter. I noticed while culling his images that they were pretty much all in focus…even more of his were in focus than mine were! I was so surprised (in the best way!).
When the R6 came out, I saw it as an opportunity for us to be a completely mirrorless team, using the 5Ds as our backups only. I took the leap and made the purchase. The R6 has auto-eye detection, so it automatically looks for your clients’ eyes to focus on them…the EOS-R did the same thing, which is why my husband rarely ever missed focus! It was such a gem of a function that it takes a lot of the stressful auto focus struggles out of the equation.
It’s definitely a learning curve to learn the new controls, but I love that I can adjust the aperture so easily and that I can use the touch screen to focus on the subject, rather than the focus and recompose technique that I use with my DSLR. It really cuts down on out-of-focus images, especially when trying to focus on an object toward the edge of the frame. I think this allows for a little more creativity when it comes to composition of images because more is possible!
Touch-Screen & Live View
Because of the touch-screen, I actually find myself looking at the screen of my camera much more often than I do the viewfinder now. The great part about the R6 though is that regardless of whether you are using the LCD screen on the back of the camera or the viewfinder, it provides a “live view” of what the image will look like once the shutter snaps. I have found that this cuts down on the overall amount of images I take per session and/or wedding. This obviously results in a shorter culling time and expedites the post-processing for each session/wedding.
Low Aperture Capabilities
The first session I shot with the R6 was a family session with a fellow photographer. It was a family of four, and I often try to shoot as low aperture as possible to keep my style consistent. I found that instead of shooting at 2.8 or 3.2, I was able to shoot at 2.0 or 2.5 and still get crisp, clear shots of all four of their faces…it was magical! I even showed the other photographer the back of my screen and she couldn’t believe how crisp they were. She said, “You don’t even need to zoom in; I can see how crisp they are from all the way back here!”
Once I got home and pulled them up to edit, I fell into my normal editing strokes with my set preset that I have developed over the years. This didn’t really work though…it was a little tougher to get the skin tones that I usually aim for when editing. The biggest difference I noticed was the green/magenta tones…I couldn’t get them quite right. I would make the image a little more green, then the skin would be off, so I would adjust the highlights in the split toning section of Lightroom, but that would result in the overall image being a little too purple again. It is a balance I am still getting used to.
Lastly, I have also noticed that images tend to be much cooler too. I think that I edit them warmly enough to match my style until I see them against one of my past images from my DSLR…then they look way too cool, especially if I am in a lighting scenario where it is cloudy or the sun is setting.
The R6 is so much lighter than either of my 5Ds! Even with the lens adapter and the lens, the entire set-up is about the same weight as a 5D body alone with no lens attached! Totally worth it if you have wrist or hand issues.
Overall, there’s a slight learning curve when using the R6 when you’re coming from using a DSLR for years. The learning curve is even slightly steeper when it comes to editing images from the R6 to match that of a 5D camera. Despite those learning curves, I truly believe mirrorless cameras are the way of the future and it was well-worth the investment (did I mention the R6 is cheaper than a Mark IV?!), especially if you purchase the adapter and are able to use your DSLR lenses with the mirrorless camera body.
Conclusion: Make the investment. Adjust editing style to compensate for cooler, more magenta tones. Enjoy the lightweight, easy-to-focus camera with all of your old lenses!