For the last 4-5 years the Canon 40D has been the best camera I've ever used.
I liked it so much, I bought two. Over time I used them to create images for the Associated Press, USA Today, and several other publications. Using a professional lab, I've watched as these 10 megapixels were used to create enormous wall size prints for commercial use. The output quality has always been stellar and the cameras withstood daily use in all kinds of conditions. I will continue to use these for many situations, especially when I want to take advantage of the smaller sensor and the 1.6x crop factor.
The 6D is not replacing my current cameras, but is being added to repertoire of tools. Here are the ten reasons why I decided the 6D was the right camera for me.
1) The full frame sensor of the 6D will make my 17mm lens super wide rather than the effective 27.2mm with the 1.6 crop factor. It's a welcome return to the same perspective I enjoyed with my old film cameras. This will allow me to create a different perspective particularly with travel and landscape images. While I love the benefits of a crop factor for telephoto purposes, it can be a hinderance when I need to shoot really wide. If this was the only consideration, I would simply buy an even wider lens like the outstanding Canon 10-22mm, but as you'll read, there are 9 other factors a new lens wouldn't address.
2) The HD video feature will be useful for documenting the details behind many of my shoots, making it possible to create new educational videos for YouTube.
3) According to the new TSA rules I can now carry a small knife on a plane, but not one extra pound of camera gear. The carry on weight limitations of domestic and international flights are far from photographer-friendly. The 6D is small and lightweight without sacrificing build quality. Every ounce counts in my bag as I do not check my gear on airplanes or risk it being stolen or broken. The 6D is the most compact full frame camera available right now.
4) Upgraded autofocus system from the 5D Mark II which just a few years ago was heralded as one of the best cameras ever released. The 5D Mark II had nine autofocus points, and the 6D adds two more for a total of eleven. I typically only use just one active AF point and move it around based on what is most important it the scene. The cameras with fifty one AF points are needlessly complicated. If you are reading a spec sheet, eleven AF points sounds limited, but in practice, more AF points increases the chance of user error and slows down the entire autofocus process. If I miss a shot, I rarely blame the camera as the failure is likely mine. This will not change with better equipment or specs, but a deeper understanding of how to control your gear.
5) The built in wifi function can allow me to operate the camera remotely while remaining out of sight. This can potentially be useful for wildlife and birds that would otherwise be too skittish to approach.
6) SD cards are available just about everywhere in the U.S and Europe while Compact Flash are much harder to find. This became more apparent recently when I needed an extra card and stopped at a Staples in Midtown Manhattan. They had a rack of SD cards at various sizes, but not even one Compact Flash card.
7) One of the most fun aspects of shooting film was creating multiple exposures in-camera. For a long time, this feature was missing from DSLRs. With the 6D, it finally returns making for a fun creative challenges.
8) My 40D tops out at ISO 3200. In most cases this has been more than enough. Yet, when I was shooting in the dark crypts, cathedrals, museums, and wineries in Italy there were many instances where I could have gone to ISO 6400 or even 12,800 in order to achieve a faster shutter speed.
9) The price is right with a $100 rebate prior to March 31st and a free Lexar 16GB SD card. They also threw in a camera bag. That doesn't mean the salespeople won't try to see you unnecessary extras. Before heading to the store, be sure to read my article "5 Things the Camera Store Won't Tell You".
10) As much as I love my 40D cameras, the LCD screen is a major weakness. At 230,000 pixels it's nearly impossible to evaluate critical sharpness in the field. Of course I usually prefer to check sharpness at home on my 24" monitor, but there are times when I need to verify at the scene that "I got it".
If you have recently purchased a 6D, or want to learn more about its features, check out these helpful videos from Canon.