Canon EOS 6D Digital Camera Review$2,099.00
The 6D's color representation takes after Canon's best camera: the 1D X. By comparing unprocessed JPEGS with the known values of an X-Rite ColorChecker, our test recorded an uncorrected delta-C color error of only 1.73, which is worse than the 1D X by only one-hundredth of a point. A typical professional body might return an error value in excess of 2.5 and still be considered excellent, but the 6D is far better than that. Color saturation was also perfect down to the tenth of a percent, which is a feat we almost never see. More on how we test color.
NOTE: Because of the way computer monitors reproduce colors, the images above do not exactly match the originals found on the chart or in the captured images. The chart should be used to judge the relative color shift, not the absolute captured colors.
This performance is far beyond any close competition, like Nikon's D600, or even tangential competition like Canon's own 5D Mark III, which costs $1000 more. We've included the 1D X in this comparison group for fun, yet it's the only camera that offers similar color accuracy to the 6D.
What we normally call Color Modes are represented by Picture Style settings on Canon cameras of this level. There are ten settings: Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, Faithful, Monochrome, three custom settings, and Auto; the last of which will detect the scene and choose for you. Aside from tweaks to the color gamut, each Picture Style makes certain adjustments to sharpness, contrast, saturation, and color tone.
As you may have guessed, Faithful is the mode accurate Picture Style, though Neutral and Standard are also both acceptable. Faithful also makes no adjustments to sharpness or anything else, so we used this preset for the remainder of our testing.
High-end cameras can be hit or miss when it comes to white balance, but the 6D does a better job than most. Under both daylight and fluorescents, the automatic white balance algorithm will be perfectly adequate. Here we recorded color temperature errors of less than 150 Kelvin, and a manual white balance won't give you any advantage. Incandescent light is a different story, and you'll want to perform a manual white balance beforehand under such conditions. That's because the automatic system has trouble with incandescent (almost all cameras do), and returns average color temperature errors in excess of 1500 K. A custom white balance will bring that number back down to 100 K under incandescent light.