Welcome to the forum!

As an adjunct to the Tangents blog, the intention with this forum is to answer any questions, and allow a diverse discussion of topics related photography. With that, see it as an open invitation to just climb in and start threads and to respond to any threads.

What is better for weddings and portraits: Canon 6d or Canon 5D Mark III

I'm in the market for a new camera.  I currently shoot with a 5D mark II and I have used a 5D Mark III.  I was going to purchase a new 5D Mark III when I started hearing about the Canon 6D, which I never even considered.  Does any one have experience with the 6D and how it compares to the 5D Mark III.  The one thing I really like about the Mark III is that I can write to two cards at the same time, incase one card fails.  I would love some feedback because the 6D is taking me by surprise.  


  • Hi, DS - I just upgraded to a 6D from a 600D, but I have only shot two events so far with it. I have a couple of recent posts - "Canon 6D" and "Canon 6D vs. Canon 600D: How come I didn't scream "WOW"", and "Lens Basics".

    I have no experience with any 5Ds. What I heard about the 6D is superior image quality, fantastic low-light performance, image quality about as good as a 5D MKIII at half the price.

    I don't have any complaints so far, but as I wrote, I don't have a lot of events under my belt with it. One thing I don't particularly care for so far is that the wheel on the back of the camera controls your aperture (or shutter speed) depending on how you set it up. On the 600D, I pused a back-panel button and used the wheel at my index finger to chance aperture.

    I would go to a camera store and try them both out, and then read up on them.

    I went to a 6D because I wanted to go full-frame, and could just barely afford a gently-used one. No way I was able to pay 5D MKIII pricing.

  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    The Canon 5D mk3 is the more versatile, capable camera. 

    The 6D only has the center focus point that is of the cross type.
    So the AF of the 5D mk3 is better, with more options. 
    Lots of minor differences that add up - eg, with the 6D you have to go into the menu via the Q button to change the WB. 

  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    I have the 6D, but I don't shoot weddings with it. If I had to buy into the Canon system with the idea of shooting weddings, it would be the 5D mk3.
  • Indeed. I shot some weddings with the 6D. The image quality is excellent. However, the lack of decent AF does cause a problem with framing wedding shots; anything other than the centre AF point is useless in even vaguely low light.

    The 5D3 was my upgrade, and it is much better. The AF system is quick, generally accurate and reliable. It still lets the side down in the near-dark of the first dance, so I use my 7D2 for that, but it's great for shots with the people walking away from or toward you, as well as any off-centre work (of which there is a boat load!)

    The 6D also lacks a second card slot. I have lost an SD card with saleable images so I know it does happen - the 5D3 does give you backup and that is definitely a good thing.

    So in a nutshell - unless your subjects will always be static, 5D3 every time.

    What I will say, though, is if you don't have Canon glass lurking around, get neither and go Nikon. I wish I had. The 7D2 swayed me and it is a good camera but I find the 5D3 frustrating with AF in low light, and its lack of exposure compensation in auto-ISO manual annoys me.

    Even more basic though - Nikon does you a camera which does a better job for somewhat less (D750), or roughly the same job for a chunk less (D610). Of course, Canon will strike back soon enough, but right now, they're not the best choice for most folks IMHO.
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    Having those 2 card slots, that's a no-brainer for weddings IMO.
  • I don't want to get off the subject, but could anyone point me to a good/excellent tutorial on using auto-focus points? Now that I'm reading about all this, I feel I am doing something incorrect or not taking full advantage of my focus points. Granted, I am not shooting weddings. But I am always on the center focus point when shooting an event, and in my mind there is the mantra "The eyes have to be in focus". So in what situations when photographing people would you not have just the center point active? I don't want to take up anyone's time here, but if there are a couple of "Duh" examples, and/or a link to a tutorial, it would be appreciated.

  • For me, AF points are good for composition, and so I just use them appropriately. For me, the 6D's points don't give much flexibility, where the 5D3 has the mini joystick which permits easy change of the active point. It is much faster and has better coverage.

    The whole thing just means you don't have to focus and recompose that much, which is Imho a very good thing.
  • There is a way to assign the focus points to the wheel in the back. I'm going to try that just to see what it will get me . It saves one step.
  • Dave, that setting works well if you constantly change AF points. I've tried it myself to try and reduce 'focus and recompose' and it's great in good light with decent contrast on the subject. Unfortunately the outer points just aren't as accurate as the centre cross type AF point so I've gone back to using the centre point and worked on my 'focus and recompose' technique.

    That's the main draw back with the 6D, however it is an entry level FF camera which is great for the likes of me as a first FF camera and I really love it, you just have to accept its limitations. As has already been said the 5D Mk3 is the workhorse camera for events, which will be the next upgrade for me sometime.

  • Hi, Tony - Thanks, and I am a first-upgrade guy myself, coming from a 600D, and doing this part time. I've only shot three events now with the 6D, and still have to play around with it. Tuesday night I had an event in a dimly-lit brew pub, and as much as I resisted, I had to shoot everything at ISO 6400, because my shutter speed could not go below 1/100 (it was a game-night contest-type thing, and couldn't risk blurring). I have never shot above 3200 just because of experience and nervousness. I just started looking at the RAW shots, and I have to say I am really pretty impressed with the noise quality of the images. This is what I've been hearing about the 6D. The biggest thing for me now is the confidence to shoot at ISO 3200, knowing how good things look at 6400. And I don't just been acceptable, I mean good. I'm sure you've seen it too.

  • I upgraded from a 60D and whilst it only had 11 AF points all of them were cross type points (not as good as the 6D centre one) , so in that respect I've gone backwards but I think the gains of the 6D are well worth it. Was out at the weekend taking halloween shots with the 85mm f/1.8 on the 6D and it performed superbly, the 85mm was great for portraits and couples, not the best choice for groups not enough dof (too long and wide indoors) unless you line them up and step back which tends to break the flow and joviality of the occasion.

    I'm saving for the sigma art lens just not sure between the 50mm and 35mm, I think either of these would be better suited for group shots indoors rather than the 85mm.
  • edited January 2
    Budget is the major constraint here...but as you are looking at both I will assume that is not a problem. I have had both cameras and the 6D always ended up in the bag as backup. The 5D MK111 is a very good camera that will manage all you can throw at it. You can read more about how to choose a camera here http://fixthephoto.com/blog/tech-tips/trending-hdr-professional-cameras.html
  • dbrunodbruno Member
    This is a post from so long ago, but I would like to weigh in. My primary camera is still my Canon 6D. I've had it serviced once with Canon, about a year ago. Still performs quite well for my needs, non-wedding event photography. It really is true what everyone says and writes - it's all in the lenses. But eventually, the most worthwhile upgrade for me would be the 5D Mark IV: upgrading to the new 6D Mark II or the 5D Mark III would not give me that much more over the 6D. I have to wait until the 5D Mark IV is no longer the top model, so maybe I can get it at a discount.

Sign In or Register to comment.