ISO Performance at low ISOs (ISO 100-800)
As expected, performance at low ISO levels is very impressive. There are no traces of noise between ISO 100 and 400 and we start to see a hint of noise at ISO 800.
High ISO Performance (ISO 1600-25600)
High ISO performance is a very important measure of DSLR sensor quality for low-light photography. Here is how the Canon 6D performs at high ISO levels between ISO 1600 and 25600:
ISO 1600 adds a bit of grain, but it is still very clean. ISO 3200 doubles the amount of noise in comparison and we are now seeing some noise in the shadows.
As we push ISO to 6400, the amount of noise increases significantly. Now we see very noticeable noise all over the image. Colors and details are preserved well though, which is impressive. At ISO 12800 we see some loss of detail and colors and the shadow areas now get much more noise, which is expected.
Pushing ISO to 25600 is for extreme situations since there is too much noise, loss of colors and details. I did not bother with providing ISO 51200 and 102400 samples, because they are completely unusable and look like trash.
ISO Performance Summary
The Canon 6D produces excellent results at both low and high ISOs. As you can see from the above, images are very clean from ISO 100 to 800 and it pretty much stays that way all the way to ISO 1600. Beyond ISO 1600 we start seeing noticeable noise that first starts affecting the shadow colors and details, then progressively gets worse with each ISO stop. Image quality quickly deteriorates starting from ISO 6400, which is expected. Still, there is plenty of details and colors at such high ISO levels, which makes ISO 6400 quite usable. Pushing to ISO 12800 and 25600 is for extreme situations, but if you are willing to reduce image resolution, those could be quite useful as well.
Overall, I am very impressed by the image quality of the Canon 6D. Let’s now take a look at how the camera compares to the Nikon D600. Select the next page below.
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