After Photocritic editor Daniela came and showed me her shiny new camera - the Canon EOS 6D - I was gobsmacked. I have used my Canon EOS 5D for a while, and for quite a long time, I had been extremely happy with the photos, but living with this nagging feeling that there was something 'off' about the 5d. As soon as I picked up the 6D, I realised what it was. The Canon EOS 5D mark III is an astonishing piece of kit. The low-light capabilities are out of this world, it takes incredible photos, and the controls are so natural that it is probably the camera body I've gotten used to the fastest. It's a masterpiece of electronics and design. However, as I discovered when I first held its baby brother, it's too large.
This may come as a surprise to someone who's met me. I'm a tall guy (around 6'4" / 196 cm or so), and I have freakishly large hands. But, when I was writing a lot of books about photography, I forced myself to use entry-level cameras - not because I particularly wanted to use them, but because one of the key things I make in my books is that equipment doesn't really matter. That is very, very true, up to a point -- but given that most of my books are written for beginners, I had to 'eat my own dogfood', as they say: I figured it wouldn't make any sense to use a 5D mk III and then sing the praises of entry-level SLR cameras.
Anyway: Last night, I did my first gig with the Canon EOS 6D, and ran into the first time where the 6D fell short. With the 5D, you can take gorgeous 22-megapixel shots in raw all day long; I never ran into a full buffer. On the 6D, however, I ended up missing several of the shots at the concert due to the camera's buffer being full.
I can't quite convey my disappointment: The 6D is a perfect camera for me in so many ways. I love the 20 megapixels, I love the ergonomics, I love the fact that it's a lot smaller and a bit lighter than the 5D. I like that it has GPS built in (great for travel photography!). I suppose it's naïve to think that any camera can completely replace a camera that's £1,000 more expensive.
Despite this one minor hiccup, I do still think I'll end up selling my 5D mk III. In the end, the consideration is this: How often do I take concert photos (not that often), and how often do I travel and take photos (frequently). The lighter weight, smaller size, and built-in GPS are worth more to me than being able to go all rapid-fire at a gig. And, of course, there's a way of dealing with this shortcoming, too: Become a slightly better photographer, and be a little bit more selective about the photos I take.