Alongside DPReviewTV’s re-assessment of the Canon EOS R6, we conducted some simple side-by-side testing of the latest firmware, in comparison to the original version. Our original tests showed that the R6 would deliver the promised amount of recording time in fairly challenging conditions, but that it would then struggle to recover.
Over the following weeks, diligent testing by users revealed Canon was factoring-in the initial temperature of the camera when determining how long to let it record for, but then was calculating recovery times without much consideration of internal or ambient temperature. This meant that the camera would take a long time to recover its recording capability and there was nothing you could do to speed up the process.
This could all be side-stepped if your shooting allows the use of an external recorder, but this somewhat undermines the convenience of the R6 as a stills-and-video tool.
- The new firmware allows the EOS R6 to record for longer periods
- An EOS R6 will require less cool-down time than before to recover recording times
- Ambient temperature is likely to play a more significant role in recovery times
At the time of release, Canon’s description of this firmware update was:
- Temperature detection and shooting time control in video shooting have been improved. In addition, the total shooting time when the short-time recording and power-on/off are performed repeatedly at room temperature is improved.
Our more recent testing supports this claim. A camera running firmware v1.1.1 was able to record for longer and, most critically, recover recording time faster than the example running firmware v1.0.
This makes the R6 a much more usable camera for stop/start video capture.
Of course the downside of the camera taking ambient and internal temperature into account to a greater degree is that its behavior is now more temperature sensitive and hence less predictable. However, this is much more consistent with how most other cameras work.
|Testing two R6’s side-by-side, one with the previous firmware, one with the latest.|
The original firmware was very dependable: you’d tend to get 40 minutes of 4K/24, 25 or 30p, as promised, but with dependably long recovery times. This meant that you were much more likely to hit that 40 minute limit than with other cameras that, on paper, promised less recording time (because they’d do a better job of recovering between clips).
With the latest firmware, in moderate and room-temperature shooting at least, the R6 is much better at recovering, which means you hit the temperature limit much less readily, particularly if you shoot clips of video and have some time between each one.
The R6 is generally a more usable camera for anyone shooting sequences of multi-minute clips
However, given we’re experiencing an early cold snap in Seattle, we can’t comment on how the camera will do when the summer comes.
Of course none of this is much help for, say, wedding photographers, for whom it may not be possible to turn a camera off for several minutes between clips, but it means the R6 is a much more usable camera for anyone shooting sequences of multi-minute clips.