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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎05-22-2014

6d wrong choice for portrait work?

Ok guys,

 

I was debating for quite some time whether to by the 6d or the 70d. Then I debated the 6d vs 5dIII. I went with the 6d based on many reviews, opinins and some great help on this forum. I haven't really had the chance to put it through it's paces yet. I really hate reading manuals, so I bought this short Creative Live class the John Greengo held on the 6d. He was saying that hardly anyone would use this camera in the studio since you have to run it at 1/100 to get a decent sync speed. This makes me nauseous. This was the main reason I bought this camera was for studio portraits. Does anyone have any encouraging words to make me feel like I made the wrong choice? I definitgely want a full frame, so if this isn't the one, I would have to spend twice as much on the 5dIII. 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,816
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: 6d wrong choice for portrait work?

I don't have a 6D (I have a 5D III) -- but I seem to recall that the 6D has a 1/180th sec sync speed.  That sort of spec tends to be reliable (everyone would notice if it couldn't really sync at 1/180th).  

 

Some 3rd party off-camera triggers introduce delays of their own (not the fault of the camera).  I have heard of people using some off-camera triggers and having to run them fractionally slower than the camera's sync-speed because the delay introduced by the trigger.

 

In any case, it would be very easy to test.  

 

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,093
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: 6d wrong choice for portrait work?

It's a bit comical for someone to worry about the sync speed of his camera, yet be too lazy to look it up in the manual.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎05-22-2014

Re: 6d wrong choice for portrait work?

What's comical, BOB, is that people come on these forums for help and some internet tough guys sit there and make snide comments. What good would looking it up in the manual do? I already knew what the sync speed is supposed to be and that's what the manual says. Do you think the manual would tell me that there is horrible banding at the bottom of the image at 1/180th and even some at 1/125th?

 

I was hoping to get some input from someone that either owned a 6d or had experience with it. Thanks for your input BOB.

Highlighted
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎05-22-2014

Re: 6d wrong choice for portrait work?

Thanks Tim,

 

That's a good point about the 3rd party triggers. Greengo didn't specify that, although he seemed to be using and recommending Canon products. You are correct on the advertised sync speed of 180, but he showed  banding all the way down to 125th. I don't have any triggers yet to test it, as that was going to be my nexty purchase.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎02-28-2013

Re: 6d wrong choice for portrait work?

I have a 6D, and I do a lot of off-camera flash work using 3rd party triggers.  It works reliably at 1/160 without ever having any banding issues.  I don't usually shoot at 1/180 because I don't feel like changing my camera to work in half-stop increments.  With third party triggers (Yongnuo RF-602 and RF-622) I have been unable to push it to 1/200; some camera/trigger combinations have reported to function fairly reliably a little above the max reported sync speed.  But if someone is getting banding at 1/125 it's most likely the triggers, not the 6D.

 

The real impact of the 1/180 max sync, and really 1/160 is where most will shoot (if using 3rd party gear that won't automatically set to 1/180) is when using long lenses, like the Canon 200mm 2.8 (No IS).  You pretty much have to use a tripod.

 

The 1/180 sync speed is a shame.  The reality is that it really isn't very different, relative to the traditional FF max sync of 1/200, but it seems an intentional blemish that Canon put on the camera to separate it from the 5d3.  But the actual impact to most photographers isn't as bad as many think.

 

As far as the 6d vs 70D.  As I said, I frequently shoot with off-camera lighting, so I've wondered if I would have been better off with a good crop sensor like the 70D with max sync speed of 1/250.  But every time I mix with ambient, or just use ambient, and get near noiseless images at ISO 1600 I know I made the right choice. YMMV.  You're really choosing between amazing high ISO performance (6D), and more advanced AF and higher sync speed (70D).  If you want both, then you'll have to spend the money on the 5d3.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,816
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: 6d wrong choice for portrait work?

I should add... once upon a time nearly every camera that I worked with for studio photography... had a flash sync speed of 1/60th, there was no such thing as "high speed sync", and this really was no problem at all.  It's not like we felt we needed to overcome a weakness in the camera to do studio shooting.

 

As Skirball points out, I do not think you'll have any trouble at all at 1/160th.

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎05-22-2014

Re: 6d wrong choice for portrait work?

Thanks skirball! That is such great info and makes me feel better. So it sounds like you are happy with the Yongnuo triggers? Can I ask if you mostly use speedlights, or do you use strobe as well? I have a Canon speedlight, and was thinking about buying another one or two, or investing in a couple strobes. Thanks again!
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎05-22-2014

Re: 6d wrong choice for portrait work?

Thanks again Tim. That really does make me feel better and don't think I need to return this camera.
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎02-28-2013

Re: 6d wrong choice for portrait work?


@rswannabe wrote:
Thanks skirball! That is such great info and makes me feel better. So it sounds like you are happy with the Yongnuo triggers? Can I ask if you mostly use speedlights, or do you use strobe as well? I have a Canon speedlight, and was thinking about buying another one or two, or investing in a couple strobes. Thanks again!

I love my Yongnuo triggers and have never seen the need for anything more, for my work.  The Canon 600ex RT is a great flash, but I can build a small studio of Yongnuo equipment for the price of a single 600exRT.

 

I only use speedlights; I'm currently up to 7 of them  ...the first step is to admit that I have a problem.  If I had dedicated studio space I would probably buy a set of strobes just to not have to deal with batteries and have ultra-fast recycle times.  But I really don't run into much limitation from speedlights.  They have plenty of power for most indoor work.  The only time I'm anywhere near full power is when coloring a backdrop or maybe using heavy attenuating modifiers like a beauty dish along with high-aperture settings; but that is rare.

 

Speedlights are weak against the sun or when using high speed sync.  But studio strobes are often a PIA to take into the sun and don't have HSS.  There's only so much you can do to battle the sun, and sometimes speedlights just don't have enough fight in them.  I don't really use HSS, I'd rather just put on an ND filter and get below my sync speed.  The one time that I really wish I had studio strobes is for architectural photography, when I have a big glass wall and it's bright outside.  I throw all the speedlight I have at it, but usually I have to mix in a bit of HDR to compensate.  It'd be nice to have at least one studio strobe to just blast against a back wall and pump some watts into the room.  But then I'd also have to lug around a studio strobe.

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