Gear

Nikon D750 vs Canon 6D MKII – Which is better?

The Canon EOS 6D MkII and the Nikon D750 both feature full frame sensors
The Canon EOS 6D MkII and the Nikon D750 both feature full frame sensors

Serious enthusiasts now have more choice than ever when it comes to selecting a full frame DSLR to take their photography to the next level. Both the Nikon D750 and the recently released Canon 6D MkII are two serious contenders in the advanced enthusiast arena, sporting full frame sensors and a host of other impressive shooting specs. The Canon 6D MKII currently costs around 25% more than the Nikon D750; but it’s only just been released and we’d expect the price gap to narrow somewhat as the year progresses.

With that in mind, which of these two is the better option for someone seeking a full frame DLSR, who’s not already seriously invested in either the Canon or Nikon brand?

Shooting specs

Both cameras feature full frame sensors, measuring 35.9x24mm at their core. The Canon 6D MkII boasts a resolution of 26.2MP, fractionally beating the Nikon D750 which offers a pixel count of 24.3MP. Although the 6D MkII marginally trumps the D750 on the megapixel count, it’s not a difference you’d ever notice when comparing like-for-like images. Both camera sensors also feature an Optical Low Pass filter, which is designed to combat the effects of moiré.

The Nikon D750 is powered by the EXPEED 4 processor, which is also found in the D810 – Nikon’s largest resolution full frame DSLR. This engine gives the D750 a top shooting speed of 6.5fps, which is a pretty good speed for a camera in this category. Not wanting to be outdone, the 6D MkII uses Canon’s latest processor – the DIGIC 7 – and this also provides a top burst rate of 6.5fps.

The Canon 6D MkII boasts a 26.2MP sensor and shoots at 6.5fps
The Canon 6D MkII boasts a 26.2MP sensor and shoots at 6.5fps

The Nikon D750 offers a resolution of 24.3MP and has a top burst rate of 6.5fps
The Nikon D750 offers a resolution of 24.3MP and has a top burst rate of 6.5fps

The 6D MkII pulls away from the D750 when you take a look at the ISO specifications. It offers a top native ISO setting of 40,000, which can be expanded up to an effective ISO of 102,400. It’s unlikely you’d ever want to shoot with settings as high as these top values as you’ll encounter lots of digital grain in your images. But it does mean that you can be more confident getting clearer shots between the ISO settings of 1600 and 6400: most photographers rarely venture north of here. The D750 is somewhat stunted by comparison, with a native ISO range of 100 – 12,800, which can be expanded to 50 – 51,200. While the 6D MkII ISO specs tower above the D750, in reality both cameras perform well within the upper ISO band that most photographers shoot within. Any current camera begins to struggle with image quality above ISO 6400, no matter what the upper limit is.

Both cameras fare well on focusing. The Canon 6D MkII utilises 45 cross-type AF points across the frame, which are sensitive down to -3EV. This is a big improvement on its predecessor – the 6D – which only has 11 AF points. If you’re using Live View for shooting or video then the Canon uses its Dual Pixel CMOS AF, which is found in all the latest Canons. The D750 uses the highly rated Multi-CAM 3500FX AF system for focusing. It has 51 AF points and is equally sensitive down to -3EV, but only 15 of these are the more rapid cross-type sensors. The D750 also employs Nikon’s latest Group Area AF, which clumps together 5 AF points at a time for improved accuracy.

Other features

Both DSLRs feature a vari-angle tiltable LCD, making it easier to compose shots when holding the camera at arm’s length. The D750 uses a 3.2” 1229k-dot LCD, which is bigger and packs in more pixels than the 6D MkII’s offering of a 3.0” monitor with a 1040k-dot resolution. However the Canon has an ace up its sleeve as the LCD on the 6D MkII is a touchscreen, allowing you to set the focus and capture the shot with a tap of your finger, and the articulated screen can be set in a wider variety of positions.

The 6D MkII has a vari-angle touchscreen which flips out from the body
The 6D MkII has a vari-angle touchscreen which flips out from the body

The D750 LCD pivots on the vertical axis to make it easy to compose from high or low
The D750 LCD pivots on the vertical axis to make it easy to compose from high or low

If you want to capture video then both the D750 and 6D MkII offer Full HD capabilities with an audio input port. The Nikon features a headphone port so you can monitor the audio, but this feature is disappointingly lacking on the Canon. In its favour though the 6D MkII boasts 5-axis digital stabilisation for video recording, giving you steadier footage when shooting handheld.

The 6D MkII captures Full HD video but has no headphone port to monitor the audio
The 6D MkII captures Full HD video but has no headphone port to monitor the audio

The D750 also records Full HD movies and includes both in and out audio ports
The D750 also records Full HD movies and includes both in and out audio ports

With regard to connectivity options the 6D MkII is in another league when compared to the D750. It boasts Bluetooth, WiFi, NFC and GPS, meaning you can instantly upload images to a smart device, control your camera remotely and add location information to your shots. The D750 on the other hand only features WiFi, but still can be paired with a smartphone for remote operation or wireless transfer of files.

If you like to backup your images as you shoot, then the D750 features dual SD card slots. You can assign the second card to either act as an overflow or to save a duplicate copy of the file for extra security. The 6D MkII only has a single SD card slot.

The battery life of the two DSLRs is comparable, with the D750 good for 1230 shots, and the battery in the 6D MkII capable of capturing 1200 images from a single charge.

Design and ergonomics

The D750 and 6D MkII have a relatively similar design and dimensions. Both cameras feature a mode dial on the left side of the top plate, and a deep rubberised grip for a comfortable and solid purchase. The two DLSRs are also weather sealed for peace of mind in damp or dusty conditions. On the top of the D750 there’s a pop-up flash, but there’s no such feature on the 6D MkII so you’ll need to purchase an additional flashgun if you want to throw some extra light into your shots. The D750 is a little heavier at 840g versus the 765g of the 6D MkII, but they’re still pretty close.

The Canon 6D MkII features a deep grip and is fully weather sealed
The Canon 6D MkII features a deep grip and is fully weather sealed

The Nikon D750 features dual SD card slots, offering an advantage over the Canon
The Nikon D750 features dual SD card slots, offering an advantage over the Canon

Conclusion

Both these cameras are well suited to the advanced enthusiast, offering lots of higher end features and a solid shooting experience. The Canon 6D MkII comes out top in most head-to-head battles, with a larger resolution, higher ISO range, more cross-type AF sensors, a touchscreen LCD and more connectivity options. The Nikon D750 does come a very close second, so those photographers who are tempted by the better priced D750 won’t be disappointed. It’s worth remembering that the D750 was released in September 2014 and the 6D MkII was launched just in July 2017, so you’d expect it to offer more contemporary features like a touchscreen and increased smartphone integration options. If Nikon release an update for the D750 next year we’d expect to see the same contemporary features included too. But for the meantime, Canon takes the top spot in the advanced enthusiast market.