Canon EOS R6 II VS EOS R8 - Ultimate Comparison

Canon EOS R6 II VS EOS R8 - Ultimate Comparison

When pairing the Canon EOS R6 II and EOS R8 cameras side by side for a comparison, it can be difficult to understand why there are two options. However, like most electronic products, there are always technical advancements, and that's certainly the case between these two cameras.

Canon, known for its ability to produce exceptional mirrorless cameras, have refined the EOS R6 II with the newer release of the EOS R8, which shares several crucial aspects, most noticeably the same 24.2MP full-frame sensor, ensuring image quality and performance are on par with its elder sibling.

Despite its compact and lighter frame, the R8 maintains the robustness professionals expect, offering a weather-sealed body that stands resilient in diverse shooting environments. This feature, coupled with the R8's lower pricing, positions it as an appealing choice for photographers, influencers, and creators seeking a balance between high-end functionality and practicality.

Whereas the EOS R6 II, with its proven track record, continues to excel in demanding professional settings, offering additional features like superior viewfinder resolution, dual memory card slots, and more robust body construction, making it a reliable choice for those needing these advanced capabilities.

Throughout this article and our latest video for GeorgesCamerasYT, we'll break down the differences between the bodies to highlight each model and help you decide which camera is right for you.


Design and Portability: Embracing the Lightweight EOS R8

The Canon EOS R8 takes a significant leap in design and portability, catering to photographers and creators who value ease of handling and mobility. Its compact dimensions (132.5 x 86.1 x 70mm) and a notably lighter weight of just 461g make it a standout choice for extended shoots and travel. This design philosophy doesn't compromise the durability expected of a Canon camera, as it retains a weather-sealed body.

In comparison, the EOS R6 II, though heavier at 670g and slightly larger (138.4 × 98.4 × 88.4mm), offers a more robust build with a premium feel, enhanced weather sealing, and additional controls like the AF joystick, catering to professionals who may prefer a sturdier grip and more comprehensive control layout. The R8's design, echoing the ethos of the Canon RP model, strikes a balance between functionality and portability, making it an ideal imaging solution for creators and influencers constantly on the go.



Sensor Design: Image Quality and Performance

The Canon EOS R6 II and EOS R8 have a 24.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor, ensuring consistent quality and performance across both models. This shared sensor design delivers clean-looking images at higher resolutions thanks to a well-maintained signal-to-noise ratio anywhere throughout the ISO range of 100-102,400 (expandable to 50-204,800).

The Dual Pixel CMOS AF II system is also present, contributing to advanced subject detection for people, animals, and vehicles, making either camera a valuable asset when needing fast and accurate autofocus.


The Versatility of EOS R8

If you have been looking for a new mirrorless camera, then don't bypass the Canon EOS R8 from your list of potential solutions. This camera is extremely versatile, especially if you plan on shooting at different angles. For instance, the fully articulated 3-inch screen provides seamless control at almost every shooting angle, enhancing its usability for vlogging.

Plus, if you plan on capturing fast action such as sports or wildlife, the camera boasts a 40fps drive speed with its electronic shutter and a RAW Burst Mode with Pre-Shooting, so you can easily capture incredible moments.

Video capabilities are just as impressive as the EOS R6 II. There is a choice of 4K recording up to 60p with oversampling and no crop, along with a High Frame Rate (HFR) of up to 180p for slow-motion effects. The R8 also includes 10-bit 4:2:2 internal recording with C.Log 3 or HDR PQ, ensuring high-quality video output when recording onto a V90 SDXC UHS-II memory card.

Additional features like Focus Breathing Compensation, Multi-function shoe with digital audio, and Webcam mode via USB connection further accentuate its adaptability. These standout features make the R8 a good contender over the Canon RP and EOS R6 II.




When to Choose EOS R6 II

The Canon EOS R6 II is preferred for professionals seeking advanced features. Its electronic viewfinder has a higher resolution (3.69M dots) and larger magnification (0.76x), visually enhancing framing and focus accuracy. The camera also offers dual SD card slots, providing greater storage flexibility for video and backup options.

When looking at the power differences between the two models, a key distinction for the R8 is its superior battery life. You can obtain around 450-580 photos from one fully charged battery, whereas the R8 only offers a realistic count of nearly 300. 

As the camera is catered to the professional, it's not surprising there is a faster continuous shooting speed of up to 12fps (with its mechanical shutter) and 1/8000s fastest shutter speed, crucial for capturing fast-moving subjects. Combine this with the in-body image stabilisation that offers up to 8 stops of compensation, and you quickly gain a significant advantage for handheld shooting.

So in summary, you should go to the EOS R6 II if you rely on your camera to serve clients in a professional environment. If, however, you want the same image quality without the need for the higher-end features, then the EOS R8 will be the better fit.


Video & Stabilisation Capabilities

The Canon EOS R6 II and EOS R8 offer impressive video capabilities, though with some distinct differences. They share features such as internal uncropped 4K video oversampled from 6K, Canon Log 3 and HDR PQ modes, High Frame Rate 180p recording, and Zebra and false colour display, making them capable of producing high-quality, detailed footage suitable for various professional and creative online needs.

A significant difference is the EOS R6 Mark II's support for 6K RAW external recording through HDMI, a feature not available on the EOS R8. This RAW video format retains more colour information, providing more post-production flexibility, especially for high-end video production where details in colour grading are crucial. However, it's important to consider that RAW video files are larger and require more processing power, so if you don't plan on using an external monitor to utilise the full potential of this feature, then the R8 would be the better choice.

In terms of continuous recording times, the EOS R6 Mark II can record up to approximately 40 minutes at 4K 59.94/50.00 fps (uncropped), and around 50 minutes (cropped). For the EOS R8, the maximum continuous recording time at these frame rates is approximately 10 minutes less (30 minutes) but without a limit at cropped settings. However, if you did want to record without certain limits, both cameras can record indefinitely (2 hours for the EOS R8) at 4K 29.97/25.00 fps, subject to battery life and overheating constraints.

Stabilisation-wise, the R6 II offers a 5-axis in-body image stabilisation system, providing up to 8 stops of compensation, which is particularly advantageous for handheld shooting and achieving smooth footage. The R8 does lack in-body stabilisation. However, attaching a stabilised lens, such as some of the models listed below, or a gimbal is easy enough.


Pricing and Value: The Competitive Edge of EOS R8

The EOS R8 has a significantly lower price point than the R6 II, making it a highly attractive option for photographers, influencers and creators who are conscious of budget without wanting to compromise on quality. This strategic pricing positions the R8 as an entry-level full-frame camera and a value-packed option for those looking to maximise their investment. It's practically the same camera that's lighter and as powerful. While the EOS R6 II has some extra bells and whistles, you do pay more for these.

This pricing strategy derived by Canon effectively broadens the appeal of the R8, making high-quality, full-frame photography more accessible to a wider range of users. The R8 is the best choice for creators, influencers, and even aspiring professionals looking for a capable camera that doesn't break the bank, yet still offers the performance and features needed to produce paid content.


Recommended Lenses and Accessories for Canon EOS R8 and R6 II.

To help navigate the myriad of lenses and accessories for the EOS R8, below are some of the best options for photography, travel and vlogging.

The Best Prime Lenses

Canon RF 28mm f/2.8 STM Lens

With its compact 'pancake' style, this prime lens complements the R8's design beautifully, offering a lightweight and unobtrusive addition to the camera. Its wide-angle perspective is perfect for capturing landscapes, architectural, and spontaneous moments when travelling or walking around the streets.

One thing you're bound to like about his lens is the integrated control ring, which offers quick and intuitive adjustments to camera settings. The lens's optical quality is outstanding, delivering images with remarkable sharpness and contrast, while the wide aperture allows for beautifully blurred backgrounds. In our opinion, this lens is an indispensable focal length for the EOS R8.

Canon RF 35mm F/1.8 IS Macro STM Lens

Ideal for street and macro photography, the Canon RF 35mm F/1.8 IS Macro STM Lens is an excellent match for either camera. Its wide f/1.8 aperture excels in low light and allows for a shallow depth of field. The lens's macro ability is perfect for detailed close-up shots, while the focal length is ideal for street photography from a distance. If you plan on using this lens without a tripod, it's a great fit for the R8's lack of stabilisation thanks to a built-in Optical Image Stabiliser. The STM stepping motor provides quiet and smooth autofocus, essential for discreetly capturing spontaneous moments.

Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens

The Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens, aka 'Nifty Fifty', is a celebrated classic in the Canon lineup, offering outstanding value and versatility. Renowned for its high image quality and crisp clarity, this lens is perfect for creative portraiture. The lens's natural perspective mirrors the human eye, making it versatile for various photographic styles, from portraits to landscapes and close-up food photography. The added capability of macro shooting, with a minimum focusing distance of 0.3m, further extends its utility, allowing photographers to explore intricate details in their subjects.


The Best Zoom Lenses

Canon RF 28-70mm F/2L USM Lens

The Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM redefines versatility for EOS R8 users, combining the broad range of a zoom lens with the exceptional speed of a prime. Its constant f/2 aperture throughout the zoom range offers superb performance in low-light conditions and artistic control over depth of field. The ring-type Ultrasonic Motor (USM) ensures autofocus is precise and whisper-quiet, an advantage in still photography and video recording. The weather-sealed lens's configurable Control Ring, a staple of the RF series, allows for direct, intuitive adjustments to exposure settings from the lens itself.

Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM Lens

The 5-stop Image Stabilisation system built into this lens is a game-changer, making it an ideal fit for EOS R8 users. Plus, if you find yourself capturing portraits, the lens's ultrasonic autofocus motor is both rapid and silent, making it ideal for capturing moments discreetly and with precision.

This lens is a versatile tool for professionals and creators with elements designed to minimise aberrations and enhance clarity, along with a robust, weather-resistant build typical of Canon's L-series. For portraits, landscapes, or spontaneous street photography, the RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM is an ideal fit for the R6 II or EOS R8.

Canon RF 24-105mm F/4L IS USM Lens

If you have been considering a lens to pair with your camera, the RF 24-105mm f/4 is a good contender. This lens suits many photography genres, from landscapes, travel, portraits and general content creation. The constant f/4 aperture ensures consistent exposure across the entire zoom range and performs admirably in various lighting conditions. Its advanced Optical Image Stabiliser combats camera shake, ensuring sharp images even at slower shutter speeds or handheld shooting.

The lens's robust construction and weather sealing make it a reliable companion for outdoor shooting, ensuring performance in diverse environments. Additionally, the configurable Control Ring adds a layer of convenience, allowing quick adjustments to exposure settings. 


Capable Zoom Lenses

Canon RF 24-50mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM Lens

If you want to buy the Canon EOS R8, this lens kit is an economical option, which is good for getting you started. However, you may want to consider one of the zooms or primes as a replacement. While this lens is lightweight, you'll find it isn't as powerful with the Optical Stabiliser as others, as you can only get 4.5 stops of stabilisation. If you pair this with the EOS R6 II, this will increase to 7 stops.

For videographers and vloggers, the lens's stepping motor ensures smooth and quiet autofocus, which is crucial for maintaining audio clarity. The wide angle is also perfect for vlogging, adding to its appeal for streamers and YouTubers.

Canon RF 24-240mm f/4-6.3 IS USM Lens

The Canon RF 24-240mm f/4-6.3 IS USM is an all-around lens, offering a versatile zoom range from wide 24mm to telephoto 240mm. It's ideal for travel as you don't have to change lenses constantly. The lens features a Nano USM autofocus system, ensuring rapid and silent focusing, and a 5-stop image stabiliser for sharp results in various conditions. Lightweight at 750g, it's a perfect travel companion, matching the EOS R8's portability. 


Power Accessories

For EOS R8 users, the Jupio Canon LP-E17 Battery, with its 7.2V 1100mAh capacity, is an essential accessory, ensuring extended shooting time. Complementing this battery is the Jupio Dedicated Duo USB Charger, a practical solution for charging multiple LP-E17 batteries simultaneously. This charger's LCD screen provides real-time status updates, making it easier to manage power needs efficiently. Together, these Jupio accessories form a comprehensive power solution, offering EOS R8 users the convenience and assurance of uninterrupted shooting sessions, whether in the studio or out in the field.


The Best Memory Cards For Photos and Videos

When it comes to memory cards, some differences will affect the way you can record data. For instance, regarding video, you must ensure that the card can have a fast enough read / write time for the data to flow without issue.

So, taking this into account, for any EOS R8 users, we recommend a 'V60' speed as this speed is capable of 4K recording at compressed rates. Whereas if you are looking at the EOS R6 II, the 'V90' is the better of the two.

Some of the cards we recommend include: Lexar's Professional Silver 256GB and ProGrade Digital's 512GB SDXC cards, both V60-rated, offer a robust 250MB/s speed, ideal for 4K video recording and high-speed burst photography. These cards provide ample storage and reliable performance for most video requirements.

For higher bit-rate recordings in 4K, the Lexar Professional Gold 128GB and ProGrade Digital 512GB SDXC V90 cards step up the game with an impressive 300MB/s speed. These V90 cards are tailor-made for professional-grade video recording, ensuring smooth data handling and uninterrupted recording at the highest quality.


Lighting Solutions For Vlogging

If you plan on vlogging with the R8 or R6 II, you will need a capable light for indoor filming. For R6 II users, the Pilotcine AtomCUBE ARX7D is an excellent choice for its compact size and powerful output, offering adjustable brightness and colour temperature to suit various environments. R8 users, on the other hand, might like to check out the more affordable Aputure MC Pro RGB LED Light Panel, as it offers a range of colour options with its RGB capabilities, allowing for creative and mood-enhancing lighting effects.

Recommended Microphones

When it comes to capturing clear and professional audio for either EOS camera, the Sennheiser MKE 400 Camera-Mount Shotgun Microphone is a top choice. Its compact design makes it a perfect match, and its shotgun design ensures focused audio capture even in noisy environments. Additionally, the Rode Wireless PRO offers the freedom of wireless audio recording, allowing you to move around without being tethered to the camera. Whatever choice you go with, know that it will make a huge difference in reducing wind noise and adding clarity to your vlogs, travel videos, and corporate or editorial work.