Mirrorless camera with an APS-C sensor with 32.5 megapixels that is aimed at photography enthusiasts and designed on the EF-M mount developed by Canon. It is essentially a mirrorless version of Canon’s EOS 90D DSLR, which was launched at the same time, although it is smaller and more portable.
It shares a striking resemblance, both externally and inside, with the very first M6, although it is far faster and includes several more features. A sensor with a better resolution, the ability to record 4K video, and a mode that can shoot bursts of Raw data at up to 30 frames per second are some of these features. As a consequence, we have an enthusiastic camera that is both capable and enjoyable to use.
New Detector or Sensor
A brand-new CMOS sensor with 32.5 megapixels lies at the heart of the EOS M6 II. It utilizes Canon’s patented Dual Pixel design, in which each pixel is really composed of two half-pixels. One of these half-pixels is responsible for capturing information from the left-hand side of the lens, while the other is responsible for catching information from the right. This architecture may be used to evaluate any separation between the left- and right-looking pictures, which, similar to how humans utilize their binocular vision, enables the camera to evaluate the depth of the scene.
Because of this, the focusing mechanism of the camera benefits from the participation of each and every pixel, and the camera does not experience the banding and striping that may often appear in other on-sensor phase-detection AF systems.
From a limited area of the sensor, the camera is capable of shooting at up to 14 frames per second, or at 30 frames per second for brief bursts. Our first examination of the electronic shutter revealed that it operates at a pace of around 1/22 second (46 milliseconds), which means that you should anticipate a large amount of rolling shutter while photographing moving objects or action in e-shutter mode.
The Eye AF capabilities were initially designed for the EOS RP and R, but they have now been ported across to the EOS M6 II. Our prior experience shows that, while it is not the greatest for swiftly or continuously monitoring a topic, it tends to be quite effective at ensuring that the eye is completely focused. This is despite the fact that it is not the best at tracking a subject. Additionally, it has a tendency to periodically move to another recognized face in the scene, which may be fairly annoying.
It is also one of the finest solutions available on the market if you need to identify a subject or switch between topics when there are several faces in the photo that you are looking at.
It may not seem like a huge issue if you’ve never used a decent Eye AF system before, but it’s really freeing to be able to trust the camera to identify and focus on your subject. This gives you more time to engage with your subject and think about how to compose the shot you want to take of them.
Even even considering the fact that the original EOS M6 could only record in 1080p, it seems strange to be advertising 4K recording as a newly added capability. One of the first Canon cameras that can shoot 4K video using the entire width of its sensor, the M6 Mark II is one of the first Canon cameras that can do this but is not part of the Cinema EOS line.
The EOS M6 Mark II is capable of recording 4K video at either 30p or 25p. The addition of 24 frames per second will reportedly come in the form of a software upgrade from Canon in the year 2020. Despite the fact that the two cameras share so many components, it is quite disappointing that it does not feature a cropped video mode with the same great quality as the one found in the EOS 90D.
When we had a brief peek at the camera’s 4K footage, we were blown away by how little rolling shutter there was. We measured it at around 17 milliseconds, which is far less than the majority of its competitors.
Due to the camera’s quick readout, it is also able to deliver 1080 videos at up to 120 frames per second. When we finally get our hands on a camera that can be evaluated, one of our first orders of business will be to check for line-skipping and pixel binning. This might result in footage that is softer than intended, which is something that has been observed with the most recent Powershot models.
The camera is capable of recording for up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds and can provide a signal with a maximum bit depth of 4:2:2 through HDMI.
Raw Burst mode
A Raw Burst mode is available on the M6 Mark II, and it can shoot at a rate of 30 frames per second for a maximum of 70 frames. We have reached out to Canon for clarification on this matter because it is not apparent whether or not the camera is able to autofocus during these bursts. Additionally, it has a pre-shot buffer that starts recording when you half-press the shutter button and stores 0.5 seconds’ worth of photographs from before you fully depress the shutter button. This function is included in the package.
The Raw Burst mode uses a section of the frame that has been cropped, and it covers 75% of the frame in each direction (meaning a 1.33x crop). Images taken with the camera will have a resolution of 18 megapixels.
Mobile Raw workflow (iOS)
The EOS M6 II employs Canon’s more recent CR3 Raw format for image capture. There is also a compressed ‘CRaw’ option available, which results in reduced file size while having only a minimal effect on the processing freedom you obtain from the files. If you would rather not have the file compressed, there is also an uncompressed alternative.
Both types of Raw are capable of being exported over Wi-Fi and may be edited using Digital Photo Professional Express, which is the mobile version of the Raw processing software that Canon offers. Users of Android will be disappointed to learn that the software is presently only accessible for iOS devices.
body, controls, and handling
The M6 Mark II is quite similar in appearance to its predecessor; however, all of the controls have been modified very significantly. On the top plate of the camera, there are still two control dials—one surrounding the shutter button and the other on the rear right shoulder—but there is no longer a specific Exposure Comp button coming out of the rear dial.
A button labeled “Dial Func” has been relocated to the middle of the back dial in its place. This may be used to switch the function of the dial, which will either allow you to scroll through a list of functions using the front dial or cycle through a selection of functions with each push of the button. You are able to narrow the choices down to the ones that you employ most frequently.
The menu system utilized by the EOS M6 II is the most up-to-date version of the one used by Canon. Its organization of it isn’t too complicated to understand. It is starting to seem overwhelming due to the sheer quantity of options that are featured in it, much like the menus of many other businesses. The top-level divisions are understandable enough, but you now need to be able to recall if a certain option may be found on page 3, page 7, or page 9 of the ‘camera’ area.
The ‘Custom Functions’ area of the menu adopts a whole new appearance, one that is decidedly less sophisticated and contains neither distinct subsections nor aids for navigating the section. This behavior used to be referred to as being “like dropping back into DOS,” which is a term that is now so out of date that it underlines how antiquated this area of the menu now looks to be.
If you find yourself needing access to menu-only choices on a frequent basis, there is at least a tab labeled “My Menu” that you can personalize and which allows you to aggregate your most-used settings in a single tab. You may edit this tab as you see fit.
When you choose Face / Tracking AF on the M6 II, a notice that says “[Info] Eye Enable” displays on the screen. This is a tiny UI issue that was carried over from the EOS R line of cameras. It would appear that you have to hit the ‘Info’ button in order to turn on Eye AF. In point of fact, this indicates that Eye AF is already turned on. Even though we brought Canon’s attention to what we believe to be a translation error’s ambiguity, the problem has not been resolved.
For its in-camera Raw conversion feature, the M6 II has two different kinds of user interfaces: one is dependent on the camera’s settings, while the other is more straightforward and focuses on the end result. There is a menu option called “Quick Control Raw Processing” that allows the user to choose which version of the program is displayed in the Quick Menu.
Assignment of the Stills and Movie buttons should be kept separate.
Given the restricted number of control points, Canon allows you to modify the configuration of the customizable buttons for the stills mode and the movie mode independently of one another if that is what you desire. This allows you to make the most of the camera’s stills and movie capabilities.
The Canon EOS M6 II features an Auto ISO system that is rather advanced. You have the ability to choose the minimum and maximum ISO settings that it can utilize, with separate values for capturing still images and videos. Auto ISO may be used in manual mode with exposure adjustment, and this feature is accessible for both still and video photography.
You have the ability to select the shutter speed that Auto ISO will attempt to keep in the stills mode. This threshold can be a predetermined shutter speed or an automated number that is based on the focal length that you are currently using.
A value that is determined automatically can have its bias adjusted to either a quicker number (to stop activity) or a slower one (if you can keep the camera steady). The major letdown is that the only way to edit this value is by going into the main menu; it cannot be accessible from the Q menu or assigned to a button. This is the only area where it can be changed.
The EOS M6 II makes use of the same LP-E17 battery as its predecessor as well as several of Canon’s smaller DSLRs. Despite using the same battery, the EOS M6 II is rated to take 305 photos on a single charge. As is customary, these figures do not always indicate the total number of shots you will be allotted. It is not unheard of to achieve double the CIPA number, however, this can vary depending on your shooting technique and how much time you spend examining photographs.
However, the figures are typically relatively consistent amongst cameras, and we found that a rating of 305 is usually plenty for a weekend of occasional, casual photography. However, if you want to focus on shooting, you will need to have a second battery or a USB power brick.
Although the camera’s Type-C USB connector only supports speeds up to v2.0, it does have the capability of charging the device as well as operating the camera directly. This is a positive feature. Although Canon does not define it, the camera appears to favor power sources that achieve the USB-PD (Power Delivery) standard. Because of this, you should not expect it to charge with older smartphone chargers that have a low voltage output.
When it comes to storage, the EOS M6 II distinguishes out from its competitors since it has an SD card slot that is compatible with UHS-II cards (as opposed to the slower UHS-I). If you are using high-speed cards, you should be able to tell a significant difference in the amount of time it takes for the buffer to clear when choosing between UHS-I and UHS-II choices.
Quality of the Image
Due to the fact that both cameras use the same image sensors and processors, the image quality of the EOS M6 Mark II is virtually identical to that of the EOS 90D. This is to say that it is of very high quality: the M6 II is capable of producing images that are rich in detail, with noise that is well-controlled and a significant level of dynamic range. The JPEG reaction it offers is appealing (something Canon has built an impeccable reputation on).
The sharpening that is pre-installed on the camera does not bring out quite as much detail as some of its competitors do. There are very complicated controls for fine-tuning this, but the defaults tend to look decent, so it’s really only worthwhile to spend time re-processing Raws to find your best settings if there’s anything particularly specific you’re trying to achieve. The defaults tend to look excellent.
The actual world is full of a wide variety of textures, colors, and sorts of details, which our test scene attempts to replicate. In addition to that, it features two distinct modes of illumination, so you can witness the effect of various lighting circumstances.
The issue of noise reduction requires a different approach. The Raw performance, when examined at the same output size, appears to be exactly similar to the camera’s contemporaries in terms of noise, but the JPEG noise reduction system smooths out more detail than the more complex, context-sensitive algorithms that Panasonic and Sony provide.
Again, the results in the real world still seem fairly decent, but you might discover that you can get a little bit more information out of them if you process the Raw files in a competent editor. Again, this is not a deal breaker.
The dynamic range of the camera is comparable to that of the 90D, which means that it is enough to offer a great deal of processing versatility but does not lead the pack in its class.
Auto Lighting Optimizer (which selectively brightens parts of the image, in order to try to give a well-balanced image) and Highlight Tone Priority (which uses a different amplification and tone curve balance to provide images with more highlight capture but ‘correctly’ exposed mid-tones and shadows) are two of the features that can be used to exploit the dynamic range of the camera. Both of these features are available on the camera.
On the M6 II, there are two levels of HTP: D+ and D+2. These levels boost the minimum ISO by one stop, which indicates that they’ll capture one-stop of more highlights while simultaneously increasing the amount of noise in the shadows. The D+2 option utilizes a tone mapping that is more intense, but it does not record any more data.
Both mechanical and electronic shutter modes are included with the purchase of an EOS M6 II. It appears that the mechanical model does not employ an electrical front-curtain shutter, as it is completely mechanical (EFCS).
When using a shutter that is totally mechanical, there is always the possibility of shutter shock,’ which refers to a minor blurring of the image caused by the mechanical movement of the shutter. When we were filming our studio scenario, we observed some softness from this effect, but when we were shooting in a more informal setting, we had a hard time finding evidence that it impacted our photographs.
When photographing in delicate conditions where complete stillness is essential, switching to the electronic shutter mode might be helpful; however, you should be warned that the sensor reads out quite slowly in this mode. It is possible that this can cause banding under artificial lights or a rolling shutter effect, which will appear as slanted vertical lines if you are panning even modestly when taking pictures.
You have the option to select from the following four focusing area options with the EOS M6 II:
- Face detection together with tracking
- Spot AF
- 1-point AF
- Zone AF
The latter three of these allow you to pick an AF point of varying sizes, with Zone encompassing quite a broad area and the camera giving priority to whatever is nearest in that zone. The other two allow you to choose an AF point of varying sizes. The ‘Face+Tracking’ option has proven to be useful for us in a broad variety of settings due to its consistently high level of accuracy.
It performed a decent job of tracking the subject (which is distinctively colored and well separated from the backdrop) when it was asked to track the topic, however it would misinterpret the change in acceleration when the bike entered and departed the corners.
When operating at the greatest burst speed, this mistake became more apparent (14 fps). When shooting at the slower pace, the results displayed were achieved, but there was the odd tiny lack of focus, which was later fixed.
Detection of the Face and Eyes
The eye detection on the M6 II is functional to a good degree. It is not nearly as quick or reliable as the best competing system at locating eyeballs, but it does an excellent job of finding and showing that it has located your subject’s eyes, which helps create trust in its accuracy.
If you have the camera set up such that you may pick the initial focus point, as we discussed previously on this page, then the camera will concentrate on a face if the point you have selected is over it. However, if you would rather have it focus on something other than a face, it will happily do so.
However, in order for the camera to identify and focus on the subject’s eye, it is necessary for your subject to occupy a large amount of the screen.
If there is more than one person in the scene, the M6 II will center its attention on the person who is below the first target, and it will continue to track them even as they move about. Even if the subject turns their back on the camera, the system will continue to follow them rather than becoming distracted by other people’s faces.
However, if the person is looking away when you begin subject tracking (i.e. it’s monitoring a generic topic, rather than a face), the camera won’t switch to face or eye recognition when your subject looks towards you. This is because the camera is following the generic subject, rather than a face.
You will most likely want to utilize a single AF, which Canon refers to as ‘One Shot’ AF, while you are photographing a stationary subject since the individual, designated AF points will perform a better job of positioning the AF point exactly on the subject.
On the other hand, we would often leave the camera set to continuous AF (‘AF Operation: Servo’) and Face + Tracking for the majority of our shots as well as any subject that moves.
The M6 II is capable of recording 4K video at up to 30 frames per second, and there is hope that 24p will be added in the next firmware updates. There is also an option for 1080/120p, although it does not have autofocus.
You are able to acquire 1080/30p video from 1080/60p recording, but with more highlights compressed into an SDR file thanks to the camera’s ‘HDR video’ mode, which is totally automatic and records two frames (a short and a standard exposure) for each output frame.
This mode allows for a wider dynamic range. Although Canon claims that the camera will be able to produce a 10-bit signal through HDMI (though we have not been able to test this), there are neither flat nor Log modes available to make use of the additional flexibility that this provides.
Another area in which Canon excels is in its video-focusing capabilities. You have essentially the same selection of AF area modes to choose from, with the primary distinction being that the Face + Tracking mode does not allow you to specify an initial focal point, even if you’ve set it to the stills mode. Instead, you can choose your subject by tapping the screen to do so.
Once you begin recording, you will not be able to modify the AF area mode; however, you will be able to interrupt the camera’s attempts to refocus by pressing an on-screen button that is located in the bottom left corner of the screen.
If you tap to specify a different subject, the M6 II will try to glide focus fairly swiftly to a new focal point, and it will pause before pulling focus if the distance to the subject under the AF point changes. However, the M6 II does not give you any control over the speed or sensitivity of the video AF.
As long as there is enough of a subject for the camera’s Dual Pixel AF technology to “bite onto,” there is virtually no chance of the focus “wobble” that can occur.
The camera not only has an autofocus mode, but it also has a focus peaking mode that may aid guide manual focusing. To assist with setting the exposure, it does not, however, provide zebras or highlight warnings; rather, you need to rely only on the metering scale of the camera. When you press the [REC] button, the histogram, and level gauge, if you have those features turned on, will disappear.
Because the M6 II allows you to specify a different button configuration for stills and video shooting and maintains a separate set of exposure parameters for the two modes, it is particularly quick and easy to switch between the two types of shooting. Additionally, the M6 II has a built-in electronic viewfinder that makes it easier to compose your shots.
Both 1080p and 4K footage may make use of the camera’s two different degrees of electronic image stabilization. The ‘Enabled’ setting will crop the image somewhat, which will result in a decrease in video quality but will attenuate the effects of any hand-shakes that occur when you are attempting to fake using a tripod.
The “Enhanced mode” zooms in even further (making it harder to achieve a wide-angle shot and reducing image quality by essentially using a smaller sensor). If you move around with the camera, it provides an astonishing level of smoothness; nevertheless, the image quality is severely degraded as a result of this feature.
Canon EOS M6 Mark II Specifications
|Body type||Rangefinder-style mirrorless|
|Body material||Magnesium alloy|
|Max resolution||6960 x 4640|
|Image ratio w:h||1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9|
|Effective pixels||33 megapixels|
|Sensor photo detectors||34 megapixels|
|Sensor size||APS-C (22.3 x 14.9 mm)|
|Color space||sRGB, Adobe RGB|
|Color filter array||Primary color filter|
|ISO||Auto, 100-25600 (expands to 51200)|
|Boosted ISO (maximum)||51200|
|White balance presets||6|
|Custom white balance||Yes|
|JPEG quality levels||Fine, normal|
|File format||JPEG (Exif v2.31)Raw (Canon CR3, 14-bit)|
|Optics & Focus|
|Autofocus||Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View|
|Autofocus assist lamp||Yes|
|Number of focus points||143|
|Lens mount||Canon EF-M|
|Focal length multiplier||1.6×|
|Screen / viewfinder|
|Screen type||TFT LCD|
|Viewfinder type||Electronic (optional)|
|Minimum shutter speed||30 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/4000 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed (electronic)||1/16000 sec|
|Exposure modes||ProgramShutter priorityAperture priorityManual|
|Scene modes||Self-Portrait, Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Food, Panning, Handheld Night Scene, HDR Backlight Control|
|Flash range||4.60 m (at ISO 100)|
|External flash||Yes (via hot shoe)|
|Drive modes||SingleHigh-speed continuousPanningLow-speed continuousSelf-timer/remote|
|Continuous drive||14.0 fps|
|Self-timer||Yes (2 or 10 sec)|
|Exposure compensation||±3 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)|
|AE Bracketing||±3 (3 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)|
|Modes||3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 120 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 120p / 120 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 60 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 30 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC|
|Storage types||SD/SDHC/SDXC card (UHS-II supported)|
|USB||USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)|
|USB charging||Yes (with USB-PD compatible chargers)|
|HDMI||Yes (Micro HDMI)|
|Wireless notes||802.11b/g/n + Bluetooth|
|Remote control||Yes (wireless or smartphone)|
|Battery description||LP-E17 lithium-ion battery & charger|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||305|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||408 g (0.90 lb / 14.39 oz)|
|Dimensions||120 x 70 x 49 mm (4.72 x 2.76 x 1.93″)|
The Canon EOS M6 II is a more obviously photographer-targeted camera than its predecessor was. It has gained a Dial Func control, a dedicated MF/AF switch, and an AF-On button, all of which combine to put just a little bit more control straight at your fingers. And in the end, it ends up delivering a reasonable degree of direct control without creating the impression that you need to entirely configure the camera yourself.
The choice made by Canon to simply provide a single model of the M6 that is capable of having a viewfinder attached to it rather than offering variants with and without a built-in finder has generated an unusual amount of controversy.
When I’m just shooting for myself, I enjoy having the ability to make the package smaller so it doesn’t take up as much space when I don’t need the finder. Having said that, anyone who mounts a strobe or shotgun mic via the hot shoe on a regular basis will not enjoy having to pick between the finder and the flash.
The focus of the camera is not quite up to the standard set by Sony’s a6400 and a6600, but it is still quite good and will adjust to a broad variety of shooting styles with minimal effort required. Even though it has a burst mode that can shoot at 30 frames per second, the M6 II is not our first pick for photographing sports because of its inability to adapt to or ignore new subjects. However, it is more than competent in handling most other sorts of shooting.
The availability of sigmas 16, 30, and 56mm F1.4 DN lenses is another factor that contributes to the M6 II’s increased desirability as a camera for photography enthusiasts. They each cost less than $500, and when combined with Canon’s own 22mm F2 and 32mm F1.4 lenses, they may be sufficient to allow you to put together a tiny EF-M kit, which you may use either as your primary or secondary camera.
The M6 II is a great option to go with if it enables you to put together a compact kit that yet meets all of your requirements. It is not the finest in its class in many respects: the Sony a6400’s autofocus is superior, the Fujifilm X-video T30’s is superior, as is its lens range, while the Nikon Z50 may have finer ergonomics. However, the Fujifilm X-T30 is not the greatest in its class.
The M6 II, on the other hand, has the best noise performance and dynamic range of the group, in addition to having the highest resolution of the bunch overall. It is also competitive in every other regard. First and foremost, it’s exciting and fun to use while you’re behind the trigger.
It has proven to be an extremely reliable partner for my photographic endeavors.
Canon EOS M6 Mark II Price
Pros & cons
- Superior image quality in both Raw and JPEG formats.
- Compact, yet still manages to have a pleasant feel in the hand Good amount of direct control
- User interface that is both responsive and straightforward
- A system that is effective and calls for only a little amount of user involvement
- The lifespan of the battery is underwhelming
- 4K video is much less detailed than competing formats.
- AF There will be times when the tracking point deviates from the subject you’ve picked.
- Eye detection is only effective at relatively close ranges and has a tendency to front-focus to a little degree (on eyelashes)
- Possibility of limitations with the device unless big, adapted lenses are mounted.