A tiny mirrorless digital camera with an APS-C sensor and 24 megapixels, the Canon EOS M6 also features dual dial controls and a touchscreen interface. It takes the internals of the EOS M5 camera, which has an electronic viewfinder (EVF), and places them in an upgraded version of the body of the M3 camera. The price for the body begins at $779. It is located in Canon’s M range between the M3 and the M5, and it may be purchased as a kit option with either the 15-45 or 18-150mm lenses for $899 or $1,279, respectively.
- APS-C sensor with 24 megapixels and a maximum ISO of 25600 Dual Pixel PDAF on the sensor
- In-lens image stabilization and electronic video stabilization work together to provide 5-axis IS.
- Continuous filming at 7 frames per second (9 fps with focus and exposure locked)
- Wi-Fi paired with Bluetooth that is constantly linked
As is customary for Canon, the company has a unique perspective on the market, which leaves the M6 as either a costly, better-built alternative to entry-level mirrorless competitors or as a mid-level/enthusiast model without a viewfinder. In either case, it appears to be on the expensive side.
Its quality of construction and controls puts it in competition with retro-inspired cameras such as the Olympus PEN F, the 4K-capable Panasonic GX85/80, Sony’s value-tactic a6000, and Fujifilm’s X-E2s, which is getting on in years.
Several years ago, I worked as an assistant for a fashion and editorial photographer who had placed a pre-order for both products before the launch of the EOS M and EF adaptor. They were thrilled to have a second camera more petite than a point-and-shoot and an APS-C sensor, taking up less room in their camera bag than a lens.
They envisioned a camera with autofocus capabilities, controls, and image quality comparable to a mid-range APS-C DSLR but with a mirrorless system’s portability and convenience advantages. Unfortunately, it was sent back to the manufacturer after quickly attaching it to one of their existing EF lenses. Due to the delayed nature of the CDAF system, it was impossible for it even to come close to having a second body that could be relied on in an emergency.
I am delighted to report that the camera they had previously hoped would be available was released. Although the Canon M6 retails for $780 (body only) and is slightly larger and more upscale than the original M, it is still capable of keeping up with DSLRs regarding controls and image quality, and autofocus performance in many different scenarios. Additionally, it contains Canon’s Dual Pixel Autofocus technology in the most compact form it can now locate.
In this critique, we will examine the camera from the perspective of several people considering purchasing it. To get things started, let’s look at how the EOS M6 truly performs when added to the bigger gear of an experienced Canon photographer.
As a shooter’s second body for Canon cameras
The EOS M6 has a sophisticated control scheme, even a thobeingmpact camera. There are two command dials: one around the shutter button and the other around the four-way controller on the back of the device. Only the manual exposure mode uses the dial on the back of the camera; users can select which dial performs which function.
Importantly, it provides about as much flexibility and customizability as a photography enthusiast who is used to working with bigger DSLRs might want.
A third dial may be found underneath the exposure compensation dial in a pretty orderly fashion. It is possible to adjust its function independently for Av/Tv/P and manual movie modes, which allows it to manage ISO, white balance, AF technique, metering, and driveway. In M mode, you may also set it to control either the shutter speed or aperture, making the more fussy dial on the back face of the camera unnecessary.
Because the M6 does not have a ‘Dial Func’ option as Canon’s tiny cameras have, there is no simple way to modify the assigned parameter; instead, this must be done through the menu system. However, having four primary dials is far more control than is provided on most other mirrorless cameras, even the higher-end ones with viewfinders. Furthermore, it is configurable so that the most critical functions may be placed on the handiest dials.
First and foremost, it provides about as much flexibility and personalization as an enthusiast used to working with bigger DSLRs could ask for in most regards. However, the interface does not precisely match Canon’s DSLRs, which, unfortunately, means that customers who transition between the two will experience a slowdown in operation due to the animated look of the ‘Q’ menu.
There is also a restriction on the ability to customize the buttons, and fans of Auto ISO will be disappointed to find that the M6 comes with painfully poor implementation. You do not influence the shutter speeds that the camera selects; however, you can utilize Auto ISO when shooting in manual mode and set a shutter speed for yourself.
The 24MP sensor significantly improved over the sensor found in the original EOS M. It possesses all of the performance that one could want from a second camera and has the color reproduction characteristics of Canon cameras.
An enhanced dynamic range is one of the most significant enhancements to image quality that this 24MP chip has provided. This allows for more substantial changes to be made during post-production without causing artifacts such as noise and banding to appear in adjusted regions to an excessive degree.
Dual Pixel autofocus is the genuinely significant improvement that this new technology brings to the table. It encompasses eighty percent of the frame’s width and height (equalling 64 percent coverage). Moreover, we discovered the identical mechanism in the EOS M5, which was carried out magnificently in all of our evaluations.
The utilization of modified or adapted lenses is unaffected by the remarkable autofocus performance.
Most significantly, the performance of adapted lenses does not change while using existing EF and EF-S lenses. This is because an EF adapter is nothing more than an extension tube with wires running through it to expand the electrical contacts. This indicates that it now possesses the AF that fans, and even professionals in various specializations, would want out of their second body.
Compared to the M5, utilizing the M6 in some circumstances may provide even better results. To begin, it is more compact, providing a more significant size benefit than the DSLR you are now using. In addition, because there is no electronic viewfinder (EVF), there is also no eye sensor that can be mistakenly activated when shooting with the screen in the flipped-out position.
During our testing of the M5, we had this issue frequently whenever we used the touch screen to try to shoot at a low aperture or select an AF point. Therefore, the M6 will be the camera that will make it simpler to locate intriguing vistas since there will be no hassles associated with utilizing the screen in any posture… So, virtually any position would do.
Since the Canon 5D Mark II was updated to include full high-definition video capture, the company’s cameras have become increasingly popular among video bloggers (sometimes known as “vloggers”). Due to the absence of a viewfinder, the M6 can give the finest consumer-grade APS-C video capabilities (meaning 1080p) that the firm has to offer in one of the most compact sizes conceivable. In addition, there is Wi-Fi for instantaneous file sharing.
Size is a consideration for many people, particularly video bloggers and people who produce their movies. Their ideal camera should be lightweight and able to automatically handle all of the critical points of good footage for anyone creating content, including exposure, focus, and stabilization. For them, less equipment means they can focus more on living whatever lifestyle they’re documenting, such as riding a motorized skateboard.
Therefore, get yourself a Gorillapod and turn the screen around so that it faces you in order to discover.
Because the camera occupies a portion of the display’s lower bezel, accessing the critical touch controls is either excruciatingly tricky or downright impossible. Therefore, the screen of the EOS M3 is equipped with a spring-loaded device, and this mechanism pulls the screen upward those additional few millimeters so that it is clear of the top of the body.
A record button is not displayed on the screen of the M6, so users will have to either reassign the M Fn button or search for the record button, which is located on the back of the device in a relatively flush location.
And although you can indeed regulate exposure by tethering your phone to the EOS M6 over Wi-Fi and using that method, the built-in screen is preferred for rapid-fire photography since it is more intuitive.
In any case, it is possible for the camera to quickly catch some acceptable footage when it is not pointing back at our imaginary content producer but forward at the surrounding environment. Now, this film isn’t exactly state-of-the-art, especially considering its cost.
Although it costs a little extra, the X-T20 can be recorded in 4K resolution. Additionally, 4K is supported with the Panasonic GX85. However, both the GX85 nor the Fujifilm do not have phase detection autofocus (PDAF). Therefore neither is as dependable at handling focus for the user.
The Canon boasts, out of the three, some of the most impressive continuously active AF in the video that is now available, exactly as we experienced in the EOS M5. As a result, the Canon is one of the most excellent options for customers who want to create Full HD material readily digestible by their computers, and the Canon is one of the best options for keeping things in focus.
In contrast to its stellar performance in focusing, the Canon’s stabilization capabilities are only adequate. However, when capturing footage, several lenses available for the M system provide optical stabilization. In addition, when paired with the digital stabilization available when the camera is set to movie mode, it may give 5-axis stabilization.
However, the stabilization is not as good as the stabilized sensors in cameras such as the Panasonic G85 or the Olympus E-M5 II. When engaged, there is only a little crop and a loss of resolution, but the stabilization works well overall. Therefore, it is recommended that you avoid using the “Enhanced” option since, although it produces better results, doing so results in a substantial crop and a loss of resolution.
However, there may be a more suitable alternative for the same amount of money: the Rebel T7i. The camera body does not obstruct the thoroughly articulating screen’s ability to face forward, up, or down. Additionally, the camera can utilize the front-facing screen even when an external microphone is connected. Keep in mind that in addition to that, it includes an optical viewfinder. The Rebel, better suited for novice users, has a larger footprint and fewer control points than the other two models.
The M6 appears again when you want to shoot some stills after a long day of vlogging and have been using it for that purpose. However, the M6 can shoot up to seven frames per second with focusing, but the DSLR is limited to roughly 4.5 frames per second at its maximum. Nevertheless, both cameras can quickly and effortlessly traject effectively in Live View.
Unfortunately, following a burst, both cameras tend to become unresponsive for most of the time that they are writing data to their memory cards, exposing their status as beginner-level devices.
Quality of the Image
The actual world is full of various textures, colors, and details, which our test scene attempts to replicate. In addition, it features two illumination modes to witness the effect of different lighting circumstances.
The JPEGs produced by the camera are precisely what we have come to expect from Canon, which is to say that they have pleasing coloration but do not make the most of the camera’s capabilities.
At its default settings, the sharpening is rather blatant, emphasizing edges at the expense of the most minute details (which leads us to believe that it was designed with printing in mind). Although the camera provides an exceptionally high level of control over the sharpness, there is no in-camera Raw conversion option, so you cannot quickly experiment with how the sharpening might affect the image.
Noise reduction is also a bit cumbersome since it eliminates unwanted noise but at the expense of quite a lot of detail in the process. However, having at the underlying Raw file reveals that the sensor performance is comparable, which means there is potential for you to achieve superior results if you process your data on your own.
Raw Dynamic Range
Regarding the dynamic range, you can see a very slight amount of noise in the very darkest areas of the image. But, again, this indicates that you do not have as much processing latitude when shooting high-contrast situations as you would with the best of its APS-C competitors.
However, if you try to push files shot with the same exposure but different ISO settings up to the same brightness, you can observe that the camera adds so little noise that it is fully overcome by ISO 200. Again, this can be seen if you push the files to the same brightness.
Even if it’s not cutting-edge, this is still a strong performance. Therefore, we believe that the benefits of Dual Pixel AF in terms of AF are substantially more important than any modest sacrifices in terms of image quality.
The majority of Canon stills cameras record 1080 film that is typical, somewhat grainy, and not highly detailed. The EOS M6 shoots this same type of footage. This is not close to being as clear as the 4K footage that the Panasonic GX85/80 can shoot, but taking pictures of it is relatively simple because of the dependable tap-and-track Dual Pixel AF.
The 24-megapixel sensor in the EOS M6 comes equipped with Canon’s Dual Pixel focusing technology, which performs exceptionally well. Moreover, because it has the same sensor and processor as the more expensive EOS M5, this camera is an excellent analog for evaluating the performance of this focusing technology.
Autofocus with face detection for both static and moving images
Check out the demonstration, but also look at the reel that can be found on the Video portion of our website. You’ll see even more evidence of how unique Canon’s face identification can be there.
When the camera loses focus on Dan’s face, the M5’s autofocus mechanism, identical to the one found in the M6, is sophisticated enough to continue following Dan’s head, precisely where Dan’s face was when the camera had a focus on it. Moreover, it instantly understands that fact once his face is returned to View and continues without stopping. It’s incredible to think about.
Canon EOS M6 Specifications
|6000 x 4000
|3:2 (6000 x 3368, 3984 x 2656, 2976 x 1984, 2400 x 1600), 16:9 (6000 x 3368, 3984 x 2240, 2976 x 1680, 2400 x 1344), 4:3 (5328 x 4000, 3552 x 2664, 2656 x 1992, 2112 x 1600), 1:1 (4000 x 4000, 2656 x 2656, 1984 x 1984, 1600 x 1600)
|Image ratio w:h
|1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
|Sensor photo detectors
|APS-C (22.3 x 14.9 mm)
|sRGB, Adobe RGB
|Color filter array
|Primary color filter
|White balance presets
|Custom white balance
|Image stabilization notes
|5-axis for video only
|JPEG quality levels
|JPEG (Exif v2.3)Raw (Canon CR2, 14-bit)
|Optics & Focus
|Contrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View.
|Autofocus assist lamp
|Number of focus points
|Focal length multiplier
|Minimum shutter speed
|Maximum shutter speed
|ProgramShutter priorityAperture priorityManual
|5.00 m (at ISO 100)
|Flash X sync speed
|SingleContinuousSelf-timer remote control
|Yes (2 or 10 secs, custom, remote)
|±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
|±2 (3 frames at 1/3 EV steps)
|1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 35 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 24 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 24 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1280 x 720 @ 60p / 16 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
|USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
|802.11/b/g/n with Bluetooth and NFC
|Yes (Wired, wireless, or smartphone)
|LP-E17 lithium-ion battery & charger
|Battery Life (CIPA)
|Weight (inc. batteries)
|390 g (0.86 lb / 13.76 oz)
|112 x 68 x 45 mm (4.41 x 2.68 x 1.77″)
If portability is paramount, the M6 can be an effective backup or second body for an experienced Canon photographer. The settings and touchscreen interface are a delight, and much smaller EF (and -S) lenses pair up exceptionally nicely with the camera. In addition, it is the company’s most miniature camera to utilize its newest 24MP APS-C sensor with Dual Pixel AF.
A combination of camera lock-up and live view delays in continuous shooting may be a bit off-putting for photographers who focus more on the action. Still, other than that, the M6 is an easy camera to recommend.
The EOS M6 shows to be pretty good when used in this sense, joining the ranks of other Canon cameras that vloggers favor due to their reliable face tracking and attractive (though not highly detailed) output.
However, there are a few drawbacks, such as questionable ergo’vlog’ics and many other mirrorless choices that can shoot 4K videos. It is important to note, however, that none of them will be able to give the astonishingly dependable and user-friendly performance of continuous focusing that Dual Pixel AF does.
It is impossible to overlook direct rivals that typically cram in more features for comparable money or equivalent quality for less; the EOS M6 is a “premium” choice for those who genuinely want it. This is especially true if you are not invested in the Canon system.
If you don’t already have Canon lenses that you can adapt, several competitors also offer lens ranges that have been around longer and are more established. But in the end, if you decide you want the EOS M6, you will be delighted with it since it is a superb camera in many different ways. Despite this, the Canon EOS M6 does not receive our top awards because it does not have any of the more advanced capabilities, and it also has premium pricing.
Canon EOS M6 Price
Canon EOS M6 FAQs
How old is the Canon M6?
The Canon M6 was introduced to the public for the first time in February 2017, rendering the camera approximately five years old as of 2022.
Is Canon M6 worth it?
The Canon M6 is a camera that is widely considered to be of high quality, particularly among individuals who are searching for a compact and accessible mirrorless camera that offers high picture quality as well as a variety of innovative features.
Is EOS M6 full frame?
The EOS M6 is not a full-frame camera, despite popular belief. Instead, the picture sensor is of the APS-C format, significantly smaller than a full-frame sensor.
Is EOS M6 a mirrorless camera?
The Canon EOS M6 is a mirrorless camera; that much is true. Traditional DSLR cameras have a mirror component, but this one does not, so the camera can be smaller and lighter without sacrificing functionality.
Does Canon EOS M6 have a mic input?
The Canon EOS M6 has a mic interface that can accommodate additional microphones. However, utilizing another microphone during recording allows you to improve your creations’ overall sound quality vastly.