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Canon EOS M6 Mark II Review

Canon's 32mp APS-C mirrorless camera shares the same sensor as the Canon EOS 90D, but in a smaller, more compact package. Does it have the lenses to match the sensor, or is it let down by a range of zoom lenses?

| Canon EOS M6 Mark II in Mirrorless Cameras

Canon EOS M6 Mark II Review: Canon EOS M6 MarkII

The Canon EOS M6 II features a 32.5mp APS-C CMOS sensor, the highest resolution APS-C sensor available in any camera, and the same sensor as found in the Canon EOS 90D DSLR. The sensor and camera give high resolution, high-speed continuous shooting at 14fps, as well as uncropped 4K video recording, as well as FullHD video recording at 120fps. 


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Canon EOS M6 Mark II Features

Canon EOS M6 Mark II Review: Canon EOS M6 MarkII 19

The Canon EOS M6 Mark II is Canon's mid-range APS-C mirrorless camera, with a 32.5mp sensor, it offers the latest in sensor and processing technology, with high-speed continuous shooting, and uncropped 4K video recording, that is likely to get videographers and vloggers very excited.

The camera uses the Canon EF-M lens mount, which means it does not work with Canon RF lenses. You can, however, use EF and EF-S lenses with the EF-EOS M adapter. The Canon EOS M6 II updates the M6, which is now 2 years old.

The M6 II has the following new features when compared to the M6:

  • 32.5mp APS-C CMOS sensor
  • 4K video recording
  • FullHD video at 120fps
  • ISO100 to ISO51200
  • Eye-detection AF, -5EV focus sensitivity
  • 143/99 AF points (vs 49)
  • 14fps continuous shooting (vs 9)
  • Up to 30fps continuous shooting (BurstRAW) at 18mp
  • Electronic shutter, up to 1/16,000s
  • Focus bracketing (with certain lenses)
  • Slightly improved battery life
  • USB Type-C
  • NFC has been removed
  • DIGIC 8 image processor
  • New AF/MF switch

The 32.5mp APS-C CMOS sensor features Hybrid AF, with phase-detection Af on the sensor. There are now 143 AF points, and the camera supports both face and eye-detection auto-focus, however, if you want to use this, make sure it is switched on in the camera menus, as it's switched off on default settings. The Dual Pixel CMOS AF (aka Phase detection focus), covers 100% vertical and 88% horizontal of the frame. 

The kit lens provided with the camera is a 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens with optical Image Stabilisation (IS), which is equivalent to 24mm to 72mm in 35mm equivalent terms (due to the 1.6x APS-C sensor crop). It's a collapsible design so that when you're not using the lens, it remains compact. You'll need to extend it before you can shoot with it. It uses a plastic lens mount, however, this shouldn't cause too many concerns as long as you're careful with your equipment. The lens weighs just 130g, which makes it a compact and lightweight companion to the M6 II. 

Canon EOS M6 Mark II Review: Canon EOS M6 MarkII 20

The M6 II camera has P, Av, S(Tv), M shooting modes, giving you full manual controls, plus "Hybrid Auto", Fv, numerous scene modes, followed by digital filters and effects, as well as HDR shooting modes, and two customisable shooting modes. You can also select the picture style, with these being customisable, and up to 3 user-defined picture styles can be set up.

The camera can shoot at 14fps with AF tracking using the mechanical shutter, or up to 30fps using the Burst RAW mode, which shoots raw images. However, the camera will quite quickly run out of steam, shooting only 54 frames in JPEG, 23 frames in RAW or 36 in CRAW.

There is no built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF), but Canon will happily sell you the camera as a kit with the EVF-DC2 (Electronic Viewfinder), which features a good resolution of 2.36million dots, and 100% coverage.

There's a built-in pop-up flash that can be used as a fill-flash. On the side are a microphone and remote release socket.

Canon EOS M6 Mark II Review: Canon EOS M6 MarkII 5

Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are built-in letting you connect the camera to your smartphone or tablet, and the Canon Camera Connect app is available for Android and iOS devices. 

4K video recording has been added, with 25 and 24fps available. There's FullHD video recording, which crops in slightly into the frame. The 4K video mode crops noticeably into the frame and is something to be aware of if you need to shoot wide-angle video. High-speed video recording is available, at a reduced resolution on 720p, but with a frame rate of 120/100fps available (NTSC/PAL). 

Canon EOS M6 Mark II Review: Canon EOS M6 MarkII 18

Key Features

  • 32.5mp APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Canon EF-M lens mount
  • DIGIC 8 image processor
  • 3inch tilting touch-screen, 1040K dots
  • Eye-detection AF, and Face-detection AF
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF, 143 AF points (PDAF)
  • 14fps continuous shooting with AF-tracking / 30fps Raw burst (18mp)
  • ISO100 to ISO51200 (Hi)
  • Built-in pop-up flash (4.6GN), with 4 sec recycle time
  • 4K 30/25p video - 24fps to come with a future firmware update
  • FullHD 120/100p
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • HDR and Digital Effects available

Canon EOS M6 Mark II Handling

Canon EOS M6 Mark II Review: Canon EOS M6 MarkII 10

The Canon EOS M6 II is a compact mirrorless camera, but with good handling and ergonomics, with a large rubberised handgrip considering the size of the camera. This makes it comfortable to use, with a nice layout, with the thumb grip at the back providing a good anchor point. The rubber coating extends all the way around the camera, covering all sides of the camera, including behind the tilting touch-screen!

The camera body feels well built, with metal and plastic construction, along with solid hinges for the screen, which can be tilted forwards for selfies, and vlogging. If you do use the optional electronic viewfinder, then this will limit the screen's flexibility.  

Looking at the top of the Canon EOS M6 II, the top right dial has changed from an exposure compensation dial to a customisable dial with a button in the middle.

On the back of the camera, a new button and switch have been added - which is rare! Normally newer versions of cameras have fewer buttons, and more on-screen controls but not this time, as there's a new MF/AF switch with a middle button. There's an M-Fn button on the front, near the shutter release button, that gives you quick access to different settings, which can be adjusted using the control dial. 

The camera features a traditional mode dial. As well as full manual controls (P, Av, Tv, and M), there are two custom modes, multiple scene modes and creative effects, as well as the new Fv shooting mode - this is Canon's new flexible exposure shooting mode, which we explain in more detail here. 


Canon EOS M6 Mark II Review: Canon EOS M200 M6 MarkII
The Canon EOS M6 Mark II next to the little brother, the Canon EOS M200.


The camera has multiple focus points (up to 143/99 depending on the lens), as well as multiple focus options, including face and eye detection focus, as well as tracking. On default settings eye-detection focus is switched off, so you'll need to enable this for improved portrait photos. Focus performance is excellent, and the camera can also focus down to -5EV with a bright f/1.4 lens. If you do use focus bracketing, you'll need to stitch the photos together, later, on your computer using Canon's Digital Photo Professional software, as the camera doesn't do this in-camera. 

The 3inch touch-screen has a resolution of 1040K dots, and with a gapless design, and has very good viewing angles. The screen is bright, clear, and the controls are neatly positioned, with on-screen buttons easy to use. The screen is visible outdoors in the sun, and being able to tilt the screen means you can angle it when needed if anything is reflecting on the screen. 

The optional EVF connects to the small pins in the hot-shoe, and gives a good view, with a good resolution of 2.36million dots, and 100% coverage. It feels very well made and features dioptre adjustment. We found it comfortable to use, and useful when we wanted a more direct shooting experience, for example when shooting portraits.

Canon EOS M6 Mark II Review: Canon EOS M6 MarkII 8

The menus are clearly designed. The shooting modes are also clearly designed and described, with sample photos showing you what kind of photos you should be taking when using each mode. You can use the controls on the camera to go through the menus and options, or you can use the touch-screen. 

The Q Set button gives quick access to numerous settings, on-screen, and as you can see above, the camera has built-in help that explains the settings, making it easier to use. 

Setting up a connection to your smartphone from the camera is quite easy, with the Canon Camera Connect app (which you need to install on your smartphone) guiding you through the process. As long as you follow the instructions step-by-step then you'll be connected quite quickly, and then you can transfer images, remotely shoot, and add geotag information to photos. After you've set up the connection the first time, it's easy to reconnect.

Canon EOS M6 Mark II Review: Canon EOS M6 MarkII 15

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 305 shots according to CIPA test results, which is average for a mirrorless camera, therefore we would recommend a spare battery if you plan on shooting more. If you use the Eco Mode, Canon says you should be able to get around 410 shots. There's a USB Type-C socket on the side, and this can be used to charge the battery in the camera (but not power it), or you can use the provided (external) battery charger. 

There is little warning that the battery is likely to go flat soon, and while you're using the camera, the red battery warning light will suddenly appear, flashing to warn you that the battery is due to die soon. Once this comes up, the battery doesn't last much longer. 

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16 Nov 2019 3:59PM
Just got the Sigma 56mm F1.4 for my M3. Seems like a well priced alternative to the Canon lenses, along with the other two new Sigma lenses, the 16mm and 30mm, both F1.4. They even include the lens hoods, Mr Canon !

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