24.20
Megapixels
Canon EF-M APS-C
size sensor
image of Canon EOS M6
Front side of Canon EOS M6 digital camera Front side of Canon EOS M6 digital camera Front side of Canon EOS M6 digital camera Front side of Canon EOS M6 digital camera Front side of Canon EOS M6 digital camera
Basic Specifications
Full model name: Canon EOS M6
Resolution: 24.20 Megapixels
Sensor size: APS-C
(22.3mm x 14.9mm)
Kit Lens: 3.00x zoom
15-45mm
(24-72mm eq.)
Viewfinder: No / LCD
Native ISO: 100 - 25,600
Extended ISO: 100 - 25,600
Shutter: 1/4000 - 30 seconds
Max Aperture: 3.5 (kit lens)
Dimensions: 4.4 x 2.7 x 1.8 in.
(112 x 68 x 45 mm)
Weight: 18.3 oz (520 g)
includes batteries, kit lens
Availability: 04/2017
Manufacturer: Canon
Full specs: Canon EOS M6 specifications

Canon M6 Review -- Now Shooting!

by
Preview posted: 02/14/2017
Last updated:

Updates:
03/21/2017: First Shots posted
03/24/2017: Performance posted
04/28/2017: Field Test posted

For those looking for our detailed product overview, complete with specs and features, click here for our Canon EOS M6 Overview.

 

Canon EOS M6 Field Test

A less expensive M5 delivers same good images, performance

by Jeremy Gray | Posted 04/28/2017

Canon EOS M6 Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM at 22mm (35mm eq.), f/6.3, 1/10s, ISO 100.
This image has been modified. Click for original image.
Introduction

Canon has been reinvigorating its interchangeable lens mirrorless M series, first last fall with the EOS M5 and now with the new EOS M6, which is the successor to the EOS M3. The Canon M6 packs in many of the new features introduced in the EOS M5, including Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus and a DIGIC 7 image processor.

I have been using the Canon EOS M6 and it has impressed me in many of the same ways that the M5 did when I tested it earlier this year, including the camera's handling and image quality.

Key Features and Info

  • Compact interchangeable lens mirrorless camera
  • 24.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • 3-inch tilting touchscreen display
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF autofocus system
  • DIGIC 7 image processor
  • Over 9 frames per second continuous shooting
  • Full HD video at 60fps
  • Built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth
  • Under US$800 body-only street price
Canon EOS M6 Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Canon EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM at 23mm (37mm eq.), f/8.0, 1/160s, ISO 100.
I removed dust spots from this image. Click for original image.

Camera Body and Handling: Canon EOS M6 is compact and easy to use

The Canon M6 body is compact, but that doesn't mean it skimps on controls. The camera feels good in the hand and the small front grip does a good job of allowing you to get a decent handle on the camera. The rear grip and thumb rest are comfortable as well.

With that said, because the camera body is small, the controls can feel somewhat cramped. There are a lot of buttons in a limited space. The rear buttons, while located in convenient areas, are quite small and sometimes difficult to press. They also sit nearly flush with the surface of the camera, which can make them hard to find when busy shooting, which I imagine would be particularly difficult if you were shooting using the optional electronic viewfinder attachment, which costs just over $200.

Canon EOS M6 Review -- Product Image

The four diamond-knurled dials on the camera feel good and have nice textured finishes to provide grip. They rotate with a distinct click, which is nice for making precise settings adjustments. The front or main command dial is around the shutter release and is well-suited for making precise adjustments to shooting settings (shutter speed in the case of manual and shutter-priority modes and aperture in aperture-priority mode). The exposure compensation dial is located right above the rear command dial and it requires considerable force to rotate so I never accidentally rotated it while making adjustments using the rear command dial. It's an odd location, but it works. The mode dial can be rotated using your thumb, which is nice so you don't need to stop shooting to change shooting modes.

There is also a programmable Function button on the top of the camera to the right of the shutter release. It's a small button and it can be hard to locate because it sits flush with the top of the camera. The button is in a good spot, but I really wish it had a bump on it to make it easier to find when shooting.

Canon EOS M6 Review -- Product Image

On the rear of the camera, there is a 3-inch touchscreen LCD. The display has about 1,040,000 dots and it tilts up 180° and downward 45°. The touchscreen functionality works well and it accurately reads touches. The menus also work with touch, although not all menu options are easy to touch. The control dial around the directional pad is okay, but it rotates a bit too smoothly for making precise adjustments and feels too loose for menu navigation.

At the default brightness (3 of 5), the LCD screen is hard to see in bright outdoor conditions. The menus are dark with white text by default, which can be tricky to see when shooting outdoors. At maximum brightness, it is much easier to use. Further, the ability to tilt the display helps. Regarding using the display in low light, it's fine, but there's actually a special night display mode which darkens the display and switches the text to a dark orange color. It's not exactly a great camera for night shooting, but that aside, it's a really neat feature for the display.

Canon EOS M6 Review -- Product Image

For shooting in low light or for adding a bit of fill flash, the Canon M6 has a built-in flash on the top left which has a Guide Number at ISO 100 of only 16.4 feet (5 meters). The maximum flash sync is 1/200s. If you need more power, the M6 can take an external flash via the hot shoe.

Overall, the camera layout is good. There is not a lot of real estate on the camera itself, so it makes sense that the controls would feel slightly cramped. The camera would be easier to use if some of the buttons protruded further or had bumps on them. The LCD generally works great, although if you want to use a viewfinder, you will need to purchase an EVF separately (or get the M5). The Canon EOS M6 is a compact camera that handles well and despite its size offers a lot of physical control for enthusiast photographers.

Canon EOS M6 Shooting Features and Experience

Image sensor delivers good image quality

The Canon EOS M6 employs the same 24.2-megapixel CMOS APS-C sensor as the EOS M5. The sensor is self-cleaning and has a focal length multiplier of 1.6x (unlike non-Canon APS-C sensors which usually offer a 1.5x focal length multiplier).

Canon EOS M6 Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Canon EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM at 33mm (53mm eq.), f/8.0, 1s, ISO 100.
This image has been modified. Click for original image.

The sensor produces good quality images -- both JPEG and RAW -- with pretty low noise and pleasing colors. I found that the Canon M6 produces acceptable JPEG images straight from the camera at default settings. Dynamic range is good as well, although not the best compared to other APS-C cameras I've used. With that said, dynamic range performance from the EOS M6 is certainly better than the Canon M3 and M10 cameras I have used.

While the camera does employ fairly strong default noise reduction, even at base ISO, which can reduce fine details, the Canon M6 still produces pretty detailed images for its sensor size and megapixel count.

With that said, noise levels can get fairly high at higher ISOs. With a native ISO range of 100 to 25,600, the EOS M6 is a versatile camera, but high-ISO performance is not a particular strength of this camera, though it performs well for an APS-C camera.

Canon M6 ISO Comparison
100% center crops from RAW images processed in Adobe Camera Raw with default settings.
(Click for access to the .CR2 RAW files.)
Canon EOS M6 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image
ISO 100 Full Scene
Canon EOS M6 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image Canon EOS M6 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image
ISO 100
ISO 200
Canon EOS M6 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image Canon EOS M6 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image
ISO 400
ISO 800
Canon EOS M6 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image Canon EOS M6 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image
ISO 1600
ISO 3200
Canon EOS M6 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image Canon EOS M6 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image
ISO 6400
ISO 12800
Canon EOS M6 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image
ISO 25600

In the RAW crops above, we can see that the Canon M6 produces decently clean images at lower ISOs, but at ISO 800 there is noise creeping in. At ISO 1600, there is quite a bit of visible noise, but the grain is fine and it is easily reduced during post-processing. At ISO 3200, the noise increases quite a bit and would be difficult to remove without reducing sharpness drastically. I would personally not shoot past ISO 3200 unless I were going to be making very small (4 x 6) prints or sharing an image on social media.

Canon M6 ISO Comparison
100% center crops from JPEG Fine images with default settings.
(Click for full-size images.)
Canon EOS M6 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image
ISO 100 Full Scene
Canon EOS M6 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image Canon EOS M6 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image
ISO 100
ISO 200
Canon EOS M6 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image Canon EOS M6 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image
ISO 400
ISO 800
Canon EOS M6 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image Canon EOS M6 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image
ISO 1600
ISO 3200
Canon EOS M6 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image Canon EOS M6 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image
ISO 6400
ISO 12800
Canon EOS M6 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image
ISO 25600

Straight from the camera, the Canon M6 produces detailed images at low ISOs, but it also performs some noise reduction. At ISO 400, the noise reduction creates a few issues with edges, introducing artifacts in some situations. With that said, JPEG images retain a lot of detail through ISO 1600. At ISO 3200, fine details are washed out by the default noise reduction, but images through ISO 6400 look decent enough for small to medium-sized prints. Beyond ISO 6400, images become very soft and I wouldn't recommend using them.

Overall

The Canon EOS M6 produces good overall image quality overall given its megapixel count and sensor size. In-camera sharpening isn't great and noise reduction can be a bit heavy-handed, but the camera is capable of producing quality images across a fairly wide range of ISO speeds. Unsurprisingly, the EOS M6 is comparable to the EOS M5, which means that it is a step-up over previous EOS M-series cameras and is quite impressive overall.

Autofocus: Dual Pixel CMOS AF works well

Like the M5, the Canon EOS M6 includes the company's excellent Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus system. You can read about this system in detail here, but suffice it to say, the Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology is impressive and it works well in the EOS M6; autofocus performance is fast and accurate.

Canon EOS M6 Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM at 127mm (203mm eq.), f/6.3, 1/1000s, ISO 100.
This image has been modified. Click for original image.

With its on-sensor phase detect autofocus system, the Canon M6 offers a variety of autofocus modes including: Face+Tracking AF, Smooth Zone AF and 1-point AF area modes. The 1-point AF mode works particularly well with the M6's touchscreen. When using zone and 1-point autofocus area modes, you can select from 49 autofocus points.

Autofocus works quite well in low light, proving to be fairly quick and accurate in dim conditions. The kicker here is that EF-M lenses are by and large not particularly fast lenses, thereby limiting the usefulness of the M6's autofocus system in darker shooting conditions.

Face tracking with the M6 works quite well but it can't keep up with fast-moving faces. The continuous autofocus on the M6 can't keep up with fast-moving subjects in general, but it does a good job identifying stationary people or someone moving slowly.

Canon EOS M6 Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM at 200mm (320mm eq.), f/6.3, 1/200s, ISO 100.
This image has been cropped. Click for original image.

In our lab, the Canon EOS M6 performed similarly to the EOS M5, which is expected given their use of the same autofocus system. Performance was generally quick, especially for a mirrorless camera.

Overall, the Canon EOS M6 offers a sophisticated autofocus system which performs well, offering users fast and accurate autofocus.

Metering and Exposure: Consistent and reliable

The Canon EOS M6's exposure and white balance metering worked quite well in my experience, requiring exposure compensation in limited situations. When exposure compensation is needed, it is available up to +/-3 EV and can be easily adjusted using a dedicated dial on the top of the camera in 1/3 EV steps. The Canon M6 offers evaluative metering (384 zones), center-weighted, partial (10% of the image area) and spot (central 2% of the image area) metering modes. However, spot metering is not tied to the active autofocus point.

Canon EOS M6 Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM at 11mm (18mm eq.), f/6.3, 1.3s, ISO 100.
Click for original image.

White balance metering worked well and auto white balance was sufficient in most situations, with images requiring either no or very little white balance adjustments during post-processing. If you shoot only JPEG, auto white balance should prove very capable in typical shooting conditions.

Performance: Very good overall

The Canon EOS M6 offers very good performance overall for its class. The M6 utilizes Canon's DIGIC 7 image processor, which results in much better performance than its predecessor, the M3.

Single-shot cycle times were twice as fast with the M6 than they were with the M3 in the lab, coming in at just over half a second on the new mirrorless camera. On the other hand, shutter lag time was about the same on the M3, but that's no problem as the full autofocus single-shot shutter lag of 0.126 second was already quite good.

Looking at high-speed continuous shooting performance, the Canon M6 captured 27 best quality JPEG frames at over 9 frames per second in the lab. (It is worth pointing out that high-speed continuous shooting on the M6 is capped at 7 fps when you want to use continuous AF and AE.) The buffer depth isn't large at this burst speed, but it can be cleared in around three seconds with a fast UHS-I card, which is impressive. When shooting RAW images, performance was a bit faster at 9.3 fps (versus 9.2 fps), but buffer depth was 17 frames and it cleared in 8 seconds. RAW + JPEG shooting performance was fast as well, 9.4 fps, and the M6 could capture 16 frames and clear the buffer in 11 seconds. While buffer depths when shooting RAW files at top speed aren't generous, they are however much improved over the M3, which could only manage 4 RAW or RAW + JPEG frames despite its much slower top speed of 4 fps. The Canon M6 also has a low-speed 4 fps continuous mode with much deeper buffers. Canon claims up to 1000 JPEGs or 30 RAW files in that mode.

Canon EOS M6 Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM at 22mm (35mm eq.), f/8.0, 1/60s, ISO 125.
Click for full-size image.

CIPA battery life is a little below average for a mirrorless camera, but improved over the M3. The Canon M6 can capture just under 300 shots when using the LCD monitor or the optional EVF. The M3's battery life rating was 250 shots with the same battery.

During real-world shooting, the Canon M6 feels pretty snappy. It is slow to process HDR images in-camera, but navigating menus and doing normal shooting feels plenty fast. Overall, the EOS M6 has very good performance and is improved over its predecessor in many respects, particularly with startup time, cycle times and buffer depth.

Shooting modes: Standard shooting modes plus a little extra

There is something for everyone with the Canon M6's shooting modes. The camera offers the typical four shooting modes (program, aperture-priority, shutter-priority and manual) but also offers an impressive Scene Intelligent Auto shooting mode.

If you want to add a creative twist to your shots, there is a lot to choose from with the M6. There is a Creative Assist mode which utilizes the touchscreen and is quite neat, allowing you to quickly adjust a variety of picture settings such as background blur, brightness, contrast, saturation and color tint. The M6 also offers in-camera HDR shooting with five different styles: natural, art standard, art vivid, art bold and art embossed, as well as a number of Creative Filter effects.

Canon EOS M6 Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Canon EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM at 22mm (35mm eq.), f/8.0, 1/60s, ISO 1250,
HDR Art Vivid mode. Click for full-size image and see the Gallery for more HDR and Creative Filter shots.

When shooting specific scenes, the Canon M6's scene modes work well. You can use self-portrait, portrait, landscape, close-up, sports, food, panning, handheld night scene and HDR backlight control. These scene modes adjust camera settings to make capturing certain shots easier, so you can do all the same adjustments on your own, but they're nice for users who aren't as familiar with semi-manual shooting modes.

The Canon M6 controls well in manual shooting modes, so advanced photographers will feel like they are offered ample control over their photography when using the camera, but it doesn't overwhelm novices either, offering an effective full auto shooting mode and a variety of easy-to-use creative shooting modes.

Wireless features

The Canon EOS M6 has built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth. You can connect the camera to compatible wireless printers or your smart device through the Canon Camera Connect app. On iOS, the camera connection process is a bit tedious, as is typical, and requires selecting the camera through the device's wireless settings and entering the password that appears on the camera.

Canon EOS M6 Review: Field Test -- Wireless Application
Screenshots from Canon Camera Connect application on iOS.

After connecting, you can view and transfer images and remotely capture images. The remote control function using Wi-Fi works okay, although during my testing, the live feed on my phone frequently froze for a second or two before catching back up. You can adjust some settings through the app, such as drive and autofocus modes, and you can also control autofocus using the smartphone's screen. However, any settings you adjust on the camera itself, such as exposure compensation or shooting mode, don't register in the application until you disconnect and reestablish the connection.

When using Bluetooth, you can remotely use the camera, but it's a simplified remote controller offering only shutter release functionality (for stills or video) that offers no live view. For what it's worth, when I wanted to reconnect via Bluetooth, I had to delete the remembered device in my iOS Bluetooth settings or else the camera would tell me to use the app and the app would say to use the camera and they would never connect again. You can log location information using Bluetooth but it must be sent over Wi-Fi. And when you try to send images when connected via Bluetooth, the app tells you to switch to Wi-Fi.

Overall, the app is fine and would be nice for certain things, such as quickly moving images from your camera to your phone or capturing a family portrait, but it is not full-featured.

Video: Good video quality and features for Full HD recording

With its Dual Pixel CMOS AF, the Canon M6 is well-equipped for recording good video in a variety of situations. With that said, its resolution tops out at 1920 x 1080 (Full HD), which is unfortunate for shooters looking for 4K recording. The Canon M6 can record video at up to 60 progressive frames per second (60p), but does not offer any high-speed or slow-motion recording options.

Canon EOS M6 Video Sample 1920 x 1080, 60p, Auto settings (ISO 100)
Download Original (73MB .MP4 File)

If you're looking for solid Full HD video recording though, the Canon M6 delivers. Its fully automatic video recording mode works well both in terms of exposure and focus performance. But if you're looking for more control, you can record with full manual control over shutter speed, aperture and ISO sensitivity as well.

Canon EOS M6 Video Sample 1920 x 1080, 60p, 15-45mm lens at 45mm,
Autofocus Testing (Servo AF, touchscreen used)
Download Original (151MB .MP4 File)

Video quality from ISO 100 to 400 is sharp and detailed, offering a very clean file. At ISO 800, the sharpness decreases a bit as the camera works to reduce visible noise, but it still looks good. ISO 1600 and 3200 remain usable, in my opinion, but ISO 6400 video is a bit too soft.

Canon EOS M6 Video Sample 1920 x 1080, 60p, Manual, ISO 6400
Download Original (24MB .MP4 File)

The Canon M6 records video in MP4 format and has built-in stereo audio recording. The camera also includes a microphone jack (although no headphone jack) which is good for videographers looking to use an external mic. There is Full HD video out at up to 60p via the HDMI port as well, though it's not "clean" output meant for external recording (it outputs the shooting screen without sound in record mode).

Canon EOS M6 Video Sample 1920 x 1080, 60p, Auto settings, Lens IS on, Digital IS on, stabilization test with 15-45mm lens at 18mm
Download Original (71MB .MP4 File)

In NTSC mode, the Canon M6 can record 1920 x 1080 at 60p, 30p and 24p, as well as 1280 x 720 at 60p and 640 x 480 at 30p. When set to PAL mode, framerates are 50p or 25p. In all modes, clips are limited to 29 minutes and 59 seconds each.

Overall, the Canon EOS M6 produces good Full HD video. The camera offers a variety of nice controls and features, such as touch to focus and full manual video recording. It would be nice to have zebra stripe exposure warnings and 4K UHD video recording, but for a lot of general-purpose video recording, the M6 delivers, especially considering its price point and ease-of-use.

Canon EOS M6 Field Test Part Summary
Canon EOS M6 is a good, compact mirrorless ILC
Canon EOS M6 Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM at 12mm (19mm eq.), f/8.0, 1.6s, ISO 100.
This image has been modified. Click for original image.

What I like:

  • Compact camera body with multiple dials
  • Tilting touchscreen display
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF works well
  • Approachable menus and shooting modes
  • Fast continuous shooting performance

What I dislike:

  • In-camera noise reduction and sharpening does a poor job, especially at higher ISOs
  • Shallow buffers when shooting at 9 fps
  • No 4K video

The Canon EOS M6 is a great follow-up to the Canon EOS M3 and a capable alternative to the slightly more expensive Canon EOS M5, offering the same image quality and performance in a smaller, lighter body. For those who want a viewfinder, the M6 supports an optional EVF but if you prefer a permanent EVF, Canon gives consumers the choice to opt for the M5 and its built-in electronic viewfinder. The M6 body is otherwise full-featured and it handles well for beginners and enthusiasts alike, and its image quality and performance are impressive for its class.

Overall, the EOS M6 is a nice addition to the EOS M lineup and a signal that Canon is continuing to improve its mirrorless offerings at various price points and bring their cameras more in line with enthusiast mirrorless ILC cameras produced by competing manufacturers. The Canon M6 is an affordable, capable camera that provides good performance across the board.

Canon EOS M6 Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM at 13mm (21mm eq.), f/8.0, 2s, ISO 100.
This image has been modified. Click for original image.

 

Canon M6 Review -- Overview

by

Canon M6 Review -- Product Image

Following up on their enthusiast-oriented mirrorless camera, the EOS M5, Canon has introduced a similar and slightly more affordable mirrorless camera, the Canon EOS M6, which is actually the successor to the M3. In many ways, the M6 and M5 cameras are the most alike, especially on the inside, but they do differ in several ways. Let’s take a look at what the Canon M6 has to offer.

Smaller than the M5 but no built-in electronic viewfinder

One of the biggest differences between the M5 and the new M6 is that the latter does not have a built-in electronic viewfinder. The M5 was the first Canon mirrorless camera to offer a built-in EVF, but the M6 returns to the series' roots and opts to go without one. Although, like some prior M cameras, you can attach an optional electronic viewfinder accessory to the camera's hot shoe. The M6 is compatible with the Canon EVF-DC1 viewfinder attachment and Canon has also introduced a new EVF-DC2 (pricing not yet available) which has the same number of dots (2.36 million) as its predecessor.

Canon M6 Review -- Product Image

There are a handful of other differences between the M6 camera body and the M5. The Canon M6 employs a 3-inch LCD display rather than the 3.2-inch LCD found on the M5, although they are both tilting touchscreen displays. The tilting display on the M6 can tilt 180° up and 45° down. The EOS M6 display has a lower resolution as well, offering 1,040,000 dots versus the 1,620,000 dots found on the M5's slightly larger display. Further, when looking at the top of the camera, the M5 has a dedicated mode dial on the left whereas the M6 moves it to the right side of the camera next to the exposure compensation dial. The Canon M6 still has a dedicated dial like the M5 does, although on the M6 it is located underneath the exposure compensation dial. On the back of the camera, the button layout is identical for the two cameras.

Besides these few differences, the cameras look very similar; both cameras share an SLR-like style and enthusiast-oriented control layout. When it comes to dimensions, the M6 is 4.4 x 2.7 x 1.8 inches (112.0 x 68.0 x 44.5 millimeters) and it weighs 13.8 ounces (390 grams) with a battery and memory card. The M6 then is smaller than the M5 in each dimension, especially regarding height thanks to the lack of built-in EVF.

Canon M6 Review -- Product Image

Canon M6 shooting features

Image pipeline: 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor and DIGIC 7 processor

The Canon M6 pairs a 24.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor –which has a 1.6x focal length multiplier (like all APS-C sensors found in Canon cameras) –with a DIGIC 7 processor, both of which is shares with the M5. The Canon EOS M6 offers a native ISO range of 100-25,600 and includes an Auto ISO feature (the ISO range in Auto ISO is 100-6400).

Dual Pixel CMOS AF

On the autofocus side of things, the M6 employs Canon's hybrid Dual Pixel CMOS AF system, which we have been pleased with when we have tested other cameras using it such as the Canon 80D and the Canon M5. The autofocus system offers 49 user-controllable autofocus points and numerous autofocus area modes, such as Face + Tracking AF, Smooth Zone AF and 1-point AF. The autofocus system is rated to operate from -1 to 18 EV.

Canon M6 Review -- Product Image
Metering

Metering is performed by a 384-zone evaluative metering system and the M6 has evaluative, partial, spot and center-weighted evaluative metering modes. The metering range is 1-20 EV. The camera offers +/- 3 EV of exposure compensation via the dedicated dial on the top of the camera.

Shooting modes

Shooting modes include the standard program auto, aperture priority, shutter speed priority and full manual modes in addition to more creative modes that include Creative Filter modes and Scene modes, both of which have dedicated positions on the mode dial. The Scene modes include: Close-up, Sports, Food, Panning, Handheld Night Scene, HDR Backlight, Self Portrait, Portrait and Landscape. The available Creative Filters are: Grainy Black and White, Soft Focus, Fish Eye, Art Bold, Water Painting, Toy Camera, Miniature effect and HDR High Dynamic Range The Canon M6 also has a dedicated movie mode and an automatic shooting mode. For users who enjoy custom shooting modes, the M6 has a pair of those as well. Speaking of customized functions, the camera has five functional dials on its body.

Canon M6 Review -- Product Image
DIGIC 7-equipped M6 promises speedy performance

The shutter speed ranges from 30 seconds to 1/4000s. When shooting at slower speeds, the camera helps you capture sharp images with its combination image stabilization system, which combines the built-in five-axis image stabilization and in-lens image stabilization when a compatible EF-M lens is attached. As a note, the M6 is fully compatible with the Canon EF-M lens adapter kit for Canon EF/EF-S lenses, which is available for just under US$200.

Thanks to its DIGIC 7 processor, the Canon M6 is rated to be a speedy camera. According to Canon’s specifications -- which we will have to verify in our lab -- the mirrorless camera offers continuous shooting speeds up to 9 frames per second with autofocus locked at the first frame. At these speeds, the camera can record 26 JPEG frames or 17 RAW frames. If you want servo autofocus, the speeds drop down to 7 fps, but the slower speed means a larger buffer. The Canon M6 is rated for 31 JPEG frames at 7 fps, although RAW buffer depth information is not available. It is worth noting that at a slower 4 fps speed, the Canon EOS M6 has a RAW buffer depth of 30 images. Unsurprisingly, considering the M6 uses the same image sensor and processor pairing as the M5, its continuous shooting speeds appear to be identical.

Canon M6 Review -- Product Image
Flash

For low light shooting or for adding fill-flash, the M6 has a built-in pop-up flash. The flash has a guide number of 5 (ISO 100/m) and the camera has a max flash sync of 1/200s. If you want to utilize a Speedlite, the M6 also has a hot shoe.

Full HD video, but no 4K capability

Video features are similar between the M6 and other recent non-professional Canon cameras. The Canon M6 does not offer 4K UHD video recording but instead tops out at 1920 x 1080 resolution. The camera can record Full HD video at up to 60 frames per second and a maximum bitrate of 35 Mbps. The M6 has a maximum recordable clip length of 29 minutes and 59 seconds. Clips are recorded in MP4 files with H.264 codec and audio is stereo MPEG-4 AAC-LC. The camera does not have a headphone jack, but it does have an external mic jack.

Canon M6 Review -- Product Image
Connectivity and battery life

With built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC, the Canon M6 has extensive wireless capabilities. It can communicate with the Canon Camera Connect application on compatible smart devices, offering image transferring and remote control capabilities. Like the M5, the Canon M6 can also send images to another Wi-Fi compatible Canon camera and connect to your smartphone via an always-on Bluetooth connection. Additionally, the M6 is compatible with Canon’s CS100 Connect Station. The CS100 is a photo and video hub for storing, managing and sharing media. The CS100 has a new firmware update which makes it compatible with the M6.

Power is provided by a rechargeable LP-E17 lithium-ion battery and the camera comes with a dedicated battery charger. When using the built-in monitor, the camera offers up to 295 shots of CIPA-rated battery life. If you are using an optional electronic viewfinder, the battery life dips slightly to 290 shots. The Canon M6 also has an Eco mode, which provides up to 425 shots when using the monitor. Further, the Canon EOS M6 records images and videos to a single card slot that is compatible with SD/SDHC/SDXC cards as well as UHS-I types.

Canon M6 Review -- Product Image

Canon M6 versus Canon M5

As we have seen, the new Canon M6 is very similar to the M5 which was released last fall. There are some key differences between the two cameras, however.

On the pro-M6 side of things, the M6 is smaller and lighter than the M5. Further, the M6 costs less than the M5 by US$200 with current prices, although the difference in list prices is a little over US$300.

For the extra money, the Canon M5 offers a built-in electronic viewfinder and larger rear display.

Both cameras utilize the same 24.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, DIGIC 7 image processor and share many of the same enthusiast-oriented physical controls. If you want to gain a good sense of the how the M6 will perform when it releases, head over to our Canon M5 Review.

Canon M6 Review -- Product Image

Canon M6 versus Canon M3

Although similar in many ways to the recent Canon EOS M5, the M6 is the successor to the Canon EOS M3. There are numerous differences between the M6 and its predecessor. Under the hood, the primary differences are that the M3 uses Canon's Hybrid CMOS AF III system and a DIGIC 6 processor, while the M6 utilizes Canon's Dual Pixel CMOS AF autofocus system and a DIGIC 7 processor. The latter improvement leads to much better stated performance for the M6, including over twice the speed of image capture and a much larger RAW buffer size.

It is worth noting that despite both utilizing a 24.2-megapixel sensor, the M6 has a wider native ISO range (100-25,600 versus 100-12,800). Further, we believe that the 24.2-megapixel sensor in the M6 is the same one utilized in the Canon 80D and Canon M5, which means that it should offer a wider dynamic range than the M3 does, although we will have to wait for official information from DxO to confirm this suspicion. Further, the Canon M6 offers Full HD video recording at 60 frames per second, whereas the M3's 1920 x 1080 resolution video topped out at 30fps.

Canon M6 Review -- Product Image

Pricing and availability

The Canon M6 began shipping in April. The camera is available body only for US$780 or in two kits. The first kit comes with an EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens and will retail for just under US$900. A second kit comes with an EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens and this kit costs about US$1,280. The M6 is available in two colorways: black and silver.

 

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