Canon EOS M6 Performance

Timing and Performance

Very good overall performance for its class.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

~1.2 seconds

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Play to Record,
first shot

~1.2 seconds

Time until first shot is captured.

Powering on and taking a shot was a little faster than average for a mirrorless camera, taking about 1.2 seconds. But that's about twice as fast as its predecessor, the M3. Switching from Play to Record and taking a shot also took about 1.2 seconds, which is again faster than the M3's 1.6 seconds.

Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus
Single-point (center) AF

0.126 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture.

Full Autofocus
Single-point AF
TTL flash enabled

0.411 second

Time to capture while forcing flash to fire. Preflash metering pulses from flash often slow shutter response.

Manual Focus

0.122 second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".


0.061 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

In terms of the Canon M6's ability to determine that it's properly focused when shooting the same target multiple times using the EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens, its full autofocus shutter response was quite fast a mirrorless camera. We measured only 0.126 second for full AF shutter lag using single point (center) AF. That's the same as the M3 but faster than many mirrorless cameras. Enabling the built-in flash added considerable delay for the pre-flash metering, though, resulting in a capture lag of about 0.41 second.

Shutter lag with manual focus was 0.122 second. "Prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure resulted in a lag time of 0.061 second, about average for a mirrorless camera.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.

Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large/Fine JPEG

0.52 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames.

Single Shot mode

0.53 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames.

Early shutter


Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous High
Large/Fine JPEG

0.11 second
(9.19 fps);
27 frames total;
3 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 27 shot buffer capacity, then slowed to an average of 0.18s or 5.43 fps when buffer was full.

Continuous High

0.11 second
(9.30 fps);
17 frames total;
8 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 17 shot buffer capacity, then slowed to an average of 0.50s or 1.99 fps when buffer was full.

Continuous High
RAW + Large/Fine

0.11 second
(9.38 fps);
16 frames total;
11 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 16 shot buffer capacity, then slowed to an average of 0.68s or 1.46 fps when buffer was full.

Flash recycling

2.7 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s UHS-I SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Single-shot cycle times were quite good, taking just over 0.5 second for best quality JPEGs and RAW+ L/F JPEG files. That's more than twice as fast as the M3. (Note that we no longer test single-shot mode with just RAW files, as the results are usually somewhere in between JPEG and RAW+JPEG modes.)

Full-resolution continuous high mode speeds were very good at between 9.2 and 9.4 frames per second depending on the file type, easily meeting Canon's 9 fps spec, though keep in mind that's with AF and AE locked at the first frame. As expected, this is very similar to the M5's performance but a massive improvement over the M3's ~4 fps result. Canon says up to 7 fps is possible using the M6's continuous AF mode and there is also a 4.0 fps "low-speed" option, however we didn't test those modes in the lab.

Buffer depth for best quality JPEGs was decent at 27 frames, though our test target was designed to be difficult to compress, so you might do better with typical real-world scenes. Also note that the buffer-full rate was pretty good at almost 5.4 frames per second. When shooting RAW files, buffer depth dropped to 17 frames, and 16 frames for RAW+JPEG. Buffer-full rates were about 2.0 and 1.5 fps respectively. Again, very similar to the M5 but RAW buffer depths are much improved over the M3's very shallow buffer of only 4 RAW frames.

Buffer clearing times were good considering the resolution and buffer depths, ranging from 3 seconds after 27 best quality JPEGs, to 11 seconds after a max-length burst of RAW+L/F JPEG frames. You cannot view just-shot images while the buffer is clearing, but you can change some settings.

The Canon M6's built-in flash took an average of 2.7 seconds to recharge after a full-power discharge, which is good.

Bottom line, the Canon M6 generally offers very good performance for its class that's similar to the recent M5, however performance is much improved over its predecessor, the M3, in most respects.


Battery Life
Below average battery life for mirrorless ILC.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Still Capture
LCD Monitor (CIPA Standard)
Still Capture
Optional EVF (CIPA Standard)

The Canon M6 uses a custom LP-E17 rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and ships with a dedicated battery charger. Battery life is improved over the M3 but is still below average for a mirrorless camera and much lower than typical DSLRs. We recommend you pick up a spare battery and keep it freshly charged and on-hand.

The table above shows the number of shots the Canon M6 is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))


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