Canon EOS M6 Review
Canon announced the EOS M6 back in February 2017 and it’s now available in the Philippines this month. It’s actually a quick follow-up to the Canon EOS M5 that was announced in September 2016 and released in the Philippines around December 2016.
The M6 was released in the Philippines this month and it turned out to be more affordable. Technically, the M6 is more like a direct upgrade to the M3 and sits below from the M5.
Body and Design
Those who are familiar with the M5 will see the EOS M6 as a more compact and affordable version. It’s basically the same ergonomics as the M5, light and easy to hold with the rubber grip providing good and comfortable handling.
The M6 is also lighter at just 390 grams (vs. 427 grams). What’s missing here is the electronic viewfinder (EVF) which was present in the M5 but is now an optional accessory on the M6.
All the control knobs are found at the top right corner where they’re usually placed and easily accessible to quick setting changes. Additional controls are found at the back beside the LCD display. Not a lot has changed here so it’s a pretty familiar layout.
The LCD screen can be tilted downward up to 45-degrees and flip to the top at 180-degrees. This makes it good for vloggers so they can see the frame and focus while recording a video. This is a departure from the screen of the M5 that flips 180-degrees downwards.
The change in the orientation of the flip screen allows the user to place the camera on a tripod while flipping the screen up. Canon was able to do this because they removed the EVF up top (you can still get one as a separate accessory).
The 3-inch screen is touch-enabled so it’s easier to set the focus while framing your shot. The 180-degree tilt of the LCD also makes it easier for taking selfies or when video blogging.
On the right side of the device are the HDMI port, a remote release, and a dedicated WiFi button. On the left side the mic port, microUSB port, and flash toggle. The battery compartment is at the bottom along with the SD card slot.
The kit lens that came with the M6 is a 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 which is on the wider end of the spectrum (with a 24-72mm equivalent). Overall, the design of the M6 is spot on with very good build quality and ergonomics.
Features and UI
The M6 has a 24.2-megapixel CMOS sensor, exactly the same one as in the M5. While the M6 has a more compact body, it also shed off one major feature — the EVF which was originally present in the M5. Those who are accustomed to EVF or the viewfinder in dSLRs will find this missing feature a critical one but Canon made sure you can still add this optional accessory if you want (EVF-DC2, sold separately at Php11,998).
There’s WiFi and NFC/Bluetooth features so you can actually connect the camera to your smartphone via the Canon Connect App. The app allows the user to control the camera settings, touch focus and shutter as well as transfer photos and videos to the phone wirelessly.
The interface of the M6 is the familiar UI that we’ve gotten used to for so many years. It’s simple and intuitive, you can easily find what you’re looking for and quickly adjust the settings within a few clicks. The physical dials are very easy to use and work very well even when you’re using it in manual mode.
There are not a lot of EF-M lenses for the M6 but with Canon’s adapter, you can use the entire collection of EF and EF-S lenses. If you have an existing set of EF and EF-S lenses, this should not be an issue.
The EOS M6 uses the same 24.2-megapixel CMOS APS-C sensor which is the same one used by the EOS M5. We’re impressed with the fast focusing, thanks to the dual-DIGIC CMOS sensor. Burst shots can go up to 7fps which is pretty impressive for its category (same burst speed as the Canon 7D and 80D).
Here are some sample shots we took:
Images are clear and crisp, good low-light performance and good dynamic range. The quality of some of the photos is comparable to a Canon 70D or 80D.
The M6 came with a 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM kit lens provides for a good all-around photography. This offers a good range of framing from a wide scenic shot to a close-up group photo. It’s actually perfect for travel and food photography as well as video blogging.
The Manual mode allows the user to control all the aspects of the shooting stills or video. In terms of picture quality, you’re basically getting a similar performance as a Canon 80D but in a more compact form factor.
The M6 can record up to full HD video at 50p. It does not support 4K video recording though which is something a some of mirrorless cameras already have.
Video quality is very good, sharp and good dynamic range. The electronic video stabilization works well for moving shots but reduces the resolution to below 1080p due to the software adjustments.
The M6 has a 5-axis electronic image stabilization. It basically adjusts each frame of the video to stabilize the shot but the process also reduces the resolution of the final output to below 1080p.
The camera can shoot a time lapse video from 300 timed shots (with default 3-second intervals that you can adjust). All you need is just a tripod.
The EOS M6 uses an LP-E17 Li-Ion battery. It has a capacity of 1040mAh which is good enough for a whole day’s worth of very heavy use. This is the same one used by the EOS 77D, M5, and M3. In our experience with using it, the battery can last around 2 or 3 days of mixed video and photos before it hits the 10% mark.
We took about 300+ photos and a few videos before draining a fully charged battery. During time-lapse shot though, we can do as many as 3 rounds of 300 shots each. This is good enough and considering the size and capacity of the battery but we still recommend grabbing a spare battery if you’re always shooting on the field.
Canon has been doing great strides in the mirrorless category and the EOS M6 is a testament to this. With merely 6 months from the release of the M5, the EOS M6 made proper adjustments to the exterior of the camera that made it more vlogger-friendly.
The decision to remove the EVF and just make it an optional accessory in order to reduce the retail price gives us a good idea where Canon is positioning the EOS M6. That, plus the positioning of the flip LCD makes the Canon EOS M6 the ideal vlogging camera and we think it’s heading in the right direction.
There are still a few more things to polish or improve though — 4K video recording is one of them; same with image stabilization for stills and wider choices for EF-M lenses.
Canon has put a good set of cameras in their mirrorless line-up and the EOS M6 pushes their position in this category even further. It’s a good all-around camera — light, compact, great picture quality and more affordable.
Suggested Retail Price:
EOS M6 Body Black / Silver – Php46,998
EOS M6 EF-M15-45 Black / Silver – Php52,998
EOS M6 EF-M18-150 Black / Silver – Php69,998
EOS M6 BODY JACKET EH30-CJ Black / Brown – Php2,798
EVF-DC2 Black / Silver – Php11,998
Canon EOS M6 features:
• Fast & Accurate Dual Pixel CMOS AF with Phase-detection
• 24.2 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) Sensor
• High-speed Continuous Shooting at up to 7.0 frames per second (fps) (up to 9.0 fps with AF Lock)
• DIGIC 7 Image Processor, ISO 100–25600
• Full HD 50p
• Combination IS with five-axis Image Stabilization
• Built-in WiFi, NFC and Bluetooth technology
• Intuitive Touch Screen, 3.0-inch Tilt-type LCD
• Control & Customize with Five Functional Dials
• Compatible with EF, EF-S and EF-M Lenses & select EOS System Accessories
112 x 68 x 45 mm (dimensions)
What we liked about it:
- More affordable than the M5
- Good build quality
- Dual-pixel autofocus
- Great picture quality
- WiFi and Bluetooth support
What we did not like:
- No 4K video recording