Obsessed with technology?
Subscribe to the latest tech news as well as exciting promotions from us and our partners!
By subscribing, you indicate that you have read & understood the SPH's Privacy Policy and PDPA Statement.
Feature Articles

Canon EOS M6 Mark II walkabout — A day out with Canon’s latest mirrorless wonder

By Marcus Wong - 4 Dec 2019

Canon EOS M6 Mark II walkabout — A day out with Canon’s latest mirrorless wonder

Overview

The EOS M series is Canon's longstanding series of mirrorless cameras. Although Canon recently bolstered their range of mirrorless cameras with the new EOS R series, photography enthusiasts continue to flock to the EOS M cameras because of their greater portability, good all-round ability, and affordability. The EOS M6 Mark II is the latest in this series, and it builds upon that heritage by pairing a 32.5-megapixel APS-C CMOS Sensor with their latest DIGIC 8 processor.

 

The photo-taking experience

The EOS M6 Mark II measures just 119.6 x 70.0 x 49.2mm and weighs 408g (body only, with battery and memory card), making it easy to slip into a bag for everyday use. This has Dual Pixel CMOS AF for faster focusing and a total of 5,481 selectable focus positions. Continuous shooting goes up to 14 frames per second with autofocus activated, and there’s a RAW burst mode function that takes slightly cropped RAW images (5,184 x 3,456 compared to the usual of 6,960 x 4,640) at up to 30 frames per second for about 80 shots in a continuous burst.

This is only accessible in the menu, and there’s an option to enable pre-shooting, which starts recording the instant you half-press the shutter. This only saves the shots from 0.5 seconds before you fully press down, so it gains you a half-second of response time.  That’s fairly handy when you need the extra speed, and the display adjusts to reflect the crop so you can still accurately frame your shots.

The Q Menu stores shortcuts to most of the settings you'll need.

To round out the package, the EOS M6 Mark II also comes with five-axis in-body image stabilization so you can go down to slower shutter speeds when necessary. While there is the option to use an electronic shutter, this only operates in single-shot drive mode. So, you won’t be able to do silent photography with continuous capture.

While the standard Q menu does make a lot of functions available without menu diving, there doesn’t seem to be a way to customise this. So, one thing we’d definitely recommend is taking advantage of the My Menu to make commonly used functions (like shutter types and RAW burst mode for example) more accessible.

The camera has a fairly deep handgrip.

Despite its small size, the EOS M6 Mark II has a fairly large hand grip, allowing you to comfortably manage it with just one hand. We thought the camera was quite responsive overall, and while the kit EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 lens isn’t the fastest available (at full telephoto you’re limited to f/6.3), we thought it focused fairly quickly and accurately for the price.

We’d say the EOS M6 Mark II juggles exposure and white balance fairly well. Colours are nice and vibrant, though they have a tad too much magenta to be accurate. While the camera has in-body image stabilization, we found that this wasn’t as strong as some of the recent cameras we’ve tested, as we got best results from the camera by keeping shutter speeds over 1/30s.

 

Sample Images

Unless otherwise specified, the following sample photographs were shot with the Canon EOS M6 Mark II in JPEG format, and are copyright to SPH Magazines. These photographs are provided for your reference only and we ask that you do not reproduce them elsewhere.

First some daytime samples from everyday scenes:

45mm at f/8.0, 1/80s, ISO 1,000 (EOS M6 Mark II)

100% crop (EOS M6 Mark II)

22mm at f/11, 1/60s, ISO 2,000 (EOS M6 Mark II)

100% crop (EOS M6 Mark II)

As you can see, the EOS M6 Mark II captures photographs with vivid colours. Reds, blues, greens, these are all vibrantly reproduced by the camera. As mentioned earlier, there’s a bit too much magenta to be accurate, so images will seem slightly warm.

The camera does have face detect capabilities, but this requires the face to be a fairly large portion of the frame before kicking in. Conversely, there’s a tracking box you can activate by tapping the rear LCD, and this seemed to be what worked best when trying to do any tracking.

32mm at f/5.6, 1/60s, ISO 200 (EOS M6 Mark II)

100% crop (EOS M6 Mark II)

This first image was captured relying just on the camera’s autofocus system, and while it does a relatively good job of picking up the chess player as the main subject, the focus point is slightly ahead of him, so the plane of focus covers more of his shirt then his face.

45mm at f/6.3, 1/100s, ISO 2,500 (EOS M6 Mark II)

100% crop (EOS M6 Mark II)

With this second shot, we first manually selected the singer’s face by tapping on the screen. The camera did a good job of tracking her while she moved across the stage. You can see that even wide open at f/6.3, there’s enough depth of field that her entire face is in focus. That said, there’s noticeable detail loss due to noise reduction, even at a relatively low ISO setting of 2,500.

24mm at f/8.0, 1/5s, ISO 12,800 (EOS M6 Mark II)

100% crop (EOS M6 Mark II)

As you can see from this night shot, images taken at ISO 12,800 exhibit a good deal of detail loss due to noise reduction by the camera. You can barely make out the wording on the sign on the side of the building, and the entire image is noticeably filled with grain. As such, we’d stick to ISO 6,400 and below with this camera.

You may be wondering how this camera is better than the smartphone you already carry. So, let’s take a quick look at how the pictures from the EOS M6 Mark II compare to that of the Vivo NEX 3. The aspect ratios are slightly different, and the colours of the NEX 3 are noticeably more saturated but in good light, both cameras turn in images with about the same amount of detail.

15mm at f/8.0, 1/400s, ISO 100 (EOS M6 Mark II)

100% crop (EOS M6 Mark II)

1x zoom at f/1.8, 1/800s, ISO 50 (NEX 3)

100% crop.

Shift to a low light situation though, and you’ll find that there’s more detail retained by the EOS M6 Mark II compared to the NEX 3. In particular, the highlights are better retained, as you get nicer looking light flare from the street lamps in the image from the EOS M6 Mark II as compared to the washed-out area in the NEX 3.

16mm at f/5.0, 1/15s, ISO 12,800 (EOS M6 Mark II)

100% crop (EOS M6 Mark II)

1x Zoom at f/1.8, 1/8s, ISO 4,340 (NEX 3)

100% crop (NEX 3)

All in, the EOS M6 Mark II gives you good image quality along with the flexibility to change your focal length by switching lenses while being compact and lightweight. It’s retailing now for S$1,249.00 (body only) at all authorised dealers and the Canon e-shop.