Tech reviews

Canon M6 Mark II review | Fast & affordable mirrorless camera


If the Canon EOS R isn’t in your budget, and you still want a Canon mirrorless camera, there’s a lot to be said about the 32.5MP Canon M6 Mark II.

Light, fast, and well-made, the M6 Mark II has a similar overall style that you’d expect from Canon’s EOS cameras, with a comfortable design that makes it easy to use in a wide range of situations.

Starting with the specs, the camera’s 32.5MP dual pixel sensor with DIGIC 8 image processor produces bright and impressive images with good contrast and detail. If you buy the kit, the EF-M 15-45mm lens looks small, but it works well, including for portraits, closeups, and landscapes.

The ISO range is also solid, from 100 to 25600, although you’ll certainly notice the quality drop over 3200 ISO, and like a lot of cameras, I’m not a fan beyond 6400 ISO because the images can be so noisy.

For serious action, you can also push the shutter to 1/16000th to freeze any moment.

If you’re looking for creative options, the camera also includes scene-styles and effects, including fish-eye, toy camera, and miniature, as well as HDR. I was a big fan of the toy camera effect in particular, since it makes scenic city shots look so much more interesting.

Canon's miniature effect on the M6 Mark II
Canon’s miniature effect on the M6 Mark II

The M6 Mark II features a 3-inch touchscreen that tilts up to 180 degrees, making it easy to hold the camera any way you want and still see what you’re shooting.

I mostly used the touchscreen for shooting, over the kit-included electronic viewfinder, since I enjoyed how much freedom it offers. It’s a very sturdy design, and when I had it on a camera stabilizer, it made it very easy to watch what I was filming even when I had the camera hanging very low or above my head.

If you prefer a viewfinder over the screen for shooting, the electronic viewfinder is a solid add-on and it’s really handy when it’s too bright to use the touchscreen well. I do wish the camera had a built-in viewfinder, but I’d say it’s a minor inconvenience unless you really need the hotshoe and want to use the viewfinder at the same time.

Looking at more general design elements of the camera, the M6 Mark II has a little, basic pop-up flash that isn’t elegant, but it works for snapshots. For me, it feels like there are a lot of knobs on the camera, but Canon has done the best they can to put everything you need either on the top of back.

The camera also features built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for file sharing and remote control.

For the size of the camera and the display, the battery life is good. I was able to go a whole day, and Canon suggests you can get around 300 shots with the screen on, and around 1 hour and 20 minutes of video. You’ll get better results though using the viewfinder, and I’d usually recommend owning two batteries anyway.

In terms of video, the M6 Mark II can shoot at 4K UHD 30p and full HD 120p. I didn’t shoot a lot with the 120p, but it works well. The 4K video is a bit soft for my tastes, but the colours are good and it handles well. It’s worth noting though that there’s no sensor stabilization.

My biggest complaint with the camera is that there are not a lot of EF-M lenses, and depending on what you want to shoot, using an adapter can be a bit clunky.

Enthusiasts looking to get into mirrorless photography will enjoy the camera, especially for the scenes and effects it offers, and I could see myself taking it with me when I need a few good scenic shots. For the weight and size, it’s also a good camera for light travel. If you’re looking for more pro features, including better lenses, I’d recommend spending a bit more and going for the EOS R.

The Canon M6 Mark II kit retails for $1,499, with the lens and electronic viewfinder.



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