EOS M6

EOS M6

Steve's Conclusion

By

SPEED & AF PERFORMANCE

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| Aperture Priority mode | f/6.3 | 1/80 sec. | ISO 100 | 28 mm |

Canon included the Digic 7 image processor with the EOS M6, which yields a strong performance level. You can expect between seven and nine frames per second as the maximum continuous shot speed, depending on whether the autofocus is locked. 

The M6 has 49 points of autofocus (same as the M5), and covers roughly 80% of the scene both horizontally and vertically. The autofocus works fast in most circumstances, although we did notice some problems with receiving a focus lock when shooting in extremely low light. Outside of that issue, the M6 has no shutter lag problems and recovers fast shot to shot, even when using the flash.

To employ manual focus with the EOS M6, you'll press the left side of the four-way button. You then can use the focus ring on the lens to dial in the focus. Pressing the left side of the four-way button toggles between manual focus and autofocus.

Timing Test Results:
  • Power up to first image captured: 1.3 seconds
  • Shutter lag when prefocused: about 0.1 seconds
  • Shutter lag with autofocus: about 0.1 seconds
  • Shot to shot delay with flash: 0.9 seconds
  • Shot to shot delay without flash: 0.5 seconds
  • Continuous shot, low: 10 frames in 2.0 seconds at 24M
  • Continuous shot, high: 10 frames in 0.9 seconds at 24M
METERING

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| Aperture Priority mode | f/22 | 1/60 sec. | ISO 1600 | 18 mm |

We were pleased with the Canon EOS M6's automatic exposure and white balance settings. They were accurate in nearly all situations. 

Your metering options with the M6 are evaluative, center-weighted, partial, and spot. It uses 384 zones for evaluative metering.

Should you decide to alter the EV setting, it's easy with the dedicated dial on the top panel of the camera. You can adjust the EV dial between +3 and -3 in 1/3 step increments.

STILL IMAGE QUALITY

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| Manual mode | f/5.6 | 1/640 sec. | ISO 100 | 18 mm |

With a 24-megapixel APS-C sized image sensor, the Canon M6 offers a higher resolution count than many mirrorless ILCs.

The JPEG and RAW images with the Canon EOS M6 are excellent. Canon cameras typically do a great job with JPEG photos, creating accurate colors and sharp images, and the M6 follows this performance level.

When shooting flash photos, we stuck with the built-in popup flash included with the M6. It does a solid job for a built-in flash, although for serious flash photography, we'd rather make use of an external flash attached to the hot shoe.

Canon included a host of special effect digital filters with the EOS M6, one of the most extensive lists of options we've seen in a mirrorless camera. You can pick from effects such as Art Bold, Fish-eye, and Toy Camera. Nearly all of the effects have three levels of effect you can apply (low, medium, and high), which allows for quite a bit of personalization. For more sample images, please check out our Canon EOS M6 Sample Image Gallery.

ISO PERFORMANCE

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| Aperture Priority mode | f/8 | ISO settings between 800 and 25600 (full-size images on Samples Page) |

The Canon EOS M6 offers ISO settings between 100 and 25,600 in 1/3 stop increments. 

In our tests, noise started to become noticeable at the ISO 3200 setting, although in certain situations you'll see a tiny bit of noise at ISO 800 and ISO 1600. Canon's noise reduction settings are aggressive, causing some softness in images shot at ISO 3200 and higher. 

VIDEO QUALITY


Many reviewers will knock the Canon EOS M6 a bit in terms of its video performance. This model certainly isn't going to offer top of the line video options. Image stabilization is not adequate in the M6, as you'll have to rely on digital image stabilization while shooting video, rather than optical IS. The quality of the digital IS is not as consistent as we'd like to see.

Another reason some will downgrade the M6 for video is because it offers a maximum video resolution of full HD at almost 60 frames per second. Although it would be nice to have 4K video resolution available, full HD resolution is still really good and will meet the needs of most people. Where you'll feel the lack of 4K video support is a few years down the road, so this omission potentially could hurt the longevity of the EOS M6.

Canon did include a socket for an external microphone to improve audio quality, although the internal microphone works pretty well too.

If you want to create simple videos that look solid, the Canon EOS M6 delivers. If you're looking for advanced video features and performance, this camera will be lacking.

WIRELESS PERFORMANCE

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| Aperture Priority mode | f/11 | 1/60 sec. | ISO 100 | 18 mm |

Canon included all three wireless connection technologies -- Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC -- with the M6. You'll be able to control the Canon M6 wirelessly using an iOS or Android smartphone, as well as share images with those devices. Canon has improved its setup process for wireless connectivity, greatly simplifying it versus older Canon cameras.

Because the Canon EOS M6 doesn't have a built-in GPS, you can use your smartphone's GPS to send location data back to the camera to store with each image.

BOTTOM LINE

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| Manual mode | f/5.6 | 1/1000 sec. | ISO 100 | 55 mm |

The Canon EOS M6 was enjoyable to take out for a few days of shooting, and its image quality is plenty good enough for everyday photography needs. As is typical with Canon's mirrorless cameras, the image quality in the M6 is really good, with realistic colors and just the right contrast level. The camera's ergonomics and control buttons and dials are good. Advanced photographers will find this model doesn't quite stack up to some similarly priced DSLRs though for image quality. 

The EOS M6 is a bit thicker than some other mirrorless ILCs on the market, but it uses this extra size to its advantage. It provides a perfectly sized right-hand grip and thumb pad combination that makes it very easy to shoot one-handed with this model. Unlike some other mirrorless models, we never felt like the Canon M6 was going to slip from our hand. The camera's balance was excellent during our tests, no matter which lens we attached to it. And the M6 has a sturdy build quality, but it doesn't weigh as much as you might think when looking at it.

One major disappointment with the Canon M6 -- and really the manufacturer's entire mirrorless ILC line -- is the lack of choices in EF-M lenses. The two lenses we tested with the EOS M6 did an adequate job, but they aren't going to give experienced photographers a lot of desirable features. If you own some of the far more plentiful Canon DSLR lenses, you can purchase an adapter mount for the M6 and migrate those lenses to this camera. However, because the M6 is aimed at those looking for a first interchangeable lens camera, the chances of someone like that having multiple Canon DSLR lenses on hand is small.

Finally, we have to mention this: If you really want an electronic viewfinder with the Canon M6, we'd suggest going with the Canon EOS M5 instead. It already has the EVF built in, and its price point is a bit below where the M6 ends up after you add in the cost of the optional EVF.

The Canon EOS M6 is a really nice camera that is fun to use and that we like a lot. It just doesn't have those two or three great features that advanced photographers are seeking. Additionally, its price is a little higher than some other mirrorless cameras on the market with a similar feature set. The M6 does become a better value if you already own some Canon lenses that will fit the adapter mount. It's a good camera, but falls just short of being great.

PICK THIS UP IF...

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| Aperture Priority mode | f/11 | 1/160 sec. | ISO 100 | 55 mm |

You want an everyday camera with a tiltable LCD that has good performance levels and creates photos with pleasing colors, while also being easy to shoot one-handed.

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| Aperture Priority mode | f/16 | 1/40 sec. | ISO 6400 | 29 mm |

WHERE TO PURCHASE
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Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.

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