Canon EOS M6 II Analysis

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RLight Senior Member • Posts: 1,164
Canon EOS M6 II Analysis
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The other shoe is out... As usual NC has a 100% track record, good job. Also, per existing track record, these sorts of total spec dumps, etc, happen about 1 week before official launch so we're right on schedule for the rumored Aug 28th launch of the M6 II and probably ship of a month after that.

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That out of the way, lets dive into what's in the new EOS M6 Mark II and what it's technological jump means or equates to...

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32MP APS-C with DPAF

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Canon has made a quantum leap here in chip tech. In my opinion, this is both a BSI and stacked CMOS sensor so it should have better ADC, and although one would think it'll have better ISO (low-light), due to the smaller pixels, it wouldn't surprise me if this either matches, or, in fact fares a little less favorably than the 24MP EOS M5/6/50/100. Why? Just look at the new Fuji X-T3 and it's 26MP APS-C vs the former X-T2 24MP APS-C. That 2MP jump, did cost them some minute loss is SNR. Now in theory, the upsampling should cancel this effect in viewing at full format, but, on a pixel level, it'll perform less. In net effect, it should be "better" though between the BSI adding to the base potential per pixel in ISO noise threshold, and, the increase in pixel count meaning the noise should be spread over more bread.

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Translation to English, better Dynamic range for Lanscapers, and "better" (or equalish) ISO for low light folks, in addition to added megapixels.

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Also, since it's DPAF, either Canon did this on their own fabs, or, licensed out the design to Sony/Samsung's Fabs. Why do I care about such minutiae? Well, if it's a Sony produced, and designed sensor ala G5X Mark II, then it gets Sony's CFA (color filtering array), probably. That influences part of the equation that makes up the secret sauce us Canon users enjoy to the SOOC rendition of our Canons. Now, all is not necessarily well here. The SL3 may have a newly designed CFA that does reduce noise via increasing the SNR by decreasing the CFA strength, it does result in slightly less pleasing colors. However, it does keep noise down. This could happen here with a 32MP count sensor, they (Canon) may weaken the CFA to try to keep the Signal ratio up vs the smaller pixel count, we'll see when DPR does a studio test scene and samples come out.

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Also, DPAF enjoys a low-light sensitivity advantage over Sony's pixel stripping AF method. By having a sampling from every other pixel in which to meter your low light, you're going to get better input (signal) in which to meter your AF. Canon is going to take the crown for low-light AF sensitivity between that added DIGIC8 for added processing / live noise reduction and, DPAF readout with faster Stacked CMOS readout and BSI.

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Translation to English: We should (still) have Canon colors (or similiar at least if they changed the CFA) here and now best in class low-light AF.

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Lastly, with DIGIC8 (getting to that) in the M50, we saw the inclusion of 4K, but, cropped. I've said this before but I'll rehash it, the older sensor of the 80D (and 5DIV/6DII of the R/RP) constrained this. With the inclusion of 4K/30 and 1080/120, it's pretty safe to say the readout of the sensor has advanced radically, probably due to inclusion of stacked CMOS. This doesn't just mean yay, uncropped 4K, it also means less rolling shutter in video, and, better readout for things like Autofocus as it's "scanning" much faster now. Combined with DIGIC8 and DPAF, Canon is likely going to snag the Autofocus crown from the A6500/A6400, without IBIS (which probably helps with AF as it stablizes the AF calculations for things like eye-AF). We may be looking at a true DSLR "replacement" as far as AF is concerned as that EVF/LCD will have faster data refresh being fed to it, and, faster AF calculations not just from DIGIC8, but also from input right off the sensor.

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Translation to English: Canon is (very) likely going to beat the Sony A6400/6500 series in not just low-light AF, but, regular lighting AF. This may also challenge, and possibly exceed a traditional DSLR in terms of AF except in a mirrorless package. The day may finally be upon us where DSLRs are finally exceeded in this regard. Real uncropped 4K video finally too.

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DIGIC8

If you haven't read the Canon Snapshot article on the DIGIC8, this is worth some background as it's now onboard on the EOS M6 II.

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https://snapshot.canon-asia.com/article/en/5-things-made-possible-with-digic-image-processor

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With the introduction of the EOS M50, EOS R, RP and now M6 II and 90D, the DIGIC8 is a quantum leap in processing potential. But, we're now seeing just how sensor-constrained the DIGIC8 was with the launch of the Sony-sensor G7X III, G5X II and newly developed sensor for the EOS M6 II / 90D as I've covered.

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DIGIC8 brings faster AF calculations for AI-servo (tracking) for sports, or say handheld macro photography (with say that EF-M 28mm, highly recommended btw with the M50 and AI-Servo I might add, and now M6 II) in addition to faster processing for high FPS AF accuracy IE you can shoot say 7FPS+ and, get a high hitrate when tracking which is something the EOS M5 and M6 before it, lacked in terms of sheer hitrate at highest FPS and tracking. It also permits for Dual Sensing IS, that is, uses data off the sensor to "feed" the IS gyro unit on the lens (if IS equipped) providing some small, but still some, added IS benefit usually in a 1/2 stop bonus to the lenes' IS rating. Also, things like DLO, which in the past have been a very DPP4 only affair, now become available to SOOC JPEGS, useful for improving say your EF-M 55-200 and turning it more into an L for lack of better words. I expect this version of the DLO implementation should carry more than just 3 slots ala EOS M50 though. The EOS R by contrast, carries I think, no lack of slots. However, there may be some limit here in how many slots available vs the probably upcoming EOS M5 Mark II, getting to that much later.

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DIGIC8 also, I gather, enables things like on-the-fly sync of shots to a smartphone, and the new 4 levels of ALO which tells me Canon has made some software tweaks to make the DIGIC8 smarter since the EOS RP was released, no surprise there. Also, there is a rumor the EOS R is getting another firmware bump for improved eye-AF, my guess is the software behind Canon's eye-AF has also gotten a bump which is getting "rolled into" the EOS M6 II / 90D much like the EOS RP got the initial continous eye-AF, followed by the EOS R getting it a bit after via firmware upgrade.

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Translation to English: Better tracking AF. Continous Eye-AF support. (Advanced) On-the-fly lens corrections. Slightly improved IS with supported lenses.

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About that 34.4MP TTL in both the specsheet and video...

This might be a Sony fabbed sensor even though it's a Canon designed sensor (think Nikon Z6 and Z7 sensor)...

Huh?!

1.5/1.6 * 34.4 ~ 32.25

That's Sony's APS-C divided by Canon's APS-C crop multipled by available pixels (in the specsheet) = about the same effective pixel count. That's almost on nose of the 32.5MP spec.

Sony, and Fuji, use a 1.5x crop factor and hence why Sony has a 16-50 kit lens and Canon has a 15-45 kit lens. But, let's say Sony made Canon a designed sensor. Would they make a custom 1.6x crop sensor, or, allow Canon to print a design on their 1.5x area (bigger) and crop it a bit? Hmmmmm. I'm thinking print it on their 1.5x larger area and allow Canon to crop it ala G1X II vs G1X (original).

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This is also made possible by the EF-M mount itself. There's been many discussions over the years on this forum of the possibility of placing a larger (granted the arguments were over a FF) sensor in the same mount. Well, technically that (presumably) Sony produced 1.5x APS-C is (bigger). This is one benefit of the EF-M mount's flexibility.

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Speaking of Sony, rumor also has it, Sony is launching a A6700/A7000 later this month, with oh by the way, a 32MP-ish chip. Mmmhmmm. Coincidence? Probably not. Now, does that mean Sony gets DPAF? Oh boy... Maybe. We'll see.

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Anyhow, back to the TTL, or Through the lens, in other words, 1.6x crop on top of a 1.5x sensor is what I'm thinking is going on here.

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That uncropped 4K in TTL, probably means full uncrop 4K is caveated on no Digital IS (you can still use OIS without DIS) being used. This is normal as Digital IS crops off a bit of the video digitally for the digital IS effect, it's not the same 1.6x crop before that then gets hit with yet more ala EOS M50/R/RP when applied. It's more like 1.1x (for the digital IS crop), but can be used in "enhanced" mode which gives stronger crop of I believe around 1.4x but don't quote me. Example of No Digital IS vs Digital IS vs Enhanced Digital IS:

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https://image.popco.net/Review/DCA/canon_eos_m5/6/eos_m5_6_38.jpg?20190821

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Of course, you can use no Digital IS and rely on only optical IS for no crop. Well, I think so. Sony in fact only now is getting around to implementing DIS so we'll see if Canon can do both full 4K and DIS... Maybe, maybe not. We're at least getting no crop 4K though on the plus side.

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While we're talking video though, it is important to note, Canon isn't giving us C-Log or 4K/24p and probably isn't giving us bitrate options. Yes, we're getting uncropped 4K, but, they're not giving us too many favors here as they want to keep a differentiation between product lines I read here ala Cinema offerings, but, they are getting more competitive on 4K video due to both chip tech advancement, and loosing the screws a bit.

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Now what I won't tackle directly, is the implications of speedboosters and adapted lenses ala EF to EF-M adapter (possibly being 1.5x, not 1.6x crop now) or possible new lens designs for EF-M. That, I'm sure we'll get confirmation on this or not around announcement. But, sure, this could open some possibilities.

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Translations to English: Sony may, or may not get some Canon benefits on their next A6xxx/A7xxx series. It's real uncropped 4K, but, still no C-Log or 24P or other "fun" stuff a Cinema camera would get. We may see a 1.5x crop factor on adapted lenses in the future instead of 1.6x. Maybe.

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30 FPS RAW mode, 14FPS and UHS-II support

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The new 30 RAW sequence mode implies stacked CMOS / LSI or something similiar for the sensor to rapidly feed data too. Also, that in turn would make 14FPS indeed possible from a readout standpoint. It's notable, that the EOS M6 II has a 23 shot RAW limit per the Canon AU speecsheet. If correct (and not an error), that means UHS-II, which is now supported, may be a caveat for fully leverging those new really fast FPS modes as a 23 shot buffer fills quite quickly at 14FPS, but, if you have say one of those expensive UHS-II cards that can write out 260mb/sec, it's not so much a problem if say you're either shooting JPEG, or, C-RAW which would make this pallatable.

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This is indeed plasuable ala Nikon Z6/Z7 series as those have a smaller buffer vs the EOS R/RP, which I assume is due to reduced DRAM use (or use of faster, but less dense ICs) which cuts down on power, and heat, but, makes you more reliant on a fast output devices like the XQD in the Nikon Z or UHS-II in the M6 II / 90D.

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Translation to English: If you're interested in an M6 II's fast FPS, you may need to buy a high end UHS-II card to make the most of it if the leaked specsheet isn't in error.

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32MP and diffraction concerns

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Well, we are at 32MP and a 1.6x crop factor. That means, at 1:1 macro pixel level we can expect to see diffraction set in around f/6.3 now based off online calculators. Now, before we start saying the sky is falling due to Canon's use of "slow" zooms, most folks don't care about pixel level stuff. We shoot real objects at real distances printed on real mediums. Relax folks, this isn't a smartphone sensor or 1" Point and Shoot Sensor. 32MP printed at a pixel level utilized to it's utmost is some insane life sized poster on the freeway or something like that. Most prints you're not going to care, even big ones. Stop down if you need to for DoF effect and / or optical advantage, you're still going to get better sharpness on say your EF-M 55-200 @ f/8 than you will at f/6.3 in "real life" and better sharpness due to improved sampling of the added 8MP over the EOS M3/5/6/50/100's 24MP sensor. Yes, diffraction may impact that some small bit, but if you follow folks like Optical Limits, you'll note sharpness continues to improve on some lenses when stopped down in spite of diffraction kicking in at a pixel level. You should relax a bit if I didn't say that already as it's going to become more "normal". Enjoy the added 8MP as it'll still help you for any real sized print / digital use. Someone feel free to correct me here if I'm totally off btw.

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Translation to English: 32MP is 32MP. More is better. Diffraction still isn't a huge concern IMO, but, may start to tilt the peak sharpness aperture on a purely pixel level. I'll let the folks that test lenses tell us where that point of diminishing returns is if you're curious, but you're safe to still stop down as desired, like before for most things.

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Devil's in the details:

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Couple things that didn't quite make it to the leaked specsheet but are notable if you've been paying close attention to the details of the video leak:

Camera strap is now the EOS M50 standard (I like it better than the M5 / M6 strap). Improvement in my book over the former strap.

Fv mode is included

Touch and drag is now supported in the EVF (with the EOS M6 original it's not)

Continous Eye-AF

Exp comp dial has been replaced with the programable main dial ala EOS M5

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Couple things that are question possibilities that were in the rumored specs, but not the leaked specs that may pop up around announcement, or not pop up:

Electronic shutter of 1/16000? Maybe, Sony has E-Shuter.

DPAF Focus Guide Ala EOS R for Manual Focus users. Maybe, it has that new MF dial on the back implying perhaps it does.

Focus bracketing ala EOS RP / G5X II. Be nice for macro work.

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Long post, thanks for hanging with me. These are just educated gueses/observations here. We'll know more soon enough. Helps me to process for myself what's going on writing this stuff in addition to helping other folks wrap their head around what this product will, or will not do for them.

 RLight's gear list:RLight's gear list
Canon G1 X III Canon EOS M6 Canon EOS R Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM +3 more
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