The Single Worst Thing about the M6...

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picktherighttoolforthejob Regular Member • Posts: 122
The Single Worst Thing about the M6... my first glance at this thread earlier today:

This thread's title: Good bye M6, hello M6II --- wait! Exposure comp? Aaaaarrrrgh?

Summing up: the thread's starter insists that the Exposure Compensation (EC) dial on the top of the M6 is indispensable in the way that he uses the camera.

I've thought long-and-hard about this particular 'feature' of the M6...and it is going to take awhile for me to describe, in a precise way that readers can understand, why I believe that for my usage patterns, the location (and function) of the 'analog' EC dial on the M6 is its WORST feature.

And some of what I'm writing here has to do with things that I suspect Canon's product engineers obsess over.

I've owned and/or had my hands on the following Ms--M, M2, M3, M10, M5, M6 and M6 Mk II.

To my knowledge, the M5 and M6 models are the only Ms that have the EC dial on top.

All of the rest of the M's have both rear dial and touchscreen ways of accessing EC.


I bought the M6 sight unseen...and was quite surprised (in a bad way) to find out that the EC dial was the only way to adjust EC.

Using the Rebel XT, 40D and the 5D Mk III SLRs, like millions of other Canon users I became quite comfortable with the rear dial adjustments of EC...while keeping my eye on the bits of electronics at the bottom of each camera's viewfinder to guide just how much EC I had added/subtracted. But the analog viewfinder in an SLR does not supply immediate visual information about the overall brightness/darkness changes that result when changing EC.

And yes, you can in essence flip up the mirror and more-or-less use both the 40D and the 5K Mk III like mirrorless (using the rear LCD to visualize the image)...but neither camera is really set up very well to use this feature.

So you're guessing when fiddling with the EC using the rear dial on an SLR while using the optical viewfinder. And while most reading this no doubt guess well most of the time--for me, mirrorless is usually (but not always) better.

My first 'mirrorless' full-featured camera was the Canon S95...sure it is a point-and-shoot but back in 2010 it was the bomb--especially for situations in which the stealthiness of the S95 made it easy and unobtrusive as far as various venues are concerned (such as rock concerts etc.).

The S95 EC adjustment is with a knurled smallish clickable rear dial.

Holding the camera the normal distance from the eyes (enabling nice viewing of the rear LCD and its image) and placing one's index finger on the shutter release button enables easy EC adjustment (knurled rear dial) with one's thumb.

At rock concerts, shooting this way one or two rows from the stage has supplied literally hundreds of wonderful images, even with the rapidly changing stage lighting conditions of a show...because changing EC is so darn simple. And the S95 is more responsive than you think...not perfect, but I learned to anticipate.


The M, M2 and M10 each have near-identical dials that enable EC addition to touchscreen abilities to do the same.

But the M6 only has one way to change EC: the top dial. And immediately below this top dial is another, larger dial that, default, changes ISO.

On this site I and others posted that the placement of this dial resulted in unintentional switching of ISO to 25600. A number of us 'lost' quite a few pictures before figuring out that the ISO had mysteriously changed. My solution to this was to change the function of this dial to 'method of AF' (Face Tracking etc) or whatever--there are other ways to change ISO.

My wife now uses our M6 II so I'm back with the M6 as my primary M-series body.

Interestingly, the dial that I assigned to Focus Method (changing from ISO) is a little stiffer now than it was when new...and today is less likely to move when reaching up with a thumb to switch ISO.

So as described in a year or two old thread on this very website, I typically use both index finger and thumb to change EC on the M6. Not optimal for me. Not at all.

I still use the camera virtually every day! But the EC dial on the M6 is not best for this user.


So when the M6 Mk II was announced, I checked and was relieved to see that the M6's EC dial was gone. Out came the credit card.

Thanks for reading

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Primary (Canon) tools: 5DMk3, M6 II, M6, S95, EF-EF-M adapter, Pro 100, LBP7660Cdn; EF 100-400 IS II, 70-300 IS II, 70-200 IS f4, 24-105 f4 IS II, 35 f2 IS, 17-40 f4, 1.4x extender III; EF-M 18-150 IS, 28 IS macro, 11-22 IS, 22 f2, 15-45 IS, 18-55 IS; EF-S 17-55 IS; 270EX II and 580EX II Speedlites; Apple tool: iPhone 6s

Canon EOS M6
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