XE4 vs M6II - Final Thoughts

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GreatOceanSoftware Regular Member • Posts: 269
XE4 vs M6II - Final Thoughts

I answered a post on the Canon M forum, and thought I'd post it here, too, in case it might help someone with the same considerations.


I'm on a bit of a quest to build out a lightweight travel kit, as an alternative to my twin XT3 setup that I took on my last international trips. Way too much weight.

A couple of years ago I did a ton of research and landed on the M6II. It is indeed lightweight, small and probably the best ergonomic camera I've ever owned. I thought I wouldn't like the camera without the viewfinder so I bought it as well, and left it on the camera permanently, since I don't own or use external flash. However, I had to research bags quite a bit to get one that was lightweight, yet form fitting to eliminate bulk, and still protect what I viewed as a very vulnerable appendage on the camera. Anyway, all that worked fine. Then COVID hit and we couldn't do our planned travel and the camera sat idle for most of the last year.

During that time, I did some comparisons to my Fuji equipment in terms of lenses, and surprisingly, the EM lenses held up pretty well against their Fuji counterparts. Most apertures and focal lengths were on par or even slightly better. Great.

During this year of test shooting around the house, I also discovered that I didn't really need the viewfinder as much as I thought I would, and now I leave it in the bag until I need it. This allowed me to choose an even smaller bag (ThinkTank Mirrorless Mover 20). But this ability is in part, due to the fact that I was able to reassign the flash D-Pad button to instantly boost the screen brightness to full whenever I needed it. A very nice feature indeed (again, I don't use flash, so losing that button was no big deal).

Then along comes the XE4. It promised a similar size and weight, and I already have a fair number of lenses. It has the same guts as my XT3, so I know what the image quality will be. So I thought I would give it a try.

One of the things I noticed was that I was having trouble getting the same look from the Canon images. The colors seemed off to me compared to the Fuji. My first impression was that I would just have to get used to processing them differently.

But there were some oddities, like whites getting blown out, skies being whiter than bluer, there was way too much noise reduction, etc. After chatting with several users on the Canon M forum, I was able to make some settings changes and got the imagery much closer to what I wanted out of camera. So great.

But I still wasn't quite happy with the images. They just seemed to be 20% less good, if that makes sense. So last week we were finally able to make our first road trip. I decided to ONLY take the M6II and I would see how I felt after the trip.

When we got home, I finished processing the images and compared them to 3 pre-COVID trips we had taken with the Fuji. I'm pretty convinced now that the M6II will either go on eBay or will just sit for a while, until I make a final decision.

Don't get me wrong. I find the M6II is perfect in every way for me, except the most important thing... the final image characteristics. It's just missing the "magic feeling" that my Fuji images have. I can't describe it other than that. I use many of the film simulations and I almost always just tweak the JPEGs in some minor way, and I'm done. I keep the RAW files just in case, but I almost never have to resort to using them. Just my MO.

FWIW, that's my journey so far. I'm pretty happy with the XE4 so far. Although it wasn't instant bliss upon arrival, the camera has rapidly grown on me and I now get the simplified design concept. I even decided to take it a step further and program the Q menu with only 4 items on the screen. As one reviewer put it... "How many buttons do you really need to take a picture?" So I'm going to try to live with that mantra for a while, and we'll see how it goes.

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 GreatOceanSoftware's gear list:GreatOceanSoftware's gear list
Fujifilm X-T3 Canon EOS M6 II Fujifilm X-E4 Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR +6 more
Fujifilm X-T3
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