What's new and how it compares

New Sensor

The EOS M6 II is built around a new 32.5MP APS-C CMOS sensor. It uses Canon's proprietary Dual Pixel design, in which each pixel is actually two half-pixels: one capturing information from the left-hand side of the lens, the other capturing from the right. This split design can be used to assess any separation between the left- and right-looking images which, just like human binocular vision, lets the camera assess the depth of the scene.

This essentially means that every pixel contributes to the camera's autofocus system and means it doesn't suffer from the banding and striping that can occasionally sneak into other on-sensor phase-detection AF systems.

The camera can shoot at up to 14 frames per second or 30 fps for short bursts from a cropped region of the sensor. Our initial look at the electronic shutter showed a rate of around 1/22 seconds (46ms), so you can expect significant rolling shutter if you're shooting action or moving subjects in e-shutter mode.

The M6 II's AF can work up to the full height of the sensor and 88% of its width, meaning it covers the area shown in pink on this image.

Most of the AF modes on the new sensor divide the area up in to 143 points, but if you manually select a point, there are 5481 positions that can be selected.

Eye AF

The EOS M6 II gains the Eye AF capabilities originally developed for the EOS RP and R. Our previous experience suggests that, while it's not the best at quickly or persistently tracking a subject, it tends to be very good at ensuring the eye is perfectly focused. It can also be somewhat prone to occasionally jumping off to another detected face in the scene.

It's also one of the better systems on the market if you need to specify or switch between subjects, when there's more than one face in your photo.

This may not seem like a big deal if you've never used a good Eye AF system, but it's liberating to be able to trust the camera to find and focus on your subject, because it frees you up to interact with your subject and think about composition.

4K Video

It already seems odd to be touting 4K recording as a new feature, but the original EOS M6 was only capable of 1080p capture. The M6 Mark II can shoot 4K from the full width of its sensor: one of the first Canon cameras to do this outside the Cinema EOS range.

The EOS M6 Mark II can shoot 4K at 30p or 25p, though not 24p, which is preferred by some videographers for a more 'filmic' look. Frustratingly it doesn't have the higher quality cropped video mode that appears in the EOS 90D, despite the two cameras sharing so many components.

We had a quick look at the camera's 4K video and found impressively low rolling shutter. We measured it at around 17ms, which is lower than most of its rivals. This fast readout also allows the camera to offer 1080 video at up to 120p. We'll have to check for line-skipping or pixel binning when we get hold of a reviewable camera. This could lead to softer-than-expected footage - something we saw with the recent Powershot models.

The camera can record for up to 29 minutes, 59 seconds or can output up to a 10-bit 4:2:2 signal over HDMI.

Raw Burst mode

The M6 Mark II has a Raw Burst mode that can shoot at 30 frames per second for up to 70 frames. It's unclear if the camera can autofocus during these burst, and we've reached out to Canon for a definitive answer. It also includes a pre-shot buffer that starts recording when you half-press the shutter and saves 0.5 seconds-worth of images from before you fully depress the shutter.

The Raw Burst mode shoots 18MP crops at 30 frames per second. It starts capture when you half-press the shutter and retains 15 frames from before you fully press the shutter.

The Raw Burst mode uses a cropped portion of the frame, covering 75% of the frame in each direction (meaning a 1.33x crop). This means you get 18MP images from the camera.

Mobile Raw workflow (iOS)

The EOS M6 II makes use of Canon's newer CR3 Raw format. This includes a compressed 'CRaw' option, which is smaller with only limited impact of the processing flexibility you get out of the files. There's also an uncompressed option, if you prefer.

Both flavors of Raw can be exported over Wi-Fi and can be edited using Digital Photo Professional Express: the mobile version of Canon's Raw processing software. Unfortunately for Android users, the app is currently only available for iOS.


Compared with its peers

Although the M6 Mark II is unusual in not having a built-in viewfinder, it's commonly bundled with the EVF-DC2 external viewfinder that slots into the hotshoe. As such, we'll compare that combination.

Canon EOS M6 II Sony a6400 Fujifilm X-T30
MSRP $1099 w/15-45mm and EVF* $999 w/16-50
$1299 w/18-135
$999 w/15-45
$1299 w/18-55
Sensor size APS-C
(1.6X crop)
APS-C
(1.5X crop)
APS-C
(1.5X crop)
Pixel count 32.5MP 24MP 26MP
AF method Dual Pixel AF On-sensor PDAF On-sensor PDAF
Eye AF? Yes Yes Yes
Max shooting rate 14 fps
(30 fps Raw bursts)
11 fps
8 fps (with LV)
20 fps (e-shutter)
8 fps (mech)
Full width video spec 4K/30p
(no 24p)
4K/24p
(30 with crop)
4K/30p or 24p
4K rolling shutter ~17ms ~40ms (24p)
~31ms (30p)
~23ms
Log capture? No S-Log 2 / 3, 'HLG' (8-bit) F-Log
(8-bit internal)
(10-bit HDMI)
Mic Socket Yes Yes Yes (2.5mm)
Headphone socket No No Via USB 3.0 adapter
Viewfinder res 2.36M dot* 2.36M dot 2.36M dot
Screen resolution 1.04M-dot
(tilting)
0.96M-dot
(tilting)
1.04M-dot
(tilting)
Battery life
LCD/EVF (CIPA)
305/250 410 / 360 380 /
Dimensions 120 x 70 x 49mm 120 x 67 x 60mm 118 x 83mm x 47mm
Weight 398g
(14.0 oz)
403g
(14.3 oz)
383g
(13.5 oz)
*Paired with EVF