Conclusion

What we like What we don't
  • Excellent image quality in Raw and JPEG
  • Good level of direct control
  • Compact but still feels good in the hand
  • Responsive, simple user interface
  • Effective AF system that requires minimal user-intervention
  • 4K Video with effective digital stabilization options (though at significant cost to quality)
  • USB charging is convenient
  • Good burst speed (up to 14 fps, or 7 with live view)
  • Well-controlled rolling shutter
  • 4K video much less detailed than rivals
  • AF Tracking point will occasionally wander off your chosen subject
  • Eye detection only works at fairly close range and can tend to fractionally front-focus (on eyelashes)
  • Relatively limited system unless you mount large, adapted lenses
  • Requires high-power (probably PD-compliant) charger for USB charging
  • No headphone socket
  • Auto ISO threshold only accessible via main menu
  • No flat or Log profile to exploit potential of claimed 10-bit output

The Canon EOS M6 II is a more overtly photographer-targeted camera than its predecessor, gaining Dial Func control, a dedicated MF/AF switch and an AF-On button which combine to put just a little more control directly at your fingertips. And it ends up giving a good degree of direct control without the sense that you need to completely configure the camera yourself.

Canon's decision to offer only a single M6 model, to which a viewfinder can be attached, rather than versions with and without a built-in finder has proved oddly controversial. For my own shooting, I like the option of making the package small when I don't need the finder. That said, anyone regularly mounting a strobe or shotgun mic via the hotshoe won't appreciate having to choose between flash and finder.

Canon EF-M 22mm F2 | ISO 100 | 1/640 sec | F6.3
Photo: Richard Butler

The camera's autofocus isn't quite a match for Sony's a6400 and a6600, but it's still very good and will adapt to a wide range of shooting with little effort. Despite its 30 fps burst mode, the m6 II wouldn't be our first choice for sports, where you need it to respond to, or ignore new subjects, but it's more than capable for most other types of shooting.

It's not the best in its class in any particular respect... but it's competitive across the board

The other thing that makes the M6 II more appealing as an enthusiast camera is the availability of Sigma's 16, 30 and 56mm F1.4 DN lenses. At under $500 each, and sitting alongside Canon's own 22mm F2 and 32mm F1.4, they may be enough to let you put a small EF-M kit together, either as your main or second camera.

If this lets you put together a small kit that satisfies your needs, the M6 II is an excellent choice. It's not the best in its class in many respects: the Sony a6400's autofocus is better, the Fujifilm X-T30's video is superior, as is its lens range, while the Nikon Z50 arguably has nicer ergonomics. But the M6 II does have the highest resolution of the bunch with excellent noise performance and dynamic range, and is otherwise competitive across the board. Above all, it's engaging and enjoyable to shoot with.

I've found it to be a really solid photographic companion.


Compared to its peers

The Nikon Z50 is another twin-dial, magnesium alloy-bodied camera. Canon's AF interface better integrates its tracking and Eye AF functions, but the main differences are resolution and lens philosophy. Both can adapt their maker's DSLR lenses, but beyond this EF-M is a self-contained system, whereas the Z50 can use Nikon's full-frame Z lenses. This means the Z50 will eventually end up with more lenses that will mount, but at the risk that many of them will be of a size, price and focal length more attuned to full-frame users. We'd base our decision on whether the lenses you think you want currently exist.

The Fujifilm X-T30 is another excellent option. Its autofocus is good, but again doesn't integrate its features as well as the Canon. The X-T30 is a much better video camera: its footage is more detailed and offers more flexible color modes, and it lets you attach headphones to monitor audio. Fujifilm's range of native lenses is more extensive than EF-M, but misses out on the fast, affordable Sigmas. However, we the found the controls to be a little cramped and the body doesn't feel as nicely built. The excellent (and optically stabilized) 18-55mm F2.8-4.0 adds to the cost but makes the Fujifilm well worth considering.

The Sony a6400's autofocus system, which is essentially a faster, more reliable version of the one in the M6 II, is its main plus point. Like the Nikon it gains access to a system of full-frame lenses, with all the same caveats applying. However, while it has two command dials, they're both thumb controlled, which can make it slower to operate. Its video is more detailed but suffers from significant rolling shutter. For general use, we prefer the Canon.


Scoring

Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category. Click here to learn about the changes to our scoring system and what these numbers mean.

Canon EOS M6 Mark II
Category: Mid Range Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLR
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Performance
Movie / video mode
Connectivity
Value
PoorExcellent
Conclusion
The Canon EOS M6 Mark II is a very capable camera that's now supported by a reasonable range of EF-M lenses. Improved autofocus and refined ergonomics make it a likeable and engaging camera to shoot with.
Good for
Travel and everyday photography
Not so good for
Sports or wildlife photographers
85%
Overall score