For any number of reasons there aren’t a lot of camera stores anymore so getting to see a camera before you buy it is a challenge. During my senior year in high school and for a couple years of college I worked in a little camera store called Brown Photo (later Black Photo.) We sold a lot of 35mm film cameras (Nikon, Canon, Minolta) as well as all the film-based point-and-shoots of the day. It was a lot of fun, probably the most fun job that I’ve ever had. This was well before the Internet. If you wanted a camera you went to a camera store and there were a fair number of them in those days. Not so much anymore.
One day my wife and I were driving home from a doctor appointment in a suburb of Milwaukee and on a whim we pulled into a Best Buy to see if there was a chance that they might carry some of these mirrorless cameras. To my astonishment they had quite a few, including the Canon M6. The first two things that surprised me when I held it was its size, it was a lot smaller than I expected, and second its weight\build quality. I expected a relatively light and plastic feel and that is not at all the case. This thing is well-built and has a very solid feel to it. I was impressed. The next thing that was immediately noticeable was the nice grip as compared to the M100. I was sorely tempted to walk out of the store with a camera that day but some vestigial remnant of self-control was enough to get me out of there empty handed. Plus, I had pretty much talked myself into the M100 and holding the M6 really got me re-thinking that decision. After a bit more thought and research I started to watch the used market and eventually found an M6 in mint condition for a bit less than I would have paid for a new M100.
I found these reviews helpful as I did my research:
I’ve added the following pictures in the event that they are helpful to anyone considering one of these cameras. I wasn’t prepared for the size of the camera and having some items to compare it against might be helpful.
And the lenses are smaller as well. Here’s a comparison of my old Nikkor 80-200mm F4 to the Canon 55-200mm F4.5-6.3:
The M6 uses an APS-C size sensor so the 35mm full frame equivalent of the new lens is 88 – 320mm (Canon APS-C multiplier 1.6x.)
Finally, here’s a comparison to something reasonably well-known in the Amateur Radio world:
I realize that it’s not a pocket camera but when compared to a DSLR (0r even an old film SLR) the difference in size is quite noticeable. Combined with the size differences in the Canon EF-M lenses I can fit a comparable amount of equipment in about one-third the space with an appropriate weight savings as well.
In reading reviews of the camera the two biggest cons were the lack of 4K video and the lack of a viewfinder. Neither of these things mattered that much to me. I’m not a vlogger so 4K isn’t an issue. Though it’s nice that the M6 has provision for an external mic. I have a Zoom H1 that I’ve used for music that might be re-purposed if I get the urge to vlog but I’ll have to wait until my hair grows back. As for the viewfinder, thus far I’ve not been missing it. The touchscreen is more than capable but should I find the need for one Canon offers the EVF-DC2 which slides into the hot shoe albeit it is a bit pricey.
As I said in my previous post, this camera likely has more features than I’ll ever need. I especially like the connectivity with Bluetooth and WiFi. It connects to an app on my Samsung tablet and smartphone and allows control and transfer of pictures. There are a ton of exposure modes, the autofocus works very well, and the menus are well thought out and easy to navigate. Overall, I am very pleased with this camera and expect that it will serve my needs for quite some time.