24 Hours With the Canon EOS M6 with EF-M 15-45mm Kit Lens
Canon, delighting you always. That is the slogan that has been stuck in my mind ever since I came in acquaintance with the brand in the modern world. They are one of the largest, if not the largest imaging company in the world. It is also one of the oldest if I could remember correctly. To many as well Canon is probably a name associated with their first ever camera experience ever, mine as well. That was well over 20 years ago.
To be really honest I haven’t owned a Canon camera ever since. Printers, yes; not cameras. The last Canon camera my family owned was a film type camera where you only had about 20 shots per roll of film. You had to remember to roll to the next bit of film after every shot – and every shot counts; you have a bad shot, you live with it when you get it produced at the photo shop (yes, photo shop meant something different back then).
Then the Canon M6 was handed to us. A small form-factor 24.2-Megapixel APS-C (cropped sensor), mirrorless, interchangeable-lens camera in silver and black faux leather. It came with a compact collapsible 15-45mm EF-M lens that you have to unlock and turn to use; pretty nifty we find.
As we first unravel the unit, we find ourselves feeling rather nostalgic looking body design. Either that or it resembled the higher end Leica cameras, just a little bit; albeit probably some ergonomic additions. But it was an appealing thing. It was pretty in our eyes.
It was built like a proper Japanese toy as well. Good weight, but not overweight. The weight is where you want it, it is practically weightless if you are used to the big Digital Singe Lens Reflector (DSLR) cameras. The aluminium (or so we think) was shiny and felt smooth; very high quality – just as expected from Canon. The faux leather felt very much like actual leather too and adds that much grip to your palms (if it could ever film your palms with it). It felt comfortable and good in the hands. There were bits of plastic here and there that frames the button, and covering the horseshoe mount. Most most of the rotating controls are aluminium knobs with very pretty knurling giving the body a premium look. The On/Off lever is weirdly plastic, but it was very high-quality plastic at an oddly placed location (it was placed on the top right of the back panel).
Then comes the kit lens in another compartment in the box. That felt mostly plastic. It did not feel like cheap plastic, it felt like it was made properly with good materials. It was also surprisingly light weight and size. Stick it to the body though and it looked like it belongs.
24 Hours of Canon EOS M6 with the kit lens
To turn it on you need to load the LP-E17 rechargeable battery into the battery compartment at the bottom of the camera grip. Do not to load your own SD card though, it is not included within the box. Then switch the lever on top of the camera to On. Oh wait a minute, you forgot to unlock and extend the lens, the LCD display tells you to do it. Once you do that, you can start snapping away. Except, you forgot that you need to charge the battery first like any other electronic. That is what the LP-C17 charger is for.
Charging the battery is just a short set back though. Out-of-the-box though the battery comes half charged so it is not like you cannot use it right out the bat. Just in case though, you always charge the battery of your new electronics to full before you start using them.
We started using the EOS M6 in Taiwan rather than Malaysia. Also, bare with us because we did not actually play with the Canon EOS M6 much before we picked it up to go Taiwan so we left the camera settings at Auto or Auto+ most of the time within the 24 hours.
Just like any other digital camera, operating the EOS M6 is simple. It has that two-step button press that any other digital cameras feature. The first tier, half click activated the super fast Dual Pixel auto focus that Canon is so known for. A full press will take a photo of whatever you were looking at on the LCD screen. There is no viewfinder available here to look at so we had to use the large 3.0-inch LCD display quite a lot.
The LCD display is the EOS M6’s party piece though. The display is large enough to see your subject without squinting. It is also bright enough out of the box even under the sunlight; you just have to look at the display directly which isn’t a problem with the tilt-able display. The colours are bright and vivid enough to represent your subject. Any changes to ISO, or shutter speed, or aperture will be reflected in the LCD pretty accurately. That also means what you see will be what you get when you start snapping with the DIGIC 7 Image Processor built into the compact body. It is also a capacity touch display which means you can touch the area you want to focus at and it will do exactly just that.
Carrying the Canon EOS M6 throughout the day was a pleasure, it was light so it barely felt like it was there at all. The provided strap out-of-the-box is not the best around and it is not very comfortable. That is if you are actually carrying a heavy DSLR cameras though. With the practically weightless EOS M6 though it was not a bother on either your shoulders or neck. I personally do not like straps around my camera though so I find the strap annoying most of the time, I had it on to carry it around like a tourist around Taiwan.
The Meat of a Camera is taking Photos right?
Taking photos with the Canon EOS M6 at Auto+ mode is easy enough. All you need to do is aim your camera check your frames by either zooming in and out of the subject, and snap. Auto focus is dealt with so quickly you may not even noticed that it happened. That is of course expected of a Canon though, especially one aimed to Bloggers or Vloggers. If you are one of those that likes to take selfies though, the tilting display is a blessing.
Image quality at first glance is great. Of course you cannot expect full-frame goodness out of the camera. It is a cropped sensor after all and images will not be as detailed as full-frame sensors. Colours appear neutral on the photos with nothing to shout about. That may not necessarily be a bad thing though.
Though the camera is capable of producing RAW images, it does not to do that by standard so you would have to choose that option in the settings which is easy enough to go through. Through the settings also you will find that the camera (if you have not looked at the box already) has NFC, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth capabilities. All that means you can pair the camera to a smartphone and either transfer photos to your device or remote control your camera using your device. You do have to use Canon’s Camera Connect app available for free on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store to use those features though.
Camera Connect app
The app is simple enough to use with manuals on how to connect to different cameras that is compatible with the app. It even fires up quickly when you need it and gives you several options on what you want it to do with your paired and connected cameras. It is plenty intuitive to use. The only issue we have with the app is that you have to select photos to transfer to your smartphone from your EOS M6; doing that through your phone is a little slow.
WiFi connections are rarely interrupted when transferring photos though. Photo transfers though WiFi as well is quick and easy other than the fact that you’d have to make your selections on the Canon. Bluetooth connections are quite strong as well for remote monitoring and controls. You can still change the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture through the remote app as well; which is a definite plus.
After the 24 Hours of Canon EOS M6
The Canon EOS M6 is an amazing piece of kit for any sort of travelers with its super light, super compact body package. Ergonomics are not the best if you are used to handling larger cameras but for it works very well for smaller hands like mine. Using it is easy enough in Auto+ mode as well; mindless and auto focus is always on point.
The touch sensitive LCD is a huge welcome for a camera with no viewfinder and with its display conquering most of the back panel. What you see on the display is what you get after pressing that shutter button so that works nicely, and it was responsive enough that you do not get too much of a delay after you fully press the shutter button and the image processing. That is the power of the DIGIC 7 processor packed into the 24.2-Megapixel sensor though technically.
The kit lens is, well a kit lens; and obviously you cannot expect much from a kit lens. It is a little too slow (f/3.5-6.3) for what its worth and if you want to do more serious photography with the MYR3,949 EOS M6 (our kit package), you might be better off by getting just the body (MYR3,409) and other EF-M lenses. Then again there are not many EF-M lens choices at this time especially in Malaysia. That said you might want to consider forking out more money to get the M6 with the EF-M 18mm-150mm (f/3.5-6.3) kit lens at MYR5,259; which could be a little over the top price wise. But for a general purpose, it works; it is not the best out there but it works. At its widest length (15mm) the lens works great when you do selfies with the 180o tilted display, you can even choose different focus points with the touch screen.
As a package the Canon EOS M6 with the EF-M 15-45mm kit lens is a great general photography package. The 1080p Full HD at up to 60fps recording capability is a huge welcome especially if you like to do plenty of travel videos. With the display fully tilted also you could record yourself during your travels, if that is your thing (not our thing though). The only bummer we have with the Full HD video capability is that OIS does not work in video mode.
After the first 24 hours though we do find that we would like a longer lens for a change for more flexibility in function. But other than that the camera works great in any environment especially when you are travelling and you do not want a big load on your shoulders or neck. It works very much like a point and shoot camera in most cases but you still get plenty of flexibility with its many knobs and settings which makes it even better. We love how solid it was built and we are pretty sure this thing can take plenty of beating. This is just the first day though so stay tuned for its full review later on to see us stretch the camera!
Also published on Medium.