For the EOS M6, Canon strips down the M5

This cut-price version of Canon's flagship mirrorless should probably be a little cheaper.

Lori Grunin

Lori Grunin

Senior Editor / Reviews

I've been writing about and reviewing consumer technology since before the turn of the century. I'm also a photographer and cat herder, frequently at the same time.

See full bio
2 min read

CNET editors pick the products and services we write about. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

Shop for Canon EOS M6 (with 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens, black)

See all prices

The EOS M6, Canon's mirrorless model to replace its middle-child M3, is for the same people that all the other entry-level mirrorless folks are targeting: people who want something with the same photo quality as a cheap-ish dSLR to supplement their phone. So the company stripped the viewfinder off its M5 -- it's an option on the M6 -- and redesigned the body a bit.

Unlike the Rebel T7i (aka the EOS 800D) and the EOS 77D, the 24.2-megapixel Dual Pixel CMOS sensor and the newest Digic 7 processor aren't new to Canon's mirrorless models. Instead, the differences between the M5 and M6 include a more mirrorless-like popup flash, a mode dial that doesn't lock and that sits on the right instead of the left. The M5's dial function control is now stacked beneath the exposure compensation dial. The M6 also has a comparably sized but lower-resolution 3.2-inch touchscreen, and the M6's flips up for selfies and groupies as well as tilting down. Oh -- and the power lever's been moved.

Canon plans to ship the M6 in April 2017 at $780 for the body, $900 for a kit with the 15-45mm f3.5-6.3 lens and $1,280 for a kit with the 18-150mm f3.5-6.3 lens. I don't have pricing for the UK or Australia yet, but those directly convert to about £625, £720, and £1,025 or AU$1,020, AU$1,180 and AU$1,630.

Canon 77D, T7i and M6: The updated consumer camera trio for 2017

See all photos

Here's the problem. Its fiercest competitors come from Sony. So while the M6 sounds perfectly fine, you can get a two-year-old A5100 body, which has similar specs, for $450 (£540, AU$900) or the still-good A6000 body, which has a built-in viewfinder, for only $550 (£670, and oddly, AU$900). Plus Sony offers power-zoom lenses which make the cameras far more compact. There's nothing that strikes me as a compelling reason to pay more for the M6, unless you really, really want something released in 2017.