Product Review Update: Canon EOS M6
The Market Ticker - Commentary on The Capital Markets
2017-05-18 09:35 by Karl Denninger
in Product Reviews , 126 references Ignore this thread
Product Review Update: Canon EOS M6
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Read the original, if you haven't...

Having now taken this on a decent backcountry hike, I have an update!

Short version: It's everything I expected it to be in actual use.

There were a couple of surprises.  One of them is workflow with the (still) product; if you want to shoot RAW (I always do) then you have a workflow issue to deal with, because as with other models of cameras it's new enough that you wind up having to upgrade your process software.  This is somewhat of a pain in the ass; I had Lightroom 5 and have been happy with it, eschewing the $80 cost of upgrading to 6.  Well, that's fine but no lens correction data for the new kit lens is in there nor will Lightroom 5 read the .CR2 files directly, and one of the "alternative" ways of dealing with that (convert all to DNG) works fine for reading but does nothing for the lens corrections.  Did I mention you want them if you're working in RAW format?  Grrr......

The other alternative is to use Canon's DPP package, which is no longer on a disk in the package -- you need to download it, and convert to TIFFs.  That's an acceptable alternative (since it's lossless.)  Just be aware that you need to rework process stuff.  Oh, and be aware -- converting to 16-bit TIFFs is going to make for explosive file size increases from the original .CR2, but converting to 8 bit throws away a lot of what the sensor can capture and yes, I can see it INSTANTLY in a side-by-side -- so don't do 8 bit.

You choose -- there's no way around paying either for software or in disk space if you use the Canon "included" option.  Just sayin'....

I have a "Capture Pro" clip that I mounted on my left backpack chest strap, and the camera carries very nicely there. My "official" use for that thing is on my belt when shooting with a big dSLR where I need somewhere to clip a second camera if I have two with me for some reason -- trying to clip off 4lbs (5d3 + an L lens) on your backpack chest strap is a bad idea for balance and comfort reasons, but with this little guy it's fantastic.  I never knew it was there from a comfort perspective, but when you want to grab it there it is.  Having brought my 5d3 hiking with me in the past which has always been a miserable experience the difference is dramatic -- 90% of the capability for a setup that has no material impact on your comfort is a big deal.

There was no time that I really missed the OVF and shooting with the screen was a breeze.  I took a bit of video footage as well (which you'll see some of soon) and the camera acquitted itself very well in that regard.  The two-factor IS (sensor + lens) made handheld video practical, which was a decent and pleasant surprise.  If there was one complaint it's that the internal mic for video use has a rather interesting tonal quality change with distance -- you'll see what I mean by that when I put the footage up.  As is usually the case an external mic of some sort is a darn good idea for video but it's not practical in this sort of use case, so there you have it.

In short while yes, you can use your cellphone camera for such picture taking you'll never get this sort of qualitative output from a cell camera, no matter what it is, compared against something like this.  There were a couple of times I wished I had the second, ultra-wide lens with me (I didn't) but the kit lens acquitted itself exceedingly well all things considered.  There were a couple of times I wanted some longer glass with me (a few soaring bird shots there was just no way to get without the reach) but would I pay the mass penalty to have it with me on a hike like this?  Nope.

Here's just one small example.... out of a whole lot of shooting that was done.  I didn't have an ND filter with me and this was shot hand-held as well -- just try to get the shutter speed slow enough to get some of the "motion blur" in the water at a waterfall with your cellphone when you can't control aperture.  That ain't gonna happen folks so..... yeah.  I would have liked an 3 or 4-stop ND filter to get even more of it, and I did have a small tripod with me, but without the ND it was pointless since I couldn't get the shutter speed low enough to get the maximum effect.  Still.... note that these are not retouched at all; they're exactly "as-shot" out of the camera other than resolution reduction for the web (and no, you can't have the originals smiley)

Overall my view on the setup for this use?

Winner winner chicken dinner -- in a big way.

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