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EOS M6 Mark II Review: Travel Adventures in Yogyakarta

For a recent holiday, sports and documentary photographer Annice Lyn wanted a vacation from her usual heavy gear without sacrificing speed and imaging capability. She shares with us how the pint-sized EOS M6 Mark II proved to be a power-packed partner that helped document her Yogyakarta adventures in detail. (Reported by: Annice Lyn)

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1. Travelling light
2. 32.5 megapixels of intricate detail
3. Up to 14 fps continuous shooting
4. Shooting in low light 60m underground
5. Summing up
6. Three things to try with the EOS M6 Mark II
7. More images

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Travelling light: One camera and three lenses together weighed similar to the average 13.3” laptop

When I am on assignment as a documentary and sports photographer, my go-to gear includes the EOS-1D X, EOS R, EF50mm f/1.8 STM, EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM, and EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM.  Extremely reliable, they ensure that I catch critical moments in excellent image quality.  However, they are professional heavyweights in more than one sense—when combined, they can be quite a load to carry. 

For my holiday to Yogyakarta, Indonesia, especially with all the activities that I had planned, I wanted to travel light and fuss-free while still being able to take high-quality images. The recently-released EOS M6 Mark II promised just that.

In addition to the EOS M6 Mark II, my gear included:

- External viewfinder EVF-DC2; 
- Three native EF-M lenses (EF-M11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STMEF-M32mm f/1.4 STM and EF-M18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM)
- Two spare batteries

Together, they weighed just around 1.2kg—similar to the average 13.3-inch laptop. I also realised that I suddenly had additional space in my travel backpack for other items!

As for image quality, I was simply blown away by what this little guy could do. I'll let the images speak for themselves.

 

32.5 megapixels of intricate detail

Built in the 10th century, Prambanan Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia and an architectural masterpiece. 

With its 32.5 effective megapixels, the EOS M6 Mark II currently has the highest pixel count out of all of Canon’s mirrorless cameras with APS-C sensors. It helped me to capture the scale of the temple complex and the fine details on the elaborate stone carvings on the walls in a single frame. 

Prambanan Temple

EOS M6 Mark II/ EF-M11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM/ FL: 11mm (17.6mm equivalent)/ Manual exposure (f/4.5, 1/640 sec, EV±0)/ ISO 100/ WB: Auto

I was just coming out of one of the towers when I spotted a tourist posing on the stairs, perfect for showing the scale of the huge structure. The quick start-up time and fast AF of the EOS M6 Mark II were crucial for capturing this picture-perfect moment.

 

Sharp and crisp even when cropped

Girl carrying baby sister

EOS M6 Mark II/ EF-M32mm f/1.4 STM/ FL: 32mm (51.2mm equivalent)/ Manual exposure (f/1.4, 1/1000 sec, EV±0)/ ISO 100/ WB: Auto

I love to engage with people when I travel. Before I photographed these children of a shopkeeper, I made some friendly hand gestures to them to assure them that I was a safe person. The small size of the EOS M6 Mark II makes it look less intimidating, which helps in such situations.


Close-up of child's face

It’s amazing how the details of the skin are still crisp and clear even in this close crop.


Tip: If you’re shy but want to photograph strangers, remember this
A camera is a great medium for connecting people and starting decent conversations. Everyone has a story to tell, and if you listen to them with respect, people tend to be appreciative. 

 

Up to 14 fps continuous shooting; highly accurate AF tracking

The jeep ride to Mount Merapi was bumpy and erratic due to the road conditions, with the dust blowing up from the dirt roads affecting visibility. It was the perfect situation to try out the 14 fps maximum burst-shooting capabilities of the EOS M6 Mark II—a feature that had immediate appeal to the sports photographer in me.

14 fps continuous shooting on the EOS M6 Mark II

Jeep on dirt road

EOS M6 Mark II/ EF-M11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM/ FL: 21mm (33.6mm equivalent)/ Manual exposure (f/5.6, 1/1,250 sec, EV±0)/ ISO 100/ WB: Auto
From a 14 fps burst

I was pleasantly surprised by the tracking accuracy of the Dual Pixel CMOS AF system, which kept my subject sharp in all the burst shots. The small size of the camera made it possible to wind the strap around me with one hand as I shot the jeep behind me, leaving the other hand free to hold on tight to the jeep that I was on. 

 

Shooting in low light 60m underground

Light of Heaven in Jomblang Cave

EOS M6 Mark II/ EF-M11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM/ FL: 11mm (17.6mm equivalent)/ Manual exposure (f/4, 1/125 sec, EV±0)/ ISO 4000/ WB: Auto

It was challenging to shoot the “Light of Heaven” in Jomblang Cave, which can only be reached after a 60m vertical descent to the cave and a 300m hike in dark, slippery and muddy conditions. I was glad that my gear wasn’t any bigger or heavier! The exceptional low light AF performance of the EOS M6 Mark II, which works in situations as dark as EV-5, helped me to achieve a sharp shot of the atmosphere inside the cave, even without a tripod. 

 

Summing up

The EOS M6 Mark II is great for travel and street photography, and makes an excellent sub-camera for professional photographers or enthusiasts who want to:

- Travel really light but still have full-fledged features;
- Shoot detailed, good quality images;
- Be able to use different lenses, which includes EF/EF-S lenses with a mount adapter; and
- Desire the extra reach that the APS-C sensor gives.

For paid sports assignments where features such as an OVF and dual card slots matter, I will be sticking to my trusty EOS-1D X. However, for sports shoots without the same kind of pressure to deliver, the speed and versatility of the EOS M6 Mark II make it an excellent choice.

 

Three things to try with the EOS M6 Mark II

1. Pair it with the EF-M32mm f/1.4 STM

My favourite lens pairing was the extremely fast and sharp EF-M32mm f/1.4 STM, which really captured the emotions of people (see the earlier image of children, and the one of the elderly lady further down). Its excellent resolving power brings out the best of the EOS M6 Mark Il image sensor.

Colourful red flowers

EOS M6 Mark II/ EF-M32mm f/1.4 STM/ FL: 32mm (51.2mm equivalent)/ Manual exposure (f/1.4, 1/1,600 sec, EV±0)/ ISO 100/ WB: Auto

The EF-M32mm f/1.4 STM is good for more than just portraits. The vibrant colours of these flowers outside Jomblang Cave were a welcome break from the earthy tones of the temples and caves that I had been shooting. Notice the excellent rendering and the beautifully creamy foreground bokeh.

 

2. Use it with an external EVF

I like how a viewfinder allows you to concentrate on what you want to create. If you’re like me, you’ll find the external electronic viewfinder EVF-DC2 (sold separately) useful.

Sunrise at Borobudur Temple

EOS M6 Mark II/ EF-M11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM/ FL: 11mm (17.6mm equivalent)/ Manual exposure (f/22, 1/400 sec, EV±0)/ ISO 125/ WB: Auto

We woke up at 3:00 am to travel to Borobudur Temple and catch the sunrise. The sky was changing every minute. Using the external electronic viewfinder EVF-DC2 helped me to concentrate on the scene, and being able to preview the effects of my exposure settings helped to capture the colours and cloud details without overexposure.

 

3. Share the photos with your portrait subject with Wi-Fi/Bluetooth and Canon Camera Connect

To me, shooting portraits is about engagement with the subject, and never about simply about getting the shot and moving on. Sharing the images with the person is a good way to keep up the connection!

With Wi-Fi/Bluetooth connectivity and the Canon Camera Connect mobile app, you can easily download shots from the camera to your smartphone and share them on the spot. Choose between downloading the full resolution file or a smaller, lighter version that is still acceptable for viewing on a computer or smartphone screen.

 

More images

Sunset

EOS M6 Mark II/ EF-M18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM/ FL: 47mm (75.2mm equivalent)/ Manual exposure (f/5.6, 1/250 sec, EV±0)/ ISO 100/ WB: Auto

Sunrise from another angle at Borobudur Temple.

 

Old woman laughing

EOS M6 Mark II/ EF-M32mm f/1.4 STM/ FL: 32mm (51.2mm equivalent)/ Manual exposure (f/1.4, 1/1,250 sec, EV±0)/ ISO 400/ WB: Auto

An elderly fruit hawker smiles when I compliment her about her energy.

 

Low angle view of Jomblang Cave

EOS M6 Mark II/ EF-M11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM/ FL: 11mm (17.6mm equivalent)/ Manual exposure (f/22, 1/80 sec, EV±0)/ ISO 800/ WB: Auto

The descent to Jomblang Cave.

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Learn more about the EOS M6 Mark II in:
Agile x Versatile: EOS M6 Mark II
Capture Crucial Moments in Sports with the Canon EOS M6 Mark II

 


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Annice Lyn

Annice Lyn

Former national competitive figure skater Annice Lyn developed her passion for photography while obtaining her architectural degree. She believes that the art of photography is being able to articulate and transports fragments of moment into timeless imagery. The first female photographer based in Malaysia to be accredited for the XXIII Olympic Winter Games (PyeongChang 2018), her work has been picked up by the Associated Press, AFP, the Washington Post, USA Today and various news online platforms, both locally & internationally. A current Canon Malaysia EOS Youth Ambassador, she seeks to visually document mainly humanitarian interests, sports and visual artwork photography via her platform Anntopia.

Website: www.anntopia.net
Instagram: @annicelyn (Personal), @sportsbyannicelyn (Sports), @anntopia (Visual Arts)
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/byanntopia