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Thread: M6 ii

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    M6 ii

    The thought for this thread really comes out of my assessment of the M6 II. Like many others, I jumped into the "M" ecosystem when Canon started offering some extreme sales on bundles. I remember picking up the M, a lens, and a flash for $400. I have been intrigued by system since. I certainly like the idea of a small travel camera, but I never really found a niche for the M system, especially after I bought the G7X II, which is even smaller and is truly "pocketable." Continuing to give the system a try, I went from the M to the M3. This past fall I was considering ditching the ecosystem as a niche for the M never really developed for me. But, I decided to give the system another try after looking and being intrigued by the specs of the M6 II and watching some reviews.

    One of the items that caught my attention was a variation of this graph, which plots the dynamic range of my previous or current camera bodies:

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    Basically, the modern APS-C sensor has more or about the same dynamic range as my old 5DIII from ISO 100 to ISO ~800 and is consistently much better than my original 7D. In fact, my G7X II has more DR than the 5DIII at ISO 125 and is fairly consistent to my original 7D.

    Then, for the M6 II, I was also curious about the eye-AF, FPS, the uber high pixel density, it being slightly larger in size and just a general inexpensive way for me to start assessing "mirrorless" while also giving the "M" ecosystem another chance.

    All that said, I am impressed with the M6II. It is a very nice little camera. Unfortunately, I now consider it let down by the current set of EF-m lenses as the camera can do much more than those lenses permit.

    But, focusing on the uber-high pixel density, when you are reach limited, this is a great way to put pixels on target. But, in contrast to the DR figure above, I am also well aware that others have assess the "true" advantage of aps-c to be much less than advertised. So, the types of questions I have been wondering: What is the real equivalent advantage of the APS-C crop in terms of reach? Am I better off in terms of adding a 1.4x TC to my 5DIV to get similar reach? What is the bokeh difference between APS-C at 500 mm and my 5DIV plus 1.4x TC at 700 mm (similar pixels on target)?

    But, first, I thought I would start with some recent pictures, taken with the M6 II, "H" drive mode, at 500 mm so similar resolving power to my 5DIV plus 1.4x TC that I have been using. All f/4, 1/1000th of a sec and all edited (I am even using Topaz sharpening, etc). But, to best view detail, click through to Flickr, and double click on the image to zoom in.

    ISO 1000 (2928 x 3660 or ~10.7 MP)
    IMG_3589-SAI by kayaker72, on Flickr

    ISO 5000 (3239 x 4049 or ~13.1 MP)
    IMG_3705-SAI by kayaker72, on Flickr

    ISO 1000 (3768 x 3014 or ~11.3 MP)
    IMG_3765-SAI by kayaker72, on Flickr

    ISO 640 (5139 x 3426 or ~17.6 MP)
    IMG_3834-SAI by kayaker72, on Flickr


    Thanks....Brant
    Last edited by Kayaker72; 07-17-2020 at 08:43 PM.

  2. #2
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    It seems like the same pixel density. I have used the M5 on my 500mm, other than the flip screen there isn't much reason to use it over the 5DsR.
    If I didn't have the 5DsR I might use it to get that little bit of reach.

    If it is a M vs extender question, usually just adding one doesn't give you the perfect focal length. It would be a M plus an extender to get the maximum.

    I find the M to be a good walk around body to take on vacation. Maybe a good camera to take family gathering pictures. For wildlife or birding it would be just a novelty for me.

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    The focus seems spot on and the fine detail visible in those images is fantastic .... I see no issue at all in that regard.

    Have any of those been cropped much?

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    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HDNitehawk View Post
    It seems like the same pixel density. I have used the M5 on my 500mm, other than the flip screen there isn't much reason to use it over the 5DsR.
    If I didn't have the 5DsR I might use it to get that little bit of reach.

    If it is a M vs extender question, usually just adding one doesn't give you the perfect focal length. It would be a M plus an extender to get the maximum.

    I find the M to be a good walk around body to take on vacation. Maybe a good camera to take family gathering pictures. For wildlife or birding it would be just a novelty for me.
    Hi Rick...as I recall, the M5 is 24 MP vs the 32.5 on the M6 II. Which, really, both are goofy levels of high pixel density. Quickly playing with it, the M5 is ~62 MP FF equivalent and the M6 II is 82.5 MP FF equivalent. Honestly, over the 5DRs, I wouldn't see much of a reason to us it either. It does have a higher FPS, but I think the reality of most modern cameras is that they are all very capable.

    I have been/will be looking more at M6 II on the 500 vs the 5DIV plus 1.4 TC on the 500. AF speed/precision but also IQ and bokeh considering I can run one at f/4 and the other at f/5.6. I will also see about adding the TCs onto the M6 II, but I have already been playing with that and I currently think that is an AF hit.

    While I am simply playing with the cameras I have at home with me, part of this is planning which camera will be mounted on what if I decide to shoot with two bodies in Yellowstone.

    As for the M series, yeah, the main niche other than being a novelty I found with the M3 was for video. I forgot to mention, but that was another reason I upgraded, I figured the worst case scenario was the M6 II would be a better video camera with better AF, AF tracking (much better over M3), and AF at lower EV (-5 EV on the M6 II vs +2 on the M3, which had been an issue). BTW, M6 II is a great video camera, for my needs.


    Quote Originally Posted by Joel Eade View Post
    The focus seems spot on and the fine detail visible in those images is fantastic .... I see no issue at all in that regard.

    Have any of those been cropped much?
    Thanks, I edited the initial post to include the resolution. Looks like I typically cropped out half to two-thirds of the pixels.

  5. #5
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    I have a suspension that with the 500mm we are close to the point that the additional pixel density will improve your reach or resolution. I know this is purely anecdotal but when I bought the 5DsR I did tests with all my lenses. I saw real improvement with all my zoom lenses, but the big white lens the improvement wasn't as noticeable. It is the sharpest lens I have and I thought maybe it was because the lens was getting close to the point that additional MP wouldn't improve much. Maybe there are diminishing returns as you get more density. Overall I just felt the 500mm didn't benefit nearly as much as my other lenses.

    If you have a 5DsR you could test and see how the M6 II compares.

    FWIW my brother just returned from Yellowstone. In West Yellowstone restaurants were hard to get in due to Social Distancing Rules. Many hotels and motels were closed, the ones that were open he was able to get a room and the rooms were discounted. The park was not packed with a crowd, he said it wasn't bad. Last report I received from him he had only seen a few bear at distance, no wolves, sheep or moose (Moose is the rare site in the park). If I had been with him and had the 500mm it sounds like there would have been little or no opportunity.

    Focus on the landscape equipment, take the 500mm just in case.
    Typical photo opportunity:
    Yellowstone 2012 (1 of 1)-2 by hdnitehawk01, on Flickr

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayaker72 View Post
    Thanks, I edited the initial post to include the resolution. Looks like I typically cropped out half to two-thirds of the pixels.
    Those images (which look great to me) range from just under 11 mp to just over 17 mp and I would be willing to bet you could get great prints from those with no problem. ( FYI the R5 in 1.6 crop mode produces 17 mp images)

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HDNitehawk View Post
    The park was not packed with a crowd, he said it wasn't bad. Last report I received from him he had only seen a few bear at distance, no wolves, sheep or moose (Moose is the rare site in the park). If I had been with him and had the 500mm it sounds like there would have been little or no opportunity.

    Focus on the landscape equipment, take the 500mm just in case.
    This is part of what I love about Yellowstone and why we targeted it. Worst cast scenario, you still have amazing landscapes and geysers. So, if we see some bison, maybe an elk. Great. We are putting the plan together tomorrow, but the only activity that we are considering that is dedicated to wildlife would be a trip to Lamar valley. Other than that, we'll take what we can get.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joel Eade View Post
    Those images (which look great to me) range from just under 11 mp to just over 17 mp and I would be willing to bet you could get great prints from those with no problem. ( FYI the R5 in 1.6 crop mode produces 17 mp images)
    Thanks. It is pretty impressive the R5 will essentially be a better version of my original 7D even in "crop mode".

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Hot and humid here in NH today, so a few more tests. Perhaps not perfect, but I am seeing enough to reach my conclusions.

    First, the bokeh test. I am curious about the framing of the M6 II with the 500 at f/4 or 800 mm equivalent framing vs the 5DIV + 1.4x TC which would have a maximum aperture of f/5.6 and 700 mm equivalent. At my feeder, this is what I am finding I am using, the M6 II with the 500 f/4 bare or the 5DIV with the 1.4x TC.

    Perhaps I should have done this in the morning when the background would be better lit, but I am seeing enough.

    5DIV
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    M6 II

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    5DIV
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    M6 II

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    I think both are very good and pleasing and am happy with either, but I am finding better bokeh with the M6II at max aperture of f/4 with no TC vs the 5DIV with TC at max aperture of f/5.6.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Now, this gets tricky. To do this type of test you need professional level test charts, patience, and skill.

    I am 0 or 3. This is why I am not a camera reviewer. But, knowing that Canon APS-C sensors have been getting better and better (and do not even get my on Fuji, those are amazing). I wanted to test what I have accepted for years, which is that "the true benefit of APS-C is more like 1.2x and not 1.6x".

    So, cheap test chart from Amazon in hand, here is my attempt to just ballpark if my old assumption is still at all correct. All using the 100 mm macro L, 1/200, f/2.8, ISO 100

    5DIV at 10 ft from chart:
    Attachment 2845
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    M6 II at 14 ft:

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    15 ft:

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    16 ft:

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    I have another set of crops I could post, but in a way, I do not want to dwell on this too much. Better charts/equipment/test set up/etc would be needed to really refine this and to do a good job.

    But this is close enough to me. I see better detail in the 5DIV image at 10 ft than I do the M6 II at 16 ft. From my standpoint, I would say the resolving power is somewhere between 14 and 15 ft, or 1.4x to 1.5x being the "true" crop factor for the sensor on the M6 II. This is the same conclusion I reached looking at other crops. So, in my mind, I am just going to call it 1.45x. Still more resolving power than a 1.4x TC (which is actually 1.36x and does also put more glass between sensor and the subject).
    Last edited by Kayaker72; 07-19-2020 at 12:28 PM.

  10. #10
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    Compare M6 II vs. 5DIV both at 10ft, as this is often the real world situation. You cannot get closer to the subject without one of the following:

    a) Falling from cliff, in river, off boardwalk, etc.
    b) Scaring "it" off
    c) Making yourself "it"'s lunch.
    d) View is obscured from further away (trees, crowd, etc.)
    ... You get the idea.

    Considering this 10ft vantage point, what gets me a better image? Possible comparisons - Crop 5DIV to match M6II (which gives best detail at 100%). Downscale M6II to match center of 5DIV (which gives best image for a equally sized print, assuming you're cropping the 5DIV to 1.6).

    Your 10ft vs. 16ft test is the opposite of c), and/or reducing the odds of b). It's the "I don't feel comfortable with how close I am, can I move further away if I switch bodies?" / "Can I make my subject more comfortable by moving away?" situation. This is also a good test.
    On Flickr - Namethatnobodyelsetook on Flickr
    1DsII | 7D | 7DII | 10-18mm STM | 18-135mm STM | 24-70mm f/4L | Sigma 35mm f/1.4 | 50mm f/1.8 | 85mm f/1.8 | 70-300mm f/4-5.6L

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