Canon 7D II vs M6 Mark II
The Canon EOS 7D Mark II and the Canon EOS M6 Mark II are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2014 and August 2019. The 7D Mark II is a DSLR, while the M6 Mark II is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The 7D Mark II has a resolution of 20 megapixels, whereas the M6 Mark II provides 32.3 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 7D Mark II and the Canon EOS M6 Mark II? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 7D II and the Canon M6 Mark II is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon M6 Mark II is considerably smaller (50 percent) than the Canon 7D II. Moreover, the M6 Mark II is substantially lighter (55 percent) than the 7D Mark II. It is worth mentioning in this context that the 7D Mark II is splash and dust resistant, while the M6 Mark II does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
Concerning battery life, the 7D Mark II gets 670 shots out of its LP-E6N battery, while the M6 Mark II can take 305 images on a single charge of its LP-E17 power pack. The power pack in the M6 Mark II can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Canon 7D II||149 mm||112 mm||78 mm||910 g||670||Y||Sep 2014||1,799|
|2.||Canon M6 Mark II||120 mm||70 mm||49 mm||408 g||305||n||Aug 2019||849|
|3.||Canon M50 Mark II||116 mm||88 mm||59 mm||387 g||305||n||Oct 2020||599|
|4.||Canon M50||116 mm||88 mm||59 mm||390 g||235||n||Feb 2018||779|
|5.||Canon M6||112 mm||68 mm||45 mm||390 g||295||n||Feb 2017||779|
|6.||Canon M5||116 mm||89 mm||61 mm||427 g||295||n||Sep 2016||979|
|7.||Canon M3||111 mm||68 mm||44 mm||366 g||250||n||Feb 2015||679|
|8.||Canon T6i||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||555 g||440||n||Feb 2015||749|
|9.||Canon T5||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449|
|10.||Canon 70D||139 mm||104 mm||79 mm||755 g||920||Y||Jul 2013||1,199|
|11.||Canon SL1||117 mm||91 mm||69 mm||407 g||380||n||Mar 2013||549|
|12.||Canon T5i||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||580 g||440||n||Mar 2013||649|
|13.||Canon 6D||145 mm||111 mm||71 mm||770 g||1090||Y||Sep 2012||2,099|
|14.||Canon 60D||145 mm||106 mm||79 mm||755 g||1100||Y||Aug 2010||1,399|
|15.||Canon 7D||148 mm||111 mm||74 mm||860 g||800||Y||Sep 2009||1,699|
|16.||Canon 50D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||800||Y||Aug 2008||1,299|
|17.||Canon 20D||144 mm||106 mm||72 mm||770 g||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The M6 Mark II was launched at a markedly lower price (by 53 percent) than the 7D Mark II, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the M6 Mark II is 1 percent bigger. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 32.3MP, the M6 Mark II offers a higher resolution than the 7D Mark II (20MP), but the M6 Mark II has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.23μm versus 4.10μm for the 7D Mark II). Yet, the M6 Mark II is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 11 months) than the 7D Mark II, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The resolution advantage of the Canon M6 Mark II implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the M6 Mark II for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 34.8 x 23.2 inches or 88.4 x 58.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 27.8 x 18.6 inches or 70.7 x 47.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 23.2 x 15.5 inches or 58.9 x 39.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 7D II are 27.4 x 18.2 inches or 69.5 x 46.3 cm for good quality, 21.9 x 14.6 inches or 55.6 x 37.1 cm for very good quality, and 18.2 x 12.2 inches or 46.3 x 30.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon EOS 7D Mark II has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 16000, which can be extended to ISO 100-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS M6 Mark II are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-51200.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
| DXO |
|1.||Canon 7D II||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||11.8||1082||70|
|2.||Canon M6 Mark II||APS-C||32.3||6960||4640||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|3.||Canon M50 Mark II||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/24p||..||..||..||..|
|13.||Canon 6D||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||1080/30p||23.8||12.1||2340||82|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the M6 Mark II provides a better video resolution than the 7D Mark II. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the 7D Mark II is limited to 1080/60p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 7D Mark II has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the M6 Mark II relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the M6 Mark II can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF-DC2. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 7D II and Canon M6 Mark II along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Canon 7D II||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||Y||n|
|2.||Canon M6 Mark II||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||14.0||Y||n|
|3.||Canon M50 Mark II||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||10.0||Y||n|
One feature that is present on the 7D Mark II, but is missing on the M6 Mark II is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.The M6 Mark II has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the 7D Mark II does not have a selfie-screen.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the M6 Mark II is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Canon 7D II and the Canon M6 Mark II both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The 7D Mark II writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or SDXC cards, while the M6 Mark II uses SDXC cards. The 7D Mark II features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the M6 Mark II only has one slot. The M6 Mark II supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s), while the 7D Mark II can use UHS-I cards (up to 104 MB/s).
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II and Canon EOS M6 Mark II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|1.||Canon 7D II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Canon M6 Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|3.||Canon M50 Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
It is notable that the 7D Mark II has a headphone jack, which is not present on the M6 Mark II This port makes it possible to attach external headphones and monitor the quality of sound during the recording process.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 7D II (unlike the M6 Mark II) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that the 7D Mark II has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.
Both the 7D Mark II and the M6 Mark II are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The 7D Mark II replaced the earlier Canon 7D, while the M6 Mark II followed on from the Canon M6. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon 7D II better than the Canon M6 Mark II or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II:
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (670 versus 305) on a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2014).
Advantages of the Canon EOS M6 Mark II:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (32.3 vs 20MP), which boosts linear resolution by 27%.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (14 vs 10 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (120x70mm vs 149x112mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 502g or 55 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Faster buffer clearing: Supports a more advanced SD data transfer standard (UHS-II vs UHS-I).
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (53 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 11 months of technical progress since the 7D Mark II launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the M6 Mark II is the clear winner of the contest (16 : 11 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 7D II and the Canon M6 Mark II place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 7D Mark II or the M6 Mark II. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Canon 7D II||4.5/5||+||84/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||1,799|
|2.||Canon M6 Mark II||..||+||85/100||4/5||4/5||Aug 2019||849|
|3.||Canon M50 Mark II||..||..||..||4.5/5||3.5/5||Oct 2020||599|
|4.||Canon M50||..||+||79/100||..||3.5/5||Feb 2018||779|
|5.||Canon M6||..||..||80/100||4/5||4/5||Feb 2017||779|
|6.||Canon M5||4/5||+||82/100||4/5||4/5||Sep 2016||979|
|7.||Canon M3||4/5||o||75/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||679|
|8.||Canon T6i||5/5||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749|
|9.||Canon T5||3/5||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449|
|10.||Canon 70D||5/5||+ +||83/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2013||1,199|
|11.||Canon SL1||4/5||+||78/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549|
|12.||Canon T5i||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649|
|13.||Canon 6D||5/5||+ +||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,099|
|14.||Canon 60D||5/5||+||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||1,399|
|15.||Canon 7D||5/5||+ +||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2009||1,699|
|16.||Canon 50D||..||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299|
|17.||Canon 20D||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2004||1,499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Canon 7D II vs Canon M6 Mark II
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Canon 7D II||Canon M6 Mark II|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF-M mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2014||August 2019|
|Launch Price||USD 1,799||USD 849|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 7D II||Canon M6 Mark II|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.4 x 15.0 mm||22.5 x 15.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||336 mm2||337.5 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||27 mm||27 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20 Megapixels||32.3 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5472 x 3648 pixels||6960 x 4640 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.10 μm||3.23 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.94 MP/cm2||9.57 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 16,000 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 51,200 ISO||100 - 51,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 6 (Dual)||DIGIC 8|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||70||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.4||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.8||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1082||..|
|Screen Specs||Canon 7D II||Canon M6 Mark II|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 7D II||Canon M6 Mark II|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/8000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||14 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||200 000 actuations||100 000 actuations|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/16000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF or SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-II|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 7D II||Canon M6 Mark II|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||USB 3.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||no Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Geotagging||GPS built-in||no internal GPS|
|Body Specs||Canon 7D II||Canon M6 Mark II|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||670 shots per charge||305 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
149 x 112 x 78 mm
(5.9 x 4.4 x 3.1 in)
120 x 70 x 49 mm
(4.7 x 2.8 x 1.9 in)
|Camera Weight||910 g (32.1 oz)||408 g (14.4 oz)|
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