Canon M6 Mark II vs Leica SL2-S
The Canon EOS M6 Mark II and the Leica SL2-S are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2019 and December 2020. Both the M6 Mark II and the SL2-S are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on an APS-C (M6 Mark II) and a full frame (SL2-S) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 32.3 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 24 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 M6 Mark II and the Leica SL2-S? 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 M6 Mark II and the Leica SL2-S is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures 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 Leica SL2-S is considerably larger (86 percent) than the Canon M6 Mark II. Moreover, the SL2-S is substantially heavier (128 percent) than the M6 Mark II. It is noteworthy in this context that the SL2-S is splash and dust-proof, 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.
The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Canon M6 Mark II||120 mm||70 mm||49 mm||408 g||305||n||Aug 2019||849|
|2.||Leica SL2-S||146 mm||107 mm||83 mm||931 g||510||Y||Dec 2020||4,895|
|3.||Canon M50 Mark II||116 mm||88 mm||59 mm||387 g||305||n||Oct 2020||599|
|4.||Canon RP||133 mm||85 mm||70 mm||485 g||250||n||Feb 2019||1,299|
|5.||Canon G5 X Mark II||111 mm||61 mm||46 mm||340 g||230||n||Jul 2019||899|
|6.||Canon 2000D||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||475 g||500||n||Feb 2018||449|
|7.||Canon 4000D||129 mm||102 mm||77 mm||436 g||500||n||Feb 2018||399|
|8.||Canon M50||116 mm||88 mm||59 mm||390 g||235||n||Feb 2018||779|
|9.||Canon M6||112 mm||68 mm||45 mm||390 g||295||n||Feb 2017||779|
|10.||Canon M5||116 mm||89 mm||61 mm||427 g||295||n||Sep 2016||979|
|11.||Leica SL2||146 mm||107 mm||42 mm||953 g||370||Y||Nov 2019||5,999|
|12.||Leica SL||147 mm||104 mm||39 mm||847 g||400||Y||Oct 2015||7,450|
|13.||Olympus E-M1X||144 mm||147 mm||75 mm||997 g||870||Y||Jan 2019||2,999|
|14.||Panasonic S1||149 mm||110 mm||97 mm||1017 g||400||Y||Feb 2019||2,499|
|15.||Panasonic S1H||151 mm||114 mm||110 mm||1052 g||400||Y||May 2019||3,999|
|16.||Panasonic LX100 II||115 mm||66 mm||65 mm||392 g||300||n||Aug 2018||999|
|17.||Sony A6400||120 mm||67 mm||50 mm||403 g||410||Y||Jan 2019||899|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The M6 Mark II was launched at a markedly lower price (by 83 percent) than the SL2-S, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon M6 Mark II features an APS-C sensor and the Leica SL2-S a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the SL2-S is 156 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon M6 Mark II offers a higher resolution of 32.3 megapixels, compared with 24 MP of the Leica SL2-S. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.23μm versus 6.00μm for the SL2-S). Moreover, it should be noted that the SL2-S is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 3 months) than the M6 Mark II, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the SL2-S has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
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 Leica SL2-S are 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm for good quality, 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm for very good quality, and 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The M6 Mark II has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
Unlike the M6 Mark II, the SL2-S has the capacity to capture high quality composite images (96MP) by combining multiple shots after shifting its sensor by miniscule distances. This multi-shot, pixel-shift mode is most suitable for photography of stationary objects (landscapes, studio scenes).
The Canon EOS M6 Mark II has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica SL2-S are ISO 100 to ISO 50000, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-100000.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). 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 M6 Mark II||APS-C||32.3||6960||4640||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|2.||Leica SL2-S||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/60p||..||..||..||..|
|3.||Canon M50 Mark II||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/24p||..||..||..||..|
|4.||Canon RP||Full Frame||26.2||6240||4160||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|5.||Canon G5 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|11.||Leica SL2||Full Frame||46.7||8368||5584||4K/60p||..||..||..||..|
|12.||Leica SL||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||13.4||1821||88|
|13.||Olympus E-M1X||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|14.||Panasonic S1||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/60p||25.2||14.5||3333||95|
|15.||Panasonic S1H||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||6K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|16.||Panasonic LX100 II||Four Thirds||16.8||4736||3552||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the SL2-S provides a faster frame rate than the M6 Mark II. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/60p, while the Canon is limited to 4K/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the SL2-S has an electronic viewfinder (5760k dots), which can be very helpful 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon M6 Mark II, the Leica SL2-S, and comparable cameras.
|1.||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|
|5.||Canon G5 X Mark II||2360||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||30||Y||Y|
|16.||Panasonic LX100 II||2764||n||3.0||1240||fixed||Y||1/4000s||11.0||n||Y|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The M6 Mark II has one, while the SL2-S does not. While the built-in flash of the M6 Mark II is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.The M6 Mark II has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the SL2-S 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, both cameras under consideration feature an 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 M6 Mark II and the Leica SL2-S 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.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the M6 Mark II and the SL2-S write their files to SDXC cards. The SL2-S 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. Moreover, both cameras support UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 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 M6 Mark II and Leica SL2-S and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|1.||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|
|5.||Canon G5 X Mark II||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|16.||Panasonic LX100 II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
It is notable that the SL2-S has a headphone jack, which makes it possible to attach external headphones and monitor the quality of sound during the recording process. The M6 Mark II lacks such a headphone port.
Both the M6 Mark II and the SL2-S are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The M6 Mark II replaced the earlier Canon M6, while the SL2-S does not have a direct predecessor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Leica websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon M6 Mark II and the Leica SL2-S? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS M6 Mark II:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (32.3 vs 24MP) with a 16% higher linear resolution.
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- More compact: Is smaller (120x70mm vs 146x107mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 523g or 56 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (83 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in August 2019).
Arguments in favor of the Leica SL2-S:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- High quality composites: Can combine several shots after pixel-shifting its sensor.
- Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (4K/60p versus 4K/30p).
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (2100k vs 1040k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (20 vs 14 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (510 versus 305) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.2 vs 2.0).
- More solid recording: Has a full-sized HDMI port for a sturdy connection to an external recorder.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 3 months) more recently.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SL2-S is the clear winner of the contest (22 : 10 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 M6 Mark II and the Leica SL2-S place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the M6 Mark II or the SL2-S perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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 M6 Mark II||..||+||85/100||4/5||4/5||Aug 2019||849|
|2.||Leica SL2-S||4/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||Dec 2020||4,895|
|3.||Canon M50 Mark II||..||..||..||..||..||Oct 2020||599|
|4.||Canon RP||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2019||1,299|
|5.||Canon G5 X Mark II||4/5||+||82/100||..||4/5||Jul 2019||899|
|6.||Canon 2000D||..||o||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||449|
|7.||Canon 4000D||..||o||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||399|
|8.||Canon M50||..||+||79/100||..||3.5/5||Feb 2018||779|
|9.||Canon M6||..||..||80/100||4/5||4/5||Feb 2017||779|
|10.||Canon M5||4/5||+||82/100||4/5||4/5||Sep 2016||979|
|11.||Leica SL2||4/5||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Nov 2019||5,999|
|12.||Leica SL||4/5||..||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||Oct 2015||7,450|
|13.||Olympus E-M1X||4.5/5||o||..||4.5/5||..||Jan 2019||2,999|
|14.||Panasonic S1||4.5/5||+ +||88/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2019||2,499|
|15.||Panasonic S1H||..||..||90/100||..||..||May 2019||3,999|
|16.||Panasonic LX100 II||4.5/5||+||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||999|
|17.||Sony A6400||4/5||+||85/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jan 2019||899|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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 your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Canon M6 Mark II vs Leica SL2-S
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 M6 Mark II||Leica SL2-S|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF-M mount lenses||Leica L mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2019||December 2020|
|Launch Price||USD 849||USD 4,895|
|Sensor Specs||Canon M6 Mark II||Leica SL2-S|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.5 x 15.0 mm||36.0 x 24.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||337.5 mm2||864 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||27 mm||43.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||32.3 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6960 x 4640 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.23 μm||6.00 μm|
|Pixel Density||9.57 MP/cm2||2.78 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||4K/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 25,600 ISO||100 - 50,000 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 51,200 ISO||50 - 100,000 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 8||Maestro III|
|Screen Specs||Canon M6 Mark II||Leica SL2-S|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||5760k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.2inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||2100k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon M6 Mark II||Leica SL2-S|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||14 shutter flaps/s||20 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/16000s||up to 1/16000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||UHS-II||Dual UHS-II|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon M6 Mark II||Leica SL2-S|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 3.2|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||full HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||no Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon M6 Mark II||Leica SL2-S|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||305 shots per charge||510 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
120 x 70 x 49 mm
(4.7 x 2.8 x 1.9 in)
146 x 107 x 83 mm
(5.7 x 4.2 x 3.3 in)
|Camera Weight||408 g (14.4 oz)||931 g (32.8 oz)|
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