Canon M6 Mark II vs Pentax K-S2
The Canon EOS M6 Mark II and the Pentax K-S2 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2019 and February 2015. The M6 Mark II is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the K-S2 is a DSLR. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 32.3 megapixels, whereas the Pentax provides 20 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 Pentax K-S2? 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 Pentax K-S2 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.
The K-S2 can be obtained in six different colors (black, grey, pink, orange, green, white), while the M6 Mark II is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax K-S2 is notably larger (33 percent) than the Canon M6 Mark II. Moreover, the K-S2 is substantially heavier (66 percent) than the M6 Mark II. It is noteworthy in this context that the K-S2 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.
Concerning battery life, the M6 Mark II gets 305 shots out of its LP-E17 battery, while the K-S2 can take 410 images on a single charge of its D-LI109 power pack. The power pack in the M6 Mark II can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Canon M6 Mark II||120 mm||70 mm||49 mm||408 g||305||n||Aug 2019||849|
|2.||Pentax K-S2||123 mm||91 mm||73 mm||678 g||410||Y||Feb 2015||749|
|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.||Panasonic LX100 II||115 mm||66 mm||65 mm||392 g||300||n||Aug 2018||999|
|12.||Pentax KP||132 mm||101 mm||76 mm||703 g||390||Y||Jan 2017||1,099|
|13.||Pentax K-70||126 mm||93 mm||74 mm||688 g||410||Y||Jun 2016||649|
|14.||Pentax K-3 II||131 mm||100 mm||77 mm||800 g||720||Y||Apr 2015||1,099|
|15.||Pentax K-S1||121 mm||93 mm||70 mm||558 g||410||n||Aug 2014||749|
|16.||Pentax K-3||131 mm||100 mm||77 mm||800 g||560||Y||Oct 2013||1,299|
|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 K-S2 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 12 percent) than the M6 Mark II, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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 size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better 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 K-S2 is 9 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (M6 Mark II) and 1.5. 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 20 MP of the Pentax K-S2. 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 4.28μm for the K-S2). However, it should be noted that the M6 Mark II is much more recent (by 4 years and 6 months) than the K-S2, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the K-S2 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 Pentax K-S2 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 M6 Mark II has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
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 Pentax K-S2 are ISO 100 to ISO 51200 (no boost).
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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
|1.||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||..||..||..||..|
|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.||Panasonic LX100 II||Four Thirds||16.8||4736||3552||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|14.||Pentax K-3 II||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/60i||23.6||13.6||1106||80|
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 M6 Mark II provides a higher video resolution than the K-S2. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Pentax is limited to 1080/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the K-S2 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon M6 Mark II, the Pentax K-S2, 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|
|11.||Panasonic LX100 II||2764||n||3.0||1240||fixed||Y||1/4000s||11.0||n||Y|
|14.||Pentax K-3 II||optical||Y||3.2||1037||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.3||n||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The M6 Mark II has a touchscreen, while the K-S2 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.
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 M6 Mark II and the Pentax K-S2 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 K-S2 write their files to SDXC cards. The M6 Mark II supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s), while the K-S2 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 M6 Mark II and Pentax K-S2 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|
|11.||Panasonic LX100 II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|14.||Pentax K-3 II||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
Both the M6 Mark II and the K-S2 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The K-S2 replaced the earlier Pentax K-S1, 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 and Pentax websites.
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon M6 Mark II or the Pentax K-S2 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS M6 Mark II:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (32.3 vs 20MP) with a 27% higher linear resolution.
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 921k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (14 vs 5.4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (120x70mm vs 123x91mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 270g or 40 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
- 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 modern: Reflects 4 years and 6 months of technical progress since the K-S2 launch.
Reasons to prefer the Pentax K-S2:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/6000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (410 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.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (12 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2015).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M6 Mark II is the clear winner of the match-up (15 : 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 wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro 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 Pentax K-S2 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best DSLR 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 M6 Mark II or the K-S2. 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 where reviews by experts come in. 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.||Pentax K-S2||4.5/5||..||..||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749|
|3.||Canon M50 Mark II||..||..||..||4.5/5||3.5/5||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.||Panasonic LX100 II||4.5/5||+||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||999|
|12.||Pentax KP||4/5||..||82/100||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||1,099|
|13.||Pentax K-70||4.5/5||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2016||649|
|14.||Pentax K-3 II||4.5/5||..||..||5/5||5/5||Apr 2015||1,099|
|15.||Pentax K-S1||4/5||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2014||749|
|16.||Pentax K-3||4/5||..||83/100||5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||1,299|
|17.||Sony A6400||4/5||+||85/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jan 2019||899|
|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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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 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 Pentax K-S2
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||Pentax K-S2|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF-M mount lenses||Pentax K mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2019||February 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 849||USD 749|
|Sensor Specs||Canon M6 Mark II||Pentax K-S2|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.5 x 15.0 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||337.5 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||27 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||32.3 Megapixels||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6960 x 4640 pixels||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.23 μm||4.28 μm|
|Pixel Density||9.57 MP/cm2||5.45 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 25,600 ISO||100 - 51,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 51,200 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 8||PRIME MII|
|Screen Specs||Canon M6 Mark II||Pentax K-S2|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Swivel screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon M6 Mark II||Pentax K-S2|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/6000s|
|Continuous Shooting||14 shutter flaps/s||5.4 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/16000s||no E-Shutter|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-II||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon M6 Mark II||Pentax K-S2|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Canon M6 Mark II||Pentax K-S2|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||305 shots per charge||410 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
120 x 70 x 49 mm
(4.7 x 2.8 x 1.9 in)
123 x 91 x 73 mm
(4.8 x 3.6 x 2.9 in)
|Camera Weight||408 g (14.4 oz)||678 g (23.9 oz)|
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