Although the M5 and M6 share a number of characteristics including the same 24 Megapixel APS-C sensor, Dual Pixel CMOS AF with 80% phase detection point coverage, DIGIC 7 processor, and Full HD video up to 60fps with electronic stabilisation for video recording, there are a few subtle ways in which they differ as we’ll discover in this (rather short) comparison preview!
1. Size and weight
The M5, being the more professional model, is somewhat larger and heavier than the M6 at 427g (versus the 390g) and 115.6 x 89.2 x 60.6mm (versus 112.0 x 68.0 x 44.5 mm). This doesn’t mean that it isn’t light and compact – it simply isn’t as portable as the new model.
2. Body design
Looking at the EOS M5 and M6 side-by-side, it is clear that they belong to the same family of cameras. The only exception is that the M5 has a hump for its electronic viewfinder (more on this later).
On top, we can also notice a slight rearrangement of the dials. To make room for the pop-up flash, the mode dial has been moved to the right-hand side of the M6’s top plate. Likewise, the rear command dial has been slotted beneath the exposure compensation dial.
While the On/Off switch is found behind the mode dial on the M5, it sits beside the exposure compensation dial on the M6.
A very small yet surprising difference is that the M6 has one extra customisable button in comparison to the M5 (12 versus 13).
Finally, the M5 is only available in black whereas the M6 comes in black or silver.
3. Electronic viewfinder
The most significant difference, as implied in the design section, is the lack of a built-in viewfinder on the M6. There is, however, the possibility to attach an optional electronic viewfinder such as the EVF-DC1 or EVF-DC2 to the hot shoe. The specifications of the latter are identical to the built-in viewfinder of the M5, which is a 0.39-type with an OLED screen, 2,360K dots, a 120fps refresh rate, 100% field coverage and an eye point of approximately 22mm.
4. Rear LCD screen
Although both cameras have a ClearView II touchscreen LCD, the specifications are slightly different. The M5 has a larger 3.2-inch type with 1,620K dots while the M6 has a standard 3-inch type with 1,040K dots.
That of the M5 is tiltable 85 degrees up and 180 degrees down, whereas the M6’s is tiltable 180 degrees up and 45 degrees down.
The M6 is classified as a mid-range model and has been priced to reflect this. At around $779 US for the body, it is $200 less than the M5.
Both are available in bundles with the following kit lenses: 15-45mm (M5: $1099 / M6: $899) and 18-150mm (M5: $1479 / M6: $1279).
As we’ve seen, there aren’t many significant differences between the EOS M5 and M6 and only one is likely to have a significant impact on your decision: the electronic viewfinder. If you find it more convenient to have one built into the camera than solely relying on the LCD screen or an optional accessory such as the EVF-DC2, the EOS M5 is certainly the better choice. Otherwise, the new M6 can do everything its big brother can and will leave you with $200 to save or spend on other gear.