4K and Full HD Video with the EOS M6 Mark II
August 28, 2019
New video capabilities make the Canon EOS M6 Mark II an excellent multi-media camera. It’s ready to record excellent 4K and Full HD video one moment, and high-resolution still images the next. For vloggers and other video enthusiasts looking for lens interchangeability in a compact form-factor, the M6 Mark II is a compelling choice.
4K video performance
Uncropped 4K video recording is possible with the mirrorless M6 Mark II camera, using the full horizontal width of its APS-C size image sensor. (Slight cropping from the top and bottom of the sensor remains, to enable the industry-standard 16:9 aspect ratio used for Full HD and 4K video.)
4K video is recorded at 29.97 fps (25.00 fps when set to PAL recording), and Canon’s powerful Dual Pixel CMOS AF is available during 4K recording. It’s UHD 4K, recorded at 3840 x 2160 resolution.
With full horizontal coverage from any lens you attach to this camera, and the ability to use the LCD monitor or eye-level electronic viewfinder during recording, the 4K video features of the EOS M6 Mark II make it an important camera to consider for one-person video work. This is especially true for wide-angle recording, for anything from hand-held selfies during vlogging, to dramatic ultra-wide imagery with lenses like the Canon EF-M 11-22mm wide-angle zoom.
Note that unlike the EOS 90D digital SLR, 4K recording with the EOS M6 Mark II is strictly from the full width of the camera’s imaging sensor. There’s no “cropped” 4K option in this mirrorless model.
120 fps High Frame Rate Recording
During Full HD (1080p) video recording, it’s possible to get slow-motion recording by selecting High Frame Rate in the “Movie record quality” menu setting — it’s a separate option, and prioritizes both Full HD resolution and 120p (100 fps if set to PAL) recording.
High Frame Rate recording is great for a different “look” to movement in a scene, adding a new dimension to what the single-person camera operator can deliver. Note that when High Frame Rate recording is enabled, sound recording, Movie Servo AF (continuous AF tracking of moving subjects) and Movie Digital IS are not possible.
When High Frame Rate recording is disabled, Full HD (1080p) recording can be performed at 59.94 fps or 29.97 fps (50.00/25.00fps in PAL). Sound recording, Movie Servo AF and Movie Digital IS are available with High Frame Rate recording disabled.
Viewing and composing: the viewfinder and LCD monitor
A folding LCD monitor flips up 180°, which can be ideal for an operator to record him- or herself, with minimal eye deflection from the camera lens.
The Canon electronic eye-level viewfinder EVF-DC2 is included with the EOS M6 Mark II in the USA market, when the camera is purchased in kit form with either the EF-M 15-45mm or EF-M 18-150mm lens factory-packed with the camera. (If the EOS M6 Mark II is purchased at USA dealers body only, without a lens, the viewfinder is an optional, extra-cost accessory.)
Video exposure modes
If the camera’s Mode Dial is set to the video position (an icon of a video camera is on the dial), users can select from three Menu-defined choices:
Movie Auto Exposure
Fully programmed auto exposure, with ISO, shutter speed, and lens aperture automatically adjusted by the camera. Exposure Compensation can be dialed-in, using either the top-mounted dial, or (if customized) the rear dial.
Movie Manual Exposure
Manual exposure control, with user-set shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. Auto ISO is possible, with active Exposure Compensation available at the rear dial. Shutter speed range for video recording is 1/4000th second — 1/30th second (slowest speed can vary, depending on selected FPS rate).
In-camera, HDR video recording, at Full HD (1080p) resolution. Bright highlights in contrasty scenes are protected by recording every other frame under-exposed, at 60fps, and then creating a finished video file in-camera combining the brighter and darker files, to reduce brightness of highlights. The finished file will play back at 30 fps. Exposure is automatic, and user-applied Exposure Compensation is not available.
If video is recorded with the Mode Dial at any other setting (P, Tv, Av, Fv, or M), the video will be recorded with Movie Auto Exposure, and not at the exposure mode indicated on the Mode Dial. Those settings apply to still images only.
Additional video recording notes:
Movie Digital IS
When used with Canon Image Stabilized lenses, Movie Digital IS (in the camera’s red Shooting Menu) can be independently activated, to add 5-axis electronic IS at the image sensor. Movie Digital Image Stabilization is especially effective for large, low-frequency camera shake correction, such as what might occur if the camera operator is walking to follow a subject, or in a moving vehicle. And, if the EF-M 15-45mm or 18-150mm lenses are used, even more effective coordination between lens and body IS is possible.
Autofocus during video
Autofocus is possible in 4K, Full HD, and HD video recording modes. At standard FPS rates, users have a choice of One-Shot AF (locking focus on stationary subjects) or Movie Servo AF, to continuously focus on moving subjects.
Movie Servo AF
Can be user-adjusted in the camera’s red Shooting Menu. Tracking Sensitivity (how quickly will AF react to sudden changes at the active AF point[s]) and Movie Servo AF speed (how rapidly will AF change, for instance, in a major change like focus moved from foreground to background) are both adjustable.
Rapid switching from video to stills
A rear-mounted Movie Shooting Button (with red dot) enables video start-stop, and immediate still-image shooting via the shutter button. For stills, the Mode Dial can be on any desired setting… when using the Movie Shooting button and a shooting mode other than the “Movie mode” on the dial, video is recorded in full-auto, P-mode, regardless of the exposure mode used for still images.
Automatic tilt correction
The EOS M6 Mark II can automatically level movies horizontally, rotating the image to keep it level. In fast-paced, hand-held situations, this can be an important asset for polished, final video files. To perform this automatic rotation, some cropping is applied, and the exact angle of view will be reduced by varying amounts.
Time Lapse movie
In-camera Time Lapse movies can be recorded, at either 4K or Full HD (1080p) pixel resolution. User-defined intervals between frames, and total number of frames for a finished movie file, can be set on the camera’s menu. The menu screen displays both the length of time that will be required to record a time-lapse video at the user’s chosen settings, and the length of time required to play the video back, at a conventional 30 fps playback rate.
Video files from the EOS M6 Mark II are recorded in IPB compression, as .MOV files. The color sampling method is 4:2:0, 8-bit recording. Color matrix is Rec.ITU-R BT-709.
There is a built-in stereo microphone for nearby subjects, and a standard 3.5mm mic terminal on the side of the camera for external microphones. Sound recording can be adjusted on the camera’s menu, over a 64-level range. There is no headphone terminal.
Menu-selected user choices for HDMI output with info (images recorded to the SD card); Clean 4K output, or Clean Full HD output. With clean output, compatible HDMI recorders can be connected with appropriate HDMI cords. During Clean HDMI out, video is not recorded to an in-camera SD card. With compatible external recorders, Uncompressed 4:2:2, 10-bit files can be recorded via HDMI.
Memory card requirements for video
The EOS M6 Mark II has a single SD card slot, and is compatible with high-speed UHS-II SD cards. Use of UHS-II cards is preferred for high-demand video recording, such as 4K, or High Frame Rate recording at Full HD.
A few other memory card notes:
If UHS-II cards are used, they should be SDHC or SDXC compliant as well
Minimum card requirements for 4K and High Frame Rate recording: UHS-I card, UHS Speed Class 3 or higher
With SDXC compliant cards, long video recording files (exceeding 4GB in size) will remain as one single file on the memory card. With any other type of SD card, the maximum duration of any video file is 4GB, and if recording continues, it will be split into two or more separate video files. (Movie files split into individual 4GB files are not displayed or played back sequentially.)
The very compact overall form factor and the choice of LCD or eye-level Viewfinder composing and recording make the Canon EOS M6 Mark II an excellent camera for video applications. In fact, think of this compact camera as a great multi-media camera, with its 32.5 million pixel still-image resolution, and the performance to shoot full-resolution RAW or JPEG still images at speeds up to 14 fps.
Lens availability is extensive, with native, dedicated Canon EF-M lenses, plus (via the optional Canon Lens Mount Adapter EF-EOS M) any of Canon’s extensive series of EF or EF-S lenses from the digital SLR line-up. This includes having Dual Pixel CMOS AF capability, even with long super-telephoto lenses from the EF lens line.
With outstanding 4K and Full HD video recording capabilities, and excellent autofocus with Canon’s proven Dual Pixel CMOS AF system, the EOS M6 Mark II is absolutely worth considering for both casual vloggers and more serious video camera operators, especially those who value compactness along with lens interchangeability.
All Canon contributors are compensated and actual users of Canon products promoted.