With an ever expanding choice of mirrorless cameras, deciding which CSC is most suited to your photographic adventures can be tough. Two very viable options at the more affordable end of the market are the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III and the Canon EOS M6. Both cameras were launched in 2017 and come fully loaded with some of the latest technology including touch screens and image stabilisation, yet there are key differences on some of the main features. To find out which camera will help you get the most from your photography, let’s see how the two mirrorless models compare…
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III has an RRP of £629 and comes with a 16MP Micro Four Thirds sensor and measures 17.4x13mm. The Canon EOS M6 is priced lower at £589 and has a larger APS-C sensor measuring 22.3×14.9mm and a bigger resolution of 24MP. While the M6’s bigger sensor offers greater detail, the lower resolution of the E-M10 Mark III means the photosites on the sensor are 2% larger (14.2µm versus 13.84µm), making it slightly more efficient at gathering light. However both cameras offer the same ISO sensitivity range of 100-25,600, making them versatile when shooting in low light conditions.
Powering the E-M10 Mark III is the Olympus TruePic VIII processor, and it allows for a top shooting speed of 8.6fps with a buffer capacity for 22 RAW files and unlimited JPEG shooting until the memory card fills. The engine behind the M6 is Canon’s DIGIC 7 processor and offers a marginally faster maximum frame rate of 9fps, but is capped to 26 JPEGs or 17 RAWs, so shooting is more limited at this top speed. The M6 also only shoots with a fixed focus at 9fps, so if you want to use continuous AF while in the top burst mode the speed drops to 7fps.
To set the focus the E-M10 Mark III has 121 AF-points available for selection, giving plenty of options within the frame to choose the active AF point. The system uses contrast-detect to ascertain the focus distance, which can be slightly slower at achieving a good focus than phase-detect systems. The Canon EOS M6 has fewer AF points available – with just 49 to choose from – but uses Canon’s Dual Pixel AF which employs phase detection pixels on the sensor for a faster focus.
Both cameras offer image stabilisation, but the system on offer is more comprehensive on the Olympus. The E-M10 has a built-in 5-axis image stabilisation system and provides up to 4-stops of correction, helping to keep shots shake free when shooting with slower shutter speeds. The Canon M6 also lists 5-axis image stabilisation, but this is only available when shooting video and with specific IS lenses. Some Canon lenses offer 2-axis stabilisation, and the remaining shake correction is achieved digitally by adjusting the pixel record area of the sensor. If you’re shooting stills and not using a lens with any image stabilisation, there’s no shake correction available on the M6.
The two cameras also differ on their video capabilities. The Canon M6 can shoot Full HD (1920×1080) at 60p, has an input available for microphone attachments but lacks a headphone port to monitor the audio. The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III on the other hand offers a greater video resolution with 4K recording (3840×2160) but at a slower 30p. If you drop the resolution the Olympus will shoot super slow motion at 120fps. The Mark III also lacks a microphone or headphone jack, so audio recording is limited to the camera’s built in features. The choice on video boils down to whether you prefer increased resolution or enhanced audio recording options.
As you’d expect with cameras released in 2017, both feature a 3.0in 1040k-dot tilting touchscreen to offer increased functionality and help frame up from awkward angles. The tilt function on the M6 is more versatile as flips all the way up to view the frame when you’re in front of the lens, making it ideal for blogging or selfies.
The E-M10 comes with a 2360k-dot EVF with 100% frame coverage and a 0.62x magnification for traditional viewfinder shooting. As standard, the Canon M6 doesn’t come with an electronic viewfinder; instead an optional attachment can be added to the hot shoe if it is required. The optional EVF also has a 2360k-dot resolution, offers 100% frame coverage and has a larger 1.23x magnification, but it’s sold separately for £230, pushing the bundle price up to £819 and making it a notch more expensive than the Olympus.
The Olympus comes in the Micro Four Thirds mount which gives access to the full range of Micro Four Thirds lenses and there are 92 to choose from so you’ll never be short of options. The Canon comes in the EF-M mount and currently there are only 15 lenses available, which severely limits optic choices. However, Canon has created a lens mount adapter which gives the M6 full access to Canon’s EF and EF-S lenses and vastly expands your shooting options. If you’re already a Canon DSLR user then this is a big draw to the M6 as you’ll be able to use your current glass, providing you purchase the extra adapter for £105. If you don’t currently own any Canon lenses then the Micro Four Thirds optic range will likely be a bigger draw.
The battery life on both cameras is fairly limited, with the 330 shots of the E-M10 Mark III outlasting the M6’s 295 shot battery life. Both cameras offer built-in pop up flash and connectivity options. The Olympus lets you connect remotely using WiFi to instantly send pics to your smart device, but the Canon also offers NFC as well as WiFi for increased connectivity choices.
If size matters then the M6 is smaller and lighter, measuring 112x68x45mm and tipping the scales at 390g. The E-M10 Mark III is chunkier with dimensions of 122x84x50mm and weighing a fraction more at 410g. Neither camera is weather sealed so you’ll want to avoid shooting in heavier downpours or super dusty conditions.
Despite falling in the same price bracket, there’s a lot to choose between these cameras. The Canon EOS M6 offers a bigger sensor with a greater resolution, phase detection autofocus, a faster top shooting speed and an external microphone jack for better audio recording options. The Olympus O-MD E-M10 Mark III has a much wider lens selection available without need for a lens adapter, a built-in EVF, 4K video recording, a bigger shooting buffer and on-sensor 5-axis image stabilisation when shooting stills. To purchase the M6 with the additional EVF and lens adapter the total price will set you back around £925. The E-M10 Mark III has retail price of £629 and doesn’t require any add-ons to get the most from it. Both cameras represent a good option for those looking for a neat and portable CSC. If you’re already a Canon shooter with a kitbag full of lenses then it makes sense to choose the M6 with the additional lens adapter. If you’re starting from scratch, then the decision is much tighter and comes down to what features will matter the most to you. Which would you prefer?