Sony a7C v Canon M6 Mark II

Two small but powerful mirrorless cameras go head-to-head, but which model is right for your photography?

A few years ago all cameras looked the same – big, bulky and DSLR shaped. However, thanks to mirrorless cameras making an impact on the market, brands soon started bringing out smaller and sleeker models that were light on weight but big on features. This comparison article is pitting two of the most popular models against each other. First up is the Canon M6 Mark II; an affordable APS-C sensor mirrorless that was launched back in 2019 and serves as the replacement for the original M6.

The opponent to the M6 Mark II is the Sony a7C, which was launched in September 2020, costs more money, but sports a full-frame sensor inside its tiny shell. Both these cameras are similar weights and offer a similar form factor, but there are some key differences that could influence which model you buy, so let’s drill down deeper into the specification sheets to help you pick the right camera for your needs….

One – Resolution:

As we’ve mentioned, the two cameras on tests feature differently-sized sensors, but this doesn’t tell the whole story. This is because while the full-frame Sony a7C features a 24-megapixel full-frame sensor, while the Canon M6 Mark II is built around an APS-C sensor that delivers 32.5-megapixels – that’s 37% more pixels than the Sony. The Sony’s max file size is 6000 x 4000 pixels, while the M6 Mark II’s max file size is 6960 x 4640 pixels – meaning both cameras have more than enough resolution to create prints up to A3 in size.

Two – Weight and size:

One of the key reasons for considering these cameras is that they are lighter than a DSLR and sleeker in design too. While the Sony a7C tips the scales at 509g (including battery), the Canon M6 Mark II is significantly lighter at 408g (including battery). The Sony measures 124 x 71 x 60mm, while the M6 Mark II is similarly sized at 120 x 70 x 49mm. This means that both cameras are small and portable – making them perfect for travel photographers who don’t want to fill up their bags with gear.

The Canon M6 Mark II weighs just 408g – light enough to carry around all day!

Three – Focus system:

A decent focus system increases your chances of bagging a sharp shot and the Canon M6 Mark II includes Canon’s acclaimed Dual Pixel AF system and a whopping 143 AF points. As you may expect, the more expensive a7C also features an impressive autofocus system and offers an incredible 693 phase detection points and 425 contrast detection points. The a7C also includes Sony’s Real Time Eye AF for both humans and animals making it easy to capture sharp portraits of your subjects – both human and furry.

The M6 Mark II can accept an accessory Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) that slots in to the hotshoe mount.

Four  – Burst rate:

While the M6 Mark II and the a7C are perhaps not the first cameras that you may think of when wishing to shoot some sports or wildlife photography, the good news is that each model features a decent burst rate speed. While the Sony a7C can fire off 10 frames per second, the Canon goes even further and delivers up to 14 frames per second – that’s an impressive burst rate speed. What’s more, wildlife photographers will appreciate the 1.6x crop factor of the M6 Mark II’s APS-C sensor, which will get you closer to the subject. 

Five – Image Stabilisation:

Unfortunately, unlike Canon’s full-frame RF mount cameras like the R5 and R6, the M6 Mark II doesn’t feature and IBIS (In Body Image Stabilisation) and users will instead have to rely on lenses that feature IS technology. The more expensive a7C however features a 5-axis system that affords the photographer 5-stops of compensation, making it easier to capture sharper shots when handholding the camera – especially in low light when shake can be more of a problem.

The a7C features a great IBIS system that will help keep shots sharp.

Six – LCD and EVF

It stands to reason that with smaller bodies, the EVF (Electronic Viewfinder) and LCD may be more compromised to what you may expect from your typical DSLR camera. While the Sony a7C features a 1.0 cm EVF with 2,359,296 dots of resolution, the M6 Mark II doesn’t have an EVF on the body – although photographers can take advantage of an accessory EVF that slots on the hotshoe mount of the camera.

When it comes to LCDs, the M6 Mark II features a 3-inch touch-sensitive screen with a tilting design, while the a7C also delivers a 3-inch touch-sensitive LCD, although the Sony features a vari-angle design that will come in useful when shooting self-portraits or filming Vlogging content.

Seven – Video features:

This brings us nicely onto the video specifications and the good news is that both cameras have plenty to offer. Canon’s M6 Mark II can shoot ultra high-quality 4K footage up to 30p and also offers a Full HD mode at 60p and 120p meaning you can shoot slow motion footage. The more expensive a7C takes things even further because as well as shooting 4K at 30p, the Sony can achieve 4K at 24 and 25p along with Full HD at 120p, too. What’s more, the a7C not only offers Sony’s S-Log colour profiles for more grading options, but also has ports for both headphones and an external microphone, meaning enhanced audio can be both captured and monitored.

The Sony a7C features ports for an external mic and headphones – useful when shooting video content.

Eight – Battery life:

Small mirrorless cameras sometimes trip themselves up when it comes to battery life 0 after all, there’s no point having a great camera if you’re constantly needing to change the battery pack over. While the Canon manages a decent figure of 305 shots on a single charge, the Sony a7C offers 740 shots on a single charge, which should be enough to see even the most demanding photographer through to the end of a photoshoot.

Nine – Built-in flash:

While this may not be a huge deal to some photographers, it’s always useful to have a built-in flash on the camera just in case you need some artificial lighting to illuminate your scene. The Canon M6 Mark II features a built-in flash and features a hotshoe mount so photographers can opt to use an external flashgun if the scene demands it or add a wireless trigger when using strobes in the studio. The Sony a7C has the hotshoe, but no built-in flash.

Ten – Lens mounts:

As you’d expect, as the cameras are from different brands, each cameras uses its own lens mount. The a7C uses Sony’s E-mount and there are now a big number of lenses on offer from both Sony and third-party brands like Tamron to be bought. On one hand, Canon M6 Mark II uses may feel like there’s less choice as the camera uses the M-mount, but there are still a decent number of lenses available, including great lenses from Sigma. What’s more, with the EF to M-mount adapter, Canon photographers can tap into a whole new world of legacy optics and use the lenses from their Canon DSLR cameras too.