Today, Canon released two cameras with very similar specifications – except one is a DSLR, and one is mirrorless. The EOS 90D and EOS M6 Mark II share a number of impressive specifications, whether you’re a stills-only photography or a dedicated video user. Here’s how they compare to one another.
Before examining the 90D and M6 Mark II specifications, I’ll mention first that the two cameras don’t cost the same at the moment. The 90D is currently selling for $1349 (including kit lens), while the M6 Mark II is just $1099 instead (including kit lens and EVF attachment).
Given what you’ll see in a moment – that these are equally capable cameras with similar feature sets – a first-time camera buyer has good reason to go the mirrorless route. However, existing Canon DSLR users with a wide array of lenses would probably be happier with the 90D, which doesn’t require a separate adapter to use Canon EF-mount lenses.
Without further ado, here are the main specification differences between the Canon EOS 90D and the Canon EOS M6 Mark II:
|Camera Feature||Canon EOS 90D||Canon EOS M6 Mark II|
|Sensor Resolution||32.5 megapixels||32.5 megapixels|
|Sensor Size||22.3 × 14.8 mm||22.3 × 14.8 mm|
|Sensor Pixel Size||3.2 µm||3.2 µm|
|Low Pass Filter||Yes||Yes|
|Low Pass Filter Dust Reduction||Yes||Yes|
|Image Size||6960 × 4640 pixels||6960 × 4640 pixels|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 8||DIGIC 8|
|Viewfinder Type||Pentaprism||None; compatible with separate EVF-DC2 electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Coverage||100%||EVF-DC2 has 100% coverage|
|Viewfinder Magnification||0.95× magnification (0.59× 35mm equivalent)||EVF-DC2 has 1× magnification (0.63× 35mm equivalent)|
|Built-in Flash||Yes, with flash commander mode||Yes, no flash commander mode|
|Storage Media||1× SD, UHS II Compatible||1× SD, UHS II Compatible|
|Continuous Shooting Speed||10 FPS (11 FPS with focus locked)||14 FPS (30 FPS RAW burst with electronic shutter, locked exposure, locked focus)|
|Buffer Size (RAW)||24 (UHS I card); 25 (UHS II card)||23|
|Shutter Speed Range||1/16,000 to 30 sec (electronic); 1/8000 to 30 sec (mechanical)||1/16,000 to 30 sec (electronic); 1/4000 to 30 sec (mechanical)|
|Exposure Metering Sensor||216-zone, 220,000-pixel RGB+IR||N/A|
|Live View Exposure Meter||384-zone sensor output metering||384-zone sensor output metering|
|Base ISO||ISO 100||ISO 100|
|Native ISO Sensitivity||ISO 100-25,600||ISO 100-25,600|
|Boosted ISO Sensitivity||Up to ISO 51,200||Up to ISO 51,200|
|Focus Points||45-point, all cross-type (OVF)||5,481 manually selectable positions; 143 automatically selected positions|
|On Sensor Phase Detection (Dual Pixel AF)||Yes||Yes|
|Live View Eye AF||Yes||Yes|
|Video Maximum Resolution||4K at 30 fps; 1920 × 1080 up to 120 fps||4K at 30 fps; 1920 × 1080 up to 120 fps|
|LCD Size||3″ diagonal LCD||3″ diagonal LCD|
|LCD Resolution||1,040,000 dots||1,040,000 dots|
|Tilt-Flip LCD||Yes||No; tilt only|
|Built-in Wi-Fi / NFC||Yes||Yes|
|Battery Life||1300 shots||305 shots (rear LCD only); 250 shots (EVF-DC2 electronic viewfinder only); 410 shots (ECO mode on, rear LCD only)|
|Weather Sealed Body||Yes||No|
|USB Version||2.0 Micro-B||2.0 USB-C|
|Weight (Body Only, Includes Battery and Card)||701 g (24.7 oz)||408 g (14.4 oz)|
|Dimensions||140.7 × 104.8 × 76.8 mm (5.5 × 4.1 × 3.0 in)||119.6 × 70.0 × 49.2 mm (4.7 × 2.8 × 1.9 in)|
|Announced||August 2019||August 2019|
|Current Price (Body Only)||$1199||$849|
|Current Price (With Kit Lens)||$1349||$1099 (includes EFV-DC2 viewfinder)|
The table above clearly shows that these cameras have a lot of similarities. By a slight margin, the 90D comes out ahead, thanks to features like popup flash commander mode, weather sealing, a tilt-flip LCD (rather than just tilt), and a longer battery life. It also has the more advanced control layout thanks to its joystick and additional buttons.
However, the M6 Mark II is no slouch. It shoots at 14 FPS with full autofocus and auto exposure, compared to 10 FPS on the 90D. That’s increased to a whopping 30 FPS in the M6 Mark II’s specialized “RAW burst mode,” which requires the electronic shutter and locks focus and exposure. The mirrorless camera is also – by virtue of being mirrorless – much smaller and lighter than the 90D.
For the money – $250 savings if you buy the kit for each – the M6 Mark II is arguably the better deal.
Next, let’s take a look at the controls and size of both cameras. You might be surprised just how much smaller the mirrorless camera really is.
Camera Layout and Size Comparison
First, take a look at the back of the 90D versus the M6 Mark II. The images below are to scale:
As you can see, the cameras are wildly different in size and controls.
To start, the 90D has a joystick to control autofocus, while the M6 Mark II does not. The DSLR also includes a command dial around the “Set” button, while the mirrorless camera has one on top of the camera instead (more visible in the next image).
Even attempting to list the other changes is futile; looking at the cameras will give you a better sense than anything I can describe. Suffice to say that there are some major changes. Some buttons have been shuffled around from camera to camera, while others have been eliminated completely (especially on the M6 Mark II). Essentially none of the settings are in the same place on both cameras.
Next, let’s take a look at the top of the 90D and M6 Mark II. Here they are, also to scale:
It’s hard to even compare the button layouts because the sheer size difference of the cameras is overwhelming!
If you try to do so anyway, you’ll notice that the M6 II has two command dials on top – one around the shutter button, and one near where your thumb sits (labeled “Dial Func”). By comparison, the 90D has one command dial on top, but remember that it has a second one on the rear of the camera. So, the 90D and M6 Mark II are the same in that regard.
As for other differences, the biggest is that the 90D has a monitor on top to show your camera settings, as well as a row of several custom buttons above it. The M6 Mark II, by comparison, only has a single Function button on top of the camera.
Although there are some other, smaller differences in camera layout, the bottom line is that the 90D and M6 Mark II handle very differently. If you’re a fan of larger, sturdier cameras with a deep grip, the 90D will feel better in-hand to you. And if you’re after light weight and minimalism, the M6 II’s compact design will be a better fit for your needs.
Which Camera Should You Get?
Photographers of any genre should rest assured that image quality in the Canon EOS 90D and Canon EOS M6 Mark II will be exactly the same. Instead, the differences between them include things like camera weight, price, weatherproofing, frame rate, and control layout. Also, of course, each one uses different lenses; the M6 Mark II uses Canon’s mirrorless EF-M lenses, while the 90D uses Canon’s EF and EF-S DSLR lenses.
Personally, I recommend the M6 Mark II to first-time camera buyers because of its lower price and impressive portability. For the same reason, landscape and travel photographers who need to carry their camera for long distances will thoroughly appreciate the mirrorless camera’s weight.
However, for existing DSLR users and more advanced photographers, the 90D might tick more of the boxes you require. First, it has a much larger lineup of native lenses, allowing you to reach perspectives that the M6 Mark II’s EF-M lenses cannot (though you can always use Canon’s adapter to mount EF and EF-S lenses on the M6 II).
On top of that, the 90D’s weatherproofing, more extensive control layout, longer battery life, command flash capabilities, and tilt-flip LCD may be enough to convince someone who is on the fence to go the DSLR route. The 90D also has an optical viewfinder with Canon’s 45-point autofocus system, an improvement for tracking fast-moving subjects compared to the M6’s live view-based focusing.
That said, you can’t go wrong either way. As a landscape photographer, the M6 Mark II would be my top choice, although I’ve got nothing against the 90D; I really enjoyed using its predecessor, the 80D, when testing that camera for our review.
At the end of the day, both of these cameras – and pretty much any camera on the market – will work well for any reasonable photographic applications. Choose either one, get a good lens or two, and go out to take some great photos.