Does the M6 Mark II replace both the M5 and the M6?
During the release last night, dpreview commented that Canon has stated to them that the M6 Mark II replaces both the M5 and the M6 camera bodies. Today, of course, there's panic, and people saying they are leaving Canon, over not having an EVF included camera body as the flagship anymore. The optics of this, of course, look bad. An EVF included M5 had different ergonomics and allows for flashes or hotshoe microphones to be attached while also using the EVF. The M6 Mark II will not allow for this. It makes rather inexplicitly, the M50, a lower model, the only camera with an included EVF.
Sitting back and thinking about this, a few things don't sound quite right with this statement to me.
I find it odd that with a bunch of numbers available to them, and also the ability to call the camera anything they would like, they would create customer confusion by replacing both the M5 and the M6 with an M6 Mark II. A "Mark II" typically has meant a direct replacement for the prior model. Instead of easing customer confusion with only one top model, they ended up creating more. Also, from Canon Japan we have the statement;
"EOS M6 Mark II" is the successor to "EOS M6" (released in April 2017). It is small, lightweight, and provides full-scale shooting to meet a wide range of needs from high amateurs to entry users."
No mention of M6 Mark II being the official successor of the M5.
There are also the elements that were left off the M6 Mark II that was on the 90D such as the headphone jack and 90D's crop mode 4K, not to mention, 24p being left off 4K from both the 90D and the M6 Mark II.
While the M6 Mark II gained the M5's DIAL FUNC and touch and drag ergonomics, because of the need for the flash sitting to the left side, the dials and controls are more compacted than that of the M5 and causes the M6 Mark II to lose the exposure compensation dial of the M6 and M5 original models. Losing the exposure compensation dial is not necessary with the M5 since the mode dial can be placed on the left-hand side of the camera. The inability to use the EVF with a speedlight is a huge issue for some, and an unnecessary problem that is created by dropping the M5.
The most successful M camera to date has been the M50. Partly because it combines a fully articulating screen, and also an EVF display. It would seem odd for Canon not to exploit this with a flagship M5 Mark II and have both features missing from the M6 Mark II. Canon has made many mentions that the EOS-M lineup and most specifically the M50 has been selling extremely well, and for the most part, is propping up Canon’s sales numbers right now.
Could this be simply a misstatement by Canon USA during the launch of the M6 Mark II, based upon someone's assumption and not by any stated direction of Canon Japan? It's certainly possible.
There will be interviews coming up with Canon Japan executives either because of the releases or during PhotoPlus 2019 held in NYC in October. During these, we should have a more definitive answer on the M5's future place in Canon's EOS-M lineup.
As mentioned in our comments, Brian from the-digital-picture, states in his M6 Mark II hands on preview;
The current EOS M strategy is that lower number represents higher-end models. With a "Mark II" version of the M6, it seems that this strategy is sticking. While it has become difficult to discern based on features, Canon has informed me that the EOS M5 remains the flagship model in the M lineup, though from a features perspective, it now needs the Mark II treatment.
A dpreview user, jschoonj reached out to Canon NL and also Canon UK and got these responses;
Which seem to follow the status quo. The M6 Mark II is simply a replacement of the M6.
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