In isolation, the Canon EOS M6 has plenty going for it. It’s small and light, responsive in use and blessed with a focusing system that’s very capable across both stills and video capture.
Image quality is decent straight out of the box, and once you acquaint yourself with the camera’s behaviour you can improve on this. There’s also plenty of physical control on offer, and plenty of ways in which you can customize the controls to better serve your shooting, while the many post-capture options that are available help you output your images easily and quickly.
Still, it’s difficult to identify exactly what it the M6 offers that places it ahead of its very capable rivals.
With no 4K video, no viewfinder, no electronic shutter and a build quality that falls short of what's offered elsewhere at this price point, the M6 has a hard time justifying its asking price – and when you add in the separate viewfinder, this comes to a figure not far off the cost of the viewfinder-equipped EOS M5, which makes you wonder why you’d want to opt for the separate combination when you can just get everything in one.
With key functionality inherited from the co-flagship X-T2 and packed inside a handsome, robust body, the X-T20 has garnered a lot of attention since it landed last year. Over the EOS M6 it boasts 4K video recording, an integrated electronic viewfinder and an AF system that can be expanded from 91 AF points up to 325. Its native lens range is also broader, although its screen isn't as flexible as the EOS M6’s, and there's no NFC or Bluetooth.
Read our in-depth Fujifilm X-T20 review
Not the newest Lumix but perhaps the closest to the EOS M6 in terms of form, price and target audience, the GX8 has the advantages of a dust- and splash-proof body, an integrated viewfinder, 4K video recording and an electronic shutter over the EOS M6. While its 20.3MP sensor may seem less capable on the spec sheet, the fact that it manages to offer what it does at a significantly cheaper asking price than the M6 makes it hugely appealing, and the fact that it's compatible with a far broader range of native lenses sweetens the deal even further.
Read our in-depth Panasonic Lumix GX8 review
Sony Alpha A6300
Key advantages offered by the 24.3MP A6300 include 4K video, a much more refined AF system with a staggering 425 phase-detect AF points, a built-in electronic viewfinder and a weather-sealed body. It doesn't completely walk all over the EOS M6, though; its display is smaller, less flexible and not touch-sensitive, while Bluetooth is absent.
Read our in-depth Sony Alpha A6300 review