Here’s something we haven’t needed to report on for quite a while… a new D-SLR that’s more than a tiny upgrade of a basic entry-level model, and that’s not full-35mm format.

Canon EOS 90D. Photo: Canon

The new EOS 90D is still essentially an upgrade – of the very popular EOS 80D – but it’s significant enough to warrant a new model number, and it’s part of Canon’s plan to maintain support for the ‘APS-C’ sensor size. In fact, you’ll be able to choose between the 90D and a nearly-identical (in terms of basic features) mirrorless version called the EOS M6 Mark II. Canon maintains that while most of the activity in interchangeable lens cameras over the last two-and-a-half years has been in full-35mm format models (12 launches locally versus three for ‘APS-C’), there’s still plenty of support among enthusiast-level shooters for the smaller sensor. It also believes there are plenty of dedicated D-SLR users among them… primarily wedded to the optical viewfinder. However, the new version of the EOS M6 is also going to bolster Canon’s presence in the mirrorless market, appealing to users who either really want a significantly smaller camera or who consider the EOS R models to be either too expensive or too big.

Photo: Canon

The EOS 90D is similar in size and styling to the 80D (which, incidentally, has sold over 27,000 units in Australia), but gets a new joystick-type controller for faster selection of focusing points and more efficient navigational duties. On the inside is an all-new 34.4 megapixels CMOS sensor (32.5 MP effective) mated to Canon’s latest ‘DiG!C 8’ processor. This enables continuous shooting at up to 10 fps with AF adjustment, and also uncropped 4K UHD video recording. Using live view (i.e. with the reflex mirror locked up), the shooting speed increases to 11 fps again with continuous AF adjustment. Consequently, the 90D is quite a bit faster than its predecessor.

‘Dual Pixel CMOS AF’ is available for live view or when shooting video, and has a total of 5481 measuring pixels, giving 143 selectable points and extensive frame coverage plus eye-detection tracking. The sensitivity range is equivalent to ISO 100 to 12,800 with a one-stop extension to ISO 25,600. The viewfinder is, of course, optical, but the 90D’s has a ‘Vari-Angle’ LCD monitor screen with a resolution of 1.04 megadots and touch controls.

Autofocusing via the optical viewfinder uses 45 measuring points (all cross-type arrays) with a wide selection of area modes and sensitivity down to EV -3.0 (at ISO 100). Metering is via a new ‘RGB+IR’ sensor which employs 220,000 pixels to give 216 measuring zones, but more significantly, also delivers face detection AF when using the optical viewfinder. In live view, the sensor-based metering has 384 measuring zones. The shutter speed range is 30-1/16,000 second with flash sync up to 1/250 second. There’s a built-in, pop-up flash which has a metric guide number of 12 (at ISO 100).

The EOS 90D has the full suite of in-camera processing options, including eight ‘Picture Style’ presets, ten ‘Creative Filter’ effects, lens corerections (for vignetting, diffraction and chromatic aberrations), ‘Digital Lens Optimiser’, noise reduction processing (including multi-shot) and dynamic range expansion processing. Both WiFi and Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity are provided, and the 90D has both a stereo audio input and an output.

Canon EOS M6 Mark II. Photo: Canon.

The EOS M6 II employs the same sensor and processor, but delivers some slightly different specs due to its mirrorless configuration, including a maximum continuous shooting speed of 14 fps when using its focal plane shutter (with AF tracking). This increases to 30 fps when using the sensor-based shutter, while the ‘Dual Pixel CMOS AF’ has the 5481 measuring pixels and 143 selectable points, again with eye detection. The rest of the feature set is pretty similar to that of the 90D, but the monitor screen is slightly smaller and only adjustable for tilt (albeit all the way up through 180 degrees). Notably, the once-optional clip-on EVF is now included and integrates to the point of allowing ‘Touchpad AF’ focus point/zone selection via the monitor screen. The M6 II also boasts an intervalometer for time-lapse movies, in-camera battery charging via USB-C, and an additional lens correction for distortion.

The EOS 90D will be available locally from 12 September either as a body-only purchase or in one of two single-lens kits; while the EOS M6 Mark II goes on sale from 26 September as a single-lens kit, including the EVF. For more information visit http://www.canon.com.au