Body and handling
The big advantage of APS-C devices over full-frame cameras is the compact size, and Canon has nailed that part. Compared to the 660-gram EOS R, it weighs just 408 grams with a battery and memory card. On top of that, most of the lenses are pretty light too, thanks to the smallish EOS M mount size.
The disadvantage of that mount is that unlike with Sony's E-mount or Nikon's Z mount, EOS M and EOS R cameras can't share lenses. Also, though you might say that the Z mount on Nikon's Z 50 is comically large for the size of the body, it allows Nikon to build optically superior lenses.
The weight and size are on par with the competition, but with a big caveat. Unlike the A6400, Z 50 and X-T30, the M6 Mark II doesn't have a built in electronic viewfinder. If you want one of those, you'll need to spend an extra $200 for the optional EVF-DC2. That subsequently makes the camera both more expensive and bulkier than the competition.
When building its new flagship, Canon could have borrowed from the EOS M5, which does have an EVF, or the original M6, which doesn't. It chose the latter, and I think that was a bad decision -- buyers are bound to notice that similarly-priced cameras do have that feature.
That aside, the EVF-DC2 add-on gives you a decent 2.36-million dot, 120 Hz OLED electronic viewfinder, but it's not blackout-free. Fujifilm's X-T30, by contrast, does have a blackout-free EVF, meaning you won't miss any moments when shooting action scenes.
The M6 Mark II also lacks in-body stabilization -- a feature that was available on the original M6. However, that's a feature that none of its rivals have either. All of the EOS M zoom lenses do have stabilization, but you won't find it on either the EF-M 32mm f/1.4 or EF-M 22mm F2 primes. Those lenses are some of the sharper ones in the EF-M series, and as you'll soon see, that's crucial for this camera.
Apart from those issues, the M6 II has good ergonomics. The grip is a decent size for a small camera, though I prefer the much bigger one on the Nikon Z 50. And with more manual dials and buttons than Sony's A6400, it's easier to use.
The three top dials let you change shooting mode, focus and aperture, while other features like exposure compensation can be accessed via a rear control dial. The M6 II doesn't have as many programmable inputs as the Z 50, but it does have the "Dial Function" -- first introduced on the EOS R -- that can be set up to quickly change the ISO and other settings.
If you can't find the functions you need on a dial, you can use the quick "Q" menu to change most common settings. If all else fails, you can dive into the main menu settings, which are a bit easier to follow than the unintuitive menus on Sony's cameras.
All of the menus, along with the touch focus settings, can be accessed via the 1.04 million dot touch display. It tilts downward about 45 degrees for high-angle shooting, and upward 180 degrees, making it good for selfie shooters and vloggers. I prefer the upward flipping screen to the downward one on Nikon's Z 50, which doesn't work if you're using a tripod. The only drawback to Canon's system is that you can't attach a microphone to the hot-shoe and flip up the screen at the same time.
Like it competitors, the M6 II has a built-in flash that's handy in a dark room or if you need to fill in the existing lighting. For video shooters, it has a microphone input but no headphone jack. By contrast, Fujifilm's X-T30 has a USB-C port that can be used as a headphone output via an adapter or USB headphones.
It has a USB Type-C port that can be used for data transfers and charging, along with a mini HDMI terminal that supports video recording. You can transfer photos to your smartphone or control the camera over both WiFi and Bluetooth. To do so, you'll need Canon's Camera Connect app, which is actually one of the better, more responsive camera apps out there. That's not necessarily saying a lot, however.
The M6 II can only use a single memory card, but it's a fast UHS II slot, unlike the slower UHS I slot on Nikon's Z 50. The battery is good for 305 shots, or 250 if you're using the EVF. That's about the same as the Z 50, but the Fujifilm X-T30 can go for 380 shots on a charge.