Detailed Information About the Canon EOS M6 Mark II's 30 fps RAW Burst Feature

Information about the Canon EOS M6 Mark II Camera's 30 fps RAW burst feature was limited at the product launch, so I inquired of the man who seems to know everything about the Canon EOS system, Rudy Winston of Canon USA. Here is the very helpful information Rudy shared with me:
 
RAW burst is a separate line item in the camera’s shooting menu; it’s not one of the listed “Drive” speed choices. So it’s handled like a separate feature, and not just another FPS choice.
 
As the specs suggest, RAW burst fires at up to 30 fps, and will do so for up to 80 shots in a continuous burst, assuming a fast UHS-II compliant SD card is installed. I’ve tried it with UHS-I cards, and gotten around 50 or so images in a burst.
 
There’s a separate Menu choice for “Pre-shooting,” which by default is off. If user-enabled, it starts collecting image data **when the shutter button is pressed half-way down,** and then once it’s pressed FULLY to begin shooting, the last 0.5 seconds worth of images before the full press are recorded to the memory card as well. We’ve seen this before, in the video world, and the idea is if waiting for some split-second event to occur (for instance, a bird on a branch, waiting for it to take off in flight), you get the half-second before you actually reacted and fully pressed the shutter button down.
 
A few other points about RAW burst mode:

  • It always records lower-resolution, slightly cropped RAW images (approx. 18 million pixels, 5184 x 3456 resolution); about 75% x 75% (H x V) of the sensor’s full dimensions is used during RAW burst shooting. Obviously, with the electronic viewfinder or LCD monitor, the user always sees the actual recorded image area.
  • RAW burst is only possible in Creative Zone shooting modes (P, Tv, Av, Fv, or Manual)
  • Processing is 12-bit, vs. 14-bit processing for standard RAW images
  • Electronic shutter (only) is active during RAW burst shooting (the maximum drive speed with “mechanical” shutter is the camera’s normal 14 FPS high continuous setting)
  • Servo AF **is** possible during RAW burst shooting
  • RAW burst images are recorded in a “roll,” and play back in-camera slightly differently than a normal continuous sequence of files.
  • RAW images have a “.CSI” prefix when taken in RAW burst mode; a compatible version of Canon’s DPP software (or third-party RAW processing software) is required to view and process them.
  • The camera does NOT have to be pre-set to a continuous Drive setting, before activating RAW burst shooting in the Menu.
  • At least on my pre-production sample camera, if RAW burst is set on the Menu, and the camera is turned off (or the card is removed), the camera reverts to normal Drive operation, and RAW burst is disabled. I don’t know of a way to force it to stay active if the camera’s turned off, at least at this point.
  • Again, on my pre-production camera, it’s not possible to save RAW burst mode to one of the memorized, “Custom” shooting modes (C1 or C2)… if RAW burst is enabled, the Custom Shooting Modes within the Set-up Menu are grayed-out. They immediately are restored if RAW burst is disabled on the Menu.

The last two points MAY be a matter of it being pre-production… don’t have documentation from Japan to confirm or deny, but thought I’d mention it. At this stage of pre-production, I wouldn't’ be surprised if actual production cameras behave the same way as my sample camera.
 
Two of the keys that make RAW burst possible are the use of a DIGIC 8 processor, and most importantly, faster read-out speeds of the new 32.5 MP image sensor (while still allowing Dual Pixel CMOS AF to be carried out).
 
As a practical matter, at least judging from my pre-production sample camera, this feature is VERY sensitive to SD card write speed. A SanDisk UHS-I card, rated at 95 MB/sec, was not sufficient to record anything close to 80 straight images, and the little vertical buffer “scale” on the LCD monitor appeared almost immediately as shooting began. In other words, users should expect to use fast, UHS-II cards to really get the most out of this feature. Fortunately, unlike previous EOS M-series models, the M6 Mark II **is** compatible with UHS-II cards!
 
Thanks for sharing, Rudy!
 
Order the Canon EOS M6 Mark II at: B&H | Adorama | Amazon USA | WEX

Posted: 8/29/2019 9:34:59 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Posted to: Canon News
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