With the Canon EOS M Digital Camera, Canon has joined the MILC (Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Compact) camera fray
Canon EOS M Key Features
• 18MP APS-C CMOS Sensor (22.3x14.9mm)
• 35mm equivalent: 1.6x
• ISO range 100-12,800, extendable to ISO 25,600
• JPEG & RAW Still Image Capture
• Shutter speeds 30-1/4000 second
• Hybrid AF system using contrast and phase detection
• 3-inch, 1040k dot touch display LCD monitor
• Burst rate 4.3fps
• 1920x1080/30p video capture MPEG-4, AVC/H.264 Video Servo AF HDR
• Backlight Control
• Multi-shot noise reduction
• Creative Filters
Canon is emphasizing the EOS M more as a movie-making tool and secondarily as a still camera. It has a built-in stereo microphone (with manual audio adjustment), manual exposure control and multiple resolution frame rates, as well as a video snapshot mode with touch-screen editing. The Movie Servo AF mode, which is the camera's default setting, is claimed to be able to track moving subjects. The two new lenses introduced with the EOS M use STM (Stepping Motor Technology) for virtually silent autofocus that won't be picked up by the camera's internal microphone.
The Canon EOS M features a hybrid CMOS AF system that employs both contrast detection and phase detection autofocus techniques. In competing systems this hybrid approach has allowed for minimal focus time, and indeed, Canon claims speedy snap to focus for the M system with reduced shutter lag. Face Detection, Tracking AF, Multip-Point AF with 31 autofocus points as well as single-point AF are all user-selected focus options. Touch-screen operation activates subject recognition and tracking; users can use touch-screen to navigate the menus for both still and video.
A closer look
Based on an examination of the Canon EOS M's external control layout it is clear this is a simplified camera designed primarily for snapshooters and first-time interchangeable-lens camera users. Measuring 4.3x2.6x1.3 inches (without lens) and weighing a mere 10.5 ounces (body only, with battery), the camera is small and travel-friendly.
The top of the camera, from left to right, features left and right microphones, a flash/accessory mount (yes, you can mount the Canon GPS system), an on/off switch, and a shutter release surrounded by a rotating switch that lets you choose Auto+, still camera or video modes; choices within each mode can be found within the menu structure. A nice design element: The shutter release is nestled in a comfortable tilt within in a carved out wedge. With the flash mount so close, this makes sense because it reduces the likelihood that your shooting finger will bump up against the bottom of the mounted flash.
The back of the camera is dominated by the inch LCD monitor which is built in and doesn't rotate, but which boasts a very high 1.04 million dot resolution. A menu button accesses menu controls, while a preview button lets you look at stills and videos. A "Q" button also doubles as a feature set button, and is surrounded by a four-way circular toggle switch to control burst rate and self-timer, EV control, image delete, and an assignable function option indicated by an asterisk. An info button lets you control what information appears on screen during shooting or preview modes.
On the left side of the camera a door opens to reveal AV/Out digital and HDMI ports, as well as an external mic jack, and the front of the camera simply has a small grip protrusion, the lens mount and release button, and the infrared focus aid. There is no eye-level viewfinder option.
Despite its simplified layout, the Canon EOS M is solidly built. Its chassis is constructed of magnesium and stainless steel, and Canon says the body can, via the EOS lens adapter, be fully integrated into the entire line of Canon DSLR lenses.
Based on a handful of still and video files posted on Canon's Japan-based web site, image quality promises to be spectacular, but we won't know for sure until the camera has been lab- and field-tested under a variety of situations and its full range of ISO settings. We can expect similar image quality to that of the the Canon T4i.
The camera is designed for snapshooters who want the flexibility of interchangeable lenses in a small package. Unlike the Nikon 1 series, which has a small sensor and small, compact lenses but sacrifices pro-level image quality, the Canon M features a full-sized APS-C sensor that should deliver image quality that should equal that of the Canon EOS T4i, one of the highest-rated sensors on the market. Its main competition is most likely the Sony NEX-F3, which also houses an APS sized sensor, but Canon holds a competitive edge over Sony because, via the Canon adapter, the Canon M is immediately and fully compatible with the largest selection of DSLR lenses on the planet. Likewise, the Pentax K-01 has an APS sensor and is compatible with Pentax's extensive line of lenses going back decades, but many photographers may balk at its bulky design.
Lenses: New and Familiar
A new camera mount and short flangeback design (which brings the rear lens element closer to the surface of the sensor) means a new lens system based on the EF-M mount, and the EOS M arrives at birth with two lenses, an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens (35mm equivalent: 29-88mm) and the EF-M 22mm (35mm equivalent: 35mm) f/2 STM pancake lens. Owners of Canon EOS DSLR systems can also rejoice: Canon also announced the Mount Adapter EF-EOS M, which allows you to mount any Canon EOS EF and EF-S lens. With over 70 lenses currently available, the Canon M becomes another part of the Canon EOS ecosystem.
I have had my EOS M for about 4 weeks now. I love this little camera and the 22mm lens is great. It is tack sharp and produces excellent images. I take mostly landscapes of the desert southwest and this camera does a great job. I also purchased the M to EF adapter along with an M to FD adapter to use all my other Canon lenses. I especially like my Ultrasonic 28-80 EF and my 35mm FD when I'm not using the 22mm. This camera is probably the best bang for the buck camera that I own. Highly recommended.
This camera was bought as a backup and handy camera, which it is. I have a much larger system of lenses and camera for the primary shooting. That system is quite heavy. This camera came with the 18-55 mm lens and is able to fit into the front game pocket of my hunting vest. The vest offers some padding, but not like a camera case would. I am used to manual controls on my cameras to control all the aspects of the camera, so would like to see them on the lens as well. I know the camera can be adjusted by going into the menu and adjusting it that way. It appears to be simple, but I have not taken the time to fiddle around with it to see if it is quick at all. I am sure it won't be as quick as a manual control would be though. The camera is working well as a very portable snapshot and handy camera. I have been able to shoot Sundews in a bog and wide angle shots afar. I have a polarizer on the front of the lens, which is difficult to see the effect with the LCD view screen, but possible, particularly when the camera back has light on it. The camera size is tiny so fat fingers will have some time adjusting to using the camera. I'm getting better about that.
Overall not a bad camera, takes good pictures, but takes a while to get used to after an older EOS comers. It has three areas I would like to see Canon improve or correct in future firmware upgrades: 1) the touch focus and shoot feature is terrible. When I carry it, it bumps against my belly, turns itself on, and takes pictures. 2) Needs a standby mode, should be able to standby and save power and then recover quickly, not have to do a full shutdown every time. 3) Need to allow for movies longer than 30 minutes. Not sure why they limit ti to 30 minutes, but it does.
Image quality is great and the auto focus has never been an issue. Super low light ability and very versatile. You do trade off the tilt screen and viewfinder for size, being able to view output on a monitor while using the camera would be a plus. I have used this camera in a lot of different shooting situations and have found it to be very capable. The only thing that I would add to the wish list is full compatibility with the EOS Utility software. I use this camera every day and there are times when remote shooting or other utilities would come in handy. The camera is built well and feels very solid. It is compact and easy to carry around but could use a little bit more compatibility with the EOS software that it ships with.
I've owned 6-7 Canon bodies and 5-6 EF L lenses. Love this little camera. Digic 5 processor and APS-C in a little tiny package. Great little lenses and with the adaptor can strap on my 16-35, 70-200IS2, EF 35-350, whatever. All it is is a great sensor and processor that you put on your monstor lenses, or a tiny little camera that basically takes the same pics as a 7D. Built like a tank. The only thing I don't like is you can't burn dates into the pics without going through the Canon software.
Hate to see all of the neg reviews but industry-wide, it has helped drive prices down so low, this was just too darned good of a digi-cam to pass up! 1, with the EF lens adapter, this is a mini powerhouse! 2, simply incredible video - breath-taking color & resolution! 3, this isn't an action camera - yet. I have dSLRs for that. Sure, Canon has work to do on a newer model - but for what it is, it's a superb camera. 4, bought the EF-S 11-22mm not available in the USA (?!?!?) and with the EF-M 18-55mm, this is THE best travel camera. Ever! Don't regret grabbing one before a newer model comes out - leaves all of my PowerShots in the dust on pure image quality - just no contest!
Like many others I purchased the EOS M around Black Friday at what I figured was a steal. It's incredibly well built and has every feature one could ask for. Obviously the most glaring issue is, of course, the slow autofocus. Not sort of slow, not relatively slow to other cameras...extremely, almost throw-throw-it-in-the-garbage, slow. As big and relevant of a camera corporation as Canon is I can't imagine how this design could leave their engineering dept? I shudder to think how slow the AF was before the update. The EOS M2 will be out soon in Europe and there's no definitive answer as to it's availability in the US. Either way, Canon's quick turnaround of a new model in less than a year screams they knew this was a dud from the start. The only thing that could prove Canon actually stands behind what they sell would be to roll out more updates for the firmware. If the AF can be increased from the time it left the factory the it can be improved once again. Also, everyone should be forewarned...the 22mm f2 lens is slower and louder than the 18-55mm. It if were bigger it would make a nice coaster. You're the last major company to the mirrorless party and this is what you give us? Awful.
Excellent camera for travel. Sturdy and built to last. Focus is acceptable after firmware update. Great quality pictures. Write speed to sd card slow even when using UH-1 card. Needs firmware update to speed up write transfer speed. LCD screen easy to use.
accurate auto focus , I keep it on me at alllll times iv eattached fd lenses to L lenses and all are beautiful. Ive owned a 5D II and a D600 and this is as good as aps-c gets. a little laggy but all mirrorles are a bit at least. wish someone would make an electric viewfinder . touch screen rules. video is gorgous. if you like the canon look in your images and you don't buy this you are an idiot. image quality is better than a 7D which ive used plenty.
I bought the EOS-M on "Black Friday," in great part because I was highly encouraged by proclamations that its firmware update Ver. 2.0.2 increased auto-focus (AF) speed and accuracy. BAD NEWS: I am very disappointed in slo-o-o-w auto AF--which too often has caused me to miss great moments. The 22mm lens is slower to focus than the 18-55mm. In fact, my wife's average quality point-and-shoot focuses faster and more reliably than the EOS-M with any lens attached. Based on my personal experience, I REALLY, REALLY implore Canon to develop another firmware update that improves AF to acceptable speed & reliability, reduces the AF's major hunting for focus indoors (especially as its 18-55 STM lens is zoomed closer to 55mm), defaults to lower auto ISOs when the flash is on, and (here's the easiest one, I think) allows ISO to be set in 1/2 or 1/3 stop increments. In addition to the aforementioned shortcomings, key missing features that should have been on the EOS-M and certainly belong on the next generation model are: (1) Built-in flash is essential due to considerable noise at ISO 1600 and up; I bought the 90EX flash, which does well for its size, but you need to plan ahead by installing it "just in case" or risk missing a low-light moment; (2) longer battery duration; (3) an easily accessible button to manually lock/unlock the touch screen so contact with my chest won't change settings; and (4) either quicker start-up time or sleep mode that awakens the camera with touch of shutter release button. GOOD NEWS: Great still & video image quality (in moderate to normal light). Phenomenal large aperture pics with my EF prime lenses (85mm f/1.8 and my favorite 35mm f/1.4 L). BOTTOM LINE: Not bad for Canon's 1st attempt, but I really expected much better from the undisputed champion of photo equipment. Canon really owes current EOS-M customers the firmware updates I've begged for above and a higher capacity battery. I've been extremely loyal to Canon since 1986 and have loved all Canon products I've owned. However, I am seriously debating whether to return my EOS-M or learn to accept and work within its several unfortunate limitations. -- END --