Canon have officially announced the much rumoured, and recently much leaked EOS-M mirrorless compact.  Unlike Nikon, they have gone down the APS-C sensor size route, but they haven’t announced a model with either an EVF, or even an optional EVF, which might put a lot of the enthusiast crowd off, probably less so with general consumers though.  It seems that the general consumer rather than the enthusiasts who are now starting to drive the mirrorless CSC market, Nikon in particular have hit on a sweet spot with consumers with the 1-system.

Specs look good with an 18 Mpx sensor with a native ISO range of 100-12800, a 3in 1Mpx touch-screen LCD and hybrid-AF like the Nikon 1 system.  A hotshoe is present, and Canon are releasing a dedicated flash for the EOS-M system.

Two lenses are available at launch, a pretty boring standard 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit zoom, and a 22mm f/2 pancake prime, which will be more interesting to the enthusiast, although not all that fast.  Hopefully some good fast primes will be released in future, but I’m not sure this is the market Canon are primarily aiming for.

Styling is quite bland, typical Canon, but I like the fact that they have gone for a nice clean look on the back without the multitude of buttons you can get on other CSC’s.  I’m not a huge fan of touch screens on cameras, but if it is well implemented it could prove useful for navigating menus,  The touch to focus/shoot on the Olympus cameras is nice, but personally I find it hard to touch the back of the camera to take a photo without introducing a certain amount of camera shake – it’s much easier to squeeze on a standard shutter button whilst holding the camera in two hands to get a steady shot.

It will be a good camera no doubt, but other than the fact that if you’re already a Canon user you can use your Canon EF lenses, I can’t see anything in it that makes it stand out particularly from the rest of the mirrorless cameras out there and would give you a reason to choose it over more established cameras.  For the pro/semi pro/super-enthusiast, my pick is still the Fujifilm X-Pro 1, and for the general consumer I’d still choose the Nikon 1 range because it’s super easy to use, it gets it right every time, and is a nice compact size to carry around.  Those in the middle won’t go far wrong with an Olympus E-P3 or OM-D, especially with all those lovely fast Oly M43 primes.  This EOS-M suffers from the same problem as the NEX with the APS-C sensor in that it needs a big fat lens, making it less portable, not to mention pretty ugly looking for a CSC!

UK Pricing starts from £769 for the 18-55mm kit and £879 for the 22mm lens kit.  An EF-EOS adapter for your Canon lenses is available at £129.

Canon EOS-M Pre-Order at WEX Photographic

Official specs:

  • 18.0 MP CMOS (APS-C) Sensor
  • DIGIC 5 Image Processor
  • Full HD Movie with Focus Tracking
  • 3.0″ Touch Screen LCD with 1040K-dots
  • Touch AF and Multi-touch Operation
  • Hybrid CMOS Auto-focus for Photo & Video
  • Compatible with Canon EF and EF-S Lenses
  • ISO 100-12800, Expandable to 25600 (H)

Press release:

London, UK, 23 July 2012 – Canon today expands its award-winning EOS range with the launch of the new EOS M. The company’s first ever compact system camera (CSC), the EOS M is designed for those who use photography to share their everyday passions – from food, to fashion and culture, music and art. Offering DSLR-quality imaging, creative features and Full HD movie creation in a compact and easy-to-use model, the EOS M is the perfect, take-anywhere partner for a new breed of enthusiasts who chronicle their lives through images, without necessarily considering themselves to be ‘photographers’.

The EOS M is available in sleek black, glossy white, stylish silver or bold red colours, and condenses Canon’s renowned EOS imaging heritage into a stylish, compact design. The model launches alongside two new lenses, the EF-M 22mm f/2 STM pancake and the EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM standard zoom, as well as a new compact EX Speedlite – the Speedlite 90EX – providing everything you need to capture stunning images every day. For those who want to push their images even further, the EOS M can also utilise Canon’s extensive range of EF lenses with the new Mount Adapter EF-EOS M, for even more creative freedom.

The quality of a Canon DSLR
Print your favourite moments in poster-size or crop your image for maximum impact – whether shooting the atmosphere of your favourite club or the intricate stitching of the latest must-have handbag – thanks to the EOS M’s high-resolution, 18 megapixel APS-C hybrid CMOS sensor. The large sensor also allows you to artistically blur the background for beautiful portraits, or for close-ups with impact.

With the inclusion of Canon’s DIGIC 5 processor, colours ‘pop’ and skin tones are beautifully natural, whilst a super-fast shutter allows you to capture split-second action. The atmosphere of evening shoots and challenging night-time scenes are also easily recorded in stunning detail thanks to the EOS M’s sensitive native ISO range of 100- 12,800 (extendable to 25,600).

For pin-sharp shots and professional-looking footage, this new design features a Hybrid AF System that supports super-fast, accurate AF when shooting stills and movies – allowing you to record any moment with confidence.

Shoot what you see and easily express your creative vision
Every aspect of the EOS M has been designed to make it simple to capture beautiful, creative, high-quality images. From the very first swipe across the bright, high- resolution, 7.7cm (3.0”), Clear View LCD II Touch screen, the EOS M gives you as much or as little control over your photos as desired. Simply select different shooting modes and settings via the on-screen icons, or let Scene Intelligent Auto adjust the camera settings according to the subject and shooting conditions, leaving you free to focus on composition and selecting the perfect moment to hit the shutter release button.

EOS M users can shoot with the confidence that comes from having the world’s most comprehensive photographic system behind them. Whether you want to capture every detail of a close-up or zoom in to frame a subject in the far distance, any one of Canon’s extensive range of EF lenses can be connected via the new

Mount Adapter EF-EOS M for photographic flexibility.
With one of Canon’s Speedlite flash units, you can also explore creative lighting techniques to add an extra level of interest to your shots. Alternatively, create unique images with a range of Creative Filters like Toy Camera effect, Grainy B&W or even a filter that mimics the distortion of a fish-eye lens. The filters can be applied before the shot is captured, with the result previewed in Live View, allowing you to experiment with different effects before selecting the perfect treatment for your final image.

Turn film-maker with EOS Movie and Video Snapshot
When a moment calls for more than a still image, the EOS M lets you switch easily to Full HD video with stereo sound for superb results. Video Snapshot mode also helps family and friends avoid long home movie viewing sessions, guiding you to create exciting movies in-camera, with a professionally edited feel.

Extending the EOS System with dedicated accessories
In addition to compatibility with Canon’s existing EF lenses1, accessories and Speedlites, the EOS M launches with its own bespoke range of compact accessories. Two new EF-M lenses offer portability and high performance when using the new model – the EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM standard zoom and the

EF-M 22mm f/2 STM pancake lens. Both feature new Stepper Motor technology for exceptionally smooth AF performance, as well as precision Canon optics, while their compact designs offer the perfect form-factor to complement the camera’s pocket-sized body.

Additionally, the EOS M will ship with the new Speedlite 90EX flash unit as standard. Lightweight and highly-compact, it offers a maximum guide number of nine and supports wide-angle lenses, making it an ideal general-purpose flash for everyday use. A wireless master function also allows the control of multiple flash guns wirelessly, allowing more advanced users to experiment with a range of creative lighting effects.

EOS M – key features

  • The quality of a digital SLR in a compact body
  • Scene Intelligent Auto
  • Be versatile with interchangeable lenses
  • Create out-of-focus backgrounds for high impact
  • Easy-to-use touch-screen
  • Atmospheric photos in low light
  • Full-HD video with Video Snapshot Mode
See the full Canon UK Press Release here.

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About The Author

Matthew Maddock is a commercial photographer based in the Lake District, UK. Specialising in the hospitality and outdoor sports industry. He is a Fujifilm X-Photographer and Getty Images contributor. His portfolio can be viewed at memaddock.co.uk

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2 Responses

  1. Tom McLaughlan

    I bought an OM-D two weeks ago then heard the rumours about this and so wondered if, as a long time Canon DSLR user, I ought to have waited. But having seen the details I’m not worried at all. No viewfinder, slow AF and very limited controls without having to delve into the menu system. It’ll be good for some people but not for me, thanks. And the Olympus is a dream – an excellent, smaller companion to the 5d Mark 2.

    • Matt Madd

      I tend to agree with you Tom. It’s nothing really special, just “another” CSC. If it wasn’t for the X-Pro 1, I would have the OM-D too, it’s a great camera with some really nice quality fast prime lenses available from Oly these days.

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