On July 23, London, UK, Canon has finally announced its mirrorless system to compete with Nikon 1, Sony NEX, Samsung NX and other brand offerings. Having neglected this market share for about 4 years now since the introduction of the first Micro Four Thirds camera, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 (which may not have been the first camera to lack a moving mirror and an optical viewfinder, but offer interchangeable lens mount, but it sure was the first to really spark an interest in such a design), Canon seems to have finally admitted the potential behind affordable, small, interchangeable lens, high image quality cameras, and stepped up to the challenge. Lets see what the last DSLR manufacturer to enter this segment has to offer.
Specifications and Features
Although Canon seems to position its first EOS M camera as a simple, affordable, small and high image quality alternative for those looking to upgrade from point-and-shoot offerings, but not looking for a professional mirrorless offering, some of the specifications are very impressive. It uses the same 18 megapixel APS-C sized sensor found in the recently announced 650D/T4i (the comparably expensive Nikon 1 V1, for example, offers a much smaller CX sized, 10 megapixel sensor in a similarly small body) as well as 14-bit RAW file format. Interestingly, like the Nikon 1 system, EOS M offers a hybrid AF approach – it can focus using both Contrast and Phase detect (31 focus points) AF systems, which should mean, if Nikon 1 is of any indication, a very fast AF performance even with subject tracking.
One notable feature is the touch-screen control first used by Canon in their 650D/T4i DSL camera. While at first regular, button-centered operation might seem preferable, in this case, when talking about a camera intended to be used as a simple, high quality point-and-shoot with interchangeable lenses, touch-screen interface leaves the EOS M uncluttered with buttons, yet easy and fast enough to navigate through and adjust whichever settings you choose. It has made into a few cameras before, like the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3, and may someday make it to higher-end DSLRs, too, to an extent.
Here are the official specifications:
- Body type: Rangefinder-style mirrorless
- Max resolution: 5184 x 3456
- Other resolutions: 3456 x 2304, 2592 x 1728, 1920 x 1280, 720 x 480
- Effective pixels: 18.0 megapixels
- Sensor: APS-C (22.3 x 14.9 mm) CMOS
- Processor: Digic V
- ISO settings: Auto, 100-12800 (25600 with boost)
- White balance presets: 6, Custom white balance
- Image stabilization: Lens-based
- Image format: RAW, JPEG (Fine, Normal)
- Autofocus: Contrast Detect (sensor), Phase Detect
- Focus modes: Multi-area AF, Selective single-point AF, Single AF, Continuous AF, Face Detection, Manual focus
- Number of focus points: 31
- Lens mount: Canon EF-M mount (Canon EF through optional adapter)
- Screen size: 3″ touch-screen
- Screen dots: 1,040,000
- Shutter speed: 60-1/4000
- Shooting modes: Av, Tv, M, Scene modes
- Flash: External via Hot-shoe
- Continuous drive: 4.3 fps/3 fps with AF tracking
- Exposure compensation: ±3 EV (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
- Video: MPEG-4 (H.264) with stereo sound recording and 1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50 fps), 640 x 480 (60, 50 fps) resolution
- Storage types: SD/SDHC/SDXC
- Battery description: Lithium-Ion LP-E12 rechargeable battery good for up to 230 shots (CIPA)
- Weight (inc. batteries): 298 g (0.66 lb / 10.51 oz)
- Dimensions: 109 x 66 x 32 mm (4.29 x 2.6 x 1.26″)
Lenses and Accessories
As of today, the Canon EOS M is offered with a fast EF-M 22mm f/2 STM pancake lens and kit EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM zoom lens. Both lenses offer new STM focus motors, which should work very well with both Canon Phase and Contrast detect AF systems.
Canon is also offering a compact Speedlite 90EX flash unit, which should fit the EOS M well without making it too hefty.
Official Press Release
DSLR-quality images at your fingertips: Canon launches the small and simple EOS M
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
Atmospheric photos in low light
Full-HD video with Video Snapshot Mode
More kit choices should be available shortly.