This is an in-depth review of the Canon EOS M camera that came out on July 23, 2012, the first mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera from Canon. Along with the EOS M, Canon also announced the first two lenses for the new “EF-M” mount: Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM and Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM. Among major camera manufacturers, Canon was the last to enter the mirrorless market. Aside from Panasonic and Olympus sharing the same Micro Four Thirds sensor and Nikon going with a smaller “CX” sensor, all other manufacturers chose large APS-C sized sensors (Samsung, Sony, Fuji and Pentax), each with its own proprietary lens mount. With the introduction of the EOS M system, Canon has officially joined the APS-C club. Instead of developing a new sensor format, Canon chose to reuse the same 18 MP sensor from the EOS Rebel 650D / T4i DSLR camera. Canon also released an EF-M to EF / EF-S adapter for mounting existing and future DSLR lenses on the EOS M, with full compatibility with all lens functions such as autofocus and image stabilization. In this review, I will go over the features and capabilities of the camera and compare it to other mirrorless options, including Nikon 1, Sony NEX series and Olympus OM-D E-M5.
With its arch-rival Nikon debuting the Nikon 1 CX mount with a smaller 2.7x crop factor sensor a year earlier, Canon made sure that the 1.6x crop factor APS-C sensor was in the headlines of its announcements, with “The Quality of a Canon DSLR” title being a major part of the initial marketing effort. I spent over two months with the Canon EOS M while testing other mirrorless cameras for my “Battle of the Mirrorless” series, so I will be doing a lot of comparisons of the EOS M to other cameras in this review, along with discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the camera. Let’s take a look at the Canon EOS M in detail.
1) Canon EOS M Specifications
- 18 MP CMOS image sensor, 4.3 µm pixel pitch
- ISO 100-12800 native, expandable to 25600 in H mode)
- Hybrid CMOS AF (phase-detection AF/contrast-detection AF)
- 31 AF points
- 3″ Touchscreen LCD with 1040K dots
- Full 1080p HD movie shooting 30p/24p/25p
- Face Detection + Object Tracking AF
- 4 Standard “Creative Zone” Exposure Modes (Program, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority and Manual) and 8 additional presets
- Battery life for up to 230 shots
- Vertical-travel, mechanical, focal-plane shutter with all speeds electronically-controlled (1/4000 max)
- Compatible with Canon EF and EF-S lenses via an optional EF-EOS M mount adapter
- Standard size flash hot shoe
- Up to 4.3 fps continuous shooting
Detailed technical specifications for the Canon EOS M are available at Canon.com.