Everyone else has a mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera, it was just a matter of time until Canon got around to it too. The announcement came yesterday. It’s called the EOS-M.
Here are some of the key specs:
- 18 megapixel APS-C sensor
- DIGIC 5 processor
- ISO from 100-12,800, extendable to 25,600
- 3 inch touch screen LCD
- Full HD video with continuous focus
- 22mm (35mm equivalent) F2.0 kit lens
- 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 lens with image stabilization
- mount adapter for all Canon lenses
- list price US$799 including the 22mm lens
Here’s what it looks like:
I am certain that it is capable of taking stunning photos but I honestly don’t know what the hell Canon is thinking with this camera.
First of all, no optical viewfinder. Clearly done to save some space. But I don’t know anyone who is happy working purely from a 3 inch LCD screen except for the point-and-shoot crowd. Will Canon later come out with an (expensive) accessory viewfinder? Fuji X-Pro1 has the amazing hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder. Sony NEX-7 has a pretty good EVF. Standing there in the bright sunlight trying to use this as it drags your battery life down? Just silly.
No built in flash. Not such a biggie. The Fuji doesn’t have that. And a built-in flash in a camera body this size would be relatively worthless anyway. Still, one more accessory to buy. (Actually I still haven’t bought a flash for the Fuji. Almost any low light situation I’m shooting in, the flash would be a distraction rather than an aid. Having it for fill would be useful but I rarely have a need for that.)
Last, and biggest beef – you see a PASM dial anywhere? No, you don’t. And pictures of the two lenses reveal there’s no aperture ring. So that means that all of the settings – mode, ISO, shutter speed, aperture – will have to be accessed via navigating through menus. I’ve been there and trust me, it’s a tremendously frustrating experience.
The nice stuff includes having the touch screen for autofocus – and apparently the screen is programmed for some multiple finger gestures as well (like zooming and scrolling).
Those of you who know me as a Nikon shooter might think that I’m doing a Nikon vs. Canon thing here but I’m not. I looked at the specs on Nikon’s mirrorless system and was seriously underwhelmed, and I’ve got a shelf full of Nikon lenses. I simply don’t understand an $800 camera without easily accessible controls. That’s one of the reasons I love my Fuji X-Pro1 so much (despite the slow autofocus) – there’s a dial for shutter speed on top, aperture rings on all the lenses, and one button access to ISO.
I suppose people who have a lot of Canon lenses will want to check this out. I suspect that the size of the camera once one of those huge lenses is attached plus the lack of controls will make it a frustrating experience for many people.
Of course that’s just my opinion. Maybe for you, this is the camera you’ve been waiting for? If that’s the case you can pre-order it from Amazon (no idea why they’re showing it with list price of $1200 but they’re selling it for $799) or from B&H Photo. (Please remember that clicking these links won’t cost you a penny more but will give me a few pennies to cover my hosting costs and gear addiction.)