Canon has finally joined the mirrorless standard party, as the company unveiled its new EOS M camera, which brings with it an exhaustive number of features.
As we have become accustomed to on many of Canon’s offerings, the EOS M’s build quality sounds top notch, as the camera will boast a strong magnesium and stainless steel frame.
The EOS M sports an 18-megapixel APS-C-sized CMOS image sensor, which the company asserted will offer “shallow depth of field, incredible low-light image quality and a wide dynamic range to capture rich gradation and detail.”Canon also stressed the EOS M’s focus on handling HD video as well as still images.
To this end, the EOS M offers a full HD Movie mode with Movie Servo AF for continuous focus tracking of moving subjects, a built-in stereo microphone and manual audio level adjustment, and a video snapshot mode with touch-screen editing.It further includes a wind filter and an attenuator function to reduce audio distortion in extra loud situations.
The EOS M records MPEG-4 AVC H.264 video as an .MOV file in a range of NTSC and PAL professional frame rates, including 1080p Full HD video at 30p (29.97), 24p (23.976) and 25p, 720p HD video at 60p (59.94) or 50p and Standard Definition video at 30p (29.97) or 25p.
“The EOS M includes a unique feature set making it an ideal movie-making tool, while also offering incredible still image quality on its APS-C-sized CMOS sensor,” asserted Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon US.
Canon has finally launched its own mirrorless camera, the EOS M.
Features on offer
As befitting its compliance with the mirrorless standard, the camera will also be accompanied by two new lenses designed specifically for Canon's new camera format - the EF-M 22mm f/2 STM kit lens and the optional EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens.
The company added that photographers will further be able to take advantage of the full line of Canon EF and EF-S lenses through the optional Mount Adapter EF-EOS M.
In the light sensitivity department, the EOS M appears to be no slouch. The camera boasts an ISO range of 100 - 6400 (expandable to 12800 in H mode) for video recording, and ISO 100 - 12800 (expandable to 25600 in H mode) for still image shooting.
This, Canon has promised, will make it suitable for shooting in bright to dim light, while it asserted that the high performance DIGIC 5 Image Processor will deliver “exceptional image quality” in both videos and photos. Some familiar modes are also onboard, including the Handheld Night Scene mode, HDR Backlight Control mode, and seven Creative Filters, which have made an appearance in Canon’s compacts to good effect.
Compatibility is king
However, the one feature we suspect anyone already invested in the Canon ecosystem will appreciate is the new camera’s broad range of compatibility with other EOS add-ons apart from Canon lenses.
Along with catering for SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards and the new Ultra High Speed (UHS-I) cards, the EOS M is compatible with all Canon Speedlite accessories, including the new Speedlite 600EX and Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT, and the recently announced Canon GPS Receiver GP-E2.
Ideal for use with the EOS M, Canon further announced a new compact and lightweight flash unit, the Speedlite 90EX. This can deliver a coverage for 24mm wide angle lenses (35mm equivalent) with maximum guide numbers of 30 feet (9 meters) at ISO 100.
The flash unit can be controlled wirelessly for creative multiple flash shoots and uses the standard Canon EOS hot shoe mount for compatibility with all EOS DSLR cameras and PowerShot digital cameras that include a hot shoe.
The EOS M can accommodate the professional 70-200 2.8 EF lens, with
the optional Mount Adapter EF-EOS M
Keep your focus
Canon explained that the Movie Servo AF function on the EOS M is enabled by default which keeps images on the rear screen in constant focus, even before the shutter is pressed. It elaborated that this continual focus “makes for sharp video capture in a snap” and helps reduce shutter lag.
Moreover, the camera employs three AF methods for video and photos, Face Detection and Tracking AF, Multi-Point AF for automatic selection and Single-Point AF, where users select one of the 31 AF (autofocus) points. Through the camera's touch-panel operation, subject recognition and tracking is engaged at the touch of a finger, allowing users to track subjects accurately and focus on intended subjects with ease.
Thoughtfully for a monitor that likely will be subject to a fair bit of ‘touchy-feely,’ the camera’s 3” touch screen clear view LCD monitor (1 040 000 dots) boasts a smudge-resistant coating. Additionally, its multi-touch operation allows photographers to use familiar gestures such as pinch-to-zoom and swiping to scroll between pictures.
To the point
Stateside, the new camera is slated for arrival in October, for an estimated RRP of $800 (R6400). We have toyed with numerous cameras over the past year, which included Nikon’s entry
into the mirrorless playing field with its Nikon 1.
At that time, we debated whether, and when Canon would also go the mirrorless route, or instead leave that market segment to the likes of Olympus, Samsung, Nikon and Sony. As many others, we thought that the PowerShot G1x with its larger sensor but fixed lens was Canon’s answer, but apparently not.
While local availability and pricing of the EOS M has not yet been confirmed, we cannot wait to get our hands on one. We suspect that those photographers who have been waiting for Canon to make its move, and are in the market for smaller and lighter cameras that can still accommodate a wide variety of interchangeable lenses, likely feel the same way.