Canon EOS M assessment: was Canon's first mirrorless ILC well worth the 4-yr wait?

Canon EOS M review: was Canon's first mirrorless ILC worth the four-year wait?

It is right here. Lastly. Nicely, that’s, should you occur to stay in Japan. Canon’s very first mirrorless interchangeable lens digital camera must be hitting outlets the world over simply as you start to make room for that decked-out evergreen conifer, however the EOS M is already making the rounds in Canon’s residence nation. It is obtainable at choose Japanese retailers for ¥109,900 (about $1,410, together with gross sales tax). That lofty worth will internet you the EOS M in black, white or silver (the shiny pink mannequin stays elusive), full with 55mm f/2 and 18-55mm f/three.5-5.6 EF-M optics, a Speedlite 90EX exterior flash and the EF-M Lens Adapter, enabling full compatibility with any and all your EF and EF-S lenses. The US variant, which comes bundled with solely the black 22mm “pancake” STM lens, ought to run you $799 when it seems stateside starting October fifteenth, although neither nation’s mannequin carries a very aggressive price ticket, particularly contemplating how numerous (and properly-outfitted) the mirrorless ILC market has grow to be.

You may argue that Canon is borrowing a play out of Nikon’s ebook with regards to pricing the EOS M — had the digital camera provided full DSLR performance, together with a complicated consumer interface, a $799 sticker is perhaps justified. However the firm has crippled its new compact shooter in order to keep away from cannibalizing its nonetheless-profitable full-measurement APS-C DSLR lineup, which incorporates fashions starting from the Insurgent T3 (about $475) to the EOS 7D (about $1,350). Appropriately, the EOS M falls proper within the center when it comes to capabilities, with the additional advantage of a brand new, almost pocketable design that ought to win over greater than its justifiable share of amateurs. That stated, there is a cause bigger SLRs stay available on the market, and Canon very a lot needs to retain that strong footing. The EOS M is not for everybody, and that is by design. However is it the proper decide for you? Be a part of us previous the break as we attempt it on for measurement.%Gallery-167372%

seventy five
Canon

Canon EOS M

Execs

  • Wonderful picture high quality
  • Engaging, sturdy construct
  • EF and EF-S lens compatibility

Cons

  • Sluggish focusing efficiency
  • No mode dial and sub-par UI
  • Under-common battery life

Abstract

Canon’s first mirrorless digital camera provides prime-notch picture high quality, however it fails to satisfy our expectations when it comes to focusing and usefulness.

Hardware

All cameras are usually not created equal — not even all EOS Ms. Positive, every of the 4 compact flavors might carry the identical 18-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, 1,040,000-dot three-inch touchscreen and arguably mediocre UI, however just one has a remotely premium shell. As you could have gathered from our stroll-by way of video above, we’re not speaking about white. Or pink, and even silver. Solely the black mannequin, which drops the shiny plastic housing in favor of a matte coat, gives the feel and appear of an $800-plus mirrorless compact. As low cost and plasticky as its (comparatively) colourful counterparts could also be, the black model has a unbelievable, barely textured end. That is to not say it’s going to essentially be the SKU that flies off retailer cabinets, however photographers who’re in any respect critical about their work will doubtless avoid the opposite three.

Canon EOS M review: was Canon's first mirrorless ILC worth the four-year wait?

Colour apart, there is a bit extra dangerous information to get out of the best way. Maybe you’ve got seen the devoted mode dial that is turn out to be the trademark of something premium at Canon. Even the brand new PowerShot SX160 IS has the acquainted controller, and that mannequin ideas the until at simply $199. So, does $800 and up ship direct entry to capturing modes, superior or in any other case? No, it doesn’t. And, properly, we will not categorical our disappointment sufficient right here — not solely does a mode dial simplify the method of choosing your main capturing choice, it additionally serves to offer affirmation of your present decide, letting you already know that you simply’re in guide earlier than you hearth off a half dozen now-ineffective frames. The EOS M does present this suggestions on-display, however it’s simply not the identical, and the requisite triple faucet to bounce between modes is inconvenient, to say the least. Canon might have finished a heck of quite a bit higher than this.

Canon EOS M review: was Canon's first mirrorless ILC worth the four-year wait?

Talking of faucets, you will be utilizing that contact-enabled show for excess of you could have assumed. The contact-to-focus (and expose/seize) choice is good, however it’s simply outweighed by the necessity to contact the LCD to regulate ISO, for instance. As a aspect observe, the EOS M presents a picture sensitivity vary of one hundred to 25,600 (as much as 12,800 when capturing video) — we’ll get into that in additional element afterward. There’s additionally a 31-level AF system, steady capturing modes of four.three frames-per-second with fastened give attention to any lens or autofocus utilizing an EF or EF-S lens, 1.7 fps with autofocus on the 18-55mm EF-M optic or 1.2 fps with autofocus on the 22mm EF-M lens, and 1080/30p and 24p, 720/60p and 50p and 640 x 480 capturing at 30 or 25 frames per second.

Now, again over to these somewhat horrid controls. The EOS M’s rear is akin to that of most Canon level-and-shoots, however provided that this is not a low-value mannequin, that format has no enterprise making an look right here. On the prime of the digital camera, there is a energy toggle, a dial to pick from auto, normal and film modes, and a shutter launch. There’s additionally a full-measurement scorching shoe (huzzah!) and stereo mics (sure, they’re on the highest and never the entrance, making them completely high-quality for narration however lower than ultimate for interviews). You’ll be able to counteract that mic placement by including your personal audio seize gadget because of the usual microphone enter jack that joins HDMI and USB connectors on the left aspect. Plus, since there’s actually a normal scorching shoe, you’ll have someplace to mount an exterior mic.

Canon EOS M review: was Canon's first mirrorless ILC worth the four-year wait?

Round again, simply to the proper of the LCD, is a thumb relaxation and adjoining video report button, adopted by Canon’s normal lineup of menu, playback, information and dial controls. There’s additionally a 5-means toggle that can be utilized to navigate menus, bounce by means of pictures throughout assessment, and immediately entry shutter mode, publicity compensation and delete choices. On the underside, there’s a regular tripod socket, an SD card slot and a battery compartment, full with an 875mAh LP-E12 cell (replacements ought to run you about seventy five bucks). You will discover the requisite shoulder strap within the field, this time with a nifty connector that merely slides onto the digital camera and locks into place with a skinny coin or key, together with a USB cable, AC adapter and, within the case of our check mannequin, a Japanese-language consumer guide. We principally just like the strap design, however as a result of it is capable of rotate when locked into place, it is very straightforward to finish up with a bunch of tangles.

Canon EOS M review: was Canon's first mirrorless ILC worth the four-year wait?

What you will not discover is a constructed-in digital viewfinder, and even an elective attachment (there is no connector current, so it will not be coming sooner or later, both). The three-inch LCD is sort of sharp, at simply over 1 million dots, however it’s fastened in place, so there isn’t any strategy to get it to tilt or swivel. We use this function on the NEX-C3 each day, so not having it right here actually is a big disadvantage, particularly contemplating Canon’s implementation on fashions just like the PowerShot G12 (sadly its G15 successor does certainly drop this function). The show’s viewing angles are respectable, even in vibrant mild, however wanting from above or under is basically no match for a straight-on view.

Consumer interface

%Gallery-160940%

The EOS M certainly is not the primary mirrorless digital camera to pack a touchscreen, and although there are a handful of hardware controls, there is no strategy to utterly get rid of the necessity to faucet. Whereas it is typically inconvenient, you can get by way of a lot of the menus with a number of clicks, however you will possible end up tapping the LCD extra incessantly than you’d want. There’s a somewhat restricted dial on the highest — choices listed here are restricted to a full-automated mode, an adjustable mode and video seize — and whereas this change will get loads of use, we want there have been an choice for accessing scene modes and guide, aperture and shutter precedence in the identical means.

Canon EOS M review: was Canon's first mirrorless ILC worth the four-year wait?

The film place can also be an pointless addition — we might have a lot fairly seen Canon comply with the lead of different producers and allow you to launch a shoot just by tapping the video document button, relatively than requiring you to first flip to film mode, then hit that little pink dot. You’ll be able to nonetheless shoot stills in film mode, however they’re captured with a sixteen:9 facet ratio, so you will have to hold this in thoughts and flip again to one of many two different settings earlier than you begin snapping away — until, in fact, you do not thoughts tremendous-vast photographs.

The menu itself is a cross between Canon’s level-and-shoot setup and its full-measurement DSLR providing — settings are much more restricted than what you’d discover on the 5D, for instance, although additionally extra beneficiant than what’s out there with a lot of the firm’s compact fashions. Choices change relying in your present mode, which helps to scale back muddle, however provides confusion, since you possibly can solely tweak film settings whereas in video mode, for instance. There’s additionally a reasonably primary Customized Features web page, which is the place you will choose such choices as ISO enlargement (to 25,600) and the AF-help beam standing. You’ll be able to flip via all the menu within the gallery above.

Efficiency and battery life

Canon EOS M review: was Canon's first mirrorless ILC worth the four-year wait?

We have seen mirrorless cameras that pack completely incredible focusing methods. Then, there are people who almost drive us to tears, immediately tarnishing our opinion of in any other case succesful fashions. We have been devastated to see that the EOS M’s focusing efficiency falls simply shy of that latter grouping — the cameras that simply plain stink at bringing a topic into focus shortly. We feared as a lot throughout our arms-on this previous summer time, however Canon reps on the time reminded us that the flavour we have been sampling was however a pre-manufacturing model. At that time, the M struggled with the whole lot from the 22mm and 18-55mm EF-M package lenses to an enormous 400mm f/2.eight L.

This time round, with our retailer-purchased remaining mannequin, we weren’t capable of check it alongside any of the corporate’s tried-and-true heavy hitters, however each EF-Ms certainly fell far brief. It isn’t probably the most sluggish focusing we have seen, however it’s darn shut. We did discover a slight velocity increase in FlexiZone – Multi mode, so you will in all probability need to go for that should you do not want to decide on a single level. Granted, focusing is completely correct, however when you’re on the lookout for velocity, it is time to pack up your luggage and hurry alongside. If this transfer was intentional, Canon’s message has been acquired loud and clear — critical photographers can ogle on the firm’s compact creation all they like, however as soon as they dig deep, they will come operating again house to their tried-and-true type elements, leaving the svelte M to extra informal varieties. Canon certainly might have achieved higher right here, however it did not, and we will not assist however assume that decision was made far up the meals chain, amid some decidedly heated engineering debates.

Canon EOS M review: was Canon's first mirrorless ILC worth the four-year wait?

Battery life, in the meantime, is way from stellar. We have been barely capable of get by means of a full day on a cost, so you will need to decide up spares earlier than your subsequent safari. Maybe we have been spoiled by Canon’s professional choices, however this gadget will not suffice for extra intense shoots until you might have backup close by. The battery meter itself is not terribly helpful — there are solely three positions within the indicator with no remaining proportion, and we have been utterly lifeless shortly after the battery displayed two bars, after capturing simply over 250 stills and 12 minutes of 720/60p video.

Picture high quality

%Gallery-167250%

The capturing course of itself will not be the EOS M’s banner function, however picture high quality is sort of spectacular, even in low mild. As we talked about, you possibly can kick the ISO all the best way as much as 25,600, although we did not discover any have to enterprise past 6400 when utilizing the digital camera’s 18-55mm picture-stabilized package lens. Nighttime and day-lit photographs alike appeared implausible, with sharp particulars even when viewing every 18-megapixel picture at one hundred pc zoom. You will discover all of our IQ samples on the extra protection hyperlink on the backside of this web page, they usually’re included within the gallery above as properly, however let’s take a peek at a choose few proper now.

The M’s f/2.zero prime package lens not solely allows low-mild captures with quicker shutter speeds, however it additionally yields lovely bokeh, as you possibly can see on this body under. We targeted on the consumer’s reflection within the mirror for a satisfying delicate focus impact within the foreground. Shade stability, publicity and sharpness are excellent.

Canon EOS M review: was Canon's first mirrorless ILC worth the four-year wait?

Do not let the muted colours idiot you — this scene was captured simply as we noticed it, with the t-shirt colours pale from many days beneath the brilliant Tokyo solar. The sharpness and publicity are wonderful as nicely.

Canon EOS M review: was Canon's first mirrorless ILC worth the four-year wait?

This scene, shot by means of an open lodge window, yielded spot-on colour accuracy and publicity. The digital camera’s 18-megapixel sensor even allow us to make out textual content on a freeway signal tons of of ft away (see inset under).

Canon EOS M review: was Canon's first mirrorless ILC worth the four-year wait?

Night time scenes are by no means straightforward, even for probably the most highly effective DSLRs. The M tackled this Akihabara road with ease, in full-auto mode (we discovered this setting to be extra correct than aperture precedence when capturing after darkish or in low mild).

Canon EOS M review: was Canon's first mirrorless ILC worth the four-year wait?

Darkish laptops aren’t straightforward to photograph, particularly when displayed towards a backlit floor, however the EOS M did wonderful work right here, with nice colour stability in addition. A few of the different pictures from this shoot had a pink hue, as you’ll be able to see in our palms-on publish (notice that the primary photograph there was shade corrected, although all the pictures introduced listed here are untouched).

Canon EOS M review: was Canon's first mirrorless ILC worth the four-year wait?

This picture of Toyota’s Sensible Insect prototype EV was shot at ISO 3200, and provided wonderful shade accuracy and restricted noise, even when seen at one hundred-%. In truth, we spent a day capturing at CEATEC with the M fastened at ISO 3200, which got here in useful in dimly lit cubicles, with nice outcomes general.

Canon EOS M review: was Canon's first mirrorless ILC worth the four-year wait?

You’ll be able to’t correctly check a mirrorless digital camera today with out capturing loads of video, so we hit the streets of Tokyo to seize some footage in Harajuku, the subway and an Akihabara arcade so as to consider picture high quality and audio in quite a lot of conditions. In video mode, ISO tops out at 12,800, and there is a full guide choice that lets you set aperture, shutter velocity and sensitivity. When set to auto, publicity compensation is the one adjustable setting. You can even select from one-shot or steady focus — in case you go for the latter, merely faucet on the underside left nook of the show to leap again to steady, or press the shutter midway to regulate focus as soon as. You possibly can shoot stills throughout recording by urgent the shutter absolutely, however the video will freeze for about one second, so you will in all probability need to keep away from that function.

We discovered the microphone to be wonderful when used for narrations, even in noisy environments, however the prime-mounted mics have been much less efficient for interviews — for these shoots, we might advocate benefiting from the M’s audio enter jack by including an exterior mic. We additionally introduced the digital camera alongside for a day of commerce present arms-ons at CEATEC — whereas focus was sometimes a problem, the STM package lenses enabled silent focusing and clean guide zoom. Catch our pattern reel slightly below.

The competitors

There’s loads of excellent news right here, simply not a lot for Canon. With dozens of mirrorless cameras coming onto the market annually, there’s now a variety of choices out there to shoppers — many fashions are priced properly under Canon’s $799 sticker. If quick focusing does not prime your record of priorities, the $500 Sony NEX-F3 package is a relative discount, constructing upon the NEX-C3’s strengths whereas including options which have develop into key in 2012. The NEX-6 ($850, physique solely) can also be value your consideration, including a constructed-in EVF and a mode dial that the EOS M so desperately wants.

For those who do have a necessity for velocity, the Olympus E-M5 ($999, physique solely) or the corporate’s newest PEN kits, the E-PL5 ($seven hundred) and E-PM2 ($600), have definitely confirmed their value on that entrance — focusing efficiency is on par with prime DSLR choices, and also you additionally get extra superior controls and a tilting LCD. For video buffs, Panasonic has made an enormous push with its Lumix GH3, and whereas that choice has but to hit shops, you should not have lengthy to attend.

Wrap-up

We just like the Canon EOS M — excess of we’d have anticipated, given its mediocre efficiency throughout our palms-on — however the firm’s first mirrorless ILC falls brief on a number of fronts. Skilled photographers can affix their expensive L lenses, which is good, however the dismal focusing efficiency means SLRs will in all probability be much more interesting to those customers. With the M, Canon is offering a digital digital camera bridge of types within the hopes of capturing the hearts (and wallets) of amateurs trying to step up from level-and-shoots. Certainly, that is much more versatile than what these newcomers are used to, but it is nonetheless constructed on a easy interface that is not intimidating. Granted, this is not what the professionals had been hoping for, however Canon’s DSLR collection clearly is not able to free these customers from their hefty housings, leaving the corporate’s ever-robust skilled lineup to reside one other day.

seventy five
Canon

Canon EOS M

 Feedback Disabled