Today Canon announces its first mirrorless interchangeable lens camera – EOS M. While staying with a similar 18mp APS-C sensor found in EOS T4i, EOS M is a much smaller and more compact unit. It will feature a new, smaller mount, which Canon names EF-M – implying that this new line will still be a part of a family of its EF mounts. While this mount is slightly smaller than EF or EF-S mount, Canon did introduce an adapter which will allow usage of the full Canon lens lineup. Together with the new EOS M, Canon also announced two EF-M lenses, EF-M 22mm f/2 STM and EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM. In addition, since the new EOS M does not feature any kind of flash, Canon has also announced a new Speedlite 90EX compact flash.
Canon EOS M digital camera
Being one of the last to join increasingly growing mirrorless market, it looks like Canon is aiming at enthusiasts who are looking to switch from point-and-shoot cameras to a more SLR like interchangeable lens system, while maintaining compactness and portability. But the new EOS M is packing a strong enough punch for serious users and professionals who are looking for a lighter alternative for video shooting and all-around versatile camera to use as a portable backup.
By removing SLR element from this camera, Canon is able to decrease the body size to a point-and-shoot equivalent. It also looks like most of the dedicated advanced features buttons have been removed to provide a more streamlined look. The top of the camera only has ON/OFF and shutter buttons, while also having a full auto, manual control and video switch. The back of the camera features record, menu, play and info button. As well as, circle pad that lets you select shooting modes, exposure compensation, timer, AE lock and delete images. All other manual options will be controlled through the camera’s 3inch Clear View LCD touch screen. Although the dedicated buttons are not present on the body, EOS M still features manual exposure control and manual audio level adjustments available through the touch screen menu. With its DIGIC 5 Image Processor EOS M is capable of shooting still photos at ISO 100-12800 (expandable to 256000) and recording videos at ISO 100-6400 (expandable to 12800). And its Movie Servo AF feature in Full HD Movie mode should provide continuous silent focus, when combined with Stepping Motion Technology (STM) lenses. Canon EOS M will be compatible with SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards, including new Ultra High Speed (UHS-I) cards. The camera will also come in several colors, including Black, White and Red.
However, there are several key features which Canon has decided not to incorporate into EOS M design which might frustrate many users. One of the features which people switching from point-and-shoot cameras might not even care about is a dedicated Electronic or Optical View Finder (EVF/OVF). While many people underestimate its true potential this handy feature is very useful during harsh sunlight shooting, when screen is barely visible and for more stabilized shots when the camera is firmly pressed to photographer’s face. Another important feature that seems to be missing from the new EOS M is a build it flash, which exists in nearly all point-and-shoot camera. To compensate for this, Canon has announced a new Speedlite 90EX which is a compact external flash unit that attaches to a standard hot shoe and is powered by 2 AAA batteries. While being compact and lightweight, it still ads another accessory to worry about and makes EOS M less “pocketable” when attached. And finally, the price point might be a big deterrent to many people looking at cameras beyond point and shoot. Canon has announced that EOS camera will be available in October 2012 bundled with the new EF-M 22mm f/2 STM lens for $799.99. This price level is up there with many entry level SLR cameras, which are admittedly less compact but offer more versatility.
EF-M lenses and Mount Adapter
Together with the new EOS M camera body, Canon has announced two new lenses with EF-M mounts, a 22mm f/2 pancake prime lens ($249.99) and an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 standard zoom lens. The 22mm f/2 STM is a wide angle lens equivalent to a 35.2mm lens on a full-frame body. This lens is very compact and should work great in low lighting conditions and create beautiful bokeh at f/2 aperture. The 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens is a standard all around zoom lens which equates to 29-88mm lens on a full-frame camera. It features a Dynamic Image Stabilization which is great at reducing camera shake during video and still photography. Additionally, both of these lenses have Canon’s recently introduced STM technology which improves focusing and minimizes motor noise during video recording.
Both of these lenses are excellent introductory lenses for beginners but if you are a more experienced photographer and already have other Canon lenses or are planning on purchasing additional ones, Canon has announced EF-M Mount Adapter which is fully compatible with all EF and EF-S mounts. This adapter also features a tripod collar and fully supports all IS and AF lens capabilities. EF-M Mount Adapter will sell for $199.99. Both of the lenses and the Adapter are expected to be ready to ship in October 2012.
As mentioned above, because of EOS M’s lack of native flash, Canon has announced a compact and lightweight Speedlite 90EX. It will be powered by 2 AAA batteries and have a sufficient guide no. of 30’ / 9m (at ISO 100) which will provide enough coverage for use with a 24mm (35mm equivalent) lens. The new 90EX will also have a capability to serve as a master transmitter to control multiple flash units through 4-channel optical pulse. In addition, it can also serve as a slave unit for other Speedlite units and be used on any other EOS Canon camera with a hot shoe. It will be available in October for $149.99 in U.S. and will even be bundled with EOS M camera when sold in many other countries outside of United States.