Canon has, as expected, announced the EOS M - its first mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Based around the same 18MP APS-C sensor as the recent EOS 650D/T4i, the EOS M is the first model to use a new, smaller 'EF-M' lens mount. It is launched alongside two EF-M lenses that use STM stepper motors optimized for use with the camera's hybrid AF system. As we've seen before in the mirrorless sector, the EOS M is predominantly aimed at the point-and-shoot upgrader market looking for DSLR quality and makes greater use of a 650D-style touch-screen interface. We've been using the EOS M for a little while and have prepared a preview, looking in more detail at Canon's first mirrorless EOS camera and how it handles.

UPDATE. We've recently updated this preview with our own images of the camera, having initially used those provided by Canon. We've also added more information about the camera and screenshots of its touch interface, so if you read our initial preview shortly after publication it's worth having another look. 

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Press Release:

DSLR-quality images at your fingertips: Canon launches the small and simple EOS M

London, UK, 23 July 2012 – Canon today expands its award-winning EOS range with the launch of the new EOS M. The company’s first ever compact system camera (CSC), the EOS M is designed for those who use photography to share their everyday passions – from food, to fashion and culture, music and art. Offering DSLR-quality imaging, creative features and Full HD movie creation in a compact and easy-to-use model, the EOS M is the perfect, take-anywhere partner for a new breed of enthusiasts who chronicle their lives through images, without necessarily considering themselves to be ‘photographers’.

The EOS M is available in sleek black, glossy white, stylish silver or bold red colours, and condenses Canon’s renowned EOS imaging heritage into a stylish, compact design. The model launches alongside two new lenses, the EF-M 22mm f/2 STM pancake and the EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM standard zoom, as well as a new compact EX Speedlite – the Speedlite 90EX – providing everything you need to capture stunning images every day. For those who want to push their images even further, the EOS M can also utilise Canon’s extensive range of EF lenses with the new Mount Adapter EF-EOS M, for even more creative freedom.

The quality of a Canon DSLR

Print your favourite moments in poster-size or crop your image for maximum impact – whether shooting the atmosphere of your favourite club or the intricate stitching of the latest must-have handbag – thanks to the EOS M’s high-resolution, 18 megapixel APS-C hybrid CMOS sensor. The large sensor also allows you to artistically blur the background for beautiful portraits, or for close-ups with impact.

With the inclusion of Canon’s DIGIC 5 processor, colours ‘pop’ and skin tones are beautifully natural, whilst a super-fast shutter allows you to capture split-second action. The atmosphere of evening shoots and challenging night-time scenes are also easily recorded in stunning detail thanks to the EOS M’s sensitive native ISO range of 100- 12,800 (extendable to 25,600).

For pin-sharp shots and professional-looking footage, this new design features a Hybrid AF System that supports super-fast, accurate AF when shooting stills and movies – allowing you to record any moment with confidence.

Shoot what you see and easily express your creative vision

Every aspect of the EOS M has been designed to make it simple to capture beautiful, creative, high-quality images. From the very first swipe across the bright, high- resolution, 7.7cm (3.0”), Clear View LCD II Touch screen, the EOS M gives you as much or as little control over your photos as desired. Simply select different shooting modes and settings via the on-screen icons, or let Scene Intelligent Auto adjust the camera settings according to the subject and shooting conditions, leaving you free to focus on composition and selecting the perfect moment to hit the shutter release button.

EOS M users can shoot with the confidence that comes from having the world's most comprehensive photographic system behind them. Whether you want to capture every detail of a close-up or zoom in to frame a subject in the far distance, any one of Canon’s extensive range of EF lenses can be connected via the new

Mount Adapter EF-EOS M for photographic flexibility.

With one of Canon’s Speedlite flash units, you can also explore creative lighting techniques to add an extra level of interest to your shots. Alternatively, create unique images with a range of Creative Filters like Toy Camera effect, Grainy B&W or even a filter that mimics the distortion of a fish-eye lens. The filters can be applied before the shot is captured, with the result previewed in Live View, allowing you to experiment with different effects before selecting the perfect treatment for your final image.

Turn film-maker with EOS Movie and Video Snapshot

When a moment calls for more than a still image, the EOS M lets you switch easily to Full HD video with stereo sound for superb results. Video Snapshot mode also helps family and friends avoid long home movie viewing sessions, guiding you to create exciting movies in-camera, with a professionally edited feel.

Extending the EOS System with dedicated accessories

In addition to compatibility with Canon’s existing EF lenses1, accessories and Speedlites, the EOS M launches with its own bespoke range of compact accessories. Two new EF-M lenses offer portability and high performance when using the new model – the EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM standard zoom and the
EF-M 22mm f/2 STM pancake lens. Both feature new Stepper Motor technology for exceptionally smooth AF performance, as well as precision Canon optics, while their compact designs offer the perfect form-factor to complement the camera’s pocket-sized body.

Additionally, the EOS M will ship with the new Speedlite 90EX flash unit as standard. Lightweight and highly-compact, it offers a maximum guide number of nine and supports wide-angle lenses, making it an ideal general-purpose flash for everyday use. A wireless master function also allows the control of multiple flash guns wirelessly, allowing more advanced users to experiment with a range of creative lighting effects.

EOS M – key features

  •  The quality of a digital SLR in a compact body

  •  Scene Intelligent Auto

  •  Be versatile with interchangeable lenses

  •  Create out-of-focus backgrounds for high impact

  •  Easy-to-use touch-screen

  •  Atmospheric photos in low light

  •  Full-HD video with Video Snapshot Mode

1 Via Mount Adaptor EF-EOS M

Canon EOS M specifications

Price
MSRP$799.99 with 22mm lens, €849/£769 with 18-55mm lens, €1049/£949 with 18-55mm + 22mm lenses, €979/£879 with 22mm lens + EF adapter
Body type
Body typeRangefinder-style mirrorless
Sensor
Max resolution5184 x 3456
Other resolutions3456 x 2304, 2592 x 1728, 1920 x 1280, 720 x 480
Effective pixels18 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors19 megapixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C (22.3 x 14.9 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorDigic 5
Color spacesRGB,Adobe RGB
Image
ISOAuto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800 (25600 with boost)
White balance presets6
Custom white balanceYes (1)
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, Normal
File format
  • JPEG: Fine, Normal (Exif 2.3 compliant)
  • Design rule for Camera File system (2.0),
  • RAW: 14bit RAW
  • Digital Print Order Format [DPOF] Version 1.1 compliant
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Selective single-point
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Digital zoomNo
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points31
Lens mountCanon EF-M
Focal length multiplier1.6×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3
Screen dots1,040,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeClear View II TFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeNone
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed60 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program AE
  • Shutter priority AE
  • Aperture priority AE
  • Manual
Scene modes
  • Creative Auto
  • Portrait
  • Landscape
  • Close-up
  • Sports
  • Night Portrait
  • Handheld Night
  • HDR Backlight Control mode
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via Hot-shoe)
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Red-eye
Flash X sync speed1/200 sec
Drive modes
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Self timer
Continuous drive4.3 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
  • Partial
Exposure compensation±3 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±2 (3 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes (3 frames in either blue/amber or magenta/green axis)
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50 fps), 640 x 480 (60, 50 fps)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage includedNone
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (HDMI mini)
WirelessEye-Fi Connected
Physical
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion LP-E12 rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)230
Weight (inc. batteries)298 g (0.66 lb / 10.51 oz)
Dimensions109 x 66 x 32 mm (4.29 x 2.6 x 1.26)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
GPSOptional
GPS notesvia GPE2

Additional images

Top-down view of the Canon EOS-M with 22mm F2.0 'pancake' prime lens.

Rear view of the Canon EOS-M (Silver)
Canon EOS-M with Speedlite EX-90 (included with the camera in most markets) Canon EOS-M shown wih EF 70-200mm F2.8 IS lens, using optional EF-EOS M mount adapter