Canon EOS M hands-on preview
It's now almost four years since Panasonic first introduced us to the mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, in the shape of the Micro Four Thirds Lumix DMC-G1. Since then, all of the other major manufacturers have entered the fray, in the process offering cameras in a variety of shapes and sizes - from diminutive beginner-friendly models such as the Olympus PEN E-PM1, to unashamedly high-end models like the Sony NEX-7 and Fujifilm X-Pro1. Nikon, meanwhile, has ploughed its own individual furrow with its family-friendly 1 J1 and 1 V1 models. This simply reflects the fact that different cameras are targeted to different kinds of users - be they serious enthusiasts looking for a small, highly capable camera, or compact-camera upgraders looking for SLR-like image quality in a smaller, easier-to-use package.
Canon is the last big player to show its hand, and its initial entrant - the EOS M - is unashamedly targeted to the latter group of users. To all intents and purposes it's a mirrorless version of the recently-announced EOS 650D, but with a simpler interface that's designed to be more approachable for novice users, and obviously much more compact in size. It's based around a new 'EF-M' lens mount, and two matched lenses will be available at launch: the EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM zoom, and the EF-M 22mm f/2 STM 'pancake' prime. But it's still very much part of the EOS system, and all of the company's existing EF and EF-S SLR lenses can be used via the co-announced 'Mount adapter EF-EOS M'.
The EOS M features a compact, magnesium-alloy body, and will be available in four colours - black, white, silver and red. It has no built-in flash, but instead a hot shoe on the top plate, and in many markets (although not the US) it will come bundled with the new AAA-powered Speedlite 90EX unit. There's neither a built-in viewfinder, nor connector for an external unit - composition is solely using the camera's rear screen (which is fixed, rather than articulated).
Canon EOS M key features
- New EF-M lens mount (optimized for APS-C sensor size)
- 18MP APS-C 'Hybrid CMOS' sensor
- Continuous autofocus in movie mode with subject tracking
- 14-bit DIGIC5 processor
- ISO 100-12800 standard, 25600 expanded
- 4.3 fps continuous shooting, 3 fps with autofocus tracking
- 1080p30 video recording, stereo sound (with 25p or 24p options)
- External microphone socket and adjustable sound recording level
- 1040k dot 3:2 touch-sensitive ClearView II LCD (capacitative type, multi-touch support)
- Standard EOS hot-shoe for external flash (no built-in flash)
- 'Creative Filters' image-processing controls, previewed live on-screen
|The EOS M will be available in four colours - silver, red, black or white - although they may not all be sold in all markets.|
The EOS M's commitment to simplicity is reflected by its physical control layout, with buttons and dials kept to a minimum. The exposure mode dial - a staple of Canon's EOS range for over 20 years - has been reduced to just three positions, distinctly reminiscent of the company's Ixus / Elph compacts. The rear of the camera is also rather compact-esque, with a familiar combined 4-way controller / settings dial and just a smattering of buttons.
The lack of physical controls is, however, substantially made up for by the large capacitative touchscreen on the back. This uses much the same interface that Canon introduced on the EOS 650D, and stands out as the most usable, comprehensive and engaging touchscreen that we've yet seen on an interchangeable-lens camera. But whereas on the 650D its use is very much optional, on the EOS M it becomes the preferred method of interaction with the camera.
Because mirrorless cameras have struggled to make headway in the US, Canon is only going to sell one kit option in this market. Targeting an enthusiast buyer, the camera plus 22mm pancake will be available from speciality photo stores only for $799, with the 18-55mm zoom sold separately for $299. The company will also be emphasizing its video capabilities, which are essentially the same as the EOS 650D but in a smaller, cheaper package.
Movies can be recorded in Full HD 1920x1080 resolution at 30, 25 or 24 fps with stereo sound, using the highly-compatible MOV format and H.264 compression, with a time limit of 29 min 59 sec per clip. The EOS M offers a choice of either fully automatic exposure in video mode, or as much manual control as the user wishes to take. The 3-10x electronic zoom first seen on the EOS 600D, but mysteriously missing from the EOS 650D, is also available - with minimal loss of quality at the 3x setting.
New EF-M lens mount
A new mirrorless system needs a new lens mount, which Canon has called EF-M to emphasis its continued compatibility with the company's existing EF mount for autofocus SLRs. It's a fully-electronic bayonet mount, with 9 contacts between the lens and camera. Unusually, the white dot for aligning the lens is at the 11 0'clock position on the mount.
The EF-M mount is 58mm in diameter, with a flange distance of 18mm from the bayonet to the sensor. As the image above clearly shows it's matched specifically to the APS-C sensor size. So don't expect a future full frame EF-M mount camera - it's not going to happen.
Like all other mirrorless cameras, the EOS M's shutter is open by default even when the camera is turned off, exposing the sensor. This may seem disconcerting to SLR owners, but we've never experienced any problem with this approach. Like Canon's live view-capable SLRs the EOS M uses an electronic first curtain to activate the exposure, and the physical shutter is only used to end it. This helps reduces shutter lag and keep shutter noise down - meaning the EOS M is one of the quieter models of its type.
Two new EF-M lenses: EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM and EF-M 22mm f/2.0 pancake
The EOS M is released with two new lenses for the EF-M mount - an 18-55mm image-stabilized standard zoom and a compact, 'pancake' prime. Both feature Canon's 'STM' stepper motor for autofocus, which allows near-silent refocusing during video recording. This means electronically-coupled 'focus-by-wire' manual focus; thankfully though Canon hasn't been tempted to discard physical focus rings. However there are no switches to set the focus or IS mode - these are controlled from the camera.
|Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM and EF-M 22mm f/2.0 STM|
The lenses use minimalistically-styled, plain cylindrical barrels that bear more than a passing resemblance to Sony's NEX series optics. In terms of dimensions they're fairly typical for their class, which means they're smaller than corresponding SLR lenses; the zoom is near-identical in size to the Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS, whereas the pancake is very similarly-sized to Panasonic's Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH.
As the only cameras we've seen so far are pre-production, it's premature to say much about focus speed. But while on first impressions the 18-55mm focuses pretty quickly, the 22mm is distinctly slower. This is not totally surprising given that the entire optical unit racks back and forth for focusing; this is not a design approach that's ever been associated with ultra-fast focusing on this type of lens. But we'll wait for production cameras and lenses to make a proper judgement.
Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM
|35mm-equiv focal length||29-88mm||35mm|
|Diagonal angle of view||74°20' - 25°70'||63°30'|
|Lens construction||13 elements / 11 groups||7 elements / 6 groups|
|Focus motor type||Linear Stepper Motor||Linear Stepper Motor|
|Focus method|| • Internal focus
• Focus-by-wire manual focus
| • Unit focus
• Focus-by-wire manual focus
|Zoom method||Rotary, extending barrel||n/a|
|Minimum focus distance||0.25m / 0.82 ft||0.15m / 0.49 ft|
|Filter thread|| • 52mm
• Does not rotate on focusing
| • 43mm
• Does not rotate on focusing
|Dimensions||60.9 x 61mm (2.39 x 2.4 in)||60.9 x 23.7mm (2.38 x 0.93 in)|
|Weight||210g (7.4oz)||105g (3.7 oz)|
The EOS M is a small camera - indeed one of the smallest APS-C models around. Here we compare it to the EOS 650D and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3.
|Here's the EOS M with the 22mm f/2 next to the camera with which it share its innards - the EOS 650D with EF 40mm f/2 STM lens. As you can see, eliminating the reflex mirror and optical viewfinder has enabled a dramatic reduction in size.|
|Here's the EOS M side-by-side with the Panasonic Lumix GF3 - a model that's similarly-aimed at compact camera upgraders, and one of the smallest mirrorless cameras around (it's since been replaced by the similar-size GF5). Both cameras use a touchscreen to complement their limited array of physical controls, but the GF5 has a built-in flash rather than a hot shoe. It also uses the slightly smaller Four Thirds sensor.|
|Lost in cyber space by Jill Hancock|
from Your City - Look Down
|Bringing Home the Bacon by Domenick Creaco|
from My Best Photo of the Week
|I Think I Can? I Think I Can? by kjfrigo|
|ON THE TAXIWAY by DIM POL|
from Leaving on a Jet Plane
The new HP DesignJet Z6 and Z9+ supposedly offer "the fastest printing capabilities available on the market today," all while using fewer ink tanks, and featuring useful add-ons like a built-in vertical trimmer.
In an effort to streamline production and minimize confusion, RED has announced that it is simplifying its product lineup to three main cameras. As an added bonus, this change dramatically drops the prices for all three options.
Fujifilm's new X-T100 is an SLR-style mirrorless camera that takes the internals of the X-A5, including phase-detect AF, and adds a fully articulating LCD and high-res OLED viewfinder. The X-T100 is priced at a very reasonable $599/€599 body-only and $699/€699/£619 with a 15-45mm lens.
Panasonic's latest firmware update for its GH5S, GH5 and G9 series of cameras was leaked in Japan earlier today and is now being officially announced a week early. But don't get too excited – you still won't be able to download it until May 30th.
We've been saying for years that the term "lens compression" is misleading, but Lee Morris over at Fstoppers has put together a useful video that explains why this is the case, and demonstrates it with two easy-to-understand examples.
Last week, some 'leaked' photos were published online that purported to show a DJI Phantom 5 drone with interchangeable lens camera and several prime lenses. The rumor was widely reported, but DPReview has learned that those images do not, in fact, show a Phantom 5 at all.
The bezel-free Vivo Apex concept phone with its pop-up camera might be more than a concept. A new teaser video and ad seem to hint at a similar smartphone to be released June 12st.
Skylum has teamed up with its sister company Photolemur to create Skylum AI Lab, where the duo will work on AI-powered image solutions including image segmentation, tagging and upscaling.
Award-winning fashion and celebrity photographer Markus Klinko recently tested out the Godox EC-200 flash extension head. Actually, he tested out four of them, creating a quad-flash ring light alternative that works great for both beauty and close-up work.
According to a recent investor presentation, Sony intends to occupy the top slot in the overall camera market by the end of 2020, beating back Canon and Nikon by boosting its interchangeable lens systems.
HTC brings back the dual-camera on the newly-announced U12+, which features a secondary tele-camera with 2x zoom factor, as well as 4K video recording at 60 frames per second.
Google has finally added the ability to mark your favorite images in Google Photos, so they can be filtered into a dedicated album. The service is also planning to a social network-like "heart" button that lets you like other people's photos.
We've been messing around with Apollo, an iOS app that allows you to add 3D lighting effects to images using depth information, and have to say we're impressed with what it's capable of – but that doesn't mean we don't have a few requests for the next version.
The new lightweight laptop packs a whole lot of photo- and video-editing punch. The laptop can be specced out with a Core i9 processor, 16GB of RAM, 1TB of SSD storage, NVIDIA graphics with 4GB of GDDR5, and a 4K display with 100% Adobe RGB coverage.
It looks like Canon is getting into sensor sales. The three specialized CMOS sensors the company recently demoed—including a 120MP APS-H model and an ultra-low light sensor—have been listed for sale through a distributor in the US.
Instagram has finally launched a "Mute" button, and is testing an "All Caught Up" feature that will let you know when you've seen all new post from the people you follow from the past 48 hours.
45-year-old photography magazine Shutterbug announced today that it is shutting down its print publication, focusing instead on reaching its readers online as a web-only publication.
Kodak Alaris has launched a new single-use disposable camera in Europe. Called the Kodak Daylight Single Use Camera, this 800 ISO film camera is supposedly ideal for parties, weddings, and similar events.
Computer vision company Lucid and cinema camera maker RED have partnered to create an 8K 3D camera that can capture 4-view (4V) holographic images and video in real-time. The camera is designed to work with RED's upcoming holographic Hydrogen One smartphone.
If Canon and Nikon do get into high-end mirrorless, it's almost certain that they'll do everything they can to maintain compatibility with their existing mounts. But, asks Richard Butler, wouldn't it be more interesting if they built a small, niche system to live alongside their existing DSLRs?
It seems RED's Hydrogen One super-phone will make it into the hands of customers in the near future. The phone is now officially slated for a Verizon and AT&T release in the US sometime this summer.
You know that feeling when you're already all suited up and out on a spacewalk outside the International Space Station, and only then do you realize you forgot to put the SD card in your GoPro? No? Us either... but one astronaut on the ISS sure does.
From 2015 to 2017, filmmaker Macgregor and his crew spend many months traveling back and forth on the famed Mauritanian Railway—the so-called 'Backbone of the Sahara—to document the grueling journey endured by merchants who regularly travel atop this train. This beautifully-executed short doc is the result.
You can now insert another user's Instagram post into your own Stories as a customized sticker, the first official "regram" feature we've seen from the Facebook-owned photo sharing app.
Synology has added a new 6-bay NAS to its DiskStation+ series, and it's aimed squarely at photographers and medium sized businesses. The DS1618+ can handle up to six 12TB drives, giving it a max capacity of 72TB, or up to 60TB in RAID 5.
Our original gallery for Tamron's new 70-210mm F4 had portraits, slow-moving wildlife and city scenes, but was sorely missing fast action. We remedied that by photographing some motorcycles flying through the air.
This week on DPReview TV, Chris and Jordan prepare for the summer holiday season by putting several popular waterproof cameras to the test. If you're considering a rugged camera for the beach or pool this summer, or if you just want to see what a Chris and Jordan fishing show might look like, tune in.
Soulumination is a non-profit organization that provides life-affirming legacy photography to families facing serious medical conditions, completely free of charge. This video shares the work they are doing.
Fujifilm EU seems to have accidentally leaked an unreleased camera to the masses. The leaked page details a new "X-T100" camera that will share most of its specs with the X-A5, but includes an EVF, deeper buffer, and 3-way tilting touchscreen.
LA-based director and cinematographer Phil Holland of PHFX recently joined forces with Gotham Film Works to create something out-of-this-world. Using a special aerial camera array, Holland shot a flyover of New York City using not one, not two, but three 8K RED Weapon Monstro VistaVision cameras.