on November 5, 2012
I've been weighing the mirrorless option heavy and finally made the plunge to keep it in the Canon family. I Received this camera and have been playing with it and enjoying it for it's purpose. Let me state this, I own a Canon 5D Mark III as well, so I can only speak on my intentions and reasoning for wanting the Eos-M. I had no intentions of buying this camera as a back up body, nor would this be the camera I would recommend for others who are in the market for one. However, image quality wise, it could be. If you've made the Canon investment in gear, and could use something a little more light weight, sort of pocket friendly, and portable that has the capability to be used with your other canon gear.. It's a no brainer. This camera to me is the Hobbyist/enthusiast Canon gear owners good, to best friend.
The Good: I love the image quality, size, and build quality of the camera and even the 22mm itself is a much better build then expected. It doesn't feel cheap. The touchscreen is pretty good and responsive, if you don't mind a few prints on the screen trying to assist the focusing. Also I love the relief of not carrying my battery gripped 5D around with me for all of the smallest things, and missing something worth capturing because of it. This camera has been a blast, and I've worn it around my neck on several occasions and even the people with me haven't noticed.
The Bad: Slow maneuvering around the menus, as there are limited physical buttons and no turn dial (But this may get faster as you get use to the touchscreen). No built in flash (When this camera is said to target those coming from point and shoot cameras), No view finder (But after a couple of shots.. I wasn't missing it), And no direct lens mount Ef-s or EF (and mainly this is because of the outrageous price for the adapter). But all of this is tolerable... Sort of. I wont complain about the auto focus speed as to me, it's really not that bad. I have seen faster, and even faster focus speeds on this camera alone. But then again, I use a 85mm 1.2L quite a bit on my Mark III and that lens can almost make any focus speed seem fast.
I did purchased the 16GB Eye-Fi card and use it to transfer images straight to my cellphone for quick editing if needed, and uploading to any social network services I use. I have no idea why it did not cross someones mind at Canon, to include wifi and/or Gps, when I've have heard time and time again about one of the excuses for not having a built in EVF was that this camera should attract those who are familiar with taking cellphone images.
In the end, a built in Viewfinder, wifi, gps, flash and a cheaper if not free lens adapter would have been nice. But even so, I am happy with my purchase, and I've read enough to understand its purpose or my reasoning for wanting one, and have actually been more impressed then what I've originally expected. I do not think anyone would be in their right mind to purchase this camera for sports photography, and if you've taking pictures with almost any modern smart phone today, the focus speed may never be a issue to you. If you already own or are familiar with a Canon DSLR, this camera will feel right at home with the options and setup. And if this is a new world to you, you might want to read the manual, or watch a video to get yourself familiar first. Great buy for me!!!
I Still love this camera just as much as the day I got it, and has been a very solid performer overall. The biggest gripe about the camera from others was the auto focus speed in which has recently been corrected via v2.0.. And for me was the sun glare on the screen was a slight disadvantage while using the camera outside, (which could be fixed if the camera had a view finder), but I just added a non glare screen protector, and raised my LCD brightness to fix and works great for me.
From my personal experiences that I've had since owning this camera, the slight auto focus problem has not made me feel any less different about it, as it was not that bad.The consistent color contrast, color balance and image quality has never been better, and have shocked me on many occasions. This camera is a very capable and solid performer for what my intentions were, and quite a few people have purchased it after seeing a few uses, and images i've taken with it. Now with the update, there is no denying how good and fun this little camera is, and have definitely increased my personal uses and longevity with this camera.
Thanks Canon, the overall build, and image quality is nothing short of awesome. I can't wait to see how they will out do themselves with the next Eos-M camera.
on March 20, 2013
Here are my two cents on the EOS M + 22mm f/2 STM kit lens. I'll point out that I'm a semi-pro, and I bought this camera as a more casual/portable alternative to my 5D Mark III and heavier L glass.
The main thing I will say about the EOS M is that it's just plain fun. It's portable, it takes great pictures, and has all the pro features I need to give me the confidence that, in a bind, I could leave my big camera at home and come back with perfectly usable shots. Plus, there's just something liberating about using a more casual camera...I love my 5D III, but I seem to set higher expectations for myself when using that camera and it's nice to be able to just get out and have fun.
Anyway, here are some thoughts on the EOS M:
1. Auto-focus - If any one thing could be blamed for the less-than-stellar reviews of the EOS-M, this is it. When I first heard about how slow the AF was, I immediately decided that this camera wasn't for me. It made me think of my crummy old cellphone camera, which would hunt for a few seconds in low light then finally take a blurry shot. I'll say that while the AF can be slow, when it *does* lock -- unlike the cell camera -- you WILL get a great shot. Furthermore, you can maximize AF performance by using the "FlexiZone - Single" mode, setting the AF Operation to "ONE SHOT AF", and disabling Continuous AF. I'd also suggest leaving the "Touch Shutter" option disabled, but that may just be a personal preference. [Note: Supposedly the MagicLantern folks are working on homebrew firmware that will fix some of the AF issues, but I would not recommend buying any camera based on the vague promise of some future update.]
2. Image Quality - Image quality is great, but it's no 5D Mark III. If you're expecting 5D3 level images from this then you're in the wrong place, but with some care it can produce shots a pro would be proud of. What I noticed most when compared against the higher end cameras would be contrast range and saturation. Some of this could just be the lens, but I haven't yet had a chance to put on something like my 24-70 f/2.8L or 50mm f/1.2L. I plan to do that soon and will update the review with my results. If you shoot in RAW you'll be able to overcome a good portion of the contrast/saturation problems with Photoshop and CameraRaw, but even so I've had to be more careful with blown highlights (particularly specular highlights) on the EOS M.
3. Video Quality - I'm generally impressed with the video performance. That said, expect to use manual focus if you want anything near professional-level video. I haven't tried this with a focus peaking monitor yet, but I'm not even sure the camera would be fully functional after losing the touchscreen.
4. ISO Performance - The ISO performance is pretty good. Again, it's no 5D Mark III but up to at least ISO 1600 it's not something you can't fix in Photoshop. My biggest complaint with ISO is the fact that you can't seem to use anything finer than full stop increments. Am I missing something?
5. Touch screen - I had mixed feelings about losing the majority of my physical buttons and switches in favor of a touch screen, but it is growing on me. The settings I use the most are all easily available via the screen (shooting mode, aperture/shutter speed/ISO, exposure compensation) or through physical buttons (menu, quick menu, exposure lock, drive mode, etc.). One thing that took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out was how to zoom on the image preview screen...using my fingers to pinch and zoom seemed completely foreign coming from the 5D3, but it works well.
6. No view finder - This doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would, but I do embarrass myself by occasionally lifting the M to my eye.
7. Features - I love the fact that, feature wise, this is very similar to Canon's high-end DSLRs. I had this little camera attached to a wireless strobe system in my home studio, and it just worked. The user interface was familiar, the settings and options were similar, and the results were fantastic. It's also got all the shooting modes (M/Av/Tv/P) that a pro would expect, plus the full auto and "scene intelligent auto" settings that allow you to hand the camera off to a random passerby to get a family shot for you while on vacation.
8. Ergonomics - The camera is small and light, and I can stick it in my jacket pocket and "almost" forget that it's there. That said, the small size makes me wonder how easy it will be to hold with heavier glass attached via the EF/EF-S adapter. I'll provide info on that when I get around to it as well.
In short, as long as you don't come into the game expecting pro-level performance and quality, you will not be disappointed. It does exactly what I got it for: it gives me a way to leave my 25 lbs. camera bag at home on occasion, while still delivering great shots that I'm not embarrassed to share online. Plus, for someone who's already invested a great deal of money on Canon glass this makes even more sense. Sure the AF is slow, there aren't many dedicated lenses for the M mount (yet), and it's not a replacement for a high-end camera...but I didn't go in expecting any of that, and so I came out happy.
I've had a chance to use some of my EF lenses on this camera, and here are my results:
1. Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L - Good focal length range for a cropped sensor, AF speed comparable to the 22mm f/2 STM.
2. Canon 50mm f/1.2 - AF speed comparable to the 22mm f/2 STM, aperture opens all the way to f/1.2 if you were wondering.
3. Tamron 18-270 Di II VC PZD - AF is unusably slow, don't bother.
4. Canon 18-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS STM - A great pairing with the EOS M, this is on my camera 90% of the time.
5. Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro - The EOS M is great for macro. The cropped sensor gives you that extra bit of reach, and the small size and light weight make it easier to maneuver into tight spaces. I'm having a bunch of fun walking around outside my house with this setup.
on July 23, 2013
I have been on the market for a while to buy a mirrorless compact DSLR with APS-C sensor. I bought a Sony NEX 5 camera (before this little Canon released.) I loved the compactness and snappy performance of NEX. I was able take some good photos with that. Yet my photos always lacked this magical look that my semi-professional photographer friends' photos have. I tried to play with the camera settings extensively on my NEX to get what other cameras are producing but I rarely get something that is even remotely close to that. Of course they were using these really expensive cameras with absolutely amazing prime lenses but I still thought that my $700 NEX should have been able to at least be satisfying. Well, it wasn't. At least with the lenses it came with. I didn't want to start investing in NEX prime lenses (which I tried and loved btw) as I thought it was an expensive proposition to be stuck at NEX format. Then I started searching to find a better yet more affordable camera.....
I have tried a number of cameras; All Sony NEX Cameras (good performance if you have good lenses), Olympus four third cameras(small sensor), Fuji X series(super crazy expensive camera and lenses but regardless great cameras), Nikon (small sensor-lack of lenses), Panasonic four thirds (small sensor) and some more. That's when I wanted to give the Canon EOS-M a try despite all those really bad professional reviews that bashed the camera mostly due to the autofocus problems. Ohh boy, thank god I gave this camera a chance. In an instant, right out of the package I was able to start taking photos almost like my friends' photos... Vibrant, gorgeous colors with satisfyingly beautiful bookeh. Super zippy performance with amazing lens. Really though, the lens that the camera came with (22mm f2.0) is the superhero. It instantly gives you the "professional photo look" with its bright aperture at f2. This what gives you those beautiful blurry backgrounds. No other compact camera comes with a lens this bright and wide angle. Nothing even close. Trust me when I say this but the difference between this lens and the other lenses that the other cameras come with is just night and day. You would have to pay another $300 to thousands to get some prime lenses with an f2 aperture at least.
I bought a new lens adapter which is $99 on ebayCanon EOS M Mount Adapter and a 50mm f1.8 prime lens (an all time classic) which is just $121 Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens.With the adapter now I can tap into the extensive Canon lens portfolio as well.
Touch screen is not a novelty at all, it really is the best thing ever. It is just a bliss to be able to touch the screen and focus something in the background or foreground without moving the camera. You don't have to center the object to focus at all. Wherever the object is, just click on and there it is. This is particularly helpful when you are shooting video with camera fixed where you focus foreground and background as you wish. Super artistic, almost movie quality video is possible.
Autofocus is not a huge problem at all with the new firmware. In general, autofocus always becomes somewhat slower when you have a bright large aperture like this lens, unless your camera and your lens are both no less than $1,500. That being said, I really never had an instance where I thought I was having a problem with autofocus. The camera is able to focus pretty fast. (see the update below)
You can never complain when you get all this for $299. I am not sure if this is still available for that price but even at $500 it would be a steal.
UPDATE: Ok, after using the camera for a couple of months, I have become a little less enthused about it. Yes it still is a great camera but after my baby is born I realized that autofocus can become quite a pain, sometimes.... Autofocus is generally acceptable with the 22mm stm lens but with the other lenses (read, non-stm) it is a quite bit of a challange especially under low lighr or contrast light conditions. So it is 4 star review now...
on August 11, 2013
Updated: October 2nd, 2013
Adventures with the Canon EOS M continued... a field trip and more studio familiarization.
The 'bottom line up front': Canon's EOS M is a new SLR form factor camera with excellent value at recent discounts to MSRP. EOS M provides powerful capabilities (taken from Rebel T4i and 7D product lines) in a small, mirror-less "SLR" camera body, one that practically fits into the palm of your hand. It does so with simplicity, price, and performance. If you are an advanced Canon user, EOS M will be familiar. It gives you 18M pixel sensor, a fast on board processor, and a decent-sized, richly detailed rear display. All of this combines to quite a lot to be able to take almost anywhere (especially when it'd be inconvenient to take along anything larger and heavier).
What's all the fuss about? Basically, size. This is the smallest SLR I have ever worked with. What is most impressive about it? Size. Once I became accustomed to it's basic differences (viewing "through" the rear display instead of a viewfinder, using the rear display as a touch screen to access the familiar Canon menus to control exposure settings and modes) I began to appreciate it much more. What you will have in your hands is a very sophisticated and powerful SLR.
What are the drawbacks? A few. Essentially, experienced Canon SLR users will have to adapt themselves to the new form factor. That doesn't take much effort. It does not have the most powerful autofocus system, but it is adequate. Viewing "through" the rear display takes some time to get comfortable with. The 'soft controls' were easy enough to master. Oh, and it does not have a built-in flash. This last was noticed by me, but my XT didn't have one either. And during my field trip, I didn't miss it. I could have used a speed-lite, but chose not to bring one along. EOS M was able to handle most everything I did, indoors and out, without one.
On the plus side... EOS is great for video! I did my best in the early SLR video days to avoid it, but EOS is probably going to be the turning point for many on SLR video. It takes great HD video as it does great stills.
My latest impressions were gained over the course of several separate studio sessions and a four day field trip for urban hiking and architectural appreciation. EOS M was great to have handy and was never a burden to carry.
So, what's it like? First impressions with EOS M were 'this is different'. I felt some excitement. It is easy to take along. It has great still and video image quality. The quick videos taken in an urban setting, day and night, indoors and out, were very good. Overall, you have quite a powerful, small camera in your hands.
About those complaints...if you are looking for feedback on EOS M, you are going to find it pretty quickly. Lots of reviews out there. Unfortunately, few of those reviews were made with anything more than a cursory look, probably an hour or more, at best. I noted, though, that some real photographers were giving it a thumbs up. I'd read many bad reviews pertaining to autofocus, lack of viewfinder, no controls, or on-board flash. But none of these proved (at least to me) to be real issues. My findings are that most reviewers were probably "too persnickety" with this mirror less camera. Their complaints convey to me a misunderstanding of the EOS M's capabilities and limitations as a system. Perfection usually comes with a price. EOS M is neither pricey nor filled to the brim with perfection.
Back in the studio... many wonderful photographs are made with natural and abundant ambient window light. If you can find it, and know how to use it, your photos will be standouts. Sometimes, though, you need to manufacture wonderful light. And for many photographers that means using studio lighting. I wondered if I could use EOS M with my studio strobes and almost immediately discovered that EOS M had the same manual exposure mode as my larger Canons and with the hot shoe, I could mount and use my Pocket Wizards. And in a moment, I was in business! Whether shooting a miniature doll or photographing a flat highly detailed document, the strobes give you the wonderful light needed to make great photographs. And EOS M (with Canon's EF/EF-S lens adapter) let me use any Canon lens I needed. On a tripod, I got "peer quality results" (meaning almost the same as my larger, APS-H and full frame Canons). Being able to use any EF/EF-S lens gave me room to explore using macro lenses, wide open glass (F1.4) and more. Better glass meant larger and heavier, but also improved results. I wouldn't say it would replace my other SLRs, but I could use it in the studio if and when I wanted to. I think it offers great flexibility and opportunity.
In sum, give the EOS M it's due. I was well satisfied with my experience. Take a look. If you're new to Canon, take a look, too. This is all about opportunity to explore!
Uodated 8-13-2013. I purchased this EOS M camera mostly out of curiosity and the recent price roll back created a window of opportunity. In spite of very mixed reviews, I still felt that there was a pony to be had in this new form factor from Canon given its heritage and use of existing technology from the latest Rebel.
* Right out of the box: Simplicity. After some quick try outs, I was warmed over. The familiar control of functions are there, under 'the skin' just waiting to be used. No worries.
* I was very interested to see results with EF and EF-S lenses. I mated the lens adapter, purchased separately, to the Canon 70-300mm L. The combination is a 'monster' and you feel like you are using a lens to photograph with. The EOS M is that tiny. I experienced only some sluggishness with focusing, but nothing out of the ordinary. My quick test was simply shooting through the window, screen and two panes of glass. The results at 100 to 300 mm were as expected, lens IS covered some of the shake at 300mm (without tripod). A photo at 300mm produced a fair quality scene.
* Turning back indoors, it was time for some testing with both a paper document to sim the 'lab test' and some small figures to check depth of field and background blur. I used a 600ws studio strobe (at about 1/8 power) and a 48 inch deep octabox soft box for some fill light. The EOS M manual mode was easy enough to find with the instruction booklet within a minute. At F11 and 1/125th second, a Pocket Wizard handling the relay duties, and a tripod, the scene was ready to shoot. Setup no harder than for any other camera/lens combination. I mated the EOS M, Canon M to EF/EF-S adapter, and EF-S 60mm macro. A nice combination. Very small. The results were stunning. Framing and focusing were much different without a viewfinder, but not too bad to adapt to. At F11, there was no visual image in live view until the shutter button was depressed halfway. A brief frame was visible for a couple of seconds, enough to ensure focus and frame. A few quick shots let me fine tune the composition. The out of camera jpeg results were very good to great. The absolute range of detail using a multicolored, fine lined document for the test was unexpectedly superb; great color and image quality. I have no scale for these results, but if I'm smiling at the results on screen, I usually consider it a winner. The results with the EF 50mm F1.4 were also stunning at F1.4. looking down at a candle in glass holder, about two inches tall, on a mat, the upper most lip of the glass holder is in sharp focus while the remainder and the mat underneath dissolve into a very smooth out of focus background. These were very quick tests and the results were terrific. The use of EF lens and adapter seems to be a good combination although there was some 'hunting' going on. Using the Sigma 28-300mm DG F3.5-6.3 macro (EF mount) caused lots of hunting in continuos autofocus (the default mode for EOS-M). This was to cause very excessive battery drain over the two day trials. It sounded a lot like C3PO in the movie Star Wars! The solution was to disable continuous autofocus. Results were much longer battery life. Cautionary tale here is to use better glass if you are going to adapt EF lenses and the faster the better. I achieved much better results with the Canon EF-S 17-85mm F4-5.6 lens, especially with video.
* The BIG PICTURE: As for now, the basis for great imaging are there. As a photographer, my main job is to unleash them. This camera will aid the inexperienced in making very good photographs and excellent video. And if you want to learn, this could be an excellent tool in learning the advanced program and manual modes. The market seems to swamped with camera gadgets. But Nothing is going to create great photographs at every turn without some effort from the photographer. Photography is still about capturing light! And you still have to be in the 'light place at the light time'. That said, I notice some extraordinary capabilities in this tiny package, something I am willing to work at in order to improve myself and to learn how unlock 'stunning results.' I was quite satisfied with this purchase. My last Rebel was an XT, a few years back which, while not great, enabled me to learn quite a bit about digital photography. The EOS M has ten more megapixels and a greatly improved imaging processor to work with. It has scads more low light sensitivity. Overall, it has about 25 percent more resolution, giving it significantly higher image quality. It is fast, lightweight, handy and has a superb back screen for viewing. Colors and image quality are immediately confirmed. Video has been terrific. Nice HD quality. Whether using the 18-55mm kit lens or the EF-S 17-85mm with adapter, the focusing and zoom were totally silent. Low light performance was very good. Using the EF-135mm F2 L and adapter, I grabbed some very dreamy natural light images indoors at evening with direct sunlight coming through some of the windows. The low lit walls and shadows were well captured. At F2, lots of nice out of focus backgrounds.
* PERFORMANCE: The familiar "green box" mode automation is extensive. It is basically a one button operation. All or most decisions made by the camera. Video with kit lens was excellent; autofocus using stepping motor with the kit lens and the EF-S 17-85mm USM silent. Great sound capture. I will be upgrading the focus firmware next. If that improves auto focus, then this camera will evolve dramatically. Right now, I am still aquatinting myself with new 'live view' style shooting method using the back screen rather than a view finder. Focus hunting is something I am more curious about than frustrated with, as I have observed this all before many times with other camera and lens combinations. Auto focus is usually a given, but does fail under some conditions and settings. Again, use best quality lenses to minimize problems. If using other lenses like the older Sigma 28-300mm DG (without IS) expect to invest time and effort.
* FORM FACTOR: This is an exceptionally small and easy to carry package. It was easy to use and carry at the zoo during a two hour visit. Video was superb. It easily captured the excitement of our train ride, complete with all of the steam action and whistle sounds. External controls are primarily 'one button.' If you need more control, the ability to learn the functions of this camera is enhanced if you have been a Canon user already. The touch screen lets you access them more easily than expected. You are able to see and set controls with a software enabled slide. Control conventions are common across Canon product lines. There is an inherent advantage in using small, compact equipment.
* CONCLUSION: Small, simple to use camera for travel or everyday use. EOS M will not replace the big camera bodies, but may be a terrific proxy for them when it is impracticable to carry them about. Landscape and dramatic scene photography should be achievable. Action subjects may pose some steep challenges. An all around snapshot camera, with the 18-55mm kit lens. The Video performance was very good. If you are an advanced photographer, with a full kit of EF and EF-S lenses, than this camera is like a miniature, late model Rebel. It has very good still and video capabilities and is ready to travel or assist in the studio. This product deserves more attention.
on November 1, 2012
I really really really really really wanted to love this camera.
Lots of new comments on this review, please consider it was posted when the camera was released, years ago. The review stands.
I am a professional. When I saw the EOS M and I was excited that it's a small portable multi-use camera that I could use as a carry-around as well as for work as a back-up camera using the lens coupler. The perfect addition to a mobile rig, the EOS M would be great as a second camera for shooting interviews when attached to my lenses.
When I bought it and held it, I was even more excited. It's built EXTREMELY well, feels solid, great finish. It's a camera I really like to touch.
Once I turned it on, this was the first Canon that didn't quite feel like a Canon. The interface felt rough. Just finding how to set it in manual focus mode required reading the user's manual (and multiple menu pages as mentioned by other reviewers). The LCD touch-screen interface and lack of physical dials (especially for AF/M focusing) makes it more difficult to add an LCD loupe to the camera which would be amazing.
Snapped a couple of photos and they looked beautiful (Hey, the 3-year old 7D sensor is still magnificent) and the lens looked sharp with beautiful bokeh. Color was well rendered.
But what's this... Brrrrzzzzzzzz..... YUP. I can clearly and loudly hear the autofocus motor while shooting a movie, especially during quiet scenes. Yeah ok, you're supposed to use manual focus for movies. Agreed. But not when the camera specs claim it has continuos focus for movies. The motor is LOUD. This is a strange first entry by canon. I REALLY WANT TO LIKE IT.... Not happy face. Not sad face. More a perplexed face. After flipping through the manual I saw a mention about this. Canon suggests using an external mic rather than the built-in stereo mics.
I loved seeing photos of a 70-200mm lens attached to this thing. Then I thought... wait, I can't press this camera against my face to balance its weight. Holding that big lens 6 inches away from my face to shoot would set my whole center of gravity off. I really do miss having a viewfinder so I can stabilize the camera.
Main disappointment was at night, casually shooting in a restaurant, where the focusing speed was beyond unacceptable. A full 3-4 seconds of focus hunting, WITH focus assist on, before it would fire the shutter. On my second night of ownership, I left the camera at home and that's a pretty bad sign as I love really diving into new gear. The terrible low light focus of the Fuji X100 seemed acceptable compared to the EOS M. Back when I got the X100, I loved using it so much I practically went to bed with it. As much as I hate to admit it, the EOS M felt like it fired more slowly than my S100, even during the day. That shouldn't be so. Not at $800.
Then... $70 for a tiny battery? $200 for the coupler? These are Pro prices... without Pro performance. Me: perplexed face.
I ended up returning the camera. Some of these issues may be fixed with a firmware update, others will need Canon to really study their competition.
A bit bummed- my first real disappointment in a Canon product.
on July 26, 2013
This is an amazing camera for the price I paid of $300. I have been using the Canon 60D as my main camera and to be honest I really am getting used to the way this bad boy operates. For now I'll just list out the things I can pick out albeit minor.
Not going to be able to easily take action shots with this camera as it's not the best for that. But I hope nobody was truly expecting that.
I wish the front rubber ridge was more pronounced or dramatic so it can feel somewhat like a grip with the right hand. Again minor.
Battery life is not the best, I am spoiled by the 60D and it's battery so take that with a grain of salt.
Wish it had some sort of built in flash so I could at least use that to trigger my other flashes. For the current puny battery I do understand why it is omitted.
Accidental screen touches will happen, which will take shots or adjust settings randomly. Minor annoyance.
Touch to shoot is pretty darn awesome. It's quick, accurate and works the way one imagines it would. Really my favorite feature of this camera.
Solid, solid build. Magnesium alloy and feels like a rock. Kudos to Canon on that.
Lens (22mm) 35mm equiv is great quality and the perfect companion lens. F/2 yes please. I prefer primes myself.
Movie mode with autofocus is fantastic. Although sluggish at times, great nonetheless.
Being able to attach all Canon EF EF-S lenses to this is a great boon albeit needing the adapter ring $$$.
Overall, I'm really enjoying this camera. I too almost fell into the massive wave of negativity with the autofocus but glad I pulled the trigger on this beauty. As with photography, this tool will definitely make the shots you want as long as you have the eye for them.
on August 29, 2013
I am writing this review from the perspective of an enthusiast who was looking to upgrade from point-and-shoot cameras (Canon G-Series for serious shots and a Canon ELPH for pocketable convenience) to something with a larger sensor and better lenses. I started my research pretty convinced about upgrading to a DSLR (preferably a 60D); however, I ultimately decided on the EOS M for a couple reasons:
1) The majority of my photos are taken while hiking/backpacking. I just couldn't reconcile the fact that I would have to lug around such a heavy and large camera in my backpack just so I could take better quality photos.
2) All the negativity around the EOS M not physically performing on par with DSLRs seemed to really knock down its price to the point where it is now (August 2013) a steal at almost $300 less than the Canon EOS Rebel T3i (with 18-55mm lens) and around $500 less than the 60D.
With that said, you now know the perspective from which I am approaching this review, so here are my opinion of its positives and negatives after about 200 test shots in various conditions:
1) Image quality is far superior to my existing point-and-shoots. That's enough to make me happy.
2) The lens and body feel solid and are constructed of mostly metal. The kit lenses with the Rebels feel much more cheaply constructed (plasticy) than the EF-M 18-55mm included with the EOS M.
3) The touchscreen is nice. Using the touchscreen seems quicker than navigating the menus using the buttons/dial--probably because you're able to jump to things without having to press directional buttons/dial until you arrive at an item to select.
4) EXCELLENT IMAGE QUALITY--it's worth repeating this one because it's all that really matters.
1) The battery life is very bad. I couldn't believe how quickly I was able to drain the battery. Of course, the battery drained quicker than usual this time because I have spent so much time navigating through the menus and testing things, but it still was very disappointing despite going into this purchase knowing that short battery life was an issue.
2) I feel that the camera is awkward to hold when affixed with the 18-55mm lens. (I have not tried the 22mm lens.) I feel like I could drop it very easily unless I have my left hand underneath the lens to support the weight. It feels a bit front-heavy. And with so much touchscreen interaction necessary, sometimes there's no choice but to use that left hand for some of it.
3) The lack of physical buttons is a bit annoying. Things are easy enough to handle through the LCD screen, but I like to be able to change some settings very quickly--sometimes without even having to look back at the LCD screen. Physical buttons are really the only way to be able to accomplish that with an acceptable degree of success. I prefer to have options such as the main shooting modes (P, Tv, Av, etc.) and metering method (spot, center-weighted, evaluative, etc.) accessible by physical buttons/dials.
4) The different-style strap connection seems like a good idea, except the tiny piece that locks the strap to the camera is made of plastic! I'm sure it'll work fine, but it does not inspire confidence. I find myself keeping one hand on the camera at all times, just in case.
A few other comments...
*The autofocus speed and accuracy is fine from my perspective. It's at least as fast as the point-and-shoot cameras I am upgrading from. (My EOS M did come installed with the 2.0.2 firmware.)
*I would have loved the experience of using a proper pentaprism optical viewfinder like the one on the Canon EOS 60D, but I've spent the last decade or so using LCD screens exclusively, so I'm not put-off by the lack of a viewfinder.
*I love Canon's articulating LCD screens. The fact that this camera did not have one was almost a deal-breaker for me. I like to take a lot of shots from a lower-than-eye-level perspective. I guess I'll have to actually kneel down now. Boo.
*It would have been to nice to have even a terrible built-in flash. I don't use a flash often because I normally shoot landscapes, but every now and then I'm photographing a nice sunset with maybe some flowers or other foliage in the foreground that could use a splash of light to make the shot special. Maybe I'll see if I can pick up a used flash to attach someday.
*Why doesn't Canon put intervalometer software on their cameras for use in time-lapse photography? It seems like such a simple application to include (and, in fact, can be added to some non-EOS Canons via freely available hack software)
In summary, there are certainly some annoying quirks related to the functionality of this camera, but the important things are the lens and the sensor, and, therefore, the image quality. It's a small, lightweight (and, now, relatively inexpensive) way to significantly bump up your image quality without having to lug around a camera that, quite frankly, wouldn't even really fit inside my day-hike backpack. I think the Canon EOS M is a (nearly) perfect option for the enthusiast looking to upgrade from a small sensor point-and-shoot who values compactness over DSLR-level physical performance .
on December 3, 2013
I will try and avoid some of the comments already made. I love this camera completely and bought it to use as a small/lightweight travel option instead of my SLR. I am used to Canon cameras and so through brand loyalty and a desire to stick with what I know works, I went for this.
Canon do not typically comment on reviews of their products but they could have marketed this better. Many people seem to have the view that it is compromised compared to what they were expecting. It is a small, stripped down camera that basically puts a much higher quality sensor and processor combo on the end of a great lens in your hands that produces better images than other compact options.
If Canon had added a flash, a built in viewfinder or even a larger grip, it would have become less of a minimalist option and more of a, well, a small SLR. And if you want a viewfinder, flash, grip etc then... go buy the SLR...
- Takes excellent sharp images
- Very small body and, with the 22mm lens, looks pretty much like a large Ixus compact
- Touch screen is significantly better than any previous Canon touch screen I have owned. Not far off a iPhone in terms of accuracy
- Easy to select key functions with the touch screen, and to identify the focus point you want to lock on to
I would like to address some of the comments I read before purchasing:
"it is slow to focus" - this is true. If you want to capture action shots then use your SLR. It does focus fast enough for kids, family scenes etc. With the touch screen the process of identifying the focus point and locking on is quick enough.
"it doesn't have a flash or viewfinder" - correct on both counts. Both would add weight and bulk, so if you want those, get an SLR or G16 (or G1X)
"its hard to hold with no grip" - I am 6'2" and have hands in proportion to my height... I have no trouble holding it
I have booth lenses with it (zoom and 22mm) - both are producing very clear and sharp images compared to compact cameras. It does not compare with my EOS 5D MkIII with L lenses but then, i wasn't expecting it to. But compared to compact cameras it is a very good alternative.
Overall, this is a terrific camera that allows me to take (and enjoy taking) very good images in a small and discrete package that is ideal for travel.
...and at the current prices on Amazon frankly its a steal.
on July 23, 2013
I bought it not because I really needed it.
It was on sale and I did some quick test once I received it.
Being a user of the previous canon 5d mark II and III, 7d and 60d, I have to say that this little gadget redefines Canon's product line.
The touch screen is superb. I have used touch screen cameras from other companies and this EOS M is nothing short of a surprise.
Compared to Sony Nex 5, which I bought a few years ago, the EOS M has a much better feel to it with a hint of metallic shine.
The focusing is not as fast as the BIG DSLR. However, I can live with it for landscape and more static shots.
The only thing I would have hoped is that it contains a no shutter sound shooting mode, which would make it a lot more versatile.
Overall, if you get it on sale, you get yourself quite a nice little present!
I highly recommend it!
on October 18, 2012
I picked this camera up on my last trip to Japan 3 days after it came out there. In Japan they only sold a kitchen sink bundle for the first few weeks which included the body, 22m lens, 18-55m lens, EF Lens adapter and the Speedlite 90EX flash.
This camera takes fantastic pictures! But there are two shortcomings that are incredibly annoying. First of all the camera takes a good second (or more) to focus - for a camera this expensive this is almost unacceptable. My Canon G11 was focusing faster... Second there is a (beautiful) touch screen on the back of the camera. This touchscreen can also be used as a shutter - as in: touch the touchscreen to take a picture. Now the product manager/developer who decided it was a good idea to put the control to enable/disable the touch shutter onto the touchscreen needs to be fired. When I walked around various Japanese cities with the camera around my neck it happened with regularity that the camera would bump up against my body, turn the touch shutter on and then continue to take pictures every time it bumped against my body. SERIOUSLY ANNOYING with no way to disable. I really hope there will be a firmware update to fix this (there is a menu setting to enable/disable the touch screen shutter - I have no idea why the additional control on the screen itself).
When doing post processing of my photos I did notice that I had quite a few of them with the focus slightly off. Guess the automatic metering didn't always pick the right spot to focus on - but then again I could have easily fixed that by using spot metering.
Now various other reviews (e.g. on Engadget) mentioned the missing mode dial compared to DSLRs or even G-series cameras. To be honest I haven't missed it that much during two weeks of intense shooting.
Also I haven't scratched the surface on what this camera can actually do - but I did find that for taking HDR pictures the built-in mode only really works for static scenes. With moving objects the camera can't really build a great HDR - so if there are people in a scene it's definitely better to process manually on the computer.
There really isn't much to say about the two lenses or the flash that came with the camera - they do the trick. And I have no EF lenses to try the converter with.
I just returned from another trip to Asia and after this trip I would no longer recommend this camera. It simply doesn't focus fast enough to capture things quickly - e.g. when driving in a car and trying to take photos of the outside. Also I can't tell you how often my wife (or anyone else) ended up in my frame because it took more than 1 second to focus and take the shot. I know that's more "snapshot" photography but nevertheless I'd like to have that option.
Canon just released a firmware update 2.02 that claims to increase focusing times 2x - 3x in OneShot AF mode. I just applied it and within the room I'm in it seems to do what it says. Now I'll have to test the new firmware in the wild to see if it makes this camera more suited to my style of photography.
Well I finally sold it on eBay along with everything else Canon. After yet another trip with underwhelming photos - mostly due to the STILL slow focusing and lack of decent tele lens (I know I could have bought an expensive DSLR lens and used with the adapter - but what's the point of having a small mirror less if I have to haul along a big zoom lens). Interestingly Canon just announced a tele (55-200mm) lens for the EOS M - but just like the wide angle and the M2 it is not available in the US. And to top it off it's not even that great in terms of optical properties).
So being a bit annoyed with Canon I sold everything and went all in on a Sony a6000 - WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!! Great camera, super fast focus and a range of GREAT lenses (got a Zeiss lens with it). I'm afraid Canon lost me as a customer - guess what brand our next compact for my wife will be....