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Customer Review

437 of 527 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars HUH??, November 1, 2012
This review is from: Canon EOS M 18.0 MP Compact Systems Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD and EF-M 22mm STM Lens (OLD MODEL) (Electronics)
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.
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Tracked by 9 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 64 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 7, 2012 9:25:02 PM PST
Onifon says:
the eos m was meant to be a consumer camera, not a prosumer camera. also if you change to focus mode to spot zone focus its actually pretty decent for the focus time. And YES any STM lens will be slower than the Canon's USM lenses because they were built for smooth autofocus during filming. as to why there is noise during focusing? my Eos M doesnt have that noise at all. Tbh if you are a professional why would you want to shoot video with built in mics? get an external mic. just saying.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 7, 2012 10:31:11 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 7, 2012 10:39:56 PM PST
BabyGiant says:
Hi there David! I'm a little confused by your post. It seems that you expect Canon to engage in a vetting process before they agree to sell their gear as to ensure it doesn't fall into professional hands? Do I understand correctly?

It's a little known fact that pros sometimes take vacations and don't want to "work" when they're away. If I followed your advice I would show up to my romantic candle-lit dinner in Hawaii with a boom-mic attached to a small camera. Hmmm...

Back to facts: In multiple tests, I could hear the focusing motor whirring and hunting during quiet scenes. The Canon instruction manual mentions this issue directly. It's possible that you haven't tested it in the right conditions or are not sensitive enough to hear the sounds?

As well, I tested the EOS M's low-light focusing speed against Canon's own POS S100, a camera less than half the price. The S100 was faster in those conditions. But the Sony NEX was faster than both. Personally, I switch between AF and Manual focusing often, especially on these types of cameras as they hunt quite a bit. It's a PAIN to do it on the EOS M, something I'm sure a firmware update can fix.

It seems you are cutting canon some slack. I'm willing to be flexible too, it's their first entry. I personally wouldn't recommend this camera to a consumer. The fact that it takes L lenses is its only real advantage. Otherwise there are much better choices. And that makes me sad to say.

Enjoy yours!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 7, 2012 10:49:51 PM PST
Onifon says:
I'm sorry but I meant to say that after using professional cameras, of course the EOS M wouldnt stack up against it. I do have to agree that the low light focusing is less than favorable but then again, I'm used to my infrared focusing light on my 50D with the 580 EX flash.

I dont mean to start a war, I understand where you are coming from. Canon is trying to give the consumers what they want without killing their own brand. The EOS M was created to take a step into the ILC division of cameras without causing it to hurt Canon's own Rebel (xxxD) line of cameras. That said, the Eos M was based on the T4i the most if any DSLR that canon owns. The hybrid focus technology that canon uses is still very new and was only first implemented in the T4i. Canon cannot use the semi-translucent mirror that Sony uses because that is Sony's proprietary technology.

I do hope that Canon does make a better model in the future. No, I'm sure they will. Canon has always been breakneck top 1 and 2 with Nikon and they drive themselves further with their rivalries. Being that this is Canon's first attempt at MILC, I can easily see canon building more models to compete with the Sony NEX series (who imho dominates the MILC category).

I have to say, I did test the new NEX5R before picking up the EOS M. The speed and focusing is vastly different but for me, my collection of EF lenses would be appreciated more when paired with the EOS M (plus I like the idea of having 24-70mm F2.8 in canon's pretty redlined L series attached for pretty shalow dof shots.)

Just my 2 cents, don't hate me >.<

BTW I Love my 50D but I'm eager to move on to a 6D

Posted on Nov 15, 2012 9:21:22 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 15, 2012 9:51:11 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2012 9:26:24 PM PST
BabyGiant says:
How do you deal with the horrible focus lag?

Posted on Nov 15, 2012 9:36:13 PM PST
I also have a Fuji X100. It's fun to take everywhere, but it's a bit too large to call it "pocketable." The EOS-M with the 22mm is VERY pocketable. Consequently I carry it everywhere I go now - and leave the X100 home. I know the EOS-M will produce sharp, detailed images with excellent resolution. Can't comment on the video aspects, but the word on the street is that it will become a video photographers vital tool for remote applications.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2012 9:38:49 PM PST
Onifon says:
I use the spot metering and not the flexi zone. I pick the focus point and its acutally quite a bit faster. now as for video focusing, i use flexi zone and select my target and it will track and meter to that object. that usually takes care of all the focus hunting and slims it down to just normal speed focusing. Granted its not USM speed but its better than focus hunting.
Now I do have to admit, recently my local camera store did get in the eos m ef adapter and i tried it out with a 17-40 mm f4L attached and the focusing there was a bit slower. Whether or not that was due to the fact that I am comparing the m mount F2 to the EF M adapter F4.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 19, 2012 1:00:31 PM PST
BabyGiant says:
And at night?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013 7:02:51 AM PST
s. Ip says:
I didn't I got an O-MD instead. The way I see it is:

1) Why do we have to stick with Canon when they don't make what advanced shooters wants in a compact mirrorless body?

2) How likely is anyone going to use Canon EF or EF-S lenses with the EOS-M? I am not sticking my 70-200 f2.8 IS Mk2 on the tiny EOS-M. And frankly none of Canon's EF or EF-S zooms really make sense size wise on the EOS-M. Plus AF speed is even slower with legacy lenses.

Now why the O-MD:

1) Weather sealed enough to give it a shower (check youtube, also my crazy friend tested it himself) for less $ with a weather sealed kit lens than a partially sealed 7D body only, lets not even talk about 5D and above.

2) Gives you the same performance at high ISO as the EOS-M

3) Tiny camera, tiny primes. Sure it's not as thin as the sony so it's not as easy to slip into a pocket. But sony doesn't have a set of nice native primes. This camera is about perfect for prime shooters. In a tiny bag like the domke F-10 you can get 2 O-MD with a full range of primes and it still weight less than most traditional DSLR walk around kits.

4) Last and totally not least. It has a view finder. Hallelujah! And you still have the touch screen focus and shutter release that lets your friends and family takes photos without knowing anything about camera. Only you can turn the screen off so you don't get neck shots.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 10:17:03 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 27, 2013 10:18:54 AM PST
mems says:
"The fact that it takes L lenses is its only real advantage. Otherwise there are much better choices."

Hi, what alternatives would you recommend?
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