Purchasing new hardware? Read our latest product comparisons

Canon EOS M mirrorless interchangeable lens camera with APS-C sensor announced ... finally


July 23, 2012

Is the Canon EOS M the mirrorless interchangeable lens camera you have been waiting for?

Is the Canon EOS M the mirrorless interchangeable lens camera you have been waiting for?

Image Gallery (15 images)

With offerings from competitors including Nikon, Panasonic, Olympus, Samsung and Sony already on the market - some for a couple of years now - it was only a matter of time before Canon launched its first mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Now, after years of rumor and speculation it's finally here. The EOS M is a compact-sized camera with a large sensor which works with new EF-M mount lenses (or EF lenses with an adapter).

Rather than settle on a small sensor to keep the compact form-factor, (like the Nikon 1 system), or even Micro Four Thirds (like Panasonic or Olympus), Canon decided to go with the Sony NEX approach of cramming a APS-C sensor and a fair chunk of DSLR technology into the EOS M, which is Canon's first "compact system camera (CSC)."

The APS-C 18-megapixel hybrid CMOS sensor means that, with the right lens, users can shoot images with a shallow depth of field. The larger sensor (22.3 x 14.9 mm/0.87 x 0.58 in) also means the Canon EOS M can turn out turn out DSLR-quality images and should perform well in low light, with a native ISO range of 100-12,800 expandable to 25600 H mode.

The camera includes the DIGIC 5 processor, as used in the Rebel T4i/EOS 650D, providing 14-bit image processing, while a Scene Intelligent Auto mode adjusts the camera settings according to the subject and shooting conditions.

A Hybrid AF System, which features 31 AF points and also appeared in the T4i/650D, gives speedy and accurate AF when shooting stills or movies. The camera can also shoot a maximum of 4.3 frames per second in continuous mode, or 3 fps with autofocus tracking.

Another feature borrowed from the T4i/650D is the 3.0-inch Clear View LCD II touch screen on the rear that allows users to select different shooting modes and settings via the on-screen icons. The 1,040 K dot screen features a smudge-resistant coating and responds to gestures including swipe, pinch to zoom, touch to focus and touch to shoot.

Video recording options include Full-HD with stereo sound at 1920 x 1080 (30, 25, or 24 fps) while a Video Snapshot Mode promises to help users create movies in-camera, with a professionally edited feel.

Along with the EOS M, Canon has also announced two lenses for the new EF-M mount, the EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM standard zoom and the EF-M 22mm f/2 STM pancake lens. Despite featuring Stepper Motor technology for smooth AF performance (even when shooting video) both lenses are smaller than their typical EF counterparts.

Should you want a bit more choice when it comes to lenses (or you already have a load of Canon glass), the Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS M has also been announced that allows you to attach any Canon EF or EF-S lens to the EOS M.

While the Canon EOS M has no built-in flash, it will ship with the new Speedlite 90EX flash unit as standard (in some countries). The Speedlite 90EX is as compact as the EOS M and weighs just 50 g (1.7 oz). Canon claims it is an ideal general-purpose flash for everyday use and it can also be used as a wireless master to control multiple flash guns.

Measuring 108.6 x 66.5 x 32.3 mm (4.28 x 2.62 x 1.27 in) and weighing 298 g (10.5 oz), the Canon EOS M will be available from October 2012 in red, silver, white and black priced at US$800 with the 22 mm lens. The EF-M 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM will cost $300 and the EF-M 22mm f/2 STM $250. The Speedlite 90EX will retail for $150 with the Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS M $200.

Source: Canon

Buy this on Amazon About the Author
Simon Crisp Simon is a journalist and photographer who has spent the last ten years working for national UK newspapers - but has never hacked a mobile phone - and specializes in writing about weird products and photography technology. When not writing for Gizmag, Simon is often found playing with LEGO and drinking far too much coffee. All articles by Simon Crisp

I have been waiting to see what Canon would come up with in this mirrorless realm of technology and it is indeed a first step. I would like to see an articulated screen on the back.

I would have expected to see an electronic viewfinder for it to be compared to the EVIL cameras. Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable lens. Seems this camera is not really to be compared with the Panasonic GH2 or the Sony NEX-7 camera.

I suspect that Canon could have come up with something better but don't want to cannibalise its sales of SLR cameras with the mirrors.

So I would agree with Andrew Spinks in that this Canon camera is a Fail and the subsequent releases will possible be a lot better.

David Allen

Without a display screen that;s neither articulated or touch sensitive, with a flash that's nearly the size of the camera again, I'll wait for the next model - Canon fail!

Andrew Spinks

I wouldn't call this a fail like the other posters do. There will be different smaller speedlights available so don't worry. The articulating screen will add to the size of the camera so you will have one group of people saying that the camera is too big and the other saying the opposite. Same with a touch screen, one group will say it's too small for their hands and another group saying it's just fine. Maybe they will include these on the next version and if they do someone out there will complain about them. It's all about preference. The camera is only a fail if it lacks the Canon quality in pictures. Canon has a pretty good range of cameras from their small point and shoot cameras to their professional DSLR's with the G series in the middle. I just see this new mirrorless as another option and not a fail.


I was hoping the 'mirrorless' rumors for Canon's latest to market would be in the next incarnation of the 7D (Mark II). I still hold out hope that the 7D MkII will be a mirrorless full frame 24 MP with dual digic5s...

It's kind of weird that this article did not include the still photo resolution megapixel count in all the technical details in this article....

Leo Elderkin

Sony Nex and m4/3rds are the class of the mirrorless field today with m4/3rds having the edge in total system features of bodies and native lenses. I don't think Nikon or Canon are going to compete with them. The GH2 has better video quality than any Canon camera and has available ultra fast F0.95 17.5mm wide angle and F0.95 25mm standard lenses that are not available from any other system.


@Andrew Spinks... No the screen is not articulated but "Another feature borrowed from the T4i/650D is the 3.0-inch Clear View LCD II touch screen on the rear that allows users to select different shooting modes and settings via the on-screen icons" @Leo Elderkin... The third paragraph "The APS-C 18-megapixel hybrid CMOS"

I don't see this cam as a fail either... I haven't used an articulating screen since an old Olympus I had... and I didn't even really use it then... I have a Canon 5D and for me, I see this as an addition for when I want to shoot with a smaller camera and shoot 24p autofocused video with my 14mm and an adapter without shelling out for a 5D Mark II or III right now....

Jimmy Louis

With no built-in flash, this means you have to carry the external flash with the camera just in case you need more light. That's major inconvenience

Post a Comment

Login with your Gizmag account:

Related Articles
Looking for something? Search our articles