Canon EOS M review

January 5, 2013

Overall Rating:


Canon EOS M

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Price as Reviewed:


Has Canon turned up fashionably late or has it missed the party altogether with the launch of its first compact system camera, the 18-million-pixel EOS M? Read the Canon EOS M review...

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Canon EOS M at a glance:

  • 18-million-pixel, CMOS sensor
  • Hybrid contrast and phase-detection AF
  • 3in, 1.04-million-dot touchscreen
  • ISO 100-25,600
  • Optional EOS EF-mount adapter
  • Street price around £650 with 18-55mm kit lens

 Canon EOS M review – Introduction

Canon has left it late in the day to release its first compact system camera: the EOS M. While other manufacturers have had a few years’ head start, Canon has had the advantage of watching its competitors and the reactions of customers. When designing a CSC, the defining feature has to be what size sensor to use, and it is here that Canon will have undoubtedly spent some time on research. A larger sensor will generally offer improved image quality, although it will also mean having a larger camera body and larger lenses.

In the EOS M, Canon has, sensibly, decided to use an APS-C-sized CMOS sensor. It is the same 18-million-pixel unit as that found in Canon’s EOS 650D and EOS 60D models. This puts Canon in line to go head-to-head with Fujifilm, Samsung and Sony, which also use APS-C-sized sensors in their X-series (Fuji), NX (Samsung) and NEX (Sony) CSCs. The reasonably high resolution, combined with the physical size of the sensor, should give Canon’s first digital CSC a chance of having better image quality than that found in micro four thirds system, Pentax Q and Nikon’s 1 system cameras.

However, a CSC isn’t just about image quality. The main consideration for many photographers is the size, weight and handling of the camera, otherwise most would simply purchase a DSLR. The EOS M is around the same size as a large compact camera, with a reasonable number of controls. The question is whether Canon has been able to get the handling correct first time, or whether, like Sony’s first NEX cameras, compromises have been made with the handling that enthusiast photographers will find cumbersome.

  • Dioptre Adjustment: N/A
  • White Balance: Auto, 6 presets, plus custom setting
  • External mic: Yes
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 pixels (at 29.97fps, 25fps or 23.976fps), MOV files with MPEG-4 H.264 compression
  • Viewfinder Type: N/A
  • Memory Card: SD, SDHC or SDXC (UHS-I)
  • Shutter Type: Electronic first curtain, mechanical second curtain
  • Built-in Flash: No
  • Output Size: 5184 x 3456 pixels
  • AF Points: 31 AF points
  • Field of View: N/A
  • LCD: 3in touch LCD with 1.04 million dots
  • White Balance Bracket: Yes, over 3 images
  • Focal Length Mag: 1.6x
  • Max Flash Sync: 1/200sec
  • Sensor: 18-million-effective-pixel CMOS sensor
  • Exposure Modes: Auto, program, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual, 6 scene modes and creative auto
  • Weight: 298g including battery and card
  • Power: Rechargeable Li-Ion LP-E12 battery
  • File Format: Raw, JPEG, raw + JPEG simultaneously
  • Shutter Speeds: 30-1/4000sec in 1⁄3EV steps plus bulb
  • Drive Mode: 4.3fps for 17 JPEG images or 6 raw images
  • Lens Mount: Canon EF-M
  • Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
  • ISO: ISO 100-12,800 expandable to ISO 25,600
  • DoF Preview: Yes
  • Focusing Modes: Hybrid CMOS AF with contrast and phase detection. manual, single-shot AF, automatic AF, continuous AF, flexi-zone, tracking and face detection
  • Dimensions: 108.6 x 66.5 x 32.3mm
  • Compression: 2-stage JPEG
  • Connectivity / Interface: USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
  • Metering System: Evaluative metering, centreweighted, partial (9%) and spot (4%)
  • Exposure Comp: ±3EV in 1⁄3EV or 1/2EV steps
  • RRP: Around £769.99, including 18-55mm kit lens
  • Tested as: Entry-level CSC

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