Well here it is. Canon just announced its first mirrorless interchangeable lens camera at an event in Toyko. The EOS M is exactly what rumors predicted it would be: a compact camera with an APS-C sized sensor which uses a new EF-M mount that is compatible with existing Canon EF and EF-S lenses using a lens adapter. Canon is being upfront with how the large sensor in this camera compares with its existing DSLRs; the EOS M uses the same 18MP sensor and DIGIC 5 processor as the EOS 650, otherwise known as the Rebet T4i. It can shoot up to 4.3 frames per second (3fps with autofocus tracking) and has an ISO range of 100 to 12,800. Dpreview has an extensive preview of the EOS M, but here are some notable features of the new compact mirrorless camera and how they compare to other existing MILCs.
- Based on photo comparisons, the size of the EOS M is similar to that of the Sony NEX-F3 and 5N. Its body is a little thicker but it doesn't have a protruding grip.
- EF-M mount will launch with two lenses: a 22mm f/2 pancake and a 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens that looks almost exactly like Sony's.
- Unlike other MILCs, Canon's sensor allows for both contrast-detect-based auto-focus AND phase-detect auto-focus in its 31-point hybrid AF system. This is theoretically much more accurate and faster than pure contrast-detect.
- Canon is emphasizing the video capabilities of the EOS M, which like the T4i, can shoot up to 1080p at 30fps in MPEG-4 or H.264. The camera also has 24 and 25fps options, as well as 60fps at 720p. Duo stereo mics sit at the top of the body, but the feature that sets it apart from entry-level MILCs is the 3.5mm line-in for external audio.
- Maximum video record time is 30 minutes, but the camera avoids 4GB FAT file limitations of older DLSRs.
- EOS M will not support an EVF attachment, so the only way to frame your photos is with the 3" 1.04 million dot capacitive touchscreen TFT LCD.
- The fixed LCD does not articulate.
- From hands-on reports, the touchscreen controls are very responsive and easy to use.
- The new EF-M mount is specifically sized for the APS-C sensor, so don't expect a full-frame camera with EF-M mount in the future.
- Canon also announced a new Speedlite 90ex flash unit that will come bundled with the EOS M (in most markets), which can be attached using the standard hotshoe mount.
- The lithium ion battery is CIPA rated for 230 photos. The Sony NEX-F3 is rated for 470 photos.
The Canon EOS M will ship in October, but is available for pre-order in the US at Amazon and other online retailers. In the US, the only available kit will be the one with the 22mm f/2 STM lens, which will retail for $800. The 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens will sell separately for $300, while the EF-M to EF adapter will cost $200. By comparison, you can buy a Rebel T4i body for $850, and a kit with an 18-55mm lens for $950.