The Canon EOS M is a mirrorless camera that received mixed reviews since the day it hit the market. The initial price of more than $600 kept many away from purchasing it. However, when it dropped half that amount in mid-2013, many photo enthusiasts bought the camera.
I purchased the M during the fire-sale. I was attracted to the relatively compact size and the APS-C sensor, which delivers DSLR camera quality. Color rendition is superb and high-ISO performance top-notch.
The camera itself is relatively simple to use, with few button and dials. The touch-screen provides the main user interface, so key settings are quick and easy to access via the screen. Still, the menu systems offers a variety of setting options that will satisfy even advanced camera users.
I bought two Canon lenses for the camera, which are small compared to many kit lenses: the image stabilized EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM and the EF-M 22mm f/2.0 STM pancake lens. Both lenses have received accolades for their optical quality, especially the fast, 22mm pancake lens.
The EOS M is not a camera for those who photograph fast-moving subjects. It is difficult to follow a moving subject without a viewfinder. Focus can be slow, and shot-to-shot time is nothing to write home about.
Improving shot-to-shot time
You can improve shot-to-shot time somewhat by keeping the EOS M set on Continuous Mode. Set the camera to JPEG only (18MP), One Shot AF and Flexizone Single AF. You can still just take a single shot if you wish. Also turn off photo review too.
EOS M: Not a DSLR replacement
Those who want a lot of camera bells and whistles should look elsewhere. The EOS M is certainly not a DSLR replacement. Canon DSLR owners, because of the high quality images produced by the EOS M, may want to consider it for a second camera. An adapter is available so it can be used with other Canon lenses.
However, if you’re a novice camera user looking for a high-quality compact camera, or a prosumer who can live with it’s limitations, the EOS M is worthy of your consideration.
EOS M Pros
- Large sensor provides outstanding image quality and low light performance
- Well-built: stainless steel, magnesium alloy, polycarbonate and glass fiber
- Focus speed (with firmware upgrade) is good, but not great
- Capable of producing attractive background blurs
- Touch-screen is fast, responsive and intuitive, making it easy to access to camera settings and features
- Takes interchangeable lenses (some need an adapter)
- Excellent LCD though there can be glare in very bright light
- Excellent menu system
EOS M Cons
- There can be a strong learning curve for individuals not familiar with Canon’s menu system
- The touch screen can be, well, touchy. If you’re not careful, you can change settings without realizing it.
- No accessory viewfinder available
- No built-in flash
- Screen blanks out for about a second after taking a photo
- Buffer fills too quickly when using burst mode
- Not the best battery life, so buy a spare
EOS M sample images