Rumors of a Canon mirrorless camera have circled the web since long before Nikon's foray into the compact ILC space. And while that manufacturer's model fell far short of some expectations, it appears that Canon's iteration may in fact have been worth the not-so-insignificant wait. Unlike the Nikon 1 Series, Canon's new EOS M isn't a drastic departure from the company's existing mid-range DSLR lineup. In fact, under the hood it's quite similar to the Rebel T4i, with an 18-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, DIGIC 5 processor, 3-inch 1.04MP smudge-resistant touchscreen and the T4i's new hybrid autofocus system, which pairs both contrast and phase-difference AF for speedier, more accurate performance. Externally, however, the EOS M looks more like a cross between the PowerShot G1 X and S100, tipping the scale at 14.2 ounces with the included EF-M 22mm f/2 STM kit lens, compared to 27.4 ounces for the T4i, and 19 for the G1 X. It's physically smaller than the G1 X as well, and only slightly larger than the pocketable S100. The camera offers a sensitivity range in line with the competition, ranging from 100 to 25,600 (extended) in still mode and 12,800 (extended) when shooting video -- captured in 1920 x 1080 format at 24, 25 or 30 progressive frames per second. There's also a continuous shooting mode at 4.3 frames per second with fixed focus and exposure.
The EOS M's control layout should be more familiar to Canon point-and-shoot owners than DSLR users -- as one component of the size compromise, dedicated buttons are replaced with touchscreen options and a bit of menu diving. There's also no electronic viewfinder, though a full-size hot shoe is included with full support for Canon's lineup of Speedlite flashes, including the new $150 90EX strobe and ST-E3-RT Transmitter, and the GP-E2 GPS Receiver. Though the camera lacks certain direct controls, it still supports full manual shooting, even in video mode. There's also a built-in stereo mic with manual level adjustment. In addition to that 22mm kit optic, Canon is offering an EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens for $300, or you can add the $200 EF-EOS M mount adapter to enable use with existing lenses. The $800 EOS M kit is set to ship in October, and will be available in retail stores in black, though Canon's online store will also stock a white model (which will be paired with the same black lens). You can peek at both configurations, along with the new lenses and accessories in the gallery below. Then shoot past the break for the full PR from Canon.
Canon EOS M mirrorless cameraSee all photos
Michael Gorman contributed to this report.
Put Your Creativity Into Motion With The New EOS M Digital Camera
The Newest Camera in Canon's Lineup Delivers Exceptional EOS Full HD Video Quality with Continuous Autofocus and an Expansive Selection of Lenses
LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., July 23, 2012 – Combining the perfect blend of advanced video features and excellent still image quality in a convenient size, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the EOS M Digital Camera. Canon has made significant advancements in the realm of professional-quality HD video capture, from advanced CMOS sensor technology to smooth, quiet continuous autofocus. Inspired by EOS technology, the EOS M leverages these core technologies and distills them down to provide outstanding video capture capabilities while retaining high-quality still image capture. When shooting still images, the EOS M camera's 18-megapixel APS-C-sized CMOS image sensor provides a shallow depth of field, incredible low-light image quality and a wide dynamic range to capture rich gradation and detail.
This new addition to the EOS family offers a great solution to videographers and photographers of all levels, with two new lenses designed specifically for Canon's new camera format – the EF-M 22mm f/2 STM kit lens and the optional EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens– and the ability to use the full line of Canon EF and EF-S lenses through the optional Mount Adapter EF-EOS M.
"The EOS M includes a unique feature set making it an ideal movie-making tool while offering incredible still image quality on its APS-C-sized CMOS sensor. The camera's size, image quality, advanced video capabilities and the versatility of Canon's full lineup of lenses make the EOS M another great option to help our customers record and capture their creative vision," said Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A.
Product Specifications and Features:
• EOS Full HD Movie mode with Movie Servo AF for continuous focus tracking of moving subjects also includes:
• Manual exposure control
• Multiple resolution frame rates
• Built-in stereo microphone
• Manual audio level adjustment
• Video Snapshot mode with touch-screen editing
• 18.0-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
• ISO 100–6400 (expandable to 12800 in H mode) for video recording, ISO 100 – 12800 (expandable to 25600 in H mode) for still image shooting from bright to dim light and high performance Powerful DIGIC 5 Image Processor for exceptional image quality video and photos
• Hybrid CMOS AF delivers fast autofocus speed for video and photos
• Touch Screen 3.0-inch Clear View LCD monitor II (approximately 1,040,000 dots) with smudge-resistant coating features multi-touch operation allowing photographers to use familiar gestures such as "pinch-to-zoom" and "swiping" to scroll between pictures and Touch AF for an easy and intuitive video capture experience
• Scene Intelligent Auto mode delivers expertly optimized photos and scene detection for amazing results even when shooting at night
• Advanced imaging features like Handheld Night Scene mode, HDR Backlight Control mode, and seven Creative Filters provide added versatility
• Multi-shot Noise Reduction helps preserve precious detail in photos at high ISO speeds
• Compatible with SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards, including new Ultra High Speed (UHS-I) cards
• Compatible with all Canon Speedlite accessories including the new Speedlite 600EX and Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT
• Compatible with Canon's GPS Receiver GP-E2
An Advanced Video Capture Device
The EOS M utilizes Canon's Hybrid CMOS AF system to deliver fast autofocus speed for both video and photos. The Hybrid CMOS AF system truly shines when shooting video with EOS Full HD Movie mode including Movie Servo AF for continuous autofocus and tracking of moving subjects. The Hybrid CMOS AF system is located on the CMOS sensor itself and combines phase-difference AF and contrast AF to achieve operational stability, speed and precision. The Movie Servo AF function on the EOS M is enabled by default which keeps images on the rear screen in constant focus, even before the shutter is pressed. This continual focus makes for sharp video capture in a snap or to help reduce shutter lag due to focusing when still images want to be shot. The camera employs three AF methods for video and photos, Face Detection & Tracking AF, Multi-Point AF for automatics selection and Single-Point AF, where users select one of 31 AF points. Through the camera's touch-panel operation, subject recognition and tracking is engaged at the touch of a finger, allowing users to track subjects accurately and focus on intended subjects with ease. In addition to subject tracking, the touch-panel LCD allows for simple, intuitive operation, menu navigation and touch features making it easy to shoot video and photos.
Thanks to Canon's new Stepping Motor (STM) technology, when using either of the newly announced M-series lenses – the EF-M 22mm f/2 STM kit lens or the optional EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens – the AF system remains silent, helping ensure users only capture the sound of the scene being recorded. The EOS M also features manual audio level control to 64 levels, a built-in stereo microphone, which includes a wind filter and an attenuator function to reduce audio distortion in extra loud situations. The EOS M records MPEG-4 AVC H.264 video as an .MOV file in a range of NTSC and PAL professional frame rates, including 1080p Full HD video at 30p (29.97), 24p (23.976) and 25p, 720p HD video at 60p (59.94) or 50p and Standard Definition video at 30p (29.97) or 25p.
In addition to the creativity afforded by over 70 compatible lenses, the EOS M also includes Picture Style settings – including custom Picture Styles – when shooting video, allowing users to adjust color settings the same as when shooting still images. The camera also includes Canon's Video Snapshot mode for an easy way to record and create a fun highlight reel that can be easily shared. Video Snapshot mode combines a series of short video clips into a single file, all in-camera. Through the camera's touch-screen controls users can delete, cut or re-order the clips in-camera for quick and easy editing.
Optical Diversity: New M-Series Lenses and Accessories
Along with the EOS M, Canon is also introducing two new M-series lenses – with new EOS M mounts –that include STM technology allowing for smooth and silent focusing when paired with Hybrid CMOS AF.
The EF-M 22mm f/2 STM kit lens is ideal for shooting video and still images. The fixed focal length lens has a great capacity for gathering light with an incredible aperture of f/2 and when combined with the camera's APS-C image sensor, provide beautiful bright images and background blur for both video and stills. For more focal range versatility, Canon is also introducing the new EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, which provides videographers and photographers with a variable zoom range for general use with video recording or photographing. Both lenses are designed specifically for use with the EOS M digital camera.
In addition to the two lenses, any of Canon's EF and EF-S lenses can be used with the EOS M with the optional Mount Adapter EF-EOS M. The EOS M camera's strong magnesium and stainless steel frame provide the durability and rigidity to support the full line of EF and EF-S Lenses in a lightweight convenient design. Using the adapter allows the camera to be fully integrated into the EOS ecosystem of lenses, adding creative options and versatility to this powerful camera.
Ideal for use with the EOS M, Canon is also announcing a new compact and lightweight flash unit, the Speedlite 90EX, designed for the photographer on the go. The Speedlite 90EX is capable of coverage for 24mm wide angle lenses (35mm equivalent) with maximum guide numbers of 30 feet (9 meters) at ISO 100. The flash unit can be controlled wirelessly for creative multiple flash shoots and uses the standard Canon EOS hot shoe mount for compatibility with all EOS DSLR cameras and PowerShot digital cameras that include a hot shoe.
The EOS M Digital Camera bundled with the new EF-M 22mm f/2 STM kit lens will be available in October for an estimated retail price of $799.99. Also a white version of the EOS M Digital Camera bundled with the new EF-M 22mm f/2 STM kit lens will be exclusively available through the Canon Online store, shop.usa.canon.com.
The new EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens, Mount Adapter EF-EOS M and Speedlite 90EX will all be available in October at an estimated retail price of $299.99, $199.99 and $149.99 respectively.