Canon EOS M review: was Canon's first mirrorless ILC worth the four-year wait?
Canon's first mirrorless camera offers top-notch image quality, but it fails to meet our expectations in terms of focusing and usability.
- Excellent image qualityAttractive, sturdy buildEF and EF-S lens compatibility
- Sluggish focusing performanceNo mode dial and sub-par UIBelow-average battery life
It's here. Finally. Well, that is, if you happen to live in Japan. Canon's very first mirrorless interchangeable lens camera should be hitting shops the world over just as you begin to make room for that decked-out evergreen conifer, but the EOS M is already making the rounds in Canon's home country. It's available at select Japanese retailers for ¥109,900 (about $1,410, including sales tax). That lofty price will net you the EOS M in black, white or silver (the glossy red model remains elusive), complete with 55mm f/2 and 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 EF-M optics, a Speedlite 90EX external flash and the EF-M Lens Adapter, enabling full compatibility with any and all of your EF and EF-S lenses. The US variant, which comes bundled with only the black 22mm "pancake" STM lens, should run you $799 when it appears stateside beginning October 15th, though neither country's model carries a particularly competitive price tag, especially considering how diverse (and well-equipped) the mirrorless ILC market has become.
You might argue that Canon is borrowing a play out of Nikon's book when it comes to pricing the EOS M -- had the camera offered full DSLR functionality, including an advanced user interface, a $799 sticker might be justified. But the company has crippled its new compact shooter so as to avoid cannibalizing its still-successful full-size APS-C DSLR lineup, which includes models ranging from the Rebel T3 (about $475) to the EOS 7D (about $1,350). Appropriately, the EOS M falls right in the middle in terms of capabilities, with the added benefit of a new, nearly pocketable design that should win over more than its fair share of amateurs. That said, there's a reason larger SLRs remain on the market, and Canon very much wants to retain that solid footing. The EOS M isn't for everyone, and that's by design. But is it the right pick for you? Join us past the break as we try it on for size.