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Canon's latest EOS M lens has a built-in ring flash

It's an odd, but welcome addition to the system's sparse lens family.

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Canon's first EOS M may have landed with a thud, but things are getting much better for the mirrorless system. The company launched the excellent EOS M3 late last year, and just revealed a very interesting lens, the EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM. It's the first EF-M macro lens, and only the eighth native model in the family so far. What's more, the lens is has a very unique design with a dual "ring flash" attached to the end.

The light provide gentles illumination for close-up subjects and lets you create left or right shadows by using just one side of the flash. It also helps eliminate shadows from the lens itself, considering you have to get closer than normal for a shot (Canon's other macro lenses tend to be telephotos). Canon also says the "tapered lens top shape makes it easy to capture high-quality images at close range without casting shadows."

At 28mm, the lens provides a 45mm full-frame equivalent field of view, which is exactly one-to-one. Given the relatively simple three-element design, I wouldn't be surprised if it has excellent optics -- the 60mm EF-S macro has a spectacular rating on B&H, for instance. It's also got Canon's hybrid IS stabilization system, a stepping focus motor and a "super macro" mode that gives you 1.2 times magnification.

Most importantly, Canon clearly put a lot of thought into designing the model, which is a strong sign for the EOS M system. Hopefully, it will soon launch some other much-needed lenses, especially some fast primes, so serious users won't have to rely on an EF lens adapter. The EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM lens will arrive in June for $300.

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