Canon EOS M

The Canon EOS M is a camera suffering from an identity crisis.

Canon EOS M
Release Date: October 2012
$800 USD With Lens

It's like a DSLR because it has the exact same 18 megapixel sensor and Full High Definition video mode that you'll find in the Canon Rebel 650D T4i SLR.

However, the EOS M also acts like a compact, and fits easily into the palm of your hand.

It's able to keep its size and weight to a minimum since it doesn't have a viewfinder. You have to compose all your pictures using the rear-facing touch-sensitive LCD screen.

You can use this LCD the way you use a smartphone: tap to focus and take pictures, swipe to view pictures you've taken and pinch to zoom out or in on a single image to view more detail.

Because it bears the Canon label – and perhaps because of that touch-screen – the Canon EOS M is one expensive mirrorless camera. It's definitely on the high end when compared to other competing models from Sony, Olympus and Panasonic.

So here's the question you need to answer: is it worth it?

The Good

  • Compatible With Canon Lenses – with an optional adapter, you can attach any Canon EOS lens to this camera: there are a LOT to choose from. Of course, doing this reduces the camera's portability.
  • APS-C Sensor – since the Canon EOS M has the same sensor you'll find in Canon digital SLRs, your ability to blur backgrounds and shoot hand-held in low light will be the same as if you had a DSLR.
  • Touch-Sensitive LCD – if you've gotten used to touching the screen on every device you own, then doing the same on your camera will feel quite natural.

The Not So Good

  • Dedicated Video Switch – if you want to shoot video, you must first switch to video mode, even though there is a "record" button on the back of the camera. To return to shooting stills, you have to go back to stills mode.
  • No Mode Dial – there is no easy way to select the manual shooting modes on the EOS M. Yes, it works fine in point-and-shoot mode but if that is what you want then save yourself a lot of money and get a point-and-shoot. All modes must be selected using the touch-screen LCD.
  • No Viewfinder – there is no optional electronic viewfinder for this camera. Be aware that it's very hard to see an LCD screen in direct sunlight and there are times when being able to look through a viewfinder makes a huge difference.
  • Slow Autofocus – the reason that I dislike all compact cameras is because of how slow they focus: I always miss important shots. Mirrorless cameras – like DSLRs – are supposed to have fast autofocus, but the one on the EOS M isn't that great.
  • First Generation - the EOS M is the first mirrorless camera created by Canon. When a tech gadget is the "first" some bugs and flaws still need to be figured out, and first-gen cameras are often soon replaced with improved models.
  • Expensive – for less than the price of this mirrorless camera, you can get a full-fledged Canon digital SLR. While a DSLR is not as portable as this camera, its response time will be better.

Canon EOS M Features

Image StabilizationIn Lens
Memory CardSD / SDHC / SDXC
Max. Shutter Speed1/4000
Max. Photo Capture4.3 per second
LCD3 inch touch screen (1.04 million dots)
Flexible LCDNo
AutofocusHybrid CMOS AF
Face Detect AFYes
Aspect Ratios3:2, 16:9 and 1:1
Sensor Dimensions22.3 x 14.9mm (APS-C)
ISO Range100 to 25600
Movie ModesH.264: 1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50 fps), 640 x 480 (60, 50 fps)
Movie SoundStereo
HDMI PortYes
Accessory PortNo
Built-in FlashNo
Compatible LensesCanon M Mount
BatteryLP-E12 LiIon
Dimensions4.29 x 2.6 x 1.26in (109 x 66 x 32mm)
Weight10.51oz (298g)