Canon made the announcement of its EOS M (see one of the many previews) system a few days ago. I have spent some time to come to terms with its appearance. The Canon EOS M is not a groundbreaking interchangeable mirrorless lens camera, in particular its body design resembles a lot to the Powershot series – moulded with a Canon family look.
That’s fine. No one is expecting a brand new design as Canon is the last major camera manufacturer which enters the mirrorless market. Apparently the entire world is earnest to see how it performs when it is compared with other mirrorless cameras. Probably some of you are going to pre-order it although it would not be available until October. One thing for sure is that Canon is not going to ignore a further loss of the market share hit by other mirrorless players. Moreover, the launch of two M series lens with the Mount Adapter EOS-M means Canon wants to kill two birds with one stone: the faithful Canon users can keep on using the range of EF or EF-S lens, and an option of a smaller sized high quality mirrorless body with advanced features offering us the convenience of a point and shoot. However, I remember 17 years ago when Canon first launched its EOS camera system, she redesigned the new range of lenses with the EF mount to replace the previous manual focus FD lens mount. I was there attending one of their demonstrations and gave my applause. The first EOS camera launching was EOS650 and later I bought the RT. At that time the whole concept of EOS was revolutionary. Canon has proved that decision was right. Comparing the breakthrough of the then EOS system with the Canon EOS M system, we feel that is a compromise and a smart move after evaluating the current mirrorless market. So I said this is not groundbreaking. With long experience in making the APS-C CMOS sensor, Canon may win back many users. For those who expect higher sensor pixels, the Canon EOS M sensor does not disappoint us: it is equipped with the same sensor used in the newly announced the DSLR 650D.
So what does M mean? It may mean mini, modest or mirrorless. It is not the Leica M, not a rangefinder. I miss an EVF or a optical viewfinder. I don’t like taking photographs using the rear LCD monitor no matter how crystal clear it is or with that touch screen magic. It is a shame that the smaller form factor deprives the position of a viewfinder. Why doesn’t Canon think of an external electronic viewer, just like the Leica X2 or some Olympus mirrorless?
The Canon EOS M is the first camera in this format in a new camera system. Any new product is welcome, as usual, giving us more choices. Judging from its specifications, I reckon Canon may be going to launch an advanced model soon once the sale of the EOS M has reached its popularity. Like the beginning of EOS, the first model is offered at an attractive pricing and optimised for a variety of users. I am expecting an EOS M-1 in the not too distant future, while waiting to see reviews from other players (such as the Panasonic G5).