Canon EOS M Review

Words by Tim Wong

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A couple months ago, I was ready to pick up a new camera for the purposes of less serious shooting and more compactness. Even though I had been searching for quite some time before that, I was so many options since there wasn’t any particular type of camera I was looking for as long was it was lighter than my Canon 5D MKII and did some things that the 5DMKII didn’t do for some variety and versatility.

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Originally, I was looking at the Canon 7D for the longest time for the 8 fps since the 5DNKII couldn’t nearly that fast. The crop body would make for a perfect motorsport camera or anything that required the speed short of the 1DX. A mirrorless or compact setup was another option for me. There were so many choices I considered like the Canon G-series, the Fujifilm X100s, and the Sony Alpha series or NX series. The idea of being able to use my arsenal of Canon lenses and even better, Canon Speedlites would be ideal.

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When Canon first announced the EOS M, I thought this would going to be camera to revolutionize the mirrorless standard considering how late to the game they were. Then when it was finally released, it wasn’t a big hit with many reviewers. There were many complaints regarding the unbearably slow AF system which is one of the biggest factors for me since I’m always out in the field shooting unpredictable events. After some time passed, there were some firmware updates that made the AF improve drastically among other things which made it slightly more appealing. Although the camera was far from the best on the market in terms of performance, it was compatible with all my Canon gear with the addition of the Canon lens adapter for both EF and EF-S lens. The $100 adapter was about the size of the Canon 40mm lens which is a reasonable size.

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Even though Canon produces a whopping two lenses for the Canon EOS M EF-M mount, I needed more versatility which where my Canon lenses come in with a much higher quality and range compared to the usual line up of lenses made specifically for mirrorless cameras or the built lenses on compact cameras. Sure, other mirrorless cameras have adapters for other lenses and sometimes they are third party brands, but I usually find matching brand products tend to work better together than mixing up gear. Another selling point for this camera was the price. Originally, when it came out it was around $800 for the kit, but has dramatically dropped since then to around $250-$300.

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It’s possible to match up pretty much anything on the Canon line up to the EOS M which is fun, but just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Tiny camera with massive lens and flash not only looks ridiculous, but also awkward to use as the weight distribution is completely off. Since I’ve been using the EOS M for the past several months, it’s been interesting to try out all sorts of gear on it and testing the setups in different environments.

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Shot from Comic Con 2014 with the Canon 15mm fisheye. The sharpness is really more due to the lens quality rather than the camera though.

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Shot from Comic Con 2014 with the Canon 15mm fisheye. The low light light performance is not amazing, but definitely very capable.

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