The Canon EOS-M announcement has been leaking out since Friday and it basically falls in line with everything people have been expecting. An 18mp APS-C sensor with AF detection, no mirror, not many control buttons, and a touch screen in a smaller package. If those specs sound familiar, it’s because the Canon EOS-M is basically a Canon t4i without the mirror, buttons, or audio inputs. 

Although Canon has removed a number of parts, it only accounts for a savings of about $50 and what you loose requires you to buy more Canon products to get it back. The most obvious thing you’ll be missing is lens selection. As of right now the new EOS-M mirrorless mount only offers two AF lenses, the Canon EF-M 18-55mm and the Canon EF-M 22mm f2. In a few months adapters will probably start coming out and people will finally be able to take advantage of old FD mount lenses, but if you’d like to use EF or EF-S lenses you’ll need to buy a $199 EF adapter. With the cost of the adapter added, suddenly the $50 savings turns into a $149 cost.

Another thing to consider is audio inputs. The Canon t4i has a 3.5mm audio input jack with volume control, while the Canon EOS-M has a built in stereo mic with volume control. Sure you could drill a hole in your shinny new compact camera and mount a 3.5mm input jack to the case, but chances are you’ll end up using dual system sound. So add another $80 minimum to the price tag.

The Canon EOS-M body provides almost no advantage over the Canon t4i or the Canon t2i for that matter other then size. The same 18mp APS-C sensor means no improvement in low light, no HDMI output means no field monitor can be used, lack of physical controls requires mostly touch screen setup, and adding the $199 EF adapter means no real price advantage.

If the Canon EOS-M had been announced two years ago or the price was closer to $450, it might have been a novel idea. But as of right now it just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for film makers. If, on the other hand, you would simply like to use this for photography, size is the only advantage. Is that enough of an advantage for the reduced lens selection? I would be interested to hear arguments for buying the Canon EOS-M, but as of right now I’m not very positive on the subject.

UPDATE:  Just wanted to post this correction. The Canon EOS-M does have an mini HDMI ouput as well as a 3.5mm audio input. I missed both of these functions when scanning through the list of Canon specs. This makes the EOS-M a better buy, but still a bit overpriced. Thanks to manfesto for pointing this out.

Tags: , ,