Not Your Everyday Banana

by Bart Arondson

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From all the reviews, articles, http://reddit.com/r/photography and other sites I've been reading, it seems the general consensus is that the Canon EOS M is something pitiful and incapable, "too little, too late". Meanwhile the same people are gushing about, for example, Panasonic or Olympus micro four thirds cameras. However, by almost any metric Canon EOS M has them beat - except for number of physical buttons on body and a viewfinder. It is smaller in size, yet has a larger, better sensor. It has a high-resolution capacitative touchscreen (for example, the Lumix GX1 has a resistive touchscreen with much lower resolution). It is compatible with all of the Canon lenses (via an optional adapter).

So why all the hate? Is it just that Canon is held to higher standards than, say, Sony or Panasonic, or am I missing something and there is some significant flaw in the EOS M that truly makes it a terrible offering compared to other mirrorless cameras?

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Hi there and welcome to the site... This question is a really poor format for this site. We don't really offer opinion, it's expected to be factual, and I think this question needs to be reworked significantly or risk being closed as not constructive. –  John Cavan Apr 15 '13 at 15:48
    
I rewrote the title. I think the body of the question is looking for facts vs. opinion and hopefully we can keep answers in that spirit. –  mattdm Apr 15 '13 at 16:18
    
Yeah, that's the point - I'm seeing a whole lot of opinion but not really that much factual information to support either viewpoint. –  pilsetnieks Apr 15 '13 at 16:21
    
We'll see how it goes. I'm happy to see a save as it were. :) –  John Cavan Apr 15 '13 at 16:58
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the Canon M seems to be a camera designed primarily for those already committed ot the Canon platform, not to attract people to it, and to not cannibalize other products in the Canon product line. So if you're not already a Canon shooter, don't consider it. If you are, maybe it's worth it, maybe not. I'm a canon shooter, but I'm considering the Fuji. –  chuqui Apr 15 '13 at 18:54
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2 Answers 2

up vote 11 down vote accepted

There are a number of technical quibbles one can make, of which I think two are significant enough to make the "if you arrive late, you better be stunning" argument hold some water. Those are:

  • Autofocus speed that's far enough behind to be noticeable
  • Lack of an eye-level EVF or even the option for an add-on one, and statements from Canon indicating that there never will be an M camera with this feature.

But, beyond those, there's something really important right now: crippling lack of lenses. Micro Four Thirds has two big brands with a history of quality lensmaking with that system as their primary focus, plus third-party support. Canon has only two — a very typical slow wide-angle zoom "kit lens" and a 22mm "pancake" lens providing a traditional wide-but-not-very-wide field of view. The killer, though, is that there's no roadmap for more! If those were the first two lenses and a full field were coming, that might be one thing, but as is, the large-sensor Canon PowerShot G1 X (not to be confused with the similarly-named Panasonic model) seems like it might be more versatile, with its integrated 15-60mm f/2.8-5.8 zoom (and, not to mention optical tunnel viewfinder).

Contrast this with, say, the Fujifilm X-Pro launch; a smaller company also a bit late to the party, but launched with 3 great prime lenses and very quickly announced two more, followed by a roadmap with even more direction (including future zoom lenses). Despite the company's size and standing in the sales rankings, one can be pretty confident that they're committed to this line.

With Canon's resources, if they wanted to show that they had really arrived, they could have made a big splash, with a small but complete system at launch with a clear commitment for the future. As it is, it's completely reasonable to speculate that they're just dipping their toes and might go off in a different direction in the near future; if you buy into the M system, you might be left with no option for normal or portrait range prime lenses and no telephoto options at all. This is fear, uncertainty, and doubt, but, if Canon wanted to chase it all away, they certainly could.

(More on mirrorless lens lineups in general at How much do lens lineups vary across Mirrorless camera systems?)

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Lenses are critical and if you use an adapter to use a full size lens, you've lost the size advantage which is the raison d'etre for mirrorless cameras. –  Itai Apr 15 '13 at 15:56
    
By analogy: If Panasonic introduced in 2013 a FF DSLR with roughly comparable specs to Canon/Nikon and two lenses, would the market be impressed? Would people have confidence in the platform's longevity? "If you arrive late, you better be stunning" is perfect, I think. –  coneslayer Apr 15 '13 at 18:30
    
Then again, mirrorless cameras are the low end for Canon and Nikon, as opposed to Panasonic or Fuji. I think I'd rather see cross-pollination from the top down rather than from the bottom up. –  pilsetnieks Apr 15 '13 at 19:01
    
Olympus, Sony, Fujifilm and even Samsung are producing excellent products even without that sort of "downward pollination". I think that discussion veers more into opinion-based debate than the facts we're looking for. –  mattdm Apr 16 '13 at 20:28
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Addressing the situation about the Canon EOS M shortcomings, namely the slow autofocus and lack of lenses, as of now there is a firmware update available, v. 2.0.2 that drastically improves the AF speed, to the point that it's practically no concern at all.

There is also a new EF-M lens available, 11-22mm f/4-5.6, bringing the count of available lenses to three. It's still less than the competition, however, it does show that the EOS M is not completely neglected by Canon.

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