Saturday, November 25, 2017
Home » Photography » The Camera I Have Been Waiting For: Canon EOS M is Now In Stores

The Camera I Have Been Waiting For: Canon EOS M is Now In Stores

(from Canon website)

I think I have found the camera suited for my blogging and street photography needs, the new Canon EOS M!  With its compact size, excellent video features, APS-C size sensor for low noise performance, high quality photos and videos and ideal price range, it seems to be the almost perfect match for my photography requirements.

My requirements as a blogger:

  1. Compact and not a DSLR especially for venues/events that does not allow DLSRs like concert
  2. Very good image quality for both photos and videos
  3. Low light performance both on video and photos
  4. Continuous auto focusing while shooting videos
  5. External Mic connection for better audio in video interviews
  6. Exposure control during video recording 

My requirements as a street photographer:

  1. Compact so it’s not threatening to subjects on the street and to improve my “invisibility”
  2. Very good image quality for photos
  3. Low light performance since like to take photos inside malls and indoor public settings



The EOS M Camera Features

(From Canon website)

Initial impressions of the Canon EOS M from What Digital Camera

Canon EOS M preview video by Digital Camera

My Rig

Canon 40D with Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 EX lens, 580 EXII flash

  • work horse for my events photography

Canon G12 (mainly for photos, occasionally for videos)

  • compact
  • Good zoom range
  • Excellent low light photo capability in low light mode using pixel binding but limited to lower resolution and automatic exposure mode

Lumix LX-5 (for video)

  • compact
  • high quality HD movies
  • excellent f/2.0 lens low light capability
  • continuous focusing in video
  • Exposure options availability like P/A/M modes in video and exposure settings and compensation controls options during video recording
Me doing a video interview of Bianca Valerio in the Nine West 9 Most Stylist Women coverage using my Lumix LX5 mounted on a flash bracket
(photo courtesy of Seventh High)

Why Canon EOS M is Ideal for my Needs?

Aside from the obvious reason that I have invested in Canon gears like my 580 EXII flash and Canon EF-S mount Sigma lens, that I can use with the M, using their EF/EFS lens adaptor, here are the reasons I think this camera is the one-for-all solution for my blogging and street photography requirements.

1. Compact

With the small dimensions (WxHxD) of approx. 4.28 x 2.62 x 1.27 in./ 108.6 x 66.5 x 32.3mm, it is very compact compared to a DSLR with the same sensor and processor specification and weighs only 14 ounces/392g.

It’s not really the weight or the bulk that made me enumerate compactness as a requirement, it is the stigma of the DSLR being a professional camera that made compactness a prime consideration.  A lot of events like concerts does not allow audience to bring in DSLRs.  When I was covering the David Cook Live in Manila concert at the Smart Araneta last July 14, 2012, we were instructed by the organizer not bring any DSLRs but compact cameras were allowed.   Actually, the Big Dome policy is no DSLRs allowed but you can shoot as much as you want with compact cameras.

Let me put more weight in this requirement by sharing my experience.  During the same concert, the authorized photographers were allowed to bring DSLRs.  They were positioned at the photo pit in between the stage and the mosh pit separated with a barrier were allowed to shoot with their DSLRs but only during the first 3 songs. After the 3 song, they were all sent away.  I was at the barrier in the front of the stage at the mosh pit and was able to shoot photos with my G12 and videos with my LX5 throughout the duration of the concert untouched by security because I was using a compact camera!  I would have taken these photos and a complete set videos of the concert if I was using a DSLR.

Photo taken with Canon G12

Photo taken with Canon G12

David Cook with Yeng Constantino in a Duet Singing Always Be My Baby

Video taken using Panasonic Lumix LX-5
(For the complete David Cook Live in Manila Concert Coverage, please follow blog post link)

In Street Photography as well, having a compact camera helps you to be more “invisible” and it’s less “threatening” to your subjects in the street.  They will just think of you as someone not too serious or just like a tourist who will not publish their photos for commercial gain or for the media.


2. Very Good Image Quality (IQ)

DSLR are equated with very good IQ because of their use of larger sensors like the APS-C.  While the compacts have reasonably good IQ almost comparable to DSLRs especially in very good lighting conditions, it still falls short.  This is due to the smaller sensors they use which does not performs as good as the bigger ones used in DSLRs especially in low light conditions.

The Canon EOS M is a mirror-less compact camera with same large APS-C 18 megapixel censor and same Digic 5 processor found in its bigger DSLR sibling, the Canon t4i/650D.  With the same sensor size in a compact body, the M can deliver the same quality as the Canon t4i/650D theoretically.


3. Low light performance both on video and photos

The camera’s low light performance depends heavily on it’s sensor size and processor.  Since the M uses the larger APS-C sensor and the latest sophisticated Digic-5 processor, the low light performance ot the M is very impressive as it’s DSLR sibling.  ISO can be set to 100-6400 (expandable to 12800 in H mode) for video recording, ISO 100-12800 (expandable to 25600 in H mode) for still images.

In addition, the standard lens provided is a 22 mm f/2.0 fast lens. With it’s f/2.0 fast wide aperture capability which will allow more light to come in combined with the above specs, it stretches your limits when it comes to shooting without flash in low light situations.  This is very important when covering events in poorer lighting and shooting street style photographs indoors.

4. Continuous Auto Focusing while Shooting Videos

The M is equipped with Movie Servo AF for continuous focus tracking of moving subjects.  It uses Hybrid CMOS AF that uses both phase and contrast detection to deliver faster autofocus speed for video.  In addition, with the new STM (stepping motor) focus technology, focusing is silent so it does not interfere with your audio in the video recordings.

5. External Mic Connection for Better Audio in Video Interviews

In addition to its built-in stereo mics, the M has a input jack for an external microphone.  This is very important if you want to use an external microphone like a unidirectional mic or lapel to improve the quality of the audio in interviews during video coverages.


6. Exposure control during video recording

Adjusting / overriding the automatic exposure before and/or during video recording is critical for proper exposure.  The M has manual exposure control or exposure compensation depending on the mode you.
It has even manual audio level adjustment.

The reasons above are my main consideration in concluding that the Canon EOS M will be a perfect match for my requirement at the target price range of around P 35,000 pesos.

Other Negative Factors and Considerations

Nothing is perfect of course.  With its scaled down size comes compromises.

Battery
The battery is smaller so it would not last longer. Coupled with no optical viewfinder, the dependence on the usage of the LCD for framing and as interface control, wlll definitely reduce battery life.  I have to consider buying an extra batter to counter this issue similar to the one I have with the Lumix LX-5 as well.

Slower Focusing for Photos
The M’s new sensor-based AF system to focus, while this system is great for video it’s not nearly as powerful it’s DSLR sibling’s 9-point optical autofocus sensor.  Focusing will be slower and could be a concern in events photography and street photography.  I have to really try it out in actual to be able to judge if it’s fast enough.

The search continues (and the search of funding as well) for my ideal blogging and street photograpy camera.

What do you think?  Do you think the other models like Olympus Pen, or other mirrorless camera will suit my requirement?  Please leave your comments and suggestions in the comment section.  I would really love to hear your valued opinion.

UPDATE:

The Canon EOS M is now available in stores in the Philippines. Here are the kits you can choose from:

  • w/ EF-M18-55mm STM, EF-M22mm STM lenses, and Speedlite 90EX flash (Black, White): Php47,998.00
  • w/ EF-M22mm STM kit lens and EF-Mount adaptor (Black, White): Php40,998.00
  • w/ EF-M18-55mm STM kit lens (Black, Silver, White, Red): Php35,998.00

All come with 3-year warranty and 8GB SD card.

Stay tuned for my hands-on review and road test.  Hopefully I can get a demo unit from Canon.

Sources:

Canon Website: http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/slr_cameras/eos_m_ef_m_22mm_stm_kit#Overview

Gizmodo: http://gizmodo.com/5928129/canon-eos-m-finally-a-tiny-camera-designed-to-slurp-hd-video-that-slays

Digital Review: http://www.dpreview.com/previews/canon-eos-m

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  • Traveling Morion

    i really like its compact and handy design. at HD din ha, galing! wish i could also have one jejeje

  • Canon enters the compact and powerful camera lines. I’m using another compact camera in Sony Nex 3 on Micro four-third lens.

  • Thanks for sharing this Sir Ted. I am planning to buy camera that is handy. And I like this one.

  • tedclaudio

    I think it’s a very good camera for blogging especially if you are into video.

  • tedclaudio

    Sony Nex are quite good as well. I was dreaming to have a NEX 7 πŸ˜‰

  • tedclaudio

    Me Too πŸ™‚

  • ralph

    these are good shots of david cook. very informative points for those wanting to buy dslr. Yahweh bless.

  • OMG! May counterpart na pala ang J1 ng Nikon and NEX5 ng Sony! I’ve always been a Canon user. I’m currently using a Canon EOS 1100D DSLR and I admit that it’s really bulky. Will definitely buy this.

  • I have been planning to buy my own camera because I usually borrow when I travel and it was such a timely read! I will definitely look at this and maybe research more for product reviews.I personally do not prefer bulky DSLR’s too. I want something compact but with high quality image πŸ™‚

  • Myk Malag

    Well detailed info, good compact camera… If I were to buy a compact camera I would consider this one too..

  • lesleyanne yabut-pangilinan

    wow! it seems like you did your research to know the best camera that will suit your need as a blogger. πŸ™‚

  • Wow! i wanna have one of this camera! Awesome!

  • I never had canon brand before, our cameras are all Nikon and this post makes me wanna by a Canon EOS too.

  • Ricky

    I remember when I first started blogging, I only had my Sony Cybershot 10.5mp as partner, it was very handy and giving me clear shots. When I bought a DSLR, that’s when I experience discomfort because it’s heavy, bulky and too many complicated functions. I am a point and shoot person so I have a hard time using my DSLR so set it to auto most of the time. If my friend Dave is with me he takes the photos (using the different effects of DSLR) for me =). My Sony Cybershot is almost retiring already maybe of over use so I think I will consider buying Canon EOS M. Thank for this informative post.

  • Canon is a good brand! So cool!

  • I’ve been waiting for this also! Woot.Finally. πŸ™‚

  • Ron Leyba

    I wish I can get a good camera like that. So Awesome.

  • Good thing Canon decides to join the mirrorless bandwagon. I wanted to grab this yet I’m contemplating on the Powershot G1X though.

  • tedclaudio

    Yes, I need to do a detailed comparison din sa G1X. I have currently a G12 and love it except for the video. Watch out for this comparison soon!

  • tedclaudio

    Me too πŸ™‚

  • tedclaudio

    Yes, Canon finally entered the mirror-less arena.

  • tedclaudio

    Especially sa Pinas, the have the best country based support in terms of repairs, marketing, customer relations.

  • tedclaudio

    Welcome Ricky. I’m a DSLR guy before but slowly been convinced to go compact. I think EOS M is a good bridge between the two extremes.

  • tedclaudio

    Wow, a potential convert πŸ™‚ Nikon has great products as well.

  • tedclaudio

    Ako rin πŸ™‚

  • tedclaudio

    I think its important to know what we need to be able to decide what to buy.

  • tedclaudio

    I think its a great camera for my requirement. Only concern for me is the speed of focusing that I require for events and street photography.

  • tedclaudio

    Nothing beats a compact in traveling πŸ™‚

  • tedclaudio

    Yes, finally Canon entered na rin sa mirror-less!

  • timobong

    My only drawback to this small beast is the lack of viewfinder. When it’s too bright outside during the day, it’s hard to use the LCD for stills. otherwise, it’s a perfect replacement to those who are tired to lag around a heavy DSLR. Thanks for the review Ka Ted.

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