The mirrorless compact system camera segment has seen various major manufacturers. However, the most glaring omission of the lot was Canon, as the brand had not yet ventured into this segment of cameras. Speculations of Canon releasing a compact system camera have been floating around for quite a while but the brand had not unveiled their version of this type of camera. The wait is finally over and Canon has taken the wraps off the EOS M, which is the brand’s first compact system camera.

Going by the specifications, Canon has aimed to go one up over their competition by adding an 18 MP APS-C sized CMOS sensor, a 3-inch touchscreen, DIGIC 5 processor and a hybrid autofocus system that puts the camera on par with the likes of their recently announced entry-level DSLR, the Canon EOS 650D. Like other compact system cameras, this one features a form factor smaller than DSLR cameras, and even smaller than their professional point-and-shoot model, the PowerShot G1 X.

Finally announced

Finally announced: Canon EOS M

This new camera is designed for videographers and photographers of all levels, with two new lenses designed especially for Canon's new camera format, the pancake EF-M 22mm f/2 STM kit lens, and the optional EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens. The EOS M also has the ability to be paired with Canon EF and EF-S lenses through the optional Mount Adapter EF-EOS M.

Speaking at the announcement, Yuichi Ishizuka, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Imaging Technologies and Communications Group of Canon U.S.A., said, “The EOS M includes a unique feature set making it an ideal movie-making tool while offering incredible still image quality on its APS-C-sized CMOS sensor. The camera's size, image quality, advanced video capabilities and the versatility of Canon's full lineup of lenses make the EOS M another great option to help our customers record and capture their creative vision.”

The ISO range featured on this model is similar to that of most other mirrorless cameras available in the market. It ranges from 100 to 6400 but can be extended upto 12800 or 25600. The DIGIC 5 image processor found here should help in keeping noise levels down to a minimum even when the camera is at a somewhat high ISO sensitivity.

This model is designed to make casual photographers find the camera easy to use. Most settings can be controlled through the touchscreen interface. Speaking of the display, Canon has used a 1040k-dot LCD display that should be capable of providing a lot of detail in images onscreen.

In order to reduce the amount of space and to maintain a small form factor, Canon have not added a flash on the model. The brand has added a full-sized hot shoe at the top for external flash.

The EOS M utilizes Canon's Hybrid CMOS AF system to deliver fast autofocus speed for both video and photos. The Hybrid CMOS AF system is beneficial when shooting video with EOS Full HD Movie mode including Movie Servo AF for continuous autofocus and tracking of moving subjects. The Hybrid CMOS AF system is located on the CMOS sensor itself and combines phase-difference AF and contrast AF to achieve operational stability, speed and precision.

The Movie Servo AF function on the EOS M is enabled by default, which keeps images on the rear screen in constant focus, even before the shutter is pressed. This continual focus makes for sharp video capture in a snap or to help reduce shutter lag due to focusing when still images want to be shot. The camera employs three AF methods for video and photos, Face Detection and Tracking AF, Multi-Point AF for automatics selection and Single-Point AF, where users select one of 31 AF points.

This camera also comes equipped with a range of creative filters as well as the ability to edit video clips through the camera by using the touch screen interface.

There is no word yet on the price or availability in India but it is expected to launch in the US by October this year for $799.99 (Rs. 44,500) and it will come with the EF-M 22mm lens. Since Canon has a strong user base in India, and judging by how long they take to release products here after it is available globally, we expect the handset to be make its entrance in India before the year ends. For more information on the Canon EOS M, click here.

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