Canon EOS M Review

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Think Twice

The company's first foray into mirrorless cameras could be better. The autofocus is slow and there are only a couple of compatible lenses unless you buy an adapter.

Canon EOS M reviews reflect mixed feelings about Canon's version of a mirrorless camera, although experts found more favorable things to say than negative. A CNET editor highlights the camera's touchscreen, noting its excellent responsiveness. What's more, the EOS M (starting at $329, Amazon) takes great-looking photos that are sharp and show little noise through ISO 800. The camera has a solid build and feels sturdy, even though it's a bit smaller than a DSLR. The reviewer found that the autofocus was accurate, but pretty slow. It takes longer than the other cameras we researched to lock onto the subject, and to power up and take the first picture. The camera's battery life is also much shorter than average: It lasts through only about 230 photos. Finally, Canon offers just two compatible EF-M lenses, which are made specifically for the EOS M. Users must buy a lens adapter in order to use the other lenses in Canon's catalog.

A reviewer from Photography Blog found that using the adapter with other Canon lenses makes an otherwise nice, solid camera feel front-heavy. He admires other aspects of the EOS M, such as the LCD, which looks outstanding due to its high resolution of 1,040K dots. The photo quality is judged very good, with warm tones and crisp, sharp images. To the reviewer's annoyance, some common settings, such as shutter priority and aperture priority, are buried pretty deep in the menu's interface. This expert also notes the camera's sluggish performance -- the slow autofocus in particular.

The Canon EOS M is an 18MP camera with an APS-C-size image sensor. It saves photos in the JPEG or RAW format and, like most digital cameras, accepts SD, SDHC, or SDXC memory cards. The Canon EOS M has numerous settings for portrait, landscape, close-up, and so on. Users can set the ISO from 100 to 12,800 (with an option to expand to 25,600). Shutter speeds range from 1/4000 to 30 seconds. The EOS M can manage 4.3 frames per second in continuous shooting mode. It records full HD video at a frame rate of 30p, saved in the MOV format. The camera has a 3-inch LCD but no viewfinder. It's PictBridge compatible and includes a mini-HDMI port, a USB 2.0 port, and a video-out port.

The Canon EOS M is an excellent camera when it comes to image quality, but it's not without drawbacks. The poor autofocus and slow performance overall limit this camera's appeal, especially for consumers who like to take photos of fast-moving action. The camera is compatible with only two lenses without the adapter, which costs extra and may make the camera feel awkward to hold. There are other mirrorless cameras available for about the same price, or even less, that also take great photos but perform faster and don't have these other disadvantages.

Michael Sweet

Michael Sweet writes about consumer electronics. If something runs on electricity or ones and zeroes, he's interested in it. Sweet has written about PC technology and consumer electronics for 14 years.

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