Having had a DSLR (Canon 5D MKii) for several years, I'm finding that I just don't have the time to go out with my camera with the specific aim to shoot, so the photos I take are in whatever situation I find myself in (family gatherings, etc). but the 5D (plus lens(es)) is way to big and heavy to carry around all the time, "just in case" I get some nice photos. So, I recently sold one of my more expensive lenses and decided to go mirrorless, at the same time coming across Canon's version of a mirrorless camera.
It's called the EOS M, I assume 'M' being for mirrorless but IMHO the 'M' should really stand for marmite because you're either going to really like or really hate this camera. There are some pretty damning reviews of the EOS M but from what I can see, most of them are based on comparing this in some way to a DSLR, which it isn't; the day I unboxed mine, I stumbled across a review which basically said it was 'rubbish'. The main cause for complaint is the initially slow focusing speed which has been massively improved by the v2.0.2 firmware. That said, it still sometimes struggles to focus; trying to focus on clouds seems to be particularly hard for it but like most things, there's ways around its failings.
THE GOOD: It's very small and very light.
The image quality is excellent.
Very good quality touch screen with useful things like 'touch to focus'.
With an adapter, it can use all existing EF fit lenses...a huge advantage if you're already a Canon owner (and this was my main reason for going with the EOS M over one of the other, arguably better, mirrorless cameras).
It's astounding value for money. You can get this for £350 PLUS a £50 cashback from Canon and for that you get a very decent 18-55 kit lens AND a hotshoe flash (which can be used as a master with another Canon flash...again, a big bonus if you already have a Canon flash unit).
THE BAD: Still struggles to focus.
There seems to have been next to no thought gone into the body design. It's a simple rectangle with no real ergonomics applied; the simple shape combined with the slippery material the body's made from means it's often quite difficult to hold and even trickier to hold and navigate the awful menu system (which I'm coming to) at the same time. You HAVE to get either a protective case or hand strap for this, otherwise you're going to spend more time worrying about dropping it than you will trying to get good shots.
If you use any Adobe products (Lightroom, Photoshop, etc.), you'll need to upgrade to a version which includes ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) v7.2 or above. I have Lightroom v3.6 which means I'll have to upgrade to at least v4 before it will recognise the RAW files produced by the EOS M. This wouldn't have been a deal breaker even if I'd have known this before purchasing the camera, but it's a little irritating, nonetheless.
The battery is decent but don't compare it (or any other aspect of this camera) to your DSLR. It also seems to go from showing half full to almost empty in the space of a few shots; this may be because I've only charged it a couple of times and it needs to be 'conditioned' but I've also read other reviews stating the same thing. SOLUTION: Just buy a spare battery which, let's face it, most of those buying this will plan to do anyway.
The menu system is utterly awful and confusing. I spent about 10 minutes just trying to find how to turn AUTO ISO off. Admittedly, after using it for a week or so, it becomes much easier but it's initially very confusing, especially if you're used to one of Canon's DSLRs.
At the end of the day, this isn't the best camera available...it isn't even the best mirrorless camera available, BUT this makes a lot of sense if you're already a Canon owner and don't want to spend almost £1,000 on something which you may only want as a walkabout/backup body. The Sony NEX-5, NEX-6 and NEX-7 are much better cameras than the EOS M but they're also much more expensive; the NEX-6 is almost double the price of the EOS M and the NEX-7 is close to £900. If you don't compare this to a DSLR, already have Canon lenses, don't want to spend upwards of £500 and can ignore or live with the EOS M's foibles, it's a cracking little camera. You just have to decide whether or not it 'makes sense' for you.
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