Friday, January 11, 2013

Canon EOS-M

EOS M w/ 22mm pancake lens

A T4i enclosed in a quite small form factor with 35mm (effective) fast lens.

Wow. I like it.

It's got a very cool touch screen. All camera controls can be accessed on the screen and can be changed with a touch, or not, or combination dial & touch, your choice. The screen is quite bright and responsive. If you're familiar with Canon's menu/ quick menu, etc. controls and I think they are very good controls, you're familiar with this camera. Pretty much same as T4i. It's got an iphone touch screen feel with the same type of finger motion controls, pinch, expand, etc. Very cool. And it feels even more so with the small, handheld form factor.

The camera is solid. Metal. The lens is well built. It has a quality look and feel. Has decent heft.

Some reviewers are put off by the point and shoot look. Now, I like retro-cameras. I like the new Fujis, like the X100, X10, X-Pro, etc. I like the M8, M9, M, etc. I think they're wonderful. It gives you the look and feel of a real camera with dials and aperture values on the lens, etc. Here's the thing though. From an engineering standpoint, you simplify whenever and wherever you can. Less is more. In that reductive analysis, Canon has succeed. They've pretty much removed what you don't need in 2013 to take a good picture with full control, or not, your choice. On the other hand, they include an APC sensor in that really small form factor. It's capable, small, smooth, flat-stone-shaped and well it's not crippled up like a point and shoot. It has big boy picture taking ability. It's got just enough of a handgrip on the front and a place for the thumb on the back. Not too much, just enough. The top dial and button is in a recessed area. They've even improved the strap lugs. These work better. It has all the features of a Canon SLR. It's got the sensor from the 7D, a very good camera. It's got all the features of the T4i and if somebody hacks the firmware (CHDK?) it can have all the features of the 7D but it's feature-full enough, as is. It's a real camera. It's a also a very zen camera. I think Jobs would like it. They didn't go in with preconceived notions they broke some molds. The strap is a good example. It's just better. You can't use your old straps but Jobs would shrug and say, hey, it's just better, let's do it.

Reviewer "Focusing issues"…

I watched Kai run down the street on DivitalRev:

trying to take quick focus snaps on street scenes by pointing and shooting and not acquiring focus in a nano second. So we have a fail, right? The camera is not a DSLR. I know some other mirrorless cameras can focus faster. I have the Nikon V1 and it focuses faster. But I also have an M8 and I have to manually focus it or zone focus, which the EOS-M can do but it can also auto focus but not as fast a an slr. Kai works with an M9 and he loves it but he doesn't run down the street pointing and shooting it like a gun.  I know he was joking around only having the camera for an hour to evaluate, so he was having some fun. It's why I like his reviews. In any case, the camera focuses well enough for my purposes and no I'm not on the sidelines of an NFL football game (or at a high school sports event) shooting. Considering the form factor, the f2.0 pancake lens, the larger sensor than 4/3s or Nikon 1, The narrow depth of field. Check the background in the hall behind this guy, who just took my job (it's okay I retired). I'm okay with it. In fact I'm very pleased with it. But it's a subjective thing.

Bokeh? Yeah. Nice. The 22mm M lens delivers the goods. So you get a fast lens with great bokeh. In the kit. How unusual is that? It isolates the subject quite well. Try to do that with smaller sensors. It's going to be a challenge. Not so for this camera and lens. For me, that's a big box to check off. It shoots wide open really well. Would I like F.95 or 1.4? Sure. Is that reasonable? Probably not. I don't often think F2.8 is good enough. I can live with F2.0 though. And it shoots high ISO well enough I can just let it decide ISO in automatic mode and not compromise the picture. Try that with a point and shoot. This camera is very, very capable with a really fast lens and high ISO performance. For the price, getting the nice fast lens and capable ISO is good value.

I had the G1X for a few weeks. I always like the Canon G series. I've had several. I never did warm up to it and re-sold it. It's strictly subjective. This (EOS-M) is smaller. Bigger sensor (not a huge difference). Lacks the built in zoom but you can fit it with a zoom. In fact you can fit it a lot of different ways but I like the fast prime. I got each of them used for about the same amount of cash. I'm keeping the M and sold the 1X. What can I say.

I like the EOS-M with fast prime very much. It is a very capable, well designed, well engineered, zen like camera.

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