Canon’s EOS M compact system camera – how does it compare?
What is the Canon EOS M?
The EOS M is Canon’s first compact system camera and according to the maker it offers DSLR quality photos in a portable body.
Like other compact system cameras, the EOS M is a mirrorless camera, so it doesn’t include a viewfinder. However, this does mean that Canon has been able to make the body of the camera only 32.3mm thick.
Read our advice guide on the advantages and disadvantages of compact system cameras to see if it’s the right choice for you.
5 things to know about the Canon EOS M
- It’s small and light
By removing the mirror Canon has made the EOS M weigh just 298g – without any lenses attached. This does however mean you don’t get a viewfinder, but it is easy to carry it around in your pocket.
- Operated by a touchscreen
Another concession to the weight is the removal of most of the buttons and wheels for controlling the functions. Instead you get a 3-inch touchscreen which is also used to compose your photos. This means you will have to go through a series of menus to make any tweaks, which could be frustrating for experienced photographers.
- Has the sensor of an SLR
While it might be small it still has the features of an SLR with a 18Mp sensor that measures 22.3 x 14.9mm. This, combined with a digic 5 processor and ISO range of 100-12,800, should deliver great image quality.
- Comes with its own lenses
Canon has released two new compact and light lenses to fit the EOS M – the EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM standard zoom and the EF-M 22mm f/2 STM pancake lens. The camera is also compatible with Canon’s 70 EF lenses – although you will have to buy a special adaptor (£129.99) to fit them to the camera.
- It’s expensive
Costing £769.99 with the standard lens, or £879.99 with the pancake lens, the EOS M isn’t cheap. In fact it is almost twice as expensive as some of its competitors.
If you’re looking to buy a new camera don’t forget to check out our advice guide on how to buy the best digital SLR camera.
How does it compare?
Panasonic Lumix G5 – £699 with standard lens
The latest compact system camera from Panasonic is the Lumix G5 and this offers more dedicated control buttons to give you direct control over your photos than either the EOS M or its stablemate the Lumix G3. Panasonic has also added an electronic viewfinder which will be helpful for composing pictures – particularly in bright sunlight.
It has a slighter lower megapixel count – coming in at 16.05MP compared with the EOS M’s 18Mp – and a shorter ISO range (160-1280 rather than 100-1280) but it should be more than capable of producing good photographs.
Good for: Budding professional photographers who want a lot of control over the settings.
For more information check out our first look video review of the Panasonic Lumix G5.
Nikon V1 – £599.95 with standard lens
With a smaller sensor than many competitors and a resolution of only 10Mp, the V1 might not sound impressive on paper, but our tests have often proven that quality isn’t always about the bigger numbers.
An electronic viewfinder means you are able to take photos the traditional way, although this does add slightly to the bulk of the camera.
Good for: Those that want a decent camera that they can use to point and shoot, but also change the settings if they want to.
To get the full rundown, read our review of the Nikon V1.
Samsung NX200 – £499.95 – with standard lens
A DSLR-sized 20Mp sensor puts the NX200 at the top of the pile in terms of specs. It is also incredibly compact, although this comes at the expense of an electronic viewfinder.
You also won’t get a built-in flash, but you can purchase one to attach to the camera using the hot shoe adaptor.
Good for: Those that want the top resolution for their pictures, and don’t mind using the LCD screen as a viewfinder.
Read our Samsung NX200 review to find out how it performed in our labs.
Sony NEX-C3 – £499.95 with standard lens
Featuring one of the slimmest bodies available in its class, the NEX-C3 is very portable and not much bigger than a point and shoot camera.
It is also very approachable for users not used to complicated DLSR cameras – but this does means it lacks the physical controls more experienced photographers might find useful.
Good for: Amateur photographers looking for something more advanced than a pocket camera, but still easy to use.
Find out how this model performed in our tests in our Sony NEX-C3 review.
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- How to buy the best digital SLR camera – advice on choosing the right model for you
- Digital SLR camera reviews – find out which performed the best in our lab tests
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