Test Canon Eos M

Categoria: English Pubblicato: Domenica, 13 Aprile 2014 Scritto da Donato Chirulli

 

But you know I like exploring things like this and that’s why I did not want to lose the chance to try one. I got the camera, the EFM 22mm F2,0 STM and the 18-55 F3,5-5,6 IS STM lenses and a lens mount adapter to take advantage of my Canon EF Lenses (yes the reflex ones, the ones that I almost never use).

What should I say? Well, long story short…after a month and thousands of shots I have to say I just can’t stop using it.

The Eos M comes in a tiny body, lightweight but at the same time sturdy and well built. It is mostly made of metal and few plastic parts placed around specific areas such as the grip in order to help handling the camera. The look is far from the vintage/old-style one that is highly appreciated nowadays, but it isn’t even futuristic…it looks like a normal and harmless compact camera, good looking but nothing to write home about. On the other hand however, this camera hides an 18 megapixels APS-C sized sensor and a modern 14-bit Digic 5 processor. This means a mid level DSRL heart in a compact camera body.

We’re on the same level of the Fuji X series and Sony Nex cameras as far as the sensor is concerned. What really makes the difference here is the lens lineup, or rather the lack of a lens lineup in Canon’s system compared to what the other manufacturers can offer.

But there are a couple of things to be considered on the Canon’s side: the camera kit (with the zoom lens) price that is around 300€ right now and the availability of a Canon EF lens adapter.

I know what you’re thinking…given the price, is the lens a crappy kit lens?

Not at all, even considering that I’m really demanding with lenses. Both lenses are good and comparable to what the other manufacturers can offer but also, and this is even better, they are on the same level of many EF and EFS lenses I was able to adapt to the camera. This does not means these lenses can match in quality the best lenses Canon produces but one thing is fore sure... These are not crappy lenses as you might expect given the price. They are well built and sharp, the bokeh isn’t bad at all, the weight is negligible as well as the dimensions. Could anyone ask for more?

As usual these are just opinions and you know we like to let pictures talk. We don’t like laboratory tests, lines per millimeters and so on.

 

In this case we would say Canon’s know-how allowed to have good lenses at a very low price. It’s a pity we could not test the 11-22mm wide angle lens.

 

On the road

As far as operations are concerned, the Eos M has everything you can expect nowadays from a camera in this segment, a bit more here, a bit less there. I personally think this is due to the pursuit of the compactness of the camera.

There’s no built-in viewfinder, there’s not even a built-in flash unit (but it is compatible with the speedlight flash line). Everything goes through the rear LCD monitor, that is also touch sensitive. It’s a pity that it does not tilt and also suffers the direct sunlight.

One of the main criticism to the Eos M was the laggy and slowish AF system, even it is an hybrid one. This has been only partially addressed with firmware 2.0.2, released by Canon. The AF, even if not blazingly fast, showed to be more precise than some of the rivals, at least in normal shooting situations. There’s also the possibility to slightly increase the accuracy of the AF by enlarging the view and reducing the AF area size. We also tested the continous focus on a street photography shootout, with decent results.

All in all we can say there are worse cameras in this regards but also there are better ones. As you know, aside from the new Fuji X-T1 and a couple of Olympus cameras, the AF has always been the weak spot of the mirrorless systems.

The capability to focus and release the shutter with the touch of the finger on the touch-screen is a welcome addition, that allows to have quick point-and-shoot performances. Through the same touch-screen interface it is possible to access all the main settings and shooting parameters.

 

I know what you’re thinking right now…it doesn’t seem anything special.

In fact, the camera’s best performances are “hidden” behind what justifies a camera to exist, the image quality itself.

After years using almost every mirrorless or high-end compact camera around, it was a long time since I last used Canon RAW files with its bundled software Canon Digital Photo Professional.

During the last years I experienced several combinations, but sometimes the software wasn’t capable of getting the best from a RAW file, sometimes was the sensor itself to underperform, sometimes the lens. But with the Eos M and its software I finally had the chance to enjoy postprocessing a RAW file coming from a mirrorless camera.

As usual Canon’s RAW files are soft and smooth at a first glance, but they allow to be deeply processed without any drawback in the final image quality. The DPP software has the same image styles the camera has, thus allowing to apply or modify a style during the postprocessing. It also allows to apply the optical auto-correction (distorsion, chromatic aberration, vignetting) for every single lens available.

The final result is excellent with the usual Canon’s “mood” and its warm rendering. You may like it or not but it is easy to get rid of it.

 

On the high sensitivity side there is no reason to worry up to ISO 1600. ISO 3200 is still usable while at ISO 6400 the file is noisy and this affects the sharpness and the details. It is still possible to work on the file via DPP in order to get usable files. The fact that the camera has 18 MP while the rivals with the same sensor size usually have 16 MP may have its impact in this regard.

The lenses

In order to allow our readers to deeply evaluate the camera we wanted to test it with many different lenses and shooting conditions such as Landscape, Street, Architecture and so on.

We have to admit we achieved great results with the native Eos M lenses but the same can be said about the Eos EF or EF-S lenses we’ve had the chance to use. Of course using “reflex” lenses on a body like this may seem odd, it’s like betray the philosphy behind the camera, but results are great. With some lenses like the EF 50mm F1,8 II you even forget it’s a lens designed to work with a reflex camera. Like I said before using EF lenses may seem odd but since they work, this allows whoever owns a Canon DSLR to add a camera like the M as a backup body, or even as a second body to use with small and lightweight lenses thus reducing weight with an inexpensive camera.

 

During this test, together with the two M lenses I also used the following:

Canon EF 50mm f/1,8 II

Canon EF 85mm f/1,8 USM

Canon EF 35-350mm f/3,5-5,6 L USM

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3,5-4,5 USM

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2,8 IS USM

I have to admit I enjoyed using all of them. The old 35-350mm was like a frankenstein experiment on a camera like this, but all the other lenses allowed me to use them with ease and I felt comfortable with the handling of all of them. There’s no need to focus on pros and cons of these lenses given that all the Canon users know them for sure.

Canon EF-M 22mm f/2,0 STM

Very compact prime lens, high yield, with a 7-blade diaphragm. Equivalent focal length in 35mm approx 24x36 = 35 mm approx.

Canon EF-M 22mm f/2,0 STM - Iso 100 f/5,6 - 1/500 sec - EV +0,5

Canon EF-M 22mm f/2,0 STM - Iso 100 f/3,5 - 1/750 sec - EV +0,5

Canon EF-M 22mm f/2,0 STM - Iso 100 f/2,8 - 1/4000 sec - EV -1

Canon EF-M 22mm f/2,0 STM - Iso 100 f/4 - 1/750 sec - EV +0,5

Canon EF-M 22mm f/2,0 STM - Iso 100 f/4 - 1/750 sec - EV +0,5

Canon EF-M 22mm f/2,0 STM - Iso 100 f/4 - 1/1500 sec - EV +0,5

Canon EF-M 22mm f/2,0 STM - Iso 100 f/4 - 1/500 sec - EV +0,5

Canon EF-M 22mm f/2,0 STM - Iso 100 f/2,8 - 1/400 sec

Canon EF-M 22mm f/2,0 STM - Iso 200(Auto) - f/6,7 - 1/500 sec

Canon EF-M 22mm f/2,0 STM - Iso 250(Auto) - f/8 - 1/500 sec

Canon EF-M 22mm f/2,0 STM - Iso 100(Auto) - f/3,5 - 1/1000 sec

Canon EF-M 22mm f/2,0 STM - Iso 160(Auto) - 160 f/8 - 1/750 sec

Canon EF-M 22mm f/2,0 STM - Iso 400(Auto) - f/8- 1/500 sec

Canon EF-M 22mm f/2,0 STM - Iso 200(Auto) - f/8- 1/500 sec

Canon EF-M 22mm f/2,0 STM - Iso 100 - f/2,5- 1/3000 sec

Canon EF-M 22mm f/2,0 STM - Iso 100 - f/4- 1/180 sec

Canon EF-M 22mm f/2,0 STM - Iso 250(Auto) - f/8- 1/500 sec

Canon EF-M 22mm f/2,0 STM - Iso 1250(Auto) - f/6,7 - 1/500 sec

Canon EF-M 22mm f/2,0 STM - Iso 125(Auto) - f/6,7- 1/500 sec

Canon EF-M 22mm f/2,0 STM - Iso 1600(Auto) - f/3,5- 1/45 sec

Canon EF-M 22mm f/2,0 STM - Iso 4000(Auto) - f/3,5- 1/45 sec

Canon EF-M 22mm f/2,0 STM - Iso 6400(Auto) - f/5,6- 1/90 sec

Canon EF-M 22mm f/2,0 STM - Iso 6400(Auto) - f/3,5- 1/45 sec

Canon EF-M 22mm f/2,0 STM - Iso 100 - f/9,5- 1/200 sec - Flash Fill In

Canon EF-M 22mm f/2,0 STM - Iso 100 - f/5,6- 1/125 sec

Canon EF-M 22mm f/2,0 STM - Iso 100 - f/3,5- 1/350 sec

Canon EF-M 22mm f/2,0 STM - Iso 100 - f/8- 1/180 sec

Canon EF-M 22mm f/2,0 STM - Iso 100 - f/5,6- 1/60 sec - Macro mode

Canon EF-M 22mm f/2,0 STM - Iso 100 - f/5,6- 1/90 sec

Canon EF-M 22mm f/2,0 STM - Iso 100 - f/8- 1/500 sec - EV +0,5

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM

Very compact and versatile lens, good quality, stabilized, with a 7-blade diaphragm. Equivalent focal length in 24x36 format = 29-88mm approx.

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @22mm - Iso 100 - f/4 - 1/1500 sec. - EV -0,5

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @18mm - Iso 100 - f/6,7 - 1/750 sec.

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @55mm - Iso 100 - f/9,5 - 1/350 sec.

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Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @18mm - Iso 100 - f/6,7- 1/350 sec. - Standard lens corrections of DPP (Vignetting, Moirè etc.)

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @18mm - Iso 100 - f/6,7- 1/350 sec. - No lens corrections of DPP

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @55mm - Iso 100 - f/8 - 1/125 sec.

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @18mm - Iso 100 - f/8 - 1/750 sec.

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @18mm - Iso 100 - f/8 - 1/500 sec.

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @55mm - Iso 100 - f/8 - 1/750 sec.

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @18mm - Iso 100 - f/9,5 - 1/500 sec.

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @34mm - Iso 200 - f/6,7 - 1/350 sec.

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @55mm - Iso 200 - f/6,7 - 1/250 sec.

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @25mm - Iso 100 - f/8 - 1/180 sec.

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @46mm - Iso 100 - f/11 - 1/250 sec.

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @50mm - Iso 200 - f/5,6 - 1/2000 sec.

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @55mm - Iso 100 - f/8 - 1/125 sec.

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @55mm - Iso 100 - f/8 - 1/250 sec. - Macro mode

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @18mm - Iso 100 - f/5,6 - 1/500 sec.

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @55mm - Iso 100 - f/5,6 - 1/200 sec.

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @47mm - Iso 100 - f/8 - 1/125 sec.

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @18mm - Iso 100 - f/8 - 1/350 sec.

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @37mm - Iso 100 - f/5,6 - 1/500 sec.

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @53mm - Iso 100 - f/8 - 1/500 sec.

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @55mm - Iso 100 - f/11 - 1/125 sec.

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @55mm - Iso 200 - f/8- 1/250 sec. - Macro mode

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Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @29mm - Iso 400(Auto) - f/9,5 - 1/180 sec.

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @55mm - Iso 100(Auto) - f/6,7 - 1/125 sec.

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @18mm - Iso 250(Auto) - f/6,7 - 1/250 sec.

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @55mm - Iso 400(Auto) - f/6,7 - 1/350 sec.

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @33mm - Iso 100 - f/8 - 1/350 sec.

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @55mm - Iso 3200 - f/8 - 1/60 sec.

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @55mm - Iso 3200 - f/8 - 1/60 sec.

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @44mm - Iso 1600 - f/5,6 - 1/30 sec.

Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3,5-5,6 IS STM @30mm - Iso 100 - f/11 - 15 sec.

Canon EF 50mm f/1,8 II

Compact, lightweight and cheap prime lens, but high-quality, diaphragm with 5 blades. Equivalent focal length in 80mm format 24x36 = 80 mm

Canon EF 50mm f/1,8 II - Iso 100 - f/4,5 - 1/2000 sec.

Canon EF 50mm f/1,8 II - Iso 100 - f/8 - 1/750 sec.

Canon EF 50mm f/1,8 II - Iso 100 - f/11 - 1/1000 sec.

Canon EF 50mm f/1,8 II - Iso 100 - f/9,5 - 1/500 sec.

Canon EF 50mm f/1,8 II - Iso 100 - f/6,7 - 1/750 sec.

Canon EF 50mm f/1,8 II - Iso 100 - f/8 - 1/1000 sec.

Canon EF 50mm f/1,8 II - Iso 100 - f/2,5 - 1/2000 sec.

Canon EF 50mm f/1,8 II - Iso 100 - f/9,5 - 1/500 sec.

Canon EF 50mm f/1,8 II - Iso 400 - f/4,5 - 1/125 sec.

Canon EF 50mm f/1,8 II - Iso 100 - f/2 - 1/4000 sec.

Canon EF 50mm f/1,8 II - Iso 100 - f/4,5 - 1/350 sec.

Canon EF 50mm f/1,8 II - Iso 100 - f/8 - 1/750 sec.

Canon EF 85mm f/1,8

Relatively inexpensive prime lens, excellent quality, with 8 diaphragm blades. Equivalent focal length in 24x36 format = 135mm approx.

Canon EF 85mm f/1,8 - Iso 100 - f/2,8 - 1/1500 sec.

Canon EF 85mm f/1,8 - Iso 100 - f/2 - 1/1000 sec.

Canon EF 85mm f/1,8 - Iso 100 - f/1,8 - 1/2000 sec.

Canon EF 85mm f/1,8 - Iso 100 - f/5,6 - 1/350 sec.

Canon EF 85mm f/1,8 - Iso 6400 - f/2,8 - 1/180 sec.

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Canon EF 35-350mm f/3,5-5,6 L USM

Professional "vintage" zoom, high quality, with 8 diaphragm blades. Equivalent focal length in 24x36 format= 56-560mm

Canon EF 35-350mm f/3,5-5,6 L USM @ 60 mm - Iso 100 - f/4,5 - 1/750 sec.

Canon EF 35-350mm f/3,5-5,6 L USM @ 140 mm - Iso 400 - f/8 - 1/750 sec.

Canon EF 35-350mm f/3,5-5,6 L USM @ 35 mm - Iso 100 - f/9,5 - 1/180 sec.

Canon EF 35-350mm f/3,5-5,6 L USM @ 35 mm - Iso 160(Auto) - f/5,6 - 1/1500 sec.

Canon EF 35-350mm f/3,5-5,6 L USM @ 180 mm - Iso 100 - f/4,5 - 1/750 sec.

Canon EF 35-350mm f/3,5-5,6 L USM @ 350 mm - Iso 160(Auto) - f/5,6 - 1/1500 sec.

Canon EF 35-350mm f/3,5-5,6 L USM @ 250 mm - Iso 250(Auto) - f/6,7 - 1/2000 sec.

Canon EF 35-350mm f/3,5-5,6 L USM @ 80 mm - Iso 200(Auto) - f/5,6 - 1/1500 sec.

Canon EF 35-350mm f/3,5-5,6 L USM @ 35 mm - Iso 100 - f/9,5 - 1/1000 sec.

Canon EF 35-350mm f/3,5-5,6 L USM @ 210 mm - Iso 200 - f/6,7 - 1/2000 sec.

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3,5-4,5 USM

Versatile wide angle zoom lens, specifically designed for APS-C, of excellent quality, with 6 blades diaphragm. Equivalent focal length in 24x36 format= 16-35 mm

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3,5-4,5 USM @ 15mm - Iso 100 - f/11 - 1/90 sec.

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3,5-4,5 USM @ 10mm - Iso 100 - f/11 - 1/180 sec.

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3,5-4,5 USM @ 2mm - Iso 1600 - f/4,5 - 1/30 sec.

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3,5-4,5 USM @ 10mm - Iso 3200 - f/6,7 - 1/60 sec.

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3,5-4,5 USM @ 22mm - Iso 1600 - f/4,5 - 1/45 sec.

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3,5-4,5 USM @ 10mm - Iso 100 - f/8 - 1/250 sec.

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3,5-4,5 USM @ 10mm - Iso 100 - f/11 - 1/125 sec.

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3,5-4,5 USM @ 10mm - Iso 100 - f/11 - 1/125 sec.

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3,5-4,5 USM @ 22mm - Iso 200 - f/11 - 1/180 sec.

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3,5-4,5 USM @ 16mm - Iso 100 - f/11 - 1/125 sec.

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2,8 IS USM

Versatile all-round zoom, specifically for APS-C, stabilized, fixed aperture, excellent quality, with a 7-blade diaphragm. Equivalent focal length in 24x36 format = 27-88 mm

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2,8 IS USM @ 55 mm - Iso 100 - f/5,6 - 1/500 sec.

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2,8 IS USM @ 21 mm - Iso 100 - f/2,8 - 1/1500 sec.

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2,8 IS USM @ 17 mm - Iso 100 - f/2,8 - 1/750 sec.

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2,8 IS USM @ 55 mm - Iso 100 - f/8 - 1/350 sec.

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2,8 IS USM @ 55 mm - Iso 100 - f/3,5 - 1/1000 sec.

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2,8 IS USM @ 40 mm - Iso 100 - f/2,8 - 1/1500 sec.

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2,8 IS USM @ 17 mm - Iso 6400 - f/6,7 - 1/60 sec.

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Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2,8 IS USM @ 20 mm - Iso 1600 - f/2,8 - 1/30 sec.

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2,8 IS USM @ 49 mm - Iso 3200 - f/2,8 - 1/60 sec.

 

Conclusions

I have to say I was impressed by the Eos M.

The camera itself with the three dedicated lenses is already capable of producing great results and it’s a pity Canon decided to provide only these three lenses. It’s even worse that the prime lenses lineup is not a lineup, there’s only the 22mm F2.0 that showed to be a great perfomer.

Despite all of that the M system is already enough to cover many shooting conditions with a small and inexpensive package.

A great addition to the system is the EF mount adapter that allows to use the existing EF and EF-S lenses with this camera. As I said before this allows to have a small and inexpensive package that can be easily used when the speed and accuracy of a DSLR is not needed.

 

I personally had the chance to work photographing Hotels, Bed&Breakfast and Luxury houses around Europe. This kind of photography require the use of a tripod and wide angle lenses like the EF-S 10-22mm. I think for situations like this I would have loved to have the chance to use a camera like the M. This would have meant the possibility lo leave the DSLR home together with the heavy tripods needed to use heavy cameras, and bring just the M and a lightweight tripod. Also, having a camera like this would have meant the possibility to carry it around just for fun, while I usually decided to leave the heavy DSLR gear in my room when the work was over.

 

Notes

All the pictures come from RAW files, processed with Canon Digital Photo Professional.

The most used picture style was the Standard with the following settings:

Contrast +1.

Saturation +1.

Maximum Sharpness.

 

The TIFF files coming out of this process were processed again on Photoshop for the fine tuning (that often wasn’t even needed) light levels and frame corrections (crop, rotation).