I’m no professional photographer. Never was, never will be, but I sure love my cameras. I’ve been shooting for quite some time, and tend to keep up to date with the latest technology, even if it’s a ‘want over need’ purchase. So what will be my next camera?
The Canon EOS M (mirrorless)
Mirrorless cameras are certainly not brand new or revolutionary. Hell, my iPhone is technically a mirrorless camera. But what many photographers have been waiting for, is a mirrorless camera that can potentially replace their ‘clunky’ dDLRs. Recently, a few mirrorless cameras have hit the market, such as Sony’s NEX-5N, Fujifilm’s X-Pro 1, Nikon’s 1 J1, and of course, the cream of the crop, Leica’s M9.
But as a Canon shooter, none of these cameras caught my attention. Not because I think Canon is superior to the rest (I don’t), but due to the fact that, like many photographers, my lenses will only work on a Canon camera. If I owned one or two basic lenses, I could probably justify a switch, but the lenses I own run around $10,000. Switching to Nikon or Sony would mean I would have to sell all my current lenses, and repurchase lenses that mount on the respected camera.
So as you can imagine, when it was rumored that Canon would be announcing their first mirrorless camera, I got quite excited.
That’s a very good question. A question that even I am asking myself. Am I simply swept up in the hype of mirrorless cameras, or do I truly believe this camera will suit me better? What is so attractive about a camera like this, what will cause me to part with my Canon 7D?
Let’s get it out of the way, “that’s what she said!”. Size does matter. For the last few years, I’ve been lugging around my Canon 7D nearly everywhere I go, and at 28oz, it can start to weigh you down, especially when you have permanent neck/back problems. Even with the amazing Black Rapid strap, I find it’s always noticeable.
The Canon EOS M is a mere 9.24oz and approximately 2″ thinner than the 7D! Even with a lens attached, when you have your camera around your neck all day, that’s a huge difference!
There are Better Options!
Sure there are! The 5D Mark III and the 1D X are definitely better cameras. Some may argue that the 7D, which I’m trading for the EOS M is a better camera. But again, I am not a professional photographer. I take pictures as a hobby, and occasionally use the images in my Photoshop/Lightroom tutorials. I’m not selling prints, nor is anyone hiring me to photograph their weddings. It’s simply a hobby.
I thought hard about purchasing the Canon 5D Mark III. I even tried to convince myself that it would be great as a tax-writeoff for next year’s taxes! But the truth is, I don’t NEED it. There is nothing that the Mark III delivers that I need in my day-to-day shooting. Sure, the 7 bracketing, and the improved sensor would be nice, but is it worth the $2500 I would have to spend after selling my 7D? Hell no! The only benefit to me purchasing the 5D Mark III, would be that my friends would be jealous. Again, worth $2500? Nope!
It Does What I NEED!
Looking at what I need in a camera, the EOS M fits the profile.
- At 18MP (one megapixel less than the 7D), it’s more than enough for someone who isn’t planning on selling prints. Photographers who obsess over the amount of megapixels a camera has, is clearly ‘doing it wrong’.
- As mentioned above, it’s small! At 9.24oz, I will be able to safely carry this camera with me anywhere I go, and not have to worry about my neck or back problems. My chiropractor probably won’t like that, though.
- With the additional lens adapter, all my current Canon lenses are compatible. This means I don’t need to spend thousands on new lenses!
- Autofocus on video! For me, this is huge! I don’t own a camcorder. I use either my iPhone, or my 7D to film video, and the 7D does not have an autofocus feature when it comes to video recording. Combine this with the fact that it shoots in full HD at 24, 25, or 30 frames per second, and you’ve got one heck of a video recorder!
- 3 exposure-bracketing for HDR photography. I love HDR photography, and while the EOS M doesn’t have the 7 exposure-bracketing that the 5D Mark III has, it does have at least 3, which is fine for basic HDR photography.
The price, is alright. Certainly not a breakthrough, but decent for a mirrorless camera with the mentioned specs. However, it’s not just the camera for $799 you’ll be purchasing. There are two accessories that you’ll probably want to invest in at some point.
- The Canon EF-M Lens Adapter, which will allow you to use your current Canon compatible lenses with the EOS M. $199 (left)
- The Canon Speedlite 90EX, as the EOS M does not have a built-in flash! $149. (right)
After the main accessories, you’re looking close to $1200 for your purchase.
If you’ve read through this whole post, I think it’s fair to say that I’m looking forward to this camera. I already have my preorder placed through B&H Photo, for an October release. To me, it comes down to a “Need VS Want” decision. The EOS M has everything I NEED. Sure, the 5D Mark III has much of what I WANT, but it’s not enough to justify an extra $2500.
Feel free to leave your thoughts below.