APS-C and 35mm cine formats are both similar in size. Perhaps 118 years of exposure and acclimatization to a 22 x 16 mm aperture has instilled a sensibility satisfied by familiar depth of field and look. Which may be why Canon’s new EOS M pocket point-and-shoot is APS-C (22.3 x 14.9 mm). (By the way, 35mm Super35 is 24.9 x 18.66 mm.)
“Point-and-Shoot” doesn’t do this camera justice. Canon’s family tree positions the EOS M above my current favorite PowerShot S100 and G1 X, alongside the Rebel, and below the EOS 5d Mark III.
At less than $800 for body and 22 mm lens, capable of shooting 1080p video, the EOS M might go pro as a stunt, crash and POV camera on major movies. Imagine Mako Kowai with a crate of these cameras mounted in more positions than permutateable.
The EOS M shares several specs and probably sensor of Canon’s SLR EOS Rebel T4i (EOS 650D / EOS X6i): 18 megapixel CMOS sensor, max resolution of 5184 x 3456, max ISO of 12,800.
Canon is the latest company to join the APS-C sensor with interchangeable lens mount club, joining Sony NEX and Fujifilm X-Pro1. Fujifilm X100 and Leica X2 are APS-C with a fixed lens.
The Canon EOS M uses an EF-M mount with a flange focal depth of 18 mm. Diameter is 58mm, so PL to EF-M mounts should be surfacing faster than I can type this dispatch.
Video is recorded as MPEG-4 AVC H.264 .MOV files: 1920 x 1080 HD at 30p (29.97), 24p (23.976) and 25p; 720 HD at 60p (59.94) or 50p; and Standard Definition video at 30p (29.97) or 25p.
The Hybrid CMOS AF system on the EOS M is interesting, and I look forward to testing. It is designed to continuously autofocus and track moving subjects, combining phase-difference AF (kind of like a range-finder) and contrast AF (contrast increases when image is sharp). By default, the EOS M is continuously autofocusing, even before you trigger the shot. This reduces dreaded “shutter lag.”
There are three AF modes for video and stills: Face Detection with Tracking AF, Multi-Point AF (for automatic focus selection by the camera) and Single-Point AF, (you select one of 31 AF points). To activate Face Detection with Tracking, use the rear touch-panel to indicate which subject to track.
All this autofocus would be annoyingly audible if it weren’t for Canon’s new Stepping Motor (STM) technology in the new M-series lenses: EF-M 22mm f/2 STM kit lens and the optional EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens
The EOS M has manual audio level control (64 levels), a built-in stereo microphone with wind filter and over-modulation protection.
- 18-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
- ISO 100–6400 (expandable to 12800 in H mode) for video
- ISO 100–12800 (expandable to 25600 in H mode) for stills
- Touch Screen 3.0-inch LCD monitor (approximately 1,040,000 dots) with Touch Autofocus and “pinch-to-zoom”
- Handheld Night Scene mode, HDR Backlight Control mode
- Uses SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards, including new Ultra High Speed (UHS-I)
- EOS Full HD Movie mode with Servo AF continuous focus tracking
- Manual exposure control option
- Magnesium and stainless steel body
The EOS M Digital Camera with EF-M 22mm f/2 STM kit lens should be available in October for an estimated retail price of $799.99.
The EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens ($299.99), Mount Adapter EF-EOS M ($199.99) and Speedlite 90EX ($149.99) should also be available in October.
Aftermarket underwater housings, rigs, lens adapters, and mounts are sure to follow.