WDC Canon EOS M review
I'm confused as to how this camera got reviewed so favourably. It seems that WDC has a policy of automatically adding an extra 2-3 points on to each category on the basis that the camera has a Canon badge.
Despite the 18mp sensor showing its age compared to the competition (eg. the 16mp Sony sensor), the camera is awarded the same image quality score as the NEX-5R.
Moreover, even after alluding to the camera's poor AF (compared to the competition) and slow burst rate, it is awarded 19/20 for performance!
So, despite the fact that the EOS M has comparitively poor image quality and is out-featured and out-performed by the competition, WDC see fit to give it a gold award.
I also notice that the reviewer, Phil Hall, gave the camera only 8/10 on another review site - on WDC it seems to be worth an extra 10%!
Hello Lotus Eater,
Thanks for your comments regarding the EOS M review. Firstly, can I assure you that we always score our cameras fairly, regardless of the badge.
On your first point about the sensor. You mention the comparatively poor image quality from the EOS M, but that's not our experience and we'd be interested to see any test samples you've taken to come to this conclusion. The EOS M uses the latest generation 18MP sensor and is comparable to the NEX 5R.
We do comment about the AF, which isn't as strong as its rivals, though its by no means poor, while the touchscreen interface really sets it apart from its rivals. It's here you have to consider who the end user is and what they're looking for, and the ease-of-use and general handling, the EOS M is one of, if not, the best around.
The EOS M may well use the "latest generation" 18MP sensor (same as the one used in 650D), but the only thing Canon has really added is PDAF pixels to the sensor. The image quality hasn't advanced since the 600D/60D/7D, and according to DXO Labs, has taken a slight step backwards. Its major failing compared to the competition is significantly poorer dynamic range - around 2 stops. That is a big difference, especially if you shoot RAW.
When the 5R outperforms the so significantly in key areas, the scores you've given don't make sense. Moreover, I'm still confused why you chose to award the EOS M a higher score on WDC than Trusted Reviews.
There's always a danger when basing opinions about a camera (or indeed anything else) purely on what other people have written, rather than on personal experience. All reviews, wherever they're published, have a large degree of subjectivity and personal opinion within them, and the weighting that different reviewers place on a product's various shortcomings (as well as strengths) will vary according to their taste, and the perceived tastes of their readership.
Yes the EOS-M's AF may be slower than some other cameras but it isn't so slow as to be a problem. The worth of a camera is not solely based on its AF speed, or its image quality, or any other single thing, but on the camera as a whole, and its easy to pick holes in any camera. Personally I think the Sony NEX system has a horrible user interface. The Canon is well designed, well made and the touch screen interface is very quick and intuitive. Overall, if I had a choice of the two cameras I'd probably choose the Canon myself as it offers the more enjoyable user experience - though actually neither would be my first choice because they don't have a viewfinder. But that's me.
I also find accusations of brand bias tiresome, and easily dismissed by doing even a small amount of research. In our Camera of the Year 2012 awards, for example, which we've just announced, the only category Canon won was the Tough Camera category, for the Powershot D20. The big prize went to the Olympus OM-D, and last year it was won by the Sony A77. I usually find that such accusations usually say more about the accuser's antipathy towards certain brands (usually Canon or Nikon) than any actual bias on our part.
As for Trusted Reviews, the scores their editors give don't correlate numerically with our own. Their 8 out of 10, for example, is good, whereas an 80% score at WDC would not be very good, since a camera has to get 85% to get a 'Recommended' badge. Amateur Photographer, the third brand in the IPC triumvirate, has a different scale again.
It would appear that your reviews are far more subjective than objective. Had the review of the EOS M been more objective, the image quality and performance scores would be very different. The danger with reviews being subjective is that brand bias can creep in, whether intentional or not.
There is a general consensus amongst the community (which includes Canon DSLR owners who were looking forward to the EOS M) that the camera is a bit of a disappointment, and other reviews have reflected this. Some go so far as saying the camera is at the point where the competition was 2 years ago. Your review is the most complimentary, by quite a distance.
The AF speed, or lack of it, is a major problem to many people and it is inferior to the mirrorless competition. Even if you include the touchscreen in the performance category, the poor AF performance and burst rate do not seem to negatively impact the score you have given.
The APS-C sensor in the EOS M sensor is essentially the same with regards to image quality as the 18MP sensor released by Canon over 3 years ago in their DSLR line. The competition's APS-C sensors have long since bettered Canon in terms of both dynamic range, ISO performance and in some cases, resolution. Again, there does not appear to be any negative impact on the score you give.
Is it possible you are more willing to overlook certain glaring weaknesses with certain brands? It appears so, and I don't know if that is intentional or not. That's why subjectivity can be a problem if it isn't balanced out by objectivity.
Your continued accusation of brand bias is annoying because if you spent even five minutes looking though all the scores in our Buyers Guide, or at our Awards over the last few years, you'd see for yourself that it's rubbish.
Our reviews aren't purely subjective either, our cameras are subjected to extensive lab testing, samples of which are published in the magazine review.
The reality is that the reviewer just didn't think that the EOS-M's shortcomings were as big a deal as you obviously do, perhaps because the camera was tested mostly with static subjects (landscapes, portraits etc) and not enough with fast moving ones.
We'll be doing a CSC head to head in the next issue in which the EOS-M will be included, so we'll be able compare these features side by side.