Canon's first CSC has arrived in the shape of the EOS M. Has the wait been worth it? We find out in the What Digital Camera Canon EOS M review

Product Overview

Overall rating:


Canon EOS M

Image Quality:90%
Overall score:90%


  • Touchscreen interface, image quality, top-end finish


  • AF and burst shooting could be faster, no Wi-Fi, limited lens support at this time


Canon EOS M Review


Price as reviewed:


First Look

Late last week What Digital Camera took delivery of Canon’s first compact system camera – the EOS M. The product sample we used was a pre-production model meaning we weren’t able to assess the image quality produced by the 18MP CMOS sensor and we’d have to wait for our full production sample to arrive before we could post our image sample gallery online. In the meantime we used the pre-production EOS M to get a better understanding of how it operates and handles in a real-life shooting environment.


The EOS-M was supplied with Canon’s EF-M 22mm f/2 STM lens that’s equivalent to 33mm in film terms. This is one of two lenses that have been developed for the EOS-M system. The other is Canon’s EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM standard zoom. 

Trying out the EOS M in a busy city environment uncovered a few interesting points.

Firstly, being such a small camera it’s easy to use the EOS M inconspicuously without drawing too much attention from those around you. Setting up the camera for a series of portrait shots revealed how quick and easy the camera is to navigate and use. The combination of large onscreen icons and an extremely responsive touch screen lets you find what you want and select it in a matter of seconds and though there’s no mode dial we had no complaints hitting the info button to quickly load the quick menu from which you could choose between manual, Shutter priority, aperture priority or program mode.

At first we thought the size of the control dial at the rear of the camera was rather small. In operation this wasn’t a huge concern however and just like the touch screen it’s incredible responsive, making it quick to scroll through the ISO settings for example.

Rather than manually repositioning the AF target with the d-pad we relied on using the touch screen with the AF mode set to single. Touching the display would instantly move the AF point but we did notice a slight hesitation and some signs of hunting on occasions before the green square confirmed correct focus. Again we can’t read too much into this side of the performance as it was a pre-production sample and not a full production sample, which we’re expecting to arrive for our full review this week.

For Canon users, the EOS M is a camera you can pick up get familiar with very quickly. The menu system is colour coded much like Canon DSLR’s and everything is found where you expect it to be.

As for the build, the EOS M feels solid and very well constructed. The high gloss finish to our white EOS-M won’t be to everyone’s taste and there’s not much of a handgrip to wrap your fingers around. There has clearly been some inspiration from Canon’s Power Shot models in the design and creation of the EOS M but our first impressions of the performance makes it seem like you’re operating a camera that’s faster and more akin to an APS-C DSLR.

We’ll bring you the full review of the EOS M and an image sample gallery as soon as our full production sample arrives.


Video:1080 (24/25/30p) HD video & 720 (50/60p) HD video
ISO:100-12,800, extendable to ISO 25,600
White Balance:Auto White Balance, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent light, Flash, Custom
Lens Mount:EF-M
Built-in Flash:No, small external flash bundled with camera
Memory Card:SD/SDHC/SDXC
Exposure Comp:-/+3 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps
Cable Release:No
Compression:Fine & Normal
PC Socket:No
Viewfinder Type:N/A
Output Size:5184 x 3456px
Field of View:100%
LCD:3in, 1040k-dot Clear View LCD II touchscreen display
Colour Temp Control:2000-10,000K
AF Points:31 selectable points
White Balance Bracket:3 exposures in 1, 2 or 3 steps
Sensor:18MP APS-C CMOS sensor
Max Flash Sync:1/200th
Focal Length Mag:1.6x
DoF Prview:Yes
Dust Reduction:Yes
Built-in Image Stabilisation:No, lens-based
Metering System:Real-time metering from the image sensor
Movie Mode:Yes
Exposure Modes:P, S, A, M, Scene Intelligent Auto, Creative Auto, 7 Scene modes
Live Mode:Yes
Connectivity:HDMI, Hi-Speed USB & Microphone
Power:Rechargeable Li-ion battery
File Format:Raw (CR2), JPEG, Raw + JPEG
Shutter Speeds:30-1/4000th second, plus Bulb
Dimensions:108.6 x 66.5 x 32.3mm
Focusing Modes:One-Shot and Servo AF, MF
Colour Space:sRGB, Adobe RGB
Drive Mode:Single, Continuous (4.3fps), self-timer, remote control
  1. 1. Canon EOS M review - Features
  2. 2. Design
  3. 3. Performance
  4. 4. Image Quality
  5. 5. Value & Verdict
  6. 6. First Look
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