Photo: Night shot of some bike parking off University Avenue in Palo Alto, Ca
Today I'd like to share my thoughts about Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens cameras (MILC). This class of Camera unlike popular compact digital cameras allow you to swap out lenses. Unlike the larger DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras, MILC cameras don't have mirror based optical viewfinders, but sometimes will have electronic viewfinders instead. Canon has released their first MILC entry, the EOS M, which unlike most of the competition offers a sensor that's about the same size as there lower and mid range DSLR cameras.
Recently I purchased the EOS M, and use it along with its older brother the Canon 5D Mark 3 DSLR. Here are my thoughts.
What I like ...
Size - the things is tiny! I can throw it in my camera bag, jacket pocket, and it weighs next to nothing.
Touchscreen - Because this camera is aimed at consumers rather than prosumers, it has simplified its control system with less buttons and added a nifty 3-inch touchscreen. This makes for a fast and fluid experience, like using an iPhone, in order to change settings and review photos.
Sensor - Even though the camera is small and compact, it houses a digital sensor that is the same as the acclaimed Digital Rebel series, the APS-C sensor. This results in great image quality overall, and great performance in lowlight, especially using the included EF-M 22mm F/2 STM pancake lens.
Video - Just like its bigger brothers, the EOS M is great for taking video. It has the ability to shoot in a variety of different resolutions and frame rates. HD video can be shot at 720P at 50fps or 60fps, and at 1080P Full HD at 30fps, 24fps, or 25fps. Also with the EF-M STM lens, the camera is able to handle continuous autofocus when shooting video.
Stereo Mic - This is the first camera that shoots video and has a stereo mic. Most cameras only record in Mono. Pretty cool!
Auto Bracketing - Having the ability to bracket 3 shots, with up to 2 stops under and over is great for doing HDR photography!
What I don't really care for, (or what could be better)...
Autofocus - It is EXTREMELY SLOW at times. after being used to the near instant AF speed on DSLR's, waiting for this camera to autofocus is maddeningly frustrating at times. This would not be a good camera to shoot sports or wildlife with. I mainly use it for landscape and street photography, and often manually focus, so its not that big of a deal for me.
Battery Life - The camera comes with a small LP-E12 battery that gives about 230 shots. Not the best compared to well over 800-1000 shots on with the battery of my 5DM3.
No Viewfinder - Although the touchscreen is great, it would be nice to at least have the option of an EVF viewfinder. I've read on various photoblogs that there's rumor of a new EOS M camera with a viewfinder. Hmmm.
No Remote Port - I take a lot of landscapes using a tripod and remote trigger for doing time lapses . There is no remote control port on this camera to attach a remote trigger. Boo!
Overall despite the flaws, I really like the Canon EOS M, and take it with me wherever I go in case I see a moment in which I want to capture a photo and the camera on my iPhone 5 isn't quite good enough. Although the iPhone 5 does have a damn good camera, but that's the subject of another post. I will end this first blog post with some images I recently shot with this fine little camera. Enjoy!