July 23, 2012 at 9:22 AM ET
You can stop looking at leaked photos. The Canon EOS M is finally official. The little beast of a device marks Canon's entry into the world of mirrorless, interchangeable-lens cameras — and it's hard not to love it at first sight.
In a sense, the EOS M is an itty-bitty version of the Rebel T4i DSLR — it has the same 18-megapixel APS-C sensor, the same DIGIC 5 image processor, and the same auto-focus technology. It just happens to be the size of some point-and-shoots, rather than a typical DSLR.
While the EOS M is intended to go into competition against mirrorless cameras from the likes of Olympus, Panasonic, Sony and Nikon, it's worth noting that among those, only Sony's NEX line has an APS-C sensor like the Canon. The rest use smaller sensors, which allows for smaller lenses and a more compact experience overall, but it may limit quality.
And like those other mirrorless cameras, video is more than an afterthought. According to the folks at Canon, the EOS M will be a little video powerhouse. The camera offers a full HD mode, with continuous focus tracking. It can shoot 1080p video at 24, 25, or 30 frames per second. There are built-in stereo microphones and room to plug in an external microphone as well (though there's no headphone jack).
As far as the still image side of things goes, the EOS M will put point-and-shoots to shame but may not excite serious shooters too much. It can handle low-light situations quite well, but it lacks an optical viewfinder and some of the controls shutterbugs might crave.
While the EOS M has its own lens mount, and therefore its own line of lenses, its appeal grows by leaps when you add in the Mount Adapter EF-EOS M, a little $200 accessory that makes the camera compatible with all of Canon's EF and EF-S lenses.
Yes, that's pretty darn awesome. You can read more about that detail — as well as the rest of the EOS M specs — on Canon's website.
The Canon EOS M will be available in October, for $800, and include an EF-M 22mm f/2.0 STM kit lens. The camera will be offered in black and white versions. (The white model will only be available through Canon's own online store.) The mount adapter will be available in October as well.
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