Canon M Comparison Review
The Canon EOS M is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was revealed to the public in July 2012 and is equipped with an APS-C sensor. It offers a resolution of 17.9 megapixel.
Is the Canon M a good camera? The Canon M has a Camera Elo of 1674. This rating puts the Canon M below average of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (APS cameras), the Canon M also ranks below average. – Well, the Canon M is more than 8 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2012.
|Mirrorless system camera|
|Canon EF-M mount lenses|
|17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|ISO 100 - 12 800 (100 - 25 600)|
|no viewfinder, LCD framing|
|3.0 LCD, 1040k dots|
|4.3 shutter flaps per second|
|230 shots per battery charge|
|109 x 66 x 32 mm, 298 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
An illustration of the physical dimensions of the Canon M vis-à-vis a credit card is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Canon M alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.
|Canon M||109 mm||66 mm||32 mm||298 g||230||n||Jul 2012||599|
|Canon M100||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||302 g||295||n||Aug 2017||499|
|Canon M10||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||301 g||255||n||Oct 2015||499|
|Canon G7 X||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699|
|Canon 100D||117 mm||91 mm||69 mm||407 g||380||n||Mar 2013||549|
|Canon 700D||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||580 g||440||n||Mar 2013||649|
|Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|Panasonic GF6||111 mm||65 mm||38 mm||323 g||340||n||Apr 2013||499|
|Panasonic G3||115 mm||84 mm||47 mm||336 g||270||n||May 2011||599|
|Sony NEX-3N||110 mm||62 mm||35 mm||269 g||480||n||Feb 2013||499|
|Sony NEX-F3||117 mm||67 mm||42 mm||314 g||470||n||May 2012||599|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Canon M was launched in the US market at a price of $599. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
The Canon M features an APS-C sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Canon M among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|Panasonic GF6||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||20.7||10.6||622||54|
|Panasonic G3||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||21.0||10.6||667||56|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The Canon M indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the Canon M can use is 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The tables below summarize some of the other core capabilities of the Canon M in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5||Y||Y|
It is worthwhile pointing out that the Canon M has a touchscreen. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, when trying to adjust the focus point.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS M and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Canon G7 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the Canon M has a microphone port. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the Canon M. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).
|Canon M||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||4/5||Jul 2012||599|
|Canon M100||+||..||4/5||..||3.5/5||Aug 2017||499|
|Canon M10||..||..||..||o||4/5||Oct 2015||499|
|Canon G7 X||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699|
|Canon 100D||+||78/100||4/5||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549|
|Canon 700D||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649|
|Canon G16||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|Panasonic GF6||+ +||..||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Apr 2013||499|
|Panasonic G3||+ +||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2011||599|
|Sony NEX-3N||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||499|
|Sony NEX-F3||..||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2012||599|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Canon M FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the Canon M.
What is the technology behind the imaging sensor in the Canon M?
The camera is build around a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.
Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?
Canon equipped the Canon M with the DIGIC V image processor.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the Canon M?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800.
What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Canon EOS M?
Canon mentions a shutter rating of 100 000 actuations for the Canon M. This number represents a Mean Time before Failure, that is an average value. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust the expected shutter life of the Canon M over, say, three years, one would have to take about 100 pictures each and every day.
Does the Canon M feature an autofocus assist light?
Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.
What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?
The Canon M's flash sync speed is 1/200 sec.
Does the Canon M support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?
Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-I cards (data transfer speed of up to 104 MB/s).
Which battery does the Canon M use?
The camera gets its power from the LP-E12 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.
Where can I find the best deals for the Canon M?
Camera to camera comparisons
In case you are interested in seeing how this camera compares to another one, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
|Camera Model||Canon M|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF-M mount lenses|
|Launch Date||July 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 599|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||332 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||17.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5 184 x 3 456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.31 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.39 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12 800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25 600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC V|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||65|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.2|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||827|
|Viewfinder Type||No viewfinder|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|LCD Size||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||4.3 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi|
|Battery Type||LP-E12 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||230 shots per charge|
109 x 66 x 32 mm
(4.3 x 2.6 x 1.3 in)
|Camera Weight||298 g (10.5 oz)|
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