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Friday, 27 July 2012

Comments

"Now I'm getting to be a graybeard, and the ins and outs of digital devices don't delight me. It's merely a chore to learn a new interface and get up to speed on all the features of cameras that have way too many features."

Mike for me you summed it up perfectly. I don't need/want all the gimmicks and features. Give me raw and basic controls. I can handle the rest in PS where I'm semi-decent. I've gone back to shooting with an old Canon 5D. Aperture, exposure compensation and the ISO are the only things I need to adjust. Simple is good.

There's also a fisheye from Samyang, some Lensbaby stuff and SLR Magic makes a few (?) lenses.

Nice post Mike.

...ummm kind of.

Canon lovers (and, I assume Canon themselves) would counter with the fact that the adaptor will allow all EOS lenses to fit. Admittedly, that's a lot of big quality glass on one small body.

I'm in the market for a compact camera for those trips where I don't want to take my Canon 7D out and about. I was hoping Canon would come along and give me something I like. I'm not sure it has. It hasn't swayed me in the way that the Fuji X100 or X10 have wowed me. I suppose I have to wait until the EOS-M is in my hand to make the final decision.

Yep, I agree with everything you say about being a TCU.

Mark,
It's not like the Micro 4/3 system doesn't have adapters--it has lots of them, for all sorts of lenses (not Canon's, it's true). But as a practical matter, I don't care for adapted lenses (others' mileage may vary). They're kludges, best for occasional needs, not for regular use. And really, if you're going to carry a bunch of Canon SLR lenses around, Canon makes very nice SLRs that those fit on, too. I can't see how it's any advantage to prefer a kludgey little mirrorless body over a T4i if you've got five big SLR lenses in your bag. The EF adapter just isn't a very big draw in my view.

Mike

I'm not terribly enamoured of the EOS M (price, ergonomics, no EVF/VF, price) but you didn't mention on of the key good things about this body - the EOS converter.

If you include the EOS Converter on your scales, don't they just swing a little bit to the other side?

I still won't be buying one for all the reasons above and when you realise that an EOS M plus EOS converter together are about the same as a Canon 60D, the EOS M looks very expensive indeed.

Mike comments: adapted lenses (others' mileage may vary) [...] They're kludges, best for occasional needs, not for regular use.

My mileage varies. ;)
Most of my daily shooting is with primes - 50, 55, 30mm - adapted to m4/3rds; I resort to the kit lenses only for landscape (for reasons of optimal-aperture sharpness).

To me, a long time (1978) Canon user, the EOS-M is frustrating, it is a T4i without a lot of stuff yet costs only $50 less. I really like the idea of a genuinely compact backup that can use the lenses I have, and a walk about camera with it's own dedicated, and smaller lenses, but the focus of the current EOS-M is too limiting.

No doubt an EOS-Mx will appear, but at what price? It would have to be around $1,000 plus $200 for the adapter and the idea all starts to fall to pieces.

Very frustrating......

Oh, Kenneth, you had to go and remind me of the Nikkorex. *shudder* I'm a Nikon guy since 1968, but that camera was the worst piece of crap ever to come out with the Nikon brand on it (I'm pretty sure, if I remember right, that Nikon didn't actually make them). The shutter sounded like gravel rattling around in a tin can. Somehow one had ended up in the equipment locker at the newspaper where I worked back then. We used it for jobs where there was a good chance the camera might be destroyed. Somehow it always survived, though. But it was just totally awful to use.

M4/3 has moved a long way in a short time. The bodies are good, sensor are fine for many people, and as you point out, the lens choice is pretty good.

The Fuji X-Pro 1 is closer to what I need, but that's simply an individual thing.

I do think though that the new EOS will do well, and not just because of market presence and brand. Fo a significant number of people who have been buy entry level DSLRs and never another lens beyond the kit, this is a nice option.

Canon would be smart to issue a lens roadmap, and to offer hints of another body or two.

Come on, admit it, your gray beard is on fire with regret over not waiting for the Sony RX100, which makes all cameras except the D800 and the iPhone obsolete.

Right you are. And, as I posted the other day, APS-C means bigger lenses relative to m4/3.

As a long time (in the digital sense of the term) Canon user who recently bought the OM-D EM-5 I feel pretty much the same way. I do have a bunch of quality EF lenses, and I could mount them on the EOS-M, but I won't. I now have smaller, lighter lenses that I like just as much. Once you add the adapter and the larger than necessary lenses your size advantage is mostly gone. There are some holes in the u43rds lens lineup but there are a bunch of companies taking turns filling them (I'm still waiting for a 300mm f4 prime). And you can get adapters for just about any mount for u43rds as well.

I still think this will be a successful camera for Canon. People who would otherwise buy a Rebel could easily be convinced to buy the EOS-M. Especially people who won't ever use more than 1 lens. For people married to Canon mount glass it is a great little backup camera that doesn't require a large investment in lenses. You can use it with the M lenses when you want to travel light, but when you want to get serious you can break our your best lenses and still use it.

I don't regret the investment in the OM-D; I actually like the extra crop factor (extra depth of field and all). If the EOS-M had a decent native lens lineup and I was in the market for a smaller camera I might have bitten.

The thing about Canon is its market share. You mention four companies who make m4/3 lenses, but how many companies make EF lenses? Fifteen? Twenty? Maybe the M-mount takes off and companies like Schneider and Zeiss start making lenses for it. Then the lens race gets very unbalanced the other way very quickly.

A touchscreen and a couple of small lenses ... sounds like elegant simplicity to me. Mainly touchscreen control makes no sense without a hold-away-from-your-body grip. A stable grip isn't that important for short focal lengths. Short focal length lenses can be small. There is a synergy here deserving of a following.

The adaptability to the EF mount means you only have to learn one camera interface and pay for one camera, ever. Perfect for the TCU.

So, it looks like an X100 or X10 for me, then!

That EOS lenses that mount on the EOS-M with an adapter is great.
But, if you're taking along a 70-200 f2.8 zoom, why not just take a regular DSLR body and benefit from a viewfinder and faster AF, etc.?

To me, the big draw of smaller than APS-C bodies is that the lenses are typically smaller than DX or FX lenses, so now you have a small camera system instead of just a small camera.

Of course, Canon can easily address this issue by making a range of small lenses.

But it seems to me that, if Canon brings out a set of small lenses (that won't fit their DSLRS) to compactify the EOS-M system, won't you still end up buying two sets of lenses, small ones for your small camera, and large ones for your DSLR?

So I'm not sure what my incentive is to get small Canon - big Canon systems. But from the gadget blogs that I read, the gadget sphere thinks this is what they've been waiting for to solve the shortcomings of mirrorless systems. I guess I'm skeptical.

But maybe it is the mirrorless messiah, I don't know.

Canon seems to be making a bigger-than-usual deal about the EOS adapter, but I'm not getting it. With the exception of a few wide and normal primes, and maybe the little kit zoom, EOS lenses are bigger, and weigh more, than the EOS-M.

The idea of strapping my 1.5 pound 24-105mm lens on an EOS-M, and then holding it (how, exactly?) out at the end of my arms so I can use the LCD screen inspires not interest, but laughter.

Mike could have inscribed the conclusion of his take on the EOS-M in Aramaic, and it would still have been understood:

"weighed in the balance and found wanting"

Of course, I cannot recollect a single ungenerous or less than fair-minded comment by Mike, ever. I bet no reader of TOP can. So, again, now:

"I can't hold an inaugural body offering against Canon […]"

Maybe too generous? My wicked mind flashes back to the veteran diplomat, Talleyrand, summing up forty years of service encounters:
"Beware of first impressions — they are usually right."

I don't know, Mike. This seems like the same reasoning that so many pick the EOS system for DSLR. I no longer get paid for work, but, like many pros that I know, 1...2...3....MAYBE 4 lenses are all that I need, so having 30+ options doesn't really interest me, and I can make due with the prime options for most of the mirrorless systems out there. The same held true when I shot Sony DSLR and Hasselblad. 3 lenses, tops.

I do agree that Canon made the right move with the 22mm pancake. I've shunned all of my digital cameras for the X100, and it's really all the lens that I need, outside of the occasional portrait lens use on a NEX camera that I still have lying around. For me, though, shooting this new Canon wouldn't be much different than all of the other digital boxes out there, so the X100 will remain my breath of fresh air.

Second to the right, and straight on till...

Ixus PSU

There was such a wonderful spate of small capable cameras offered this year, that I was sorely tempted to have an alternative to lugging my Canon 7D around all the time. The Sony NEX 7 looked great on paper and performed well in the hand, but it didn't take a standard flash and I was going to be investing in a lot of lenses that would only fit that camera. After looking at all of the options, I decided to buy another 7D and put up with the bulk, as I know that camera inside and out. When Canon came out with the Canon M it looked exciting for about 30 seconds... that is until I noticed that it didn't have a view finder of any kind. I've just never warmed up to the "stinky diaper" method of focusing... but there does seem to be a market for them.

I have a closet full of lovely Canon Eos "L" glass, and I am interested in acquiring a small, agile camera with some great small prime lenses when I don't want to drag along a big D-SLR. I really like the idea of a high quality APS-C sensor in such a camera. One would think I'm the kind of customer Canon is aiming at with the Eos-M. Yet after a quick glance, it's clear this camera is of absolutely no interest to me.

Ideally I want a fine quality optical viewfinder, with a high resolution digital finder a marginally acceptable substitute. But if I can't have that, at least give me an articulating LCD. But no. Canon gives us neither, forcing us to settle for an immobile smudge-magnet. I want simple, direct, dedicated controls for aperture, shutter speed and ISO. That's really all a camera needs. Instead we get touch screen menu hell? The camera's minimalist design makes it very hard to grip securely, in order to maintain that svelt bar-of-soap shape. A triumph of hipster design over usability.

An adapter required to use standard Eos lenses on this new body? The thing looks positively huge. It will reduce both angle of view and effective light transmission, making every lens both longer and slower, and autofocus will be very sluggish. I understand Canon's desire to maintain nominal compatibility with the existing system, but this merely demonstrates that the attempt is futile.

Grumble. The cool kid shows up late to the party...and he's wearing a bright blue leisure suit & platform heels.

micro 4/3 users are getting spoiled for lenses. after the 14mm schneider was announced, there were people wishing it was tilt/shift (me included). i'd be forced to jump on the m4/3 bandwagon if such a lens was made.

Too busy watching the Olympic opening ceremony to read this. If you watch really carefully there are some view cameras in the show

Gavin

At this stage of the game Canon wants to sell this to the TCU's a lot more than they want to sell it to people who read TOP. Canon would rather have me buy a 24-70 II for $2200. If this system takes off - which it probably will just because theyre Canon - then they can think about satisfying my desire for a compact system camera. A year down the road, a new body or two, more M lenses... it'll become more attractive to more serious photographers with time.

Sure, they risk losing my small mirrorless money to another system - at least for a while. But Canon gear works, and when my trusty(?) X100 kicks the bucket in a few years it'll be a hard sell to get me on board with another quirky Fuji if Canon has developed a mirrorless system that functions as well as their DSLRs. Not to mention Canon seems to be working some serious magic with their new lenses as of late. I'd put $50 on this becoming an attractive little system.

No EFing Viewfinder!!! Well that is a deal-breaker for me.

Do the camera-body designers not see the folly in the use of touchscreens? 1st of all, they think we want to do without a functional viewfinder, AND THEN, they decide we must like to smear finger prints all over the only screen available for framing the image (which only works, anyway, if the sun is not too bright)?

To make matters even worse, it won't be available until 15 October 2012 @ B&H...

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?atclk=Category_Mirrorless+System+Cameras&ci=16158&N=4288586281&cm_sp=Filters-_-Category-_-Mirrorless_System_Cameras

...for cryin' out loud, a camera like that will be out of date by mid-October.

So, there we have it. A small camera body that sports large(ish) lenses...with limited ability to accurately frame a shot...and it isn't available for nearly 3 months after it is announced. WOW!

Cheers! Jay

"you had to go and remind me of the Nikkorex. *shudder*...(I'm pretty sure, if I remember right, that Nikon didn't actually make them)."

I believe it was made by Mamiya.

Mike great post. I have been using a pany gx1, and recently purchased a pany 12-35 2.8 lens for it. I love the camera and lens. Thanks for all your comments.

"If I had to depart from the 4/3 sensor size, I'd rather go down to a 1" sensor than up to APS-C for my compact camera".

I totally agree. A 4/3 to Nikon CX adaptor would be really useful so I could get a decent range lenses.

Iain

You said: "It recreates NEX's disadvantage in having a somewhat overly large sensor that will necessitate somewhat awkwardly large lenses"

Large lenses are NOT a byproduct of sensor size. Look at the tiny, jewel-like lenses that Leica has for the M mount and full frame sensor. And before you say "Yes, but they cost exhoribant amounts", look at the Voigtlander and even Zeiss glass for the M mount. Eminently reasonable cost.

It's interesting that mirrorless cameras haven't taken off in the US, despite attractive properties. My guess is that entry-level DSLRs perform well enough for most people. They are small and light enough if not pocketable. Those who want smaller choose compacts and probably find fixed lenses a blessing.

The Canon EOS-M appears to compete for the same business. I think of it as an entry-level DSLR that handles like a compact. Many of us want the opposite: a compact that handles like a DSLR. But Canon figures they already sell that. (As a possible example, one of my friends never bonded with her Panasonic GF1 but has become quite interested in a swap for a Canon T2i.)

Maybe Canon will find success with the EOS-M cameras in their role as a better compact. I might like one myself with that 22mm lens.

Good post, interesting point of view. I really like a good lens and am somewhat of a gearhead, but have to admit that in capable hands the majority of modern lenses can produce excellent results.

About adapters; when I got into m4/3 over 2 years ago, I envisioned using a lot of adapters. Now I use them for special things like macro, but am much more content to walk around with the 20/1.7 + 45/1.8 lens combination, which are small, excellent image quality and have good autofocus. So I pretty much feel like you do about adapters and I think that they sound good on paper but in practice all sorts of annoying issues creep in.

"...Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95..."

Why does it always have to be a ultra fast(or ultra anything) from Cosina? What are they trying to prove? Wouldn't they sell a lot more 25mm m4:3 mount MF lenses if they made a tiny f2 that could be bought by regular camera folk? Wouldn't they make more money selling 5 $400 lenses than 1 $1000 lens? They make lovely compact and smooth manual focus lenses for Leica M mount so I know they have the skill to do so.

Can't you just picture it, a trio of compact primes, all f/2, with silky manual focus and aperture rings, and glory be, a real DOF scale!

17mm (or 14mm)
25mm
50mm

All in a small belt pack.

OK, it's my dream and I know it ain't gonna happen but boy, that would be sweet!


I admit to knowing nothing abut lens designs, but why should a lens have to be as big as the NEX offerings, just because they're using a "larger" sensor? I can think of so many compact film cameras with great lenses that covered full frame, from the Contax G and Leica lines to some of the great P&S cameras with Rokkors, Ziess and of course the Fuji Klasse.
For film, camera size seemed to be limited by the size of a 135 cartridge and take-up spool. This is why I still don't understand why the Xpro should be any bigger than a Leica CL.

I'm a little confused. As I've said, I've recently stepped gingerly into the 4/3rds pond, with an E-PL2. It's my understanding that I can use the 14-150mm kit lens on a Micro 4/3rds body via an adapter, but I can't use a Micro 4/3rds lens on my 4/3rds body, correct?

What is it about Micro 4/3rds that's so attractive? Is it just small size? To me, my 4/3rds body and lens are small enough, especially compared to my former big Canon 40D, my K-5 and all the film cameras I've owned. Why do you need to go to Micro 4/3rds?

And aren't there sufficient 4/3rds lenses to satisfy you? Why u4/3rds?

Geez, I wish somome would make a honking big mirrorless camera with the emphasis on durability , image quality , lots of controls and connectors for flashes , remote releases , and tethering. Make just as useable for vertical waist level viewing while they are at it. Sort of a rb67 , but maybe a little smaller

There are a lot of reasons to like mirrorless cameras other than smallness .

A toy camera with two lenses. Worked for Sony, will work for Canon I guess... And I thought being "me too" is Samsung's specialty. I wonder what Canon's version of Nex-7/OM-D will look like.

APS-C means bigger lenses relative to m4/3.

I suspect that's why there's a new mount with a shorter distance from the sensor. I don't think there is much of a size difference between the lenses for my Panasonic GF-1 and my Epson RD-1.

Numbers don't matter that much. The TCU will only have one lens anyway. The Fuji X-Pro1 only has 3 lenses now compared to the 32 for m43, but they are simply stellar - 50mm Summilux-M ASPH quality for 1/5 the price. There are perhaps 2 or 3 m43 lenses anywhere near in terms of quality, and an over-abundance of mediocre kit zooms. Much the same can also be said of the m43 bodies.

A bunch of photo people I talked with are "underwhelmed" by this offering...a lot of us have decided that there is NO serious camera of any kind that does not have an eye level viewer with some sort of accuracy...holding a camera out in the air with your hand flapping (and trying to look at the screen in the bright sun), regardless of whatever "anti-shake" it has, is silly, and counter-intuitive to the photographic process...

A pro pal recently bought the EVF Sony Nex7 as the ONLY viable small point-and-shoot style camera, because of it's viewfinder. He actually owned one of the 4/3rds offerings with the add-on viewfinder, and after a lifetime of shooting pro video, and looking through electronic viewfinders for more than 20 years, he found those cameras add-on electronic finders virtually unusable!

This all harkens back to the "not-buying-it-until-I-touch-it", viewpoint I now have...I held out great hope for the Canon G1X, until I handled a model and looked at the files and decided there was too much distortion at some of the zoom's focal lengths, and regardless of what some reviewers have said, I wish it were a little bigger...dodged another 800 dollar bullet there...

My two cents opinion: I am a Sony Alpha user with quite a number of lenses -- primes and zooms and reflex covering most sane focal lengths. I jump on the Nex 5 BECAUSE there was an adapter to use all Alpha lenses, what a miracle!! You had the best of both worlds! I had the 16mm prime lens kit, and I had mounted the Alpha lenses on the Nex 5, but then realized that the adapter was simply a joke. I had never taken a serious picture with any normal Alpha lens mounted to the Nex5 via the adapter, it just doesn't make sense at all. First, I lost the IBIS, that rules out any handheld use of any lens longer than 80mm, and not to mention the peculiar difficult way of holding a camera without an EVF. Even with the Nex7, with the more stable way of hand holding the camera at eye level and all the focus assistance, it is still very award to use any Alpha lens with the adapter. Right now, my Nex system is working as a separate system, with its own stabilized lenses. I could have jumped into any other mirrorless system and started with all the lens collection, it really didn't make any difference.
On the other hand, I once seriously considered getting the Panasonic GH2, its size and weigh as the foremost consideration. I took an A55 instead. The frontal dimensions are almost exactly the same, the only difference being the depth, because of the flange distance. Now, that's a sensible way of using all the Alpha glasses while enjoying the benefits of mirrorless. The A55 is really a mirrorless using regular DSLR lenses. My advise to any Canon user thinking of using the Canon M with all the big DSLR glasses, just don't.

Mike, we've discussed the idea of "sufficiency" before, and we really have gotten to the point where 80% of the cameras in the market are perfectly fine for 80% of the people buying cameras for 80% of the photos they will take. We can pixel peep until the cows come home, but as recent discussions show, many camera-buying decisions are now about features and usability and lens roadmaps, not absolute IQ.

I won't try to prognosticate on whether the Canon will succeed or not. I can just say that it's not for me right now. For my recent camera purchase I had a very specific set of needs - small, wide-angle, intervalometer, and HD video for moving, rigged, motorcycle photos like this:

Michigan: Sleeping Bear Dunes
http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnmflores/3018590993/

Guess what I ended up with? Pentax Q.

I have to wonder about the market this camera is designed to meet. Everything I read is that it's to attract the folks moving up from point and shoots. I'm sure there are some of these folks somewhere, but I don't see it as a big market. Most folks are moving down (or over) to cellphones.

For the type of person who reads this site, I don't see this simply because there's no EVF available. As I have done a fair amount of traveling recently, I've hardly ever seen anyone using a dslr with the lcd screen to aim as opposed to the ovf. A viewfinder is an enormous advantage if you're serious about what you're doing.

A good EVF is a reasonable alternative to an OVF if it's considered in totality, so I think Canon's omission of this option is an error.

I could see it perhaps as a backup body for folks with lots of Canon glass. If I still had mine canon gear (I sold it to go to m43 and now a Fuji Pro 1 perhaps it'd make sense (and buy the pancake to have it be easily carried).

Still, without an evf option, I just don't see the point.

I think Canon is trying to protect its dslr sales and this is simply a defensive move. The next few bodies will be interesting.

"Mike comments: adapted lenses (others' mileage may vary) [...] They're kludges, best for occasional needs, not for regular use.

My mileage varies. ;)
Most of my daily shooting is with primes - 50, 55, 30mm - adapted to m4/3rds; I resort to the kit lenses only for landscape (for reasons of optimal-aperture sharpness)."

Tim,
So you're a good example of the point I was making in the first part of this post--that reviewers can't be dismissive, because there are people out there doing good work in all kinds of different ways. Including using adapted lenses....

Mike

"a lot of us have decided that there is NO serious camera of any kind that does not have an eye level viewer with some sort of accuracy..."

Tom,
Not sure I can agree with that! Given that most view cameras, many press cameras, and most TLRs do not have eye level viewing.

Mike

Interestingly, within two weeks of Canon's press release, two third-party adapters were announced and look rather promising :

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/07/27/Metabones-announces-Second-Edition-Canon-EF-to-Sony-NEX-E-mount-Smart-Adapter

and

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/07/24/Kipon-electronic-adapters

"Oops."

Greetings,
S.

There IS a logic to LCD-only cameras. You can't have an OVF with mirrorless designs; EVFs have a long way to go before they achieve OVF quality; they add size & cost to the camera.

A serious shooter using an LCD (that's me) doesn't hold the camera out at arm's length for framing. Instead, a posture for keeping the camera stable and close to the body is adopted. My own experience tells me that blurry images come more from careless technique and hurried shooting, not from a certain way of holding the camera.

And Mr. Johnston, above, just made my point about the long tradition of viewing-by-screen required with some of history's finest cameras.

Well Mike let me add a fifth manufacturer, SamYang of Korea......they build an excelent manual focus manual aperture (max 3.5) fish eye.....wich excels at aperture 4 no less......


http://stomoxys.home.xs4all.nl/Maasboulevard/pano_sphere.html

This was made with it......and that was a slightly misaligned copy of the lens that was replaced for a perect copy without problems....and a lot of excuses....I like customer care.

Greetings, Ed

Mark comments: "Canon lovers (and, I assume Canon themselves) would counter with the fact that the adaptor will allow all EOS lenses to fit. Admittedly, that's a lot of big quality glass on one small body."

Ah, but you can use all those lenses on a sony NEX-5N with the kipon adapter as well for the same price. On paper, at least to me, the NEX-5N seems to be a more capable camera: optional evf, tilt lcd, better sensor, focus peaking for video, etc.

The kipon adapter even allows auto aperture and IS from eos lenses to work on the NEX. no autofocus, but it seems like the autofocus from eos lenses won't really be usable on the eos-m either.

The only real reason to buy the eos-m over a NEX-5N that I can see is the 22mm lens. That lens is a huge advantage over any aps-c system or 4/3 system to date. Seriously, why has it taken a decade for any manufacturer to make 35mm equiv f/2 (every manufacturer had one in film days) lens for their crop lineup! µ4/3 has come close with the 20/1.7 and 17/2.8 at least.

Mike comments: "adapted lenses (others' mileage may vary) [...] They're kludges, best for occasional needs, not for regular use."

I'm another dissenter here. I use exclusively adapted (or mount converted) lenses because I find on camera control of focus and aperture to be kludgy. The aperture ring and focus ring on good ol' manual focus lenses work so much more smoothly and consistently for me than the electronic variety. I like that I get to keep using my favorite lenses too...

Re “In fact, I suspect that they consider us [over 50] already dead. Rather, their 'TCU' is a male in his mid-20s to early 30s entering the acquisitive stage of life”:

It would be interesting to know the stats for cameras, but meanwhile I can't resist noting the stats for cars:

“Consumers 50 and older accounted for 62% of all new vehicle purchases last year, according to a recent survey by the AARP and J.D. Power and Associates. That was up from 39% in 2001.”

(From Fewer American teens getting their driver's licenses, U-M study finds in The Detroit Free Press.)

It is all in the lenses, and mirrorless cameras need real lenses to be real systems. Endless iteration of consumer midrange and tele zooms doesn't do anything for me at all. I need a super wide prime, a mild wide, and a mild telephoto for what I do: and the mild wide is optional.

M43 has just recently gotten a prime portrait lens. It still doesn't have a prime super wide. We may get one someday, but until then we have to live with one of two zooms. So for me to do the kind of street photography I do with a super wide, I'd end up gaffer taping an unnecessarily expensive lens to 10mm rather than just being able to buy the M43 equivalent of a focal length everyone used to offer.

I don't expect Nikon or Canon to ever make a prime super wide for their mirrorless systems, so I'm not buying into their systems. How long are we going to wait for Canon and Nikon prime super wides for APS-C? My guess is that we'll hear the last trump first. We only have prime portrait lenses for APS-C because they do double duty as full frame normals.

Fuji, if they stay in the market long enough to produce a competent body, will end up getting a large chunk of change from me because they are making all of the lenses I need. Of course, they announced their 14mm right after I bought into M43 . . .

"You can't have an OVF with mirrorless designs;"

Well, you can if it's a rangefinder, or if you're using a hot-shoe-mounted viewfinder. The Fuji X100 and X-Pro1 have optical finders. See Amin's recent post for a picture of the GX1 with a hot shoe OVF.

Mike

"I need a super wide prime, a mild wide, and a mild telephoto for what I do: and the mild wide is optional. M43 has just recently gotten a prime portrait lens. It still doesn't have a prime super wide."

Hmm, don't know about that...there's a very nice 12mm superwide that we've reviewed here, and there's been a 45mm moderate telephoto in the lineup since 2009. Maybe not exactly the lenses you want, but at the same time it's tough to claim they don't exist.

Mike

Mike, feel free to discard this if you'd like as it is a sort of digression...

I'm getting tired of all the EVF bashers out there. Yes, they can be slow, grainy and smeary, but they work far better in low light than any OVF. The image is ugly but usable to frame; in an OVF, if it's dark, you see nothing. Add to this the ability to display all the other useful data as you compose and I maintain that in many ways the EVF is superior to the OVF.

The EVF on my GH2 is pretty darn good and I was recently handed a Canon Rebel t3 or something to take someone's picture. The OVF was shockingly bad. It was like trying to compose and shoot looking down a toilet paper roll.

Don't bash the EVF until you've lived with one... you might change your mind.

I think you guys have it all wrong. The M looks like a great camera/system beginning. If you look at even the very recent past, pretty much every new camera from all of the vendors looks like a top ten hit compared to the past. Digital everything is moving to a better form so fast it continues to amaze me. Except for extreme pixel review there is so little difference now in point and shoot to high end DSLR for most uses. We now even have 41 megapixel smart phones that do a very credible job in daylight. Still, video cameras AND Phones are now everywhere taking shots 24/7. It's the best of times for photography and video. If you can't make a great picture or even stitched high res pano with your phone, then forget about trying to do it with any modern camera. The choices are so good, the crop has come in, it's a harvest of riches like never before. Go out and make some images with whatever system you choose, it will not be the camera that fails if you don't make some memories. :)

Robert

"Hmm, don't know about that...there's a very nice 12mm superwide that we've reviewed here"

The 12mm is a 24 equivalent, not really a super wide no matter what Olympus marketing says. Nowadays super wides are 20 equiv or wider.

I picked up the Samyang/Rokinon 7.5 Fisheye mentioned above, other than Fisheyes there really is no option for a small super wide prime on the m43 system nor on any other crop sensor cameras.

@Edwin: I must disagree on the subject of adapting A mount lenses to E mount. I do it all the time, my kit is actually built around the idea. The trick is using the smaller lenses, they handle very well on the LA-EA2 adapter. I currently use the DT 35/1.8, DT 50/1.8 and the 85/2.8 on my NEX-7, and used them happily on the NEX-5N before that. In fact I actually sold the E mount 50/1.8 OSS and replaced it with the DT 50/1.8 (I really don't like the rendering of the 50 OSS, it's superior otherwise).

@thomas hobbes: Sony launched a 35 equivalent for APS-C a year ago in the ZA E 24/1.8. Expensive, but a superb bit of glass. The Canon EF-M 22/2 is only unique in its reasonable price and small size, not its existence.

And it should be noted that mid-speed 35's on FF had long been in decline in terms of sales, much like 28's and 135's. What was a go-to lens in the manual focus era was long ago replaced by normal zooms in the AF film era. Only the return of truly compact mirrorless has really brought a decent part of the market back to primes.

@Mike Johnston: I have to disagree on the sensor size. I was an early adopter of Micro 4/3rds who left due to sensor performance with the older 12MP sensor. I spent way too much time fighting visible shadow noise at mid ISO's. 1" sensors are just too small. APS-C is nice, the current sensors are superb and I can replace my DSLR with a good compact system camera. Now if Sony would just give me a real wide-angle option in E mount I'd be happy (the two lenses I want from Sony for E mount are a 10-20/4 and a ZA E 58/1.4)

Oops Mike, I guess I meant: "...of the cameras meant to be hand-held and used in a 35mm SLR fashion..."

As a long time view camera user, I'd still rather use a 4X5 or a large Mamiya RB style camera on a tripod any day, and if I did a lot of landscapes, a rear screen only digital would sort of be OK, in fact, since I usually only shoot in a studio, it's OK even for portraits, it's like using a "Camrez", if anyone can remember that!

@Peter

"I'm a little confused. As I've said, I've recently stepped gingerly into the 4/3rds pond, with an E-PL2."

Actually, you've stepped gingerly into the MICRO4/3s pond with an E-PL2.

"It's my understanding that I can use the 14-150mm kit lens on a Micro 4/3rds body via an adapter, but I can't use a Micro 4/3rds lens on my 4/3rds body, correct?"

The standard 4/3s lenses are much bigger than the m4/3, because they are designed to work with a standard mirror-type viewfinder on cameras like the Olympus E series. They will work on your m4/3 EPL-2 if you use an adapter.

"What is it about Micro 4/3rds that's so attractive? Is it just small size? To me, my 4/3rds body and lens are small enough..."

One of the endearing qualities of the m4/3 cameras is that, lacking the mirror box, they can use nearly any lens as long as there is an adapter that puts the lens at the proper space from the sensor to focus at infinity.
Again, your E-PL2 body IS m4/3.


I think what we're seeing here is not so much camera evolution but sensor evolution. The only reason there was APS-C in the first place was the technical challenges of making large sensors. It has been perpetuated by the need to make affordable SLRs for the consumer market. Now that sensor technology and manufacture has pushed FF sensors downstream, there is little reason for APS-C cameras to be maintained as a bulky SLR. Couple that with the advances in EVF technology and we will soon see the end of consumer SLRs. I think Canon has realized this and the EOS-M is the mount that they will base this new line of cameras on. The success of the Nikon 1 has show that the public is ready for this but I think they made a mistake of going with a smaller sensor rather than going with the very mature APS-C size. (Although I must admit they did a very good job with the IQ!)

As an E-M5 owner, I am already in the compact system camera camp, but there is still the need for better sensors and great lenses (without the OVER reliance on software corrections). Lets hope that there will be an explosion of CSCs similar to the travel camera boom of the 60's where we'll see cameras in all shapes, sizes and quality ranges.

This effort into mirrorless seems even more half baked than the other ones. It has the "small body huge lenses" issue and who knows how the performance/speed will be.

It seems to me that mirrorless cameras exist for two reasons:

1. Actually be a LOT smaller than the cameras with mirrors and their lenses.

2. Be a lot faster than compacts.

It's not clear to me that any of the current players really manage to do both of these things. I guess Panasonic/Olympus comes close and I like how the Nikon 1's handle (they are really really fast).

my personal opinion:
its exactly the camera I want. I like large sensors - because of how the images look like. I cant lug around my dslr everywhere I would like to. I don't have enough money to buy a leica m9. I need a decent autofocus, also during movie capture (ah I need movie capture) because, you know kids are moving fast, and I don't have a focus-puller. The lens seems good, and pretty cheap.

so one high five canon from my side

cheers
george

Mike, I really enjoyed your view. It's obviously a "feel good" take for a Micro 4/3 user to read :).

I ask myself how many of those 32 MFT lenses I want to own, and the answer is not many. The Panasonic 14/2.5, 20/1.7, PL25/1.4, and Oly 45/1.8 cover just about everything for me. The Oly 75 would be a luxury lens for me to pull out for the odd school play, the Pana 100-300 for a few wildlife treks, and maybe some kind of a megazoom like the Oly 14-150 for tourism.

It's a sure bet that Canon will bring out a decent tele zoom and megazoom. The question for me is whether they'll have great, small, affordable, wide, normal, and short tele primes. If they do, I wouldn't find myself wanting for any of the other 27 or so lenses in the MFT lineup.

So from that standpoint, Canon is only a few key lenses away from parity with MFT as far as I am concerned. But - those key lenses will have to be great in order to count. I spent years looking for a great normal lens for Canon APS-C and never found one that suited me (35L being too big and heavy) as well as either the Pana 20 or the PL25. Likewise the Pana 14 and Oly 45 are both gems. All of these four primes are amongst my favorite lenses for any system. The 14 gets much less respect than it deserves. I put it head to head with the Pentax DA21/3.5 and it came out well ahead to my eye: http://goo.gl/98Pxu

I think a lot of Micro 4/3 users take for granted how great so many of our lenses are.

Regardless of what Canon is or isn't able to achieve over the next year or two, I've had my shopping fun and found a system that I see myself enjoying for some years to come. I like looking at, reading about, and even dabbling in other systems, but I won't be taking a test drive in earnest any time soon. It's that natural endpoint Mike mentioned, where I feel free to enjoy what I've got, much as I did with Canon from 2004 through 2008.

Amin

Something is bugging me about this camera and I haven't seen it mentioned elsewhere. If its full and official name is the "EOS M" then it is surely the only camera in their entire line-up that doesn't carry a number in its model name. So what are they going to call the next one? The EOS M1, followed by the M2, etc.? I don't think Leica would like that. Can't be EOS 1M, 5M, etc. either - unfavourably parallel to 1D, 5D and so on.

This, along with the curiously disjointed feature set and obvious "overlap avoidance", suggests that this is a stop-gap release, a finger in the dyke while they finish work on something truly game-changing. When that comes to market they can quietly drop the EOS M along with its no-way-forward naming pattern.

I wanted to like this , and agree with Mike about the 22mm lens being a good design and focal length choice. But I won't be trading in my antique Digilux 2 and R-D1 for an EOS_M system, or even the X-Pro1, unless and until one of the big players produces a CSC with analogue dials and easy manual focus and a decent OVF or EVF. As things stand, the D2 and R-D1, both abandoned for no clear reason by Leica and Epson, are pinnacles of design for the graying photographer who remembers and likes manual film cameras and who dislikes complex menus, focus-by-wire and absent viewfinders. Are we a bit enough market? Well, the middle-aged and elderly are the largest segment of the population of the West, and even China and India are ageing fast. So I reckon there is a marketplace there. Fuji has nearly got it right and Canon could surely produce a digital version of the QL17 of the 1970s. I'd buy that like a shot.

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