I fell in love during my quick trip to Toronto this week. In the Canon Canada booth at the Exposure Photo & Video Expo, I met up with, held, and played with the new Canon EOS M — a very compact camera that features an APS-C sensor (same size as 7D and 60D) and a DIGIC 5 processor in a body that’s slightly larger than a deck of paying cards. The EOS M’s small size comes from the exclusion of the mirror housing and viewfinder that you’d normally have on a DSLR. Instead, it has a super-sharp LCD panel on the back.
There are many companies that have entered the MILC (Mirrorless, Interchangeable Lens Camera) market in the past several years. The EOS M is Canon’s first foray into this segment. I have to say that I’m truly excited about the potential for this new digital camera. As soon as mine arrives from B&H, I’ll share many of the other exciting features that the EOS M offers. (I think that this will be a great camera for web videos, for instance). For now, I want you to know about the touch screen control of Speedlite functions.
Like the Rebel T4i, the EOS M features a touch screen LCD. Think of an iPhone being mashed into a true camera body and you’ll have an idea of the user interface. Upon entering the Canon EOS M display area, where a dozen or so pre-production bodies were available for examination and shooting, I wanted to know whether this little guy is compatible with the new generation of radio-based Speedlites. (And by little, if you look at the photo above, where I parked my ST-E3-RT in the hotshoe, you’ll get an idea of how small the EOS M is.) Yet, with an adapter, you can use the full range of EOS lenses. So, this is a versatile little rig, but I’ve digressed.
The touch screen is an amazing interface that is much faster and more intuitive than navigating by turning a wheel and pushing a button or two. You literally tap the setting that you want to change and the options pop up on the screen. Then you tap the option you want and it’s set. As shown above, in a matter of seconds, I switched the Speedlite mode from Manual to Group. I then changed the modes of each channel individually–Manual for Group A, External Auto for Group B, ETTL for Groups C and E, with Group D being shut off entirely. Radio + Group Mode + Touch Control will make for an exciting future as a Speedliter.
I’ve no doubt that the EOS M is going to be a very popular “between” camera for those times when you want more than a point-and-shoot without the bulk of a DSLR. They will be in very limited supply with the initial release to happen in the next two weeks. If you are interested, you can check out the current price and availability here on B&H. As I said, there’s loads more to share about the EOS M, but for now, the touchscreen makes it a must-have for me.
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