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View Full Version : The Canon EOS M - EOS Lite


Doug Kerr
July 23rd, 2012, 11:40 AM
Yes, I know, this doesn't belong here, as the machine I mention is not a DSLR (or any kind of reflex camera - by definition being "mirrorless", like my Speed Graphic).

I am indeed fascinated (but not excited) by the emergence of the Canon EOS M, an interchangeable-lens non-reflex camera (you know, like a Leica M or a Speed Graphic, but digital) with a full-frame format size of 22.3 mm × 14.9 mm (called, in some places, "APS-C", "1.6x", or "1.65 inch").

I expect this to be the first offering of a new camera "line", parallel to the EOS line.

I am disappointed that this first offering has no eyepiece viewfinder (of which an "electronic" form would probably be most appropriate). Hopefully, the display screen will have sufficient luminance to allow the camera to be used outside in New Mexico.

But this is probably in keeping with the apparent market objective of this particular machine, for users of cameras like the SX-110 IS or the G series who want a larger sensor and lens interchangeability (including the opportunity to sport that powerful chick magnet, a red stripe around the barrel).

The new body-lens electrical interface has nine little pins (likely fussy and spring loaded, although I don't know that yet). My assumption so far is that this surfeit of tiny male members will allow the body to directly work an an actual EF electrical interface, so that an adapter for EF lenses would not have to have in it an interface converting chip, which might make it cost $200.00. Wait - it does cost $200.00.

And the mechanical interface is, so far as I can tell, exactly like that of the EOS/EF mount except a little smaller. This might mean that through 35 years of experience, and notwithstanding a lot of new mechanical engineering knowledge, Canon concluded that this concept was the very best one possible. Who am I - a telephone engineer - to say otherwise?

So congratulations, Canon. You have labored mightily, and have brought forth "EOS Lite".

Next week: GM introduces the Chevette

Best regards,

Doug

Robert Watcher
July 23rd, 2012, 12:23 PM
Yes - Canon finally caved to mirrorless - - - even though they vowed not to. I'm sure there will be many Canon users who will gravitate to this setup. Especially with the adaptor making use of their current lenses. The one feature that Canon probably has over other mirrorless setups like Olympus and Panasonic, is the high quality HD Video that they have set the standard with in their DSLR lineup.

That aside though - this video makes it clear that the auto focus speed appears to be more along the lines of my E-PL1 with the original 14-42 kit lens that focused similarly slow and hunting back and forth. Which isn't really as a much an issue with me as it was for other forum goers. But definitely slower than the latest Olympus and Panasonic models or even the E-PL1 with the newer kit lens.

It does appear as if Canon isn't up to the magic that Olympus has figured out with the contrast detect AF system in the newer lenses and Pen and OM-D models - - - from this video anyway.

This Youtube video is all in Italian, so AF test is at 2:06 of the video to go straight there:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPyhM2x9gT8


I love my mirrorless cameras (Olympus) and find my DSLRs increasingly left behind when I go out to shoot.

---------

Doug Kerr
July 23rd, 2012, 12:35 PM
Hi, Robert.

I love my mirrorless cameras (Olympus) and find my DSLRs increasingly left behind when I go out to shoot.
Does your Olympus have an EVF?

I often point out that we normally see zillions of frames every day shot with an EVF camera (commercial TV ENG cameras).

Best regards,

Doug

Robert Watcher
July 23rd, 2012, 12:41 PM
Hi, Robert.


Does your Olympus have an EVF?

I often point out that we normally see zillions of frames every day shot with an EVF camera (commercial TV ENG cameras).

Best regards,

Doug

I think that it would be nice to have an EVF for my Pens - and I may get one at some point in time - - - but have been getting along fine without. Much of the time I am shooting with the screen swiveled down so I am not as noticable shooting. Plus it generally gives me a great angle on a lot of subjects. Reminds me a bit of my early Mamyia Medium Format days before I invested in the RZ67 and eye level finder - and shot straight down into my C330s and later RB67s.

I think that a couple of advantages of the Olympus mirrorless cameras over the new Canon - - - are the features of being able to add an eye level finder as well as have a swivel screen (at least on my E-PL3 and the E-M5), which the new Canon does not support. I'm sure that they will produce future models that may support these. Although I get a feeling always with Canon, that they are afraid of introducing anything that will be a threat or affect sales of their as of now popular DSLR lineup.

I do think though that they have such a large camera market share and loyalty, that even a small percentage of those users purchasing such a mirrorless setup, will amount to a lot of the cameras sold. We'll see.

-----

As far as the use of an EVF. . .

. . . I actually have been finding myself even using the swivel LCD screen of my Olympus E-3 more and more over the last year or so. Not for my wedding or fast paced work. But definitely for my family portrait work where my camera is on a tripod. And any thoughtful work where time could be taken such as when I was shooting the Venus Transit of the Sun recently:

http://robertwatcher.com/rsw_public/13389512398010_vts4.jpg

http://robertwatcher.com/rsw_public/13389512594446_vts5.jpg

Michael Nagel
July 23rd, 2012, 02:08 PM
It was a matter of time until Canon enters this market.

My very personal view:

We have:
APS-C sensor - this puts the camera in the same league with the Sony NEX and Pentax K-01 as wel as the Samsung NX series. I am curious on the image quality, that's all.

Touch screen - nothing new except for the multi-touch capability. I do not see the benefit of it except for easier zooming out particular parts of a photo taken.

AF - phase and contras AF. Thec OM-D E-M5 is a pretty fast focusing camera. Let's see if there is an improvement an if there is room for further development.

Lenses: Not much there yet - except for the ones you can adapt


What's missing?
EVF - Extremely useful if external light is too bright to use the screen.

Canon seems to attack the market from the lower end of the market. This is a good decision as the expectations are lower and errors are more likely to be accepted.

Best regards,
Michael

Asher Kelman
July 23rd, 2012, 06:40 PM
It was a matter of time until Canon enters this market.

My very personal view:

We have:
APS-C sensor - this puts the camera in the same league with the Sony NEX and Pentax K-01 as wel as the Samsung NX series. I am curious on the image quality, that's all.

Touch screen - nothing new except for the multi-touch capability. I do not see the benefit of it except for easier zooming out particular parts of a photo taken.

Michael,

To me, this camera is going to be important. It means that I can take a 300 mm f4.0, that's ~ 480mm and with a 1.4 X extender and work at an equivalent of 672m. Pretty neat and low weight. The 70-200 becomes a nice wildlife camera from ~112-340.

This is going to make a good backup camera for any Canon shooter as one already has all the needed lenses.


What's missing?
EVF - Extremely useful if external light is too bright to use the screen.

Canon seems to attack the market from the lower end of the market. This is a good decision as the expectations are lower and errors are more likely to be accepted.


Well, Michael, we'll know shortly. Also I can see great potential for Canon to add a higher end more equipped model with, as you suggest, an EVF and a swing out screen as well as more advanced focus. I think folk would pay for these features. I certainly would!

Asher

Michael Nagel
July 24th, 2012, 02:05 PM
To me, this camera is going to be important. It means that I can take a 300 mm f4.0, that's ~ 480mm and with a 1.4 X extender and work at an equivalent of 672m. Pretty neat and low weight. The 70-200 becomes a nice wildlife camera from ~112-340.
Well, you have the same with any APS-C DSLR when you just aim for the different angle of view by using a smaller sensor. The issue here is that there is no really small DSLR for this mount available to serve as alternative.
Taking the use-case point of view, this is one of the applications where a SLR-type viewfinder enables you to hold the camera in a way that helps to minimize motion while shooting. Different case for a display-only camera.

On µFT, there is the Panasonic 100-300/4.0-5.6 which has a 36x24mm equivalent 200-600mm focal length angle of view and this in a quite compact size.

Having a small flange focal distance must IMHO be used to make smaller lenses - otherwise, where is the point in having a small camera body and hauling large lenses around?

The Canon has the same flange focal distance like the Sony NEX. I do not know if this is coincidence.


This is going to make a good backup camera for any Canon shooter as one already has all the needed lenses.
Sure, and I think that these are seen as the market-enabling customers which help to establish a sufficient customer base to get a larger share of the market.


Well, Michael, we'll know shortly. Also I can see great potential for Canon to add a higher end more equipped model with, as you suggest, an EVF and a swing out screen as well as more advanced focus. I think folk would pay for these features. I certainly would!
This is the logical consequence. Now it is about entering the market and establishing a customer base.
People are already paying for these features - if you think of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and the yet to come answer from Panasonic.

It will be interesting to see how this evolves.

Best regards,
Michael

Asher Kelman
July 24th, 2012, 02:56 PM
Michael,

DPReview especially praises the uncannily fluid touch screen controls. I think it could be marvelous for videography to just touch on a subject to refocus. I love that feature in the iPhone. This touch screen, again according to DPReview, has the best implementation of touch screen and this, no doubt is the beginning, I think to that being the basic way all camera will work, that is, intuitively!

I have a device from Camera Fusion (http://www.camerafusion.com/Products.html) that attaches to the back of my 4x5 cameras that allows me to use my Eos camera to take successive overlapping frames over the giant image circle of my LF lenses. I can optimize the swings, shifts and tilts of the camera lens and back according to the composition.

SB-01 Stitching Back
GG-01 Ground Glasss

"The SB-01 and GG-01 are sold as a kit, in order to provide a complete stitching solution using existing 4x5 cameras equipped with Graflok backs. The kit price is $1850 USD. For volume educational pricing and to place an order contact us at 613-858-5800"

The kit has nikon and dos mounts and by now, I expect, Olympus too.

However, the full size cameras, being rather heavy, tend to drag on the device in portrait position. The M camera, being so light and small, will save me the pains of using the bulkier 5D for these stitched images.

Asher

Doug Kerr
July 24th, 2012, 04:21 PM
Hi, Michael,


Having a small flange focal distance must IMHO be used to make smaller lenses. . .

Probably true for shorter lenses - the smaller back flange distance I think helps them to be simpler. And of course it makes for a smaller (thinner) body. The lack of a reflex mirror is of course an enabler of that.

For longer lenses, the shorter back flange distance may make them more complicated if they are not to get physically longer.

Of course, the smaller sensor size itself leads to smaller lenses (but probably not any more so than for the EF-S series).

Best regards,

Doug

Michael Nagel
July 25th, 2012, 02:10 PM
Asher,

this is a different use case than the ones you mentioned previously. For video I see the touch screen as a tool that will be useful for those who like this way to use it, but on the rare occasions I take videos instead of pictures I would feel uneasy for the short moments when the screen is obscured by my hand while I use controls. My pretty old Sony DCR PC6 has already touch screen controls (although not that sophisticated), so that trend is not new.

Using a smaller camera as replacement for a scanning back is a good idea on LF cameras. choosing Canon and Nikon bayonet for DSLR was just a market decision - to cover those who would most likely like to adapt their camera.
Having to haul such a large camera around I might be less concerned by the bulk added by a DSLR.

You will certainly like this camera once you have it.

For me there are a lot of cameras I would like, but there are two questions I ask myself before purchasing new gear or accessories:
Will it help to improve my pictures?
Will it increase my possibilities of taking pictures?

The answer has to be 'yes' at least once.

Best regards,
Michael

Michael Nagel
July 25th, 2012, 02:15 PM
Hi Doug,

I was thinking (but not writing) of the range which equals the FoV of focal lengths of 24mm to 135mm on 36x24mm negative/sensor. This is what I consider the 'sweet spot' of daily photography, the most frequently used range. 'Longer' lenses are certainly something different here.

Best regards,
Michael

Michael Nagel
July 30th, 2012, 12:51 PM
Food for thought, here are two reviews representing opposite ends of the scale:
http://kenrockwell.com/canon/eos-m/m.htm
http://www.eoshd.com/content/8597/eos-m-official

The truth is probably between both, but both are interesting to read.

Best regards,
Michael

Ben Rubinstein
August 1st, 2012, 12:51 AM
Asher, I had always been excited about the use of mirrorless cameras on the Camera Fusion even though I had long sold mine before mirrorless cameras existed in the digital realm. It solves pretty much all of the biggest issues with the Camera Fusion (and the cheap clones). Namely mirror box shading and focus accuracy. There is no mirror box so the shading is gone leaving far less need for overlap and with live view and magnification you can achieve perfect and precise sharpness, something that is very difficult to do with the camera fusion as you are focusing through a small viewfinder and what is usually a slow lens and hence dark. Of course Nex (the camera I would advise as it had the biggest and best quality sensor of a mirrorless camera, has peaking and a viewfinder) can be adapted to the canon or nikon mount of the camera fusion with incredible ease, adaptors are sold for pennies almost.

I have to admit that I don't understand why Camera Fusion are not marketing it as such. If I was them I would be heavily marketing the sliding adaptor specifically for use with mirrorless cameras and even supplying a nex-canon and oly-canon adaptor in the box.

I gave up on the Camera Fusion at the time for various reasons, it's not really a field solution to be honest just due to the bulk of carrying the LF camera, the lenses, the adaptor and viewing box (big) and a DSLR (though with a mirrorless that is greatly reduced). The problem was also that due to the mirror box shading you had to shoot with a 40-50% overlap and to be honest it just took far too long in changing light. That and due to the small size of the individual frames, including moving subjects such as people, even if they are only small in the frame, was impossible.

That said, the tonality of a 200 megapixel stitched file using a lovely LF lens was to absolutely die for. Never seen anything like that including MFDB's, 4X5 film or circular stitching using 35mm lenses which don't come close to the rendition of the LF lens.