Canon EOS M With Wonderful Touchscreen Interface (Part 2)

2/9/2013 10:35:49 AM

The EOS M seems to have borrowed some of the design DNA from Canon’s variety of PowerShot and IXUS compact cameras, with a tidy and unfussy style. Soft and curved edges around its body are only offended by Canon’s EOS M’s main design style, the indent carved around the shutter button. It has allowed Canon to angle the shutter button by some degrees to give a more comfortable position when firing the shutter.

With just less than 109mm in length and 32mm in width, Canon has kept everything compact with the EOS M, with similar size to Nikon’s J2. The obvious difference is that the EOS M has a bigger APS-C sized sensor compared to J2’s 1-inch sensor. With a flange distance of only 18mm lying between the rear of the lens and sensor (compared to 44mm on an EOS DSLR), the chip seems to be worryingly exposed to dustwhen changing lens. This is certainly not the only problem to the EOS M since other CSCs encounter the same problem and Canon provides an integrated cleaning system to solve this.

With just less than 109mm in length and 32mm in width, Canon has kept everything compact with the EOS M.

With just less than 109mm in length and 32mm in width, Canon has kept everything compact with the EOS M.

There’s also no handgrip, but the EOS M has a small grip made by rubber at the front and a curved thumb rest at the rear to provide a fairly firm hold. Thanks to the body panels made frm magnesium alloy, the EOS M has a reasonable weight and feels prestigious for a camera of this class. However, it’s worth noticing that the different colors available have slightly different details; hands-on with the black model and the white one showing that the white has shiny and ultra-smooth appearance, and the black has a slightly rough matte finish that we prefer.

Around the collar of the shutter button is the EOS M’s mode switch, with the choice of Scene Intelligent Auto, Still Mode (this provides access to PASM controls as well as Scene modes) and a video option.

The rear of the camera means no threat to the first-time users. On the top is a single movie record button, and when you move downwards, you will find the menu, playback and info controls. There is also a four-way control button providing one-tap controls for exposure compensation, drive mode and auto exposure lock, while the delete button acts as a fast way to return the AF point to the center of the frame while shooting. If you want, it can be customized to control other settings through the menu.

The EOS M seems to have borrowed some of the design DNA from Canon’s variety of PowerShot and IXUS compact cameras, with a tidy and unfussy style.

The EOS M seems to have borrowed some of the design DNA from Canon’s variety of PowerShot and IXUS compact cameras, with a tidy and unfussy style.


While some touchscreens that are available in cameras have left much regret previously, the EOS M’s touchscreen is one of the fastest ones that we have seen, or, the fastest, to be precise. Light touches are all we need to get the changes, whereas you can swipe, pinch and zoom into an image just like the way you do with your smartphone.

This responsiveness from the touchscreen combines perfectly with the EOS M’s fine interface and a few external controls on the body of the camera. For instance, there’s a handy Quick Menu that allows you to change a range of main settings easily via the touchscreen or the scroll wheel, while changing the shutter speed or aperture can be done in about the same time.

The screen itself, with the 3:2 aspect ratio that fits the sensor, offers an excellent viewing angle, while the display has a great deal of clarity and contrast. Icons are big enough to allow you to comfortably relax with your selections, instead of the absolute accuracy that some models require because of their small icons, while the general look of the EOS M’s interface and easy-to-follow navigation helps boost the experience.

If there is any problem, it’s the fact that you can’t double tap the image to view it at 100%m while the image undergoes a slight delay before it’s rendered at full quality as you are going through your images.

Besides it, the EOS M’s combination of fast touchscreen and illustrative interface brings a quick and smooth user experience that is hard to be defeated on a compact system camera.

Regarding the focusing system, this camera is not as fast as some of its opponents when locking onto the targets. This might be contributed to by the STM technology used in both the 18-55mm and 22mm lenses which are designed to provide smooth transitions in focus for recording videos, which naturally takes more time to do. Don’t misunderstand – the focusing speed is still fast, accurate and rarely slow.

Choosing the AF area while in the FlexiZone mode can’t be easier, with a single tap on the area of the screen where you want to focus on and, in case you want, start the shutter at the same time. You can also swiftly come back to focus in the central area of the frame by hitting the delete button. When using the EOS M’s focus tracking mode, tapping the area of the screen makes the camera lock onto that point or that subject. It works quite well, but like many of the CSCs, it proves to be a little inferior when it comes to catching up with an object that’s moving quite fast.

The EOS M can shoot a series of images at 4.3fps, which when compared wtith the Sony NEX-5R’s 10fps and Samsung NX210’s 8fps seems to be quite slow. Moreover, it can just sustain this for 11 JPEG images or 5 Raw files before the buffer needs to be cleared and the frame rate slows down more. It’s also slow to start up, with a delay of two or three seconds from turning the camera on until it’s ready for you to shoot.


The EOS M can record video at full HD (1920x1080), at the choice of 30, 25 or 24fps. Video can also be recorded at 60fps or 50fps at 720p (standard HD).

The EOS M has a pair of small stereo microphones for recording sound, but there is also an option to attach an optional stereo microphone through the 3.5mm socket on the side of the camera to improve the sound quality.

Raw vs. JPEG

If you compare Raw files with JPEG files, the JPEG files have a better contrast and a liitle more attractive colors. At higher ISOs, JPEG fies have a pretty good amount of ISO noise control applied, which brings smoother images, but pays with the cost of sharpness. At these sensitivities, Raw fiels are preferred, providing greater levels of details.


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