Japan’s Canon Inc. unveiled its first “mirrorless” camera, the EOS M, on Monday, and stated that it would go on sale from this September. Canon is the last of the major manufacturers of digital cameras in Japan to enter the rapidly growing segment of mirrorless cameras. The body of the devices are small and compact, often very similar in size to point-and-shoot cameras, however their significance lies in that lenses can be removed and changed, just like with single-lens-reflex (SLR) cameras that are more popular with photography enthusiasts.
The “mirrorless” name is derived from the fact that the cameras don’t feature a mirror in the viewfinder like what is found in SLRs. The mirror is used to reflect the image to the viewer’s eye before they take the picture, but these newer types of cameras either use digital viewfinders, or skip them altogether and only display the image on the LCD screen, similar to point-and-shoots. Richard Berger, a Canon spokesman, said that the new camera was being branded in the “EOS” line, along with the manufacturer’s lineup of full-featured digital SLR cameras, as opposed to its PowerShot line, reserved for Canon’s point-and-shoot models. The company says that the EOS M’s high quality of images and its changeable lenses put it much closer to an SLR in terms of performance.
The 18-megapixel Canon EOS M will launch with a standard 22mm lens, at a price of $800 in the U.S. and 79,800 yen in Japan. A separate kit will also be offered that features a longer-range zoom lens. But the real significance of the EOS M to camera and photography enthusiasts is that through the use of an adapter, the camera will accept all standard EOS mount lenses that work with Canon’s SLR models. This means that the $2,000 EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS telephoto lens that you have in your camera bag will work this pocket-sized beast as well. The camera will hit the shelves in mid-September for those in Japan, and will follow a few months later in overseas markets.
While this won’t have me giving up my full-frame EOS 5D anytime soon, the small, lightweight body of this camera is certainly appealing for the right situations. Any thoughts from my fellow photography hobbyists out there? Would you be interested in capturing some images with this new Canon model? Let me know in the comments!