Thoughts – Canon EOS-M

Recently Canon announced their long awaited mirrorless / interchangeable lens camera.  Honestly, the announcement is something I awaited for a long time.  It was not too long ago that when I travelled I would carry an almost pro kit – DSLR, selection of L lenses and occasionally complimented with a medium format camera.  This resulted in a fairly packed Tenba shooter bag.  Lately I travel with a only Leica M2 and Canon G12.  Before anyone scoffs – the small kit resulted in numerous photographic awards and gallery entries.

I have a strong desire for a good, capable, and moderately portable digital camera.  My basic requirements are few but important to me: viewfinder, good manual controls, and good autofocus speed.  Good image quality should go without saying, and perhaps I am a little forgiving in this area as I do a good bit of B&W conversion.  While I expected a new lens mount when Canon finally decided to make this camera, I really hoped my needs might make it into the system.

Being used to the G12’s autofocus speed (not great, but manageable) I expect the M will be no worse.  The lack of viewfinder, and this is a me preference, is almost a deal breaker.  As an eyeglass wearer one would think I would be all for LCD panels for composition; not the case – at all but I will not get into that now.  Sadly, the deal breaker for me will be the touchscreen for a majority of controls.  I could write paragraphs about much I do not like touchscreen controls but here are basics: gloves, bright sun, hot / sweaty fingers (I live in Texas), and on and on.  I have little doubt the image quality will be on par.

Canon had plenty of time to sit on the sidelines and watch the competitors so I guess they know their market.  Yes, they offer an adapter for their large EOS lens lineup but if I have those lenses I have a body already.  Honestly, I cannot see that being a good selling point for people moving from a basic PnS.  To take full advantage of the M I would almost certainly require at least one lens, and if I have to invest in a new system I’m not sure it would be Canon.

Looks like I need to keep looking for a smaller digital that meets my needs.  Perhaps something from Fuji or talk myself into the Leica X2 with Olympus EVF.

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