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Canon EOS-M – First Impressions

A few days ago, I made a bit of an impulse purchase of a Canon EOS-M kit from Argos.  I’ve been thinking about getting a CSC camera for a while, as although I’ve been carrying a Lumix TZ30 as a backup camera, I have to confess that I’m still reluctant to leave to SLR at home as I’m a bit of a control freak and don’t like not having the backup of shooting RAW files.

The EOS-M was released in 2012, and the camera with the original firmware was widely slated for having incredibly slow AF, though the image quality was impressive, and an adaptor was available to allow the use of EF or EFS mount lenses, although this makes the camera considerably more bulky.

When I last looked at the EF-M kit with 18-55mm lens and Speedlite 90EX flash, I’m sure that it was retailing for around £450 meaning that I just couldn’t justify investing in it.

However, lately I’ve been getting fed up with the bulk of the SLR kit when I go away on holiday or travelling, and seeing the same kit for £199 made me think about it again.

I did a fair bit of research beforehand and discovered that Canon issued v2.02 of the firmware which provided a considerable improvement to the AF speed, but also found that the Magic Lantern Firmware was available for the EOS-M (see separate post on Magic Lantern Firmware) so I decided to get myself one.

As stated above, the kit comes with the following:

  • Canon EOS-M Body;
  • Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens; and
  • Canon Speedlite 90EX.

I’d have preferred the kit version with also included the Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM lens, but this wasn’t available at the time.

Although since purchasing this kit, the weather has been really dull and dreary, I’ve had a bit of a play around with the camera, and first impressions are good.  The camera body and lens feels solid, I was particularly surprised by the kit lens, which actually feels really nice, especially when compared to the rubbish kit lens that was supplied with the EOS 400D.

The flash is absolutely tiny, it has a guide number of 9, which is smaller than the pop-up flashes built into the EOS40D and EOS70D, but the hotshoe is compatible with standard Canon, and I’ve tested it with the Speedlite 430EX and 550EX, and both work well, though the look slightly ridiculous on such a small body.  What was a real surprise though was that the Speedlite 90EX acts as a master flash and will control other Wireless ETTL flashes, I also tested this briefly and found it to work well.

Overall, my first impressions have been good, and I am looking forward to testing the camera properly when we get some better light.  However, it is looking like I might leave the SLR behind when I next go on holiday.