Thoughts on the Canon EOS M
Ever since Canon announced its entry into the world of Mirrorless cameras there has been lots of analysis and opinion on what has turned out to be a controversial release by Canon. As a fan of mirror less cameras I thought I'd throw my two cents in.
First of all, why the controversy? There are two schools of thought when it comes to mirrorless cameras. The first is that they are for pro's and that they are a lightweight substitute for the DSLR for when you need to travel light. The alternative view is that they are a step up from compacts for novice users looking for something more, but who don't want a DSLR. Supporters of the first school of thought are particularly vocal about where they think mirrorless cameras should have their place in the world, while on the other hand the market seems to show that the second view is probably where the money is. Needless to say this leads to countless arguments across forums etc.
In my opinion there is room for both. The Eos-M is aimed squarely at the second (people upgrading from a compact) segment of the market. It's designed to be as simple as possible but still has DSLR image quality. The use of a touchscreen is meant to make it simple for non pros to use as well as appealing to the smart phone generation. The problem is, a lot of people were hoping for a range-finder style pro mirrorless camera from Canon, and they feel cheated (which is of course ridiculous) much like when Nikon released the V1 and J1. On the other hand there are a lot of diehard Canon fans who are convinced (and will argue this to death) that the Eos-M will be the best mirrorless camera ever. EVER!!!!
The fact is that it's too early to tell. Very little is known about the camera at this stage. From what I can tell, no one is actively shooting with this yet. There are only brief hands on reports from journalists who had the chance to spend a little time with the camera, and there are only a few sample images on Canon's website. So, it's a little premature for people to be making declarations as to the success or failure of the camera at this stage. In fact it's too early to be making any kind of decision about it.
Based on what we do know, I suspect that this will be a big success for Canon. It looks like a nice balance of simplicity and power. I think people complaining about the touch screen should wait until they get to use one in real life, because it could actually be a good thing. It's also good to see Canon embracing the future rather than try and emulate the past. One of the big problems of camera technology in my opinion, is that constant attempt to replicate the past. When you think about it cameras have changed very little. Even with the advent of digital technology, cameras are essentially the same, the only difference being that the sensor replaces the film plane. It's the 21'st century so it's time to embrace that rather than fight it. In other words, just because it doesn't look like a camera from the 60s doesn't mean it's going to be bad. Lets all calm down till we actually get to use it.