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Just Monday, Canon unveiled their long-awaited mirrorless interchangeable lens camera along with two new lenses. The new Canon EOS M is built around a 1.6X crop sensor with 18 megapixels just like the recently announced Rebel T4i. This relatively compact digital camera uses a new lens mount called EF-M which standards for Electronic Focus Mirrorless. Via an adaptor it is compatible with both EF and EF-S mounts used in Canon DSLRs, giving the EOS-M fully functional access to the largest lens lineup in the industry.

Canon EOS M

The sensor used in the EOS M features built-in phase-detection sensors to improve autofocus speeds compared to standard contrast-detection used in all non-Nikon SLDs.  This 18 MP sensor can shoot continuously at 4.3 FPS and capture full 1080p HD video. It has an ISO sensitivity range for 100 to 12800, expandable to 25600. While this camera features full manual-controls, it is designed with few external controls to use them. Instead it presents a touch-screen interface for anything more than basic controls.

Along with the EOS M are the first two EF-M mount lenses. A standard stabilized zoom with 18 to 55mm range and variable maximum aperture of F/3.5 to F/5.6, plus a bright prime 22mm lens with F/2 maximum aperture. These new lenses serve to give the EOS M a compact total size compared to APS-C DSLRs.

It is interesting and somewhat surprising that Canon opted for a large sensor SLD. After all, they already are one of the top two manufacturers of high image-quality camera which are presently dominated by DSLRs. So, they could have easily gone with a smaller sensor to provide a much more significant size advance of SLDs over DSLRs. This of course, usually comes at the expense of image quality but in Canon’s terms, would mean less competition for their own DSLRs. With the announced EOS M, a number of potential DSLR users may go the mirrorless route instead. Logically then Canon would have to follow with higher-end and more expensive SLDs as soon as they have enough EF-M lenses in production.

The EOS M camera and both lenses are expected to ship this October. The EOS M with 22mm F/2 lens can also be preordered for $799 USD here. Alone the EF-M 22mm F/2 STM can be preorder for $249 USD. The standard EF-M 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 IS STM can also be preordered here but for $299 USD.

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