Canon EOS M – can it replace my iPhone?

As a photographer, my preference in terms of equipment over the years has always been Canon. Over the years since buying my first EOS 10D dSLR, I’ve been steadily growing my lens collection with L glass – and now shoot professionally with a pair of full-frame Canon EOS 5D’s (Mk2 & Mk 3 bodies).

While I love the image quality and capability the 5D’s can produce with L lenses (and wouldn’t consider moving away from the system for my professional work!), I’ve reached the annoying conclusion that after the 5Ds the vast majority of the rest of my photography tends to happen with an iPhone 5… primarily because I nearly always have my phone with me, whereas I don’t carry a dSLR unless heading out to shoot.

Phone cameras have come on leaps and bounds in the last few years, and are capable of producing some great images under good conditions. While this is fine for the odd snapshot, and a phone is obviously never going to come up to the same quality as a pro dSLR, I always find myself comparing images and ending up disapointed.

As a result, when Canon launched their contender in the mirrorless market back in October 2012, I was watching with intrigue to see whether it was any good. The Canon EOS M represented an all-new camera system from Canon – packing an APS-C 18MP sensor, fantastic touch-screen & EF-M / EF compatible lens mount (via adapter) into an ultra-compact magnesium-framed body.


However, after reading many reviews of the camera slating it for abysmal autofocus performance & its bordering-on-dSLR price tag of £700+, it started to look somewhat less attractive. It didn’t take long for me to conclude that I may as well just stick with an iPhone camera – and that’s remained the case until now..

Time moves on, and following a significent price drop and major firmeware update from Canon, the EOS M has suddenly become an attractive option for a compact camera that can deliver dSLR image quality. With prices for “system” kits of an EOS M, kit telephoto lens & ultra-compact EX 90 flash for under £280 from Jessops, I’ve opted to hedge my bets and have just ordered an EOS M along with the generally-regarded brilliant 22mm f2 pancake lens.

Reviews of the camera after the firmware update suggest the autofocus issues have largely been sorted and there’s growing collection of stunning images shot with the EOS M on Flickr. It is of course never going to match a 5DMk2 or Mk3 in terms of focus performance, but quite honestly as long as it’s in the same ballpark as a phone camera I’m sure it’ll be fine. Worst case is that it’ll be quickly going onto eBay, but we’ll see…!

I’m looking forwards to it’s arrival – and having an ultra-compact camera with a great lens & dSLR image quality… that will fit into a pocket! I don’t tend to write reviews of kit, but once it’s here will post a few observations and photos 🙂

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