Canon EOS M First Impressions Review
Design & Appearance
The rumor of a Canon mirrorless camera with an APS-C sensor has been enough to have fanboys' tongues practically wagging out of their heads for the past few months. While many of them have espoused a hope for a retro throwback—something of a cross between the Fuji X-Pro1 and the Canon G1X—the Canon EOS M is understated in its design, more like a beefed-up S100 than a retro G1X.
The EOS M's outward appearance belies the level of sophistication under the hood, but the design seems designed so as to not intimidate. While the idea of a Canon mirrorless seemed like it would appeal largely to enthusiast shooters, Canon has instead opted to design a camera that looks like a simplified version of their Rebel T4i. That may not be what fanboys and bloggers were hoping for, but it's a smart decision by a company that's obviously reticent to eat into their huge DSLR market share.
If we ignore all else and focus exclusively on what the EOS M actually is, then we'd have to say that it's likely the simplest to use mirrorless camera on the market. While many mirrorless models pay lip service to being an easy platform for point-and-shoot users to jump to, the EOS M is, outwardly, designed precisely like a Canon point-and-shoot. It has one rear control dial, just a small rubber protrusion for grip, no more buttons than the Canon S100, and has just a simple mode switch to go between auto, still shooting, and video shooting.
While the menu design and layout is pulled directly from Canon's series of DSLRs, it's the outer design that is likely to draw the most attention. Simply put, as much as fanboys and enthusiasts have been clamoring for a Canon mirrorless camera, the EOS M is really not aimed squarely at them. From a design perspective, we'd say the Canon EOS M is designed to draw as wide a net as possible, with a level of control that anyone can adjust to—even if it might be too simple to satisfy more advanced photographers.