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Canon EOS M2 Gordon Laing, December 2013
 
 

Canon EOS M2 preview

The EOS M2 is the second mirrorless system camera from Canon. Announced in Japan during December 2013, it comes over a year after the original EOS M which delivered great quality in my tests but suffered from poor handling and slow autofocus.

As expected, Canon has fitted the EOS M2 with a new sensor claiming improved AF, but if I understand the specifications correctly it is not, as we all hoped, the dual-pixel technology deployed in the EOS 70D. Instead the EOS M2 employs an 18 Megapixel Hybrid Hybrid CMOS AF II sensor with phase detect AF points spread over 80% of the area, which matches the naming and specification of the sensor in the EOS SL1 / 100D. I'm confirming if this is the case, but if it's true it is a truly daft and horribly missed opportunity. The EOS 70D's sensor could have transformed the EOS M2 into one of the best focusers in the mirrorless market, but by hobbling it with the SL1 / 100D's sensor the best you can say is it'll out-perform the EOS M and the T5i / 700D in Live View. Don't get me wrong, the EOS SL1 / 100D sensor is fine for a DSLR, but the Live View AF performance just isn't good enough for a camera with a 100% live view system. Please, please prove me wrong Canon. As for other differences, the M2 includes built-in Wifi and a fractionally smaller body that's shrunk by 8% in volume, but there's no mention of viewfinders.

But whatever sensor the EOS M2 employs, it enters a different market from its predecessor where established mirrorless systems have become even more confident and there's now full-frame options for those who want a bigger sensor. While the competition have aggressively developed their systems, Canon has inexplicably gone a whole year without a new mirrorless body and only introduced a single native lens during that time which isn’t even available in North America. So while I think Canon has developed the right sensor technology for a mirrorless camera, I'm just not getting the feeling of a company that's committed to the concept. Maybe it feels the slightly updated M2 AF eliminates the need for native lenses, but mounting EF or EF-S lenses via an adapter doesn't make for a particularly compact system, and if there's no dual-pixel AF you can expect lethargic focusing again. I want a firm roadmap of bodies boasting dual pixel AF and a raft of native lenses from Canon, not to mention a convincing argument it truly believes in mirrorless rather than just slotting existing tech into an old body. Ultimately if they won't commit, why should we? I'm also concerned there's so far no evidence of an announcement outside Asia. I'd love to hear what you think.

   
 
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