Canon EOS M, boring is perfectly fine
Canon EOS M
In a post last week, I called the new Canon EOS M camera, boring. I compared it to the Fujifilm X100 which I found exciting. But it occurred to me that this was my equipment side of my brain talking. When I shift into my photographer perspective, the EOS M is a perfectly fine camera. It is easy and fun to talk about the equipment. My photographer friends and I entertain ourselves at times by talking about the latest gear. But for me it’s ultimately about the images that I create.
If you come right down to it, most modern (non-point and shoot) digital cameras have a similar image quality; especially when viewed on the web. Sure the resolutions may be different, some models may have more dynamic range and some will have better high ISO quality. But when shot under normal conditions or on a tripod, you will be hard pressed to find a difference. It’s only when you stress the camera, shoot under low light hand-held or you need fast action or use the camera under bad weather, you’ll start to see the differences between the camera models. Which means for most people, any modern camera will do the job, especially if you are willing to learn a bit about photography.
So what is this humble EOS M good for? I don’t use my 7D as much anymore, primarily because of its bulk. But I have a nice super wide-angle lens for it. I can use this Sigma 10-20mm zoom lens (16mm to 32mm equivalent) on the little EOS M and leave that bulky 7D at home. Take a look at the size difference between the two cameras at camersize.com. I would use the EOS M + EF-S adapter + Sigma on a tripod and at lower ISOs so both will have the same image quality. I also shoot my urban landscapes at f13 so focusing would not an issue either. Much of the downsides of the EOS M become non-issues for nature and urban landscape photographers. If fact its small size becomes a strong plus. Yup, if I wanted a small kit for capturing my favorite subjects, cities and architecture, this little EOS may be interesting after all.
But, my Sony NEX-5 and Olympus PENs with their wide-angles are working well for me. So considering the EOS M was more of an intellectual exercise. Something I did while I drove home the other day. For Canon users without a mirrorless system camera, however, the EOS M might be compelling, especially for the above mentioned tripod shooters. Remember, the gear is there to solve a problem. It is an enabler of your ideas and the hardware should ultimately become transparent. Having exciting photos is the important thing, not exciting gear. It’s OK to have a boring camera. Just don’t have boring pictures. Something to remember because much of equipment talk is just posturing. It’s also something that I need to remember too because ultimately, I rather be judged by the photographs that I make and not the equipment that I carry.
Update: Another post related to the EOS M, Canon quantifies creativity with the EOS M.