Canon: The EOS-M is made for women. No plan to make FF mirrorless (for now)


Image courtesy: (Translation here) interviewed the Canon team that developed the EOS-M mirrorless camera. Here are some interesting bits from the interview:

1) From the beginning the goal was to make the EOS-M as good as other EOS DSLR cameras. And to make ir small and light.
2) First goal is to reach a 15% of the mirrorless market share in Japan (by October).
3) Shutter from the EOS DSLR series has been minaturzized to fit into the EOS-M
4) GX1 sales are still strong (production is 30.000 units per month).
5) A Four Thirds sensor would bring an even further advantage in miniaturization but Canon wanted to make it fully EOS compatible.
6) We chosed to have Phase detection pixel on sensor because that technology works better than COntrast AF on moving objects.
7) EOS-M mount can NOT accomodate a FULL FRAME sensor. And there is no plan for a FF mirrorless.
8) No plan for now to make an adpater for FD lenses.

Interesting. They also said the main target are women :)

Canon EOS-M preorder links:
Full presentation page on Amazon.
EOS-M Black at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto. In Europe at Amazon DE, Amazon UK.
EOS-M White at BHphoto. In Europe at Amazon DE, Amazon UK.
EOS-M 22mm pancake at Amazon, Adorama and BHphoto.
EOS-M 15-55mm kit lens at Amazon, Adorama and BHphoto.
EOS-M adapter at Amazon and BHphoto.
EOS-M Flash at Amazon, Adorama and BHphoto.

  • Miroslav

    Good thinking by Canon developers. Although, they should work a bit more on that PDAF on sensor.

    Btw, I don’t see a point in FF mirrorless cameras. The lenses cannot be made much smaller, so size gain would be minimal. CDAF, ie live view is possible with modern sensors, so that could be easily implemented in FF DSLRs. As for using legacy lenses at their native focal lengths, most would cause problems for digital sensors. The price of cameras wouldn’t be much lower than that of FF DSLR either. So, except for more freedom in body design, taking the mirror out of FF camera would not be as useful as for cameras with smaller sensors. Or am I missing something?

  • Physica


  • Stevey

    Well call me a woman cos I’m seriously interested. Hopefully that lens will give speedy AF and if so, and it is sharp, then I’m in.

    I expect EF-S lenses will focus lethargically so they’ll need to bring out more lenses for this asap. 15-85 please !

    Ironic that the first lens Canon plan to release is exactly the kind of lens NEX is missing; a compact f/2 semi-wide angle affordable prime, and this one thing may be the reason I sell my NEX body for this.

    • Sergio

      girly-man! 😉

  • Mr.Tritium

    Am I the only one here who think the EOS-M with 22/2 is an absolute dream?
    A compact mirrorless camera with an APS-C sensor and a fast 35mm eq. lens is what I’ve been waiting for. Sony didn’t want to make the lens, and Samsung NX have subpar sensors.
    Yes I know, “The Fuji X100 is what you want”. But it costs 1000$ and doesn’t allow you to change the lens.

    • Booe

      >Sony didn’t want to make the lens,

      Sony DID make that lens a year ago, it’s called Zeiss 24/1.8.
      Only issues with it, that it is huge and pricey.

    • ronnbot

      “Am I the only one here who think the EOS-M with 22/2 is an absolute dream?”

      Probably. The IQ of Canon’s APS-C sensor is behind Sony, Nikon, Pentax and Fuji and barely better than current m4/3 (like E-M5). The EOS-M doesn’t have an articulated screen and enough physical controls. There also isn’t an EVF nor support for one. No IBIS and the 22/2 has no IS. List goes on.

      All of the mirrorless systems so far are not perfect, and the EOS-M is not better than any of the existing ones. That said, I still think that over all the m4/3 system is the best of the bunch. I mean, I would rather have an E-M5 (or G5) and 20/1.7 instead to cover a similar FoV.

  • Artichoke

    DUMBASS!!!= “They also said the main target are women.” Do they exist on our planet??? Thankfully, I no longer use Canon equipment.

    • a

      the mirrorless wars will end as soon as sony releases their 1″ sensor’d bridge/superzoom camera. that’s the future of enthusiast photography, and only pros and advanced prosumers will still use ilcs.

  • Gunnar

    what good is a camera for woman with af “supposed” to be faster with moving objects when the AF performance is actually worse than MF on other mirrorless cams.. i have yet to see a Aps-C Canon that has snappy focus coming from anything but full PDAF..

  • T

    way too little too late from Canon.

  • Burmese dude

    Canon EOS-M. Let us bring your inner woman out of you. 😀

  • Booe

    7) how do they explain it? The mount is wide enough for FF.
    8) don’t care, the Chinese will make one 😉

    • ronnbot

      8) exactly. Canon just doesnt want to do it because they don’t make/sell fd lenses and want people to buy new ones.

  • matt

    no ff mirrorless? go to hell canon! with your female cameras!

  • hugo

    15% market share in 3 months with a $800 retail price ? are they kidding ?

  • mando

    So women who are photographers, because they are women want simple cameras? I think they just as like as much of a mirror-less camera with all the tid bits thats FF as much as men :) (I’ll include mothers who like cameras here as well)

    Just saying canon, whose your marketing and rehire please :)

  • a

    probably not in the best interests of this site’s owner to post a headline that promotes the idea that mirrorless cameras are for women. 😉

  • beautemps

    Useless first attempt of Canon. They are facing a big gap of know how in mirrorless technology. It is obvious for everebody and the only feeble excuse of canon marketing is “the main target are women”! Funny and discrimenating.
    Where the hell are the pink, red and white cameras?? Why “EOS-M” and not “EOS-F” or “EOS-sweet” :-).
    – “Shutter from the EOS DSLR series has been minaturzized to fit into the EOS-M”: for a successful new mirrorless an electronic shutter is a must have!
    – “We chosed to have Phase detection pixel on sensor because that technology works better than COntrast AF on moving objects.”: AF-Tracking without an EVF is total useless. The Sensor phase detection might find the moving object but the fotografer on the LCD won’t succeed!
    They somehow missed the market needs with their first mirrorless attempt.

    • Bah

      May be they should name it EOS-Kiss. Oh wait! there is already an EOS-Kiss

  • Ashwin

    Just in case no one has cried over Full Frame let me do the honors. NO FULL FRAME CAPABILTIES? NO WAY! WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH , GOOGITY WAAAAAHHHH!

  • Peter @ canon lens review

    Hello Mirrorlessrumors,
    Maybe a little off topic, however Right after having put in cash on the premium quality camera which includes lenses and so on, it will be essential to really look after it. Through proper care of your digital camera, it is going to serve you nicely a bit longer.
    Keep up the good work

  • Physica

    Then….. When will Canon introduce a mirrorless , for Mens? Sony have (NEX-7), OM have (E-M5), Panny have (GH-2) , Samsung also have.. (NX20)…. Leica are the treasure for mens long time ago…… so…… Canon think less of the demand of mirrorless for mens? with pro-grade control level ?…..

  • woof woof

    Have you handled many legacy lenses lately?

    I suspect that you haven’t as if you had you’d appreciate how much bulkier and heavier DSLR lenses are today. Of course to reduce bulk and weight you would probably have to do without AF, USM and IS… and do something about the angle at which light hits the sensor such as angled micro lenses but for sure lenses could be smaller and the light angle issue sorted with technology.

    I’d love a FF CSC and if keeping the bulk down meant using legacy lenses instead of Canons bloated EF range then I’d use legacy lenses.

    Check out Leica, FF and the lenses are smaller and lighter than EF’s as are Voigtlander lenses.

  • Michael

    You are definitely missing a number of things here. The idea behind a mirrorless FF would not be pocketability. The idea would be to provide a better FF experience, in body sizes more similar to classic 35mm cameras. Once the auto focus and electronic viewfinders are good enough, a mirrorless FF can provide:

    – less bulk (i.e. Leica M)
    – less moving parts
    – no expensive/bulky pentaprism
    – more accurate autofocus
    – less calibration issues with lenses
    – more accurate preview in the viewfinder

    There is no doubt that mirrorless is the future. Mirrors, just like physical hard disks, will be a thing of the past. It is just a matter of time when the autofocus and elecronic viewfinders get good enough to replace the mirror design.

    I don’t think Canon/Nikon need to step away from the EF/F-mount to provide such mirrorless camera. Many old 35mm cameras are not bulky at all.

    EOS M/NEX/MFT/CX will just be toys as long as their mounts cannot accommodate a serious sensor. These systems make the most sense if they come with compact lenses, so for now, MFT wins.

  • Gadge


  • Gadge

    Yeah a bad dream

  • Michael

    What’s the point of having interchangeable lenses when there is only 1 lens?

    You can already imagine how stupidly large a wide angle and a tele will be on this APS-C sensor. Show me a compact wide angle and tele on this device and you got my attention.

  • Andy

    Depends entirely on the optical performance.

  • Michael

    This is a Sony NEX with 55-210mm lens. This is just ridiculous. If you can’t get a sensible tele or ultra wide, then what’s the point?

  • Stevey

    Do you really need someone to explain to you the advantages of a small body with great high iso, with a small fast pancake, that can also take larger lenses when needed ? It seems pretty obvious to me.

    When it comes to lens choice, all the mirrorless systems are severely limited except m43. As a system, it’s still ahead of the others, but it’s still not my choice.

  • Tim

    “There is no doubt that mirrorless is the future. Mirrors, just like physical hard disks, will be a thing of the past. It is just a matter of time when the autofocus and elecronic viewfinders get good enough to replace the mirror design. ”

    Not quite. I believe that there will always be an interest in optical viewfinders but you are right that mainstream will go the evf way. DSLR are likely to survive much like rangefinders survive today. A small niche.

    However I don’t think Canikon will put out a fullframe mirrorless anytime soon. They got that market locked up tight with thir dslr. No, look for another company wanting to challenge the big ones seriously in a few years. My money is on Olympus or Pentax, possibly sony. There was some rumours about Hasselbladh recently but I don’t think they got the resources.

    I would like to add a few things to your list:

    -no mirrorslap. More important to high end cameras when resolution increases. I’m still waiting for the first company develop a working electronic shutter for the same reasons.
    -Smaller wide angle lenses. Just look at leica. WA lenses have to be very bulky to focus properly on a dslr. There is less to gain on tele lenses.

  • Mr.Tritium

    Do you really think everybody has the money to buy several lenses?

    If I get a mirrorless camera one day I’ll buy only one or two lenses at most. A compact and fast prime between 28mm and 35mm and maybe a zoom.

    “You can already imagine how stupidly large a wide angle will be on this APS-C sensor”
    Yes, as large as Sony and Samsung 16mm pancakes :)

  • Eddie Argos

    You need to go to focal length school. A 16mm on an apsc camera does not have to be the same size as a 16mm for a 35 mm sensor.

  • Eddie Argos

    Yes – just a little asterisk – you’d have to deal with no “af”

    I love Leica m too – but no major manufacturer is going to come out with a new manual mount in 2012

  • Miroslav

    Do you really believe any of these electronic multinational companies will bother to design their sensor to work well with 20-30 year old MF lenses? At a time when every new camera comes with world’s fastest AF? And which ones – legacy lenses come in many different mounts. Why would they? There’s much more money in proprietary systems.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to have a system with tons of cheap quality glass already available, but I’m afraid liquid lenses are more probable…

  • Pekka Potka

    No mirrorless FF now, soon etc. is a typical defensive statement when there is no pressure to deliver one soon. It will be changed into “we are researching this technology but our technology is superior” when EVF evolves and competition starts to use it. And then they introduce mirrorless FF when competition starts to gain market share. Just like with EOS-M. Canon of today is a very conservative market leader.

  • Matt

    Ricoh did. Pentax did. Though they are one and the same now they did for different mounts – K and M.

  • Denis

    Ricoh actually did this with their GXR M-mount module. As well as Leica in their M9.
    This won’t work well enough for all lenses. But this helps to the degree, when my Leica Super Elmar 18 has better edges on the M9 than on NEX-5N with its non optimized sensor.
    And you think wrong, of this feature (optimized sensor) as only needed by owners of old RF optics. You are obviosly wrong. It’s actually very needed: do you want compact optics for NEX? Without properly designed sensor it’s impossible.
    And it seems like Sony is ready to make one: there are rumours about 11-18 pancake. It’s only possible with lens design close to symmetric (if you want decent IQ) and thus it needs properly adjusted sensor. I bet Sony’s new 16Mp is one.

  • Stevey

    I like to think of it as a new type of woman; “Canon-man”. So is a Canon fanboy actually a girl ? Perhaps it would be more PC to call them fanbabies ? And how exactly do you make a camera for women – don’t they have hands much like men just a little smaller and softer ? About the only things I can think that makes a camera for a woman is that it is available in a range of colours and it might be a little smaller and lighter. But isn’t that true for most mirrorless ?

    Perhaps this site needs to be renamed ? How about DicklessCams. It has a certain je ne sais quoi….

  • Stevey

    Sony don’t make that lens – Carl Zeiss do. Huge and pricey are 2 very big disadvantages in the mirrorless world. Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 anyone ?

    And Michael – EOS-M has two lenses plus adapter at launch.

    How about the Nikon DX-M ? Coming soon ?

  • Miroslav

    Not with FF sensor. Most APS-C sensors are having problems with legacy lenses because of the angle at which light hits the sensor. Can you imagine how big that problem would be with FF sensor? Even Leica M9 is incompatible with some lenses, see , while other older Leica lenses have to be coded in order for camera to apply suitable software corrections. No way Canon, Nikon and Sony ( the others having FF systems at the moment ) would go to such lengths to enable full compatibility of lenses several generations old on a new camera. Of all the manufacturers that are making mirrorless systems at the moment, only Sony made an effort to make their previous generation lenses fully compatible – both AF and FL are the same as on their DSLRs.

  • Miroslav

    “less bulk (i.e. Leica M)”

    Most of the bulk in FF comes from lenses, not body. And digital sensors require larger lenses than film. Leica is an exception for many reasons. They don’t have AF and tailor the sensor to suite those old lenses. But that insistence on backward compatibility comes at the price, especially in $$$, but in lack of many features other systems have and slower R&D as well. Let’s see what they come up next, but I expect M9 with new sensor is the only thing they’ll make. No AF, no video, no live view, no smaller body.

    “less moving parts
    no expensive/bulky pentaprism”

    End users couldn’t care less how many parts move. As for the costs of producing these, tried and tested stuff is always cheaper than newly introduced, so mirrorless wouldn’t be cheaper because of those missing. At first, that is.

    “more accurate autofocus
    less calibration issues with lenses”

    I agree with these. But that also means making new lenses.

    “more accurate preview in the viewfinder”

    Some are actually so hooked on OVF ( not me ), that they overlook this argument.

    Add to all of this the fact that the majority of FF users are pros, who are mostly conservative and would more like something proven and reliable and you’ll see there won’t be FF mirrorless soon. Unless you count Leica M as FF mirrorless.

    I also agree that mirrorless is the future, I own one, but just don’t see it happening in FF. With the latest improvements of APS-C and 4/3 sensors, there are less and less reasons to go FF.

  • Denis

    Dude, be fair: why are you talking about things you don’t know anything about?
    You are neither sensor designer or optics designer.
    Take a look: Summilux 35 ASPH FLE vs Samyang 35 1.4 vs Distagon 35 1.4. They are all manual focus. Summilux is the best optically. Summilux is tiny compared to DSLR monsters.
    So, shut up please, I’m tired of the nonsense you are talking with the tone of expert.

    Second thing there’s fundamental limitation in noise (photon noise). And it’s already reached with current APS-C and FF sensors. Getting rid of bayer sensor gives another stop of high iso performance, but for APS-C it means it won’t reach FF level (even worse for m43).

  • Atlasman

    Until one of the have-nots delivers a mirrorless FF (Sony, Pentax, Fuji, Olympus, etc.). Then just as Canikon had to deliver some form of mirrorless system, they will come to the table sooner than later.

    Personally, I would like to see Olympus step up and deliver full-frame—possibly as a multi-mount mirrorless system; one that has a small body (GH2 size would be fine) and accepts the m4/3 mount and a FF mount.

  • Atlasman

    Today my choice is m4/3 and full-frame.

    Unfortunately, the full-frame is monstrously large today. APS-C is out because it’s not enough of a step away from full-frame.

    What would make sense—at least to me—is one FF mirrorless body (with small body)that accepts and uses sensor geography according to the lens attached). Doesn’t Nikon do this with their FF?

  • Miroslav

    Just think why nobody copied Leica – even Fuji that basically made Leica clone.

  • Esa Tuunanen

    > You are neither sensor designer or optics designer.
    Neither are you.

    If you understood even little about optics you would know that you’re complaining that coconut isn’t apple.
    Retrofocus design is always bigger and very large aperture just makes keeping all aberrations under control even harder.

    > Second thing there’s fundamental limitation in noise (photon noise).
    And what was performance limit with analog film?
    Very low which was one of the reasons why APS format didn’t succeed. Analog tech just couldn’t perform well in that size. Digital sensor’s higher performance made APS-C as standard with way higher performance than any 35mm film ever.
    Heck, around 8 years ago I saw standard 4″ × 6″ size print of ISO100 film image out of darker storm cloud which baffled me because it had very easily visible grainyness. Even at that time better digicompacts could do cleaner images.

    So 35mm format isn’t any holy standard needed for everything with todays tech.

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