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Archive for March, 2015

m3

From Canon Europe

I wrote about my love affair with my EOS M last year (click here to read). Canon missed the boat with that camera and here in the US it was crushed in a very competitive market for mirorless bodies. The original M sold better in Europe but results were still underwhelming. Surprisingly, it was a hit in Japan. Not surprising was Canon’s decision to sell the EOS M2 in Japan only. That camera was a slight improvement over the EOS M in that they fixed the sluggish auto focus and added WiFi.

But now Canon has done the camera right. The new EOS M3 is brilliant. Canon not only upgraded the guts to include their latest tech such as a Digic 6 processor and the fantastic 24mp APS-C sensor found in their current lineup of crop sensor DSLRs. Canon added an optional digital viewfinder that attaches to the accessory shoe, a built-in flash, and they emulated the manual focus assist found in the Sony A7 series of mirrorless bodies. That last feature is stupendous. There are rumors of some new EF-M lenses with high-speed coming, perhaps f/1.4 or f/1.2. Canon Europe has released a very nicely done video showing the camera at work and narrated by two photographers as they move about making images in a variety of scenes. The manual focus assist can be seen in action in the video.

Canon made some crucial blunders on the original camera, at least for the American market. The camera was clearly nerfed and lacked features found on competitors models. Many professional reviewers surmised that canon was “protecting” their lucrative DSLR market for which they dominate the planet. Canon also came in originally with a stout price upwards of $800; that turned people towards a competitor like the Panasonic Lumix or the Olympus expanded line of mirrorless cameras. And let us not forget that Canon only offered two lenses in the US market. Sure the entire EOS EF lens line works 100% functional, but those are bulky lenses that take away from the core idea of a smaller, compact camera system. The American market never got a chance to enjoy the follow-up lenses including the amazing 11-22mm ultra wide zoom I ordered from Japan! Read about that here. Even with those additions the EF-M lens line is weak with just 4 offerings.

porttownsend (31 of 45)

Canon EOS-M with EF-M 11-22mm

I bought my EOS M after the price crashed in the US so I paid only $300 for the M kit with the 18-55mm lens. At that price this is the greatest camera ever 😉 Now that Canon actually has a solid, competitive camera to offer it is again showing us the single finger salute. North America is the largest consumer camera market in the world with some 38 million shipped units last year. Canon is saying, we don’t need that? Yes the camera was crushed the first go ’round, but really what did they expect when the bring a weak sauce product? Americans won’t buy a stripped down version when they can get a deluxe piece for the same change. Perhaps Canon feels like they blew it so bad last time that consumers in the New World will ignore them with the M3. I find it difficult to challenge the marketing juggernaut that is Canon, but I will anyway 😉 The people who want a mirrorless body will buy one whether or not Canon has an offering. You can count on your fingers the number of people who are so loyal to Canon that they will forgo the whole mirrorless experience just because Canon doesn’t sell one. I am as loyal as they come but I seriously considered the Sony A7. Not to replace my 5d Mark II but to enhance it. The announcement of this new Canon M3 has my attention as I am quite vested in the EF line. For readers in Europe and Asia take a solid look at this new player from the world’s leading camera maker. It seems Canon is moving to their “A” game in the mirrorless market.

Personally, I would much rather have a Canon USA warranty but if this camera turns out to be all that it appears, I may have to order a gray unit from Japan, again. Of course if I do that I am only making a case for Canon’s stupid decision to ignore the American market. Come on Canon just bring it!

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