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Canon debuts EOS M compact system camera

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Seemingly bowing to peer pressure, Canon has finally unveiled its own compact system camera, the EOS M. A mirrorless interchangeable-lens snapper that features its new EF-M lens mount and an 18Mp APS-C CMOS sensor.

Rather than try a new imaging format, Canon is playing it safe with DSLR tech in a small body and competing with Fujifilm's X-Pro1, Sony's NEX and Samsung's NX CSCs. Only the Pentax K-01 retains an existing DSLR lens mount in this arena. Indeed, the EOS M sensor and Digic 5 processor are the same found in the company's entry-level DSLR, the EOS 650D.

Canon EOS M

The EOS M has an ISO range of 100-12800 with sensitivity extendable to ISO 25600 for see-in-the-dark shooting. A 3in capacitive touchscreen graces the rear, although there's no articulating panel to keep film-maker's happy. Still, when it does come to videography, the EOS M records full 1080p video and benefits from the new sensor-based AF system, which makes use of contrast and phase detection to continuously keep things sharp.

Canon EOS M

The APS-C sensor maybe a standard format, but Canon has gone to the trouble of developing an entirely new lens system, although older lenses can still be used by way of the EF-EOS M adaptor that the company claims is compatible with the full range of EF and EF-S lenses. As for the EF-M design, two lenses are available from launch; the EF-M 22mm f/2 STM pancake and the EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM standard zoom.

To save space there's no built-in flash, although Canon's new external gun – the Speedlite 90EX – should do the trick and comes shipped with the EOS M as standard.

EF-M 22mm f/2 STM pancake and the EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM standard zoom

The Canon EOS M rolls out in the UK from October 2012 for £950 with both lenses. That seems a little pricey for this NEX competitor, but we'll give you our proper assessment when we actually get our hands on one.

For EOS M sample movies and images, have a gander at the Canon website. ®

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