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Canon reveals EOS M2, its second-gen mirrorless camera

Faster autofocus and Wi-Fi networking help make Canon's high-end compact camera more competitive. So far it's only announced in China and Japan, though.

The Canon EOS M2 with the EF-M 18-55mm lens.
The Canon EOS M2 with the EF-M 18-55mm lens.

Canon announced the EOS M2 on Tuesday in China and Japan, updating the autofocus system that was the chief weakness of the company's its first-generation, high-end "mirrorless" compact camera.

The EOS M2 includes Hybrid CMOS AF II, an updated autofocus system that Canon said is faster than the M's system. It also gets Wi-Fi support, but the sensor is still an 18-megapixel model that tops out at ISO 12,800, or 25,600 if you enable its higher-noise expanded range.

But if you're outside Asia, restrain your enthusiasm for buying one. "At this time, we have no plans to announce in the US," spokeswoman Ellen Heydt said.

The M line is in a very competitive segment in the camera industry: models with interchangeable lenses but significantly smaller than traditional SLRs.

Canon, with a much stronger SLR and compact-camera business than rivals, was late to the mirrorless market but has considerable resources when it comes to camera design, manufacturing, sales, and customers that already own Canon lenses. The M line can accept Canon's EF and EF-S lenses geared for full-size SLRs with an adapter, but it ships with smaller EF-M lenses.

Olympus, Panasonic, Sony, Samsung, Nikon, Pentax, and Fujifilm all are vying for a place in the mirrorless camera market. One reason it's so appealing is that the traditional incumbent players -- Nikon and Canon -- don't have as much power. Another is that the compact camera market is dwindling as mobile phones take over mainstream photography needs.

Updated at 10:23 a.m. PT with comment from Canon.

(Via Canon Rumors)