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Cameras

Canon's new entry-level mirrorless shows commitment

The EOS M10 shows that Canon's committed to the mirrorless ILC market, but also that it's still behind the curve.

The EOS M10 offers a beginner-friendly feature set. Canon

Canon seems slightly more committed to its mirrorless EOS M series. It's brought out a new model, the EOS M10, to join the EOS M3 . The M10 will only ship in a kit with a new EF-M 15-45mm f3.5-6.3 STM IS retractable lens, at least initially. The camera is pretty much the M2 -- the model from December 2013 that only shipped in Japan -- with the newer autofocus, updated image processor, Wi-Fi system and flip-up touchscreen LCD from the M3.

It's packaged as a kit with a worse (but more compact) lens, less advanced autofocus system, no hot shoe and with simplified operation -- at the same $800 price (directly converted, £522, AU$1,100) as the marginally more powerful M3 ($800, £540, AU$850).

The camera's update to the Digic 6 image processor means you'll get better JPEGs and movies out of the camera over the M2, but the raw photo quality won't change; Canon claims a 2-stop improvement in noise reduction for JPEGs. The on-sensor phase-detection autofocus, the Hybrid CMOS AF II used by the EOS Rebel SL1/EOS 100D , expands to 49 points (the same as the M3) for more scene coverage.

Consumer-friendly features include a flip-up display for selfies and groupies; skin brightness and smoothing adjustments in self-portrait mode; Wi-Fi/NFC for connecting to your phone or tablet ; and 1080/30p or 720/60p video recording.

You'll be able to get it in black, white or gray; the last, only through Canon's online store. The new lens will ship standalone for $300 (directly converted, £196, AU$410) in November.

My take

The target audience for this camera is smartphone upgraders, compact camera shooters who want a mirrorless interchangeable-lens model and people who want "Canon image quality with easy operation." I assume Canon plans to offer some hefty discounts or expects retailers to sell it for much less, because there's tons of competition for the same photographers, all of which are cheaper and offer better performance and in the case of the Samsung NX500 , 4K video. Color me baffled.

Also keep in mind that Canon is introducing its first retractable lens long after other companies have gone through their retractable stage and have moved into power zoom lenses. If you're going to get an inexpensive lens for this class of camera, it might as well be a power zoom which contracts to a much smaller size and operates more like the zoom on a point and shoot.

Comparative specs

Editors' note: Canon provided few specifications prior to announcement, but in some cases I've made assumptions where they're likely the same as the M3's specs.

Canon EOS M3 Canon EOS M10 Fujifilm X-A2 Sony Alpha A5100
Sensor effective resolution 24.2MP Hybrid CMOS III 18MP Hybrid CMOS II 16.3MP CMOS 24.3MP Exmor HD CMOS
14-bit
Sensor size 22.3 x 14.9 22.3 x 14.9 23.6 x 15.6mm 23.5 x 15.6mm
Focal-length multiplier 1.6x 1.6x 1.5x 1.5x
OLPF Yes Yes No Yes
Sensitivity range ISO 100 - ISO 12800/ISO 25600 (exp) ISO 125 - ISO 12800/ISO 25600 (exp) ISO 100 (exp)/
ISO 200 - ISO 6400/
ISO 25600 (exp)
ISO 100 - ISO 25600
Burst shooting None with continuous AF/AE
(4.2fps with fixed focus and exposure)
None with continuous AF/AE
(4.6fps with fixed focus and exposure)
None with continuous AF/AE
(5.6fps with fixed AF/AE)
6fps
56 JPEG/23 raw
Viewfinder
(mag/ effective mag)
Optional
EVF (DVF-DC1)
2.36m dots
0.48 in/12.2 mm
100% coverage
None None None
Hot shoe Yes No Yes No
Autofocus 49-point
Phase-detection AF
49-point
Phase-detection AF
49-area
Contrast AF
179-pt phase-
detection; 25-area contrast AF
AF sensitivity 2 - 18 EV 2 - 18 EV n/a -1 - 20 EV
Shutter speed 30 - 1/4000 sec.; bulb; 1/200 x-sync 30 - 1/4000 sec.; bulb; 1/200 x-sync 30 - 1/4000 sec.; bulb to 60 min; 1/180 x-sync 30-1/4000 sec.; bulb; 1/160 x-sync
Metering n/a n/a 256 zones 1,200 zone
Metering sensitivity 384 zones 1 - 20 EV n/a -1 - 20 EV
Best video H.264 Quicktime MOV
1080/30p, 25p, 24p; 720/60p, 50p
H.264 MPEG-4
Quicktime MOV
1080/30p, 720/60p
H.264 MPEG-4
Quicktime MOV
1080/30p
XAVC S
1080/60p/30p/25p/24p; 720/120p
50Mbps
Audio Stereo; mic input Stereo; mic input Stereo Stereo
Manual aperture and shutter in video Yes Yes n/a Yes
Maximum best-quality recording time per clip n/a n/a 14 minutes 29 minutes
IS Optical Optical Optical Optical
LCD 3-inch/7.7 cm
Tilting touchscren
1.04m dots
3-inch/7.7 cm
Tilting touchscren
1.04m dots
3-inch/7.5 cm
Tilting
920,000 dots
3-inch/7.5cm
Flip-up touchscreen
921,600 dots
Memory slots 1 x SDXC 1 x SDXC 1 x SDXC 1 x SDXC
Wireless connection Wi-Fi, NFC Wi-Fi, NFC Wi-Fi Wi-Fi, NFC
Flash Yes Yes Yes Yes
Wireless flash Yes n/a Yes No
Battery life (CIPA rating) 250 shots n/a 410 shots 400 shots
Size (WHD) 4.4 x 2.7 x 1.7 in
110.9 x 68.0 44.4 mm
4.2 x 2.6 x 1.2 in
107 x 66 x 30 mm
4.6 x 2.6 x 1.6 in
116.9 x 66.5 x 404 mm
4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in
109.6 x 62.8 x 35.7 mm
Body operating weight 13.3 oz
376 g
10.2 (est.)
289 g (est.)
12.3 oz (est.)
350 g (est.)
10 oz (est.)
283 g (est.)
Primary kit $800
£600 (est.)
AU$870
(with 18-55mm STM lens)
$800
(with EF-M 15-45mm f3.5-6.3 IS STM)
$550
£450 (est.)
AU$600 (est.)
(with 16-50mm lens)
$550 (est.)
£400 (est.)
AU$900
(with 16-50mm PZ lens)
Release date April 2015
October 2015 (US)
November 2015 February 2015 September 2014

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