Rumors of a Canon mirrorless camera have circled the web since long before Nikon’s foray into the compact ILC space. And while that manufacturer’s model fell far short of some expectations, it appears that Canon’s iteration may in fact have been worth the not-so-insignificant wait. Unlike the Nikon 1 Series, Canon’s new EOS M isn’t a drastic departure from the company’s existing mid-range DSLR lineup. In fact, under the hood it’s quite similar to the Rebel T4i, with an 18-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, DIGIC 5 processor, 3-inch 1.04MP smudge-resistant touchscreen and the T4i’s new hybrid autofocus system, which pairs both contrast and phase-difference AF for speedier, more accurate performance. Externally, however, the EOS M looks more like a cross between the PowerShot G1 X and S100, tipping the scale at 14.2 ounces with the included EF-M 22mm f/2 STM kit lens, compared to 27.4 ounces for the T4i, and 19 for the G1 X. It’s physically smaller than the G1 X as well, and only slightly larger than the pocketable S100. The camera offers a sensitivity range in line with the competition, ranging from 100 to 25,600 (extended) in still mode and 12,800 (extended) when shooting video — captured in 1920 x 1080 format at 24, 25 or 30 progressive frames per second. There’s also a continuous shooting mode at 4.3 frames per second with fixed focus and exposure.
The EOS M’s control layout should be more familiar to Canon point-and-shoot owners than DSLR users — as one component of the size compromise, dedicated buttons are replaced with touchscreen options and a bit of menu diving. There’s also no electronic viewfinder, though a full-size hot shoe is included with full support for Canon’s lineup of Speedlite flashes, including the new $150 90EX strobe and ST-E3-RT Transmitter, and the GP-E2 GPS Receiver. Though the camera lacks certain direct controls, it still supports full manual shooting, even in video mode. There’s also a built-in stereo mic with manual level adjustment. In addition to that 22mm kit optic, Canon is offering an EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens for $300, or you can add the $200 EF-EOS M mount adapter to enable use with existing lenses. The $800 EOS M kit is set to ship in October, and will be available in retail stores in black, though Canon’s online store will also stock a white model (which will be paired with the same black lens). You can peek at both configurations, along with the new lenses and accessories. [engadget]