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Hands-On with the New Mirrorless Canon EOS M Camera: Are Aliasing and Moire Improved?

07.23.12 @ 4:42PM Tags : , ,

The Canon EOS M was only just announced, but there are some hands-on impressions already floating around. The camera marks Canon’s first attempt at a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, and they’ve gone with a very subtle design both in the body and the new EF-M lenses. Sebastian over at cinema5D was invited by Canon to a pre-announcement event last week, and was able to play with the camera a bit. He gives some of his impressions and his overall feel of the camera below.

In terms of the sensor inside, it looks like it’s going to suffer from aliasing and moire just like the previous Canon cameras (with the exceptions being the new 1D X and the 5D Mark III):

Most significant for HDSLR people is the fact that the EOS M incorporates the same sensor the Canon EOS 7D & 650D also share. Yes the EOS M has the 7D sensor again meaning it also has the same aliasing & moiré issues.

The camera shares the same 5184 x 3456 full resolution and 18mp sensor as many other Canon cameras, but it’s configuration is much closer to the T4i thanks to the Digic 5 processor. It also seems like the image stabilizer in the new mirrorless lenses, unlike previous Canon lenses, is not as ideal for video:

The image stabilization of the EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM standard zoom lens is not ideal for video. During the little time of testing we had the stabilization seemed to not smooth enough and shift the image too quickly…I can recommend IS for video, but I wouldn’t use the EF-M 18-55mm for that.


He found the AF to be very silent, which is a good sign, since it’s possible that the new lenses are designed from the ground up to be as quiet as possible. They also are made of of less physical parts, so there’s a lot less that has to be kept quiet, especially in a zoom lens. If Canon does ever release a lower-end digital cinema camera, and they use this mount, these new mirrorless lenses might actually be able to get some passable autofocus during video mode (which I know many of you would prefer not to even think about — but there are situations where it could be useful).

It’s looking like this will be a perfect B-camera for anyone shooting on the Canon cameras that share the 18mp sensor — and you should expect similar video quality. For some people it’s also useful that this camera will fit into even tighter spaces than the other Canon DSLRs. It might be slightly disappointing that aliasing and moire aren’t really improved, but if you’ve been happy with your Canon 7D or 60D, then there’s a pretty good chance you will find the image quality acceptable. Bit rates should also be similar to those cameras, but the huge positive is that we’ll be able to record much longer takes. This may end up turning into an A-camera for some documentary folks thanks to the record times. Dual-system sound would be necessary (as audio quality won’t be great in-camera), but the ability to continue rolling is a major plus for many people.

To read the rest of Sebastian’s impressions, head on over to cinema5D.

[via cinema5D]

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  • Woody Davis on 07.23.12 @ 4:55PM

    I see it as a potentially great camera for custom rigs. It would be light enough to do better on snorri cams, and other places where you just need a lighter camera. It might also be good for every day travels when you don’t want to take your dslr.

    • Yeah – it could be a great GoPro alternative if you can deal with the slightly extra weight and size, because you can throw on any lens you already might have for Canon, or any lenses you can adapt to Canon – besides the new mirrorless lenses of course, like the pancake.

  • Too hell with Canon. If you don’t have the $$$, you mights as well go somewhere else.

  • Any word on record time?

  • I have two 7ds, 60d, 5dmkIII and hopefully a fs700 soon. but the reason i like this little guy is how much easier it is to fly one of these in a drone, and mounting to cars, planes, bikes and more (i bet rolling shutter is crap but)! plus when travel doing my photo journo jobs across Asia, I dont need a heavy 7d as a back up. I do wish they make a rangefinderish one, just for my retro collection.

  • Chris Allen on 07.23.12 @ 9:12PM

    So… Does it have clean HDMI out?

  • This isn’t the same chip as the 7D.. this is a newly designed 18MP sensor used only in the T4i.

    Why must me scrutinize a camera this much… Jesus.. it is just a little point and shoot.

    • A newly designed T4i sensor with no fix for moire or aliasing.

      • It’s weird that a, relatively, low end photography camera doesn’t deal with aliasing and moire in video that well am I right?

        • So what’s the T4i’s excuse?

        • There’s no reason why a camera with such highly-touted video features should have aliasing and moire problems. Not anymore. Even consumers deserve better IQ in video mode at this price point. The M-mount alone gives great promise for the future, but right now for those of us who want a relatively inexpensive, compact, APS-C sensor camera that takes Canon glass, Sony’s NEX 5n+Metabones adaptor is still the better all-around package with more features (1080/60p!) and less flaws. Maybe next year Canon will finally catch up with an improved APS-C sensor/codec. Or maybe it’ll be the year after that….

          • We don’t DESERVE anything. Complaining about a stills camera with pretty ok video at this price point is the very definition of a first world problem. Yes maybe there are better cameras out there for the same price and yes maybe canon are overpricing their wares but the outrage that I see confuses me to no end!

            I guess moebius wasn’t really outraged or complaining a whole lot so I apologise but you see it a lot and I’m just trying to keep people in check, I guess. Nothing wrong with “it would be nice”s but some people take it as some kind of affront.

            I should just shut up about it now, I guess. It just botherrrrs me you guuyyyys

          • Kinda goes without saying that this is a silly first-world problem. But we all most certainly do deserve a lot more if Canon expects us to pay more for less than what their competition has to offer. It’s just disappointing that Canon seems uninterested in innovating anymore, when three years ago they owned the hybrid camera market. That said, I’m still hoping for an M-mount C100 to bring them out of this cycle of mediocrity–and hopefully the sensor they recycle this time is the C300′s!

          • Alright Mr.JR

            If it is so easy to make a camera like you are outlining, please do so. I will help fund your Kickstarter if you can produce an 18 Megapixel sensor, with no moire or aliasing issues. Also, please do not use any off the shelf parts… we need some innovation… right?

          • Well Mr. Tom, a couple cameras that are a lot more innovative already exist. They’re made by Sony and Panasonic.

            Don’t get me wrong, I’m not really hating on the EOS-M. There is a lot to love about it, and about Canon cameras in general. For one thing, I feel they win the “user experience” category hands down. Their build quality and usability are pretty hard to beat as far as dslr’s go. And Canon was at least bold enough to put 24p on this little entry-level mirrorless. I do respect that.

            So I really want to buy into the hype for this one, but frankly, when I get my next APS-C Canon camera (I own a 7D) it’s got to be a real improvement on the inside as well. I’m just a little disappointed that we have to wait so long for the good tech to trickle downstream while in the meantime Sony and Panasonic are aggressively innovating their cameras inside and out.

            Speaking of which, I own a GH2 as well. Out of the box it was already better than the 7D and hacked it’s completely insane. The only thing wrong with it is it’s just not a Canon.

        • The NEX-5N is even cheaper and has A LOT less issues with aliasing moire.
          It also has very nice colors, good DR, and A LOT better resolution.

          My recent Flaat Shootout 2012 compares the 550D (T2i) with the 5N, GH2 and D800:
          http://www.vimeo.com/similaar/shootout2012

    • I thought the t4i (and now EOS-M) used the same old 18MP sensor but with DIGIC V?

    • Well, it is not really a little point and shoot. It is advertised to be Canon’s first and best small mirrorless system camera with interchangeable lenses. However, why should it have better video than the 7D, Canon probably says…

  • Waiting for C100, risking specs:
    EOS M mount
    50 Mbps, 8 bit, 4:2:2
    RAW on 3G SDI 30, 25, 24 fps
    without monitor, XLR, genlock
    Price: U.S. $ 8000
    Released: 2014

  • I am glad to hear that Sebastian agrees that this camera could be a useful B-Camera or even a Primary interview camera due to the longer duration values. Not to mention it also could be less intimidating interview wise with its compact size. This is all within the fact that you are comfortable and content with the aliasing and moire issues, but like he said, if you already use the prosumer Canon products, then there is no reason to really complain. You are pretty much paying for a T4i that is cut in half with many of the finer options/physical buttons removed. This is to be expected price-wise as compared the the other mirrorless cameras on the market.

    As said in earlier comments, I really think this will expand the possibility of more abstract or extreme angled shots such as car mounts, pole mounts, etc. This little guy could get some great captures. Using a camera like this will remind you to get back to the fundamentals of making a video, and concentrate less on how much power and ability your equipment has. I feel like we get caught up in wanting better equipment that does everything and solves everything, when that really takes away the beautiful of filming itself and telling a story.

  • This EOS-M is quite attractive to us with low budgets. I do have some wonders, though. Should one wait until a second edition comes out(that addresses any bugs or other issues that may be present), or buy and hope Canon addresses any issues with their ever-popular firmware updates and secondly, does Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 ‘correct’ alias and moire problems? I was looking at the Black Magic Cinema Camera, but I don’t have an Apple computer thus no thunderbolt, but now with the release of the EOS-M and my stable of Canon lenses, this might be a handy camera to shoot video with. My DSLR is a 7D! Isn’t that a gas? :-)

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