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Should you still buy an Canon EOS M camera?
Between the comments of Canon, and the fact that the RF mount completely removes any possibility of users moving from the EOS M system to the EOS RF system, we are left with a question, is the EOS M still a relevant system?
More so now than ever, the EOS M system has to be considered an EOS Powershot interchangeable lens camera, and between Powershots and EOS, there's little in the way of migration or re-use. This is made even more apparent by the fact that the UI and features look drastically different than anything that appears on an EOS M camera. Canon didn’t take the EOS M firmware and enhance it, they started from scratch and created the EOS R firmware the way they wanted, with the features they wanted. This is a considerable point to remember, as it’s doubtful if either group will be able to share features from one another without re-developing it themselves.
Being separate isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The EOS M does well on its own as a small independent ILC ecosystem that will live and die based upon its own merits. Where it lacks is the competition such as from Sony where users can migrate easily and seamlessly from A5100 or A6000 cameras to their bigger brethren the A7 or A9 series cameras. They can even re-use their FE APS-C lenses in crop mode to tide them over until they get full frame lenses. As we discussed before, this will never happen in the Canon ecosystem. It remains to be seen just how damaging that is to Canon over time.
So, who will use the EOS-M system then? People wanting small, inexpensive interchangeable lens systems are still well served by the EOS M system. Between the M50, and M5 camera bodies, and the newly released EF-M 32mm, it sounds like Canon is going to make this stand on its own accord. We hope so. We also hope the increased sales of the M50 this year especially domestically, light a fire under the proverbial behind of Canon and they create more lenses in a rapid manner accordingly. The 32mm from all reports is a good start, now we just need about 3 or so more. Fast. Please. The EOS R will never be as small, or as light as you can make an EOS M system. The lens mount is bigger, and because of that, there's a good chance the camera bodies will be bigger and heftier to support the larger RF lenses. The EOS M system if used to its strengths is an amazingly small and tidy little system for travel. Between the 22mm, and 32mm prime (not to mention the EF 50mm STM and EF adapter is nearly the same size as the Sony FE 50mm as an example) you have the start of a complement of serious primes. Both the 22 and 32mm are excellent primes optically and very affordable. The zoom lenses have a very consumer approach, however, if you use the lenses to their strengths, most of them are very capable lenses, led by the excellent 11-22mm. So, there's a lot to love about the EOS M system, even though we wish it was far more expansive.
The EOS M system was never a system you invested in. The lenses are small, good and cheap, and your total expenditures is never a significant amount of money – especially when compared to full frame L lens cost. Some people will find the buy-in cost significant, and if so, they are most likely best served to stay within the EF-M ecosystem. Those that don't find the buy-in cost an investment, will simply sell off the system when they eventually move to the EOS RF system. With the possibility of two APS-C mirrorless cameras coming next year, there's a good indication that Canon will continue to develop the EOS M and have great success selling it. I personally feel that the EOS M will continue as it stands and remain an independent camera system but be tailored as a small less expensive ecosystem that you can buy into based upon its own unique strengths and capabilities.
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