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Author Topic: 4 weeks in South East Asia with the EOS M as 2nd Body  (Read 5467 times)

axtstern

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4 weeks in South East Asia with the EOS M as 2nd Body
« on: September 10, 2013, 11:52:47 AM »
Came back a week ago from my trip and now I’m working through the pictures in Lightroom. To understand my opinion about the M I night to feed you some background Information:

I went on the trip with my EOS 60d as my primary camera and the EOS M as a back up. I used a (for me complete new mix of lenses) For the 60D I packed as much as I got into the Tamrac 4 which was the EF 70-200 2.8 L IS USM, the new Sigma 17-35 1.8, The EF 135 L 2.0 and the Canon 1.4 x extender

The Eos M got a third party EF-EFM adapter, the new 11-22mm and the 17-55 KIT lens
I use the M since about 6 month mainly as a fun camera or a substitute for the 60D when size and weight matters.
To summarize already in the beginning:  I made maybe 400-500 pictures on this trip which I could not have done without the M at all. So I’m happy and grateful to have bought it but compared to the reliability and usability of the 60D the M is a piece of “insert any desired 4 letter word here”.

But now let’s start with the details.
Lenses:
I used once the 135mm L and once the 70-200mm L on the M both lenses performed very well but in the end the handling of the 70-200mm on the M is to awkward. However walking around in an amusement park with a red M on the white L creates raised brows at the Canonistas you meet.  In China that means either the wealthy amateur with his 5DII and the 24-105 Kit lens or the more dedicated guy carrying 2 full frames with usually the 24-70mm L and the 50-500mm BIGMA attached. Plenty of nice gear talk started because of me wearing the 70-200 with the M in the white /red colour combination over the shoulder, so it at least pleased the hedonist in me.

The absolute surprise was the usage of the 11-22mm on the M. To be honest I do not know how I survived before without it. I did not mount the 17-55 Kit anymore on the M once the 11-22mm was attached. Street photography par excellence and in a tight space with 11mm you can shoot without even looking and still have everything covered. The 11-22mm mounted on the M uses less weight and real estate in my camera bag than my Tokina 11-16mm 2.8 as a lens alone. OK the Tokina is faster but with the better ISO of the M compared to the 60D and especially the optical stabilisation the 11-22mm is much more versatile and because the of the STM technology and thanks to the new M firmware achieving focus is faster with the 11-22mm on the M than with the Tokina on the 60D.

Further advantages? Yes, the 8mm more than the Tokina helped a lot and coming home I was more than satisfied that Lightroom 5 already fully supports the proper lens correction for the 11-22mm while sadly it doesn’t do so far for the Sigma 17-35mm 1.8

Disadvantages of the 11-22mm? It is delivered typical Canon style without a lens shade and the only dealer I could find who sold one wanted a fortune for it so I spent my time under the Asian August sun without one.
If you unlock the 11-22mm in a hurry you almost automactly have your hands in the wrong position. This means either the hand gliding in the Zoom position is now to high blocking the AF assist beam or the thumb of your hand slid to far up and is now blocking both microphone positions.

Now the downfall of the M:
I do not own Canon original Batteries for the M just the substitutes from Patona  (which on Paper are as strong as the Canon counterparts) With the M as a secondary camera taking just 30% of the work and the 60D having to power the heavy lenses and the M just driving the 11-22mm I still ate through 3 EOS M batteries per day.
I always travel with a minimum of three to four batteries per camera as a minimum but coming after a long day into a hotel room and than being forced to make a rigid time planning to allow loading 3 batteries over the span of a short night with just one loader was annoying.

The killing issue was however a different one:
I never managed to find a proper balance for the settings of the camera. I would like to be informed about the settings of the camera so I switched a lot of this settings to be visible on the touchscreen. I also prefer to see a picture for a few seconds right after the shot so I configured the camera to display the picture for  a short while. During this time the camera is active and sensitive. Being used to almost never realy switching the 60d off Me and my family tretead the M the same way... bad idea

The first few days would go like this:  Me or my wife would take a picture than have the camera hanging around the shoulder or neck which would touch the body plenty of times and put random settings in place each time. Having the focus placed in the wrong corner can be corrected fast through pressing the delete button but ISO from Auto to 12,000 without recognizing it or AV 3.5 changed to TV 1/20 and very often correction set to 3+ made us loose good opportunities or taking bad pictures.

I tried to counteract this by making any setting information disappear from screen (reducing my interference to using a point and shoot in green mode) and reducing the screen on time after a shot to mere seconds. My routine was to have a short fly though the menus every so and so to either choose AV set to 3.5 or TV set to 1/250 and let the AUTO ISO do the rest. Before every shot than I pressed  the delete button to have the focus centred. The camera counteracted this impertinence behaviour of mine by still displaying  a small area on the touchscreen which would enable the shutter release through the touch screen. This small area is maybe 1 % of the touchscreen and the chance of touching it should be small but it happened way to often exactly like this.

Climbing a the steps of a temple in Thailand, the M around the neck of my wife. Climbing down the stairs sitting in a boat leaving the temple when suddenly the evening sun breaks through the clouds painting my family and the temple far behind us in red and gold. The shot of a lifetime. The M flies into my hand. The full exercise explained above plus a few seconds to unlock the 11-22mm out of its retracted position and “Memory full” suddenly in the display. The red golden moment slips away while I dumbfounded wonder how a hundred pictures can fill up a 32 GIG memory card. Looking at the picture counter the camera says 2500 pictures taken. Yep it had happened again a few hundred picture of stone steps and a few hundred pictures of backs and bottoms surrounding the few pictures we really wanted to take and keep. This happened several times and I later changed to 8Gig cards just to be able to delete all unnecessary picture within a coffee break.

Way smaller thing:
I put the ML Beta on the M but removed it shortly afterwards again. While I loved the HDR feature, the lack of buttons and the overlay of menues makes the M not the perfect taret for ML

To end on a high note..

IQ of the pictures: at least as good as the IQ of pictures taken with the 60D. At low light situations way better than the one better ISO stop would suggest.

Once you get used to the fancy continous shooting behaviour of the shutter release button than the Ms continous shooting is behaviour is very nice. That is focus like with any DSLR, pressing the shutter button through to take the shot but afterwards releasing it just half like if to achieve focus again. This results in the first picture being taken, screen going black but instead of now showing the taken picture instantly the camera will now continue taking pictures. (Still don't know if this is a feature or a bug)

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4 weeks in South East Asia with the EOS M as 2nd Body
« on: September 10, 2013, 11:52:47 AM »

bobw

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Re: 4 weeks in South East Asia with the EOS M as 2nd Body
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2013, 02:21:44 PM »
It seems to me that your complaints would apply to any camera with a touch screen, not just the M. I would think that any camera with a large touch screen on the back will need to be turned off between shots to avoid accidental touches.

Turning it off would also improve the battery life. Powering up that large display screen is what kills the batteries.

Dylan777

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Re: 4 weeks in South East Asia with the EOS M as 2nd Body
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2013, 08:09:04 PM »
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I'm NOT a big fan M + adapter + EF/EF-S/L. I feel Canon needs to release more pancakes for current M & M2. I would love to buy M2 with 14,16 or 17mm pancake or something more compact.

 
« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 10:42:24 PM by Dylan777 »
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comsense

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Re: 4 weeks in South East Asia with the EOS M as 2nd Body
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2013, 08:27:45 PM »
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I'm NOT a big fan M + adapter + EF/EF-S/L. I feel Canon needs to release more pancakes for feature M. I would love to buy M2 with 14,16 or 17mm pancake or something small.
I agree, I dont even find EF-M zooms appealing due to added bulk. 12mm pancake f/2.8 (or even f4 if it results in thin sleek lens) would be really nice.

Dylan777

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Re: 4 weeks in South East Asia with the EOS M as 2nd Body
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2013, 10:47:45 PM »
I agree, I dont even find EF-M zooms appealing due to added bulk. 12mm pancake f/2.8 (or even f4 if it results in thin sleek lens) would be really nice.

+1...couldn't pull trigger due to bulkiness.
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axtstern

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Re: 4 weeks in South East Asia with the EOS M as 2nd Body
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2013, 05:27:23 AM »
In regards to my complaints about the touch screen:

Not all touch screen cameras have such an issue.
A simple logic like for example used on the Iphone would do the trick:
Press a physical button ie: the shutter button halfway to wake the camera from standby.
Than make a sliding movement to unlock the touch screen.

If this kind of firmwae fix is not desired a simple change of the position of the shoulder strap would do.
By the way the weight is centered on a 700D or 70D the camera hangs on the strap usualy lens down which results in the touch screen facing upwards. The M however based on its lightweight lenses and the symetrical strap connector points hangs arround your neck/shoulders like a toy camera with the lens facing forward and the touch screen facing your body waiting for random buttons to be pressed.

docsmith

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Re: 4 weeks in South East Asia with the EOS M as 2nd Body
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2013, 06:51:32 AM »
I am up to ~1500 shots with my EOS-M but haven't run into the issues you describe.  I think the primary reason is that I turn the M off when I am not using it.  It actually turns on and off pretty quickly.  Given the procedures you are describing of having to check settings routinely, I think it may be similar amounts of time to turn off/on rather than worrying about your settings.

Fairly obvious answer, you probably already have a reason you aren't doing that.

BTW, I own both the 18-55 and the 22 mm lenses.  The 22 mm is definitely smaller but the 18-55 is small enough.  I've walked around with it around my neck or simply traveled with it in a small case.

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Re: 4 weeks in South East Asia with the EOS M as 2nd Body
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2013, 06:51:32 AM »

bholliman

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Re: 4 weeks in South East Asia with the EOS M as 2nd Body
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2013, 07:19:04 AM »
I ran into a few of the issues the OP describes with settings changing inadvertently.  This caused some frustration the first few times I used the camera extensively, but my solution was to turn the camera off when not in use as suggested by docsmith.

A simple logic like for example used on the Iphone would do the trick:
Press a physical button ie: the shutter button halfway to wake the camera from standby.
Than make a sliding movement to unlock the touch screen.

Good idea, this would be an improvement

I turn the M off when I am not using it.  It actually turns on and off pretty quickly. 

This is what I do.  The only downside is that you miss a few shots while waiting for it to turn back on.
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bobw

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Re: 4 weeks in South East Asia with the EOS M as 2nd Body
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2013, 08:36:08 AM »
Not all touch screen cameras have such an issue.
A simple logic like for example used on the Iphone would do the trick:
Press a physical button ie: the shutter button halfway to wake the camera from standby.
Than make a sliding movement to unlock the touch screen.

Even with an iphone you need to turn the display off. If you put it in your pocket with the display on you can get touches.

What you really need is a screen lock button on the display. I believe the only option now is to wait for the screen to time out and that may take too long for you.

josephandrews222

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Re: 4 weeks in South East Asia with the EOS M as 2nd Body
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2013, 01:22:08 PM »
There are some nuggets in your important post.

I concur with those posters who turn off the M between shots. That's what I do. That is in fact what I do with my point-and-shoots. In this way the first-gen M is more point-and-shoot than DSLR. If the Magic Lantern folks were to build in a workaround for this I would consider installing their firmware on the M.

Your other important observation is one that I've made in other threads...I will rephrase as follows:

The M + 11-22 combo is the KILLER APP for the M platform. You nailed it--nice & wide plus Image Stabilization!

So the M +11-22 combo is, in fact, my primary 'second body'.

I really don't understand CanonUSA's logic on the 11-22...
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AmbientLight

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Re: 4 weeks in South East Asia with the EOS M as 2nd Body
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2013, 01:40:08 PM »
There are some nuggets in your important post.

I concur with those posters who turn off the M between shots. That's what I do. That is in fact what I do with my point-and-shoots. In this way the first-gen M is more point-and-shoot than DSLR. If the Magic Lantern folks were to build in a workaround for this I would consider installing their firmware on the M.

Your other important observation is one that I've made in other threads...I will rephrase as follows:

The M + 11-22 combo is the KILLER APP for the M platform. You nailed it--nice & wide plus Image Stabilization!

So the M +11-22 combo is, in fact, my primary 'second body'.

I really don't understand CanonUSA's logic on the 11-22...

What do you think regarding the 22mm prime pancake lens compared to the 11-22mm zoom? I do prefer shallow depth of field, but how do you see the usefulness of the prime vs. the wide angle zoom?

Drizzt321

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Re: 4 weeks in South East Asia with the EOS M as 2nd Body
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2013, 02:00:02 PM »
I'm with you on a way to completely disable the "touch to shoot" mode and make it unable to be re-enabled except through the menu system. It's far too easy to accidentally turn it back on via the touchscreen if I just let it hang for a few moments.
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ashmadux

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Re: 4 weeks in South East Asia with the EOS M as 2nd Body
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2013, 12:11:28 AM »
Agreed. I just wrapped up shooting around fashion week, and with the M on my next, it begins taking presses from you body and switches up all kinds of settings. This camera desperately needs a screen lock.
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Re: 4 weeks in South East Asia with the EOS M as 2nd Body
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2013, 12:11:28 AM »

dtaylor

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Re: 4 weeks in South East Asia with the EOS M as 2nd Body
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2013, 01:12:38 AM »
Touchy Screen
Between shots I hit the play button and leave a photo on the M's screen, treating it like a "touch screen off" button. I have also set a short screen blackout time to minimize the battery impact. I never have any problems with changed settings or random shots thanks to this, but at the same time the camera is instantly available when it's time to shoot. If I know I won't be using the M for a while I'll go ahead and shut it off rather then hit play, but only to try and squeeze every last drop of power out of the battery.

That said, Canon needs to add a "sleep" button that turns off the sensor and screen but leaves the camera in a state so that it can wake instantly. I wish they would issue another firmware update with this feature. I would be OK with the sleep button being on screen.

Batteries
3 batteries per day is about right, and battery life is my one major complaint about the M. I think for a really long day or critical trip I would actually take 4-5 batteries. That's a big change from the 7D battery which can go all day and still have power left over for the next day.

The Wasabi 2 battery pack on Amazon.com includes a charger which helps alleviate the 3 battery / 1 charger issue on trips. Canon/Wasabi charge on Wasabi/Canon.

Bulky Zooms
Regarding the comments about bulky zooms: not at all. I absolutely love the M+18-55 because it's so compact and light weight, and the lens punches way above its price class. I can't wait to add the 11-22. These are only bulky compared to tiny P&S cameras which retract the lens flat when off. But they have the IQ of DSLRs and lenses which are huge and heavy by comparison.

High ISO
It's strange to me because in formal testing the M doesn't appear that much better. But in everyday use high ISO seems noticeably superior to my 7D. Part of it for me might be that with live view I leave it in manual and every shot is optimized for the scene / exposed to the right. I have to admit that shooting this way makes OVFs seem archaic. I'm never fiddling with the spot meter or re-shooting to optimize exposure with the M, and in some situations that makes it much faster to work with then my 7D.

Now I'm looking forward to the day when EVFs and on chip AF are good enough that they can finally replace OVFs. If I had "live view" on my 7D I don't think I would ever shoot in anything but manual mode.

axtstern

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Re: 4 weeks in South East Asia with the EOS M as 2nd Body
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2013, 03:41:38 AM »
Thank you dtaylor that tip with the play button is highly apreciated. It is qiet funny hanging arround Canon Rumors since the age of my 30D has made me spent 1000s of Euros on equipment I otherwise would have never heard of but also it has given me time and time again large insights and usefull hacks for bending the light.

A few weeks ago I read in a thread on this forum the trick of doing slow stacked serial pictures with the M by pressing the shutterbutton full and afterwards releasing it half which also helped me improving what I got out of the M.

In regards to your workflow with easy full manual thanks to proper liveview, this sparked the idea in me to wait for the M successor and afterwards modify the M to become either a infrared camera or a full spectrum camera. Filters for the small diameter lenses are cheap and the live view might help me getting less random results when doing IR work.

I have not made the jump to full manual on my M as I still do most of my pictures on the 60D and do not to have to switch the way I think or imagine a shot between the 2 cameras.

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Re: 4 weeks in South East Asia with the EOS M as 2nd Body
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2013, 03:41:38 AM »