EOS M System is not going away!

snegri45

I'm New Here
Jun 20, 2017
12
8
New York City
The last two forum discussions about the M system have had a few viewpoints in common.

- I/we MUST have a 7D II successor based on the M series, but it MUST be bigger, have a larger grip, two card slots, and a much bigger battery. Guys, you are barking up the wrong tree, buy the 90D, it gives you most of what you want.

- Canon is crazy to have two incompatible mirrorless systems. KILL the M system and spend your R&D money on the R system! Reality check; we are NOT TYPICAL camera buyers/users. Many of us own multiple bodies, some of us even multiple systems. And there is a lot of glass, some of it quite esoteric, owned by posters. So however much money we give to Canon we are NOT the consumers they are aiming the M system at.

The early Ms were largely cell phone alternatives with zoom lens options. But with the M5 and its built in EVF there was finally a serious little camera which could appeal to more serious customers. From available market share data it seems that the M is the market leader and sells in far larger numbers than R cameras. And Canon has certainly not stopped development of the system, the M6 II is quite new and rumors forecast two new bodies. Since Canon USA website no longer show the M5, an M5 II seems rather likely. Personal note: I will buy one ASAP.

Another personal note, I am disheartened by Canon's reluctance to develop M primes. But historically that is no fluke, from the introduction of the first Canon APS-C camera, the original Digital Rebel, it took nearly a decade before the rather uninspiring EF-S 24mm f/2.8 appeared. It has since been joined by two macro lenses. The Canon APS-C system is now 17 years old. Rapid, indeed!

When the EF-M 32mm f/1.4 was introduced I thought that was the beginning of a series of fancy primes. Wrong! But of course I realize that consumers looking for M primes are few and far between, few enough that Canon thinks we may be unicorns, i.e. non-existing.

But guess what, it seems Sigma has more faith in us unicorns than Canon does. Last fall they retooled their three f/1.4 APS-C primes (M 4/3 and Sony E mounts) with EF-M mounts, 16mm, 30mm, and 56mm. And, no, right now you cannot get them, Sigma has them all on backorder! So I suspect that more than a few of us unicorns put down our money rather quickly! When I bought my M5 a few years back I bought the three kit zooms, pretty much the same as I had for my Rebel SLs, and the 22mm. It was a small, lightweight kit that gave ME the image quality I needed for most of my personal work. When the 32mm was launched I bought it in a flash and was very pleased with the IQ. So I hoped there would soon be a 53mm f/1.4. Didn't happen. So when the Sigma 56mm became available I grabbed one ASAP and was so pleased that after reading reviews of the 16mm I bought one of those as well. Equally impressive, but bigger, it doesn't fit the M lens form factor. Yet i am gladly willing to put up with it.

From where I started my kit is heavier, but I have gained a lot of photographic capabilities. Compare size/weight with a 5D III/IV and, say, a few Sigma f/1.4 Art lenses (24mm, 50mm, and 85mm) and a Canon 35mm f/2. Then throw in a few FF zooms and you will need a roller bag (at least I do!) But the M kit in a backpack always goes with me.

A Chinese company, Viltrox, showed three non-working APS-C f/1.4 lenses at PhotoPlus Expo in NYC in October 2019, 23mm, 33mm, and 56mm, all with good form factors. If the 23mm reviews well I will probably pick one up, it will reportedly be inexpensive.

I realize full well that MY likes and dislikes and preferences are just MINE and likely are not widely shared. On the other hand, there seems to be other FF photographers who like the M system for its combination of IQ, size, and weight and are perfectly willing to keep it as a second system. With its market share, newly increased support from Canon, and Sigma M mount lenses flying off the shelves the M system is here to STAY!!

Ex model in restaurant, EF-M 32mm at f/1.4, 1/60 second, ISO 800, flash bounced camera right.
EmIMG_1908.JPG


B&H held its annual Depth of Field event mid February in NYC. Various photo distributors had set up shooting stations with models, props, etc. This is from one of them. Sigma 56mm at f/1.4, 1/320 sec., ISO 800.
IMG_2103.2.JPG


And a more prosaic image, Sigma 16mm at f/1.4, 1/80 sec., ISO 500.
IMG_2315.2.JPG


And there you have MY thoughts on why Canon will not kill off the M system. It can be no more than a basic M with a kit zoom or it can be a high end EVF camera outfitted with enough primes and zooms to be a big boy camera, yet still be a (relatively) small and light outfit.

Chris
 

Aussie shooter

@brett.guy.photography
Dec 6, 2016
637
758
Actually I bet if you asked most 7d2 shooters they would say it would be far better having a 7d style crop sensor built around the RF mount rather than the M mount. And trust me, as good as the 90d looks it is not a real replacement for a 7d2
 

padam

EOS 7D MK II
Aug 26, 2015
792
413
And there you have MY thoughts on why Canon will not kill off the M system. It can be no more than a basic M with a kit zoom or it can be a high end EVF camera outfitted with enough primes and zooms to be a big boy camera, yet still be a (relatively) small and light outfit.

Chris
Nice images.

I don't think many suppose Canon is looking to kill of the M system. But I think that the next sentence that is not quite true, Canon will never see it as the latter, a higher-end camera. (Of course that does not mean, that some people can't still see it as a full replacement, if it is sufficient for them).

So while it will put effort to develop it further, it will be limited to smaller-sized lenses (which are also cheaper, aimed at a different market).

Right now, they just come out with a new M camera that has IBIS, maybe some better video features, and they won't have to do that much effort over that to keep it going.

The main difference is course the missing relation between the RF and EF-M opposed to EF and EF-S (although of course EF-M is compatible with the latter two, but they won't put much effort in developing those either).
 

snegri45

I'm New Here
Jun 20, 2017
12
8
New York City
To Brett: Maybe there will be an APS-C R camera, maybe not, only Canon knows. The 7D II is discontinued, it was introduced 2014. Doesn't seem to be many rumors about a replacement. The 90D indeed is no 7D III, but for someone wanting a newer APS-C camera for longer reach than FF, I nevertheless find it a compelling option. 10 frames per second, 27% higher linear resolution, multiple generations newer sensor, Digic, and AF system. You could of course buy an FF camera and crop, but the 90D pixel density translates to 83.2 Mpix in FF. And there ain't no such camera yet, and when/if it arrives it will probably have a 3x plus price factor over the 90D.

Full disclosure: I have never shot with any 7D cameras, they didn't meet my needs. I am not putting the cameras down, just pointing towards what TO ME seems like a sensible alternative.

To padam: Thanks for the compliment about the photos. I increasingly try to make photos rather than just taking them. The restaurant image is of course really nothing more than a glorified snapshot, but I like to think that it was well thought out and executed.

I agree with you about EF-S lenses, I don't think we will see any new ones. Furthermore, I don't foresee a lot of new EF lenses either. There is a new Rebel, the T8i, but it really only seems like an update on the T6i/T7i. And I think it and the 90D have more than enough EF-S (and EF) lenses to be well served. The 1Dx III, the 90D, and the T8i probably represent the last chapter for bodies designed for the EF lens mount.

Some thoughts about image quality. When I need to go for maximum attainable IQ I go to my 5DrS and usually grab whatever Sigma Art prime(s) that will likely be needed or one of my dozen Big Whites. And I think that gets me mighty close to the highest IQ that is currently achievable with a 35mm form factor camera, DSLR or mirrorless. But apart from the 5DrS, which wasn't everyone's cup of tea, until the 5D IV, we were working at 20 Mp, and now (5D IV) with 30 Mp. I understand full well that there are many other factors (dynamic range, noise level and suppression) that go into image quality.

But the critical question then becomes: What IQ level will satisfy MY need when I am shooting personal photographs? Last fall I shot the same still life scene with the M5 and Sigma 56mm f/1.4 as well as my 5D III and EF 85mm F/1.4 L. The IQ differences were mighty, mighty slim. And I suspect that I would purchase an M5 II with 32 Mp the moment I could find one. The M system will range from quite basic (M200) to reasonably fancy (M5 II).

The lens issue is interesting, and we have to remember that going forward the M system is going to be Canon's bread and butter interchangeable lens system, it will replace the Rebels as well as the x0D cameras. I keep an EF 85mm f/1.8 (135mm equivalent) in my M bag while I am waiting for someone to make a native APS-C EF-M 85mm f/1.4 (hopefully.) The form factor issue is also intriguing, I would certainly be willing to buy one more lens the size of the Sigma 16mm f/1.4. And I would surely love something like the Vario-Tessar 16-70mm f/4 with its 55mm filter size. I feel Canon ought to be a bit more ambitious with EF-M lens development. Sigma certainly must be very intrigued by the quick and strong demand for its f/1.4 EF-M trio, they are all backordered. The independent lens manufacturers have advantages, the same optical design can be used for EF-M, Sony APS-C (Alpha 6x00), Fuji, and M 4/3 while the mounts have to be different. I suspect that in addition to Viltrox, Tamron and Tokina might eye this market segment. And the Nikon Z50 might further expand the segment.

I say we live in interesting times!
 

Michael Clark

Now we see through a glass, darkly...
Apr 5, 2016
2,302
1,289
To Brett: Maybe there will be an APS-C R camera, maybe not, only Canon knows. The 7D II is discontinued, it was introduced 2014. Doesn't seem to be many rumors about a replacement.
The 7D Mark II isn't really discontinued. It's still in the current catalog with the W-E1 WiFi adapter included. That's a different stock number than the body only version without the W-E1, which has been discontinued.

https://www.usa.canon.com/internet/...cameras/dslr/eos-7d-mark-ii-wi-fi-adapter-kit
 
Last edited:

Aussie shooter

@brett.guy.photography
Dec 6, 2016
637
758
To Brett: Maybe there will be an APS-C R camera, maybe not, only Canon knows. The 7D II is discontinued, it was introduced 2014. Doesn't seem to be many rumors about a replacement. The 90D indeed is no 7D III, but for someone wanting a newer APS-C camera for longer reach than FF, I nevertheless find it a compelling option. 10 frames per second, 27% higher linear resolution, multiple generations newer sensor, Digic, and AF system. You could of course buy an FF camera and crop, but the 90D pixel density translates to 83.2 Mpix in FF. And there ain't no such camera yet, and when/if it arrives it will probably have a 3x plus price factor over the 90D.

Full disclosure: I have never shot with any 7D cameras, they didn't meet my needs. I am not putting the cameras down, just pointing towards what TO ME seems like a sensible alternative.
Oh. I totally agree it is a great camera. In my mind the best all round APS-c ever made. And it has a couple of things that I (as a 7d2 shooter) am very envious of. But the things it lacks are soooo important that I would not 'upgrade' to it. Anyone however that wanted to get into wildlife and did not already have a 7d2 would be well advised to get a 90d. I doubt they would be disappointed.
 
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Michael Clark

Now we see through a glass, darkly...
Apr 5, 2016
2,302
1,289
To Brett: Maybe there will be an APS-C R camera, maybe not, only Canon knows. The 7D II is discontinued, it was introduced 2014. Doesn't seem to be many rumors about a replacement. The 90D indeed is no 7D III, but for someone wanting a newer APS-C camera for longer reach than FF, I nevertheless find it a compelling option. 10 frames per second, 27% higher linear resolution, multiple generations newer sensor, Digic, and AF system. You could of course buy an FF camera and crop, but the 90D pixel density translates to 83.2 Mpix in FF. And there ain't no such camera yet, and when/if it arrives it will probably have a 3x plus price factor over the 90D.

Full disclosure: I have never shot with any 7D cameras, they didn't meet my needs. I am not putting the cameras down, just pointing towards what TO ME seems like a sensible alternative.

The biggest hindrances to replacing a 7D Mark II with a 90D are the fairly significant downgrades in terms of:

1. AF system. The 2014 7D Mark II has an AF system on the same level as the 2012 1D X and 5D Mark III. The 90D has an AF system on the same level as the 80D, which is a step down from the top tier. Those who have shot both side-by-side say the older 7D Mark II AF from 2012 is still better than the newer 90D AF system for sports/action/birds on the fly.

2. Shutter durability rating. The 7D Mark II is rated at 200,000 actuations and examples frequently exceed twice that. The 90D is rated at 120,00. Its predecessor, the 80D, is rated at 100,000 and rarely is documented as achieving even that. Look at both the 7D Mark II and 80D Kaplan-Meier Survival estimates at Oleg Kikin's Shutter Life Database. Admittedly, the sample size for the 80D is pretty small there, but the 70D doesn't fare much better.

3. Overall build quality. The 7D Mark II is built like a mini 1-series camera with Magnesium alloy shell. Roger Cicala called it possibly the most weather sealed camera he had ever torn down when he examined it in 2014. "This is, by dissection at least, the most thoroughly weather-sealed camera I’ve ever run across. (I would point out that I don’t take apart every camera so please don’t change my wording to say it’s the most weather sealed camera. I don’t know that.) But this isn’t just market-speak weather sealing. It’s a thorough and complete attempt to seal every possible crack and crevice the camera has." The 90D has a plastic case.

For the use cases to which the 7D Mark II is best suited (sports/action in all-weather scenarios), the 90D just doesn't pass muster.