The Canon EOS M at 10: a half-baked warning from mirrorless camera history

Ten years ago today, Canon launched its first ever mirrorless camera: the Canon EOS M. But the forgotten original won’t be throwing a huge party – instead, it’ll be sipping a Jack Daniels in the corner of a dive bar muttering to the Nikon J1 about what might have been.

The Canon EOS M was never really designed to take over the world. It was a classic defensive move from a tech incumbent, designed to avert photographers’ eyes from new mirrorless players like the Sony NEX-7, charming Olympus PEN E-P3 and impressive Samsung NX200.

But what’s fascinating about the Canon EOS M is how, almost exactly ten years on, history is seemingly repeating. Across the road from the Canon EOS M’s dive bar, the new Canon EOS R7 and EOS R10 – its spiritual successors – are celebrating their two-month birthday in a swanky cocktail parlor.

An advert for the Canon EOS M camera

(Image credit: Canon)

Those two cameras are different beasts from the EOS M, most obviously because they share the same RF-mount as Canon’s full-frame mirrorless cameras. This make sense; rather than separate its hobbyist and pro cameras into incompatible families, Canon is finally following the one-mount strategy of its arch rivals Sony and Nikon. This means its two new players should be among best beginner mirrorless cameras around.

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