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Canon EOS M: Race to the bottom in price

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 Steven Kwan
Steven Kwan’s EOS M and 22mm f/2 prime tricked out with a Voigtländer 35mm optical viewfinder and the obligatory masking tape
  Tale of woe: From nearly £800 to under £200 in two years. Yet the Canon is a brilliant little camera, especially following the firmware update that has largely solved the slow-focus issue (Chart   CameraPriceBuster.co.uk )
Tale of woe: From nearly £800 to under £200 in two years. Yet the Canon is a brilliant little camera, especially following the firmware update that has largely solved the slow-focus issue (Chart CameraPriceBuster.co.uk )

Six weeks ago I was writing about my friend Steven Kwan’s love of the otherwise-unloved Canon EOS M. This tiny APS-C interchangeable-lens compact was introduced under two years ago and has not been a massive success. Despite innovative design and good image quality (especially from the 22mm f/2 prime), the EOS M gained an early reputation for slow autofocus and this seems to have been the main architect of its misfortune. That, and the rather excessive launch price. A  camera and two-lens kit (18-55mm zoom and 22mm prime) initially cost the thick end of £1,000. 

Since then the autofocus has been improved substantially by firmware update but the Canon never seems to have regained momentum. Steven is the only photographer friend of mine who has bought an EOS M but he actually loves it. His enthusiasm was so enthusiastic when I interviewed him in June that I put one of these underrated little cameras on my shopping list. 

Fortunately for the bargain hunter, prices have softened considerably. When I spoke to Steven six weeks ago, the EOS M with 18-55mm zoom kit had fallen to £299, well under half the launch price. I decided to sit on the fence and mentally pencilled in £200 as the sort of no-brainer value for what is in effect a very effective travellers’ APS-C camera.

  Both photographs in this article taken with the Leica T and 18-56mm Vario-Elmar-T: A camera from the opposite end of the price spectrum
Both photographs in this article taken with the Leica T and 18-56mm Vario-Elmar-T: A camera from the opposite end of the price spectrum

Yesterday it happened. Argus is now selling the kit for £199 and I placed my order. In combination with a second lens from eBay, I have ended up with the two-lens kit (18-55 and 22mm) for under £275, under a third of the launch price. Now I need to put the camera through its paces and see if it is worth even this modest outlay. Steven, for one, thinks this is a bargain. I suspect the EOS M is on its way out and the price could fall even further before stocks eventually evaporate. But at this price you are getting a lot of competence for your money and, as I said in June, it is perhaps time to put your toe in the water before the little Canon is sold into oblivion.

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