Home Cameras/Lenses Canon Canon at last getting serious about mirrorless

Canon at last getting serious about mirrorless

577
6
  Canon EOS M5 at its Photokina, 2016 launch, seen here with a 35mm EF lens and mount adapter
Canon EOS M5 at its Photokina, 2016 launch, seen here with a 35mm EF lens and mount adapter
  The smaller, lighter range-finder-style EOS M6 has been a success for Canon and could encourage the company to put more effort into the mirrorless market
The smaller, lighter range-finder-style EOS M6 has been a success for Canon and could encourage the company to put more effort into the mirrorless market

News that Canon’s sales of mirrorless cameras soared by 76 percent in the second quarter of 2017 shows that the introduction of the EOS M6 and M5, the first passable attempts at competing head on with Fuji and Sony, have begun to turn the tide.

It is well recognised that both Canon and Nikon came late to the mirrorless field and both have found it difficult to break into the market. This is strange because both Japanese manufacturers should have been encouraging their huge user base. Perhaps, as many people believe, the companies were afraid of cannibalising their golden-goose DSLR sales. The same accusation has in the past been levelled at Leica in attempting to protect the M rangefinder. In the case of all three companies it was a shortsighted policy, one which Leica, at least, seems to acknowledge.

It’s a major step for any DSLR owner to switch to, say, Fuji or Sony because it means buying a new bagful of lenses. But given an acceptable home-brewed alternative, such as the M6, and the path becomes much smoother. While the EOS mount requires an EF adaptor, Canon claims that any lens from the EF and EF-S (including specialist glass) can be mounted on the EOS M5 and M6.

In the right direction

  The EF-EOS M adapter allows all Canon EF and EF-S lenses to be mounted on the company
The EF-EOS M adapter allows all Canon EF and EF-S lenses to be mounted on the company’s mirrorless cameras. It is a major draw for existing DSLR users

The EOS M6 and the flagship M5 are a step in the right direction. Neither camera is a class leader by any means, but both are more than adequate performers and are being bought mainly by existing Canon users who would like an additional body or, perhaps, an all-round lighter set up. If Canon continues to develop the EOS mirrorless range it will have an in-built advantage and will certainly steal switchers from other makes with their proprietary lens mounts. The same effect could be enjoyed by Nikon if they got their act together. 

It is altogether odd that the mirrorless market, which is going from strength to strength, can be dominated by smaller players such as Fuji and Sony while the big boys of the camera industry have continued to concentrate almost exclusively on their DSLR offerings. The APS-C market is more or less in the hands of Fuji and Sony while Sony is currently the undoubted leader in the full-frame mirrorless field. 

Mirrorless cameras are now mainstream and are being bought for their relatively compact form and low weight; but, crucially, advances in electronic viewfinders are enabling mirrorless cameras to compete directly with single-lens reflexes in terms of image composure, autofocus focus and overall speed. The success of the Sony A9, for instance, should be sounding warning bells for DSLR traditionalists. More mirrorless competition from Canon and, one would hope, Nikon can only be good for the consumer. 

_____________

6 COMMENTS

    • I am sure Olympus is the major player in m4/3. It has a more extensive, more coordinated range and gets more publicity, perhaps because of better PR. The latest OM-D is always the camera journalists set as the benchmark. However, as you know, I favour Panasonic because of its less complicated approach — more Leica in fact — and I just prefer the design, especially those Leica lenses.

  1. Signs Canon are getting serious….. Wow from the numerous glowing test reports I have read about Canon’s M5 and M6 that introductory statement is more than a bit demeaning.

    I know little of Nikon’s offerings but I do know these two Canon’s have much larger than Micro four third CMOS size sensors, which incidentally are likewise used in several of Canon’s Pro and semi Pro level SLR’s, and they in turn are used by something like 55% of the entire World’s top Pro photographers (With most of the other 45% using Nikon).

    One look at TV coverage of any big news or sports events will show what the real Pro’s are using and I can promise it will be Canon’s or Nikon SLR’s, and for very good reasons because they are still the most versatile tools for the job, and we Pro’s do look on our camera systems as being very serious tools much as a hammer or power drill rather than emotionally, or as a enthusiasts toy.

    Good as Mirrorless and or such as 4/3 cameras have got (And in addition to Canon I do also use a Fuji X-Pro 2 outfit and M Leica’s), none possibly other than Sony’s A9 have yet reached Canon or Nikon’s SLR levels as serious Pro cameras, indeed I think it fair to say many of my ilk look on most as being more of a marketing exercise to re invent the wheel, BUT within this overall context it does seem to me Canon ARE already a VERY serious threat with the M5 and M6.

    Don Morley

    • Don, I agree with you on the position of Nikon and Canon in the professional world. I also share your good feelings about the EOS M5 and M6. If I already had a stack of Canon lenses and a pro DSLR I would be very interested in, say, the M5 as an alternative mirrorless body. Up to these two models, the Canon mirrorless offerings have not had this compelling nature and I am sure Canon will be successful now it has developed really substantial competition for Fuji and Sony.

  2. Why is ‘range finder style’ the latest buzz word for camera manufacturers and writers? It’s nothing like a Rangefinder!

    • Yes, I don’t like it either. But it is an accepted way of describing a mirrorless camera which has the viewfinder to the left and lacks the DSLR hump. For instance, the Fuji X-Pro 2 and PEN-F are "rangefinder Syke" while the X-T2 and OM-D EM models are "DSLR style". Can we think of a better way of expressing this?

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.