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Canon EOS M Review (Part 3)

Out in the wild with the EOS M

Welcome to the 3rd and final instalment of my review of the EOS M, Canon's first mirrorless ILC. It's now discontinued, and recent models like the M2 and M3 are not available in North America. 

If you haven't already, please read all about the M and why I got it, in  Part 1 and Part 2 of my review. There'll be pictures too!

Photo walks are a beloved thing of mine. I call them urban safari, because I love to hunt for cool things to shoot. When I got the EOS M I thought that, because of its unassuming size and appearance, it'd be the perfect street camera. With the 22mm f2 STM pancake lens it's a lean mean stealth machine. The shutter is super quiet too and makes me feel ninja like. 

One of my favourite walkaround neighbourhoods in Vancouver is Chinatown. So much life, art and culture. And food. My main mission was lunch at the Ramen Butcher, a new Japanese noodle shop on Georgia Street near Main. I'll post a review with pictures of the Ramen Butcher at a later date. 

There is an ancient shop on Main street that always seems to be empty and closed. From the outside it looks really dark and empty. Lately it's had this sign up. Love that it's trilingual.

(Click on photos to zoom)

I placed my camera right against the glass and shot this picture. It wasn't until I processed this shot in Lightroom that I noticed that man in an apron on the right! Kind of freaked me out. And it actually looks really well-stocked. Next time I'll knock on the door. 

After lunch at the Ramen Butcher I went to explore Keefer Street. 

Found this bizarre book store run by two grumpy guys who seemed to be surprised we walked in the door. Didn't quite work up the courage to point my camera at them, but I'm perfecting my hip shot. Well, it's more like a chest shot. When the M is hanging around my neck I pretend to hold my camera when I'm actually taking a shot. Super spy ninja skills yo. The shutter is very quiet tooBarely noticeable. 

I didn't have any focus issues with all this light and contrast. 

The place was tiny, but crammed wall to wall with chinese magazines and books. Maybe I'll come back and snag a shot of the shopowners. 

Some classic Chinatown. I love the dangling carcass restaurants. Mmm meat and rice. 

Then I took a stroll down East Hastings...

The Ovaltine Cafe is a cultural icon in Vancouver. It has just recently been revitalized. This is practically the heart of the DTES in Vancouver. 

We even walked into the Empress Bar. Which to be honest is scary. No matter how often I explore this part of Vancouver I always feel out of place. That I have no idea what the fuck is going on. 

Didn't have the courage to make any stealthy portraits inside but managed to take a hip shot of the street. And the sandwich board. 

At the northeast corner of the crosswalk at Main and Hastings. 

I feel my first urban safari with the EOS M was a success. My love for this strange camera is just growing the more I use it. 

Since there's no optical viewfinder, I almost never put the camera close to my face. Which is great for ninja style photography and shooting from the hip. The camera is small and very unassuming. When I walk around with my 6D, even with a 40mm pancake lens, it really sticks out. Especially when I bring it to my face to take a photo. But the M, with black gaffer tape covering the bright white Canon logo, is a stealth machine and barely noticeable hanging around my neck or held low. 

The 18 megapixel APS-C sensor is a dream. Not quite as high quality as the sensor on my 6D, but definitely an upgrade from my T2i. 

With the M I feel like I have stepped up my street photography game. The high quality of the RAW files it creates and its compact unassuming form factor make it my ideal street camera. The 22mm f2 STM is sharp and just as compact. 

I took it out with me to Public, a sushi restaurant on Main Street. At the table were two other photographers so the camera was passed around a bit. 

Linda and Trevor at Public Sushi House

It was definitely a low light situation, and the camera was struggling at times. With more practice combining the auto and manual focus, I think this issue is workable. There's a great face tracking feature that works fairly well, and can be activated with a screen tap to choose your subject. There is also an AF assist beam that is only activated by the shutter and not screen taps. 

Gluten free waffles, maple smoked bacon, free range eggs and slathered in maple syrup after. 

I've been taking photographs of my food for ages. Waaaay before Instagram. It's funny that my geeky habits like shooting meals and street photography have become so mainstream. I'm proud and annoyed that my culture has spread to the muggles. 

My nephew at his 11th birthday party. 

Look! A classic photo cliché! 

After using it all weekend I am starting to understand the quirks and benefits of the M. It's safe to say I'm sold on it. I'd even consider upgrading to the M3, if it's ever released in North America. 

I'll be on the lookout for a compact flash option, maybe a used 90Ex speedlite, and possibly the 11-22mm zoom lens. 

I love the camera for it's small and simple form factor, super sharp and bright 22mm f2 lens, and the amazing quality of its 18 megapixel APS-C sensor. 

It's small and quiet enough I can take it anywhere and be almost invisible using it, making it perfect for snapshots and street photography.

I'm happy to have it in my collection.  

Rhoderick LisingComment