Canon EOS M Street Photography

Canon’s new EOS M will be an interesting camera for street photographers. The larger sensor size should allow for nice shallow depth of field and better performance in low light. But the lens range of Micro 43 is well matured with some lovely lenses from Olympus and Leica.

EOS M Sample Street Photo

Sample of the EOS M in use on the street. Contrast is good and details are sharp.

The Canon is launching into a crowded market. But in the end it will come down to whether it’s the right camera for your style of street shooting. The small size and high image quality is going to give micro four thirds cameras a run for their money.


As a street photographer I’m interested in:

  • Small size
  • Rugged exterior
  • Fast operation

Canon seem to have delivered on the first two but the auto focus seems a bit slow based on the early product videos. We’ll have to see how it preforms on the street but it’s a great addition to the family of cameras that are perfect for blogging, street photography and upgrading from a point and shoot.

EOS M with Pancake Prime

With a pancake prime lens the EOS M becomes a credible street shooter.

The pancake and prime lens options will make or break the system for street photographers. The 50mm field of view is a classic but lots of street photographers will be looking for a 24mm and the street portrait shooters will be waiting for a wide aperture 90mm prime.

Canon EOS M Street Photographer's camera

The new Canon EOS M is small enough to be discrete but packs a serious punch. http://www.londonstreetphoto.org/canon-eos-m-street-photography/

I’ll wait to see more about the viewfinder options, lens options and operating speed under pressure. Would you use the EOS M on the street?

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8 thoughts on “Canon EOS M Street Photography

  1. I totally agree with your assesment. Despite the camera not having a built in EVF or a lot of tactile controls, it does look like a worthy successor of the Panny GF1, a great camera for the street and travel. The APS-C sized sensor ensures a “good enough” performance in terms of dynamic range, and low light performance. The design is contemporary, elegant, and unconspicuous, size is small, and the 35mm equivalent f/2 pancake the icing on the cake. But, as you said, it almost looks like the achilles heel is the slow autofocus. Will they improve on it before the camera hits the shelves? We don’t know. Another big, big question is the lens roadmap. Will they go the NEX route of slow uninspiring zooms, or the Fuji route of enthusiast oriented primes? I hope for the latter, but I’m not holding my breath on that…Too many questions, but this is indeed exciting for all of us who are looking for the (yet to come) perfect street and travel camera…

  2. I will have a good look at for it for sure, was waiting for a canon like this.
    I while ago I wanted a smaller camera then my Canon 550D crop DSLR.
    I bought a canon S95, great manual control,good in low light,autofocus spot-on.
    But the retracting lens annoyed me and slowed me down for street stuff and spontaneous pictures.
    Then I bought a panasonic GF3,ready to take a picture when you with it on,but I was expecting better picture performance in low light then the S95, but It was a bit disappointing.
    Really like the GF3 for lots of situates, but for me it’s not perfect.
    If the cannon performance better in low light then the GF3, and if it’s possible to pre focus, I will have a look.

  3. I think the “worthy successor of the Panny GF1” is the GX1. Stick the somewhat dated but still excellent 20mm F1.7 on the front and you blow away the Canon in every area except potentially IQ, but I bet you couldn’t spot any difference in real world shots.
    Put the Summilux 25mm F1.4 on the front and you have fabulous lens with almost instant focusing, great for street photography; albeit for more money.
    For what it’s worth, here is my not so complimentary take on the EOS-M: http://www.pattayadays.com/2012/07/canon-delighting-you-always/

  4. Holding the camera at arms length to take a photo, it sure does look funny. It would be better to get a camera that has a viewfinder !

    • You can get viewfinders for most mirrorless cameras. But I’ve found that you don’t really need one. The ‘holding away from your face’ is weird at first but it’s good for peripheral vision when street shooting.

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