Canon EOS M Hands-On Field Test
After doing stop motion animation, everything else, including writing this blog entry seems easy.
Chris and I were discussing how the EOS M seemed ‘really late to the mirrorless party’ when he realized we could convey that idea in a little more interesting way. So we decided to shoot our first stop motion film. The script came together very quickly, and we grabbed a bunch of mirrorless cameras to stage our little skit. The setup was simple, we had extra tile for a floor and some dollhouse props. We lit the scene with a single Lumahawk 3K daylight balanced LED, which let us keep from moving lights around as much as possible.
I shot the frames on Chris’ old Nikon D200. I thought it was the perfect camera as it produced smaller files than most modern cameras, which would be easy to turn into an image sequence. What I neglected to consider was that the D200 lacked live view, so I spent a lot of time crouched down trying to peer through a viewfinder. Next time, I’ll use a camera with a nice tilty screen.
The audio was recorded in the store, by the illustrious voice actors Gary Armstrong, Erin Nayeri, Larry Ricks, Chris Niccolls and myself. Unfortunately, the store is never very quiet, so it required a bit of post production to make the sound more presentable.
For the rest of the shoot, Chris and I headed to Princess Island Park. I wanted to travel as lightly as possible so my kit consisted of the Sony FS700, a Manfrotto 561BHDV Monopod, and Sony UWP-V130 mic system. For lenses, I brought the Sony Zeiss 24mm F2, Sony 35mm F1.8, and 50mm F1.4. I also accidentally brought the Sony 16-50 F2.8, which wound up saving us when I needed a really wide lens for the walk and talk on the Peace Bridge.
Chris brought everything we have for the EOS M, the 18-55 F3.5-5.6, 22mm F2 and the included flash. Unfortunately, we were not expecting to shoot outside, so we neglected to bring an ND filter for shooting video. This means all the video clips are shot at smaller apertures, so we could maintain a proper shutter speed.
Chris and I both have mixed feelings about the the EOS M. While it truly does deliver the image quality of an EOS SLR in a very small package, its features seem a bit dated, especially for the price point. I’m really hoping Canon brings out an advanced version with an EVF, flip screen, and new sensor in the near future. For now though, if you have a bunch of EF and EF-S lenses, the Canon EOS M gives you nice compact body to mount them on, with full autofocus and stabilization.