We found out in August that Canon's best mirrorless camera, the EOS M3, was coming to the United States this fall. Now we know it'll have some company on store shelves, because Canon just announced the EOS M10 — essentially a cheaper version of the M3 — along with a few new lenses for its nascent mirrorless camera ecosystem.
The EOS M10 is a much more consumer-friendly version of its more photographer-focused sibling both inside and out. The new camera uses an 18-megapixel APS-C sensor (which is the size typically found in entry-level DSLRs) that's outfitted with Canon's DIGIC 6 image processor, and the M10's light sensitivity ranges from ISO 100 to 12,800. The camera can shoot 1080p video at 24 or 30 frames per second, but it won't shoot slow-motion or UHD footage. It shoots still photos at up to 4.6 frames per second, and it also has Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity.
The M10 is a more consumer-friendly version of the M3
On the outside the M10 eschews the M3's rubber grip, multiple control dials, and flash hot shoe for a much simpler point-and-shoot aesthetic. The top of the device features a mode dial (for switching between video, stills, and auto mode), a record button, and a ring around the shutter button — and that's it. The back is covered mostly by the tilting, 3-inch touchscreen, though there's still room for menu and playback buttons. The M10 looks like it would slip right into a pocket — if it wasn't for the detachable lenses it uses, that is.
Canon is using the launch of the M10 to expand what has so far been a meager lineup of its mirrorless-only (EF-M) line of lenses. Both new options are zoom lenses with image stabilization: one is a 15-45mm lens with a variable f3.5-6.3 aperture, and the other is a 55-200mm lens with a variable f4.5-6.3 aperture. The new lenses will be sold for $299 and $349, respectively, and will be available alongside the M10 in November. The M10 is only being sold as a package with the new 15-45mm lens, and that kit will cost $599. (You won't be able to buy the M10 body outright.)
The G5 X is a monster mini camera
Canon is also announcing two other fixed-lens cameras in its PowerShot series today, both with 20.2-megapixel 1-inch sensors. The PowerShot G5 X comes with a built-in, OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) that has the same high 2.36-million dot resolution found on Fujifilm's X-T10 and X-T1. The G5 X has an equivalent zoom range of 24–100mm, with an impressively bright variable aperture that goes from f1.8 to just f2.8 at the farthest end. This camera is not for the faint of heart — it is covered in knobs and dials, and there's even a control ring around the lens. It also has a flash hot shoe on top of the EVF as well as a built-in flash on the front of it. On the back is a tilting, 3-inch touchscreen LCD. display and — of course — more buttons.
The other new PowerShot is much more pedestrian. The new PowerShot G9 X is a slimmer and sleeker version of the G5 X, but that also means it's not as capable. It has an f2.0-f.4.9 lens with an equivalent zoom range of just 28–84mm. Instead of so many knobs and buttons, the G9 X has leather grips (black leather for the black-bodied G9 X, and brown leather for the silver-bodied version) and just the basics: a shutter button, a mode dial, and some menu buttons on the back. The 3-inch touchscreen LCD display remains, but the G9 X's version doesn't tilt. Both new PowerShot cameras can shoot 1080p video at 24, 30, or 60 frames per second, and both have an ISO range of 125–12,800. The G5 X will retail for $799; the G9 X for $529.
Canon fell far behind the mirrorless camera trend over the last few years, and it has been playing catch-up since announcing the M3 earlier this year. The problem is that Canon's no longer just competing with Nikon. Companies like Sony, Fujifilm, Olympus, and Panasonic all sell very good mirrorless cameras at or under $1,000. What's more, they've used the time that Canon spent waiting to develop robust lines of lenses and incorporate powerful features like 4K and slow-motion video. The new M10 won't help Canon beat the competition any time soon, but for legacy users and brand loyalists it's a step in the right direction.