Sunday, July 28, 2013

New Family Member

Earlier this week, there was a new addition to my small collection in the form of an EOS M and 22mm f/2, which I rather begrudgingly got after several stores in Canada lowered the price to a pretty insane level. After 7 years of having nothing but a DSLR, it's nice to finally have something compact and light that's also capable of decent image quality.

I said 'begrudgingly' because when the EOS M was announced and first hit the streets, I was unimpressed and had pretty much no intention of ever getting it. It wasn't that the camera was bad per se, but at $800 it had a feature set similar to what competitors were offering for $500 or less. The sluggish AF didn't help either, and the system consisted of only 2 lenses for its first 10 months on the market (that total is now a whopping 3). Brand wasn't much an an attraction since anyone getting into it would be starting fresh with lenses anyway. Yes, there that whole 'adaptor' argument that people liked to make on forums, but to me that was little more than a gimmick (a gimmick I may eventually cave to in the form of a $50 knock-ff adaptor) that would void the purpose of having a compact interchangeable lens camera. Though the ability to use existing lighting equipment is definitely a huge plus.

At the start of the year, I had pretty much been set in getting a micro 4/3 kit. Pansonic GF3 w/14-42 X and Olympus E-PM1 w/14-42. The latter option was even being cleared out by a local camera store for $125 back in March. Sadly I didn't have a day off work until the fourth day of that sale, and they sold out by the third. In any case, those options had nagging issues - like Olympus' kit lens not being terribly compact, Panasonic's sensors and processors being a tad outdated, and each brand had a lack of fast primes available as kit lenses.

But after a series of steep price drops beginning in May, and culminating in the sub-$300 prices we're seeing today, the M began to appeal a little more, especially after the AF-hastening firmware update was released at the end of June. Fortunately my M shipped with firmware version 1.0.6, so I was able to use the old firmware for 5 days before updating to 2.0.2 and witnessing the changes first-hand. It doesn't exactly make AF as fast as a m4/3 or Nikon 1 body, but at least it's a noticeable improvement.

I had passed on Canon Canada's $349 M w/18-55 and 90EX deal back in July since I didn't really have a need for yet another standard zoom, especially when it was still too big for a pocket. But the 22mm f/2 had always been tempting, given its speed, small size, and apparent quality. So the next time it went on sale, I jumped at it. So far, it's been using it, and first impressions of the system are mostly positive.

Anyway, keep a look out for reviews on the new stuff in the coming weeks. I know I promised the 5D review a while back, but that's been put of the backburner for a variety of reasons.

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