Andy Westlake, writing for DPReview in July 2012:
Of course the really big question is how well the EOS M will fare against established competitors from the likes of Olympus, Panasonic and Sony. We’re not expecting any surprises in terms of image quality; Canon says the EOS M’s stills and video output will be identical to the EOS 650D, which means it should be a close match to anything else in its class. In terms of features the EOS M looks reasonably competitive, although without perhaps an obvious standout selling point against its peers. As always, we’re looking forward to getting our hands on a fully-working example for an in-depth evaluation.
I’m surprised that DPReview hasn’t done a full review of the Canon EOS M, but other online reviews have been almost universal in their harsh criticism of the camera’s slow auto-focus capabilities. I just bought one of these year-old devices last week after they received a substantial price discount, and I have been quite pleased with it so far. I immediately installed the 2.0 firmware which reportedly helps with auto-focus speed, but even when I played around with the old firmware at a local camera store, I wasn’t overly concerned by it – in fact I was pleasantly surprised after reading all the horrible reviews.
I own a Canon 7D and several EF and EF-S lenses, so I’m used to that camera’s very fast auto-focus. So why doesn’t the EOS M auto-focus bother me? I think it’s because I bought the EOS M to serve a different purpose than my 7D – portability. I often leave my 7D at home due to its size and weight – yes it would probably lead to better images, but if the alternative is no image at all (because the camera is sitting at home), I think the EOS M is a winner. I’ll soon be travelling on vacation to Toronto, London, and Paris for a month. The thought of lugging around my 7D camera and lenses already gives me a sore shoulder; the thought of my new EOS M with EF-M 22mm pancake lens gets me excited about photography again.