Since the camera giant began throwing all its energy into its full-frame EOS R series, the Canon EOS M series has almost been in semi-retirement. But a series of patents say that with a bold new vlogging-focused reinvention, it may soon be granted a new lease of life.
Canon’s range of lightweight, travel-friendly cameras is the APS-C camera series, led by models like the Canon EOS M6 Mark II. But with the arrival of the EOS M6 Mark II back in 2019, and the new Canon EOS M50 Mark II is just a very slight update from its predecessor, it feels like the series has run out of steam.
However, several recent patents discovered by Canon News indicate that Canon might be working on moving the EOS M collection in a new direction. A portable vlogging camera, like a DJI OM 4, except without the gimbal and phone cover, which is fronted by an EF-M mount and has a lock mechanism to avoid it jumping about while you change lenses, is seen by the new patents, which join eight others on the same subject.
Previous patents for the same camera suggest that it has a grip-attached panning and tilting head with an LCD or OLED monitor on the back to help you frame images. A control mechanism on the rear will allow you to tilt or rotate the lens, much like the DJI OM 4, but Canon’s patent implies that this could be based on a touchpad rather than a joystick.
It’s a very convincing idea, particularly for handheld vlogging or filmmaking. The camera would already be compatible with a wide range of existing EF-M lenses, such as the EF-M 22mm f/2 out of the gate, not to mention EF or EF-S lenses through an adaptor, if it were put into production. But its appearance will certainly spark the production of a few more devoted lenses, too.
What is the proof?
The publishing of patents, of course, is never a sure sign that a product is in production, particularly when they are from an organization that is as prolific as Canon in filing ideas.
But there are a few strong reasons for those who like the premise of the project to think that this EOS M idea has a chance of making the leap into existence. This is the ninth patent we’ve seen on the same design, for a start, and all of them go into fairly granular detail on how the device will operate, as well as including a large amount of diagrams.
For Canon and its EOS M series, a camera like this will also make a great deal of sense. Canon is driving photography enthusiasts into its full-frame EOS R series right now, fronted by cameras such as the Canon EOS R6, versatile cameras that are really benefiting from the growing variety of new RF lenses.
Owing to the big advancements made by the best camera phones, smaller cameras such as the EF-M series have become less popular among amateur photographers, but vloggers and YouTubers still enjoy their small size for making run-and-gun videos. Shifting the EF-M series to video with a camera like this idea could spark some new demand for the legacy lens systems of Canon while retaining the photographic focus on its EOS R cameras.
Like the rumored Canon EOS R7, we might also see an RF camera with an APS-C sensor, but this will be a convincing new direction for the EF-M series. Let’s assume that the number of patents means that there is some traction behind the project to make it into practice.