The M10 has a similar look and feel to the PowerShot G-series (4.2 x 2.6 x 1.3 inches, 10.5 ounces), and it’s designed for casual step-up users looking for an easy-to-use interchangeable lens camera. It’s more in-line with the original EOS M in terms of simplicity, versus the M3. Before we get too excited, the M10 is somewhat of a reincarnation of the EOS M2, a camera that Canon never brought over stateside. It uses the same 18-megapixel APS-C sensor and Hybrid CMOS AF II autofocus system (also found in the DT-recommended EOS SL1) that covers 80 percent of the sensor (you can choose between single-shot AF, servo AF [tracking], and manual focus). The ISO range of 125-12,800 is expandable to 25,600 in the menu settings.
Related: Canon EOS M3 hands-on review
But there are a few improvements not found in the M2. It’s using a Digic 6 image processor instead of the older Digic 5. The Hybrid CMOS AF II system has 49 points, instead of the M2’s 31. It has a 3-inch tilting LCD with touch-focus and touch-shutter capabilities (rated 1.04K dots), and continuous shooting of 3.6 shots per second (versus the M2’s 4.6). There’s a two-step improvement in noise reduction: Canon says JPEG noise level at ISO 1600 is equivalent to ISO 400 in the M2. Wireless connective has been upgraded with new Wi-Fi (same implementation as the M3’s, and there’s a direct access button) and NFC, and movies are recorded at up to Full HD, at 24 or 30p. There are plenty of creative filters to choose from, including a Self Portrait mode with a slider that lets you adjust skin smoothness (because we all know how important those selfies are).
Unlike the M3, there are fewer physical controls on the camera body. Most functions are handled through the touchscreen, and if it’s as efficient as the M3’s, that should be an improvement over the original M. There’s no hot shoe, so you can’t add a flash (although there’s one built in) or optional electronic viewfinder.
The M10 is compatible with Canon’s EF-M-mount lenses, which is small but growing. The included 15-45mm lens (which is available on its own, at $300) has a retractable zoom (24-70mm, 35mm equivalent) that’s highly compact when turned off, yet it offers a wider angle than the 18-55mm lens. As with all EOS M-series cameras, the M10 can utilize regular Canon DSLR lenses via an optional adapter.
The M10 will be available in November, and will come in black, white, and gray (the latter is an exclusive to Canon’s online store). The new 15-45mm lens will also be available in November, as well as a silver version of the existing EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM.
As for the M10, it’s entering a crowded field with strong competition from Sony, Fujifilm, Olympus, Samsung, and even Nikon. While there are some better options, Canon has strength in lenses and image quality. But hopefully the M10 is a signal of Canon’s entry into this sector, and we can expect stronger offerings to come.