In this era when smartphone manufacturers are falling over themselves touting the photographic capabilities of the built-in cameras, is there any need for a compact digital camera such as the Canon EOS M10?
PLASTIC AND CHEERFUL
At first sight, the EOS M10 appears similar to the older M3 version but is slightly smaller and lighter. Also, unlike its expensive DSLR siblings, the M10 is built out of hard plastic rather than aluminium or a magnesium alloy. Although it might appear that way, the camera is not waterproof. So be careful using it in rainy conditions.
Despite its diminutive size, the EOS M10 boasts a DSLR quality APS Type C sensor. But the camera dispenses with the usual Mode dial completely and so you cannot select options such as manual, aperture priority, shutter priority, landscape, portrait etc. Instead, the dial on top switches between video, still and auto shooting modes. The EOS M10 seems to be built around the ‘point and click’ philosophy.
Another interesting feature of the camera is its collapsible 15-45mm lens. When you are not shooting, the lens can be ‘collapsed’ and locked, saving some space in the bag. Despite this useful feature, the EOS M10 cannot be described as a pocket camera – unless you want your pocket to bulge prominently.
The M10 lens has a f3.5-6.3 range, making it perfectly usable in normal conditions. Obviously, it is not going to compete with DSLR lenses which are much faster. But the M10 does have optical image stabilisation, a welcome feature for capturing photos at night or while in motion.
The camera can also record Full HD videos in MP4 format. In this age of high-end smartphones featuring 4K video recording capabilities, the M10’s Full HD recording capability might appear a bit inadequate.
All videos and images are saved onto a SD card which is not included in the package. Despite the very low prices of flash memory these days, it is a bit annoying that camera manufacturers are not bundling memory cards with their products or integrating it into the device itself.
As is the current vogue, the M10 has features aimed at the selfie generation. If you rotate the 3-inch LCD 180 degrees, it will go into a self-portrait mode which allow you to activate effects such as background blur, image brightness and for the truly vain, skin smoothing.
Let there be no doubt about it. Under normal conditions, the M10’s 18 megapixel sensor captures images which rival most high-end DSLR cameras. It also makes it clear why there is still a need for compact digital cameras even when the market is flooded with smartphones claiming great photographic performance.
The performance delta with the smartphone cameras widens even further during night photography. Thanks to its larger lens and optical image stabilisation, the M10 takes night photos with much lower noise and less blurring. Even smartphones with full-size sensors such as the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium cannot match the M10.
If you are serious about the quality of your photos, but do not want the hassle of a large DSLR, you should definitely consider packing the Canon EOS M10 in your bag at all times.
Verdict: Small and versatile. Everything you need in a digital camera
Type: Digital single-lens non-reflex AF/AE camera
Recording Media: SD memory card, SDHC memory card, SDXC memory card
Image Sensor Size: 22.3 x 14.9mm
Image Sensor Type: CMOS sensor
Effective Pixels: 18.0 megapixels
Aspect Ratio: 3:2
Image Type: JPEG, RAW