Canon EOS M100: A Review of Design & Key Features
Looking to get your first interchangeable lens camera? If size, looks and specs all matter to you, here’s why you should consider the EOS M100. (Reported by: Nobuhiko Sonehara, Digital Camera Watch)
Released on October 5, 2017, the EOS M100 is a mirrorless camera that is equipped with an APS-C sized sensor. It is poised to be the most affordably-priced entry-level model in Canon’s EOS M series of mirrorless cameras.
Released as the successor model of the EOS M10, the EOS M100 adopts a nondescript and user-friendly design for the buttons, dials and the like. Design is what differentiates it from the higher-end models in the series such as the EOS M5 and EOS M6, which feature an assortment of physical controls that would delight enthusiast users but could also overwhelm a beginner.
The compact and stylish look of the EOS M100 might lead more than a few users to discount its performance, but do not be fooled—this is still a high-spec model that comes with significant enhancements, making comparable to its high-end counterparts in terms of the image quality and shooting features.
Size and weight
The EOS M100 measures approximately (W) 108.2mm x (H) 67.1mm x (D) 35.1mm, and weighs 266g (body only). These numbers make it very slightly wider and heavier than the EOS M10 (108.0mm x 66.6mm x 35.0mm, 265g), but the difference is imperceptible when you hold the cameras in your hands. Slim and lightweight, the EOS M100 is a worthy successor in the EOS M-series legacy as a camera optimally designed for daily use.
In general, the EOS M100 inherits the shape of the simple yet stylish EOS M10, which adopted a modern body design even as it retained traditional camera features.
The differences with the EOS M10 lie in the details, particularly in the shape. For example, the edges, which were sharper on the EOS M10, are more rounded on the EOS M100 giving it a softer, friendlier feel. The front finishing of the body also newly adopts a textured pattern, providing a non-slip grip. These two updates not only make a good-looking combination, but are also practical and will probably delight users with smaller hands.
The camera comes in four colour variations (subject to availability): pink, white, black and grey. Although the EOS M10 is also available in different colours (the range of colours varies with the region), the design of the EOS M100 feels more contemporary, particularly for the white and grey models which feature two different coloured tones on the textured pattern and the top and bottom parts of the body.
Controls and handling
The curved design from back to front on the top surface allows the user’s finger to rest more naturally on the mode switch (shooting mode dial) and front dial, making it easier to operate than the EOS M10.
What I particularly like is that the frequently-used front dial can now be operated either with the index finger from the front or with the thumb from the back. With a more compact body design, it is inevitable that the size of the buttons becomes smaller to fit. However, the improved ease of use with better finger contact and a more well-defined feel of the click makes up for the button size.
From its predecessor EOS models, the EOS M100 inherits the sculpted design around the shutter button, which allows your finger to fall naturally on it when you hold the camera in your hands. This is one feature that defines the EOS M100 as a member of the EOS family.
As with the EOS M10, the EOS M100 comes with a touch panel which enables control of almost all the camera settings via touch-screen operation. These include Touch AF, Touch Shutter, the shooting mode, and white balance setting.
For those who are not familiar with operating a “real” camera, I believe the EOS M100 is relatively easy to get used to if you know how to operate a smartphone.
Image sensor and image processing
Despite the small body size, the camera offers excellent image quality and is capable of producing creamy defocused backgrounds and rich gradations just like other existing APS-C sized digital cameras from Canon.
The highest native ISO speed is 25600. This produces clear handheld shots with very little noise, even when you are shooting at night, indoors or other low-light conditions. The EOS M100’s excellent light sensitivity can be attributed to its large image sensor size as well as the latest DIGIC 7 image processor.
One major technological advancement is the Dual Pixel CMOS AF system. This technology, which was uniquely developed by Canon, allows each pixel on the image sensor to also function as a phase-detection AF sensor.
Compared to the combination of Hybrid CMOS AF II technology and contrast AF employed on the EOS M10, Dual Pixel CMOS AF delivers a faster AF speed comparable to that on Canon’s higher-end mirrorless cameras.
AF frame moved to the edge of the image
As each of the 24.2 million pixels functions as a phase-detection sensor at the same time, high-speed and high-precision phase-detection AF is possible across a wide area that covers 80% height x 80% width of the image sensor. You can move the AF area freely simply by touching the desired position on the LCD monitor screen.
The maximum continuous shooting speed is approximately 4 fps during AF tracking (Servo AF) and 6.1 fps with AF lock (One-Shot AF).
We can say that the EOS M100 offers enhanced continuous shooting performance over the EOS M10, which delivers a maximum speed of approximately 4.6 fps with AF lock.
If we look at the maximum number of burst shots, this has increased greatly on the EOS M100, which can take up to approximately 21 and 19 shots in the RAW and RAW+JPEG (Large/Fine) formats respectively, compared to the EOS M10 which can take approximately 7 shots and 4 shots respectively.
In addition to moving the sliders to control effects such as [Blurred←→Sharp] or [Subdued←→Vivid] while looking at the Live View screen, the Creative Assist feature now comes with a new “Color tone 2” slider for adjusting the green and magenta tones.
Adjustment using the “Color tone 2” slider
Increasing the magenta tone
Increasing the green tone
Highly-rated when it was introduced on the EOS M10, Creative Assist is a beginner-friendly feature that enables users to check the resulting effect on the Live View screen before taking a shot by utilizing the properties of a mirrorless camera.
The EOS M100 adopts a wide 3.0-inch rear LCD monitor with approximately 1.04 million dots and a tilt-up mechanism that enables the LCD monitor to be flipped up to an angle of about 180°.
Designed mainly for taking self-portraits, the specs of the LCD monitor are equivalent to those of the EOS M10. However, unlike the Vari-angle LCD monitors of the EOS M5 and EOS M6, which can be tilted upward or downward, the LCD monitor of the EOS M100 is better suited for low-angle shots than high-angle ones.
The built-in flash of the EOS M100 is a manually-operated pop-up flash with a guide number of approximately 5 (ISO 100, m), which covers the 24mm wide-angle of the EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM standard zoom lens in the 35mm format.
The movie-shooting feature is also very well developed, and supports high-quality Full HD/60p movie recording. The beautiful bokeh effect created by the APS-C sized sensor is characteristic of Canon’s EOS Movie, which has a reputation for movie recording, while the Dual Pixel CMOS AF achieves both smooth AF operation as well as excellent tracking performance.
The EOS M100 is also equipped with the Combination IS feature, which is capable of producing a more powerful correction effect by combining the in-camera (digital) Image Stabilizer that functions during movie shooting with lenses that come with the optical Image Stabilizer mechanism.
In addition to Wi-Fi connectivity, which was also available on the EOS M10, the EOS M100 also supports connection via Bluetooth (Bluetooth Low Energy).
By using Bluetooth, which consumes much less power than Wi-Fi, you can leave your smart device connected to the camera at all times, and images you have captured with the EOS M100 can be easily forwarded to your smart device one after another without the need for any special operation.
Not only so, by using Canon’s free Camera Connect app and the GPS function of your smart device, you can now also geotag your captured images.
An SD card slot is located on the left side of the camera (when the lens is facing away from you). It is compatible with SD, SDHC and SDXC (compliant with UHS-I standard) cards.
As Canon’s priority was to create a compact design, the SD card slot cover might seem difficult to open at first, but this can be done easily when the LCD monitor is flipped up.
The battery compartment is located separately at the bottom of the camera body.
The EOS M100 uses one Battery Pack LP-E12, which can be charged using the supplied LC-E12 battery charger.
The maximum number of still images that can be captured (battery life) is approximately 295 shots (CIPA-compliant), while the movie recording time is approximately 1 hour 20 minutes.
As mentioned at the beginning, the EOS M100 is characterized by a stylish and pretty design with specs that are on par with those of the higher-end models. At the same time, it is clear that it boasts significant advancements over its predecessor, the EOS M10, with features such as a more sophisticated design and a more powerful image sensor and image processor.
I was particularly impressed by Canon’s ability to design controls that can be handled smoothly without the need for any advanced knowledge or experience. The simplified button design, which can be operated easily in the same way as smartphones, probably feels very intuitive to the younger generation of users.
I also give the EOS M100 extra points for its smartphone-friendly Bluetooth connectivity, which makes it easy to upload beautiful EOS-quality photos onto the Internet. This is very significant considering the increasing popularity of Instagram.
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Digital Camera Watch
Delivers daily news related to topics such as digital cameras and peripheral devices, and imaging software. Also publishes articles such as reviews on the use of actual digital camera models and photo samples taken using new models.
After graduating from Shinshu University, he worked for a video production company and then became independent as a photographer. He moved to Kanto in 2010, focusing on photography for various magazines and he also writes for camera magazines, and so on.