In a candid interview*, Canon Small Project Manager Kawasaki Suzuki admitted that the mirrorless EOS-M camera was “a complete and utter tragedy on the scale of Hamlet” and that it “brought much shame to the house of Canon.”
The EOS-M was Canon’s first and only foray into the emerging class of “mirrorless” cameras, so-named because they omit the articulating mirror that puts the (R)eflex in DSLR. By most accounts, the diminutive EOS-M’s image quality rivaled Canon’s DSLRs, but the AF system was horrid, prompting most enthusiasts to walk right by.
“The EOS-M has…how do you American say it?…Donkey Balls.” To be honest, we are not quite sure what Suzuki meant by this analogy, so we asked for clarification. Suzuki responded, “When something holds great promise but fails because of one single thing.” We think he meant Achilles heel.
In recent years, each major camera manufacturer has released a mirrorless camera. Olympus, Panasonic, Sony, Pentax, and Fuji have all released models with varying degrees of success, with all but Pentax moving their entire product line to mirrorless models**. Internet pundits have predicted the ascendance of mirrorless cameras (along with the death of DSLRs) for years, with a subsequent re-ordering of the camera hierarchy.
Canon and Nikon, the two 800 pound gorillas of the industry, are the last to enter the consumer market, Nikon with the 1 series based on a 1” sensor, and Canon with the EOS-M. Both have been disappointments for one reason or another, with those same Internet pundits theorizing that the cameras were purposefully crippled in order to protect lucrative DSLR sales.
“No, we did not cripple the EOS-M on purpose,” claims Suzuki, his once impeccable black tie loosened, his top shirt button unbuttoned, and his once well-pressed shirt sleeves now bunched up around his elbows . “We tried really hard, but Canon senior management put just three people on the team, myself, a project manager, and an intern. This compares with 400 people that we had on the T5i team, but all I see is that they changed the 4 to a 5. But I am not bitter.”
By the end of the interview, Suzuki was alternately sobbing and hugging us and telling us that he loved us. He was also, amazingly, getting quite feisty as we sat in a late night diner satiating his munchies. “Just wait though!” Suzuki exclaimed, menacingly waving a gravy soaked French fry in the air. “The new dual pixel sensor technology in the 70d is going to be in the EOS-M2 and we are going to take over the world.”
And with those words, Suzuki fell asleep and slumped onto the table, his left cheek falling into the shallow bowl of gravy, a childlike smile forming on his face as he started to snore like a small puppy. After finishing our meal, we cleaned Suzuki up as much as we could and we brought him back to Canon headquarters, placing him gently on the chairs in the lobby. I suspect that this isn’t the last we hear from Suzuki. Or Canon, for that matter.
*By “candid”, we mean that we got Suzuki drunk on saki and continued to keep him an inebriated state until the sun was rising.
**We do not count Leica as a mirrorless camera since they never had a mirror in the first place. That, and NCN doesn’t cover the jewelry industry.