Last month, when Canon announced the EOS R50, the world (including us here at DIYP) thought this was the final nail in the coffin for Canon’s EOS M APS-C mirrorless camera system. It’s been dying for a few years, with little-to-no updates and not really any word from Canon about what was happening with it. And the EOS R50 does look very much like an EOS M50 Mark II successor.
It appears, though, that the assumption was wrong. In the recent interview with Photo Trend at CP+ 2023 – the same one where Canon confirmed the EOS R1 was in development – they quite clearly stated that the EOS M system is not dead. At least, not as far as they’re concerned.
Question: The EOS R50 is one of your newer cameras. How was it inspired by the EOS M50? Does it sign the end of the EOS-M range?
Tetsuji Kiyomi: The particularity of the R50 was that we wanted to release a compact and light product. For its part, the EOS M range, thanks to the reduced diameter of the EF-M mount, could be even smaller and lighter.
Thus, compactness and lightness are therefore two common points between the APS-C models of the EOS R range and those of the EOS M series.
However, the size of the M-series enclosures is even smaller, and there is still a strong demand for this from our customers. This means that we will continue to offer the EOS M series as we need to meet this high demand.
So, it looks like Canon still might have plans for the EOS M system. Or perhaps, they think they can still make a little more money out of the EOS M system before they ultimately decide to pull the plug entirely. It is true that the EF-M mount allows for even smaller and lighter cameras than the RF-M mount, but is Canon really going to continue releasing new bodies and lenses that compete directly with their new EOS R mirrorless lineup?
I think that the answer to that question is probably no. After all, Canon faced a lot of criticism for years for allegedly intentionally crippling the video capabilities of their EF mount DSLRs so as not to cannibalise video camera sales. Now that Canon has sort of been forced to add advanced features to their mirrorless cameras, thanks to competition from Panasonic, Sony and, to a lesser extent, Nikon.
The Canon EOS M system is still a very big income generator for Canon. It might not be all that popular in much of the world, but in Asian countries, the Canon EOS M50 and its Mark II successor have been Canon’s top-selling cameras for a long time now.
I expect that we may see existing models continue to be made until demand ultimately declines, but I don’t think we’ll be hearing any new camera or lens announcements in the EOS M system coming in the future. And once those sales do decline, I think Canon will still be clinging onto the “EOS M’s not dead!” line until any existing stock finally sells.
Is Canon wasting its time with EOS M?