The Canon EOS M200 is a compact, user-friendly interchangeable lens camera. It has a 24MP sensor, great Dual Pixel autofocus, and in terms of image quality, gives you a lot of bang for your buck. It’s the follow-up to Canon’s previous M100, which we really liked.
Canon hasn’t messed with the formula much in the M200, but is that enough to stand out among ever-stiffer competition? I took the EOS M200 on a quick trip to Oklahoma for a family wedding to find out how it measures up as a travel camera for taking pictures of just about anything.
- 24MP APS-C sensor with Dual Pixel autofocus
- Digic 8 image processor
- Face and eye detect autofocus
- 4K/24p video capture (1.7x crop)
- 3″ tilting touchscreen
- 6.1fps burst shooting (~4fps with AF)
- CIPA rated to 315 shots per charge, USB charging
- Wi-FI and Bluetooth
- MSRP of $599 USD with 15-45mm F3.5-6.3 kit lens
|The M200 reliably churns out pleasing images right out of the camera.
Canon EF-M 15-45mm F3.5-6.3 @ 15mm | ISO 100 | 1/60 sec | F3.5
What is it?
The EOS M200 doesn’t come with all of the very latest Canon technology, but it still packs a good sensor with reliable autofocus into a camera body that’s just a bit bigger than a pack of cards. And with a good lens in front of that sensor, you’re getting the same image quality as, say, a Canon EOS 80D DSLR, but in a much smaller package.
This is a camera that your subjects won’t take super seriously, but you can take some seriously good pictures with it. It actually surprises people.
Of course, if you take photos on your smartphone, the M200 represents one more device to bring with you. If you’re mostly doing wide-angle shots of landscapes or cityscapes, or even just selfies, your smartphone is probably good enough. Modern smartphones will even let you blur out backgrounds more than you could with the kit lens that comes with the M200.
|In this view, you can see all the external controls on the EOS M200: the power switch and mode dial, shutter button and surrounding dial, as well as the back plate and touch-enabled tilting screen.|
But the M200 captures more resolution, meaning more detail in your images, and if you opt for one of the system’s bright prime lenses, you’ll likely get better low light performance. Also, at least for this reviewer, it can simply be more fun to take pictures on a real camera than a phone.
In any case, the combination of small size and good image quality is really appealing to me. This is a camera that your subjects won’t take super seriously, but you can take some seriously good photographs with it. It actually surprises people.
|I really enjoy the M200’s unassuming nature. Out-of-camera JPEG.
Canon EF-M 22mm F2 | ISO 6400 | 1/250 sec | F2
For most of the audience that Canon is targeting with the M200, it should succeed as a fairly budget-friendly and accessible companion for generalist photography, the likes of which you’ll see throughout this review.
To be honest…not much.
Compared to the older EOS M100 this camera replaces, there’s one fewer button, there’s a newer USB Type-C connector, and the ‘Auto’ setting on the mode dial is painted white instead of green. Yes, there’s so little to talk about that that is what I just talked about.
On the inside, an updated processor brings most of the meaningful updates. The first of which is Eye Detect autofocus: older Canon EOS cameras had reasonably good face detection, but seeing the camera pick up on your subject’s eye, even while shooting in full-auto, gives me greater piece of mind that the focus will be right where I want it.
The new processor also brings 4K video (though it’s heavily cropped, so difficult to get wide-angle footage with the kit lens), slightly improved battery life, and a new compressed Raw format. Missing is the older method of processing Raw files in-camera, having been replaced by a much more user-friendly but less powerful Creative Assist function.
At its core, the M200 is a very small, snappy camera that won’t weigh you down
For me, I’m torn between appreciating CRaw (which slims file sizes without compromising quality too much) and being annoyed at the elimination of ‘proper’ in-camera Raw processing. But I’ve got to admit, for the target audience, none of this matters much, and could actually be a benefit. The simpler processing interface, which includes adjustments like brightness, contrast, and color tone is approachable for anyone who’s tuned their own Instagram filters.
At its core, what hasn’t changed is that the M200 is a very small, snappy camera that won’t weigh you down. And that is important, both to myself and the target audience.
The same fun factor that I loved in the M100 is here in the M200. It’s easy to carry with you and takes excellent photographs, whether you’re out having a pizza or taking some pictures of family on the dance floor. The menu system is getting a bit crowded (most cameras suffer from this nowadays), but it’s not too hard to find what you’re looking for.
|Bricktown, Oklahoma City. Out-of-camera JPEG.
Canon EF-M 15-45mm F3.5-6.3 @ 18mm | ISO 100 | 1/250 sec | F7.1
The Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection options are pretty polished, too. Establish a Bluetooth connection with the M200, and the camera will maintain that connection even while powered off (and this doesn’t noticeably impact battery life). So as long as you’re within range of the camera, you can launch the app and pretty quickly be off and browsing your images from your phone, even with the camera on a shelf across the room.
The 15-45mm F3.5-6.3 kit lens is, in my experience, solid if not extraordinary. It offers a very useful zoom range while being very compact, but you’ll want to pick up one of Canon’s or Sigma’s EF-M mount prime lenses for lower light shooting or more options for photographic creativity. The Canon EF-M 22mm F2 in particular is a gem, being tiny, affordable and optically great; the tradeoff is that it’s a bit slow to focus. But it should really be the first addition to any Canon EOS M user’s kit.
Though controls are sparse, the excellent touchscreen interface makes up for this somewhat, and is likely to be appreciated by those moving up from smartphones. And the inclusion of a pop-up flash that you can pull back to bounce at the ceiling is a nice touch and opens up some creative possibilities for users to grow into as they become more comfortable with the camera.
What needs work
For its intended audience of novice users and social media mavens, I think Canon needs to tweak its full auto mode. This mode generally gets you good exposure and autofocus (and you can always tap the screen to choose your subject if the camera doesn’t get it right), but the M200 just hates using fast prime lenses at their widest apertures. This basically means that the M200 produces grainier photos in low light than it should, and doesn’t give you the shallow depth-of-field effect you might be after.
|I like this photo, but I’d like it even more if the camera’s Auto mode chose some different settings.
Canon EF-M 22mm F2 | ISO 6400 | 1/80 sec | F2.8
In taking the above image of a mostly static subject in low light, the camera should have selected F2 and not F2.8. The ISO value would be lower, so there’d be less grain and better detail on my subject. So if you’re eyeing some faster prime lenses for the M200, be aware you may want to switch into a more advanced exposure mode to take full advantage of them.
Other than that, Canon claims that the EOS M200 is now able to charge over USB, but I still haven’t found a charger that will do so: we suspect it needs a ‘Power Delivery‘ compatible charger, but Canon hasn’t confirmed this. The autofocus system is generally capable, but it still lags and hunts a bit more than I’d expect it to in low light.
Canon EF-M 22mm F2 | ISO 6400 | 1/80 sec | F2.8
Burst shooting speeds are, frankly, not impressive when focusing on a moving subject. Lastly, 4K video is nice-to-have, but the crop is limiting and almost begs for another lens, the Canon EF-M 11-22mm, in order to get a decent wide-ish angle of view – especially if you want to vlog. The crop also means that it’s using a smaller portion of the sensor, which will negatively impact image quality, especially in low light.
The Canon EOS M200 is, overall, a good camera. It’s one that I believe, as with its predecessor, is a bit more than the sum of its parts. For those that are more novice photographers, the M200 is a capable and affordable option that’s fun to use and churns out nice photographs without much fuss. Thanks to slower burst speeds and slightly hunty autofocus, it won’t be the best option for capturing fast-moving or unpredictable subjects like animated children: Sony’s pricier a6100 is a better bet there for some family photography.
It won’t be to the liking of every experienced photographer (Canon’s own EOS M6 Mark II is a better bet for that crowd), but I find the M200 to be a nice escape for when I want solid image quality without a larger camera to weigh me down.
If you’re looking for a small, casual camera that won’t intimidate either you or your friends, one with with good wireless connectivity for easy sharing, and you might even be interested in adding an additional lens or two down the line, the EOS M200 is a good bet.
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