The review is not kind. In fact, I would say that it is one of the most negative reviews of a product from a major company that I have ever read on Engadget. That's big. Because remember, Engadget is part of the old guard of blogs. The only gadget blog that is older, that could really be called a blog, is Gizmodo. Unlike Gizmodo, Engadget, along with the entire collection of Weblog Inc. sites was purchased by AOL in 2005, making Engadget part of an odd mix of old and new tech.
Sadly, Engadget has had less of an effect on AOL than AOL has had on it. In early 2011, Joshua Topolsky and almost the entire lead staff quit the site in protest of AOL's meddling with the website. Long story short, the end result is an Engadget of today that is no different from the print magazines of old--owned by advertisers, publisher of reviews where everything is great, and more interested in headlines that sell copies than headlines that talk about subjects in which the dedicated audience is actually interested.
They are willing to bash products from small companies, but big companies like Canon? They practically walk on water. This means that if a product from Canon receives any significant criticism, the product must actually be borderline unusable.
This may sound like paranoia, and perhaps there's a little of it in there, but the state of product-oriented magazines and their decline into wards of advertisers is well-documented and known. And when my own experiences with products diverge so wildly from some reviews that are published, I know that there is something going on.
But back to the camera. We know that Engadget wants to say nice things. So if they say something negative, it must be very negative. So digest these quotes.
...had the camera offered full DSLR functionality, including an advanced user interface, a $799 sticker might be justified. But the company has crippled its new compact shooter so as to avoid cannibalizing its still-successful full-size APS-C DSLR lineup...
Only the black model, which drops the glossy plastic housing in favor of a matte coat, offers the look and feel of an $800-plus mirrorless compact.
So, does $800 and up deliver direct access to shooting modes, advanced or otherwise? No, it does not. And, well, we can't express our disappointment enough here.
Now, back over to those rather horrid controls.
We were devastated to see that the EOS M's focusing performance falls just shy of that latter grouping -- the cameras that just plain stink at bringing a subject into focus quickly.
It's not the most sluggish focusing we've seen, but it's darn close.
Battery life, meanwhile, is far from stellar.
And this is my favorite quote, because it shows that even Engadget knows that Canon is releasing crap on purpose.
Canon surely could have done better here, but it didn't, and we can't help but think that call was made far up the food chain, amid some decidedly heated engineering debates.
This is a disaster for Canon, because it confirms beyond any doubt that they are a dead company. They are a lumbering zombie, fueled purely by the momentum that it has built up. Mirrorless represents a massive part of the new market, and Canon has just said without any equivocation that they have no interest in competing in it. Hell, the underwhelming 6D, the wildly overpriced 5D, and their ridiculous Cinema series of cameras shows that they are not interested in competing anywhere. They think that they are indestructible, and as such can do whatever they please.
I can scarcely wait to see them get punished for that arrogance.