Oh No! Your Camera System Has Been Discontinued. Now What?

Canon's recent decision to sunset its EOS M system has left a lot of users in the lurch. With no new EF-M lenses or bodies on the horizon, what's an M shooter to do? The answer to that is, well, nothing. Do nothing.

I've always had a saying that I tell my students with newly acquired cases of Gear Acquisition Syndrome or G.A.S., as it's commonly referred to around these parts: A camera never takes pictures any worse than the day you bought it. Apparently, Australian Photographer and YouTuber Mark Wiemels feels the same way, pointing out that while there may be no new cameras or glass coming to an EF-M photographer's gear bag, there's still plenty of power packed into many of the more recent bodies, such as the EOS M50 Mark II or the M6 Mark II.

While Canon might consider the EOS R50 to be the spiritual successor to the M series bodies, the truth is there are still no direct replacement for what turned out to be some great prime lenses for Canon's first mirrorless system, namely the Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM Lens, the Canon EF-M 32mm f/1.4 STM Lens, and not to mention, the stellar Sigma trio of 16, 30 and 56mm f/1.4 lenses.

I own most of these lenses and often use the M system as my "bag of primes" on a shoot since they're so much smaller and lighter than their full frame counterparts without any real loss in image quality except in perhaps the most extreme lighting conditions. Indeed, it's more about being there than anything else. Here's a shot I made yesterday at sunrise using the Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens on my EOS M6 Mark II:

A Mazda6 at sunrise, photographed with a Sigma 56mm f/1.4 lens on a Canon EOS M6 Mark II body.
Having such a portable system filled with high-quality primes means I take it with me everywhere, so I never miss a good sunrise or sunset if I can help it. I'm happy with the images out of the camera currently, and there's no reason they'll get any worse.

But, Wiemels notes, if you are the type that must do something, now is probably the last time you'll ever get top dollar to sell your gear. The official discontinuation of the system just a couple of days ago means that prices for gear on the used market are soaring, and so if you're looking to switch, it's now or never.

Me? I love having a tiny system that more or less acts like the bigger full frame R series cameras. I'm sad to see the system go, but at least I know that I have several years more life out of the bodies and lenses before I'll need to consider something else. And besides, I did go in with my eyes wide open.

How do you feel about the demise of the M system? Are you an M shooter? What will you do with your gear? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Wasim Ahmad's picture

Wasim Ahmad is an assistant teaching professor teaching journalism at Quinnipiac University. He's worked at newspapers in Minnesota, Florida and upstate New York, and has previously taught multimedia journalism at Stony Brook University and Syracuse University. He's also worked as a technical specialist at Canon USA for Still/Cinema EOS cameras.

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You are so right about the M6 11 and the combination with in particular the Sigma 56mm i use this a lot for light trails around the area of Canary Wharf in London - quite a stunning combo i think not withstanding the amazing EFM 28mm macro

I thought I'd miss my Fuji 56mm f/1.2 but the Sigma is so good I don't, at all. Also that built-in light on the 28mm was a neat party trick, a shame they never did it again.

I love that about the lenses for my M50, that they are so compact, bright, high quality. Unfortunately all that equipment sits in a bag now, unused, and it has since I skipped over to Sony 2-3 years ago. I guess I am punishing Canon for dumping me and the M mount for the newer R mount, like someone who got tired of their commitments in one relationship and moved in with a new boo. At least I know that Sony will not abandon me, right? Anyway, yes I agree that one could simply do nothing, as the author says.

I think Sony A-mount users would like to have a word ...

You are punishing yourself by keeping them and not using them. The sunk cost fallacy. If you aren't using them you might as well sell them. I just did that with some Canon DSLRs. Did I get much. No. But I wasn't using them so something is better than nothing.

Yeah, I've come to that hard realization about gear as well after many years and systems. If I'm not using it, there's no point in keeping it.

Also, such a love-hate with the viewfinder. The M6 II is definitely a better camera than the (not bad) M50 II, and the viewfinder makes it complete, but it is weird to carry.

That said, I've used many an optional viewfinder on previous Canon cameras and I haven't broken one yet, so they're decently tough.

I've made some shots I'm really happy with using the system. I kind of wish I hadn't recently bought an M6 II. I'm scared of damaging the removable viewfinder and it makes it an awkward shape to pack.

I'm still happy with my M5 and three lenses. It fixed all the issues I had with the M3 and is plenty fast enough for me. The 22mm pancake is a delightful little thing, and makes for a handy little package to carry around when the sun goes down.

I was hoping prices on the used market would go down, as I was hoping to pick up one or two more lenses, and maybe a smaller body such as and M100. But so far, the prices seem stable and no signs of dramatically falling yet.

Yes! I really wanted to like the M3, but the speed of operation and autofocus just wasn't there. I made some decent shots with it, but not of anything that really moved at any decent rate. The Dual Pixel CMOS AF really upped the game in the M5. The design of that body was really nice as well, wish they had revisited it.

It was the clip on evf that I didn't take to, and having to remove it to use external flash or flip the screen up to take a selfie. I wasn't that keen on the jpeg colour rendition either, so many photos had a strange yellow/green cast. Of course, switching to shooting raw fixed that, but something had definitely changed for the worse with that model. So many people on the DPR Eos M forum complained it didn't have those classic canon colours that the original M camera had.

The M6 II is an awesome enough camera that it's worth it to use with the viewfinder. I didn't feel like the M3 was there. I primarily dogged the autofocus speed, but now that you mention it, the files out of it weren't all that special either. They really upped the game for EOS M but by the time they did it was too little, too late unfortunately.

I bought an M6 II a couple of months ago. The clip on viewfinder was what was holding me back and sure enough I hate the viewfinder. It make it awkward in a tight bag, I'm afraid of damaging it. The files and the AF are nice. The external controls are nice. I often don't mount the finder, keeping it in bubble wrap in a separate pocket in the bag.

They should have just amped up the camera in the M5 body, which was about perfect.

The M5 is my favorite body, even over the M50 II. I love the external controls.

I just wish it had eye detection.