Pocket Rebel

Canon EOS M a.k.a. Ninja Camera

Canon EOS M
Forgive me for the crappy cell phone shot of the EOS M.

I’ve been playing around with my new toy, the Canon EOS M, “M” standing for mirrorless. I must admit, I don’t think I’ve had this much fun with a camera in quite a while. I giggled like a little school girl… This isn’t a review of this camera per se, but more of a post of why I like it. APS-C sensor, 18MP, hot-shoe, shoots RAW…more autofucus points than my 5D II…all in a smaller body. What’s not to like? It’s like getting Chewbacca in an ewok size…

If you know of this camera, or are googling it now, you’ll come across countless reviews of how crappy this camera is. The autofocus is crap, too slow, no viewfinder, etc.

For those of you, like me, that own a Canon 5D II, you all know the autofocus is crap, but you still love the pictures it can produce. You just need to know your camera’s limitation, and then your creativity with it becomes limitless.

There’s a quote from Albert Einstein I enjoy:

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

Which is awesome…because I have more creativity than smarts anyhow. 😉

I wanted a camera I could take along wherever I go. (Granted I do that now with my camera bag and 5D II, but it gets cumbersome and heavy after a while.) I also didn’t want to look like a Paparazzi walking around town. I wanted something inconspicuous, and invisible. A Ninja camera*…that’s what I needed…Something that could appear, click click, and then disappear without being seen. *Shurikens not included.

It happens to me all the time…. Something catches my eye, and I want a picture of it. You see people whip out their phones and take a picture. No one thinks anything of it. Now pull out a full-sized DSLR camera, and then you start to get stares. I’ll pull out my DSLR, and someone will comment, “that’s a BIG camera”. I smile back and say, “thank you, I’m compensating.”

Bar Stash (no, not mine). f/2.0, ISO 320, 1/30s

I wouldn’t have whipped out my DSLR to take shot of the bar stash at Olive Garden, but with the “Pocket Rebel”, I didn’t give it a second thought about whether I should or shouldn’t. God help me if I find myself at the beach….giggity.

Neither did I give it a second though when I looked around taking pictures of patrons at the bar. No one noticed me or my camera.


I never really used “Live View” on my DSLR. I was used to the viewfinder. With the EOS M, I have no choice but to use Live View since this camera lacks a viewfinder. I thought, at first, that it would be a bit of a learning curve for me to adjust, but I took to it rather quickly. In fact, adding to my “ninja camera” likes, I like being able to take pictures from awkward positions, and being able to use Live View to compose my shots without looking obvious that I’m taking a picture of something (or someone) in particular…(like the nice old couple “gettin’ their drink on” :-))

happy old couple. f/2.0, ISO 1250, 1/50s

And what post would this be if my son didn’t make a cameo appearance? 🙂

Liem with a full belly. f/2.0, ISO 100, 1/200s

Street photography seems to be becoming more and more popular, and I see why. Especially with small cameras like the Leica series, Fuji X series, and small mirrorless cameras like the EOS M. I am going to have to hit the streets soon and see what all the fuss is about, and without my DSLR in tow.

And what better way to spend the weekend than to spend it playing with your son and LEGO blocks? OK….he was asleep, and I was playing with the LEGO blocks. He’s still 2…stuff gets built, stuff gets destroyed…..crying ensues….Liem gets in trouble after I tell on him to my wife, and we each go to our respective corners in the room. He gives me smirks and I give him the evil eye (after drying up my tears from him destroying my latest creations).

So while he was napping, I covertly took a LEGO set (well…it’s not LEGO…it’s some bobo brand (Best Locks), but it’s Stargate Officially licensed and “compatible” with LEGO blocks), and set it up. The Stargate series was one of my favorite shows, so I wanted to see if I could recreate a gate scene where the stargate was active. As you can see from the setup shot only one flash was involved.

It was set to 1/64th power, my Canon EOS M was set to ISO 100, and a shutter speed of 1/200s. I wanted to block out as much ambient light as I could considering I had this setup on a bench next to a large window. You’d figure I would have enough sense to shoot this in a dark room…(more imagination than knowledge, right?).

The flash was gelled blue, and with a 45 degree Grid to help keep the light circular. I used cling wrap on the stargate piece to give it some texture when the flash went off so it wasn’t just a pure blue light. the flash was triggered with PocketWizard PlusX units.

the result…

“Chevron Seven, locked.”

No snakeheads Jaffa were harmed in the making of this photograph.

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