Canon EOS M10 Optics

The Canon EOS M10 is available bundled with the new, collapsible Canon EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM zoom lens. Below are the results of our optical tests with this new lens. Other lab images were taken with our reference prime lenses.

Kit Lens Test Results

Zoom
The Canon EF-M 15-45mm IS STM lens offers a wider angle than typical kit lenses, with decent far-field performance for its class.

15mm @ f/8 30mm @ f/8
45mm @ f/8

The Canon EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM kit lens offers a typical optical zoom ratio of about 3x, with a 35mm-equivalent range of about 24-72mm. That's wider than most kit lenses go, but it gives up a bit of reach on the telephoto end compared to more common 18-55mm kit lenses. Still, most users will likely appreciate the significantly wider angle than a slightly longer lens.

Sharpness and contrast are pretty good across most of the frame throughout the zoom range at f/8, however corners show some blurring even at f/8. Chromatic aberration is well controlled, suppressed by the camera's processor. Decent far-field performance for an inexpensive kit lens, but see below for our lab test results.

Macro
A larger-than-average macro area with slightly soft detail. The flash throttled down well.

Macro with 15-45mm STM Lens
45mm @ f/8
Macro with flash
45mm @ f/8

The Canon EOS M10's macro performance will of course depend entirely on the lens in use. With the 15-45mm STM lens set to 45mm, the Canon M10 captured a somewhat larger-than-average minimum area measuring 2.90 x 1.93 inches (74 x 49 millimeters). Details are a little soft in the center of the frame, and quite soft in the corners. (Most lenses have some softening in the corners at macro distances, so this is not unusual.) The cameras's built-in flash throttled down well, producing a well-exposed image, but it's slightly unevenly lit because of the offset location of the flash.

Geometric Distortion
Higher than average barrel distortion at wide angle and moderate barrel distortion at telephoto.

Barrel distortion at 15mm is about 1.0%
Barrel distortion at 45mm is about 0.5%

The Canon EF-M 15-45mm STM lens produces images with about 1.0 percent barrel distortion at full wide angle, which is higher than average and noticeable in some shots. At the telephoto end, there is about 0.5% barrel distortion instead of the usual pincushion, which is also somewhat noticeable. The Canon EOS M10 does not correct for geometric distortion in its JPEGs, as uncorrected RAW files have identical amounts. Geometric Distortion is the tendency for the lens to bend straight lines outward (like a barrel -- usually at wide-angle) or inward (like a pincushion -- usually at telephoto).

Chromatic Aberration and Corner Sharpness
Low chromatic aberration in camera JPEGs. Some softening in the corners at both wide angle and telephoto.

Aperture: Maximum
Wide, f/3.5: Upper right
C.A.: Low
Softness: Soft
Wide, f/3.5: Center
C.A.: Very low
Softness: Fairly sharp
Tele, f/6.3: Upper right
C.A.: Low
Softness: Soft
Tele, f/6.3: Center
C.A.: Very low
Softness: Fairly sharp

Chromatic Aberration. Chromatic aberration in the corners of JPEGs with the Canon 15-45mm STM lens is low at both wide angle (15mm) and full telephoto (45mm) when wide open thanks to effective chromatic aberration suppression. See below for uncorrected results.

Corner Softness. The 15-45mm STM lens produces some soft corners when wide-open at maximum aperture. At full wide angle, corners on the right side of our test target are a little softer than the left, though not by much. Some softness does extend a fair bit into the frame, though, and while the center is fairly sharp, it's not tack sharp. At full telephoto, corners are also somewhat soft with the top right being the softest, but the softness doesn't extend as far into the frame, and the center is slightly sharper, but again, not tack sharp.

Vignetting. Vignetting or corner shading is quite pronounced at wide angle when wide open, and that's with Peripheral Illumination Correction enabled by default. Vignetting is not an issue at full telephoto.

Aperture: f/5.6 (W), f/8 (T)
Wide, f/5.6: Upper right
C.A.: Low
Softness: Soft
Wide, f/5.6: Center
C.A.: Very low
Softness: Fairly sharp
Tele, f/8: Upper right
C.A.: Low
Softness: Soft
Tele, f/8: Center
C.A.: Very low
Softness: Fairly sharp

Stopped-down: Stopping down a few clicks at wide angle to f/5.6 did improve center sharpness slightly, but corners still remained soft although contrast is better. Vignetting is however much improved. Stopping down to f/8 at full telephoto had surprisingly little effect in terms of sharpness and contrast in both the corners and center.

Lens Aberration Corrections

The Canon EOS M10 has options for in-camera Peripheral Illumination Correction ("vignetting") and Chromatic Aberration correction, which are both enabled by default.

In-camera JPEG
Uncorrected RAW
Wide, f/3.5: Upper left
C.A.: Very low
Wide, f/3.5: Upper left
C.A.: Moderately high
Tele, f/6.3: Upper left
C.A.:Very low
Tele, f/6.3: Upper left
C.A.: Moderate

As you can see by comparing in-camera JPEGs on the left to uncorrected converted RAW files on the right, the Canon EOS M10's chromatic aberration correction is very effective at removing almost all the lateral chromatic aberration in our 15-45mm lens test shots above. Peripheral Illumination Correction has also reduced corner shading compared to the RAW conversion, although it still left some significant shading behind at wide angle when wide open.

Bottom line: While its not sharp in the corners and there is plenty of distortion and vignetting at wide angle, this 24-72mm equivalent lens offers fair performance for an inexpensive kit lens in a compact form factor.

Viewfinder Test Results

Accuracy
Excellent accuracy from the LCD in record mode.

70mm, LCD Live View

The Canon EOS-M10's LCD monitor was very accurate, with 100% coverage in our test.

 

The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Canon EOS M10 Photo Gallery .



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