Is Canon's riff on the DJI Pocket the future of the EF-M mount?

Is Canon's riff on the DJI Pocket the future of the EF-M mount?
(Image credit: Canon News / JPO)

UPDATE: Yet another patent has been registered for Canon's take on the DJI Pocket vlogging camera – and rumors (and common sense) suggest that this device may be the future of the manufacturer's EOS M system. 

We've seen this Canon riff on the popular DJI Pocket 2 (opens in new tab) / DJI Osmo Pocket (opens in new tab), one of the best vlogging cameras (opens in new tab) on the market, a few times before. Unlike DJI's device, however, Canon's take on the idea features an interchangeable lens mount. 

It would seem incredibly clunky for such a compact system to feature a full-frame image sensor, and while there are a couple of compact optics among the best Canon RF lenses (opens in new tab) it would be far more logical for this to be an APS-C camera – built around the EOS M mount. 

The best Canon EF-M lenses (opens in new tab) would be absolutely perfect for this camera, given their ultra-compact design. While not intended to be an image to scale, the latest patent (spotted by (opens in new tab) Canon News) illustrates the lens locking mechanism – and it seems almost certain that these are EF-M sized optics. 

Although the CP+ 2021 trade show is taking place in Japan at the end of this week, that may be too soon to see the camera announced – though some outlets have speculated that it may materialize in time for NAB 2021 in October…

(Image credit: Canon News / JPO)

UPDATE (18 Jan): We previously reported on new patents describing a Canon vlogging camera that was seemingly inspired by the DJI Osmo Pocket (opens in new tab). However, Canon News has since uncovered even more patents surrounding this potentially upcoming device. The most exciting aspect of these newly uncovered patents is that this Canon vlogging camera could apparently be using (opens in new tab) the Canon EOS M mount. 

This hypothesis is supported by a detailed mechanical breakout of the device, which appears to show the EOS M mount. It's also supported by a patent illustration that seems to show an EF lens mounted onto this vlogging camera using what seems like the current EF to EOS M adapter. 

As Canon News mentions, the smaller and more compact lenses for the EOS M mount would likely be much better suited to a vlogging device than the heavier and larger EF or R mount lenses. 

While there's no guarantee that we'll see this unusual product hit the market (as Canon are notorious for filing thousands of patents a year that never see the light of day), it's unusual to see this many patents filed for a single device that doesn't end up getting released. Watch this space…

Canon News

(Image credit: Canon News)

ORIGINAL STORY: The eagle-eyed patent spotters at Canon news have revealed plans for this intriguing handheld interchangeable lens camera. At first glance, it looks like a DJI Osmo-style gimbal camera, but closer inspection reveals some intriguing differences.

While current gimbal cameras (such as the recent DJI Pocket 2 (opens in new tab)) are pocket-sized units with fixed lenses, Canon's patent shows a much larger interchangeable-lens device. The current speculation is that it will use the Canon EOS M lenses (opens in new tab) and mount, but like all patent applications, this one is a long way from a finished production camera so at lot can change, even assuming this product is ever made.

Canon's design incorporates a grip with control buttons and a fixed screen. The part that moves is the camera-lens unit, which is mounted in a gimbal style yoke mounted on the top of the handle.

This offers a pan and tilt movement, with the ability to flip the camera unit through 180 degrees for selfies and vlogging, but subsequent research of the patent documents by DPReview (opens in new tab) suggests that the gimbal mechanism is not stabilized. 

It's possible that Canon might employ some other kind of stabilization, such as in-body stabilization in the camera unit or lens-based stabilization. We are also assuming that the pan and tilt axes are powered, though that too is unconfirmed.

Canon's accompanying documentation indicates it's also interested the use in the Internet and other "video distribution services", which makes it clear that this is a product for vloggers and content creators.

Canon may be aiming for quite a narrow gap in the market here. The advantages of an ILC vlogging camera over smaller devices like the DJI Pocket 2 (opens in new tab) or Benro Snoppa Vmate (opens in new tab) are clear (bigger sensor, interchangeable lenses), but this device would be going up against regular gimbals from DJI and others which can already mount just about any mirrorless camera or DSLR with gimbal stabilization and powered pan/tilt movements.

Read more:

Best gimbals (opens in new tab)
Best cameras for vlogging (opens in new tab)
Best Canon EF-M lenses (opens in new tab)
DJI Pocket 2 review (opens in new tab)
DJI RSC 2 review (opens in new tab)

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Rod Lawton
Contributor

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at fotovolo.com (opens in new tab) but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at lifeafterphotoshop.com (opens in new tab)