Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM Preview: First telephoto zoom lens for the Canon EOS M hybrid system

By Paul Carroll - Wednesday June 18 2014

Lens Preview

Today Canon has extended their range of lenses for their EOS M hybrid camera system with a new Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM. The first telephoto zoom lens for the EOS E hybrid system, the new lens features both image stabilisation and Canon STM autofocus technology. We delve into the specs to see what else it offers. 

The new Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM offers an equivalent 88-320mm focal length taking into account the 1.6x crop factor on the Canon EOS M system

Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM Specification: A portable & lightweight solution for portraits and sports

Relatively late to the hybrid camera party, the Canon EOS M mirrorless hybrid system is fairly new, with only a limited range of optics on the market. The addition of the new Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM is a welcome addition therefore, and bolsters the EOS M line-up to four lenses in total. These include three ‘slow’ aperture zoom lenses in the shape of 11-22mm, 18-55mm and the new 55-200mm, together with a 22mm f/2 prime lens.

Weighing just 260g, the new Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM is designed for photographers after a lightweight, but versatile, lens capable of shooting portraits at 55mm, as well as wildlife or sports at 200mm. The optical construction utilises 17 elements in 11 groups, including one Ultra-Low Dispersion element, a non-rotating front element to aid use with filters, and a full-time manual focus ring.

To keep the size and weight of such a telephoto zoom lens down however the Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM can only offer a ‘slow’ variable maximum aperture of f/4.5-6.3. That means you’re going to need very good light to achieve the fast shutter speeds required for wildlife or sports photography when shooting at the long end of the zoom. The addition of Canon’s IS or Image Stabilisation system will help when shooting relatively static subjects however, and with 3.5 stops of ‘anti-shake’ promised you should be able to shoot sharp images fully zoomed in with shutter speeds as slow as 1/30th sec.

The addition of Canon’s STM or ‘stepper’ autofocus technology is also a boon for budding videographers shooting on the EOS M system, as it offers the smooth and quiet autofocus performance required when shooting movies. The new Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM will be available from July with SRP of £329.99. 

DxOMark Lens Scores of the hybrid telephoto zoom competition are not very impressive due to the optical constraints of keeping hybrid telephoto zoom lenses lightweight and portable.