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(Pocket-lint) - The announcement of the Canon EOS M lays to rest rumours that have been circulating in the mill for, well, years now. This is the year that Canon finally drops its compact system camera bomb - but is it all it's cracked up to be?

A quick glance of the EOS M's specs reveals that the camera is a lot like a mini Canon EOS 650D. The 18-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor is one and the same in both cameras. However, the EOS M system does not - as we had initially anticipated - use the sensor found in the Canon PowerShot G1 X.

Hands-on: Canon EOS M review

Canon has released some initial EOS M pictures on its Japanese website. We've taken a gander at them, although the portraits, macro and landscape scenes reveal the camera's abilities only at its lower ISO settings.

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First thoughts? They've got plenty of quality to them, though without further testing the camera it's difficult to assess the difference between the EOS M and the EOS 650D.

But will this - as the images seem to suggest - be a wedding photographers' camera? On account of its PowerShot-like appearance and touchscreen controls, we doubt it.

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Canon's compact system camera has an 18mm flange-back distance, which is considerably shorter than the 44mm distance of Canon EF-S DSLR cameras. Whether this will have a distinct impact on image quality, in particular edge sharpness, is something we'll be looking for when we come to review the EOS M.

In terms of size and sensor, Canon's compact system camera most closely resembles Sony's NEX system. It's clear the company has stepped in a very different direction from Nikon's small-sensor 1-series, with DSLR-like image quality paramount to the Canon system.

For the full images, including 100 per cent crops to show the finer detail, take a click through our gallery images below.

What do you think about Canon's launch into the compact system camera segment? Will its DSLR-like images convince you to part with your cash?

READ: Canon EOS M5 review: 'Mirrorless 80D' fails to faze its compact system competition

Writing by Mike Lowe. Originally published on 16 April 2013.