With an “M” for “mini” or “micro,” the new EOS M is Canon’s belated attempt at gaining a foothold in the mirror-less interchangeable market, finally giving the big C a compact camera with a big heart.

Built and developed alongside the recently announced Canon EOS 650D, the EOS M is a smaller version of Canon’s interchangeable lens cameras that manages to ditch the mirror-box altogether making the camera smaller.

With a smaller body, the EOS M will end up taking different lenses than the regular Canon mount, and for the launch of the new product, Canon will release two lenses designed specifically for the M, with an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS kit lens and a 22mm f/2 compact pancake lens.

Those of you with an ample supply of Canon lenses already, though, will be able to grab the EF-EOS M mount adapter and attach any of Canon’s EF and EF-S lenses for use on the small body.

“The new Canon EOS M is for people who want an EOS camera with them wherever they go, ready to capture life’s moments in the highest quality,” says Canon Australia’s Rebecca Pearson, Assistant Brand Manager for Canon EOS. “These people are aware of the limitations of their current compact camera or smartphone but, while they’re serious about taking great shots, they want to be lost in the moment not the camera manual.”

We mentioned earlier chart the EOS M was developed alongside the 650D, and the specs clearly tell us that, with the EOS M sporting an 18 megapixel APS-C sensor, DiG!C 5 image processing, Full HD video capture, 4.3 frames per second bust mode, and an ISO range of 100 to 12800 with 25600 available in high ISO.

The use of an APS sensor in a mirrorless means Canon is one of the few companies using this technology in the small interchangeable lens camera bodies, joining Sony and Samsung here with the enthusiast DSLR sensor technology.

Controlling the camera will be a little different to what most digital SLRs are like, with few physical buttons on the EOS M and a 3 inch touchscreen on the back allowing you to select modes, switch features on and off, and review pictures using familiar gestures such as swiping and pinch to zoom.

Creative modes will also be included, adding some retro, miniature, and monochromatic styles to the shots you take.

Unfortunately, we don’t yet have a price for Canon’s first compact interchangeable, as Canon no longer releases RRPs for cameras in Australia. Given that Canon has a huge stake in digital SLR bodies, we’d hazard a guess that the EOS M is targeted at the $700-900 range, so look for it at just under a grand when Canon makes it available in October.