Canon EOS M5 Review: Canon lastly made a severe mirrorless camera

Canon EOS M5

MSRP $999.99

“The EOS M5 lastly brings DSLR-level efficiency to Canon’s mirrorless collection.”


  • Ergonomic design
  • Fanatic-friendly management format
  • Quick Twin Pixel autofocus
  • Good nonetheless picture high quality
  • Good wi-fi connectivity choices


  • No 4K video
  • Lens lineup lacks fanatic choices
  • EIS no substitute for sensor-shift stabilization

The EOS M5 made waves within the picture trade when it was introduced final fall. It was a ray of sunshine for lovers and Canon followers who had lengthy hoped for a severe mirrorless providing from the corporate. Not like earlier EOS M cameras, the M5 doesn’t skimp on tech, utilizing the identical 24MP APS-C sensor and dual-pixel autofocus system from the acclaimed EOS 80D DSLR.

For all the things it brings to the desk, the M5 sadly nonetheless lags behind mirrorless cameras from different producers in some respects, particularly video. Each Sony and Panasonic supply 4K decision at related value factors, and even Fujifilm and Olympus have applied the function of their top-end cameras. For an organization with a lot skilled video expertise, it will have been good to see Canon put extra forefront filmmaking tech into its flagship mirrorless camera, though we are able to’t say we’re stunned by the choice: the higher-priced 80D additionally lacks 4K.

Whereas not specific to the M5, Canon’s restricted lineup of EOS EF-M lenses is one other weak level. As such, the EOS M system stays most engaging to Canon DSLR shooters on the lookout for a smaller camera that’s nonetheless suitable with their current lenses (through the EOS EF-M Mount adapter). If the M5 alerts a renewed concentrate on mirrorless for Canon, then hopefully new lenses are on the best way. We hope this proves to be true, because the M5 is a stable camera and one which deserves a greater collection of high quality glass to placed on it.

Design and usefulness

Essentially the most speedy distinction between the M5 and its predecessors is the digital viewfinder “hump.” Just like the Olympus OM-D collection, the EVF is located immediately above the lens, lending the camera the looks of a small DSLR. Generally, we choose this setup to the far-left-mounted EVF of the Sony A6000 collection, however the M5’s compact design means the capturing place will probably be a bit awkward for left eye shooters.

Canon EOS M5 review

Canon EOS M5 review

A built-in EVF is unquestionably a welcome addition (its M3 predecessor requires an elective EVF that slides into the recent shoe), however we do want it was a bit bigger. Its 2.36-million-dot decision seems good on paper, however real-world efficiency leaves slightly to be desired. Fortunately, the 1.62-million-dot articulating LCD seems nice. Each shade accuracy and sharpness seem higher on the LCD in comparison with the EVF.

The display can tilt up by almost 90 levels and might flip downward a full 180 levels for simple selfie framing, so there’s additionally that.

Selfies apart, the management format is clearly designed for fanatic photographers, with two multifunction dials and a devoted publicity compensation dial on the highest plate. One dial encircles the shutter button, whereas a Dial Perform button resides on the heart of the second, permitting customers to shortly change what it controls, like aperture, white stability, and ISO. A 3rd perform dial is positioned across the four-way controller on the again of the camera, whereas the mode dial and newly designed energy swap may be discovered to the left of the EVF. The again management dial is a bit flimsy, however all others really feel very stable, with satisfying click on factors that make the camera simple to function by really feel.

Canon’s Twin Pixel AF tech is just a pleasure to make use of.

General, we discovered the controls to be very intelligently laid out. The form of the grip and materials used can also be very comfy. That is arguably some of the usable and enthusiast-friendly designs of any small mirrorless camera. If there’s a difficulty to be taken, it’s merely on account of what number of buttons and dials are crammed into such a small area. On a number of events, we inadvertently hit the video document button whereas simply carrying the camera in hand, resulting in a number of brief clips through which the bottom was featured prominently.

Along with all of the bodily controls, the display is touch-sensitive. One factor we very a lot admire is that there’s nothing on the display that may’t be duplicated with a bodily button or dial, which is nice for capturing in colder climate with gloves on. Some operations, like navigating throughout the menu system or choosing a spotlight level, are far more environment friendly with the touchscreen, so it’s value utilizing when potential.

The display additionally works as a blind contact panel so you possibly can nonetheless use it to maneuver the main focus level even when framing via the EVF. The M5 provides some superior choices for adjusting how this performance works, together with the flexibility to restrict the touch-sensitive area to a single portion of the display. Customers may select between absolute or relative response. The default absolute habits means while you contact a degree on the display, the main focus level will transfer to the corresponding coordinates throughout the EVF no matter the place it was earlier than. We truly most well-liked the relative setting, which lets you drag the main focus level from its origin irrespective of the place your thumb occurs to land on the display. When utilizing a restricted contact area, nonetheless, the relative setting gained’t all the time permit the main focus level to be moved throughout your entire body, so we suggest experimenting with these choices to search out the settings that work finest for you.

Sharing pictures and controlling the camera remotely can also be simple because of each Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Bluetooth operation is proscribed to remotely working the camera and doesn’t supply stay view, nevertheless it makes use of much less vitality than Wi-Fi and maintains a relentless connection to your cell system. For transferring pictures over Wi-Fi, the M5 may hook up with a house community, so that you don’t want to attach your telephone to the camera’s Wi-Fi immediately (though, that is nonetheless an choice while you’re within the area).

Efficiency and picture high quality

Due to the Digic 7 processor, the EOS M5 can shoot at seven frames per second (fps) with steady autofocus and stay view. With AF and publicity locked, that pace jumps as much as 9 fps. These numbers are a bit behind the competitors (the Sony A6300 can shoot 11 fps with AF, or eight with AF and stay view) however must be ample for many customers.

The most important bounce in efficiency the M5 makes over the M3 is in autofocus. Canon’s Twin Pixel AF tech is just a pleasure to make use of. Mixed with the STM focus motors in EF-M lenses, AF efficiency is lightning quick and whisper quiet. In all however dimly lit indoor conditions, we didn’t have any apparent AF errors.

Face detection AF additionally works very properly. In our testing, it simply tracked a face throughout your entire body, even when shifting the camera shortly. That is nice for every type of portrait images (sure, together with selfies) however can also be good for capturing video. It’s clear that Canon put an excellent quantity of effort into making the M5 approachable to rookies even because it constructed it up for lovers.

Battery life in regular mode could also be a paltry 295 pictures (primarily based on CIPA testing), however this may be elevated to 410 utilizing the camera’s Eco mode. Eco mode dims the show after two seconds of inactivity and turns it off after 10 seconds. The camera wakes up immediately with only a half press of the shutter button (or another operation), so we didn’t discover Eco mode bothersome. We suggest switching it on besides while you want extra time to arrange a shot.

It’s nice to see that Canon gave the M5 its present finest APS-C sensor, quite than curtail it with an older unit as a way to differentiate the costlier 80D. It really makes the M5 a kind of miniature 80D, with more-or-less equal efficiency and picture high quality. Customers will certainly need to shoot in RAW as a way to maximize element, however in-camera JPEGs will probably be advantageous for sending to a telephone over Wi-Fi for fast sharing to social media.

canon eos m5 review high iso 3200ISO 3200

canon eos m5 review high iso 6400ISO 6400

canon eos m5 review high iso 12800ISO 12800

canon eos m5 review high iso 25600ISO 25600

Noise may be very properly managed via ISO 800 and even 1,600 and three,200 are usable. Above that, issues begin to get slightly tough, though at lowered picture dimension you possibly can get away with ISO 12,800 for those who needed to. The utmost setting of 25,600 comes with a major bounce in noise and corresponding lack of element and may due to this fact be prevented. In case you see Sasquatch in a darkish wooden on a moonless evening, nonetheless, ISO 25,600 is perhaps value it.

Picture high quality is in any other case nice with good colours in each RAW and JPEG. Canon’s sensors should still not match the dynamic vary or excessive ISO efficiency of these from Sony, however the common consumer is unlikely to note the distinction in on a regular basis use. Given Canon’s nice ergonomics and, on this reviewer’s opinion, extra intuitive menu system, the M5 would make a compelling selection over the Sony A6300 for nonetheless photographers – if solely Canon had extra EF-M lenses.


Nonetheless images is simply half of the equation on any trendy camera, and video is sadly the most important factor holding the M5 again. Canon has gone to nice lengths to make capturing video as simple as potential on this camera, however on the finish of the day, it fails to stay as much as the requirements set by Sony and Panasonic, that are placing 4K into their cameras, amongst different options (the M5 assist Full HD 1080 at 60p).

Distinctive to the M5 is a hybrid picture stabilization system that mixes in-lens optical stabilization with digital picture stabilization (EIS) for capturing clean handheld video. Canon calls this technique Mixture IS and says it stabilizes footage on a complete of 5 axes, much like what different manufacturers supply with sensor-shift stabilization.

Nevertheless, we discovered the adverse results of EIS to be too sturdy to disregard, with a noticeable lack of video high quality because of the vital cropping required to stabilize the picture. We a lot most well-liked the outcomes when utilizing simply in-lens optical stabilization, as Canon’s implementation of 1080p is definitely fairly good when not being altered by EIS.

Whereas it provides guide publicity, focus peaking, and a microphone jack, the M5 gained’t be the filmmaker’s selection of mirrorless camera. It’d make due for the nonetheless photographer who needs to seize the occasional video on the facet, however for those who’re on the lookout for a camera that may really provide the better of each worlds, this isn’t it.

Guarantee info

The M5 carries a one-year restricted guarantee, which is on par with most client cameras.

Our Take

With the EOS M5, Canon has proven us that it’s a minimum of keen to take a stab on the fanatic mirrorless market, and we couldn’t be happier about that call. Considerably lackluster video options, a merely okay digital viewfinder, and a restricted lens choice make for important drawbacks, however there’s nonetheless so much to love about this camera. From a nonetheless images perspective, it supplied one of the best capturing expertise we’ve but had on a sub-$1,500 mirrorless camera, and we’re hopeful issues will solely get higher from right here for the EOS M system.

Is there a greater various? 

The M5 lives on the heart of a really crowded market. Sony’s A6300 is the apparent comparability right here, which at $1,000 (physique solely) provides unimaginable worth for the cash, together with 4K video and better steady capturing speeds. The Canon’s superior ergonomics go an extended option to make up for what it lacks below the hood, however that gained’t be sufficient for everybody.

How lengthy will it final?

The M5 is a well-made camera with the construct high quality we’ve come to count on from Canon. We now have no motive to doubt its efficacy for a number of years to come back, however the issue, once more, is that it’s already outclassed by different mirrorless cameras in the marketplace at this time. If you’re okay being behind the curve when it comes to video and steady capturing efficiency, then the M5 might simply final you a very long time, nevertheless it’s not likely an instance of the newest and biggest tech.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure, in case you are on the lookout for a smaller take-anywhere camera that takes nice images, particularly Canon DSLR homeowners who need acquainted controls and official assist on your current lenses (observe that the EOS M Mount adapter prices $200). In any other case, chances are you’ll be finest holding off whereas Canon fleshes out its EOS M ecosystem.

Whereas the M5 has nice potential as a nonetheless camera, the dearth of native lenses prevents it from interesting to fanatic photographers, a demographic that may in any other case love utilizing it. There may be at present no EF-M portrait lens, for instance, and the 22mm f/2 STM pancake lens is the one choice with an aperture sooner than f/3.5. With two or three extra first rate lenses, we wouldn’t hesitate to suggest the M5 to all method of photographers. For now, informal customers will admire the compact dimension and wonderful AF efficiency of the package lens, however lovers will probably be left wanting.

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