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Canon EOS M5 Expert Review

Canon EOS M5 Expert Review - Read our full review of the new Canon EOS M5, the mirrorless camera from Canon with mini-DSLR styling and advanced shooting performance.

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Canon EOS M5 in Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera



Highres Canon EOS M5 19 1

The new Canon EOS M5 is the latest mirrorless camera from Canon: the EOS M5 features a 24 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, 9fps continuous shooting, DIGIC 7 image processor, and built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and low-power Bluetooth. There is a built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF) with 2.36m dot resolution, and a 3.2inch tilting touch-screen on the back with 1.62m dot resolution. The Canon EOS M5 is available now, and is available with a new 18-150mm lens.

Canon EOS M5 Features

Canon EOS M5 Hands On (2)

The Canon EOS M5 features a 24 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, and is the same generation as the Canon EOS 80D, with dual-pixel phase detection focus on the sensor, and gapless microlenses. This gives high-speed focus for stills and video, and the new DIGIC 7 processor is said to give 14x more processing power than in previous EOS M cameras. 

The Canon EOS M5 fits into the top of the EOS M range with the 18-megapixel entry level model, the EOS M10 (£290), and middle model, the 24-megapixel EOS M3 (around £500), remaining on the market.

The electronic viewfinder (EVF) features a fast 120fps refresh rate, as well as a high resolution of 2.36million dots. There is dioptre correction, and an eye-detection sensor, so that the camera will automatically switch between the EVF and screen when it is held up to your eye. When you are using the EVF, you can use the touch-screen on the back to move the focus position. This can be switched off if you don't want to use this feature, or you can customise it so that the touch-AF is only active on a certain area of the screen, for example so you can set it so that your nose doesn't accidentally set the wrong focus position. 

Canon EOS M5 Vs Canon EOS 600D DSLR Size
Canon EOS M5 Vs Canon EOS 600D DSLR Size

History of mirrorless camera mounts:

Micro Four Thirds, 2008
Samsung NX Mount, 2009
Sony E Mount, 2010
Nikon 1 Mount, 2011
Pentax Q Mount, 2011
Fujifilm X Mount, 2012
Canon EF-M Mount, 2012
Sony E Mount (FF), 2013
Leica T Mount, 2014
Leica T Mount (FF), 2015
Hasselblad XCD Medium Format, 2016
Fujifilm GFX Medium Format, 2016

If you're a fan of Canon cameras, want a Canon APS-C CMOS sensor, and like Canon's image processing, but want a much smaller camera body than a DSLR, then the Canon EOS M5 will be right up your street, using Canon's EF-M lens mount introduced in 2012, it offers a much more compact camera system.

The Canon EOS M5 offers the same sensor as the Canon EOS 80D, with rapid shooting, but in a camera body that is much more compact.

The shooting modes available will be familiar to anyone who's used a Canon camera before, with Hybrid Auto, Intelligent Auto,P, Tv, Av, Manual, 2 custom modes, Video, Creative Effects, Scene selection, and Creative Assist. The camera gives direct controls to settings, with two control wheels on top, as well as an exposure compensation dial.

The EOS M5 has built-in Wi-Fi and NFC, which means you can very quickly setup a connection to a compatible smartphone, and with Canon's Camera Connect app (available for iOS and Android), you can remotely shoot, transfer images, as well as add GPS location data to photos. The M5 has low power bluetooth for image transfer as well as low power remote shooting, which will help with battery life, as this consumes less power than Wi-Fi.

The Canon EOS M5 features a FullHD video mode, recording at (up to) 60fps, with stereo sound. A mic socket is provided on the side, so that you can use an external microphone for improved audio quality. 

Canon EOS M5 Hands On (1)

The camera comes in a two-tone grey and black colour, that matches the existing Canon EOS-M (EF-M) lenses. There are currently seven lenses available from Canon in the EF-M mount, including the newly announced 18-150mm lens.

The EF-M lenses available include:

There are also a range of accessories available for the EOS M5, including a black or brown case, and black or brown straps. Canon will be providing an EF to EF-M adapter with early purchases of the EOS M5, so that you can easily use existing Canon EF lenses with the camera. 

Highres Canon EOS M5 12 1a

Key Features

  • 24megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Canon EF-M lens mount
  • 3.2inch tilting touch-screen, 1.62m dots
  • 0.39-type OLED Electronic Viewfinder (EVF), 2.36m dots, 100% coverage, 22mm eyepoint, with dioptre adjustment
  • Touch and Drag AF
  • 9fps continuous shooting, 7fps with AF-C (up to 31 JPEG shots)
  • ISO100 to ISO25600, 14-bit Raw shooting
  • FullHD video at 60fps with 5-axis digital image stabilisation, can be used with lens optical image stabilisation
  • Two custom settings on the mode dial
  • HDR shooting is included
  • Wi-Fi / NFC connectivity
  • Bluetooth low energy technology
  • Wireless multi-flash support
  • 295 shots possible, 420 shots with eco mode

Canon EOS M5 Handling

Canon EOS M5 Hands On (4)

The Canon EOS M5 has a plastic body, which is a little surprising considering the EOS M3 features a metal body. However, saying that, the dials on the camera are metal and feel solidly constructed, and the plastic body feels well built. The body is not weather-sealed, which you might have expected at this price point. It is however, very compact, and has a similar size to the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II, which has a smaller Micro Four Thirds sensor.

There is an excellent handgrip at the front and back of the camera with a good rubberised texture covering a lot of the camera, giving the camera a good feel in your hand. If you have large hands and are used to using a DSLR, then it may take a while to get used to the size of the camera, and the use of one of the larger lenses (rather than the compact 22mm prime lens) will help with grip.

Canon EOS M5 Olympus OMD E M10 II (2)
Canon EOS M5 vs Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II

The Canon EOS M5 has a locking mode dial that is released with the middle button, and there are two custom modes available. There are a number of customisable buttons on the camera, and you can customise the control wheels. You can also toggle through what the rear top control wheel does with the button in the middle of the dial, this toggles through ISO, WB, Metering, AF, and Drive, setting the rear top dial to each option. The controls are well positioned, and the exposure compensation dial is placed away from the edge to help you avoid accidentally turning it. 

The electronic viewfinder (EVF) has a good resolution of 2.36m dots and is quite a good size, although we would estimate magnification around 0.6x, as Canon do not give the specifications for this on any of their websites. The EVF shows a higher level of colour saturation, and is darker when compared to the screen on the back, which is a little disconcerting, as you can end up not knowing which one is the most representative of the actual image. Saying this, the rear screen is impressively large, at 3.2inch, and easy to view in most light, being clear and detailed with a high resolution of 1.62 million dots. 

Canon EOS M5 (10)

The tilting screen can be tilted underneath the camera so that it can be used for group shots or selfies, and you can also tilt it up making it easy to use the camera at awkward angles. As a touch-screen can be used to set the focus position, as well as go through the different menu options. Touch-AF lets you pull focus when recording videos, or change the focus position when the camera is held up to your eye. You can set the focus position to almost anywhere on the screen.

Menus – The menu system on the Canon EOS M5 is colour coded to make it easy to find each section, and is also responsive and quick. You can use the buttons on the camera or the touch-screen to change options. The customisable My Menu area can be customised to add your favourite settings, and you can also customise the Q (Quick) menu to give quick access to settings. 

 

Underneath the camera is the battery and memory card compartment, which does not feature a locking mechanism.The shutter sound is quite loud, and there is no electronic shutter option, but as you can see in this video, the focus system is very quick.

Canon Camera Connect Screenshot 2017 02 02 12 46 45 Canon Camera Connect Images Screenshot 2017 02 02 12 49 51 Canon Camera Connect Remote Shooting Screenshot 2017 02 02 12 50 36
Canon Camera Connect Main Screen Remote Shooting


Wi-Fi features - The M5 features Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth. The Canon Camera Connect app has built-in guides, to take you through the process of connecting, which makes it easier to connect to the camera. If you have an Android smartphone with NFC, then simply touching the camera and the phone together will connect the camera to the smartphone. In the app you can remotely control the camera, and the app lets you change a number of settings from the app, as well as use the touch screen to set the focus position. You can transfer location information from the phone to the camera, so that images have GPS location data with them. 

Canon EOS M5 (14)

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 295 shots according to Canon / CIPA test results, or alternatively 420 shots with Eco mode switched on. This is reasonable, although you may want to invest in a spare battery, if you think you are going to be away from a power source for a length of time. 



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Comments


ChrisV 10 1.8k 26 United Kingdom
15 Sep 2016 11:24AM
This is perhaps the camera the M series should have been in the first place. Had they released it five years ago, I might have been tempted. But the price? Plastic build, no weather sealing, no 4k. The adapter in the box makes up a little bit I suppose, but I think this is way, way overpriced to be a big hit.

Interesting in that it's showing a direction of travel for Canon [with no similar offering from Nikon at the moment especially with a discontinued One Series]. I think the CaNikon duopoly may find themselves playing serious catchup in a few years time as mirror/prism cameras become an ever smaller niche.

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alan53 9 United Kingdom
15 Sep 2016 11:57AM
The original leaks and rumors for the M range were for 2 bodies – entry level with no VF (which we got, the original M), and a higher spec body with EVF, which never appeared for whatever reason.

So your “Had they released it five years ago” line is very much to the point, ChrisV, although it would have been 18MP with a worse EVF if they had! I’m sure this one will be a great success though….
themak 4 1.0k Scotland
15 Sep 2016 12:29PM
As it's up against the likes of the X-T10 (or its successor), I'd agree it's well overpriced. With the limited range of dedicated lenses, I don't see it appealing to many who don't already have a large collection of EF lenses.
ChrisV 10 1.8k 26 United Kingdom
15 Sep 2016 1:01PM

Quote:

...although it would have been 18MP with a worse EVF if they had! I’m sure this one will be a great success though….



You're right, but then 5 years ago 18mp and a lower res EVF would have matched up [or exceeded] what was on the market at the time. Now the EVF on this looks [on paper at least] slightly sub-par. Similarly on the spec-sheet 24mp looks class-matching [with the APSc XTs and A6300s], but we'll have to see how well it performs. The ISO range looks modest, but especially these days the range doesn't necessarily indicate performance. ISO several billion [now I'm exaggerating] on the top end Nikons is pretty meaningless even if they are probably marginally better than anything else at more sensible levels. It will be interesting to see if the sensor in this Canon is as ISO invariant as their very latest models, or is more akin to their less efficient [and now quite backward looking] pack.
15 Sep 2016 3:00PM
Awaiting the reviews and firesale, way too pricey, weather sealing, 4K and a new more powerful battery would have possibly justified the price

It has a high end price without high end features, not too sure who their target market is, initially it may sell well, and will in my view require price drops for sales to be sustained, so a mark ll wont be too far off

At £800 with the new zoom lens I would have pre ordered, but will stick with the M10 for now and see what happens
Niknut Plus
7 1.6k 74 United Kingdom
15 Sep 2016 5:35PM
What a little beaut !!!.....look forward to the full review !!!!!.Smile
pablophotographer 6 781 294
15 Sep 2016 10:15PM
Thank you Canon, now skip the sensors and give us a film SLR again Smile
RJPhoto 4 11 1 United Kingdom
16 Sep 2016 11:22AM
Agree with the others, way, way overpriced for this spec. But then, isn't that true of their DSLR's? How much for a 5D MKIV??? Olympus are cheaper and offer pixel shift to get much larger files. Ok, so the Canon has a bigger sensor, but who will buy this and what size will they print to? They say in the blurb that it will appeal to professional photographers as a take anywhere compact camera. Really? I can see the appeal, but not at this price, and not with this limited spec compared to others. To be honest, like most other pros, if I was to go down the mirrorless route, I'd get the Sony A7rII - better dynamic range, great selection of lenses, adaptors for Sigma and Canon lenses and full frame. I think Canon are too late to this game with this offering; Olympus, Fuji and Panasonic are way ahead with the compacts, and Sony is way ahead with the pro level.
banehawi Plus
13 1.6k 3722 Canada
16 Sep 2016 7:35PM
Dont know about anyone else, but I didnt see many cameras covering the Olympics that werent Canon or Nikon.

Its seems fashionable to never respond positively to any Canon camera, but somehow they still dominate all sports and many professional events.

Amazing, isnt it.
RJPhoto 4 11 1 United Kingdom
17 Sep 2016 9:33AM
That's because Canon sponsored the Olympics, providing all the cameras, lenses and technical assistants, all the photographers had to do was turn up (for want of a better term).

I'm a Canon user myself and always have been (too many years to mention) but I'm getting really annoyed with their lack of technical progress compared to other manufacturers then charging astronomical amounts for their new kit. If I could afford to switch brands to someone like Sony or Pentax I would, but when you've got several cameras and too many lenses to mention due to the diverse range of subjects I photograph, it isn't currently feasible, annoyingly.
18 Sep 2016 7:27AM
As a Canon user for over 35 years, I was looking forward to true M5. 80D sensor in a compact package with decent tracking AF? Yes please!
BUT.
The lack of weather sealing, available on other manufacturers compact form cameras, and the lenses as well, at the price initially being charged is very disappointing. This could have been the ideal take everywhere camera. And where are the new fast lenses?
Brexit, the changes in currency and general material costs have increased prices across the board - Sony were first, the RXRii is now £1000 more expensive, the A7Rii £500, and most lenses increased by 30%. Canon are just following the market, but unfortunately my slarary and disposable income hasn't, so lovely camera, but not just now.
JackAllTog Plus
8 4.7k 58 United Kingdom
20 Sep 2016 9:28PM
Love the idea of this - hope the M lenses are up to spec.
"The shutter sound is quite loud," eh - surely you can turn the sound off?
Will adapters allow the olympus/panosonic lenses to work - i guess not as the required image circle is too big.
I'd love to see it with a EF-M 28mm.
banehawi Plus
13 1.6k 3722 Canada
27 Sep 2016 6:38PM
So, in a wrap up of Photokina on another popular photo review site, the Canon M5 was selected as the camera of the show. Not bad. Well done Canon
themak 4 1.0k Scotland
28 Sep 2016 2:32PM
I see Wex is offering £60 for an Eos M traded in for this - pretty extreme depreciation even by digicam standards.
JackAllTog Plus
8 4.7k 58 United Kingdom
19 Oct 2016 5:27PM
I'm still looking forward to a full ePhotozine review of the actual product. Come on Canon send one over .....
banehawi Plus
13 1.6k 3722 Canada
19 Jan 2017 3:18PM
Is there a full review planned soon Joshua? Many other sites are ahead of EPZ with this review.
joshwa Plus
7 822 United Kingdom
19 Jan 2017 4:37PM
Hi banehawi and JackAllTog - the camera is due in to the office very soon. Thanks Josh
banehawi Plus
13 1.6k 3722 Canada
4 Feb 2017 3:30PM
Finally! Thanks Josh.
Niknut Plus
7 1.6k 74 United Kingdom
4 Feb 2017 4:23PM
What a great piece of kit !!.....with impressive IQ & noise control, & impressively compact !!

Downside ?............a) Price.......b) Another lens mount

Keep the EOS lens mount, & get the price down.......the 100D gives this M5 a run for it's money, though the IQ isn't as good.....& I'm not
investing in a new series of lenses !!........don't suggest an adapter mount, that's just adding bulk !!

Apart from that it's a real beauty, & wouldn't turn one down as a gift !!! (hint, hint !!!).WinkGrin
banehawi Plus
13 1.6k 3722 Canada
6 Feb 2017 9:32PM
A few comments. The use of an adapter is smart, allowing access to the entire Canon line which work with full electronic functionality; this also suggests there are more M lenses planned. The M lenses are alow very, very light, perfect for all day carrying or travel/

Its odd that the adapter (which is includes at no cost in the early release kits) seems to be seen as a negative here, whereas adapters in general are hailed as brilliant for Sony, and the m4/3 lenses for their ability to extend the range of lenses. Im confused.

The body is a very strong polycarbonate composite, quite different from what we normally consider "plastic".

The lens attachment not being metal seems odd, but when the target audience is one that wants light, small, very high IQ, you do what you need to meet the demands.

Price I think is too high, and this is not at all unexpected at launch. Its not unique to any one vendor, and cost should come down. If they simply unbundle the adapter, thats 250 USD off the price.

The kit lenses, though not perfect, are vastly superior that the offerings from Sony, as an example.
8 Feb 2017 2:36PM

Quote:That's because Canon sponsored the Olympics, providing all the cameras, lenses and technical assistants, all the photographers had to do was turn up (for want of a better term).

I'm a Canon user myself and always have been (too many years to mention) but I'm getting really annoyed with their lack of technical progress compared to other manufacturers then charging astronomical amounts for their new kit. If I could afford to switch brands to someone like Sony or Pentax I would, but when you've got several cameras and too many lenses to mention due to the diverse range of subjects I photograph, it isn't currently feasible, annoyingly.

8 Feb 2017 2:41PM
I know this comment is a bit late in the day, but with respect to the Canon sponsoring the Olympics, they are just carrying on what Nikon did back in the early 70s, give their cameras to just about any press hack who wanted one. In our laboratory we compared the performance of professional Canon and Nikon film cameras at the time and the Nikon was found wanting in both the camera mechanics and the lens performance. Otherwise, I am with you, Canon do seem to be lagging behind the rest of the market in everything bar price.
8 Feb 2017 9:42PM
Well in contrast to the other reviewers, I OWN a EOS M5. I have also owned a M and a M3. I had the M3 with at the EVF. With the M i used a Hood type loupe which was great.
Both the M5's forebears were panned by various critics. I happen to like all the models that came out.
The main reason? Colour, quality and usability. I agree, the focussing could have been faster, but for the majority of landscape, travel and street photography applications the M3 and M were excellent
The M5 is brilliant at focussing.
I use the M5 with a 18-150 lens as a travel camera. I also take with me the excellent 11-22 and the diminutive 22mm F2 EOS M lenses. I also take a EF 200mm 2.8 lens with the adapter and an extender 1.4 for bird and nature images. This keeps my kit nice and compact.
Sure it is expensive, and sure there is competition out there BUT there is a good choice of native canon lenses that work extremely well with the M5 and I don't regret my purchase one little bit.
My suggestion is to try and take advice from people who are using the camera- in spite of what the media says, there are a lot of satisfied M5 users out there.
9 Feb 2017 7:07AM
People are forgetting that one reason behind the premium price for the M5 is Canon's Dual Pixel AF technology, which is featured in only a few other Canon models. It was a hit in the 70D, 80D and certain full-frame models. It is the reason why the M5 is "brilliant in focusing" in both video and stills, resulting in excellent tracking and near-perfect "keeper" ratios. Reportedly, Dual Pixel technology is still the highest regarded AF invention in the industry by professional photographers, ahead of Fuji's own superb multi-scenario AF tech, Panasonic's Depth-from-Defocus and Lightspeed, Nikon's 3D tracking, and similar offerings from Sony and Olympus.
ElSid 9 8 United Kingdom
14 Feb 2017 5:29PM

Quote:Keep the EOS lens mount, & get the price down.......the 100D gives this M5 a run for it's money, though the IQ isn't as good.....& I'm not
investing in a new series of lenses !!........don't suggest an adapter mount, that's just adding bulk !!



Keep the EOS lens mount how? The camera is mirrorless meaning you don't need the 42mm of lens registration distance required to keep a lens clear of that flappy mirror thing. To keep the standard EF or EF-s mount would still require the actual mount to be 42mm from the sensor in order for the lenses to focus. this would inevitably add bulk very similar to that of the adapter and the end result would look just as daft as Sigma's new SA mount mirrorless model, a skinny camera with a big fat tube at the front....


Quote:The body is a very strong polycarbonate composite, quite different from what we normally consider "plastic".



Absolutely and it's perfectly durable. I have a plastic bodied EOS D30 that has stood up to considerable use in the 12 or so years I've had it. Compare that to the metal bodied 20D which developed quite large areas of bare metal from rubbing on hands and clothes after just a couple of years. Indeed the 'quality' difference between the two was so non-existent I didn't even realise the 20D was metal bodied until it was pointed out to me.


Quote:The lens attachment not being metal seems odd, but when the target audience is one that wants light, small, very high IQ, you do what you need to meet the demands.



The mount in the second picture at the beginning looks pretty metallic to me...Wink

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