Basic Specifications
Full model name: Canon EOS M5
Resolution: 24.20 Megapixels
Sensor size: APS-C
(22.3mm x 14.9mm)
Kit Lens: 3.00x zoom
15-45mm
(24-72mm eq.)
Viewfinder: EVF / LCD
Native ISO: 100 - 25,600
Extended ISO: 100 - 25,600
Shutter: 1/4000 - 30 seconds
Max Aperture: 3.5 (kit lens)
Dimensions: 4.6 x 3.5 x 2.4 in.
(116 x 89 x 61 mm)
Weight: 19.6 oz (557 g)
includes batteries, kit lens
Availability: 11/2016
Manufacturer: Canon
Full specs: Canon EOS M5 specifications
24.20
Megapixels
Canon EF-M APS-C
size sensor
image of Canon EOS M5
Front side of Canon EOS M5 digital camera Front side of Canon EOS M5 digital camera Front side of Canon EOS M5 digital camera Front side of Canon EOS M5 digital camera Front side of Canon EOS M5 digital camera

Canon EOS M5 Review -- Now Shooting!

Last updated:

Updates:
12/30/2016: First Shots posted
02/09/2017: Field Test posted
02/15/2017: Performance test results posted

Does Canon finally deliver a true enthusiast-grade mirrorless camera? That's what photographer Jeremy Gray tries to find out in his just-published Canon EOS M5 Field Test. In this in-depth field report, Jeremy discusses everything from the M5's design, ergonomics, and wireless connectivity to image quality, AF speed, and video performance. Sporting a more SLR-style design with more external controls, a new 24MP APS-C sensor with Dual Pixel CMOS AF and a faster DIGIC 7 image processor, the EOS M5, at least on paper, looks to be one promising compact, yet enthusiast-grade mirrorless camera. Let's see how it handles out in the real-world!

For those looking for our in-depth overview of the EOS M5's features and specs, please click here.

 

Canon M5 Review: Field Test

Canon finally delivers an enthusiast-oriented mirrorless camera

by Jeremy Gray | Posted 02/09/2017

Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Canon EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM at 32mm (51mm eq.), f/7.1, 0.1s, ISO 100.
This image has been modified. Click for full-size image.
Introduction

In the four and a half years since Canon launched the original Canon EOS M, signaling its entry into the mirrorless ILC market, the options available to photographers looking for a mirrorless camera have increased considerably. Canon's follow-up models, such as the M3 and M10, while certainly not bad cameras by any means, do come up short in some important areas. The lack of a built-in electronic viewfinder and sluggish overall performance, for example, place them at a notable disadvantage compared to competing offerings.

Canon's latest mirrorless camera, the Canon M5, not only includes a built-in EVF and faster performance, but it adopts an SLR-style camera body and new sensor. Without eschewing the excellent usability and user interface of the M3 and M10 cameras, the M5 presents itself as a camera very much ready to compete against the pillars of the modern mirrorless market, especially with cameras aimed at more advanced photographers. On paper, the M5 is (mostly) the mirrorless camera Canon shooters have been waiting for. But can it reach its potential and help Canon finally plant themselves firmly in the saturated market? Let's find out.

Canon EOS M5 Key Features and Info

  • SLR-styled body
  • Built-in electronic viewfinder
  • Tilting 3.2-inch touchscreen display
  • 24.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus
  • DIGIC 7 image processor
  • Up to 9 frames per second continuous shooting speeds
  • Full HD video recording at up to 60fps
  • Built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth
  • Street price around US$1,000
Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM at 200mm (320mm eq.), f/6.3, 1/320s, ISO 125.
This image has been cropped. Click for full-size image.

EOS M5 offers a comfortable design, great EVF & nice touchscreen

Since I Field Tested both the Canon M3 and M10, I was excited to get my hands on the M5. I enjoyed using the M3 and M10 despite their shortcomings. They were very comfortable, easy-to-use cameras, particularly the M10, but they didn't offer enough physical controls to feel like enthusiast cameras. Granted, the M10 at least wasn't trying to be, but the M3 felt like a camera unsure of what it was meant to be. On the other hand, the M5 is very clear about what it is: a Canon mirrorless camera for enthusiast photographers.

In addition to its small, but comfortable SLR-style grip, the camera has ample physical controls. In stark contrast to the M3, the M5 looks somewhat like a shrunken-down Canon DSLR. Surrounding the shutter release is a front dial that controls the primary shooting settings (aperture and shutter speed in their respective priority modes, or shutter speed in manual mode). The dial has very distinct clicking sensation, which I liked a lot. It also has a good bit of distance between each click, meaning that it is easy to make precise, one-step adjustments. The second control dial is on the top deck of the camera, toward the rear edge, and feels slightly different but has similar usability, allowing for precise adjustments. What makes this top dial particularly interesting is that it has a "Dial Function" button in the middle that allows you to cycle through a few settings depending on the shooting mode. By default, in priority modes, the dial controls ISO but you can also set it to control white balance by pressing the dial function button. The top deck of the camera also includes an exposure compensation dial.

Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Product Image

Compared to the M3, two primary aspects of the M5's body stand out: its electronic viewfinder and larger display. Regarding the electronic viewfinder, the first built-in EVF on an EOS M-series camera, it's a 0.39-inch OLED EVF with 2.36M dots. Previously, users have been able to get an EVF experience by purchasing a separate accessory, but it is much better to have it built into the camera itself. I'm happy to report that the EVF works well too, offering 100% coverage, an eye sensor and good performance. The rear display is now 3.2 inches versus 3.0 inches and has 1,620,000 dots, which is up from 1,040,000 dots for the M3. The tilting touchscreen display works well. Its articulation mechanism feels durable and also moves smoothly, not requiring excessive force to precisely position it. The screen can tilt enough to be a selfie screen as well, so there's that.

Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Product Image

A cost of its built-in EVF and enthusiast-oriented controls and design is that the M5 is larger and heavier than the other M-series models, measuring at 4.6 x 3.5 x 2.4 inches (116 x 89 x 61 millimeters) with a weight of 15.1 ounces (428 grams). This is larger and heavier than the M3, although the M5 is still not a big camera, especially not compared to APS-C DSLRs.

On top of the built-in EVF is a hot shoe, but the M5 does have a built-in flash as well. The built-in flash has a guide number at ISO 100 of 16.4 feet (5 meters). The camera's max flash sync, either with the built-in flash or if you wanted to attach a flash to the hot shoe, is 1/200s, which is decent but not great.

Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Product Image

While not a feature that would show up on any marketing materials, the M5 did include a pleasant surprise when I unpacked it and set it up. Installing camera straps is often annoying, but the M5 has a clever mechanism. There is a metal ring that is covered by a plastic piece, but you can squeeze the plastic piece and slide it up the strap, exposing the metal pieces on either end of the strap. You then spin the metal piece, exposing an opening, slide it around the strap lugs on the camera, rotate the metal piece back around and slide the plastic cover down. Voila, the strap is attached to the camera. No funneling the strap through loops, no struggling to not twist the strap during installation. It is not a camera-selling feature, but it is nonetheless something I hope to see on all future cameras.

Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Product Image Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Product Image Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Product Image

Overall, the Canon EOS M5 has the best camera body of any Canon M camera I've used, which is all of the North American models except for the very first M. Unlike the M3 and M10, which were arguably aimed squarely at entry-level users more than enthusiasts, the M5 feels like a camera designed to work well in a variety of situations, including demanding, fast-paced ones. The dials and buttons all feel good, and while the M5 doesn't have the build quality or ease-of-use as some of Canon's higher-end DSLR cameras, the M5 comes closer than any mirrorless camera that Canon has made so far.

Canon M5 User Experience and Shooting Features

User experience has always been a strong point for the Canon M series of cameras. Thanks to excellent touchscreen functionality and an intuitive user interface, the cameras have been good to use in many shooting situations. With that said, the lack of physical controls and dials, particularly on the M10, meant that the camera wasn't always quick. The M5 blends the best of both worlds, combining the physical controls mentioned earlier with the same great touch-based user interface found on its predecessors.

The M5's larger 3.2-inch display helps too, especially when using the Quick Menu. The Quick Menu is accessed by pressing the central button on the multi-selector on the rear of the camera. The Quick Menu can be used via touch or buttons and offers the following settings: Autofocus area, AF operation, image quality, video recording quality, drive mode, self-timer, white balance, Picture Style, metering mode, Auto Lighting Optimizer and image aspect ratio. The ordering of these menu items can be customized, and you can also remove settings if you want.

Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Canon EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM at 45mm (72mm eq.), f/8.0, 0.125s, ISO 100.
Click for full-size image.
Image Quality and High ISO Performance

The Canon EOS M5 includes a new 24.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor with a fixed anti-aliasing filter and Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology, making it the first EOS M-series model to include Canon's high-performance on-sensor phase-detect AF system. There are phase detection pixels across 80% of the image sensor area. I will discuss autofocus further down below, but this is a big step up for the Canon M line.

Likely the same or at least a very similar sensor as the one found in the Canon 80D, it should come as no surprise that the M5 offers good imaging performance. The camera produces photos with good, accurate colors that offer solid true-to-life representations. With that said, there is something to be desired with the M5's image processing. JPEG images, even at low ISOs, display aggressive in-camera noise reduction that rob images of fine detail. It isn't particularly successful with noise reduction either, as the camera produces noisy images at somewhat low ISOs -- more on that in the next section.

Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
100% crop from a JPEG image, straight from the camera.
Canon EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM at 45mm (72mm eq.) , f/11, 0.4s, ISO 100.

Click for full-size image.

Dynamic range has often been an area of relative weakness for Canon's cameras, particularly when considering their APS-C models. The 80D did a lot to resolve that issue, and the M5 continues the positive trend. Dynamic range can't compete with the Sony sensors found in the A6300 and A6500 mirrorless cameras, for instance, but the M5 still offers a good amount of latitude when adjusting exposure, highlights and shadows.

Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Canon EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM at 15mm (24mm eq.), f/8.0, 3.2s, ISO 100.
This image has been modified. Click for full-size image.

At high ISOs, JPEG images can look quite soft. The in-camera noise reduction is aggressive, rendering images with fine details almost blurry. With that said, surprisingly, images can contain a lot of noise despite the strong noise reduction. Fine details will be washed out while there is still a considerable amount of visible noise in the images. At ISO 1600, images start to lose noticeable fine details when viewed at 100%, and there is a decent amount of visible noise in the files. With that said, for non-critical uses or for viewing images at smaller sizes, I would feel comfortable using JPEG files up through ISO 6400. Beyond ISO 6400, the images are very noisy and soft; too much so for my liking.

Canon M5 ISO Comparison
100% center crops from highest-quality JPEG images with default settings (Click for full-size images)
Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image
ISO 100 Full Scene
Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image
ISO 100
ISO 200
Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image
ISO 400
ISO 800
Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image
ISO 1600
ISO 3200
Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image
ISO 6400
ISO 12800
Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image
ISO 25600

Unlike with JPEG images, the RAW files impressed me. I think that the M5's biggest issue at high ISOs is the JPEG processing rather than camera's sensor because RAW files even up to ISO 3200 have good fine details and easily-controlled visible noise. However, unlike with JPEG files, I wouldn't want to use RAW images shot at ISO 6400.

Canon M5 ISO Comparison
100% center crops from RAW images processed with Adobe Camera RAW default settings, lens corrections enabled (Click for full-size images)
Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image
ISO 100 Full Scene
Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image
ISO 100
ISO 200
Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image
ISO 400
ISO 800
Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image
ISO 1600
ISO 3200
Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image
ISO 6400
ISO 12800
Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Noise Test Image
ISO 25600
Image Quality Summary

The EOS M5 offers good image quality across a wide range of ISO sensitivities. However, JPEG image processing is an issue, particularly with noise reduction. Nonetheless, the Canon M5 renders colors well, captures sharp, detailed images and offers a good amount of dynamic range for easily adjusting shadows and highlights with RAW files.

Shooting Modes

The M5 has a variety of interesting shoot modes for photographers who like to get creative out in the field. While the camera lacks a built-in panorama mode, it does offer various scene modes and creative filters in addition to in-camera HDR capture.

Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Canon EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM at 15mm (24mm eq.), f/4.5, 1/80s, ISO 100.
Auto. Click for full-size image.

Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Canon EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM at 15mm (24mm eq.), f/8.0, 1/60s, ISO 320.
HDR (Natural). Click for full-size image.

An aspect of the M5 that I didn't like is its auto ISO setting. Auto ISO doesn't offer much control; it only allows the user to select a maximum ISO, but there is no control over shutter speed behavior. Beyond that, the camera offers a lot of nice shooting features and is enjoyable to use.

Metering

Metering performance from the M5 is reliable and consistent in most situations. The camera offers evaluative, partial, center-weighted evaluative and spot metering modes. The metering sensor's effective range is -1 to 20 EV, and the camera offers up to +/- 3 EV of exposure compensation. It is worth noting that the M5's spot metering option is not tied to the autofocus point, but is rather locked to the center of the image area.

A weakness of the M5's metering system is its working range. Shortly after sunset, the camera struggled with exposure metering, underexposing a relatively straightforward scene by roughly a full stop. Similarly, white balance metering tended toward the cool side in low light. It is not a big deal, but it must be considered when shooting in dim conditions, such as at dawn or dusk.

Autofocus

The M5's Dual Pixel CMOS AF system works well in most situations, although it not without its weaknesses. The hybrid autofocus system utilizes 49 AF points, which are located on a 7 x 7 grid across the image area. The autofocus points cover a large portion of the image area, with phase detect autofocus points covering 80% of its width and 80% of its height, making it easy to move a focus point to almost anywhere you need.

Autofocus modes include single point, AF Zone and Face + Tracking AF. Utilizing the large 3.2-inch touchscreen to move the autofocus point around the image area works very well. You can also use the touchscreen as an AF touch pad when using the electronic viewfinder, but you must enable this feature in the camera's settings under "Touch & drag AF settings." Within this sub-menu, you can also adjust the active touch area. Suppose that you only wanted the bottom right corner of the display to act as a touchpad for the entire image area, you can do that. I found that the default setting of "whole panel" worked best for me, but I can also see the appeal of a smaller area of the display being the touchpad.

Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM at 200mm (320mm eq.), f/6.3, 1/160s, ISO 100.
Click for full-size image.

Low light autofocus is an area of weakness for the M5. It is rated to work from -1 EV to 18 EV, which is okay, but not great. However, many of the EF-M lenses are moderately slow with narrower apertures, which hurts low-light autofocus performance. I regularly struggled to capture in-focus shots in moderately low light. Compared to other similarly-priced mirrorless cameras I've tested, the M5 felt slower in dim conditions.

With that said, manual focus has been improved with the M5 as Canon has added a focus peaking option, which works well. Like the AF touchpad option, you must enable focus peaking as it is not on by default. You can choose between "low" and "high" peaking level and three colors: red, yellow and blue.

Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM at 70mm (112mm eq.), f/8.0, 1/13s, ISO 100.
This image has been modified. Click for full-size image.

Continuous autofocus is impressive with the M5. Its subject tracking mode not only works quickly and accurately, but it also proved to be quite adept at picking up a subject when it reenters the frame. It is evident especially when using Servo AF that the Dual Pixel CMOS AF system is a big improvement for the Canon M series and one of the M5's best new features.

Overall, the autofocus focus system works very well in good light, providing fast, accurate autofocus performance. However, dim light poses more of a challenge to the M5 than I expected.

Performance

Performance is an area where the M5 excels relative to its predecessors. Thanks to its new, faster DIGIC 7 processor, the M5 can shoot much faster than the M3.

Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM at 200mm (320mm eq.), f/6.3, 1/500s, ISO 1600.
This image has been cropped. Click for full-size image.

I tested the camera with a SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC card with up to 95MB/s read and 90MB/s write speeds. I found the camera able to meet Canon's spec of shooting at up to 9 frames per second with autofocus set to One-Shot AF. RAW+JPEG had a 17-frame buffer that cleared in around 8 seconds. JPEG-only allowed for 29 frames -- which bests Canon's spec of 26 frames -- at 9fps and the buffer cleared in roughly 3 seconds. With Servo AF, I could capture 26 RAW+JPEG frames at 7 frames per second with the buffer clearing in 9 seconds. We must wait for our official lab results to know precisely what the M5 and its DIGIC 7 image processor are capable of, but suffice it to say that the M5 is a much faster camera than the M3, which could only shoot at up to 4.2fps.

Video: An area of strength and weakness for the EOS M5

Continuing Canon's trend of not including 4K video recording on their non-flagship cameras, the Canon EOS M5's video resolution tops out at 1920 x 1080 (Full HD). Framerate is capped at 60 frames per second, so there are no slow-motion or high-speed video shooting options to be found in this mirrorless camera, putting it at a distinct disadvantage in the video department when compared to Sony and Panasonic's offerings, for example.

It is not just video specifications that come up short with the M5, but also the video features. The camera doesn't offer zebra exposure warnings, shutter or aperture priority recording modes or a headphone jack. The M5 does include a mic input and HDMI out, at least, but, still, this is not a videographer's workhorse camera.

Canon M5 Video Sample #1
1920 x 1080, 30fps, Auto settings.
Download Original (46.3 MB .MP4 File)

With that said, an area where the M5 excels in video is the overall user experience. Not only is the touchscreen very well-implemented, but the Dual Pixel AF system works very well. It's disappointing that you can't view a histogram on the display when recording, but automatic exposure does work well in most situations.

While incapable of capturing 4K video, the M5's Full HD video does look quite nice, especially at lower ISOs. The camera records a good amount of detail in the 1920 x 1080 resolution frame.

Canon M5 Video Sample -- Image Stabilization OFF
Download Original (31.2 MB .MP4 File)
Canon M5 Video Sample -- Image Stabilization ON
(Combination I.S. enabled)
Download Original (36.2 MB .MP4 File)

Autofocus is a highlight here, as the M5's video autofocus is fast, accurate and tracks subjects well. Don't sleep on the camera's built-in image stabilization, either, especially if you like to record handheld video. The M5 has a new "Combination IS" mode, which combines a lens' optical stabilization with the camera's 5-axis digital image stabilization.

As was the case with still images, high ISO video is not a strength for the M5. When recording video, the ISO range is 100 to 6400 but quality falls off quite quickly, in my opinion, beyond ISO 1600.

Canon M5 High ISO Video Sample #2
1920 x 1080, 30fps, ISO 6400.
Download Original (177.1 MB .MP4 File)

Overall, for users who don't need 4K video, the Canon M5 is a capable video camera. However, its feature set is limited. The camera makes recording good Full HD video very simple with a reliable autofocus and metering system, so if that's all you require for multimedia, the M5 is solid; 4K shooters should look elsewhere, though.

Wireless Shooting

The Canon M5 has built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC. Connecting the M5 to my iPhone was a straightforward process and once connected, the connection was reliable and the live view on my phone looked pretty good.

Panasonic FZ2500 Review: Field Test -- Wireless Application
Screenshots from the Canon Camera Connect iOS application.

Using the Canon Camera Connect application, you can view and transfer images, link location data and remotely capture images. The remote capture is good overall, although it does have a few weaknesses. You don't have access to many camera settings from within the app, including exposure modes, nor are changes made on the camera itself reflected in the app. I do enjoy that you can autofocus the camera without capturing an image in the app as this can be useful.

Canon M5 Field Test Part Summary
The best Canon M camera yet, but still room for improvement

What I like:

  • Enthusiast-oriented camera body
  • Excellent 3.2-inch display and touchscreen interface
  • Built-in electronic viewfinder works well
  • Dual Pixel AF works great in good conditions
  • Fast continuous shooting performance

What I dislike:

  • High ISO capabilities come up short
  • Aggressive in-camera noise reduction does a poor job
  • Video features are limited
Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM at 200mm (320mm eq.), f/6.3, 1/100s, ISO 100.
This image has been modified. Click for full-size image.

The M5 is an interesting camera for multiple reasons. It is quite clearly the best M camera to date. It is evidence that Canon is finally giving the M series serious shooting features, such as Dual Pixel CMOS AF, and not let the series sit beneath its DSLR lineup. However, if Canon wants the M series to truly match its mirrorless competition and become a viable option for all enthusiasts, it needs to expand the EF-M lens lineup and beef up video features. Nonetheless, the M5 is a genuine step-up in and for many photographers, it's exactly what they've been looking for from a Canon mirrorless camera.

Canon M5 Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Canon EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM at 16mm (26mm eq.), f/8.0, 0.4s, ISO 100.
This image has been modified. Click for full-size image.

 

Canon EOS M5 Review -- Overview

by
Preview posted: 09/15/2016

Canon EOS M5 Review -- Product Image

Four years ago, Canon made a tentative first step into the mirrorless camera market with its EOS M, sporting a brand-new EF-M lens mount. You could be forgiven if you missed that camera or its followups the M2, M3 and M10, though, because they weren't big sellers in the US market. (In fact, the M2 wasn't even officially offered for sale here.)

So what held the series back stateside? Although image quality was good, sluggish performance and a very limited lens selection held the EOS M-series back compared to its rivals. So too did the lack of a viewfinder in the EOS M, M2 and M10, while the M3 relied on an expensive $300 external viewfinder accessory. Now, the Canon EOS M5 arrives to address those concerns -- and for the first time, it looks to be an EOS M-series camera that's truly aimed at enthusiast use!

Although it shares quite a bit with its predecessor the EOS M3, including a 24-megapixel resolution from an APS-C image sensor, a tilting touch-screen LCD monitor and in-camera Wi-Fi / NFC wireless networking, the Canon EOS M5 looks to be a near-ground up redesign. Externally, it sports a brand-new, somewhat SLR-like body complete with a built-in electronic viewfinder, a larger and higher-resolution LCD monitor, and a reworked control layout.

Inside, there's a newer image sensor and processor that should offer better image quality and performance, and the sensor also now supports Canon's Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology, allowing swift and accurate phase-detection autofocus across most of the image frame. The new sensor and processor also allow much faster burst performance even with continuous autofocus tracking active, although raw depth is still a question mark.

Canon EOS M5 Review -- Product Image

The Canon EOS M5 also boasts a new low-power, Bluetooth Smart connection which can remain active at all times, much like Nikon's competing SnapBridge wireless tech, which is also based around Bluetooth Smart technology. The EOS M5 uses this low-power, low-range connection to pair via higher-power, longer-range Wi-Fi for faster transfers and remote control with a live-view feed, but can rely on Bluetooth Smart alone for remote control without a live view feed. We're not yet certain whether it can also transfer reduced-resolution images without the need to first bring up a Wi-Fi connection, as can Nikon's SnapBridge, but it seems likely.

Canon EOS M5 Review -- Product Image

Available from November 2016 in the US market, the Canon EOS M5 will be sold either body-only, or in two kit bundles with lens. Body-only pricing is expected to be in the region of US$980, while a kit with the EF-M 15-45mm/F3.5-6.3 IS STM zoom lens should also be available at launch for around US$1,100. A second kit with the new EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens should follow from December 2016, priced at around US$1,480 or thereabouts.

 

Canon EOS M5 Technical Info

by Mike Tomkins | Posted: 09/15/2016

Sensor

At the heart of the Canon EOS M5 is a new 24.2-effective megapixel, APS-C format CMOS image sensor which is similar to that featured in the Canon EOS 80D DSLR. The chip, which has the same effective resolution as that in the EOS M3, has a total resolution of 25.8 megapixels. Dimensions are 22.3 x 14.9mm with a 3:2 aspect ratio, for a pixel pitch of 3.72µm.

Canon EOS M5 Review -- Product Image

Processor

Output from the Canon M5's sensor is handled by a new DIGIC 7 image processor. That's a step up from the DIGIC 6 processors used in the EOS M3 and 80D, and we're told to expect image quality that's slightly better than that from the 80D as a result.

Sensitivity

As an indication of the improved performance of its imaging pipeline, the Canon M5 sports a sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 25,600-equivalents, all available without any ISO expansion function. By way of comparison, the EOS M3 had a sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 12,800-equivalents, expandable to ISO 25,600-equivalent. (Or in other words, the same overall range, but with the highest sensitivities disabled by default since Canon felt they didn't meet its image quality standards, which the EOS M5 presumably now meets.)

Performance

Based on Canon's manufacturer ratings, performance of the EOS M5 looks to be significantly improved, and that's huge news given that weak performance has been an Achilles heel of past EOS M-series cameras.

Canon rates startup time of the new camera as one second, and says it is approximately 66% faster in this respect than was the EOS M3.

Canon EOS M5 Review -- Product Image

The difference in burst shooting performance is even more significant. The earlier EOS M3 was limited to a sedate 4.2 frames per second even with focus and exposure locked from the first frame. By way of contrast, Canon says that the EOS M5 will be capable of seven frames per second capture with autofocus enabled between frames, and as much as nine frames per second if you lock AF / AE from the first frame.

However, we're tempering our expectations somewhat until we find out how the EOS M5 performs with raw capture enabled. This was a particular concern with the earlier camera, where the EOS M3 as limited to a paltry five raw frames before it ran out of buffer space.

Canon says that the EOS M5's JPEG buffer depth at nine fps is around 26 JPEG frames, which is far below the 1,000-frame limit of the EOS M3, but the fact the JPEG depth has increased isn't too surprising given that burst performance has apparently more than doubled. What we really want to know is the raw buffer depth, but here Canon has yet to provide any indication of its expected buffer limits.

Optics

Like its EOS M-series siblings, the Canon EOS M5 can accept EF-M mount lenses natively, and also accepts EF and EF-S lenses courtesy of the optional Mount Adapter EF-EOS M.

Canon EOS M5 Review -- Product Image

Autofocus

One of the key reasons for the Canon M5's improved performance can be found in its new image sensor, which now supports Canon's Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology, rather than the earlier Hybrid CMOS AF III system. Dual Pixel CMOS AF allows fast and precise phase-detection autofocus across 80% of the image area, and not surprisingly, with this new technology in place Canon says that the EOS M5 will offer the fastest autofocus performance of any EOS M-series camera to date. The system has a working range of EV -1 to 18, and for nearby subjects in low light, a built-in LED autofocus assist lamp is provided.

Interestingly, the Canon M5 has a new Touch and Drag function for autofocus point selection, which seems similar to a function we've seen in Olympus and Panasonic cameras in the past. This allows you to keep the camera's viewfinder to your eye, but at the same time, to move the AF frame by dragging a finger across the touch-screen LCD monitor, as if it were a laptop touch pad.

Oh, and there's good news for fans of manual focusing. The Canon EOS M5 includes a focus peaking function which will help you to determine the precise point of focus, whether framing your images on the electronic viewfinder or LCD panel.

Canon EOS M5 Review -- Product Image

Viewfinder

That electronic viewfinder, incidentally, is a new addition to the camera. The original Canon EOS M and M2 both lacked viewfinder support entirely, while the EOS M3 had no built-in viewfinder, and instead was reliant on a pricey and somewhat clumsy electronic viewfinder accessory.

The Canon M5, though, now has a built-in electronic viewfinder. It's based around a 0.39-inch OLED panel with a resolution of around. 2,360,000 dots, and allows a depth-of-field preview function, as well as three on-demand grid overlays to help with precise framing.

Display

Like the EOS M3 before it, the Canon EOS M5 has an articulated touch-screen LCD monitor. It can still be used as a control device, and still tilts upwards some 85 degrees or downwards a full 180 degrees for viewing from a wide range of angles, even for selfie shooting. (However, you won't be shooting those selfies on a tripod, since the screen tilts downwards and so will be obscured by the tripod head.)

But there's an important change here, too. The LCD panel itself is brand-new, and it's both a little bigger than before (3.2 inches diagonal, vs. 3.0 inches in the EOS M3), and also has higher resolution (1,620,000 dots, versus 1,040,000 dots in the M3.)

Canon EOS M5 Review -- Product Image

Exposure

As you'd expect in a camera aimed at enthusiast use, the Canon EOS M5 sports a full complement of Program, Aperture-priority, Shutter-priority and Manual exposure modes. It also boasts two Custom exposure modes which help you to quickly recall favored shooting setups, as well as Auto and scene modes which make it easier for beginners to get the shots they're after.

Exposures are determined using an evaluative metering system based on information from the image sensor. Partial, center-weighted evaluative and spot metering modes are also available, and the metering system has a working range of EV 1 to 20. Exposure compensation is available within a +/-3 EV range in 1/3 EV steps, and additionally, +/-2 EV of exposure bracketing is possible in 1/3 EV steps.

Shutter speeds on offer in the Canon M5 range from 1/4,000 to 30 seconds, and flash X-sync is at 1/200 second. As well as a hot shoe, the Canon EOS M5 also features a built-in, manual popup flash strobe with 15mm coverage and a guide number of five meters at ISO 100. Flash exposure compensation is available within a range of +/-2 EV in 1/3 EV steps, and flash exposures use Canon's E-TTL II metering system.

Canon EOS M5 Review -- Product Image

Video capture

Although it lacks 4K capture, the Canon EOS M5 can record high-definition movies at up to 60 frames per second with 1,920 x 1,080-pixel resolution.

And interestingly, there's a new Combination IS mode for movie capture, which combines the lens-based optical stabilization (if available for your chosen lens) with five-axis digital image stabilization, a pairing Canon says should yield "tremendously smooth videos". If your lens lacks optical stabilization, the EOS M5 will still be able to use its five-axis digital stabilization to try and combat the shakes.

The Canon M5 can also shoot time-lapse videos, although we don't yet have specifics as to the intervals and/or resolutions on offer.

Audio for movies comes courtesy of either a built-in stereo microphone or an external mic jack.

Wired connectivity

Cabled connections on the EOS M5 include provision for Micro USB, Type-D Micro HDMI, external microphone and wired remote controls. There's also a flash hot shoe on the camera's top deck.

Canon EOS M5 Review -- Product Image

Wireless connectivity

As well as the built-in Wi-Fi and NFC of its predecessor, the Canon M5 also now sports a Bluetooth radio. The NFC compatibility allows for quick-and-easy pairing with Android devices, while the Bluetooth radio allows for simple pairing with both Android and iOS.

And courtesy of Bluetooth Smart technology, this low-powered connection can remain active at all times when you have the required app open, providing for remote control from your phone without the need to wait for a Wi-Fi connection to be established. If you need a remote live view, then the Wi-Fi connection will be necessary, though, and here the camera and smart device can communicate and pair themselves automatically using the Bluetooth Smart connection.

Storage

The Canon EOS M5 stores data on Secure Digital cards, including the higher-capacity SDHC / SDXC cards, and the higher-speed UHS-I cards.

Canon EOS M5 Review -- Product Image

Power

The EOS M5 draws power from the same LP-E17 battery as used in the EOS M3, but battery life is said to have been improved substantially. You should now be able to capture 295 shots to CIPA testing standards (50% flash usage), regardless of whether you're using the LCD or electronic viewfinder. (That's unusual, because EVFs typically draw far more power than do LCDs, despite their much smaller size.) By way of comparison, the EOS M3 was capable of just 250 frames with its LCD monitor. Enabling Canon's ECO mode on the EOS M5 bumps battery life to 420 shots on the LCD monitor.

 

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