Canon EOS M5 Review
|Full model name:||Canon EOS M5|
(22.3mm x 14.9mm)
|Viewfinder:||EVF / LCD|
|Native ISO:||100 - 25,600|
|Extended ISO:||100 - 25,600|
|Shutter:||1/4000 - 30 seconds|
|Max Aperture:||3.5 (kit lens)|
4.6 x 3.5 x 2.4 in.
(116 x 89 x 61 mm)
includes batteries, kit lens
|Full specs:||Canon EOS M5 specifications|
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Canon M5 Review -- Now Shooting!
Last updated: 04/26/2017
About 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. The Canon EOS M5 addresses 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.
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, short-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 alone for remote control without a live view feed, or to control playback on a large screen over HDMI.
The Canon EOS M5 began shipping in November 2016 in the US market, and is sold either body-only, or in two kit bundles with lens. Body-only pricing is in the region of US$980, while a kit with the EF-M 15-45mm/F3.5-6.3 IS STM zoom lens is available for around US$1,100. A second kit with the new EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens is also available, priced at around US$1,480 or thereabouts.
Canon EOS M5 Technical Info
by Mike Tomkins | Posted: 09/15/2016
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.
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.
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.)
Based on Canon's manufacturer ratings, performance of the EOS M5 is 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 (we measured 1.2 second, but that includes taking a shot), and says it is approximately 66% faster in this respect than was the EOS M3. (In our tests, the M5's power on to first shot was twice as fast as the M3's.)
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. (We measured 9.2-9.4 fps in the lab.)
And where the EOS M3 was limited to a paltry four raw frames before it ran out of buffer space, the M5 captured 18 frames in our tests, despite the much faster burst rate. See our Performance page for details.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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 yields "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 at 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) at 30p (or 25p in PAL mode). You can specify scene type, the interval, the total number of shots, whether the exposure is fixed at the first shot or adjusted per shot, and whether you want to review each image (for 2 seconds). Sound is not recorded and focus remains constant after the first shot.
Audio for movies comes courtesy of either a built-in stereo microphone or an external mic jack. Unfortunately, no headphone jack is provided.
Cabled connections on the EOS M5 include provision for Micro USB 2.0, Type-D Micro HDMI, external 3.5mm microphone and a wired remote control (RS-60E3). There's also a flash hot shoe on the camera's top deck.
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.
The EOS M5 also supports Canon's RC-6 infrared Remote Controller.
The Canon EOS M5 stores data on Secure Digital cards in a single slot, including the higher-capacity SDHC / SDXC cards, and the higher-speed UHS-I cards.
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.
In-camera charging via USB is not supported and a dedicated battery charger is included. An optional DR-E17 DC coupler and CP-PS700 AC adapter are available.
Canon EOS M5 Field Test
Canon finally delivers an enthusiast-oriented mirrorless camera
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 Image Quality Comparison
See how the Canon M5's IQ compares to other enthusiast ILCs!
Here we present crops from our laboratory Still Life target comparing Canon M5's image quality to that of its DSLR sibling, the Canon 80D (for those wondering which of these two enthusiast Canon ILCs to get), as well as against several enthusiast ILC models at similar price points or in similar categories: the Nikon D7200, Olympus E-M5 II, Panasonic GX8 and Sony A6300.
NOTE: These images are from best quality JPEGs straight out of the camera, at default settings including noise reduction and using the camera's actual base ISO (not extended ISO settings). All cameras in this comparison were shot with our very sharp reference lenses. Clicking any crop will take you to a carrier page where you can click once again to access the full resolution image as delivered straight from the camera. For those interested in working with the RAW files involved, click these links to visit each camera's respective sample image thumbnail page...
Canon EOS M5 Print Quality
But how does it look on paper?
Print quality and image quality are similar but not identical, because what you see on a print isn't always the same as what you see on the screen. Our print quality analysis answers the important question: "Just how big can I print my photos at higher ISOs?"
Canon has once again brought good image quality to the table in yet another EOS M series camera. While the EOS M5 didn't surpass any of the predecessor EOS M3 print sizes, it still delivers results that are on par with most, though certainly not all, of the best APS-C cameras out there. Remaining at ISO 400 and below yields almost unlimited printing freedom and you can expect very natural printed images, while even ISO 3200 can output a solid 11 x 14 inch print which is as large as most photographers tend to go. A solid effort all around in the print quality department once again here from Canon.
In the Box
The Canon EOS M5 15-45mm kit retail box (as tested) ships with the following items:
- Canon EOS M5 body
- EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens
- Front and rear lens caps
- LP-E17 battery pack
- LC-E17/LC-E17E battery charger
- Hot shoe cover
- Body cap
- IFC-600PCU USB interface cable
- EM-300DB neck strap
- Camera Instruction Manual booklet
- Large capacity SDHC/SDXC memory card. Look for at least a Class 6 speed grade card if you plan on shooting video, and consider a fast UHS-I card to minimize buffer clearing times.
- Extra LP-E17 battery pack
- Additional lenses
- External Speedlite flash
- External monaural or stereo microphone
- Micro (Type-D) HDMI cable
- Medium size camera bag
Canon EOS M5
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