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 sec|
|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|
EOS M5 Summary
Equipped with a 24-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and DIGIC 7 image processor, the Canon EOS M5 offers similar image quality as its predecessors but much improved overall performance. Considering also its inclusion of Dual Pixel CMOS AF, a built-in electronic viewfinder and larger 3.2-inch touchscreen, the Canon EOS M5 is Canon's best mirrorless camera yet.Pros
Enthusiast-oriented compact camera body; Good image quality in most situations; Built-in electronic viewfinder; Impressive Dual Pixel CMOS AF; Very good overall performance.Cons
High ISO image quality and dynamic range aren't quite up to par with some of its competition; No 4K video recording; Native EF-M lens selection is still limited; Below average battery life.Price and availability
Available since November 2016, the Canon EOS M5 costs just over US$900 for the body only, which is a nice value. The camera is also available in two kits, one with a 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens for around $1,050 and the other with a 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 lens for nearly $1,200. Each kit are nice options for those looking to get their first EOS M camera, but the latter kit is certainly the more versatile option.Imaging Resource rating
4.5 out of 5.0
Canon M5 Review
12/30/2016: First Shots posted
02/09/2017: Field Test posted
02/15/2017: Performance test results posted
04/26/2017: Image Quality Comparison and Print Quality posted
05/03/2017: Review Conclusion posted
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 Field Test
Canon finally delivers an enthusiast-oriented mirrorless camera
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 Technical Insights
A detailed look under the hood
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 3.72m.
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.
Canon EOS M5 Image Quality Comparison
See how the Canon M5's IQ compares to other enthusiast ILCs!
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?
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.
Canon EOS M5 Conclusion
Canon's best mirrorless camera yet
JPEG images were a bit soft at default in-camera sharpening but still showed some sharpening artifacts. The camera exhibited minor to moderate loss in detail due to in-camera noise reduction, even at low ISO settings. Nonetheless, image detail is good overall. Processed RAW images offer similar resolving capabilities, but careful processing can produce sharper images with fewer sharpening artifacts than the camera's JPEG files. Considering color, the camera delivers slightly below average saturation levels but excellent hue accuracy in its JPEGs. Color balance with Auto white balance when shooting outdoors tended toward the cooler side, but indoors in tungsten lighting it was too warm.
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
- Canon EF-M Lens Adapter Kit for EF / EF-S lenses
- External Speedlite flash
- External monaural or stereo microphone
- Micro (Type-D) HDMI cable
- Medium size camera bag
Buy the Canon EOS M5
$849.00 (20% more)
32.5 MP (26% more)
$1799.00 (62% more)
26.1 MP (7% more)
Also has viewfinder
$999.00 (32% more)
20.4 MP (19% less)
Also has viewfinder