Canon EOS M5 First Shots: Does their most advanced mirrorless model earn high marks for image quality?


posted Friday, December 30, 2016 at 1:10 PM EDT


Canon was rather slow out the gate to enter the mirrorless camera market, but they now have a range of models, from the entry-level EOS M10 to the enthusiast-level EOS M5, which only just made its debut at this year's Photokina tradeshow. We've finally received our review copy of the new Canon EOS M5, and as usual, we immediately sent it down to our lab for testing. We now have our standard First Shots set of lab sample images ready for your review!

Though the Canon EOS M5 shares a number of specs with the earlier intermediate-level EOS M3 camera, such as a 24-megapixel APS-C image sensor as well as physical features like a tilting touch-screen LCD and in-camera Wi-Fi / NFC wireless connectivity, the EOS M5 appears to be a rather significantly new camera in other regards. Inside, it sports a newer 24MP imager with Dual Pixel CMOS AF and an updated DIGIC 7 image processor, which should provide better image quality and performance. With Dual Pixel AF, autofocus should be fast and accurate thanks to phase-detection autofocus across most of the frame. The new sensor and processor should also offer much faster burst performance, even with continuous AF tracking, although we, of course, need to see how that stands up out in the field.

While we get the meat of our Canon EOS M5 review under way, jump over to the M5 Samples Page for our First Shots series of lab images. As always, First Shots offer a standardized assessment of the camera's image quality across its full ISO range, at both default settings and with as minimal noise reduction as possible (see images with 'NR0' in the filename), using our lab's Still Life test target. You can also compare the EOS M5's lab images against any other camera we've tested using our Comparometer. To get started on a little side-by-side action, below we have crops of base ISO and ISO 3200 images from the EOS M5 compared to the Canon EOS M5 as well as another popular 24MP competitor, the Sony A6300 -- while not as new as the A6500, it matches more closely in price to the EOS M5.

Canon EOS M5 vs. Canon EOS M3

ISO 100: Canon EOS M5 (left) vs. Canon EOS M3 (right)
ISO 3200: Canon EOS M5 (left) vs. Canon EOS M3 (right)

Canon EOS M5 vs. Sony A6300

ISO 100: Canon EOS M5 (left) vs. Sony A6300 (right)
ISO 3200: Canon EOS M5 (left) vs. Sony A6300 (right)

Stay tuned for more of our Canon EOS M5 review!

Canon EOS M5 First Shots