Canon EOS M5 Review | Mirrorless Camera


Canon EOS M5 is a compact interchangeable lens camera that directly targets the serious camera enthusiast but as you’ll read it’s a great choice for even casual shooters to step up to an EOS camera. Canon announced it on September 15, 2016, and EOS M5 released date is November 2016. It is Canon’s first mirrorless camera to feature an integrated electronic viewfinder, Dual Pixel CMOS AF and Canon’s brand-new DIGIC 7 image processor. The first thing you notice about the camera is its responsiveness. It is really fast like from the controls to the refresh rate in the viewfinder but it feels like a very refined very premium mirrorless camera.

Canon EOS M5: What is in the box?

When you buy the Canon EOS M5 mirrorless digital camera, the items in the box are as follows:

  • EOS M5 Camera Body
  • EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Lens or Canon EF-M 15-45mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM
  • Battery Pack LP-E17
  • Battery Charger LC-E17
  • Neck Strap EM-300DB
  • USB Cable IFC-600PCU

Canon EOS M5: Body and Design

This camera’s new design is very user-friendly. Four dials on the camera mean full photographic control is available to experienced DSLR shooters. Yet the camera can easily be used by buyers stepping up to their first interchangeable lens camera.

Canon EOS M5: Electronic Viewfinder (EVF)

The eye level electronic viewfinder is one of the important features of the EOS M5. A great electronic viewfinder needs to offer a super high-resolution image and the EOS M5 has that. The eye level viewfinder has a 2.36 million dots OLED design. It gives confident precise viewing whether you’re shooting stills or video. It is fast and responsive with very little lag time when you’re panning the camera quickly or shooting moving subjects.

The finder shows virtually 100% of the entire image area and you see camera adjustments like changes to white balance or picture style in real time as you frame your subjects. But maybe the biggest key is the link between this eye-level electronic viewfinder and the touchscreen LCD monitor. With touch and drag AF you can look through the eye-level viewfinder and by running your thumb along with the touchscreen of the LCD monitor you can move your focus area whenever you need to. Your eye never has to leave the viewfinder and it works for both still image and video shooting.

Canon EOS M5: Touchscreen

Then there’s a tilting LCD monitor with a comprehensive touchscreen interface. You can use it like a smartphone to tap menu options, swipe through photos, drag your focus box around or pinch and expand your fingers to zoom in or out.

By tilting this monitor up or down you can shoot at high or low angles or even tilt it 180 degrees for vlogging or selfies or you can just tilt it up to make it easier to review photos with the camera on a table.

Canon EOS M5 Review 15 - Canon EOS M5 Review | Mirrorless Camera

A new exciting feature is the ability to look through the viewfinder. While dragging your finger around the touchscreen LCD monitor to move the focus box around in the viewfinder.

Canon EOS M5: Image Quality

The EOS M5 has an APS-C size sensor with 24.5 million pixels that means you can shoot RAW and JPEG images at up to 6000 x 4000 pixels. It’s the same CMOS imaging sensor used in the Canon EOS 80D so you’re getting proven DSLR level image quality in an easy to handle compact form factor. The EOS M5’s ISO is range from 100 to 25600 so the camera can shoot in many many different lighting situations.

Canon EOS M5: Sample Images

Panning Mode

For still images, there’s a new special scene setting called panning mode. This setting is great for those cool but challenging panning shots where you want to photograph a fast-moving subject such as a racing car or a runner. Panning mode helps you get your primary subject in crisp focus while having a motion blurred background by automatically setting the camera for conditions you’re shooting in.

Canon EOS M5: Autofocus

The Canon EOS M5’s autofocus is superb. Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology means smooth and controlled autofocus for video recording and fast responsive AF when you’re shooting still images. You can choose One-Shot AF to lock focus on stationary subjects or Servo AF or continuous focusing on moving subjects with Dual Pixel CMOS AF. This makes the Canon EOS M5 a strong performer whether you’re shooting stills or video.

AF Methods

Furthermore, you can define where the camera focuses. Your choices are Face detect + Tracking, Smooth zone AF, and 1-point AF. In Face detect + Tracking mode, the camera will detect the most prominent face in the frame and continually keep the focus on it.

Switch to Smooth zone AF and you will see a large box specifying the area the camera will focus on. The camera will focus on the most prominent detailed object within the box. You can easily move the box around the frame with the touchscreen LCD monitor.

If you want even more precise control switch to 1-point AF. You will now see a much smaller box you can use to direct the camera’s focus. You can even reduce the size of this focus point for more critical control. It’s literally as simple as just tapping on what you want in focus.

Canon EOS M5: Manual Focus

If you prefer to use manual focus there are features that will be great for you too. The EOS M5 has built-in focus peaking which will show you exactly what’s in focus. The peaking overlay can be set to two different intensities. You can also choose the color red, yellow or blue. The ability to change the peaking color is really practical so it stands out from the background. You can also magnify the LCD and EVF view to five times or ten times to adjust critical focus. If you’re using the LCD during magnification you can even drag on the screen to move the magnification area around.

Canon EOS M5: Video Features

The EOS M5 is a great multimedia camera because of its video capability. Video can be recorded using either the eye-level viewfinder or the large tilting LCD monitor. Full HD 1080p video can be recorded at up to 60 frames per second. If you’re walking or running to keep up with a subject the camera’s combination IS means 5 access electronic image stabilization in the camera when combined with the optical stabilization in the standard Canon EF M lenses you’ll get really steady and sharp video imagery.

In-camera Image Stabilization (IS)

Another feature is the addition of in-camera image stabilization (IS). For years, Canon has offered optical image stabilization in many of its lenses. But the EOS M5 adds digital image stabilization right in the camera body. So even if you’re using a lens without IS video will be smoother and more stable. With the EOS M5’s combination IS you can simultaneously take advantage of the digital image stabilization in-camera and the optical image stabilization built into select lenses. This combination is a first in the EOS family and will dramatically smooth out your videos.

Time-lapse Mode

Canon now added a time-lapse mode which creates a finished HD time-lapse video file right in the camera. No more need to reconstruct time-lapse video on a computer. The time-lapse mode has three presets. Scene-1 sets an interval of between 2-4 seconds which is great for relatively fast-moving subjects such as traffic or people. Scene-2 sets a 5-10 seconds interval which could be great for moving clouds or other slow-moving subjects. Scene-3 sets it to 11-30 seconds making it useful for getting time-lapse of a sunset or anything that takes a relatively long time to happen.

Canon EOS M5: Performance

Without question EOS M5 is Canon’s one of the highest performing compact interchangeable lens camera. The camera’s still image performance is excellent. It shoots up to 7 frames per second with full continuous-servo AF for still images with the focus locked it can reach 9 frames per second. If you’re using a UHS-I compliant SD card you can shoot more than 20 RAW images and a continuous burst and during the continuous shooting, there’s no blackout of the viewfinder or LCD monitor.

The EOS M5 is solid, if not exemplary, in terms of performance. Start time averages about a second, burst shooting speed is at least competitive, and while battery life is below average CIPA rating, those users who avoid using flash and constant ‘chimping’ will see a single battery last through a moderate shooting day.

Canon EOS M5: Lenses

The EOS M5 is available in three different kit options. You can buy the camera body by itself or you can buy it with either of two zoom lenses. One is the Canon EF-M 15-45mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM zoom lens which is super compact and gives wide-angle coverage equivalent to a 24mm lens. The other option is the Canon EF-M 18-150mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM zoom lens which gives broad coverage equivalent to a 240mm telephoto lens at the long end. Both of these lenses are perfect for travel. For ultra compact and simpler shooting, you can use other EF-M lenses like the Canon EF-M 22mm f2 STM fixed focal length lens or the Canon EF-M 28mm f/3.5 IS STM compact macro lens with its built-in lighting for close-up subjects.

Canon EOS M5 lens mount is an EF-M lens mount and 20 native lenses for this mount are currently available. Because EOS M5 has an APS-C sensor, it has a 1.6x focal length multiplier so that you need to multiply the original focal length with this multiplier to find the lens’ full frame equivalent focal length when mounted on EOS M5.

Standard Zoom Lenses

  • Canon EF-M 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM

Standard Prime Lenses

  • 7artisans 35mm F1.2
  • Canon EF-M 32mm F1.4 STM
  • 7artisans 35mm F2

Wide-angle Zoom Lenses

  • Canon EF-M 11-22mm f4-5.6 IS STM
  • Canon EF-M 15-45mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM

Wide-angle Prime Lenses

  • Canon EF-M 22mm f2 STM
  • Samyang 12mm f2.0 / 35mm F1.2 / 10mm f2.8 / 16mm f2.0

Telephoto Zoom Lenses

  • Canon EF-M 55-200mm f4.5-6.3 IS STM

Telephoto Prime Lenses

  • Samyang 300mm f6.3
  • Rokinon 85mm F1.8 Samyang 85mm F1.8

SuperZoom Lenses

  • Canon EF-M 18-150mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM

Wide-angle Fisheye Prime Lenses

  • Kamlan 8mm F3.0 Fisheye

With the optional Canon EOS M5 lens mount adapter, any of Canon’s EF or EF-S lenses can be used from fisheye to super telephoto. The automatic exposure and autofocus continue to be available with the adapter.

Canon EOS M5: Specifications

Body type SLR-style mirrorless
Max resolution 6000 x 4000
Effective pixels 24 megapixels
Sensor size APS-C (22.3 x 14.9 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
ISO Auto, 100-25600
Lens mount Canon EF-M
Focal length multiplier 1.6×
Articulated LCD Tilting
Screen size 3.2
Screen dots 1,620,000
Max shutter speed 1/4000 sec
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC card
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Weight (inc. batteries) 427 g (0.94 lb / 15.06 oz)
Dimensions 116 x 89 x 61 mm (4.57 x 3.5 x 2.4)
GPS None

You can reach full Canon EOS M5 specs and Canon EOS M5 Manual from the official Canon website.

Canon EOS M5: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Connectivity

The EOS M5 now supports both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections. When connected you can use Canon’s free Camera Connect App to control the camera remotely. You can view images on the camera and download them to your smartphone or tablet. The connectivity also allows the camera to use GPS data from a smartphone to add location metadata to your photos. This is really great when you’re traveling.


The bottom line, The Canon EOS M5 is easy to use but a serious camera. For the first time, Canon has a compact interchangeable lens camera that gives you a combination of portable form factor and advanced performance and features. Like all EOS M series cameras, it’s easy and intuitive to use but EOS M5 is aimed at the experienced photographers.

Do you have any other information about the Canon EOS M5? Left your ideas and questions in the comments section below! and please don’t forget to follow on Twitter @kuulphoto


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