Traditional digital SLR camera makers like Canon and Nikon have long been eluding mirrorless cameras. Even with Panasonic and Olympus’ ambitious efforts to develop a stronghold in this industry, Canon has been pretty occupied with manufacturing and enhancing their existing range of professional DSLRs. With a rather disappointing M-series, the fight to replicate its success in the mirrorless camera market seemed all but lost. The M3 and M10 had made considerable progress, but was still lacking in terms of performance. The release of Canon’s flagship EOS M5 Mirrorless Camera has, however, silenced critics and won the photography-enthusiast’s heart.
Design and Build
The M5 is proof that Canon has pivoted to revive its reputation by doing what it does best. They have gone back to their hot-selling professional DSLRs for designing their current flagship model. The EOS M5 provides a sizeable grip and is shaped to suit the human palm with the forefinger resting perfectly on the shutter release. The unit consists of four dials in total –
1. Two main dials in and around the shutter button to adjust camera settings like AF, ISO and White Balance according to the purpose of use.
2. You get only one chance to shoot the right photograph! A sturdy dial for exposure compensation, well within the thumb’s reach, enables you to capture the perfect degree of exposure for your shot.
3. Moving over to the back of the device, most buttons are placed to the right of the screen, making it handy for use with a single hand.
Such a comprehensive layout of buttons for easy access to settings has been a characteristic quality of its traditional EOS 60D and 70D units. It only goes to show that Canon really wants to hand the control-experience back to the consumer in their rather unpopular range of mirrorless cameras.
Picture and Video Quality
The first EOS M functioned with a rather glitchy AF system and with the M3 used a Hybrid AF system, a significant change compared to its predecessor, the device still suffered from a wanting photographic experience. The M5, however, packs in a Two-Pixel CMOS AF coupled with the DIGIC 7 processor, Canon’s latest sensor technology, found in their premium DSLRs like the EOS 70D, EOS 80D And EOS 5D IV. Dual Pixel means the camera will jump to the right focus distance instead of hunting for it. The M5 also sports an inbuilt digital viewfinder and 3.2” inclining touchscreen which can be angled to almost 85º for low-level shots and about 180º if at all you want to click the perfect selfie.
Like in Panasonic cameras, the touch-sensitive screen offers the ability to set a desired focus point while still letting the viewfinder work its magic. The standout feature in this domain is the touch-and-drag feature exclusive to only the M5 in the mirrorless camera family. Much like a phone, the focus can be set on different objects during a shot which yields a higher quality video. It also allows you to select a particular half of the screen which can only be used to set focus, thus eliminating ‘nose focus’ when clicking stills or shooting video with the eye.
This might seem like a bummer, because it probably is. While most mirrorless cameras in the current market provide 4K shooting, the Canon EOS M5 features 1080p at 60fps. With 4K dominating the industry and being provided by almost all rival companies including Panasonic, Olympus and Fuji, excluding this feature from a list of rather enticing capabilities, seem like a gamble.
The M5 also sports a sleek microphone port which will not get in the way while tiling the touchscreen to any angle. However, it is recommended to remain at lower sensitivities for best performance. Static noise appears at around ISO 3,200. If you’re desperate to capture sound, setting ISO at 12,800 or 25,600 yields comparatively good quality audio.
While Canon’s competitors have developed a mix of lenses with different focal lengths to cater to a set of zooms and primes, Canon’s EF-M range sits at a meagre number of 7. Most of them are varying-aperture lenses with only two as primes. The company also provides a specially designed adapter which makes the M5 compatible to Canon’s extensive catalogue of mounted lenses. This, however, defeats the entire purpose of possessing a mirrorless camera which is primarily built to offer a light and semi-portable alternative to its clunky counterparts.
Priced at $979 and weighing a light 427g, Canon’s EOS M5 Mirrorless Camera Body has redefined semi-portable camera, making and set a gold standard for the industry.
4 used from $921.28
- Canon EOS M5 Camera Body
The degree of direct control offered by the M5 is expected to cater to the desires of Canon’s higher-end DSLR users. EOS M5 showcases just about everything a flagship model of a pioneering company should boast of.
- Handy for use with a single hand.
- The touch-sensitive screen offers the ability to set a desired focus point.
- Fantastic picture and video shooting capability
- No ‘nose focus’ when clicking stills or shooting video with the eye.
- Rich picture quality, compactness of structure, lightweight at only 427g and handiness in usage.
- Lack of 4K Video Recording.
- Low Range of Lenses with only two primes.
- Hefty price-tag at $979.
- Static noise appears at around ISO 3,200.