Canon EOS M5
24MP, 7 FPS APS-C Mirrorless
Canon EOS M5 (14.9 oz./422g with battery and card, about $979) and EF-M 15-45mm (about $1,099 as a kit with 18-55 lens as shown or $1,479 as a kit with 18-150mm lens). bigger. I got mine at Adorama. I'd also get it at Amazon, at B&H or at Crutchfield.
This ad-free website's biggest source of support is when you use those or any of these links to my personally-approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Canon does not seal its boxes in any way, so never buy at retail or any other source not on my personally approved list since you'll have no way of knowing if you're missing accessories, getting a defective, damaged, returned, store demo or used camera. Buy only from the approved sources I use myself for the best prices, service, return policies and selection. Thanks for helping me help you! Ken.
Top, Canon EOS M5. bigger.
Mario's, 26 December 2016. Canon EOS M5, Canon EF-M 15-45mm at 28mm at f/4.5 hand-held at 1/40 at Auto ISO 4,000, Perfectly Clear.) bigger or camera-original © file to explore on your computer. Remember that only the rear wall is in focus, not the tables.
The Canon EOS M5 is Canon's best mirrorless camera, with an excellent electronic viewfinder (EVF).
The EOS M5 is a vacation camera. Use it where you need small size and want a high-quality mostly-metal camera body, aren't in a rush and don't really care about the price.
It makes DSLR-quality images because it has a Canon DSLR sensor. That's the good news, but it also costs much more than lightweight Canon Rebel DSLRs that offer exactly the same picture quality and weigh not much more. In fact, the Canon SL1 weighs less, sells for less than half the price and takes the same pictures. Any of the Canon DSLRs handle much faster. The EOS M5's autofocus is slow by modern standards; DSLRs are much faster.
Since the Sonys work so much faster and cost the same or less — and have even better EVFs — I'd suggest getting any of the superior Sony A6000, A6300 or A6500 for general use. If you only photograph people, get a Fuji camera for its superior skin-tone reproduction, but if you shoot mostly landscapes, travel and architecture that hold still, this Canon has superior color.
Get this Canon if you're as sensitive to color rendition as I am since it has the best color rendition of any mirrorless camera most things and people, but get a Sony for most uses where autofocus speed is important, or a Fuji if skin-tones are critical.
The Canon EOS M5 is a bit like a LEICA: expensive and slow, but it feels nice to hold and takes great pictures. The EOS M5 takes better pictures than a LEICA because its colors are better.
It's not black; it's a very nice gunmetal (dark metallic gray) just like the 5DSR.
● Excellent EVF.
● Solid mostly metal construction.
● Dedicated exposure compensation dial.
● Mode dial with C1 and C2 global camera-state memory recalls.
● 4:3, square and 16:9 as-shot crops from the native 3:2 sensor.
● Built-in flash.
● Dedicated Canon EF-M lenses are very good and smaller than DSLR lenses.
● Touch Screen to select AF points, but:
● Touch screen is always active by default when using the EVF, so your nose will control the AF system when using the EVF until you learn to deactivate touch control!
● Slow autofocus; much slower than Sony — but face recognition works great.
● Even slower autofocus in the dark; you'll miss photos waiting for it to focus even with the AF illuminator active.
● Different controls and menus than Canon DSLRs; not a great idea as a backup for a DSLR system.
● Uses Canon EF-M lenses which are smaller than DSLR lenses (good), but you can't use your traditional Canon EF DSLR lenses unless you buy an additional adapter, and then everything becomes so big you may as well just step up to a DSLR.
● Doesn't go to sleep automatically and doesn't wake up instantly like a DSLR. Will run the battery down unless you turn it off when not used around your neck.
● EVF has no auto brightness control so it's fine most of the time, but dim shooting under direct sunlight (Sony is much better here).
● LCD swivels, but not enough to let you take self-portraits like an iPhone.
● Shoots HD video, but not 4K video.
● No GPS.
Canon EOS M5. bigger.
Front, Canon EOS M5. bigger.
The Canon EOS-M5 only works with a new kind of smaller-mount EF-M lenses.
With a Canon EF adapter, the EOS-M5 also takes all our EF and EF-S lenses, with everything like autofocus and image stabilization working perfectly — but it makes the whole contraption so big you might prefer just using a DSLR instead.
Lens Compatibility Table
© 2017 KenRockwell.com.
14.9 × 22.3 mm APS-C.
3:2 aspect ratio.
3.72µm pixel pitch.
1.61 × crop factor.
24 MP native: 6,000 × 4,000 pixels.
Smaller Sizes (3:2 ratio)
Medium (11MP): 3,984 x 2,656.
Small 1 (6 MP): 2,976 x 1,984.
Small 2 (4 MP): 2,400 x 1,600.
Cropped Aspect Ratios
1:1 square crop.
ISO 100 ~ 25,600.
Adjustable for high and low limits from ISO 100 to ISO 25,600.
No way to set the minimum shutter speed; it auto-sets based on lens focal length.
Makes MP4 files holding MPEG-4 AVC / H.264 video and MPEG-4 AAC-LC stereo audio.
1,920 x 1,080 at 59.94, 29.97 or 23.976 FPS.
1,280 x 720 at 59.94 FPS.
640 x 480 at 29.97 FPS.
'Dual Pixel' phase detection and conventional (for mirrorless) contrast detection.
Electronic Viewfinder (EVF)
Manual brightness control (only).
Mechanical Focal Plane
1/4,000 to 30 seconds in all modes.
7 FPS with continuous AF; 9 FPS with focus and exposure locked.
I also see a tiny sub-mini socket with a remote-control icon next to it probably for a wired remote
1/200 sync speed.
Yes, pops up.
GN 16'/5m at ISO 100.
Covers 15mm lens (24mm equivalent.)
Dedicated E-TTL II hot shoe.
Works great with Canon EX flashes.
No Prontor-Compur (PC) terminal; use the built-in flash to trigger your slaves or use a hot-shoe adapter for corded sync.
Flip LCD, Canon EOS M5. bigger.
3.15" (80 mm) diagonal.
3:2 aspect ratio.
Swivels up and down, but not left or right.
No anti-reflection coating.
Video Out Terminal.
HDMI OUT Terminal Type D, HDMI output while recording, too.
WiFi & Bluetooth
SD, SDHC or SDXC.
Bottom, Canon EOS M5. bigger.
Made in Japan, yes!
Power & Battery
LP-E17 7.2V 1,040 mAh rechargeable Li-Ion battery, included.
Rated 295 shots CIPA with either the EVF or rear LCD — or — rated 85 minutes recording video (LCD) or 90 minutes (EVF) — or 4 hours of playing still image slide shows.
LC-E17 folding-plug charger, included.
3.5″ × 4.6″ × 2.4″ HWD.
89.2 × 115.6 × 60.6 millimeters HWD.
14.880 oz./421.9 g with battery and card, actual measured weight.
Rated 15.1 oz. (427g) with battery and card or 13.4 oz. (380g) stripped.
-10º ~ +40º C (14º ~ 104º F).
90% or less RH.
EOS M5 Camera (also lens if part of a kit).
Printed manual in English, Spanish and French.
USA & Canada warranty card.
14 September 2016.
September 2016 ~ January 2017
$979, body only.
The EOS M5 takes great pictures, but its AF system takes longer to set up and focus than the comparable Sony cameras.
This Canon's color rendition is the best of all the mirrorless camera brands overall.
Autofocus is accurate, but slow.
What makes it slow is how long it takes to figure out which AF area to use. The Sonys figure it out instantly, while this Canon takes a while trying to figure it out.
AF is even slower in the dark.
Ergonomics are very different from any DSLR, so don't expect to pack this and shoot it alongside DSLRs. You'll go nuts.
Handing is much slower than a DSLR; everything takes a moment to react.
There is no deeper central detent for the exposure compensation dial, so you can't zero it by feel.
The shiny mode dial is less legible in direct sunlight than a dull one. It is easy to unlock and turn with one thumb.
There are C1 and C2 camera memory recall modes on the top dial, but once turned it's annoying that various data screens cover the image for a moment after selecting a C1 or C2 mode before you can shoot.
Exposure is usually dead-on. The EOS M5 takes great pictures.
The electronic viewfinder (EVF) is very good. It's sharp and clear and has good color, but since it has no automatic brightness control it will be dim when used outdoors in direct sunlight.
It's not perfect; the dioptometric adjustment is a slider hidden under the eyepiece and it adds some astigmatism to the view.
There is an eye sensor to swap between the EVF and the rear LCD automatically (so much better than LEICA), but it takes too long to switch; it's not instantaneous so it's annoying.
It rotates its graphics as you rotate the camera.
High ISO performance is typically good as APS-C DSLRs go. The image never gets very noisy, but it does get softer as ISO gets very high. This is normal.
Cozy Christmas Fireplace, 26 December 2016. Canon EOS M5, Canon EF-M 15-45mm at 19mm at f/4 hand-held at 1/50 at Auto ISO 1,600, Perfectly Clear.) bigger or camera-original © file to explore on your computer.
Desert Marriott, 27 December 2016. Canon EOS M5, Canon EF-M 15-45mm at 15mm at f/3.5 hand-held at 1/40 at Auto ISO 2,500, Perfectly Clear.) bigger or full-resolution © file to explore on your computer.
It looks great at ISO 6,400, and Auto White Balance works great under tungsten halogen light as seen here. Noise reduction helps smooth skin, too.
Even at ISO 20,000, which it easily grabs in Auto ISO if you allow it in the menus, looks swell.
At ISO 25,600 things can start to get a little ratty — bit considering that this is a hand-held shot outdoors at night with the slow kit lens, I'm not complaining.
Auto ISO easily sets to let the EOS M5 choose among a full range of settings, but its big gotcha is that you can't set the minimum shutter speed.
Auto ISO in the EOS M5 auto-selects the minimum shutter speed based on focal length. It selects a great shutter speed for hand-held photos of things that hold reasonably still, but the shutter speeds are too slow to stop people in motion. I set 1/125 for this in cameras that let me, but since the EOS M5 won't let me do this and usually sets itself to around 1/40 depending on zoom setting, often people in action shots will be blurred unless they freeze and say "Cheese." Likewise, I usually set slower speeds for use with my stabilized lenses, but with the M5, you're stuck with whatever it gives you.
For those of us who actually shoot, this is a big no-no and limits my ability to shoot freely. Even the iPhone measures subject and camera motion and selects either of two Auto ISO and shutter speed programs by magic, but not the EOS M5.
Auto White Balance is great; it balances well under almost any sort of artificial lighting.
The tiny flash works well for fill-flash indoors, but I doubt it has enough power to get much range outdoors with the M5's slow 1/200 sync. Cameras like the Fuji X100F sync to insanely high speeds to let the tiny flash work much better when we have sunlight.
Here's how well the built-in flash works for indoor fill, for instance, for a real estate listing.
Pop up the little flash and the inside balances reasonably well with the outdoors and looks natural with no need for any HDR fooling around:
For comparison, here's how awful the image looks without flash. This is what you'd get with a camera that has no flash, like a LEICA M10, or if you forget to pop up the flash:
The top and bottom covers are mostly plastic, while most of the dials and knobs (which take up most of the top of the M5) are metal — so it feels like mostly metal.
It's a little bulldog of a camera, which is very good.
Flip Screen, Canon EOS M5. bigger.
No news here, it's got the same great LCD as most cameras today.
It moves up and down so far you can stand the body on it without a lens, but it won't flip far enough to let you do a self portrait.
The worst part is that while it has an eye sensor to swap between the finder and the LCD, it takes a moment to react and means often you'll pick up the camera and have a black finder for a moment. Most people won't notice, I expect instant reaction,
It has a touch screen, but only for some functions. The worst part is that for some unknown reason (probably because it was designed by people without noses) the touch screen stays active by default as you're looking through the finder. It took me quite a while to figure out why the AF system was always selecting an arbitrary and moving spot in the upper left on which to focus. It's because even though I had the camera stuck to my face, the touch screen was responding to my nose selecting AF areas! I turned off the touch panel and have been fine ever since.
Excellent is that the display flips as I rotate the camera, just like an iPhone. Bravo.
Bad is that the image is fuzzy as you scroll around a zoomed image; exactly the same problem Canon cameras have had since their first EOS D30 DSLR of the year 2000.
Also annoying is that it's slow to swap between playback and live view. It slows you down if you like to review a shot before you make the next; the slight delay drives me up a wall but most people won't notice. It's only a fraction of a second for it to respond to the PLAY button or tapping the shutter, but I expect instantaneous response.
Otherwise, no surprises.
Cards are formatted as "EOS_DIGITAL"
I set the option to create new folders each day. On December 22nd it creates a folder under DCIM called "100_1222."
My M5 has corrections for vignetting (Peripheral illumination Correction), Lateral color (Chromatic Aberration) and for diffraction.
Select or disable these at Menu > Camera 4 > Lens aberration correction.
There is no correction for distortion.
The battery charges in the included folding-plug charger.
It's a good charger, with an amber LED for charging and a green one for "charged." This is much better than Nikons or LEICAs that expect you to stare at the same LED and wait to see if it's flashing or not.
Even with its sleep timer set, I found it stayed awake for no reason and often ran down batteries when carried around my neck unless I switched it off.
Most people will prefer any of the Sony A6000, A6300 or A6500 as the Sonys work and focus much more quickly — and may cost less. I believe the Sonys can correct lens distortion, while the EOS M5 can't.
This Canon excels if you prefer Canon's color pallet, as I do. Color is everything, and better colors from this Canon lead to better pictures, at least if you're as sensitive to color as I am.
This M5 adds Bluetooth, missing in Sony.
I'd not buy any of the Fuji interchangeable lens cameras, unless you exclusively photograph people. Fuji's color rendition is optimized for people, but much worse for photos of places and things.
My color observations are as-shot in-camera as JPGs. If you shoot raw, the colors aren't created until you create them later in whatever software you use.
I find my iPhone 7 often takes better pictures of people; my iPhone 7 Plus often is sharper and has better auto white balance in many situations for people pictures than the M5.
I get the looks I do by setting them in the Picture Style menu options (Menu > Camera 6 > Picture Style > Set).
I always use the STANDARD option, and set Saturation and Sharpening to taste.
I set Sharpening to 6, 5, 5, which is much more than default.
For people photos I set +1 Saturation.
For photos of places and things I set +4 Saturation.
I use the LEICA 14312 strap. It's brilliant: its narrow and light to suit this little camera, and it attaches and detaches without needing any tools or fumbling due to its clever design.
The only reason to use this camera instead of a DSLR is for small size. That means I prefer the tiny Canon EF-M 15-45mm lens, which offers great performance in a tiny lens that suits this camera.
I'd resist the temptation in adding a load of lenses; if you suit-up with a huge collection of lenses, you've missed the whole point of mirrorless cameras.
The EF-M 11-22mm is excellent, too, if you need an ultrawide lens.
See more at Canon EF-M lenses.
I'd not bother with the EF Lens Adapter and EF lenses; this becomes so big that you're missing the point; just use a Canon SL1 which is smaller and less expensive than the M5 if you want to use EF lenses.
Get this as a kit with the excellent 18-45 lens. It's the ideal lens for the M5 (it even collapses for storage), and it's almost free when gotten as part of a kit.
Get your M5 for travel if you want a great camera and great pictures and don't mind paying for the best — but don't get it if speed is critical. Get a Sony A6000, A6300 or A6500 or a real DSLR if you have the need for speed. The Sonys are smaller, but the Canons have better colors.
This ad-free website's biggest source of support is when you use those or any of these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Canon does not seal its boxes in any way, so never buy at retail or any other source not on my personally approved list since you'll have no way of knowing if you're missing accessories, getting a defective, damaged, returned, store demo or used camera. I use the stores I do because they ship from secure remote warehouses where no one gets to touch your new camera before you do. Buy only from the approved sources I use myself for the best prices, service, return policies and selection.
Thanks for helping me help you!
© Ken Rockwell. All rights reserved. Tous droits réservés. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.
Help Me Help You
I support my growing family through this website, as crazy as it might seem.
The biggest help is when you use any of these links when you get anything. It costs you nothing, and is this site's, and thus my family's, biggest source of support. These places always have the best prices and service, which is why I've used them since before this website existed. I recommend them all personally.
If you find this page as helpful as a book you might have had to buy or a workshop you may have had to take, feel free to help me continue helping everyone.
As this page is copyrighted and formally registered, it is unlawful to make copies, especially in the form of printouts for personal use. If you wish to make a printout for personal use, you are granted one-time permission only if you PayPal me $5.00 per printout or part thereof. Thank you!
Thanks for reading!
January 2017, December 2016