It’s been a long wait, but finally Canon has launched its first really serious SLR-style mirrorless camera. Andy Westlake finds out how it stands up in this competitive market

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Canon EOS M5

AWB Colour:
Dynamic Range:
Image quality:
LCD viewfinder:


  • + Superb control layout and handling for such a small camera
  • + Excellent image quality in both JPEG and raw
  • + Works extremely well with a wide range of EF-mount SLR lenses
  • + Easy-to-use wireless communication using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi


  • - Relatively small and over-contrasty electronic viewfinder
  • - Shutter is noisier than most mirrorless rivals
  • - Price is very high


Canon EOS M5 review


Price as reviewed:

£1,049.00 (body only)

Canon EOS M5 review: Autofocus

Canon EOS M5 EF-EOS M adapter

EF-mount DSLR lenses can be used and autofocus really well, including third-party options

Previous Canon EOS M-series cameras have been a noticeably sluggish when it comes to autofocus, but with its Dual Pixel AF and snappy processor, the EOS M5 is an entirely different matter. With native EF-M lenses it’s very comparable to other recent mirrorless models, acquiring accurate focus on static subjects in the blink of an eye. Because the AF system uses the main image sensor rather than a separate light path as in DSLRs, AF is also exceptionally accurate, with no tendency to front or back focus, as long as you pick a focus target with suitably high contrast.

More impressively, the EOS M5 also works very well with legacy EF-mount DSLR lenses on the Canon EF-EOS M mount adapter, and not just those with high-powered USM motors. We tested it with everything from a modern Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art back to the original micromotor-driven EF 50mm f/1.8, including a Micro USM-powered EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM, and even an old Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 EX DG. All autofocused quickly and decisively, much as they would on DSLR, and I’d have no hesitation using EF lenses for everyday shooting. Indeed the only point where the EOS M5 struggled was when trying to autofocus with slow EF lenses in low light. Compared to Canon’s previous mirrorless models, it’s a huge step forward.

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DC HSM Art, 1/2500sec f/1.4 ISO100

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DC HSM Art, 1/2500sec f/1.4 ISO100

Manual focus hasn’t been neglected, with a focus peaking display available in a choice of three colours and two sensitivity levels. It can either be set to display whenever you’re using manual focus, or toggled on and off using a function button. A magnified view is also available by pressing the AF area button and spinning the front dial, but unusually can’t be made to engage automatically whenever you turn the focus ring.

  1. 1. Canon EOS M5 review: Introduction
  2. 2. Canon EOS M5 review: Features
  3. 3.  Canon EOS M5 review: Viewfinder and screen
  4. 4. Canon EOS M5 review: Build and handling
  5. 5. Canon EOS M5 review: Autofocus
  6. 6. Canon EOS M5 review: Video
  7. 7. Canon EOS M5 review: Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity
  8. 8. Canon EOS M5 review: Performance
  9. 9. Canon EOS M5 review: Image quality
  10. 10. Canon EOS M5 review: Verdict
  11. 11. Canon EOS M5 review: hands-on first look
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