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
Canon EOS M5 review: Performance
When put to practical use, the EOS M5 generally delivers very decent results. It’s snappy in all aspects of its operation, powering up quickly and responding to controls promptly with no lag. It’s the kind of camera that gets out of your way and never feels like it’s holding up your shooting, which is exactly what you want.
Canon’s evaluative metering is on the whole very reliable, although it’s quite strongly linked to the AF area so tends to overexpose when focusing on a dark part of the scene. But you can see this in the viewfinder and apply exposure compensation accordingly, aided by the live histogram. Auto white balance is likewise very well judged, and Canon’s JPEG output gives attractive colours that are saturated without being overblown, and with particularly fine skin tones.
The default Standard picture style uses somewhat unsubtle noise reduction and sharpening algorithms, but switching to the Fine Detail style delivers much better resolution with the same colour rendition. At higher sensitivities of ISO 3200 and above, the processing prioritises colour retention over detail, so files look distinctly mushy when examined at the pixel level. Other brands do rather better in this respect, most notably Fujifilm. As is often the case, you’re likely to get better results at high ISOs by shooting and carefully processing raw files.