Canon EOS M5 review

December 16, 2016

Overall Rating:


Canon EOS M5

  • Features:
  • Build/Handling:
  • Metering:
  • Autofocus:
  • 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



Price as Reviewed:

£1,049.00 (body only)

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

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Canon EOS M5 review: Performance

1/6 sec f/5.6 ISO 100 Canon EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-5.3 IS STM

1/6 sec f/5.6 ISO 100 Canon EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-5.3 IS STM

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.

1/200 sec f/8 ISO 1600. Canon EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM. Converted to B+W in Photoshop

1/200 sec f/8 ISO 1600. Canon EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM. Converted to B+W in Photoshop

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.

  • Sensor: 24.2MP APS-C Dual Pixel CMOS
  • Output size: 6000 x 4000
  • Lens mount: EF-M
  • Focal length magnification: 1.6x
  • Shutter speeds: 30-1/4000sec + bulb
  • ISO sensitivity: ISO 100-25,600
  • Exposure modes: P, A, S, M, Scene Intelligent Auto, Hybrid Auto, Creative Assist, Scene, Creative Filters
  • Metering modes: Evaluative, partial, centre-weighted, spot
  • Exposure compensation: +/3 EV in 1/3 steps
  • Continuous shooting: 9fps (fixed focus), 7fps (with AF)
  • Screen: 3.2in 1.62-million-dot tilting touchscreen
  • Viewfinder: 2.36-million-dot OLED EVF
  • AF points: 49
  • Video: Full HD (1920 x 1080), 60fps
  • External Mic: Yes, 3.5mm stereo
  • Memory card: SD, SDHC, SDXC
  • Power: LP-E17 Li-Ion
  • Battery life: 295 shots; 420 in ECO mode
  • Dimensions: 115.6 x 89.2 x 60.6 mm
  • Weight: 427g inc battery and card

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