The Canon EOS M5: A Mirrorless Camera We Needed From 2 Years Ago

The entire industry has been waiting for the day that Canon (and/or Nikon) would change their mirrorless strategy to fit the market and the wants/needs of photographers. Well, we have the first signs of that happening today with the official announcement of Canon’s EOS M5, their first ‘up market’ mirrorless and in many ways the mirrorless offering we needed from them 2-3 years ago.

Featuring a built-in EVF, dual pixel AF, and a more ‘SLR-like’ design/style, the EOS M5 is a major step in the right direction from Canon in almost every way. The company claims that the EOS M5 will perform, in many respects, as well or better than an 80D in terms of Image Quality and AF performance, which if true, is an incredible improvement over their previous mirrorless offerings. Combine that with other nice additions like WiFi, NFC, and low power Bluetooth connectivity and you can see that Canon is finally bringing us a mirrorless offering that people can honestly consider against the competition.

Canon EOS M5 - Front

Canon EOS M5 Specs

  • Sensor: 24.2 million pixel APS-C
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF
  • DIGIC 7
  • ISO Sensitivity: 100-25600
  • 1 / 4,000
  • Flash Sync: 1/200 sec
  • 7fps Continuous Burst
  • Full 1080 HD 60p Video , 5-axis electronic image stabilization
  • EVF: 236 million dots
  • LCD: 3.2 inches 1.62 million dot touch panel movable LCD
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11b / g / n), Bluetooth (4.1)

Canon EOS M5 - Flip Screen Canon EOS M5 - Top Canon EOS M5 - Back

As you can see by the specs noted above, the camera packs some impressive specs in many ways. The only two real points that I would say stick out right away are the 1/4000th shutter speed limitation and the 1080p 60fps video, neither of which are really deal breakers, but both could have been better. I mean, let’s look at the video piece specifically; Sure, 4K would have been nice, but that would be a pretty big move for Canon considering none of their consumer-level DSLR cameras even offer that at this point. I would have, however, liked to see some higher 1080p frame rates available to help it stand out a bit more on the video front. 120fps, or even 240fps would have been great.

So how does this EOS M5 fit into the current mirrorless market? Based on specs alone, the new 24MP sensor and dual pixel AF place this in a good position for that high mid-range market segment. But one area where the EOS-M line has always been very lacking is in native EF-M lenses, namely quality semi-pro and pro level glass. Canon may contend that with the EF to EF-M adapter any Canon user can use all their EF-S and EF glass, and that may be true, but that doesn’t negate their responsibility to provide some quality native glass for their mirrorless system, rather than multiple variations on consumer level superzooms. In terms of look though, I have to say I am a big fan of the design change here, it’s like a cross between a Fujifilm X-T1/2 and a 5D series. I still prefer the Fujifilm all-in vintage look, but this is a big improvement from Canon in my opinion.

Also, what is with the LCD that flips down? I would have preferred flipping up or out to the left over flipping down, it feels like anyone who may have considered this for a vlogging camera or something will now have look elsewhere because a tripod head would be between the screen and you for any locked down shots unless you rigged up some arm to get the camera away from the tripod.

Anyway, we will also need to wait and see if Canon’s 80D-esq performance claims are accurate in the real world. For those interested, the EOS M5 is expected to be available in November for a retail price of $979 for the body only, and in Kit variations as well. Stay tuned for pre-order and initial thoughts/review links when the time comes.

Anthony Thurston

Anthony is a Portland, Oregon based Boudoir Photographer specializing in a dark, moody style that promotes female body positivity, empowerment, and sexuality. Besides The Phoblographer, he also reviews gear and produces his own educational content on his website.