Is Canon Late To The Mirrorless Game With EOS M5?

ShadowEOSM HR EOS M5 EFM18 Front D

Canon has recently announced its new Mirrorless camera – EOS M5. Even though it’s not the first mirrorless camera from them, it might as well be, as all previous attempts from both Nikon and Canon looked more like a joke, when compared to such competitors as Sony, Olympus and Fuji. But this may change today, as it seems Canon has finally understood the perspectives of the mirrorless world and got serious.

And so now we have the M5, which is pretty much identical to the 80D except for the lack of mirror and a different body design.

Key specs:

  • 24 MP APS-C sensor
  • Native ISO up to 25600
  • Video 1920 x 1080p at 60 fps
  • 7 fps Shooting  with AE/AF (9 fps with locked focus)
  • Tilting 3.2" 1.6m-Dot Touchscreen LCD
  • Dual-Pixel AF System with 49 focus points
  • WI-fi, Bluetooth and NFC connections

So, we have here an APS-C sized sensor, which has 24.5 MP in resolution. This, judging from recent reviews and pure physics, should render the same level of sharpness and detail as a 55.2 MP full-frame sensor, which is even bigger than Canon’s top resolution 5DS R Full-Frame camera with “only” 50.6MP. This does, of course, imply that the lens can match up the sharpness to the sensor, but Canon shouldn’t have problems with that.

Speaking of lenses, with this new semi-pro mirrorless line, Canon had to introduce a new mount as well – EF-M mount. There’s no evil intent from Canon here, it’s just about physics: all current lenses are designed for SLR cameras which have fixed space from lens’ end to the sensor. Since mirrorless cameras lack the mirror, and thus are thinner, that distance is much smaller and light circle generated by the lens doesn’t cover the sensor fully and is out of focus point. But that doesn’t mean you can’t put on EF or EF-S lenses, you’ll just need an adapter to do that, which is mostly just a piece of metal to add the length to your lens.

The currently available native EF-M lenses are 11-22mm f/4-5.6, 14-45mm f/3.5-6.3, 18-55 f/3.5-5.6, 18-150 f/3.5-6.3, 55-200 f/4.5-6.3, 22mm f/2.0 and 28mm f/3.5 none of which seem extremely bright and enthusiast-oriented.

EF-M lenses


The body seems to be well-made and very ergonomic despite its apparent compactness.

But for now for the asking price of $1000, Sony has far superior sensors and model range, Fujifilm has far superior optics and Olympus has an advantage with ergonomics, user-friendliness and performance. There are also a flood of new manufacturers in this segment such as the Sigma and Yi with their unprecedented offer of M1 for $300.

EF-M lenses

So, why might you want Canon? Well, firstly, the dual-pixel AF is kind of a big deal.
Secondly, when compared to Sony's, and other consumer product manufacturers, Canon cameras have much better ergonomics and are more pleasant for use by both professionals and enthusiasts.
Thirdly, if you already have a Canon body and are hooked up to the Canon ecosystem with lenses and accessories, it might be a better option for you. Yes, you still will need to get an adapter, but chances are that a Canon lens with a Canon adapter on a Canon body will work better than, say, Canon lens with a Sigma adapter on a Sony body.

So, here you go. M5 is the best Canon mirrorless to date but still lags behind the competition.
Honestly, I think they should have released it 2 years ago, when Dual Pixel technology was first implemented. If they did, it would’ve been a huge hit. But now, unfortunately, Canon seems to be late to the game and has to catch up with the mirrorless market. As for M5, it’s hard to imagine this camera will appeal to anyone, except for current Canon consumers.


Canon M5Sony A6000Samsung NX500
Dimensions116 x 89 x 61 mm (4.57 x 3.5 x 2.4)120 x 67 x 45 mm (4.72 x 2.64 x 1.77″) 120 x 64 x 43 mm (4.72 x 2.52 x 1.69″)
Weight427 g (0.94 lb / 15.06 oz)344 g (0.76 lb / 12.13 oz) 287 g (0.63 lb / 10.12 oz)
Sensor size APS-C (22.3 x 14.9 mm)APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) APS-C (23.5 x 15.7 mm)
Resolution 6000 x 4000 (24MP) 6000 x 4000 (24MP) 6480 x 4320 (28MP)
Video resolution1920x1080 60p1920x1080 60p4096x2160 24p, 1920x1080 60p, 1280x720 120p
Continues shooting7fps 11fps9fps
Color depth*23.6 bits 24.1 bits  24.8 bits
Dynamic range*13.2 Evs 13.1 Evs 13.9 Evs
Low-light performance**1135 ISO1347 ISO 1379 ISO
DxOMark score79 87 82
DPReview Scoren/a80% 81%
LensInterchangeable Interchangeable Interchangeable

About the Author

Denis ProtopopovLandscape, lifestyle and product photographer for the past 3 yearsView all posts by Denis Protopopov →

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