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Canon EOS M5: What you need to know

Canon EOS M5: What you need to know

Canon EOS M5: What you need to know 1

With a 24MP sensor and Dual Pixel autofocus, Canon’s new EOS M5 is the mirrorless camera that a lot of Canon fans have been waiting for. We had the chance to get our hands on a pre-production model earlier this summer and in this article, we’ll give you a quick tour of the M5’s key features and controls.

Canon EOS M5: What you need to know

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The DSLR-styled EOS M5 is the most advanced M-series camera yet, and borrows a lot from the EOS 80D, including a Digic 7 processor and equivalent (Canon claims) Dual Pixel AF performance. As such, among other things we’d expect it to be capable of very good image quality, and better Raw dynamic range than its predecessors. 

Canon EOS M5: What you need to know

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Despite its small size, the M5 boasts a generous hand-grip, which makes it very comfortable to hold. It doesn’t have the heft of one of Canon’s DSLRs, but we wouldn’t expect it to. That said, the M5’s construction is top notch and at 427g  (15.1oz), the body has a reassuring weight. 

Canon EOS M5: What you need to know

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This view gives you an idea of the M5’s compact form factor. Despite packing an APS-C sensor and 2.36 million-dot viewfinder It really is ‘palm-sized’.

Canon EOS M5: What you need to know

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This view show’s the EOS M5’s sensor exposed. It’s the same 24MP APS-C format sensor that can be found in the EOS 80D, with the same ISO range of 100-16000, expandable up to ISO 25,600. More significant is the inclusion of Dual Pixel AF – finally bringing one of Canon’s most impressive features to mirrorless.

Canon EOS M5: What you need to know

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Dual Pixel AF uses on-sensor phase-detection pixels, covering roughly 80% of the image area. As we’ve seen in DSLRs like the EOS 80D and EOS 5D IV, Dual Pixel is a huge leap forward compared to traditional contrast-detection autofocus systems, both in terms of responsiveness and accuracy. 

Dual Pixel AF can also be used to track moving subjects, and we have high hopes for the M5’s performance in this respect. The M5 can capture images at an impressive rate of 7fps with AF-C, and 9fps when focus is locked. 

Canon EOS M5: What you need to know

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From the top, the EOS M5 looks like a true mixture of a G-series compact camera and one of Canon’s midrange DSLRs. There’s the familiar EOS exposure mode dial on the top left, and a PowerShot-style exposure compensation dial on the extreme right.

Between them are twin control dials, one of which encircles the M5’s shutter button. The function of the secondary, rearmost dial can be used in conjunction with the ‘Dial Func’ button to gain quick access to a handful of functions (such as White Balance, ISO, Drive Mode…). 

Canon EOS M5: What you need to know

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The EOS M5 has a 180-degree tilting screen, but somewhat unusually, at full extension it tilts out under the camera. You know – for selfies. 

Canon EOS M5: What you need to know

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More useful (we think) is the diagonal angling possible when the camera is held pointing away from you. 

Canon EOS M5: What you need to know

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The M5’s 3.2in, 1.62 million-dot touchscreen is a pleasure to use, and makes AF point positioning and stills and video framing a breeze, even from low and high angles. Flipping through and zooming into images by touch in playback mode is a nice time-saver, too, and the screen can also be used to position AF point with your eye to the finder (Panasonic style).

Despite its touch-sensitive rear screen, the M5 isn’t short on physical control points, and the cluster of buttons on the back of the camera will be immediately familiar to users of high-end Canon PowerShot cameras. The red movie recording button might look a bit tucked out of the way, but it’s actually in a good position to be activated by the right thumb.

Canon EOS M5: What you need to know

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The EOS M5’s LP-E17 battery slots beneath its handgrip, and offers a quoted battery life of 295 shots (CIPA).

Canon EOS M5: What you need to know

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The M5’s 1080/60p video spec is pretty middle-of-the-road (and essentially the same as the EOS 80D) but little things like a jack for an external microphone mean that it is capable of being used as a video camera for most applications (provided you don’t need 4K).

Canon EOS M5: What you need to know

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On the palm side of the M5’s handgrip you’ll find a small recessed button to initiate the M5’s wireless pairing. Built-in Wi-Fi with NFC and Bluetooth mean that images from the M5 can be sent to a compatible smartphone or tablet, and the camera can be controlled remotely via Canon’s EOS Remote app. 

Canon EOS M5: What you need to know

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The EOS M5 will be available in November, kitted with either the 15-45mm (24-72mm equiv) or new 18-150 F3.5-5.6 IS STM (28-240mm equiv) zoom lenses.

What do you think of it? Is the EOS M5 the Canon mirrorless camera you’ve been waiting for? Let us know in the comments.


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