The new Canon M5 Mirrorless System. Canon steps it up!

The new Canon M5 Mirrorless System. Canon steps it up!

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Canon has introduced the new M5 system which is now Canons most powerful MIRRORLESS system ever. While it is not available just yet (pre order only) it does appear that Canon has finally accepted that they need a good mirrorless system. I have a 5D MKIV on hand and I have to admit, these big chunky DSLR’s… while amazing in their capability are just too large and heavy for the normal Joe. Sure there are smaller DSLR’s and sure the 5D is not made for the average Joe, but rather the pro and enthusiast, I feel that today we have so many choices that the 5D series may be getting a bit long in the tooth.

With smart phones taking over the photo world for the masses (not the photo and tech geeks like us) Mirrorless cameras are sort of a way for those phone shooters to upgrade when they get the itch for something better. Well, that’s how I see it anyway.

Mirrorless is moving on up every day, week and month and year. More and more are finding these high quality, slim and powerful cameras enticing for what they offer and today mirrorless can indeed be as good or sometimes even better than most DSLR’s (Say the A7RII vs the Canon 5D, both can create a masterpiece with the right person behind them).

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So here is the new M5 from Canon. Looks nice, is small, and sort of reminds me of when Sony came out with their first serious mirrorless, the NEX 7. I remember being visited by Sony (yes, they came to my house) to present the NEX 7 in person. I was so excited as for me, at that time, it showed me that yes, Mirrorless is being taken seriously and that NEX-7, for the time, was FANTASTIC. The NEX7 is an APS-C 24MP camera with cool tech and controls (Tri Navi) and it delivered the IQ as well (my old NEX7 review)

To me, this new M5 seems similar to that old NEX-7, not so much in the TECH inside but the idea. It seems to be Canon’s “a-HA” moment. Like they now realize that they need a serious Mirrorless system and at just under a grand ($997) the M5 body has some great features:

  • 24.2MP APS-C CMOS Sensor and DIGIC 7 Image Processor
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF
  • Digital IS (with 5 Axis)
  • Adept in both stills and video arenas, the EOS M5 from Canon is a versatile mirrorless camera featuring a 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor and DIGIC 7 image processor. Combined, these technologies afford a wide sensitivity range, from ISO 100-25600, along with quick performance for up to 9 fps continuous shooting and Full HD 1080p/60 video recording. The sensor’s design also provides Dual Pixel CMOS AF, which offers quick and accurate phase-detection autofocus for multimedia use. This focusing system is particularly well-suited to subject tracking, and pairs with Digital IS 5-axis image stabilization for steadier, shake-free video recording.

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It appears this M5, the 5th gen of the Canon M series is finally taking shape, and growing into a mature mirrorless system. I remember the EOS M, the 1st M and I did not care for it. This one though, it appears to be a fantastic little camera. Small, light yet powerful. I wonder when Canon will excel this idea to a full frame model. When that time comes I will then become personally VERY interested in what they have to offer as I do love Canon’s sensor and the way they produce an image, and I love their premo fast L primes. Question is though, how will this one compare to the likes of Fuji or Olympus or Sony APS-C models in the same price bracket?

No idea yet but next week is PHOTOKINA!!! I will be there checking out the coolest new gear, and will try my best to feature the cool stuff with photo and video all next week, time and WiFi permitting 😉 Click the image below for more info on the new M5 from Canon or to pre order.

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13 Comments

  1. Well call me “revenge of the Herd!”. Truth is that today, there is hardly a “bad camera”. Its just a selection of preferences…

    I got the M initially as a gateway drug to small rangefinder lenses. Today I have the M5 with a 50mm summilux and hopefully soon a 28mm summicron, along with the Ef-m 22mm and the EF-M 11-22 as my “iphone camera” (it fits in a TENBA BYOB 9 bag). My pro kit is a 5D3 all “L’ed” up so admittedly its not my main rig, but its with me every day.

    Simmilarly a micro4/nerd, Sony aps-c can fitva similar bill. The Fujis aps-c are geared as primary rigs, hence the excellent lenses and pro body builds.

    I fear the canon M line will always be like the ef-s line, i.e. advanced amateur. I recall the 60D being the begining of the Rebel-ifcation of the once pro x0D line, hence my move to the 7D then to the 5D3. Also the M-line suffers from some “Powershot-esque” shutter lag, menu os and build quality. So yes, there are legit criticisms. I was never a fan of the direction canon went with their advanced amateur line starting with the 60-D.

    That being said, as a photographer, I found ways for the m5 to suit my portable needs by leaveraging its adaptable lens mount, great IQ, clever touch drag focus (great on manual lenses) and the phenomenal small size and quality of rangefinder lenses!

    Steve, you should give the M5 a proper review. If you like, perhaps I can put together an article/review for you…

  2. Performance aside, it looks much nicer than the Sonys and the Leica SL. Those look like early design sketches that made it straight to production, while this looks like a finished piece.

  3. EF -M native lenses need to follow reasonably quickly for the system to grow into something sustainable and independent and not just an add on for existing EF mount users. .

  4. It’s ok looking. But still behind the competition, and very few native lenses.

    Sony, Fuji, Olympus, Panasonic… All have more compelling mirrorless cameras and lenses. I know the M5 will probably sell well, simply because of branding and Canon are very good at getting cameras in stores for people to see and try compared to other brands. But IMO there are better choices out there.

  5. It’s for the herd-like Canon buyers who want a mirrorless “enthusiast” camera, don’t know anything about cameras or photography, but think it must be good because it says Canon on the front. It may even be ok, though with an undersized 1.6x crop sensor, high pixel density, so-so dynamic range etc that can be beaten by m43rds or 1″ sensors, and probably a couple of operational howlers. It’s a “me too” product for the brand faithful and herd-like buyers.

    • Well unlike you I don’t know everything, but after 50 years of shooting pictures and owning several Canon cameras – believe it or not – I do know a thing or two about cameras, and photography, and do not consider myself a “herd-like” buyer. I have several Canon primes that are not too heavy sitting in a drawer and this may indeed make a very nice walk around camera for me. Also, testing will tell, but I’m not sure you will be able to back up your comment about its dynamic range being beaten by m4/3rds or 1″ sensors. Is there any allowance for some to be cautiously optimistic about this new offering?

      • I’m sure you are an experienced long term Canon user. However, the majority of Canons’ sales come from inexperienced owners who buy a camera simply because of the brand on the front, or how persuasive the salesman is. I travel extensively in South East Asia and notice that armies of obviously inexperienced people with cameras shoot Canon – often with large white lenses attached but who barely seem to touch the controls, so I can only assume their cameras are in auto but they trust Canon to take care of it. There have been plenty of mediocre Canon products that sell in recent years, and irs clearly not their ability that is selling them to people.

        Anyway. Sensors – just check DX0 sensor tests – almost every APSC Canon slr for the last fee years is bettered by smaller format sensors at things like DR or even noise performance.

        The EOS M system has been a “me too” market presence that may sell because of brand name but as largely trailed their competitors at image quality and function. This camera may well be much better than the ones that went before, but the sensor will be no better than those fitted in their SLRs, which is to sa “ok” but hardly class leading in any area. Modern cameras are just like cameras from 50 years ago – a box with a hole to let the light in – the difference is the image quality cannot be changed by swapping emulsion. Most modern sensors from 1″ up offer mainstream auto-everything consumers all the quality they need for looking at their photos on their phone, but enthusiasts tend to have different needs. That a 1″ sensor on a tripod can capture a landscape at base ISO with the same technical merit of a large SLR is mostly ignored by those who cling to a belief that SLRs are better because someone they have heard of uses a particular brand professionally.

        In some market segments Canon seems to offer “me too” products with little to differentiate them and often issues that undermine their usefulness. This EOS M looks much better than previous attempts, but doesn’t look any better than the competition (on paper) – therefore only the Canon brand can differentiate it.

        • I’m hearing more ‘I run m4/3 and I feel threatened’ than facts, I also run M43 and crops and FF and anything in-between or above from all manufacturers. and as used as you might get with the limitations of m43 you get a performance kick from a larger sensor. And everything we who already run rich colorspace cameras get for free a good canon user can get to with a measure of discipline so writing them off as toys isn’t fair or reasonable.

  6. Well, looks interesting, though some may miss 4k video. I will be curios to see how it performs and what lenses is Canon planning for this. I am already looking to read your comparison to its peers.

    • Well that is an interesting remark
      a) They lost you because you have the illusion that only FF sized sensors or larger are able to produce decent photographic results?
      b) They lost you because you have the illusion that only camera’s with M43 size sensors or smaller make sense regarding portability?

      • They lost me too because:

        a) FF sensors are always going to be better quality when directly compared, and that happens to be my priority (over convenience).
        b) At APS-C my beloved 50mm lens isn’t, well 50mm anymore.

        Makes me feel Canon don’t take mirrorless seriously quite yet, but I’m sure the day will come.

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