Canon is finally joining the mirrorless camera game; announce a ‘real’ M5

Sep 15, 2016

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

Canon is finally joining the mirrorless camera game; announce a ‘real’ M5

Sep 15, 2016

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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For several years Canon had a love hate relationship with mirrorless technology. They did not want to hurt their DSLR sales so they did not release anything good. On the other hand, they could not avoid the future. This led to the weird M line, which was better as an aesthetic piece than as a camera (especially competing with Fuji and Sony who have awesome mirrorless systems).

This is changing today with the introduction of Canon’s EOS M5. This new mirrorless will make its debut in photokina next week (we will share constant photokina updates here). Unlike the previous Canon M’s the EOS M5 feels like a real jump into the mirrorless wars. (And Canon had 4 preceding models so far, which no one tool seriously). The camera will start selling in November and price shall be $979.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0If-yw2AOI

So, why do we think that this is a real camera and not just another stockholders pleaser?

Because Canon made the specs extremely similar to their latest prosumer DSLR, the 80D. This means that Canon is ready to cannibalize DSLR sales in favor of mirrorless sales. It means that Canon understand that mirrorless is the future. But let’s dive in, shall we…

  • Sensor-wise, the M5 has the same sensor as the 80D, this means 24.2MP APS-C CMOS Sensor with dual pixel CMOS autofocus. But the processor is digic 7 (as opposed to digic 6 on the 80D).
  • Canon finally (FINALLY!) adds 5 axis sensor stabilization. They use a hybrid of both optical and sensor shift to offer that feature.
  • List of impressive features to match up to other mirrorless systems: LCD as touchpad when using the viewfinder, bluetooth, wifi, NFC and Bluetooth Smart, ISO 25600

canon-eos-m-07 canon-eos-m-06 canon-eos-m-05 canon-eos-m-04 canon-eos-m-03

So, how does this camera compare to its eco system? I think there are several obvious competitors: Canon’s 80D which the M5 may cannibalize, Sony A6300 which is Sony’s offering in this range, and the M3 to see how far it advanced. Here is the comparison from DP review:

Canon EOS M5 Canon EOS M3 Sony Alpha a6300 Canon EOS 80D
Body type
Body type SLR-style mirrorless Rangefinder-style mirrorless Rangefinder-style mirrorless Mid-size SLR
Body material Metal Magnesium alloy Magnesium-alloy Composite
Sensor
Max resolution 6000 x 4000 6000 x 4000 6000 x 4000 6000 x 4000
Image ratio w:h 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9 3:2, 16:9 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 24 megapixels 24 megapixels 24 megapixels 24 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 26 megapixels 25 megapixels 25 megapixels 26 megapixels
Sensor size APS-C (22.3 x 14.9 mm) APS-C (22.3 x 14.9 mm) APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) APS-C (22.5 x 15 mm)
Sensor type CMOS CMOS CMOS CMOS
Processor Digic 7 DIGIC 6 BIONZ X DIGIC 6
Color space sRGB, Adobe RGB sRGB sRGB, Adobe RGB sRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter array Primary color filter Primary color filter Primary color filter Primary color filter
Image
ISO Auto, 100-25600 Auto, 100-12800 (expandable to 25600) Auto, 100-25600, expandable to 51200 Auto, 100-16000 (expands to 25600)
Boosted ISO (maximum) 25600 51200 25600
White balance presets 6 6 10 6
Custom white balance Yes Yes Yes Yes
Image stabilization No No No No
Image stabilization notes 5-axis for video only
Uncompressed format RAW RAW RAW RAW
JPEG quality levels Fine, standard Fine, normal Extra fine, fine, normal Fine, normal
File format JPEG (Exif v2.3) JPEG (Exif v2.3, DPOF v2.0) JPEG (Exif v2.3) JPEG (Exif v2.3)
Raw (Canon CR2, 14-bit) Raw (Canon CR2, 14-bit) Raw (Sony ARW v2.3, 14-bit) Raw (Canon 14-bit CRW)
Optics & Focus
Autofocus Contrast Detect (sensor)
Phase Detect
Multi-area
Center
Selective single-point
Tracking
Single
Continuous
Touch
Face Detection
Live View
Contrast Detect (sensor)
Phase Detect
Multi-area
Center
Selective single-point
Tracking
Single
Continuous
Touch
Face Detection
Live View
Contrast Detect (sensor)
Phase Detect
Multi-area
Center
Selective single-point
Tracking
Single
Continuous
Face Detection
Live View
Contrast Detect (sensor)
Phase Detect
Multi-area
Center
Selective single-point
Tracking
Single
Continuous
Touch
Face Detection
Live View
Autofocus assist lamp Yes Yes Yes Yes
Digital zoom Yes (2x-8x)
Manual focus Yes Yes Yes Yes
Number of focus points 49 49 425 45
Lens mount Canon EF-M Canon EF-M Sony E Canon EF/EF-S
Focal length multiplier 1.6× 1.6× 1.5× 1.6×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Tilting Tilting Tilting Fully articulated
Screen size 3.2″ 3″ 3″ 3″
Screen dots 1,620,000 1,040,000 921,600 1,040,000
Touch screen Yes Yes No Yes
Screen type TFT LCD ClearView II TFT-LCD TFT LCD TFT LCD
Live view Yes Yes Yes Yes
Viewfinder type Electronic Electronic (optional) Electronic Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage 100% 100% 100%
Viewfinder magnification 0.7× 0.95×
Viewfinder resolution 2,360,000 2,359,296
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 30 sec 30 sec 30 sec 30 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/4000 sec 1/4000 sec 1/4000 sec 1/8000 sec
Aperture priority Yes Yes Yes Yes
Shutter priority Yes Yes Yes Yes
Manual exposure mode Yes Yes Yes Yes
Subject / scene modes Yes Yes Yes
Built-in flash Yes Yes Yes Yes
Flash range 5.00 m (at ISO 100) 5.00 m (at ISO 100) 6.00 m (at ISO 100) 12.00 m (at ISO 100)
External flash Yes Yes (via hot shoe) Yes Yes (via hot shoe)
Flash modes Auto, on, off, slow synchro Flash off, Autoflash, Fill-flash, Rear Sync., Slow Sync., Red-eye reduction, Hi-speed sync, Wireless
Flash X sync speed 1/200 sec 1/200 sec 1/160 sec 1/250 sec
Continuous drive 9.0 fps 4.2 fps 11.0 fps 7.0 fps
Self-timer Yes (2 or 10 secs, custom, remote) Yes (2 or 10 sec) Yes Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Metering modes Multi Multi Multi Multi
Center-weighted Center-weighted Center-weighted Center-weighted
Spot Spot Spot Spot
Partial Partial
Exposure compensation ±3 (at 1/3 EV steps) ±3 (at 1/3 EV steps) ±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps) ±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing ±2 (3 frames at 1/3 EV steps) ±2 (3 frames at 1/3 EV steps) ±5 (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)
WB Bracketing No No Yes
Videography features
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 @ 60p,1920 x 1080 @ 30p,1920 x 1080 @ 24p ,1280 x 720 @ 60p / 16 1920 x 1080 (30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p), 640 x 480 (30p, 25p) 4K (3840 x 2160 @ 30p/24p), 1920 x 1080 (120p, 60p, 60i, 30p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (24p) 1920 x 1080 (60p, 30p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 30p)
Format H.264 MPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S, H.264 MPEG-4, H.264
Videography notes Supports X-AVC S up t0 100 Mbps, ACHD to 28Mbps Choice of ALL-I or IPB codecs
Microphone Stereo Stereo Stereo Stereo
Speaker Mono Mono Mono Mono
Storage
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC card SD/SDHC/SDXC SD/SDHC/SDXC SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I support)
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec) USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec) USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec) USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes (micro-HDMI) Yes (mini-HDMI) Yes (micro-HDMI) Yes (mini-HDMI)
Microphone port Yes Yes Yes Yes
Headphone port No No No Yes
Wireless Built-In Built-In Built-In Built-In
Wireless notes 802.11/b/g/n with Bluetooth and NFC 802.11b/g/n with NFC 802.11b/g/n with NFC 802.11/b/g/n with NFC
Remote control Yes (Via smartphone or wireless remote) Yes (via smartphone) Yes (via smartphone) Yes (Wired, wireless, or via smartphone)
Physical
Environmentally sealed No No Yes Yes
Battery Battery Pack Battery Pack Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery description LP-E17 lithium-ion battery & charger LP-E17 lithium-ion battery & charger NP-FW50 lithium-ion battery & charger LP-E6N lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 295 250 400 960
Weight (inc. batteries) 427 g (0.94 lb / 15.06oz) 366 g (0.81 lb / 12.91oz) 404 g (0.89 lb / 14.25oz) 730 g (1.61 lb / 25.75oz)
Dimensions 116 x 89 x 61 mm (4.57 x 3.5 x 2.4″) 111 x 68 x 44 mm (4.37 x 2.68 x 1.73″) 120 x 67 x 49 mm (4.72 x 2.64 x 1.93″) 139 x 105 x 79 mm(5.47 x 4.13 x 3.11″)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes Yes Yes Yes
Timelapse recording Yes (downloadable app) Yes
GPS None None None None

What do you think? Is Canon finally getting serious with mirrorless?

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Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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19 responses to “Canon is finally joining the mirrorless camera game; announce a ‘real’ M5”

    1. Kaouthia Avatar
      Kaouthia

      Looks like vloggers will be sticking with the G7X. :)

    2. NitsanSimantov Avatar
      NitsanSimantov

      Not ideal but I guess doable with a thin bracket.

      1. Tweakie Avatar
        Tweakie

        Yeah I see a kickstarter pending

      2. Kaouthia Avatar
        Kaouthia

        It’ll probably rule out ever using it on a handheld gimbal, though, if you want to see yourself while vlogging. Flipping the LCD down won’t really be an option for most gimbals.

  1. Clement RENAUT Avatar
    Clement RENAUT

    And no focus peaking for video I suppose :(

    1. Gregory Foreman Avatar
      Gregory Foreman

      It has focus peaking

    2. Clement RENAUT Avatar
      Clement RENAUT

      Ahhhh i miss that point ! It might be my next cam for video

  2. tyger11 Avatar
    tyger11

    Sadly, this is NOT sensor-shift stabilization, this is digital trickery, which is quite different.

  3. Renato Murakami Avatar
    Renato Murakami

    Sounds good. Let’s see how review goes.

    Corrections Udi: there’s a Canon 5D Mark IV photo in the mix there (last one) and “This means that Canon is really to cannibalize”. o/

    1. udi tirosh Avatar
      udi tirosh

      hahah, how horrible! thanks :)

  4. Mack Green Avatar
    Mack Green

    Best:
    – AF
    – Touchscreen
    Worst:
    – No 4K
    – 1080p only 60fps
    – few native lenses (although if EF lenses work as good as native via adapter the main issue are wide lenses which can be simpler and smaller for mirrorless)

    Competition:
    – XT2 has more lenses which are nicer but is much more expensive, has no IS, no touchscreen
    – A6300 has same poor lens selection and has fewer dials and no touch screen
    – A7II has nicer lenses, IBIS, FF but is much more expensive and has bigger lenses and no touchscreen

    Overal:
    Really serious contender if one wants good controls via dials and touchscreen, small package, for less than the competition.

    1. Tweakie Avatar
      Tweakie

      I guess Canon has never worried about the spec and megapixel game…

  5. Paul Richards Avatar
    Paul Richards

    come on nikon, join the game

  6. dracphelan Avatar
    dracphelan

    I find myself wondering do you buy the M5 and the Canon adapter, or the 80D for $120 more? You get the smaller form factor and less weight with the M5. You get the better battery life, weather sealing, fully articulated screen, and slightly better video options with the 80D.
    I can’t wait to see some reviews of this camera from reviewers I trust. Since I am looking at moving back to Canon from Sony, that will be what helps me decide which camera is right for me.

  7. Devanno Lopez Avatar
    Devanno Lopez

    Another flop if you ask me.

  8. Dave Melges Avatar
    Dave Melges

    If you look at a real world timeline, this puts Canon years behind Sony, and ridiculously, and embarrassingly far behind where Canon COULD be.

    Canon not only screws their faithful, by refusing to give a complete mirrorless ecosystem for no other reason than they know there will be a market shift when people realize that SLR is a stupid design…but they screw even the rest of us, because solid competition from Canon would have driven the entire market to higher heights by now.

    Canon is a like an anchor slowing down the entire industry.

  9. Travis Alex Avatar
    Travis Alex

    Best of luck Canon, your still not getting it.

  10. steakandeggs Avatar
    steakandeggs

    Oct 2020 and this camera still doesn’t exist