Canon M5 Review - Can It Replace My DSLR?

August 3, 2017


I've been using a Canon 50d for a few years now and, although it's served me well, I've recently felt like it's been reaching the end of it's lifespan. So, I've been spending a lot of time researching what camera could work as a replacement...


The first option was a Sony, but they're full frame and it would mean a complete swap in lens systems. The second option was a Fuji XT-2, but like the Sonys, it was a bit too expensive. The third option was a Canon M5, which cost half as much and had all the same bells and whistles - Perfect! I even found a kit that included a lens adapter, so I could use the lenses that I already owned and love.


The 50d is an eight year old camera - I was going to be impressed with M5 anyway, but I'll be honest, I was blown away when it arrived in the post! And here's a short list of what I love about it!


The Size: this thing is tiny! And the lenses are even smaller! That said, when I use my Tokina 11-16mm, ultra wide angle, absolute favourite lens, it feels off-balance and it makes me cautious.


The LCD Screen: this thing might be tiny, but the screen feels gigantic! It's just like a phone in fact! It's almost second nature and makes things so much easier, especially when the dials need some getting used to. Then again, it is going to take a toll on the battery life...


Battery: speaking of battery life, it absolutely sucks! Yes this is a negative, but it needs to be said. Also, you can't charge it via USB and I can't change the battery when I have my tripod plate attached.


The App: okay, so this also puts a strain on the battery life, but it's oh so worth it! I especially like it for getting images on my phone and on to social media. Plus, it works without a care.


Image Quality: I've always been a fan of how Canon cameras capture images. Coming from a 50d, I immediately wanted to try the M5 at higher ISOs. Being able to use ISO 6,400 quite comfortably isn't amazing in this day and age, but it is good to finally be able to do it. I'd even say that the files are quite useable at ISO 12,800! It's also great to have more megapixels and the possibility to print bigger. Just look at the photo above if you still need another reason!


Focussing: I'm going to have to get used to the amount of autofocus points and cycling through the focus modes, but I am amazed at how well the autofocus works, even with the lens adapter attached! I also love the focus peaking feature... I wouldn't rely on it, but it will be phenomenal for on the fly photography.


EVF: Paired with exposure simulation, there's not much not to like about having an EVF... Except for the image review feature and the fact that fast motion looks a little choppy. The good news is that you can customise a lot when it comes to a mirrorless camera!


What's Worth Customising?

  1. Continuous focus needed to be switched off straight away – otherwise it was constantly going nuts, even when the shutter button wasn't pressed.

  2. Touch shutter also had to be switched off, because touch to focus felt more important.

  3. Without turning off highlight tone priority, I wasn't able to access ISO 100!

  4. Auto lighting optimizer seemed like a strange feature, so I turned that off.

  5. Not that I'd really be using high ISOs, I did feel it necessary to turn off noise reduction. I'll do that in Photoshop instead.

  6. Now for something that needed switching on – copyright. Let's have it embedded from the time I take the picture, please.

  7. My menu - format, timezone, wifi connection, wireless settings, MF peaking settings, sensor cleaning.



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