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Canon EOS M5 provides a more serious approach

Create: 09/15/2016 - 07:34
Canon EOS M5

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 24.2-MP CMOS sensor
  • New 18-150mm kit lens
  • Ability to select AF point on LCD while simultaneously using the electronic viewfinder

Just when most rumor sites had written off a new Canon mirrorless camera for this year, here comes the Canon EOS M5, plus a new kit lens.

Canon took a different approach with the M5’s styling – integrating an electronic viewfinder (EVF) into the body. That is, it’s not a separate accessory.

Visually, the camera looks to be a mix of its digital SLRs and its G5X, offering a more traditional look.

The new camera has a 24.2-MP CMOS APS-C sensor that is paired with Canon’s DIGIC 7 image processor. The ISO range is 100-25,600. The sensor crop is 1.6x, and images are recorded to SD cards.

Shutter speeds run from 30 seconds to 1/4,000 with flash synchronization occurring at 1/200. The camera has a built-in pop-up flash, and it also can synch with Canon’s Speedlite units via its hot shoe that is on top of the viewfinder.

The camera can capture up to seven frames per second. That rises to nine frames per second with autofocus locked.

Although it can’t record 4K video, the M5 will record Full HD 60P in MP4 format.

The body had five-axis image stabilization that will work in conjunction with image stabilized lenses. Like Canon’s other M cameras, it uses the EF-M mount. EF and EF-S lenses can be used with the correct Canon adapter.

Canon says it has shortened the startup time for the camera to 1.0 second.

TWO-MODE FOCUS FEATURE

Focus is achieved via Canon’s 49-point Dual-Pixel CMOS AF, and Canon says the M5 is the fastest-focusing body in the series.

The photographer can select either the EVF or the LCD, using Live View.

By the way, that’s a 3.2-inch LCD, which swings upward 85° and downward 180° for selfies. The downward swing can be useful if you plan to shoot your own videos.

What makes the M5 interesting is that the photographer can peer through the EVF while selecting the focus point on the LCD monitor. That could be tricky, requiring you to hold the camera with the right hand and using a finger on the left hand to touch the LCD monitor while looking through the EVF.

At this time, there is no accessory battery grip. Power is supplied by a single LP-E17 battery, which has a capacity of about 295 shots using either the LCD or EVF. When the camera is in “ECO” mode, capacity rises to 420 shots.

The size of the body is 4.6 x 3.5 x 2.4 in. (115.6 x 89.2 x 60.6mm), and the weight is 15.1 ounces (427.0 grams).

The M5 body will be available in black only.

NEW KIT LENS

Coinciding with the release of the M5 is a new kit lens that should cover a range that is suitable for many users.

The 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM has a full-frame equivalent range of about 29-240mm. It’s adequately fast on the wide end but rather slow on the telephoto side. That could pose an issue for indoor or evening shooting, such as at a high school sporting event.

It contains 17 elements in 13 groups and can accept 55mm filters.

The dimensions of the lens are 2.4 x 3.4 inches (60.9 x 86.5mm) with a weight of 10.6 ounces (300 grams).

Canon says image stabilization will provide up to four stops of “shake correction.”

It will be available in black or graphite.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY

The Canon EOS M5 body will be available in November 2016 for US$979.99 and with the existing EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM kit lens for US$1,099.00.

The Canon EOS M5 and EF-M 18-150mm kit lens will cost US$1,479.00 and be available in December 2016. The 18-150mm lens will be available separately also in December 2016 for US$499.99.

About the Author

Mike Elek is a longtime journalist and was one of the original editors for The Wall Street Journal Online. He also has worked as a reporter and editor in Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; Vineland, N.J.; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; New York City; and Hong Kong. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran. He shoots with film and digital cameras.