Camera Upgrade - Canon EOS M5 Review

If you are a videographer then this probably won't satisfy your needs and vlogging is also not a strong point, but when it comes to landscapes and long exposure photography this camera stands out from the crowd.

Camera Upgrade - Canon EOS M5 Review

After 2 years of solid performance (examples here), my faithful Canon G16 has finally handed in its notice and is being replaced by a new workhorse known as the Canon M5. This new camera is a substantial upgrade in all corners of camera technology compared to the G16 bringing along with it an 8x bigger image sensor, double the megapixels and the ability to swap out lenses which will be a huge benefit.

The Key Specs:

  • 24 Megapixels
  • APS-C sensor
  • Electronic viewfinder
  • Mirrorless design
  • Touch screen
  • Articulating screen
  • Flip flash
  • Smartphone remote control

So firstly let's dive deeper into some of those specs and see what this camera is all about, starting with its mirrorless design. This is referring to the fact it doesn't use an actual mirror inside the camera to reflect the image passing through the lens up to the viewfinder, thus saving a large amount of space (ever wonder why those big DSLR's are so big?). In mirrorless designs the image you see through the viewfinder and on the back screen are both projected electronically straight from the sensor, this is excellent for people needing a more compact and lighter camera, perfect for travel!

Below is a quick sketch I did to help you visualize the differences:

Moving onto the APS-C sensor which is refering the size of the sensor, this part of the camera is important for a few things, one of them being the amount of light the camera can grab from the scene it see's when you press the shutter, the smaller the sensor the less light that will make its way onto the sensor meaning there is more chance of a noisy (grainy) image.

The sensor also helps create depth of field in a image, ever wonder why all those photos you take on your phone have everything in focus? A larger sensor gives greater depth of field meaning you can create beautiful photos with blurry backgrounds. The APS-C sensor is a pretty common size for mid to top-end cameras, with 'full frame' used in pro cameras and medium format reserved for concept cameras.

Sensor sizes


So after giving the Canon M5 a decent run about with a few different lenses it's fair to say that the M5 is a pretty responsive camera, it has a high quality touch screen which is a really nice addition even if the dials and buttons are very intuitive and quick to use.

I noticed the camera seemed a little slow to process images after taking long exposures and the focus isn't the fastest.. But this camera isn't made for sports photography or subjects that need speedy auto-focus and high fps captures, where it excels is in its beautiful colours that create wonderful high quality images, which brings us to the next point..

Image Quality:

The images that the Canon M5 produce are top notch, simply put if you are into landscape photography then this is the mirrorless camera you need! Given the time you get when snapping landscapes this camera can really shine, its 24MP's can produce high detail colour rich shots ready for large scale printing. 

'Beautiful image quality is where this camera really holds its highest cards'

EF-M 22mm lens / f2 - ISO 4000 - 1/400 sec

Build Quality:

The camera at first glance looks delicate with so many dials and buttons and its small appearance, but after handling it you get the sense that it is made pretty sturdy with a metal hood around the top housing the dials. The rest of the body is made from high quality plastic and covered in a grippy rubber outer layer, in general it feels like it would handle a few knocks. The only thing that lets it down is the fold out screen, it has 2 very thin metal arms for support which with normal careful use will be fine but I could see them bending easily if the screen gets a knock while it is extended.

ISO Range:

I've tested the ISO abilities of the Canon M5 here with 4 identical shots in low light, as you can see the camera performed exceptionally well at ISO 1000 with a very clean image and no noticeable noise. At ISO 4000 the noise has started to creep in, but it is still at a useable level and won't destroy a perfect moment, when I got to ISO 10,000 the noise is clearly visible and thus won't be useful for any professional photography, but it will get you the photo you need (if you need it).

Surprisingly the level of noise at 25,600 doesn't seem to be that much different from 10,000, meaning you will be able to get a very dimly lit shot and not have to sacrifice having the image destroyed by noise, this is all likely due to the M5 running Canon's latest image processor the Digic 7 which is supposedly 16x faster than the Digic 6 and has much better noise reduction abilities.

All in all I would be very happy to recommend this camera to anyone who is an avid photographer looking to upgrade from mid-range cameras, this is Canon's flagship Mirrorless camera (as of 2018) and it does an incredible job for its size!

If you are a videographer then this probably won't satisfy your needs and vlogging is also not a strong point, but when it comes to landscapes and long exposure photography this camera stands out from the crowd. Below are some sample images taken with the M5:

If you're interested in checking out some of my photography that is available on canvas, click here! I am eternally grateful to anyone who thinks my work is good enough to hang on a wall.. ✌

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Thanks for reading!

Taran here, owner of Nomad'er How Far. I'm fond of psychedelic rock, photography & videography, anything to do with space and I'm also partial to the odd gaming session. Oh and I love to travel :P Get to know me here!

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