That’s a Canon M5 up there. I’ve had a few mirrorless setups over the years from Lumix to OMD to Fuji- but this is my first Canon. A compromise to say Sony it seems at first. 1080 vs 4k video. Ergonomics like holding a lump of cheese and looks only a mother would love. A woefully small collection of glass available too. Etc etc. But all of that aside – how is it in the real world? As a Canon user since day one and hefty investment into pro grade kit over the years, I was hoping that it fitted well into my bag of tools. So how is it?
This camera replaced my well loved Fujifilm X100T about 6 months ago, and it was clear from the first day that it’s simply a better camera. I captured some amazing images on that X100T *sigh*, and while I miss the retro looks and sweet Fuji presets- the focussing system for stills and video is as good as i’ve experienced in a mirrorless compact. This is more important to me. It’s exactly that too- a compact. None of this mirrorless the same size as my DSLR business.
So size wise it’s perfect for throwing in my bag, van glove box or back pack. I use it more then the DSLR’s these days primarily due to the size. Just like the X100T it sees a fair bit of action. All these images were captured on M5 and 22mm. For a full gallery of portrait images shot on the M5 visit SAMANTHA.
The kit glass was something fugly as per usual. Off to Trademe it went and a relatively cheap 22mm (a perfect 35mm) f2.0 that’s super sharp replaced it. I have no need for any other glass as it stands. I did pickup the genuine adapter to add EOS glass- but so far not really utilised this ability – as it destroys portability. As it is, the Canon M5 is a pretty nice camera and aside from the hefty cost vs zero weather sealing I like it.
Cameras these days are pretty sweet. I’m not one for fixating on how gear makes a photo. Light, composition, focussing and editing does (woah a list!). The M5 is a very capable unit and the dynamic range- nice RAW files- and robustness of results after post editing to export is a bonus. As is the macro capabilities for casual close ups.
The ability to use canon flashes, triggers and as mentioned EOS glass is a nice bonus which gives a shelf life to the camera beyond the X100T. Work flow is important to me and this camera fits right in there from setup and use- through to post editing the consistently beautiful Canon files across their range.
A cool feature is the ability to move focus points through view finder while moving finger over the LCD. Quite odd at first but then so good to use. Live view is good – clear and true. Ultimately the largest benefit and heart of a good mirrorless camera.
1080 video seems to be a sore point for many and yes I did feel robbed. But then not all video capabilities are equal. 4k and terrible codecs means nothing when it comes to the editing and grading. Honestly, the results i’ve seen using this camera have blown me away. As a comparison, i’ve been using a Mavic Pro alongside the M5 in 2017 and even though it’s 4k- the codec is awful- therefore the files are the same. The dual pixel focussing system is like witchcraft – and resulting post has a beautiful filmic like quality with genuine skin tones that only Canon cameras offer (IMHO).
One last bonus is the battery life. It’s great. Would I recommend this camera as a main personal camera to do it all? I actually would if you are an enthusiast, or even a pro who wants a backup/ travel camera to capture good files with minimal weight.
The only negative is the inability to charge the camera via USB- you have to use the supplied Canon charger. This alone though may be a deal breaker for travellers or adventurers heading off the grid.
I wonder what Canon’s full frame mirrorless will be like? If it ever happens. Hmmmm.