After playing with it in December, another encounter and a review got me thinking again, about the Canon EOS M5. My impressions and independent reviews seem to confirm, it’s a solid camera, the best Canon M to date. But with few standout features and notable disadvantages, I wonder who the market is for this camera?
At the Drink and Click, a couple of weeks ago, Juan brought the Canon EOS M5 for show, on loan from Precision Camera. We talked about its merits. It would make an excellent travel camera, we all agreed. Very true. But so would most of the other mirrorless cameras from Sony, Olympus, Panasonic and Fujifilm. What makes the M5 special?
I got a chuckle when I read a recent review from The Verge. The aptly titled, “Canon EOS M5: the best mirrorless camera of four years ago” says it all. I agree with most of their points.
On the plus side, Canon’s nice colors and user-friendly user interface. That’s the E5’s strength, along with a very compact body. For Canon users, the option of attaching EF and EF-S DSLR lenses (with an extra adapter) might also be useful, but with dubious benefit. The larger DSLR lenses would overwhelm the small body and grip. I suppose the M5 can make a nice compact primary or a secondary body for landscape photographers, which may be the best way to use the larger DSLR lenses — via tripod.
The EOS M5 does smoothly pull focus, via LCD touch screen, for videos. Something it does better than other mirrorless cameras. It might be useful as a vlogging camera or a video camera substitute on family vacations.
But really, I find it hard pressed to recommend this camera for most people. It has a small collection of native lenses, so so build and so so design. Beyond the few items mentioned above, all the other mirrorless players have much more capable cameras with sizable lens collections.
At the Drink and Click, it attracted very little interest. True, most attendees are photo enthusiasts, so the mirrorless folks are already wedded to their Fuji’s, Olympus’ and Sony’s. They’ve already bought into a new system and don’t seem interested in Canon. Some of the Canon DSLR users don’t really seem interested in mirrorless. Which begs the question, what’s the addressable market for such a camera?
In the end, I suppose this camera will either attract Canon fans who insist on a Canon mirrorless or people who don’t know any better and buy it for its name brand recognition. Canon is the largest camera company, after all, so perhaps there’s enough of a market out there. I hope so, for their sake. It could be worse though, we could talk about something even more dismal — Nikon’s mirrorless situation.
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