With the features enhanced in all aspects, the EOS M5 is very well received as a camera that can be used not only as a main camera, but also as a sub-camera to a DSLR. In addition to functionality, the operability of the camera is also excellent, with a great leap achieved in the button operation and the firmer grip, among others. In the following, I will provide an in-depth part-by-part review of seven features, with focus on the external design and operability of the EOS M5. (Reported by: Kazuo Nakahara)
1. Body design
There are three noteworthy aspects with regard to the external design: the built-in EVF, grip with a better hold, and an increased number of buttons and dials. With the many features added, the EOS M5 weighs about 427g.
With the improved grip, users have a better hold on the camera.
While the main material used for the body is plastic, the gunmetal paint gives it a fine texture and the overall design looks sleek and sharp.
With a deep grip, the body comes in a size that is easy to hold. Though my hands are relatively large, I could feel how well the EOS M5 fits into them the moment I held it. The thumb grip at the back is also well located, so the camera can be held stably with just one hand.
Another appealing point about the EOS M-series cameras is that they can also be used with the abundant lineup of EF and EF-S lenses when the Mount Adapter EF-EOS M is attached. Thanks to the solid grip, it is possible to maintain the balance during the shoot even when you are using an EF or EF-S lens, which tend to be heavier than an EF-M lens.
3. Buttons & dials
There are more buttons and dials at the top of the body, which will appeal to users who love their operational controls. Those uncertain about how they will navigate the controls may rest assured that the layout is well-balanced with enhanced operability. Located on the right of the top surface are the shutter button, Main Dial, the Exposure compensation dial and the Multi-function button. Also noteworthy is the newly-added Dial Function button and the Quick Control Dial. Most of the settings required for shooting can be adjusted simply using controls in this area. The Mode Dial has been relocated to the left side, and each of the dials is knurled for smooth operation with fingers.
The Dial Function button comes in a design that incorporates a Quick Control Dial. With the Dial Function (DIAL FUNC.) button, you can register customized settings for multiple items such as white balance, ISO speed and drive mode, and adjust the settings using the Quick Control Dial.
As many settings can be changed by using the Dial Function button and Quick Control Dial in combination, it is advisable that you register the frequently-used functions in advance. However, it may take some time to get used to the button and dial to ensure smooth operation as they are located a little far away from where the thumb is placed.
The Mode Dial and the power switch are located on the left at the top of the body. This is a similar arrangement to that of the EOS DSLR models. The built-in flash is situated at the centre and integrated with the EVF.
The buttons on the right side at the back are arranged in a manner that is similar to the layout of the EOS DSLR models, so any EOS user would find it easy to operate.
Also worth mentioning is a newly-introduced button on the front to the left of the lens mount. This button is placed exactly at the same location as the Depth-of-field preview button on the EOS DSLR cameras. This button functions as the Touch & Drag AF switching button by default, but it can be customised. I personally use this button frequently, and my favourite way of using is to assign it with the function of switching the AF mode between ONE SHOT and SERVO.
4. Built-in EVF
The biggest change we see with the external design of the EOS M5 is the built-in EVF. With it, you can switch freely between viewfinder shooting, which allows you to concentrate on the shoot, and Live View shooting, which is great for more casual shooting.
The built-in EVF consists of organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) with approximately 2.36 million dots for fine and vivid colour reproduction. With an eyepoint of 22mm, the EOS M5 is comparable to DSLR cameras, and you can see the entire viewfinder image even when you are wearing spectacles. The enhanced controls enable you to concentrate on the shoot without having to move your eye away from the viewfinder.
However, as OLED displays differ in colour reproduction and contrast as compared to liquid crystal displays, the image on the rear LCD monitor may look different from that through the built-in EVF. You may want to take note of this difference before you start to use the camera.
Learn more about what you can do with the built-in EVF here:
Guide to New Features on the EOS M5 #2: The Built-in EVF
5. LCD monitor
The rear LCD monitor of the EOS M5 employs a 3.2-inch LCD touch screen with about 1.62 million dots.
With the protrusion from the top of the camera because of the built-in EVF, the rear LCD monitor now adopts a design that can be flipped 180° downward. At the same time, it can be tilted 85° upward, and is thus convenient for low-angle shooting with the camera positioned close to the ground.
The LCD monitor is also a touch panel that supports Touch AF. Read more about this function here:
Guide to New Features on the EOS M5 #1: Touch AF
LCD monitor display during shooting.
6. Terminals & interfaces
The terminals are located on both sides of the body, with the one for Type D HDMI-micro OUT on the right, and those for Micro-USB, external microphone IN (3.5mm stereo mini) and a remote switch for shutter release (E3 terminal) on the left. The remote switch terminal is a first for the EOS M series and comes in handy for those who often make use of a tripod for shooting. The terminal supports the Remote Switch RS-60E3, which can also be used with the EOS 750D and other models.
7. Memory card slots & battery compartment
The EOS M5 uses SD cards as the recording media, including the UHS-I Class. The battery compartment for the Battery Pack LP-E17 and the card slot are integrally designed.
Another piece of good news is that the battery now lasts longer. The power-saving DIGIC 7 processor allows the camera to produce as many as 295 shots when the battery is fully charged.
Battery Charger LC-E17E
The beautifully-shaped EOS M5 is a camera that is packed with evolutionary features such as a high-definition built-in EVF, an LCD monitor that supports Touch & Drag AF and magnified display, as well as buttons and dials that can be operated easily while you are looking through the viewfinder. Functionally, the EOS M5 has made a great leap with the much-anticipated Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology and renewal of the main functions such as the adoption of the DIGIC 7 processor.
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Born in Hokkaido in 1982, Nakahara turned to photography after working at a chemical manufacturing company. He majored in photography at the Vantan Design Institute and is a lecturer for photography workshops and seminars, in addition to working in commercial photography. He is also a representative of the photography information website studio9.