Verdict

There's much to like about Canon's little EOS M5. The 24MP APS-C sensor delivers images with bags of detail, while the polished handling, including a well thought-out control layout that's brilliantly integrated with the touchscreen interface, makes it a nice camera to shoot with.

The EVF works well too, while the AF is much improved thanks to the inclusion of Dual Pixel CMOS AF – AF point selection using an area of the touchscreen is a joy.

Some may feel the absence of 4K video is an oversight, given that many rivals now include this as a standard setting, while the relatively small selection of EF-M lenses could prove limiting. Granted, you've got Canon's huge range of EF and EF-S lenses available via an adapter, but with the likes of Micro Four Thirds and Fuji offering a growing selection of dedicated lenses the fairly entry-level range of EF-M lenses looks weak by comparison, and out of keeping with the high-end credentials of the EOS M5.

Also, for a camera at this price point, a few more bits of metal in the construction wouldn't have gone amiss. But perhaps the biggest sticking point is the M5's price tag. While it does a lot of things very well, so do its rivals – and for a much more attractive price.

Unless you're a die-hard EOS user with a stack of lenses that you want to use on a smaller body, then, until the M5's price drops a touch, there are better options out there.

Competition

Fujifilm X-T10

The X-T10 sports a decidedly more retro design than the EOS M5, although its grip and centrally-positioned viewfinder mean it’s likely to appeal to a similar type of user. It can't quite match the resolution of the M5, but the 16MP APS-C sensor can still hold its own thanks to its clever design – it's also compatible with Fujifilm's acclaimed X-series lenses. Those looking for a more rugged build should take a look at the X-T2 or X-T1.

Read the full review: Fuji X-T10

Panasonic Lumix G80 / G85

Panasonic's Lumix G80 (or G85 if you're in the US) is a cracking mid-price mirrorless camera with a vast range of compatible lenses. Its 16MP Micro Four Thirds sensor might not be quite a match for the M5's, but it's not far off thanks to the absence of an optical low-pass filter. Handling and AF are great, there's a touchscreen and the build is that bit nicer than the M5 thanks to a aluminium front plate. Throw in advanced 4K video capture, and you have a very nice camera.

Read the full review: Panasonic Lumix G80 / G85

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II

Like the G80 / G85 above, this Micro Four Thirds camera uses a 16MP sensor, so again, can't quite match the EOS M5 for resolution, although its 40MP multi-exposure mode enables you to capture images with excellent resolution when using a tripod. It also has the benefit of a clever sensor-based, five-axis image stabilisation system, free-angle touchscreen LCD, built-in Wi-Fi and compatibility with a huge range of Micro Four Thirds optics. Video recording only stretches to Full HD, though, and the provided flash is a separate hot shoe-mounted unit, rather than an being integrated as on the M5.

Read the full review: Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Photography Editor

With over ten years experience writing about cameras and photography, Phil is TechRadar's Photography Editor, writing and overseeing reviews of the latest camera gear, as well as looking after the photography tutorials and techniques you see here.