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