The EOS M5? What will it bring?

Canon-EOS-M3-product-shot-17The EOS M3, pictured above, is due for a replacement – and about time. Don’t get me wrong, the M3 is a great camera and I use it a lot, but it has some serious problems that need to be addressed and we’re all hoping that the M5 will address this.

Let’s address the rumors.

Rumor 1 – a new EOS M body will be announced in 2016, but not at the same time as the 5D Mark IV

This makes a lot of sense. The M3 has been doing reasonably well in Asia, less so in Europe and the US. Canon haven’t set the world alight with their mirrorless cameras, but they are incrementally improving over the original EOS M in most respects (although switching to using the Powershot firmware on the M3 was a step back in most people’s opinions.)

Rumor 2 – it will not be called the EOS M4

Four is a very unlucky number in chinese culture especially, because the word for four sounds similar to the word for death. That’s why in many chinese multi-story buildings there is no 4th floor – it goes straight from floor 3 to floor 5!  It’s also why there was never an EOS 4 in the past.

The EOS M5 makes a lot of sense for a more upmarket mirrorless.

Rumour 3 – The EOS M5 will be APS-C

There have been some, but relatively few, patent applications for full-frame mirrorless lenses from Canon. I think that if they do go mirrorless full-frame in the future they will probably assume most people will be using standard EF lenses with it.

Common myth:

“If Canon were to produce a mirrorless full-frame camera they’d need a FOURTH lens mount for it.”

No they wouldn’t – the EF-M mount will work perfectly fine for full-frame lenses. Existing EF-M lenses would work fine on a full-frame camera (albeit in crop mode in most cases.)   Future full-frame EF-M lenses should even work fine on APS-C EOS M cameras.     Look at how Sony E/FE lenses work on a single mount.  I’ve discussed this before in more detail here…

 

Rumor 4 – don’t expect big ergonomic changes.

There are some big ergonomic problems with the current M3, but I think what they are suggesting here is that the M5 will have a similar tilting viewfinder (without twist) and therefore will NOT have a built-in EVF but probably will continue to use the EVF-DC1 external viewfinder. I am torn on this – I actually like the external viewfinder and prefer it to using the built-in viewfinder on the Sony A6000, for example. It is – for example – much easier to use when on a tripod. But many people disagree with me on this and prefer to have it built-in.  An ideal solution would be to have a built-in EVF and ALSO to support the EVF-DC1 through the hot-shoe, but we all know that’s unlikely.

For me the two biggest ergonomic problems on the EOS M3 are

a) the position of the menu button on the rear. It’s too easy to trigger this by accident when holding the camera single-handedly especially if you have big hands. Of course, if you’re Donald Trump then there’s no problem.

b) the on-off switch is awful.  Firstly, there is no obvious visual difference between sleep mode and powered off, so half the time I turn the camera on only to find it was already in sleep, which then of course turns itself off and you have to wait for it to power on and start up again – by which time whatever you have wanted to photograph has moved on. This one single ergonomic issue is the biggest flaw in the EOS M3 design by far. Look at other cameras which have a physical sliding on/off switch – this is MUCH better. I’d even sacrifice the exposure compensation dial (which I LOVE) for a better on/off switch if I absolutely had to.

Controlling the power state of the camera is critical to maximising the already-poor battery life from the LP-E17 battery.   If this issue is not fixed in the EOS M5 I will NOT be buying it, and will not be recommending it to anyone else. It is that serious.

Rumor 5 – A new lens will be announced alongside it, an EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS is a good bet.

This makes so much sense. A good travel lens, whether it is an 18-135, 18-150 or 18-200 is sorely missing from the lineup. There is a Tamron 18-200 lens for EF-M, but everything I have read about it leaves me underwhelmed.

Rumors 6 and 7 – ‘It will go slightly up-market from the EOS M3’ and ‘We cannot confirm DPAF or 4K.’

Am I the only one who can’t understand how these correlate together?  Firstly, Canon have established with DPAF the perfect sensor technology for a future EOS M3 replacement – the 80D sensor could literally be slotted into a new camera and everyone would be happy. So, how on earth could they be going ‘up-market’ by incorporating something inferior?     Similarly, 4K is available on rival cameras such as the Sony A6300 – so unless the ‘slightly up-market’ means ‘not really going up-market at all’ I would think it’s a certainty that *some* kind of basic 4K recording would be included.

 

 

Right now Canon have nothing to compete with Sony in the mirrorless field. And we’re not even talking about the A7 series, we’re talking comparing with Sony’s lower-end crop-cameras, the A6000/A6300.   I’d love to think that Canon will try and produce an A7-beater, but right now I’d settle with an A6000-beater.    However… I won’t hold my breath.

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