How to get the most from the Canon EOS M5

30 January 2017 | Category: Stills

How to get the most from the Canon EOS M5

Canon’s first “serious” compact system camera deserves your attention. If you’re an existing Canon user but want something smaller and lighter to carry around, then it’s a fantastic option. Here are some simple and quick ideas for how to get the most from this miniature marvel.


1 Avoid accidental AF changes with touch and drag

You can continue to use the M5’s touch-sensitive screen to set autofocus point even when using the viewfinder. This is a great and handy way to work, but, if you’re not careful, your nose or other parts of your face can change AF point without you realising. Canon’s nifty “touch and drag” feature helps to eliminate that. Select the option from the main menu and you can change from using the whole panel to set AF to just the right, just the left, or one-quarter of the screen - do whatever feels the most comfortable.

2. Use your phone as a remote

Set up a bluetooth connection to your phone, and you can quickly use it to trigger the shutter release. Ideal when you don’t want to touch the camera (such as shooting macro or still life when keeping the camera as still as possible is required). There’s no need to invest in an extra remote shutter release with this option. You won’t be able to see Live View on your phone with the quick bluetooth option, so it is best reserved for when you’re close to the camera. Connect via WiFi if you want to use your phone screen to compose - useful for longer distance shooting (but more power hungry for both your devices).

3. Customise the camera how you like to use it

Head to the main menu to set up the camera’s buttons and dials to work exactly how you use the camera. For example, the dial just next to the exposure compensation dial can be assigned to a variety of functions - you can even toggle between a few different ones by pressing the “dial function” button in the middle of the dial. Which functions are up to you - dump any you don’t use, and add in those that you do.

4. Tilt and shoot

The touch-sensitive screen doesn’t just tilt up and down, it can face all the way forward. This makes it particularly useful for selfies. Switch on touch-shutter and you won’t have to contort your hand into an awkward position to take the shot either - simply the tap the screen and smile.

5. Don’t forget about the EF adaptor

There are lots of EF-M lenses which are available - but where does that leave you if you have a host of optics already sitting on your shelf? Use the EOS-M adaptor and you can use your existing lenses, autofocus and all, with the M5. You may find that smaller lenses work best in terms of balance and comfort, but really, anything goes when you’ve got a tripod - basically, the good news is that you don’t need to invest in expensive extra lenses if you already own them.

6. Limit ISO

The top speed of the EOS M5’s ISO range is 25600 - but you may want to avoid that for best image quality. Using Auto ISO is very handy to save changing settings between shots, but, in order to keep the best quality, you can set a max value that you’re happy with - whether that’s something pretty modest such as ISO 800, or the top speed of ISO 25600.

7. Push that sensor

With the same excellent sensor as found in the EOS 80D, you’re already getting something very high quality. But, head to the Picture Styles setting to give your images a further boost. Find it under the quick menu - our favourite is “Fine Detail” - select this to get vivid pictures with crisp edges that make your images pop. It may not suit every subject, but it’s great for anything with even a modicum of detail.