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We tested for you: How does the new Canon EOS M5 system camera perform with a microscope?

With its new EOS M5 system camera, Canon has extended and improved the offerings available in the mirrorless system camera market segment. Naturally, we were curious to find out how the EOS M5 stood up to testing compared to other EOS models!

Canon EOS M5 DSLM system camera mirrorless microscopy

Canon EOS M5 for microscopy use

With an introductory price of about EUR 1,100 (camera body only), Canon falls into the mid-range price group with this camera. The large APS-C CMOS sensor boasts 24 megapixels and employs dual pixel sensor technology. The camera body is well-built and – as there is no mirror to take up extra space – features a compact design. With our LM microscope adapters, the camera can be attached to a wide range of microscopes simply and easily. We offer solutions for microscopes with photo ports as well as adapters for use with eyepiece tubes. Both solutions provide the same high level of optical quality because all of our adapters are equipped with a plan-achromatic optical system.

Canon DSLM M5 Adaptersolution photo port 

Canon EOS M5 DSLM DSLR adaptersolution eyepiece tube microscope

Thanks to its advanced sensor technology, the EOS M5 delivers good-quality microscope images. The sensitivity range (ISO) runs to a maximum of 25,600.

Canon EOS microscope camera ISO range

The maximum frame rate is 9 fps. Full HD video recording is supported at a maximum frame rate of 60 fps.

The 8cm tilt-type LCD monitor, which offers a resolution of 1.62 million dots, is another of the camera’s much-appreciated features. From a video perspective, the EOS M5 also includes an HDMI port to export the Live View feed to an external monitor or projector.

canon EOS M5 with tilt-type monitor

Now to the downside of the Canon EOS M5: Like its predecessor (the Canon EOS M3), the EOS M5 does not support the Canon Utility software, which means that the camera cannot be remotely configured and controlled via PC/Mac. However, particularly when it comes to photomicrography, this software is a big help for amateur and professional photographers.

Canon EOS M5 Camera Connect App
Unfortunately not supported: Canon EOS Utility 3 software

Since the camera has built-in Wi-Fi, we were hoping to at least be able to control it from a tablet or smartphone using Canon’s CameraConnect app.

Canon Camera Connect app for DSLM DSLR

We were able to set up the connection without a problem.

microscopecamera connection to canon camera connect

However, upon clicking the “Remote Live View Shooting” icon, the camera failed to respond.

Canon EOS M5 camera connect remote live view

We determined that it was only possible to download or share photos in social media platforms; remote Live View, unfortunately, did not work.

Canon EOS M5 DSLM live view doesn t work

When we did some testing without remote camera control next, we immediately ran into another major issue: the shutter release lock when using analogue lenses or adapter solutions for microscopes or macroscopes.

Canon EOS M5 DSLM disable shutter release lock

Shutter release without lens enable

By default (i.e. at factory settings), the camera demands a CPU lens to take a photograph/record a video. Never, during all of our testing of Canon EOS DSLR cameras, have we had to deal with such an unnecessary feature. After a time-consuming search through the manual, we finally found the answer in the menu … there was a way to disable the shutter release lock – at last, we could take photographs through the microscope!


The Canon EOS M5 is a first-rate camera that features a compact design, an excellent sensor, and a tilt-angle LCD screen. When used with our LM digital adapters, it produces high-quality photomicrographic images. Unfortunately, the non-functional Canon Utility software significantly impaired the workflow, and remote control via smartphone app did not work in our tests either. For these reasons, the Canon EOS M5 is only marginally suitable for photomicrography and photomacrography applications. If you are looking to buy a new camera, we recommend that you consider the similarly priced Canon EOS DSLR 80D.

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