So after a year long fling with my M5 I have decided to return to DSLR world. With the Photographers option of the 80D, the Canon 77D, along with my Canon 10-18mm stm. So far loving it! after selling my mirrorless Efm lenses and researching what to buy as my M5 replacement. I feel as though I have made a good choice for my budget here. Got the camera and a 18-55mm stm kit lens (5K shutter count) for the price of my two efm lenses, 11-22 & 18-150. DSLR kit prices are falling fast here in Thailand as everyone jumps to mirrorless (although I have noticed a sharp increase in second hand sales there too),and I knew now was the time to “jump” back. Canon Eos M5 Mirrorless Camera and why I have changed back to DSLR Canon 77d, I expect people are wondering why I have moved back to DSLR, well here it goes….
M5 Like a lot
2. Smaller lighter lenses
3. Good external controls
1. Small viewfinder, which is so close to the screen that no matter where you put your nose you end up touching the screen and moving your focus point. Also I felt that I could never see clearly, no matter the dioptre setting, maybe it’s just the whole EVF thing, for my eyes it was very hard work trying to see properly through it.
2. A fiddle to use the touch screen focus whilst looking through the viewfinder, which ended up with me having to move my eye away from the viewfinder –ergo, pointless VF
3. Grip on camera is very shallow and I never felt I had it comfortable in the hand and always felt like I was going to drop it.
4. Tilt screen not fully articulated (to be fair I thought this was not going to be a problem, but I found myself missing the fully articulated screen as on my 70D). It’s not until it’s gone that you miss it.
5. Battery life is poor even though I carry three batteries around and yes I have put it on Eco and all the other battery hungry options turned off. Actually I found that was quite a lot of the options that I would have liked to have that made that camera attractive in the first place.
6. Lack of selection of native lenses (Canon still have not produced a long zoom for this camera, instead forcing you back to the adaptor to use Efs lenses). Sigma and Tamron the same. Too few options of any decent quality lenses altogether, outside of the 18-150mm and 11-22mm. The decent lenses that are available are all primes and way off my budget. As a Landscape and travel photographer, I find the lack of UWA lenses frustrating (yes I know there is an adaptor, but again, it defeats the whole point of going smaller!)
7. Now the biggie… I never was happy with the “feel” of the images that came out from the M5. Yes they were nice and sharp and crisp. They just (to me) lacked character or depth? There is nothing wrong with them, I just didn’t like them and never felt happy with the finished product. I also felt that the colours were “watered down” and not what I was used to getting out of my previous Canon Cameras. Or maybe it’s the dynamic range?? Maybe it’s not the Camera, maybe it’s me, just I don’t feel that I have completely got on with the M5 as much as I thought or wanted to. I’m looking at the 77d photos I took last evening as testers, and I can see the dynamic range is better already.(yes I did have the settings right on the M5). The sky is the blue I remember seeing when I took the images and the colour of the water is bang on, with the 77d so far.
8. And a final word on the finish of the M5= poor, even within four months of me having it I noticed that the “rubber skin” just on the corner by the menu button had started to come away, on both edges. Also for some inexplicable reason a patch of rubber skin, just above the DOF button (which I never use) on the front has also “bubbled” or “peeled” and this isn’t even an area I touch for anything lol. The bottom plate of the camera scratches all too easily, even my 1100D plastic camera that travelled across SEA for a year didn’t look as bad. I don’t even put it down on anything other than tables either (M5).Don’t get me wrong the M5 is a great camera, just not for me. I guess to sum it up for me, the ergonomics are too small and fiddly, and the photo rendition output is not what I am used to (even after a year of experimenting with every setting under the sun). The build quality is poor, the battery sucks. The native lens options are limited and look like they are never going to expand. If I’m going to have to stick an efs lens on to get what I want in focus length, I might as well go back to the DSLR!
I’m not going to beat about the bush, and going straight to the point! I confess I am totally smitten with my 77d; I have been out and about more in the last week than the whole six months prior. I find myself wanting to go out and shoot and it’s been a whole new lease of life for me. Something I found I had lost with the M5.
The other thing I have noticed is how little PP I am having to do with the images from this camera, it’s such a liberating feeling, not spending hrs adjusting this and that to try and get the look I was expecting SOOC(or even as I saw it). Most images are basic lift dynamic range (not always needed as it’s so good), drop highlights, (which used to be a lot, and still didn’t reflect the skies how I saw them), and sometimes a straighten as I shoot mostly handheld. I also find the lens profiles do a great job in Lr5.7, and even better Lr5.7 has the profiles for my EFS lenses, so I don’t end up having to guess, or worse still having none!
I felt there was no depth to the images and colours were defo off. Gone was the Canon colour science, in fact I am inclined to think they removed it altogether, or moved it into a setting I could never find.
Now I get a better feeling of shape and space with these images. Interestingly there are other things I like about the camera as well, that I didn’t realise I missed until I got it back. For example; the shutter, I know it’s usually the Bain of my life especially when I am trying to photograph something discreetly, but the shutter button and sound is beautifully damped and has a reassuring feel to it that somehow helps me get my timing right.
Its weight is more than the M5, but actually marginally, I now realise how much the M5 felt heavy-ish in the hand, although the 77D will not beat it on small form factor, it is a fairly compact DSLR with full feature set or the 80D, minus the video crap! Which I don’t really do anyway so nothing lost there for me.
It’s a bit like I said to a friend recently when I got the 77D as an illustration. A few years ago, mobile phones were getting smaller and smaller and smaller, then people realised how damn uncomfortable they were and now we are pretty much settled at a decent sized smart phone, an era that I think will last for some time yet, and I predict will happen with the mirrorless camera revolution, and to some extent already is with the R series.
I also missed the fully articulated screen, the flip out up and down never really worked for me and I felt that I would actually have preferred a fixed one on the M5, for all the use it was.
Same battery lasts so much longer, if I turned everything useful off on the M5, I might squeeze a tad under 250 images before it died. Same battery on the 77D gives me about 350+ so far. The added bonus was I had bought two extra aftermarket ones for the M5 and they still fit the 77d!
I also like the top window on the 77d, and a much better and fewer options on it mean I am finding myself using it more often for changes on the fly. I.e. not having to take my eye away from the viewfinder, and knowing that one button is focus area/point and the other is ISO. The third is for the light lol, so the first two are totally practical. Along with the lock settings button (so many similarities with the 70D, makes it comfortable and familiar a lay out, making for less time wasted with settings) and a nice raised turn wheel for settings make this the joy to use this camera.
I especially like the on/off/video switch just under the mode dial. which also switches the video on. No accidently touching the video button with my right thumb as I hold the camera and starting a video, I have to use my other hand and deliberately push the switch round, so lessening “accidents”. There is a definite three point cllick as you switch through each option.
And lastly, but not least (ha-ha) the dioptre, so much better than the M5, I can see again, and although some say the pentaprism is slightly darker(I haven’t noticed)and the 77d has only 95% view, and the M5 coverage was 100%, I feel as though I see more on the 77d than the M5, if that makes sense?
I have to say that the Canon 10-18mm stm is a great pairing with this camera, the much lauded reviews about the 10-18mm stm are spot on. I am very pleased with how the two pieces of equipment work together. I love the edge to edge sharpness too. I also got the 18-135mm stm as it was such a versatile lens when I had it from new with my 70D.
It’s still a great lens, but found myself still missing the zoom end so have just bought myself a Tamron(long-time fan from my 10-24mm) 18-275mm PZD(which gives me a 28-440mm range on my 77d). I know super zooms like this have their limits and I am looking forward to testing it out. The main idea being that when travel eventually opens up again I only have to carry my 10-18mm attached to the 77D and the Tamron 18-270mm PZD in the bag. I am hoping that the image quality from the Tamron will be good enough so I don’t need to carry three lenses to cover my range of 10-300mm. Thus reducing my carry weight and still fitting into my copy peak design 5liter sling bag!
Please be aware that this is a two week update on how I’m getting on with the 77d.
Reviews on YouTube are all good and well but nothing beats real life user experience, right? I also appreciate people’s view on the M5 and how you might think I’m silly for going back to the 77d. So feel as though I should talk about why these differences are so wide in my view.
No regrets with the move back; in fact I am the happiest bunny on the planet for doing so. I am sure that if someone put a Canon RP in my hand with the right lens (that I didn’t have to sell my soul for), I would love it, and yes I could have bought a 6d, but I wouldn’t have had any money for the UWA lenses I like to use.
Also as a long time APSC girl, some habits die hard and this one is still alive and kicking. My view is Cameras are like people, different sorts of people go for different sorts of camera, there’s nothing wrong with any given camera; just some get on with some more than others. Some people have many cameras; some have many different brands of cameras. I think this is what happened to me, tried a new type and really didn’t like it. Bit like a bad boyfriend/girlfriend, thought it was ok, then found out I couldn’t live with its faults, affair well and truly over! Looks like I’m a DSLR camera girl that knows what she likes.
Canon 77D with canon 10-18mm stm
Image of Rawai Beach taken on my first day with this Camera, with the Canon 10-18mm stm