If you want to reduce the size and weight of your camera, but do not want to give up great image quality, then the Canon EOS Rebel SL2
and EOS M5
will likely be considered prime candidates for incorporating into your camera kit.
First, let's look at some of the primary features these cameras have in common:
Advantages of the EOS Rebel SL2:
- 24.2 MP APS-C Dual Pixel CMOS sensor
- DIGIC 7 processor
- Pop-up flash (no master functionality)
- Native ISO range: 100-25600
- Images/movies stored to SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I) memory card
- 1/4000 max shutter speed
- 1/200 flash sync speed
- Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC
- USB 2.0, HDMI (micro) & 3.5mm stereo mini jack
Advantages of the EOS M5:
- Natively compatible with EF, EF-S, TS-E & MP-E lenses
- Ambience / White Priority AWB vs. Ambience only
- Vari-angle touchscreen LCD vs. Tilt-type touchscreen LCD
- Higher built-in flash guide number: 9.8m vs. 5m
- Wider exposure compensation range: +/- 5 stops vs. +/- 3 stops
- Selectable IPB standard / IPB light encoding vs. single in-camera default
- Longer battery life: 650 vs. 395 (420 with Eco Mode On)
- Working humidity: 90% vs. 85%
- Lower price
Who should opt for the EOS Rebel SL2?
- Native EF-M lenses are smaller/lighter than similar EF-S/EF lenses
- More AF Points: 49 vs. 9
- 1/3-stop ISO adjustments vs. full stops
- 100% viewfinder coverage vs. 95%
- Larger LCD screen: 3.2" vs. 3.0"
- Higher burst rate/larger buffer: max 9 fps, up to 17 RAW vs. 5 fps, up to 6 RAW
- Slightly smaller/lighter: 4.6 x 3.5 x 2.4" (115.6 x 89.2 x 60.6mm), 15.1 oz. (427g) vs. 4.82 x 3.65 x 2.75" (122.4 x 92.6 x 69.8mm), 15.98 oz (453g)
- Wider operating range: 14-104°F / -10-40°C vs. 32-104°F / 0-40°C
If you want a compact camera with a traditional optical viewfinder, there's only one choice in this comparison – get the Rebel SL2.
Note, of course, that I didn't list the optical viewfinder (OVF) or the electronic viewfinder (EVF) as an advantage for the respective cameras above;
both have advantages and disadvantages
compared to the other, so your needs and shooting preferences will ultimately determine which type of viewfinder is right for you.
While those photographing fast action may appreciate some of the M5 advantages over the SL2, the SL2's OVF implementation is better-suited for tracking action while capturing a burst of images.
If you want to create videos with your new camera, both feature Movie Servo AF via Canon's Dual Pixel CMOS AF sensor technology, but only the SL2 offers selectable IBP standard and IBP light encoding as well as a vari-angle LCD screen.
Those creating HDRs through manual exposure bracketing will appreciate the SL2's wider exposure compensation range (although the auto exposure bracketing (AEB) spec is the same for both cameras – 3 shots up to +/- 2 stops).
For those who tend to occasionally forget to pack important items in their gear bag, an advantage of the SL2 is its native compatibility with all of Canon's EF, EF-S, TS-E and MP-E lenses (no adapter required).
Those needing to control larger lenses on their camera and those actively using the camera for substantial time periods will appreciate the SL2's more substantial grip.
The Rebel SL2 has one particular advantage that nearly every photographer can appreciate – a significantly lower price compared to the M5.
Who should opt for the EOS M5?
Traveling? The M5 might be the better option for you.
Two primary advantages of a mirrorless system are reduced size and weight.
While the size and weight differences between these two models are likely not as significant as you might expect, the EOS M5 delivers on both counts.
It is the lightest and most compact in this comparison.
EF-M lenses are generally smaller and lighter than their DSLR-compatible counterparts, and the size and weight savings becomes more significant as your kit grows.
However, the relatively small number of EF-M lenses (especially those with wide apertures) may prove limiting for some types of photography and
if more flexibility is required, the EOS M5 is compatible with all EF, EF-S, TS-E and MP-E lenses when paired with a Canon EF-M Lens Adapter
Anyone valuing more AF points, a larger AF point spread, faster burst rate, larger buffer and wider operating range will be attracted to the EOS M5.
When it comes down to it, both of these cameras are smaller and lighter than traditional APS-C DSLR cameras, yet offer the same great image quality you've come to expect from such cameras.
With an advanced AF system and the ability to use a wide range of lenses (with an adapter), the M5 will prove to be a compelling choice for many.
However, adapting lenses made for DSLRs arguably negates much of the "reduced size and weight" advantage of owning a mirrorless camera and the SL2, with its more substantial grip, permits better, more comfortable control over the camera.
Of course, if (or more likely, when) Canon fills out its EF-M lineup offering lenses similar to its EF/EF-S offerings, the size and weight advantages of its mirrorless range will likely be much more significant.
For those that prefer a traditional optical viewfinder, desire a vari-angle LCD or simply want a more compact (and affordable) DSLR, the Rebel SL2 checks all those boxes with a native-mount lens lineup that is sure to meet your needs without the need for an adapter.
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