Canon’s new mirrorless camera is like an M5 in a smaller (and cheaper) body

Canon has announced a new mirrorless camera called the M100. If you were expecting a break from the “small brick” design that Canon uses for all but one of its mirrorless cameras… you must be new here. This is a simple, $599 (with a kit lens) followup to the two-year-old M10, through and through. But with a similar makeup to the M5, which is decidedly Canon’s most exciting mirrorless camera, the M100 might be a little more than meets the eye, as well as an affordable way to ease into Canon’s slow-growing M lineup.

The M100 gets spec bumps across the board from the M10 — some slight, some significant. The most notable is that the M100 uses a bigger 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor, and Canon’s DIGIC 7 image processor, which means it’s basically got the same guts as the M5. That’s good! I loved the images that the M5 captures when I reviewed the camera this past winter — even if the rest of it felt outdated. Offering something similar at a lower price point is definitely a good thing, even if it’s not a revolution. (Of course, Canon already did this with the slightly more robust M6, which now sits between the M100 and the M5.)

The M100 also gains the ability to shoot 1080p video at up to 60 frames per second, and it can rifle off still frames at about 6.1 fps. It uses Canon’s Dual Pixel autofocus system for what should be fast focusing, too. The M100 also has Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth connectivity. Aside from 4K video, it has all the things you’d expect from an entry-level camera — except maybe for a good selection of lenses. Canon’s still working on building out the EF-M lenses, and your best bet is to buy the $200 adapter that lets you fit the company’s EF and EF-S lenses to its mirrorless cameras. (For what it’s worth, though, I found the 15-45mm kit lens that comes with the M100 to be pretty good at the widest angles when I used it with the M5.)

The M100 is slimmer and lighter than the M10 and the M6, and honestly, that’s really the draw here. If you like what the M5 or M6 can do, but don’t have around $1,000, or aren’t a fan of those body styles, the M100 is basically the same camera on the inside. Sure, there’s no electronic viewfinder. You’ll be using a 3-inch, tilting touchscreen instead. And there are fewer manual controls. That makes it, perhaps, a more approachable camera to a photography newbie. But it’s also a way to sell similar components in a new package — something Canon really loves to do these days.

The M100 will be available in black or white starting in October.

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