Reviews |Hands-on Canon EOS M100 review

Hands-on Canon EOS M100 review

Canon EOS M100 review hero image

Canon EOS M100 Snap Verdict

  • Camera type: Mirrorless or compact system camera
  • Date announced: 29th August 2017
  • Price at launch: £449.99 body only
  • Sensor size: APS-C (22.3 x 14.9mm)
  • Effective pixel count: 24.2 million
  • Lens mount: Canon EF-M

As it has the same 24.2Mp APS-C format CMOS sensor as the Canon 80D (and M5) paired with the most recent processing engine (Digic 7), we can be confident that it will be a good performer in the image quality stakes. The presence of Canon’s 49-point Dual Pixel CMOS AF system is also good news and early indications are that the M100 is capable of focusing quickly even in quite low light.

  • Same APS-C format 24.2Mp sensor as the Canon 80D
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF system
  • Easy to use


  • No viewfinder built-in
  • Relatively limited lens range

What is the Canon EOS M100?

Announced on the 29th August 2017, the EOS M100 is Canon’s latest entry-level mirrorless camera and the replacement for the EOS M10. It sits below the Canon M6 which is itself beneath the flagship Canon M5 in the company’s mirrorless camera line-up. Aimed at novice photographers the M100 makes extensive use of the touch-screen for control but it doesn’t have the Guided interface that has featured in Canon’s recent DSLRs like the 200D / Rebel SL2, 800D / Rebel T7i and 77D.

Canon EOS M100 review front


Canon EOS M100 Features and Specification

  • Processor: Digic 7
  • Sensitivity/ISO range: Stills 100-25,600, Movies 100-12,800
  • AF system: Phase detection, Dual Pixel CMOS AF system with 49 points
  • Max shooting rate: 4fps with C-AF for up to 1000 jpegs, 6.1fps in S-AF for up to 89 jpegs or 21 raw files
  • Max video resolution: Full HD (1920 x 1080) at 59.94, 50, 29.97, 25 or 23.976 fps

Canon EOS M100 Review Top

As mentioned earlier, the M100 has the same 24.2Mp APS-C format sensor as the Canon 80D and EOS M5. However instead of the Digic 6 processor of the 80D, the M100 has the newer Digic 7 engine which is also in the M5.

Like other recent Canon M-series cameras the M100 has a sensitivity range of ISO100-25,600, which means that provided noise is controlled well, there’s plenty of scope for shooting in low-light.

The sensor and processor combination also enable a maximum shooting rate of 6.1fps (frames per second) but that’s when the focus is locked at the start of the sequence using One shot AF mode. If you use Servo AF mode so the camera focuses continuously, the frame rate drops to a more pedestrian 4fps.
Because the M100 is a mirrorless camera the imaging sensor is used for focusing. The good news here is that because Canon has used the 80D’s sensor there’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF system with 49 points. The Dual Pixel element means that it’s a phase detection system rather than the slower contrast detection system.

Canon has given the M100 Wi-Fi connectivity along with ‘always-on’ Low Energy Bluetooth and NFC, with of which facilitate connecting the Wi-Fi system to a smartphone using a simple pairing process.

Canon EOS M100 Specifications

Camera type:CSC
Date announced:29th August 2017
Price at launch:£449.99 body only, £569.99 with EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM, £699.99 with EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM and EF-M 22mm f/2 STM, £969.99 with EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM and EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM
Sensor size:APS-C (22.3 x 14.9mm)
Effective pixel count:24.2 million
Lens/Mount:Canon EF-M
Processor:Digic 7
Sensitivity range:Stills 100-25,600, Movies 100-12,800
Reflex AF system:N/A
Live View AF System:Dual Pixel CMOS AF system with 49 points
Max shooting rate:4fps with C-AF for up to 1000 jpegs, 6.1fps in S-AF for up to 89 jpegs or 21 raw files
Max video resolution:Full HD (1920 x 1080) at 59.94, 50, 29.97, 25 or 23.976 fps
Screen:Tilting, touch-sensitive 3-inch LCD with 1,040,000 dots
Dimensions:108.2 x 67.1 x 35.1 mm
Weight:302 g body with battery 
and memory card

Canon EOS M100 Build and Handling

  • Storage: SD/SDHC/SDXC
  • Viewfinder: N/A
  • Screen: Tilting, touch-sensitive 3-inch LCD with 1,040,000 dots
  • Dimensions: 108.2 x 67.1 x 35.1mm
  • Weight: 302g body with battery 
and memory card

Canon EOS M100 review back with exposure modes screen

While it’s not the heaviest-duty camera you’re likely to come across, the M100 feels nice in your hand. It’s made from polycarbonate (plastic) and is available in black, white or grey.

If you want to jazz things up a bit there are nine jacket colours available and unlike the camera itself, the jackets have a ridge that creates a grip. Without a jacket the front of the camera is flat but a grid-like texture on the surface helps it stay in your hand reasonably well. I’ll test this further when we get a production sample in for our full review.

The control arrangement of the M100 is like the M10’s so there’s no exposure mode dial on the top-plate. Instead a dial around the power button allows you to select between Movie, Scene Intelligent Auto or the advanced mode.

Scene Intelligent Auto mode sets the camera to select the best settings for the scene and is generally a good choice for beginners. The advanced mode gives you more control allowing you to select program, aperture priority, shutter priority or manual exposure mode via the screen. Beneath this options (you swipe up on the screen to access them) there’s a collection of selectable scene modes.

The back of the M100 is fairly spartan on the control front but in addition to the navigation pad, play and menu buttons that are found on the M10, there’s a button dedicated to activating the Wi-Fi connection. That’s useful for anyone used to sharing images quickly after shooting.

Unlike the Canon M5, but like the M6 and M10, the M100 doesn’t have a viewfinder built-in. However, the 3-inch screen can be flipped-up through 180 degrees for viewing from in-front to make shooting selfies easier. I found the screen gave a very nice clear view and the face detection system recognised my face quickly so I was soon in focus.

The touch-screen is responsive and the interface is easy to use.

Canon EOS M100 review rear screen


Canon EOS M100 Performance

The first Canon EOS M cameras delivered good image quality but they were badly let down by slow autofocusing. Happily that has been resolved with the M6 and M5 which both have a Dual Pixel CMOS AF system with 49 points. This is also present in the M100.

I was able to use the pre-production sample of the M100 in quite gloomy conditions and its autofocusing system coped well, getting subjects sharp quickly. I want test it further and see if it can deliver the goods with moving subjects, but the early signs are favourable.

Canon EOS M100 review rear screen

Canon EOS M100 Image Quality

Although I was able to shoot a few images and even make a small print from the M100, it was a pre-production camera and we’re not allowed to publish any images.

However, given what we know about the M100’s sensor and processing engine it’s reasonable to assume that it will perform to a similar standard to the M5.

We found that the M5 produces high quality images with plenty of detail at the lower sensitivity settings and although at 100% some out of focus areas can appear a little mushy, they look fine at normal viewing sizes. Noise is also keep under wraps well up to about ISO 6,400.

Our tests also revealed that the Evaluative metering system puts in the good performance we’ve come to expect from Canon cameras.

Colours from the M5 were also good in the default settings although the automatic white balance system struggles a bit under cloudy skies and the Daylight settings produces more pleasing images. It will be interesting to see if the same is true for the M100, it did a pretty good job in the mixed lighting of the press event venue.

Canon EOS M100 Review Top-plate


Canon EOS M100 Early Verdict

We’ve yet to shoot with the M100 in earnest but it makes a good first impression, being small and neat with intuitive controls plus a good quality touchscreen. The provenance of its sensor and processing engine also bode well for image quality, as do the first few prints that I saw made from the early sample cameras.

With 24.2 million pixels on its APS-C format sensor the M100 makes a significant step-up in image size from the 18Mp of the M10. Meanwhile the addition of Bluetooth and NFC make connecting the camera to a smartphone nice and easy.

While it seems odd that Canon has two different camera interfaces that are designed to meet the demands of the same audience, the M100’s interface is easy to use.

Canon EOS M100 review front of camera


Should I buy the Canon EOS 100M?

It’s little early to answer this question. The M100 feels good in the hand hand and it’s has a simple interface that will be appreciated by new photographers. It also seems to deliver snappy performance long with good image quality, but we need to verify this with more testing of a production sample.

Canon EOS M100 Review
Article Name
Canon EOS M100 Review
Canon has a new entry-level mirrorless camera, find out what we think of it after using a pre-production sample prior to its announcement
Publisher Name
Camera Jabber
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