2019 Buying Guide: Best cameras for beginners
Published Nov 2, 2018 | dpreview staff
Canon EOS M100
24MP APS-C CMOS sensor | Dual Pixel AF | Flip-up touchscreen LCD
What we like:
- Excellent JPEG colors
- Dual Pixel AF offers quick focus speeds and good subject tracking
- Very compact, easy to use
- Good Wi-Fi implementation
What we don't:
- Lacks USB charging
- Autofocus can struggle in low light situations
- Limited native lens selection
The Canon EOS M100 is the company's entry-level mirrorless camera. Despite its low price, this EF-M-mount camera has a modern feature set, including Canon's well-established 24MP APS-C sensor and Dual Pixel autofocus system. It's clearly targeted toward the beginner crowd, with a simple interface and selfie-friendly touchscreen display.
The M100 weighs in at just 266 grams (9.4 oz) and fits in the palm of your hand (until you put a large lens on it, of course). There aren't a lot of buttons or dials, with Canon instead relying on the touchscreen to do the heavy lifting. Using the camera is super-easy thanks to the great full auto mode. A selfie feature lets you smooth skin and blur the background. Sharing photos is easy thanks to the combination of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
The Canon EOS M100 is just plain fun to use
The EOS M100 uses the same Dual Pixel autofocus system as other modern Canon interchangeable lens cameras. We've found it to be responsive and able to track moving subjects quite well. Having a touchscreen makes locking onto a subject easy, and you can also use it to 'rack focus' while capturing video. The M100 can shoot bursts at up to 6.1 fps (or 4 fps with continuous AF, though tracking is sub-par). Battery life is rated at 295 shots per charge, which is average for a mirrorless camera.
Image quality is near indistinguishable to other Canon models with this sensor, which means JPEGs have great color rendition and low amounts of noise. We've found JPEGs to be bit soft straight out of the camera, though some easy adjustments can remedy that. Raw files have low noise levels and plenty of detail, though its dynamic range lags behind the best of the competition.
We think it's also a safe to say that video quality will be just fine for most purposes. 4K would be nice, but Canon hasn't even made that jump on its mid-range DSLRs yet. The camera is light on manual controls, though it's nice to have audio level adjustment and the ability to use exposure compensation together with Auto ISO in manual mode.
As we stated in our full review, we find the M100 just plain fun to use. It offers some of the best image quality you can get in a camera this size, and its simple interface makes it a smart choice in the budget category. Whether you're looking to get into photography with your first 'real' camera, or looking at the M100 (and the EF-M 22mm pancake) as a pocketable second camera, you won't be disappointed.
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