Canon EOS M100 review
The entry-level EOS M100 is Canon's smallest, lightest camera that offers interchangeable lenses. It's offered at a competitive price, comes with great image quality that's a step up from most any smartphone under a wide variety of circumstances, and yet offers a user interface that should appear polished and approachable for smartphone users looking to get their first 'real' camera.
On the whole, we consider the M100 to be a great value and incredibly user-friendly. If you're a novice, and grow in your photography such that you find you do want to dictate some of your exposure settings, this camera also offers all the manual control you might want.
Body, handling and features
|Vibrant but not over-the-top colors continue to be one of our favorite aspects of Canon cameras. Canon EF-M 15-45mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM.
ISO 100 | 1/80 sec | F5.6
Photo by Allison Johnson
The very design of the EOS M100 encourages you to use it in 'automatic' mode, which of course, many a professional-level photographer will poo-poo.
So, let them.
In this mode, the camera does an admirable job of identifying situations such as portraits or moving subjects, adjusting exposure settings accordingly, and churning out great images.
If you're just starting out in photography, all you really need to do is turn on the M100 and start shooting. When you need to change settings, the touchscreen makes for a helpful and capable assistant. And though the M100 lacks the educational component of Canon's Guide Mode in cameras like the SL2 and T7i (a strange omission in our opinion, for a camera at this level), the M100 will still present you with context and tips on your chosen exposure mode to help you out as much as possible.
|Out-of-camera JPEG taken in full auto mode, cropped to taste. Canon EF-M 22mm F2.
ISO 320 | 1/60 sec | F2.8
The M100 feels very well-built for an entry-level offering, and is so small with the 22mm F2 pancake prime attached as to be a coat-pocketable option for those wanting to travel light. For those wanting to travel extra light, be aware that USB charging is not supported, so you'll need to bring a dedicated charger and/or extra battery or two for longer photographic excursions.
Wireless connectivity is a strong point on the M100, so you can quickly and easily share your images and experiences to your phone for sharing on social media. Additionally, being able to edit images in-camera from Raw files allows the average user far more flexibility for creative vision than even the best smartphone apps - especially when you consider that the majority of those apps only ever deal with processed JPEG files.
Performance and autofocus
|Processed and cropped to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Canon EF-M 11-22mm F4-5.6.
ISO 100 | 1/400 sec | F14
The M100 is more than fast enough for just about any casual photographic usage. It starts up quickly, focuses quickly, operates quickly, and so forth.
Maneuvering through the menus is a responsive affair, whether you use the physical buttons or the touchscreen, and the live preview on the tilting 3" touchscreen is lag-free.
Autofocus is generally excellent thanks to Canon's Dual Pixel technology. Unfortunately, you may experience some 'hunting' in low light situations, even if you're using a wide-aperture lens, like the 22mm F2 pancake. Subject tracking (What Canon shows as Face + Tracking mode) works great for grabbing single images as needed, but if you put the M100 into burst mode, the subject tracking tends to fall apart with lots of out-of-focus shots.
If you want to photograph moving subjects with the M100, it's best to use Servo AF and either '1-Point AF' or 'Smooth Zone AF' and follow your subjects yourself. Burst shooting with 'Face + Tracking' mode resulted in plenty of out-of-focus shots in our testing.
Image and video quality
|Out-of-camera JPEG. Canon EF-M 11-22mm F4-5.6.
ISO 100 | 1/200 sec | F7.1
The Canon EOS M100 offers virtually identical image quality to the higher-end EOS M5 and M6 for hundreds of dollars less; this means that dynamic range and noise levels are competitive, if not best-in-class. Noise reduction and sharpening could use some work, but with some tweaking, they're more than acceptable.
Color response in particular is a strong point on the M100, across a wide variety of situations; whether you find yourself shooting landscapes or portraits, the 'Auto' picture profile does a good job of adjusting individual parameters for the specific situation you're in.
The M100 is a great camera for casual video shooting, offering good stabilization and autofocus. Unfortunately, without 4K recording and and an input for external audio, it's a limited option for those with more serious ambitions regarding video.
|Processed and cropped to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Canon EF-M 22mm F2.
ISO 250 | 1/250 sec | F2.8
As we've said in our shooting experience, the EOS M100 is just a fun camera to use. Even for seasoned photographers, it's a freeing experience being able to use the M100 in full auto, have great image quality from the large APS-C sensor, and stuff it in your pocket when you're not using it.
For beginners, it's a no-brainer. It's one of the easiest-to-use cameras this reviewer has photographed with. The M100 won't set the world on fire with its spec sheet, but that's less important at this budget end of the market. It will simply take great pictures under a wide variety of scenarios, and places very few demands on the user while doing so. It's a camera that you just want to pick up and take with you to document your daily life.
And it's because the M100 is such an enjoyable camera to use at a competitive price, that it encourages you to bring it with you rather than letting it languish on a shelf, and that it makes taking pictures genuinely fun, it earns our highest award.
Canon EOS M100
Category: Entry Level Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLR
Ergonomics & handling
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Movie / video mode
The EOS M100 is Canon's smallest and cheapest mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, and is perfectly suited to its intended audience of smartphone users looking to step up their photography game. The touchscreen controls are polished and approachable, image quality is great, and the full auto mode works impressively well. Video and burst shooting specifications are behind the competition, but overall, the M100 is a solid camera that represents a great value in Canon's lineup.
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