Canon M5 vs Olympus E-PL9
The Canon EOS M5 and the Olympus PEN E-PL9 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2016 and February 2018. Both the M5 and the E-PL9 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on an APS-C (M5) and a Four Thirds (E-PL9) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 24 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 15.9 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Canon M5||Olympus E-PL9|
|Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Canon EF-M mount lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|24 MP, APS-C Sensor||15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|1080/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO 100-25600||ISO 200-6400 (100-25600)|
|Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)||No viewfinder, LCD framing|
|3.2" LCD, 1620k dots||3.0" LCD, 1040k dots|
|Tilting touchscreen||Tilting touchscreen|
|9 shutter flaps per second||8.6 shutter flaps per second|
|Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|295 shots per battery charge||350 shots per battery charge|
|116 x 89 x 61 mm, 427 g||117 x 68 x 39 mm, 380 g|
Body comparison: Canon M5 vs Olympus E-PL9
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon M5 and the Olympus E-PL9 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-PL9 is notably smaller (23 percent) than the Canon M5. Moreover, the E-PL9 is markedly lighter (11 percent) than the M5. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the M5 nor the E-PL9 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.
|Canon M5»||4.6 in||3.5 in||2.4 in||15.1 oz||295||n||Sep 2016||979||Canon M5|
|Olympus E-PL9«||4.6 in||2.7 in||1.5 in||13.4 oz||350||n||Feb 2018||549||Olympus E-PL9|
|Canon M50« »||4.6 in||3.5 in||2.3 in||13.8 oz||235||n||Feb 2018||779||Canon M50|
|Canon 77D« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||19.0 oz||600||n||Feb 2017||899||Canon 77D|
|Canon M6« »||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.8 in||13.8 oz||295||n||Feb 2017||779||Canon M6|
|Canon M100« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.4 in||10.7 oz||295||n||Aug 2017||499||Canon M100|
|Canon SL2« »||4.8 in||3.7 in||2.8 in||16.0 oz||650||n||Jun 2017||549||Canon SL2|
|Canon M3« »||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.7 in||12.9 oz||250||n||Feb 2015||679||-||Canon M3|
|Canon M10« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.4 in||10.6 oz||255||n||Oct 2015||499||-||Canon M10|
|Canon T6i« »||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||19.6 oz||440||n||Feb 2015||749||-||Canon T6i|
|Canon T6s« »||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||19.9 oz||440||n||Feb 2015||849||-||Canon T6s|
|Nikon D5500« »||4.9 in||3.8 in||2.8 in||14.8 oz||820||n||Jan 2015||899||-||Nikon D5500|
|Olympus E-M10 III« »||4.8 in||3.3 in||2.0 in||14.5 oz||330||n||Aug 2017||649||Olympus E-M10 III|
|Olympus E-PL8« »||4.5 in||2.6 in||1.5 in||12.6 oz||350||n||Sep 2016||549||-||Olympus E-PL8|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||4.7 in||3.3 in||1.9 in||13.8 oz||320||n||Aug 2015||799||-||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||4.5 in||2.6 in||1.5 in||12.6 oz||350||n||Aug 2014||599||-||Olympus E-PL7|
|Olympus E-PM2« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.3 in||9.5 oz||360||n||Sep 2012||499||-||Olympus E-PM2|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The E-PL9 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 44 percent) than the M5, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
Sensor comparison: Canon M5 vs Olympus E-PL9
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon M5 features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-PL9 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-PL9 is 32 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 2.0. The sensor in the M5 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-PL9 offers a 4:3 aspect.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.
With 24MP, the M5 offers a higher resolution than the E-PL9 (15.9MP), but the M5 has marginally smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 3.76μm for the E-PL9). Moreover, the E-PL9 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 4 months) than the M5, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
The M5 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during video recording.
The Canon EOS M5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600 The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus PEN E-PL9 are ISO 200 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600..
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Canon M5»||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.4||12.4||1262||77||Canon M5|
|Olympus E-PL9«||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Olympus E-PL9|
|Canon M50« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/24p||-||-||-||-||Canon M50|
|Canon 77D« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.3||971||78||Canon 77D|
|Canon M6« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Canon M6|
|Canon M100« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.5||12.9||1272||78||Canon M100|
|Canon SL2« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.4||1041||79||Canon SL2|
|Canon M3« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.8||11.8||1169||72||Canon M3|
|Canon M10« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.2||11.4||753||65||Canon M10|
|Canon T6i« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||22.7||12.0||919||71||Canon T6i|
|Canon T6s« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.6||12.0||915||70||Canon T6s|
|Nikon D5500« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||14.0||1438||84||Nikon D5500|
|Olympus E-M10 III« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Olympus E-M10 III|
|Olympus E-PL8« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||-||-||-||-||Olympus E-PL8|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.1||12.5||842||73||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.7||12.4||873||72||Olympus E-PL7|
|Olympus E-PM2« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.7||12.2||932||72||Olympus E-PM2|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the E-PL9 provides a better video resolution than the M5. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/60p.
Feature comparison: Canon M5 vs Olympus E-PL9
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the M5 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the E-PL9 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon M5, the Olympus E-PL9, and comparable cameras.
|Canon M5»||2360||n||3.2||1620||tilting||Y||4000||9.0||Y||n||Canon M5|
|Olympus E-PL9«||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||8.6||Y||Y||Olympus E-PL9|
|Canon M50« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||10.0||Y||n||Canon M50|
|Canon 77D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||6.0||Y||n||Canon 77D|
|Canon M6« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||9.0||Y||n||Canon M6|
|Canon M100« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||6.1||Y||n||Canon M100|
|Canon SL2« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Canon SL2|
|Canon M3« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||4.2||Y||n||Canon M3|
|Canon M10« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||4.6||Y||n||Canon M10|
|Canon T6i« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Canon T6i|
|Canon T6s« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Canon T6s|
|Nikon D5500« »||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5500|
|Olympus E-M10 III« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||8.6||Y||Y||Olympus E-M10 III|
|Olympus E-PL8« »||-||n||3.0||1037||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||n||Y||Olympus E-PL8|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||-||n||3.0||1037||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||n||Y||Olympus E-PL7|
|Olympus E-PM2« »||-||n||3.0||460||fixed||Y||4000||8.0||n||Y||Olympus E-PM2|
One feature that differentiates the E-PL9 and the M5 is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The E-PL9 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the M5 has to rely on optical image stabilization in OIS-equipped lenses to achieve the same effect.Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.
The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, the E-PL9 features an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the M5 and the E-PL9 write their files to SDXC cards.
Connectivity comparison: Canon M5 vs Olympus E-PL9
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS M5 and Olympus PEN E-PL9 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon M5»||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M5|
|Olympus E-PL9«||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Olympus E-PL9|
|Canon M50« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M50|
|Canon 77D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon 77D|
|Canon M6« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M6|
|Canon M100« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M100|
|Canon SL2« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon SL2|
|Canon M3« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon M3|
|Canon M10« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon M10|
|Canon T6i« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon T6i|
|Canon T6s« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon T6s|
|Nikon D5500« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D5500|
|Olympus E-M10 III« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-M10 III|
|Olympus E-PL8« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-PL8|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-PL7|
|Olympus E-PM2« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-PM2|
It is notable that the M5 has a microphone port, which is missing on the E-PL9. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
Both the M5 and the E-PL9 are recent models that feature in their makers' current product line-up. The E-PL9 replaced the earlier Olympus E-PL8, while the M5 does not have a direct predecessor.
Review summary: Canon M5 vs Olympus E-PL9
So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon M5 better than the Olympus E-PL9 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS M5:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 15.9MP) with a 25% higher linear resolution.
- Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1620k vs 1040k dots).
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2016).
Arguments in favor of the Olympus PEN E-PL9:
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (117x68mm vs 116x89mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 47g or 11 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (350 versus 295) out of a single battery charge.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (44 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 4 months) more recently.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (8 points each). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the M5 or the E-PL9. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
Expert reviews: Canon M5 vs Olympus E-PL9
This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Canon M5»||Rec||82/100||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2016||979||Canon M5|
|Olympus E-PL9«||Rec||-||4.5/5||-||4/5||Feb 2018||549||Olympus E-PL9|
|Canon M50« »||Rec||79/100||-||-||3.5/5||Feb 2018||779||Canon M50|
|Canon 77D« »||-||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899||Canon 77D|
|Canon M6« »||-||80/100||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||779||Canon M6|
|Canon M100« »||Rec||-||4/5||-||3.5/5||Aug 2017||499||Canon M100|
|Canon SL2« »||HiRec||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549||Canon SL2|
|Canon M3« »||rev||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||679||-||Canon M3|
|Canon M10« »||-||-||-||rev||4/5||Oct 2015||499||-||Canon M10|
|Canon T6i« »||-||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749||-||Canon T6i|
|Canon T6s« »||Rec||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||849||-||Canon T6s|
|Nikon D5500« »||Rec||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||899||-||Nikon D5500|
|Olympus E-M10 III« »||Rec||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2017||649||Olympus E-M10 III|
|Olympus E-PL8« »||-||-||4.5/5||-||4/5||Sep 2016||549||-||Olympus E-PL8|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||HiRec||80/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Aug 2015||799||-||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||Rec||-||5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2014||599||-||Olympus E-PL7|
|Olympus E-PM2« »||-||77/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499||-||Olympus E-PM2|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 1D vs Nikon D1X
- Canon 2000D vs Sony A7
- Canon 500D vs Fujifilm X-A3
- Canon 5D Mark II vs Canon 1000D
- Canon 5D Mark III vs Olympus PEN-F
- Fujifilm GFX 50R vs Panasonic LX5
- Fujifilm GFX 50S vs Panasonic G85
- Fujifilm X-E1 vs Fujifilm X-A1
- Leica M8 vs Sony A5100
- Nikon D1 vs Nikon Z6
- Olympus E-P3 vs Canon G1 X
- Panasonic GH2 vs Panasonic GX800
Specifications: Canon M5 vs Olympus E-PL9
|Camera Model||Canon M5||Olympus E-PL9|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF-M mount lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2016||February 2018|
|Launch Price||USD 979||USD 549|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||17.3 x 14.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||15.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||4608 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.72 μm||3.76 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.22 MP/cm2||7.08 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-25600 ISO||200-6400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100-25600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 7||TruePic VIII|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||77||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.4||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.4||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1262||..|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||No viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||n/a|
|Viewfinder Magnification||.. x||n/a|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots||n/a|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.2 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1620k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Autofocus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||9 shutter flaps/s||8.6 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter||Electronic Shutter|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||Bluetooth built-in|
|Battery Type||LP-E17 power pack||BLS-50 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||295 shots per charge||350 shots per charge|
116 x 89 x 61 mm
(4.6 x 3.5 x 2.4 in)
117 x 68 x 39 mm
(4.6 x 2.7 x 1.5 in)
|Camera Weight||427 g (15.1 oz)||380 g (13.4 oz)|
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