The Canon EOS M200 has an unenviable position in the consumer camera market. Sporting a now fairly standard 24MP sensor and a 3-inch touchscreen, it’s an entry-level mirrorless model pitted against rivals such as the Sony a6100 and Canon’s own DSLR, the Canon 250D, as well as constant competition from smartphone cameras. It also lacks a viewfinder – a feature that advanced photographers might find untenable but younger shooters who haven’t used a traditional camera before won’t miss.
Canon EOS M200 Key Specs:
Sensor: 24.1MP APS-C
Lens mount: EF-M
ISO range: 100 – 25600
Viewfinder size/resolution: N/A
Video capability: 4K, 25 fps
Weight (in lbs): 0.66lb with battery and SD card
Size: 4.26 x 2.64 x 1.38 (in)
Memory card type: SD, SDHC, SDXC
The M200 is aiming to win over the smartphone crowd, sure, but it’s also a solid choice for enthusiastic beginners who want to take their photography more seriously. The 24.1MP APS-C Dual Pixel CMOS sensor enables phase detection autofocusing (which is in theory more rapid than contrast detection), and users can shoot in RAW mode, record 4K video, share images easily via WiFi and swap out of the kit lens for more serious Canon optics down the line.
One big selling point for this mirrorless camera is its unobtrusive size. It’s a go-anywhere, shoot-anything camera; barely larger than a full pack of cards, it slips in and out of a jacket pocket with ease. But as size is only one part of the puzzle, what is the image quality like?
We’ll delve into the performance in more detail below, but in short, the M200 is capable of producing surprisingly good, but not astounding photographs. The features might not stand out, but then neither does the price. It’s nice and easy to use, and sometimes nice is what you need.
Canon EOS M200 review: Design
- Responsive flip-out touchscreen
- Sensible button layout
- Menu display can be chosen by ability
The Canon EOS M200 replaces the older EOS M100, and on the design front little has actually changed other than a micro USB connection replacing a mini. Like its predecessor, the M200 is small, stylish, and simple. Coming in either black or white, its looks are sure to please the Instagram crowd, but the build quality is as you’d expect for the price point. It’s lightweight but feels a bit cheap, made from a polycarbonate that won’t withstand many knocks or drops.
In terms of handling, we’ve already mentioned that the Canon EOS M200 is designed for smartphone users looking to advance their image-making, and the 180˚ flip-out tilting touchscreen reflects that. The 3-inch 1,040,000-dot screen LCD is satisfyingly responsive, and just a light touch will focus a shot, make changes to settings or navigate the main menu in more detail. Touch Shutter is also an option, firing the shutter with a single touch, but this causes more misfires than is helpful.
When the screen is fully tilted up and the camera held in front of you, it does make for easy capture of vlogging content, group shots, and selfies – something this camera was born to do. As there’s no viewfinder, images have to be composed on-screen, and tilting the screen up just halfway enables you to access more creative shooting angles such as a low to the ground perspective. We found it hard to see in bright sunshine though, even with the brightness turned up to full. Another gripe is that when fully lifted, it can be hard to get your fingers at settings located on the bottom of the touchscreen. Those with larger hands might find the touch-activated controls and handling in general quite fiddly.
Delving into the design of the camera menu, the display level can be customized depending on your photographic ability. While Guided mode pares down the basic settings into Shooting, Playback, Wireless, and Function, sporting a simple white background, Standard mode looks (as the name suggests) more like Canon’s usual black and red menu and offers more in-depth options.
Because it is so quick to navigate using the touchscreen, far fewer buttons are needed on the body itself – you’ll find a power button, mode dial (to select between photo, video, and auto), a shutter button and surrounding dial for tweaking exposure settings up and down, and a backplate with Menu, playback and record. All the essentials are there, but if you’re used to having dedicated buttons such as ISO and an exposure mode dial on a more advanced camera, selecting everything from the screen slows the shooting process down.
Canon EOS M200 review: Functionality
- Fun Creative Assist mode
- Wi-Fi image transfer is smooth
- Useful pop-up flash
The EOS M200 is designed to be approachable for first-time users, and as such it shines when put into Auto mode. Here, the camera chooses all of the settings for you, and the results are pleasing enough for general use – even if they don’t encourage users to actually learn about exposure. With one tap of the LCD screen, a Creative Assist button enables newbie photographers (and the filter generation) to apply presets, add background blur, switch to black and white, and more. These effects can be seen in real-time on the LCD, and while the results are a bit rudimentary, they do make it easy to get creative shots in an approachable way.
Kit lens: Canon EF-M 15-45mm Lens
Best wide lens: Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM
Best zoom lens: Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM
Spare battery type: Battery pack LP-E12
Memory card: SanDisk Extreme SDXC UHS-I C10 Memory Card, 64GB
Lens adapter: Canon Lens Mount Adapter EF-EOS M
What the camera lacks is a viewfinder for composing images, plus a hot shoe for attaching accessories such as an electronic viewfinder or a flashgun. This isn’t surprising given its size, and what you do get instead is a pop-up flash neatly housed within the top plate, which pings up forcefully when activated via a slider switch on the camera’s side. The on/off nature of the flash is obviously easy to understand, and it’s powerful enough to capture group shots on a night out or at a family meal.
Even though this budget mirrorless camera has been designed in part for content creators and YouTubers, there are limitations when it comes to video, too. It doesn’t have an external microphone input and relies on the in-built option, and while this is adequate if you’re vlogging at home, it becomes a real limitation if you want to record footage outside in windy or busy urban environments.
Those coming to the Canon EOS M200 straight from a smartphone will welcome the image-sharing options it offers via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. From the camera’s sharing menu there are options to connect to a smartphone or tablet, use a remote camera control, or upload images to a web service. You need the free Canon Camera Connect app to transfer images, and once installed this provides a handy way to view shots on a bigger screen. The app also reduces the image resolution and converts them to JPGs first, so there’s no way to get the RAW files straight from your camera without an old-fashioned card reader.
Canon EOS M200 review: Performance
- Time-lapse movies
- Good face detection
- Low light shooting
Although at the budget end of Canon’s mirrorless range, colors in the EOS M200’s RAW files are still rich, with a characteristic warm tone. The camera also does a decent job of capturing detail, albeit with some noticeable fall-off towards the edges of the frame. The metering system is probably solid enough for those starting out, and the evaluative metering mode (that hobbyists are most likely to use) handles contrasting scenes well, with the odd exception. Battery performance isn’t bad, either – Canon lists the official capacity as 315 shots, and we probably got 200 stills plus twenty minutes of video footage over the course of a few days before needing to recharge.
While a great beginner camera in many ways, the Canon EOS M200 is best for general carry-about-town use rather than specialist genres such as astrophotography. The ISO noise handling in low light isn’t amazing; when you push the ISO to 6400, there’s a considerable loss of detail in the files without having to zoom in too far, and even at ISO 800, things look more grainy than expected. You can limit the ISO performance of the camera when used in auto mode so that it doesn’t reach higher sensitivity settings, though, which is something.
This camera isn’t designed for action or sports either, as the maximum continuous shooting speed of 6.1fps is made slower by a very short but still perceptible delay to the shutter once fired. For unpredictable subjects like pets and kids out, you’ll need them well trained to sit still for several seconds to secure a sharp capture.
Autofocus for stills (and HD video) is a more positive story. The camera’s phase-detection autofocus system locks onto both static and moving subjects quickly, and in low light, a lamp illuminates to make focusing easier. If you enjoy shooting portraits or want to capture family images, the eye-detection autofocus keeps the focus sharp on faces. Compared to the EOS M100, the number of autofocus points sees an increase from 49 to 123, which provides greater coverage if your focal point isn’t in the center of the frame.
Canon advertises the EOS M200 as a 4K video mirrorless, which is a bit misleading as the 4K footage is heavily cropped (1.6x). Because this crop uses a smaller part of the sensor, the quality of our 4K video footage was no match in sharpness for the stills image quality, particularly when shooting at sunset in low light. In 4K video mode, the focusing mode is also limited to contrast-based detection, which isn’t nearly as zippy or consistent when it comes to finding a target. On the plus side, 1080p video is uncropped, and the inclusion of a vertical video shooting format is perfect for Instagram stories.
Should you buy the Canon EOS M200?
The Canon EOS M200 is a good choice if you’re a novice photographer looking for a compact, affordable yet capable camera. With fully manual exposure modes, RAW shooting capabilities, and the optional guided user interface, it will help you to master the basics of photography without getting overwhelmed – both financially or technically.
4K video recording limitations aside, the M200 could also be part of a decent vlogging setup, especially when paired with Canon’s mirrorless camera live streaming kit. The clean HDMI output suits live streaming to Twitch or YouTube, while the flip-up angle of the LCD screen is perfect for self-portraits or group shots.
If you’re already an experienced photographer, the EOS M200 likely won’t fit the bill for what you need, unless you want a pocket-sized system to take out on occasions where your advanced camera isn’t necessary.
If this product isn’t for you
The Sony a6100 is a mirrorless model which offers a more rapid 11fps continuous shooting mode, better if you’re planning to capture moving subjects.
If you want to compose images using a viewfinder rather than an LCD screen, try the Canon EOS M50 Mark II with its 2360k dot Electronic viewfinder.
If you’re after a more advanced camera suitable for astrophotography, check out the Nikon Z6, a mirrorless camera with a super ISO range and a simple but full-featured menu.