Canon has been making mirrorless cameras for multiple years, but their range has convinced not a lot of people. This was attributed mostly to the fact that they have tried to not to create competition directly with the full-fledged
DSLRs that they release.
Canon calls this model it’s “premium entry-level” model that slips into the range between Canons simple EOS M100 and the more complex EOS M6. The M50, however, uses a similar design to the firm’s more compact and defined EOS 200D DSLR. More significantly, the M50 also enters the market with around the same price as the 200D.
Thus, making it officially the first time that Canon is offering its new and upcoming buyers a more genuine choice between their DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.
Before we dive into the details of this camera, here is a glance at its key features:
- 24.1MP APS-C CMOS sensor
- 143/99-point Dual Pixel CMOS AF.
- 4K UHD at 24fps.
- LCD – 3in vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040k dots.
- Connectable through Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and NFC.
Compact and Functional Design Structure:
The EOS M50 is constructed with polycarbonate rather than a metal body shell. However, it still tends to feel a little hefty in one’s hands. Of course, this comes as no surprise as Canon is at a much higher stand amongst its competitors in making small cameras that can be handled well. This camera, too, much like Canon’s signatures, has a relatively large grip with defined grooves for your second finger as well as the thumb. This makes the M50 more secure, even when being used in a single hand.
Since the camera is comparatively compact, it can be a bit tedious to be used by individuals with larger hands, but Canon has done a reasonably well-off job in keeping the controls more spaced out.
On the backside of the camera is a small four-way controller with a central Q/SET button. Canon has thankfully not included a rotating control dial here, which works better considering this camera is meant for newbies who may accidentally spin and press at the same time – hindering their overall learning curve or just becoming a nuisance.
The four-way buttons are used as the menu and settings navigation. Still, they also can become shortcuts to the auto/manual focus setting menu, EV compensation, flash mode, and delete functions. If you press the central Q/SET button, you’ll be able to access the more common settings of a camera with icons arranged on the left and right of the screen with each icon individuals’ settings displayed horizontally along the bottom of the screen.
The M50’s touchscreen works quite well as well. It responds quite quickly to even the slightest touch. We know now that this camera is quite compact and was more worried if the icons would be a hindrance in fast access or accidental tapping, but the icon display is large enough that you don’t have to pinpoint your touch when tapping. One can tap anywhere on the screen to set the focus point in an instant, or even better, drag the focus point around the screen.
The screen is also a vari-angle, which can sometimes feel a bit flimsy. Still, this one has a firm pivot action and can be folded back in reverse so the screen can be protected against its external environment through its own body, which consists of a rear panel that is lined with a leather-like covering.
The camera also comes with eye-detection AF. This feature is activated when face detection is switched on and focuses more specifically on the eye of the subject. It works by displaying a square around the selected eye and following it accurately as your subject in frame moves. However, this feature is only available in single AF mode and, thus, cannot track focus during burst shooting.
Image Quality and Storage:
When tested in the real scenario, the camera was very capable of producing sharp, well-exposed, and balanced images. Canon also seems to have refined its high ISO noise reduction, now employing a less irritable luminance NR, which helps retain finer details in the photos. This means images are comparatively pleasing to look at in even relatively high ISO settings.
The 24.2MP APS-C sensor of the M50 delivers clean and crisp images. There should be no issues in producing a decent quality A3 sized print of the photos you capture. It can also go smaller thanks to its densely populated sensor, which allows for some pretty severe detailing.
M50 also puts in a strong performance when it comes to producing a dynamic range. While it doesn’t quite offer the same latitude as more advanced cameras, it allows for a good range of natural color and intricate detail. This goes for decent JPEGs as well as RAW files.
Any newbie exposing themselves to the M50 from a smartphone, compact camera, or old entry-level DSLR will be more than happy with the image quality. Of course, there are a couple of occasions where the camera can’t correctly capture the exposure and sometimes overexposes. But the better half is that it is swift and thus only takes a moment to check the image captured and re-click.
However, the most intriguing feature of the M50 is its CR3 raw format. This format is capable of storing 14-bit data with the same image quality and in a similar file size compared to the existing CR2 format. It promises a space-saving solution that promises considerably reduced file sized under the C-RAW option.
When shooting videos in the cameras 4K quality, the camera reverts to regular contrast-detect autofocus. This means it will refocus if your subject moves or if you change your framing. However, it takes a couple of seconds to gain focus again.
Thanks to the previously mentioned DIGIC 8 image processor, the M50 can shoot at up to 10fps in single AF mode, and at 7.4fps in continuous mode. The EOS M50 also has a built-in Image Stabilization (IS) system on it’s supplied 15-45mm lens, which works incredibly well and is a surprise as Canon doesn’t generally use in-body IS systems.
The battery life of the EOS M50 is a little disappointing. It’s just approximately 235 shots, so if you intend to shoot for an extended amount of time, you probably should invest in a second battery to capture your moments.
The EOS M50 is a good value option for beginners who want to shift into mirrorless cameras that can shoot pretty detailed stills. The video can be pretty dated compared to the other options available in the market, but with the M50’s 1.6x crop factor means it isn’t working to its most true potential when using its 15-45 mm kit lens. The alternative, of course, is to use another lens, but the lens range available for the M50 is pretty limited.
However, the biggest boon of the M50 is its highly impressive built-in electronic viewfinder. The vari-angle also sits a lot better than most entry-level cameras, especially those priced in around the same range as the M50. The touch screen interface is some of the best we have witnessed in a newbie camera, making it super accessible.
In multiple ways, the EOS M50 can be considered to be one of the best entry-level EOS cameras that Canon has made. It’s a good option both for beginners and for Canon DSLR owners tempted to indulge themselves in the advantages of mirrorless.