The EOS M50 is Canon's latest mirrorless camera, extending its M-series range from three to four. While it has a similar silhouette to the flagship EOS M5, the M50 sits further down the range, slotting in between the entry-level EOS M100 and the more mid-range EOS M6, and is designed to appeal to those looking to upgrade from a smartphone or basic compact camera.
The EOS M50 borrows some features and ideas from existing models, but it also has a few innovations of its own – so is this Canon's most well-rounded mirrorless camera yet?
- First Canon camera to get the DIGIC 8 processor
- 4K video capture
- Improved Dual Pixel CMOS AF system
Canon EOS M50 specs
Sensor: 24.1MP APS-C CMOS
Lens mount: Canon EF-M
Screen: 3.0-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots
Burst shooting: 10fps
Autofocus: 143-point AF
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth
Battery life: 235 shots
The EOS M50 features a 24.1MP APS-C CMOS sensor, with a sensitivity range running from ISO100-25,600, which can be expanded to 51,200. Canon says this is the same sensor as in the EOS M5, M6 and M100, and that the slight difference in the number of effective pixels is due to the presence of a new image processor: the M50 is the first Canon camera – DSLR, compact or mirrorless – to feature the company's latest DIGIC 8 image processor.
The arrival of the new processor means the camera is capable of shooting 4K movie footage (up to 24fps) – something that's been lacking in a lot of recent Canon cameras. It also enables the M50 to shoot 4K timelapse footage, and allows users to pull stills from 4K footage, with the files equivalent to 8MP.
That's the good news. The bad news is that footage when captured in 4K doesn't use the entire breadth of the sensor – there's a 1.6x crop. That's going to be a little restrictive for one market Canon is directing the EOS M50 at: vloggers.
The standard 15-45mm lens is equivalent to 24-72mm thanks to the 1.6x crop factor of the APS-C sensor, but then apply a further 1.6x crop for 4K video capture and it becomes equivalent to 38.4-115.2mm – great for tight portraits, but not great for filming at arms length or in a confined space. There is the option to use Canon's EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lens, but even at its widest setting, when shooting 4K you'll only have an equivalent field of view of 28mm.
If that's a bit of a let-down, Canon's Dual Pixel CMOS AF system shouldn't be. It's a system that's always impressed when we've tested it on other models, and the arrival of the DIGIC 8 processor has enabled Canon to improve AF performance further.
Those improvements include greater coverage of the frame, while there are now 143 AF points at your disposal (the top-of-the range EOS M5 has 49 points). There's also Eye AF, which as the name suggests can lock onto a subject's eyes – useful for portraits, and handy for selfies or vlogging (provided you're not shooting 4K).
On the rear of the EOS M50 is a vari-angle touchscreen display that's hinged at the side of the body and can be pulled outwards to face a subject, while it can also be angled through a wide arc of positions to suit pretty much any shooting angle. There's also a built-in electronic viewfinder, with a 2.36 million-dot resolution that appears to equal that of the pricier EOS M5.
The M50 has a wealth of connectivity options, with Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth Low Energy all present. The latter enables a low-power, constant connection to be maintained between the camera and a smart device for seamless transfer of images.
Another first for a Canon camera is the move to the CR3 14-bit raw file format, while there's also a new C-RAW option, which creates full-resolution raw files while saving approximately 30% to 40% on the size of standard raw files.