Canon EOS M50 – Review

The redesigned model to join the mirrorless EOS M series finally looks like it’s hit the sweet spot. The M50 looks and feels like a miniature DSLR, down to the viewfinder housing on the top.

The EOS M50 is only the second EOS M model to have an electronic viewfinder; it’s the first to shoot 4K video; and it’s being sold at a pretty competitive price. This could be the EOS M camera where Canon has finally got the balance right.
The sensor is Canon’s now familiar 24-megapixel Dual Pixel CMOS AF unit, teamed up with a Digic 8 processor. The EOS M50 will normally be sold body-only or with Canon’s retracting 15-45mm kit lens.

Build and handling
The EOS M50 looks and feels very much like a miniature DSLR, right down to the viewfinder housing on the top, where a DSLR pentaprism would normally be. The top plate is pretty sparse, a reminder that this is a more beginner-orientated model. The touchscreen interface works very well indeed and responds instantly to the lightest touch. You can tap anywhere on the screen to set the focus point in an instant, or drag it around the screen with a fingertip. The 15-45mm kit lens has a retracting design which goes well with the M50’s compact body, though having to manually release the lens for shooting does become annoying.

Performance
The EOS M50’s autofocus system is so fast in most situations that it feels almost instant, but the 4K video has some limitations. One is that Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF feature is not available in this mode: the camera reverts instead to slower contrast autofocus. Another is a large quite a large crop factor in 4K mode, so that the angle of view of your lens narrows considerably. These limitations don’t apply when shooting Full HD video. Interestingly, although it should in theory have a quality advantage quality advantage over Micro Four Thirds camera rivals like the Olympus OM-D E-M10 III and Panasonic GX9, in our tests it lagged a little behind both for dynamic range and noise. Overall, though, the image quality is very good, and fine for a novice/first time audience.

Verdict
The M50 packs a lot of features and value into its compact body, and the fact it has a viewfinder when so many similarly-priced mirrorless cameras don’t is a big selling point. The retracting 15-45mm lens is a little awkward to use, though, and the 4K video mode has some limitations. Nevertheless, this is a big step in the right direction.

www.my.canon RM3,149 kit lens set

Specifications
Sensor: 24.1MP APS-C CMOS, 22.3 x 14.9mm
Memory: SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I)
Viewfinder: OLED EVF, 2,360k dots
Max video resolution: 4K UHD at 25/24p
ISO range: 100 to 25,600
Autofocus points: 143/99-point Dual Pixel CMOS AF
Max Burst rate: 10fps, 7.4fps with autofocus
LCD: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040k dots
Weight: 390g (with battery and memory card)
Dimensions: 116 x 88 x 59mm
Max image size: 6,000 x 4,000
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC
Image processor: Digic 8
Metering zones: 384

Meet the Rivals
Olympus OM-D E-M10 III (RM3,499)
The Olympus has a smaller 16MP Micro Four Thirds sensor, but is a great camera to use and delivers consistently sharp, clear images.

Panasonic GX9 (RM3,756)
It’s more expensive than the EOS M50, but the GX9 has a super-sharp 20MP sensor, powerful 4K video options and a great ‘pancake’ zoom lens.

Sony Alpha 6000 (RM2,659)
The A6000 is a powerful camera that’s been around so long its price has dropped to a reasonable level. It’s starting to date, but it’s still a great value.

Canon EOS M50 – Review