Canon EOS M50

What is the Canon EOS M50?

Canon has been making cameras without a mirror for almost six years, but until now it does not seem to have been entirely convinced by the idea, avoiding making models that could compete directly with their own digital SLRs. Now, however, we have the EOS M50, and maybe things are starting to change.

Canon calls this a "higher entry level" model that is inserted in its range between the super-simple EOS M100 and the more advanced EOS M6. . It has a 24.1 megapixel APS-C sensor, a built-in electronic viewfinder and a fully articulated touch screen. It is available in black or white and costs £ 649.99 with the EF-M 15-45mm f / 3.5-6.3 zoom, or £ 539.99 single body.

The M50 uses a design similar to the company's ultra-compact EOS 200D DSLR and, most importantly, comes to the market at a similar launch price. For the first time, Canon offers beginner buyers a genuine choice between DSLR and no mirror, although there are only seven EF-M native frame lenses in the Canon line.

However, while it may seem like another digital SLR, Canon has introduced a surprising number of novelties within the modest body of the EOS M50. In particular, it marks the debut of the company's latest Digic 8 processor, making it the first Canon consumer camera capable of recording 4K video. This comes with serious warnings, but fortunately there is much more for photographers who like the EOS M50.

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 Canon EOS M50

Canon EOS M50 – Features

The EOS M50 is based on a new generation of the Dual Pixel CMOS AF sensor from Canon, which is now capable of phase detection autofocus in a wider area of ​​the frame. With a resolution of 24.1MP, it offers a sensitivity range of ISO 100-25,600 that can be expanded to ISO 51,200 if necessary. Canon says the Digic 8 processor should produce better looking JPEG files compared to previous generations.

The shutter speeds vary between 30-1 / 4000sec, with a shutter of first electronic curtain used to minimize any risk of vibration that spoils its shots. Canon has also included a silent shooting mode that uses a fully electronic shutter, the first time this appears on an EOS camera. In a frustrating way, however, it is only available from a fully automatic mode that is accessed from the SCN position on the exposure mode dial. The electronic shutter can not be selected in any other shooting mode, which feels like a missed opportunity.

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 Canon EOS M50

The measurement is handled by an evaluation system of 384 zones, with modes of spot, partial and selectable average to deal with difficult lighting situations. Continuous shooting is fast, thanks to the new processor: 10 fps with fixed focus, or 7.4 fps with focus adjusted between shots. This is very respectable at this price, and surpasses the DSLRs of similar price of the company. You can expect to shoot 10 raw frames in burst, or at least 33 JPEG, before the camera slows down.

Canon has used many of the same functions as in its DSLRs, including its Automatic Lighting Optimizer to balance shadows and lights in scenes with misleading lighting and Highlight priority to avoid trimming details in the brighter areas of the image. There are scene modes based on subjects for beginners and creative filters like Toy Camera or Grainy B & W. But you will not find many other functions that are widely available in other brands, such as an intervalometer or the automatic sewing panoramic mode.

Canon EOS M50 – Connectivity

In terms of connectivity, the EOS M50 features Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth LE, with the latter able to form a permanent connection with your smartphone using the free application Camera Connect for Android or iOS. You can choose between remote control options: a basic version of Bluetooth or a Wi-Fi-based version with live view and full control of camera settings. You can see how they look in the left and center screenshots below.

To share your photos, you can send your favorite photos from your camera to your phone while browsing the playback, or view your images on your phone and pull them through. Now it is also possible to have all your images copied automatically into your phone to share on social networks; a feature that we see more and more in all brands.

In addition, the EOS M50 can automatically synchronize files to PC or Mac computers that have Canon Image Transfer Utility 2 installed, and not just JPEG files, but raw files and videos as well. This is a great idea that I suspect that many enthusiastic photographers may find more useful than obstructing the valuable storage space on their smartphones. Unfortunately, although I discovered that it only worked intermittently with my Windows 10 laptop, and was considerably slower than just using a card reader.

Canon has also included some other Wi-Fi features that you do not necessarily see in other brands. For example, it is possible to control the camera remotely from a computer, again with full control of the configuration and a live view. You can also print your images directly on a Wi-Fi enabled printer.

By the way, the EOS M50 is not compatible with Canon's previous cable or infrared remote versions, which in effect become redundant due to the possibility of using your smartphone. instead. It can be used with the optional £ 40 BR-E1 Bluetooth remote control from Canon, but this does not add anything additional that you can not use for free with your phone.

Canon EOS M50: compilation and handling

As expected at this price, the EOS M50 is built with a polycarbonate shell instead of metal, but still feels strong enough in your hand. Canon is better than most of its rivals in the manufacture of small cameras that handle well, and has included a relatively large grip with "hooks". Well defined for your second finger and thumb. As a result, the M50 feels surprisingly safe, even when used with one hand.

The controls are well-distributed, with decent-sized buttons and easy to locate with touch when you're using the viewfinder. Of course, this is still a very small camera, and users with larger hands may find that everything is too narrow. But as the basic models go, the EOS M50 is unusually pleasant to use. Naturally, it does not handle as well as the high-end EOS M5, nor does it have the retro-tactile charisma of its closest competitor: the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III.

In terms of operation, the EOS M50 uses a single electronic dial to change the exposure setting, along with a small set of buttons that provide direct access to key functions. This is a formula that Canon has used successfully for decades in its entry-level SLR cameras, so it's no surprise to see it here again. However, he feels complacent with cameras like Fujifilm, Olympus and Panasonic that offer two-line mirrorless cameras at this level, which are invariably nicer to use.

 Canon EOS M50

Still, the EOS M5 works pretty well right out of the box. Canon has paid great attention to make it accessible to beginning photographers, with a guided user interface that briefly explains the various exposure modes, functions and menu settings. Canon's Auto + mode goes beyond offering a basic scheduled exposure: it offers new users a form oriented to the results of adjustments, with sliders to lighten or darken the image, blur the background, etc. All this works much better on the EOS M50 without a mirror than on a DSLR, since the electronic viewer displays all the changes in real time.

More experienced users can simply ignore all this and use the camera like Canon's. DSLRs. Despite its single-marking interface, the EOS M50 continues to work well, with key exposure settings relatively easy to change with the camera to the eye. By pressing the & # 39; up button & # 39; on the pad d changes the shutter speed, aperture and exposure compensation cyclically, depending on the exposure mode, while the M-Fn button on the top plate controls the ISO. Other buttons on the d-pad set the flash mode and alternate between auto and manual focus, while one on the camera's shoulder activates the focus area selection.

 Canon EOS M50

Everything else is configured with Canon quick menu on screen, by pressing the Q button to easily access the other key functions. While it is possible to change all this with the d-pad, it is much faster to use the touch screen. In fact, Canon's touch interface is one of the best on the market and, unlike many other brands, you can use it to change the menu settings, as well as explore images in playback.

When the viewfinder is used, the touch and drag of Canon AF is available to move the focus point around the frame. Many cameras now allow this, but not all work very well. However, Canon allows you to set the focus point selection to "relative" instead of absolute, which means that the involuntary contact between your nose and the screen will not reset the AF point. You can also limit the area of ​​the screen used: full screen, left or right halves, or any of the rooms. As a result, I discovered that touch AF works much better than in most other cameras. Of course, you can also select the focus point by touch when shooting with the LCD screen.

Canon has also provided great flexibility to customize the controls according to your needs. For example, you can set the "back button focus", with the autofocus initiated by the AEL control on the shoulder of the camera instead of the shutter release. In addition, six other buttons – M.Fn and video recording on the top plate, and the four d-pad buttons – can be reassigned to any of the other 20 functions.

I set the key & # 39; down & # 39; to toggle the focus on and off, and the record button to activate the depth of field preview. The latter means that you can not record video unless the mode dial is in the movie position, but as far as I'm concerned, that's not a problem.

Canon EOS M50 – Viewfinder and display

The crucial difference between the EOS M50 and Canon's entry SLRs is that it uses an electronic viewfinder instead of an optical one. This offers a number of advantages: not only is the viewer larger, but it also provides an accurate preview of the image you will get in terms of color and brightness.

 Canon EOS M50 [19659003] You can overlay a lot of useful information, such as grid lines, an electronic level, and a live histogram, including the unique RGB version of Canon. Unlike any digital SLR camera, the M50 can switch smoothly between the eye level and the LCD jack, without any difference in behavior or functionality, using the eye sensor next to the EVF. This sensor is not too sensitive, so it does not turn off the LCD screen continuously when you try to shoot at waist level.

The viewfinder itself is the same as that used in other recent models of Canon, being 2.36 million points, OLED unit of 0.39 with an increase of about 0.62x. I must say that I prefer its central position similar to SLR compared to the corner mounted EVFs in some of its competitors. The preview of the color and the exposure are quite reliable, but the screen has too high a contrast, which makes it difficult to see the details in the darkest areas. Unfortunately, this can not be adjusted; it is only possible to change the brightness.

 Canon EOS M50

Below the EVF there is a 3-inch, 1.04 m LCD screen with a fully articulated design. You can tilt up or down to take pictures at waist level or from above in portrait or landscape format, look forward completely to selfies, or even fold inward with the screen to protect it from scratches. This flexibility makes it an excellent complement to the EVF when you want to shoot at unusual angles. In a welcome improvement over the EOS M5, its color calibration closely matches that of the EVF.

Canon EOS M50 – Autofocus

The Canon Pixel Dual CMOS sensor means that each sensor pixel can be used for phase detection, allowing auto focus almost anywhere the subject is positioned within the frame. The EOS M50 can employ a maximum of 143 focus points arranged in a 13 x 11 grid, but with some lenses this is reduced to a smaller 99-dot array, in an 11 x 9 array that excludes the edges of the frame . The AF system is sensitive to -2 EV, which means that the camera will continue to focus in low light conditions.

Dual-pixel CMOS AF allows precise auto focus on off-center subjects

A new feature enabled by Digic 8 processor is eye AF detection. This is activated when face detection is activated, to focus specifically on your subject's eye. It works quite well, shows a square around the selected eye and follows it precisely as the subject moves. But it is only available in single AF mode, which means you can not use it during burst shooting.

Using the lens of the 15-45mm kit with its STM focusing motor, autofocus is all the good that you could expect: super fast, quiet and precise. However, the EOS M50 also works remarkably well with EF-mount DSLR lenses that use the Canon EOS M mount adapter from EF, again offering fast and accurate focus. A noticeable improvement over the EOS M5 is that it continues to operate in low light.

The EOS M50 was able to keep this bird in focus using an old telephoto lens with EF mount

The continuous focus also works well, thanks to the ability to use phase detection anywhere in the frame. I could even get some decent shots of herons flying towards the camera with my EF 70-300mm f / 4-5.6 IS USM for 12 years, which is quite impressive given that this lens uses a rather slow micro-USM motor. The camera seemed to reduce the frame rate to ensure that the target had time to refocus, instead of shooting independently, which is exactly what it should do.

If you need to focus manually, a range of supports is included. A peak screen can be activated in a choice of two powers and three colors (red, yellow or blue), and can be quickly activated and deactivated when assigned to a function button.

Manual focus is useful for selecting a detail in a complex scene

The enlarged view is also available; however, unlike most cameras, it is not activated by turning the focus ring; instead, you must press the focus area selection button and then turn the main dial. Once you have focused, the magnified view can not be discarded by touching the shutter; instead, you must press either the AF area or the Set buttons. All this is too long, although it means that the operation remains constant between the native EF-M and the adapted EF lenses.

It is also possible to enable manual focus adjustment when the shutter button is pressed halfway after autofocus is achieved, and interestingly, this automatically makes an enlarged view appear when the focus ring rotates. But there is no way out of the enlarged view to see its full composition, without releasing the shutter button. At this point, the camera will refocus automatically, which completely cancels the point.

Canon EOS M50 – Crude CR3

A new intriguing feature of the EOS M50 is its rough CR3 format. This is capable of storing 14-bit data with the same image quality and in a file size similar to the existing CR2 format (which means that presumably it uses the same compression without loss). But it adds a full-resolution C-RAW option that saves space and promises significantly reduced file sizes. At low ISOs, I found that C-RAWs are typically 30-35% smaller than conventional raw files, depending on the scene.

I expose this image to the sky, so most of the frame was very dark in the camera's JPEG [19659044] As with the standard raws, C-RAW can be reprocessed in the camera after the shot to correct any configuration error or give a different look to your shots. Of course, you can also make the same settings when processing on a computer, such as white balance, brightness, reflections and shadows, and color profiles. They are recognized to perfection by Canon's Digital Photo Pro and the latest versions of Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom.

These conversions have great adjustments of brightness and shadows applied in Adobe Camera Raw, but there is no visible difference between RAW and C – RAW versions

I decided to shoot C-RAW routinely when I was testing the camera, to see if it had some visible impact on the quality of the image when it was processed. Even when I made some quite significant brightness and shadow adjustments, I discovered that there was no apparent penalty in the shadow noise or the hue in the highlights. It is possible that some problems really arise with really extreme settings, but I could not find any obvious reason not to use C-RAW by routine.

Canon EOS M50 – Video 4K

A highly publicized feature of the EOS M50 is Canon's first consumer camera that records 4K video, thanks to the Digic 8 processor. Unfortunately, its implementation leaves something to be desired. The first warning is that 4K is recorded using a 3840 x 2160 pixel region in the center of the sensor, which greatly increases the 1.6x field of view, or as much as 2x if it activates electronic stabilization. This makes all of your lenses look longer; for example, the kit zoom of 15-45 mm becomes an equivalent of 38-115 mm. You can see this clipping progressively tighter in the series of images below.

16: 9 still image, with 15-45 mm lens adjusted to 15 mm

Fixed 4K video frame showing vintage 1.6x

[19659062] Fixed 4K video frame showing 1.6x cutout

Fixed 4K video frame with digital IS set to Enhanced (2x crop)

Second, the camera can not use Canon's excellent Dual Pixel AF for 4K recording. It's a shame that DPAF does a fantastic job of keeping the objects moving in sharp focus while recording in Full HD. In 4K, the contrast detection autofocus is reasonably competent, but it loses focus on the subject much more easily and then takes longer to recover. So, while 4K gives visibly more detailed footage, the camera simply works much better in Full HD.

In fact, at this lower resolution, the EOS M50 turns out to be an excellent performer. It provides an attractive outlet with the same attractive color and a well-evaluated exposure as in the case of snapshots. It is possible to change the exposure settings, or focus from one subject to another, using the touch screen during recording, so that no operating noise will spoil your soundtrack.

Exceptionally at this price, you even get one in a 3.5mm stereo microphone jack to record a better quality sound. The connection of a microphone partially obstructs the rotation of the screen, but I did not find this as a problem in practice, since I can still adjust the LCD screen in a comfortable position for video shooting.

In fact, the combination of Dual Pixel CMOS AF, microphone jack, fully articulated touch screen and Wi-Fi remote control capability makes the EOS M50 look like an excellent choice for vloggers, as long as they are happy to shoot in Full HD.

Canon EOS M50 – Performance

While Canon's first mirrorless models gained a reputation for being slow, those days are gone. In contrast, the EOS M50 is a responsive and well-behaved camera that turns on quickly and reacts instantaneously to button presses and the touch screen alike. The buffer of 10 frames can be filled in a second of continuous shots, but the camera does not take long to erase the images from the card's buffer and allows you to shoot a couple more. However, I would recommend disabling the Image Review setting, as this prevents a second frame from being triggered in rapid succession in the single-image unit mode.

Monochrome images are viewed live in the viewfinder while shooting

. The camera is also quite silent, especially if you use one of Canon's native EF-M lenses with its essentially silent autofocus. If you also turn off the operational beeps, then it keeps the shutter sound. It's not the most refined you've ever heard, and noticeably louder than some of the latest super-silent mirrorless models, but it's not overly intrusive either.

In general, the automated systems of the camera work quite well. The measurement is usually close to the mark, and it is easy to judge in the viewer when you may want to darken or lighten the image and apply the required exposure compensation before shooting, aided by viewing the live histogram. The automatic white balance works very well and gets the attractive Canon color reproduction.

The Canon Automatic Light Optimizer has done a great job of lifting the details of the shadow

The Automatic Lighting Optimizer does a great job of matching the shadows and reflections without looking artificial. As a result, the EOS M50 offers excellent JPEGs directly outside the camera. I recommend using the Fine Detail image style, which, as its name implies, uses a more refined approach than the standard configuration to provide a better level of pixel detail.

The high ISO image quality is very impressive too, and I was satisfied with the camera's ability to generate colorful and attractive images with sensitivities up to ISO 10,000. Obviously you can not expect many fine details at this time, but the resulting images are more than enough for small copies or to share on social networks.

Canon EOS M50 – Image quality

With the EOS M50, Canon has introduced a new generation of hardware, in the form of its latest CMOS sensor 24.1MP Dual Pixel and Digic 8 processor. Interestingly, it seems that the The optical low pass filter of the camera is very weak, if it has one.

Colors stay extremely well at high sensitivities: this was filmed at ISO 8000

Canon also seems to have refined its approach to high ISO noise reduction, employing less aggressive luminance NR in an attempt to retain more details thin. As a result, the images maintain a good level of detail with relatively high ISO settings.

Resolution

Examining our resolution graph tests, processed from scratch using Adobe Camera Raw in the default configuration, we can see that the EOS M50 resolves around 3600 lines because the height of the images is ISO 100. The alias Labyrinth-type signboard visible at higher frequencies suggests that Canon may have omitted a low-pass optical filter. This figure just drops to ISO 800, and even to ISO 6400 we can still measure an impressive 3300 l / ph. However, in higher settings, the resolution deteriorates rapidly to around 2200 l / ph at ISO 25600, before falling to 1200 l / ph in the extended ISO 51,200 configuration.

ISO 100, Raw + Adobe Camera Raw (default setting) [19659086] ISO 1600, Raw + Adobe Camera Raw (default setting)

ISO 6400, Raw + Adobe Camera Raw (default setting)

ISO 24600 , Raw + Adobe Camera Raw (default setting)

ISO 51200, unedited + Adobe Camera Raw (default setting)

Noise

Our test scene shots exhibit particularly sharp fine detail at low ISO settings, which reinforces the idea that Canon has used a very weak optical low pass filter. The quality of the image remains very well in ISO 800 too, losing only the finest details. Only in ISO 3200, the reduction of noise and noise begins to blur the details more obviously, but the color remains very well. ISO 12.800 is perfectly usable for smaller reproduction sizes, but in reality it is as high as you would like to go. With ISO 25,600, both the color and the details have deteriorated drastically, while ISO 51200 is very broad.

ISO 100, Raw + Adobe Camera Raw (default setting)

ISO 800, Raw + Adobe Camera Raw (default setting)

ISO 3200, Raw + Adobe Camera Raw (default setting)

ISO 12800, Raw + Adobe Camera Raw (default setting)

ISO 25600, unedited + Adobe Camera Raw (default setting)

ISO 51200, Raw + Adobe Camera Raw (default setting)

Why buy the Canon EOS M50?

It took a while, but Canon finally seems to be taking no mirror seriously. With the EOS M50, it delivers a very nice little camera that manages to be simple and accessible for beginners, while also offering a full degree of manual control for enthusiasts. Its excellent touch screen interface and connectivity will also attract those who previously only took pictures with a smartphone.

Fundamentally, it reaches the market at a very realistic price. Together with the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III, it is one of the best options for beginners looking to buy their first "proper" camera.

 Canon EOS M50

However, this is not so the limit of the appeal of the EOS M50; it could also tempt Canon's DSLR owners who are looking for a small, lightweight alternative that works with their existing lenses. In fact, compared to Canon's entry-level DSLR, in many ways it is a better camera. It is smaller and lighter, shoots faster, has a larger viewfinder and a much more sophisticated autofocus, and can switch smoothly between eye level and LCD shot. Its main drawback is its shorter battery life (it is definitely worthwhile to activate the Eco mode).

You should not buy the EOS M50 for its much publicized ability to record 4K video, however, like many other cameras do this better. But it is a great option to record in Full HD, with autofocus more accomplished than any of its similar price pairs.

The EOS M50 offers the attractive JPEG colors of the firm

Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of the EOS M50 has nothing to do with the camera itself, but instead the lack of vision of Canon to not Create a wide range of EF-M objectives. The basics are covered, but the alignment is remarkably short of the fast cousins ​​and high-quality zooms preferred by enthusiasts. It is possible to use adapted DSLR lenses, but it really does not make sense to plan to build a system in this way from scratch. Hopefully Canon will act together and make some EF-M goals more interesting, sooner rather than later.

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Verdict

In many ways, the EOS M50 is the best entry level EOS Canon it has done so far. Es una excelente opción tanto para principiantes como para propietarios de réflex digitales de Canon, tentados por las ventajas de sin espejo.

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