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Canon M50 Mirrorless Camera Review

What’s up guys, Sagi here and welcome to another Tech Gear Talk. Today we’re going to check out the Canon EOS M50 which is the first entry-level mirrorless camera from Canon to offer 4k video. We’re going to talk about why this is a very nice mirrorless camera for beginner photographers, and for vlogging and creating YouTube content in general.

The M50 is Canon’s newest mirrorless camera and it’s nice to see that they are continuing to develop this line. Mirrorless cameras have been growing in popularity because of how light and portable they are.

This camera has some really nice specs and features but there are also some limitations that you should be aware of, especially if you’re going to use it for vlogging, so make sure you watch the more in-depth explanation.

There is also a crazy good deal going on right now that I’m going to mention at the end of video so make sure you check it out. If you’re thinking of getting this camera, you should buy it right now, end of story, you won’t get a better price.

My goal with every product review is to give you a detailed overview of the product features in a way that relate to real life use. If you find it helpful please let me know by giving it a like and hitting the subscribe and notification buttons for more camera and tech reviews.

I’m going to get into details for each aspect of the camera but I’ll start out with some overall key features.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The M50 has a  24.1MP APS-C CMOS Sensor, it uses Canon’s super nice Dual Pixel autofocus system
  • It has the brand new DIGIC 8 processor which improves speed and performance as well as image quality.
  • It has a 3” fully articulating touchscreen LCD and can shoot video at up to 4k at 24fps.
  • Combination IS uses 5-axis digital image stabilization with lens-based IS
  • There is a really nice OLED Electronic Viewfinder
  • it has Wi-Fi with NFC and bluetooth so that you can easily move images to your mobile device
  • and one of the things I’m most excited about is the fact that you now have full control the camera for both photography and video using the Canon Camera Connect app. And I’ll get to that towards the end of this video.

I’ve been waiting for months to get my hands on this camera, so I’m really excited for this review.

I did do a live unboxing and Q&A session, so  if you’re interested in seeing it, I’ll link to it from the up in the corner and from the description.

Again, I just love seeing that Canon is continuing to develop the M line so let’s jump into the features in a little more detail.

SENSOR SIZE AND PROCESSOR

The M50 comes with a really impressive 24.1MP APS-C CMOS sensor which Canon says is the same sensor that is used on the M5, M6, 100 and several Canon DSLRs. I think this size sensor is outstanding for entry-level mirrorless cameras because you’re getting great performance without breaking the bank.

In general the bigger the sensor the better it is. Bigger sensor means better image quality because it’s able to use more information to create an image with more detail and better dynamic range.

This APS-C sensor is excellent if you’re shooting landscape, doing street photography, if you want to take it with you while you travel or even just do family and lifestyle photography. It’s also a great choice for creating video for YouTube or if you’re just a hobbyist. It’s going to give you really nice and crisp video and of course Canon’s color science is fantastic.

That was the sensor, let’s talk a little about the processor. Here, Canon introduced the new and improved DIGIC 8 processor which should give the the M50 a leg up on all of its predecessors. Together with the nice sensor, you’re going to get  sharper images and video and better low light performance. The DIGIC 8 also makes the camera really fast to operate. The M50 is very nice and responsive for both video and stills.

General menu operation is fast, it has a very quick startup and things like Image preview and video playback again are very fast. For photography, the DIGIC 8 allows the M50 to have 7.4fps burst, or continuous, shooting with continuous autofocus. If you’re shooting with single shot autofocus you can go up to 10fps. The difference there is that with continuous autofocus, the M50 will re-aquire focus for each exposure, with single shot AF, it will use the focus from the first frame for the rest of the images.

Most of the time you’re going to want it to be continuous to make sure that all of your images are as sharp as possible. So you can just hold down the shutter and the camera will just keep firing. This is a nice feature if you’re photographing kids running around, if you’re as a sporting event, or any time when you’re shooting any fast moving subjects.

From a video standpoint, the DIGIC 8 is what makes the M50 to shoot at up to 4K at 24 fps.

RESOLUTION AND FRAMERATE

Next I want to talk about resolution and framerates. For video, the M50 can do 4k video at 24fps and FULL HD, 1080P at 24, 30 and 60 fps.And this comes down to what kind of look you prefer to have for your video. If you like a more cinematic look, you can go with 24fps and if you like a sharper more crsip look you can shoot at 60fps.I shoot most of my videos, including this one at 30 frames per second. If you edit your videos at 30 fps like I do, you can play your 60fps footage at 30fps and you can slow things down by 50%.

If you want to do additional slow motion, the M50 does have an HD or 720p option for shooting at 120fps. This lets you slow things down even more, but you are giving up on some resolution.I mentioned that the M50 can shoot 4k at 24fps which is great, and is something that is missing from many of the Canon cameras, but I need to tell you about some limitations.

The first one is pretty obvious, you only have the option for 24fps, so I any footage that I show you in this video will have to be interpolated to 30fps. And of course there is no option for 60fps, but I don’t really expect that at this price.

The other super important thing is that for 4K, the M50 doesn’t use the entire sensor, meaning that it’s only using a windowed or cropped portion of the sensor. That means that there is an additional 1.6x crop factor when you’re shooting in 4K which is going to be an issue for vloggers who want to shoot handheld, or are in more confined spaces.

Let me explain this in a little more detail for those of you who are unfamiliar with crop factor. The APS-C sensor already has a crop-factor of 1.6 which means that the 15-45mm kit lens I’m using in this video has 35mm equivalent focal range of 24-72mm.  That means that instead of being able to shoot as wide as 15, you are getting 24mm at the widest point.

Now, if you’re shooting in 4k, you have to apply an additional 1.6x crop factor which now makes this lens a 38.4-115.2mm which is going to be great for portraits and for talking head video, but not so great for when you’re trying to hold the camera at an arm’s length, or when you’re in a tight room.

We’ll get into some additional lens options later on in this video which will help alleviate some of this, and let me know in the comments if this is something that is important to you. I always like to mention that when it comes to these types of features, you should ask yourself things like do you really need 4K? Can you even reasonably edit 4K footage on your existing machine?

It’s one of those terms that gets thrown around and you should just ask yourself how important is 4K resolution at this stage.

LENS OPTIONS

Alright, let’s move to lens options. The M50 uses Canon EF-M lens mount and the kit I got has a 15-45mm F3.5-6.3 with Image Stabilization. What’s really nice about buying Canon cameras is that there are a lot of lens options. So if you want to go even wider, you can pick up an 11-22mm lens, there is also a 55-200 if you want to be able to zoom in more and shoot objects that are farther away.

Also, Canon and other companies make adapters that let you attach EF and EF-S mount lenses to any EF-M mount camera like the M50. And that opens up the lens options to an even larger selection. One thing to remember is that because the M50 has an APS-C sensor, and not a full frame sensor, there is a crop factor of 1.6x. Which means is that you have to take the focal lens on the lens and multiple it by 1.6 in order to get the 35mm equivalent.

For example, this lens is a 15-45, which when I multiply it by 1.6 actually makes it a 24-72. What it means is that at 15mm this is not as wide as a 15mm lens would be on a full frame sensor camera, but it’s the same as a 24mm lens on a full sensor camera. This is when you’re shooting photos or full HD, or 1080P, video or when you’re taking pictures.

When you’re shooting 4K, there is an additional 1.6x crop factor Meaning that wide angle lens like the 11-22mm, it will become a 28 – 56mm which is not bad, but definitely not as wide as some people would want. On the other hand though, the 55-200mm will become a 140 – 512mm which is a pretty insane telephoto lens.

The important thing is that you have options and you’re not stuck with a fixed lens. That lets you buy a camera with maybe only one lens now, but then continue to build on this camera body as your needs change.

CONTINUOUS AUTOFOCUS

Alright, next, let’s talk about continuous autofocus. This is something that you’re not going to want to overlook when choosing a camera. And the good news is that the M50 uses Canon’s Dual Pixel autofocus which I absolutely love. This is an area where Canon make a significant improvement. The M5 for example has 49 AF points, whereas the M50 has 143 AF points. That’s almost triple the amount and now covers a much larger portion of the sensor.

This is definitely one of the best autofocus systems out on the market at any price point. With eye-detection, it does an super nice job at identifying and tracking faces as they move throughout the frame. And even as the person gets closer and farther away from the camera, the dual pixel AF has no problem keeping them in focus.

For video, that’s super important when you’re vlogging and walking around with the camera. You can always set your focus manually and lock it, but as you’re walking around, the camera moves, you don’t stay in exact same distance away from the camera, then your arm gets tired so you switch to your other arm. A lot of people don’t realize is how much these little movements of the camera can affect focus.

Like I’ve said in the past about Canon cameras that use this system, the dual-pixel continuous autofocus system crushes it! One again, you can seriously just forget about focus altogether. You can just click on your face (even though it will auto-detect it) and then watch it follow you and automatically adjust the focus. It’s so cool.

For the purpose of creating YouTube content, I think good continuous autofocus is definitely a feature that you’re going to want.

Another thing I can do is click on different items in the screen I can easily change focus. So I can get a really cool transition where in my video I talk about one thing and then want to shift the viewers’ attention to something else, I can bring it into focus. I don’t need to worry about pulling focus, or messing around with the focus ring, I just click and the focus changes.

Look at how fast it does this, and there is no hunting for focus. Which is when things keep coming into and out of focus because the autofocus system can’t quite identify what it should be zoning in on. There is none of that junk with the dual-pixel system and I can’t say enough nice things about it.

I do want to point out one thing that was disappointing to me and that is the the dual pixel AF does not work when you’re shooting in 4K. Instead the M50 uses contrast detection to maintain focus. It doesn’t do a bad job, but it’s not as good as the dual pixel.

For photography, you can still use the dual-pixel system if you want to frame your image and set focus and take pictures using the LCD display. And, if you want to use the really nice OLED EVF, you can STILL use the lcd display to set and change focus while shooting.

What’s really nice about Touch & Drag autofocus is that while you’re looking through the viewfinder, you control the focus point with your left thumb on the screen. So you never have to take the camera away from your face, you can reframe your shot, reselect the focus point and shoot. It’s really convenient. This wasn’t a feature that was enabled by default so I created a video to show to to enable and use it. (Shooting Settings, 4, Touch & Drag AF Settings)

So if you want to use the rule of thirds, for example,  and don’t want your subject in the middle of the frame, you can just move the point of focus off center to the one-third line on either side, then you can set focus and take the pictures without having to re-frame.

Without this kind of system you’d have to get the focus with your subject in the center, then re-frame it on the one third line and take the shot. And if you wanted to take 4 shots, you’d have to keep doing it over and over. With these nine points, you can just set it one time and then keep shooting.

And the most important part for me here is speed. I’m not wasting time messing around with different settings, it’s all right at my fingertips.

AUDIO

Something else that I love about the M50 for video is that it has a 3.5mm mic input. That’s a great  feature if you want higher production value because it allows you to use an external mic instead of the one camera one.

So I can easily connect a shotgun mic and you’re all set!. This a really nice compact setup, it’s light, you’ll get great video and great audio, it’s just perfect for vlogging, shooting talking head video and really anytime where you want more directional sound pick up, instead of an omnidirectional microphone that will pick up sound from everywhere.

And because the screen articulates to the side, you can mount the mic right on the hotshoe without the need for any type of bracket. There are a lot of outstanding microphone choices and I’ll put links in the the description to some of my favorites. Now as far as using a lavalier microphone, I can use a wired lav if I don’t mind being tethered to the camera.

Or I can even go wireless if I want. I can connect my Sennheiser AVX with an XLR to 3.5mm adapter to the camera and now I’m getting a lav mic that is wireless so I don’t have to worry about being attached to the camera, and I can always put it down and step back and the mic is still on me.

That lets me quickly move from one type of shot to another without switching mics. I can walk around hand holding the camera, then put it down and step back, and now because of the dual-pixel autofocus and the fact that the mic is on me. I’m completely wireless and I have nothing to worry about. I’ll always be in focus and the the audio will sound great.

SIZE, WEIGHT, BUILD

Next let’s talk about the size, weight and build quality of the M50. We know it’s a mirrorless camera, so it’s already going to be small and light. And that’s true for both the body itself and the lenses. Even with the kit lens it’s still only a little over a pound which is really great for how powerful this camera is.

Canon added a nice OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) and a grip to the M50. Without those it would be the same size as the M100. The EVF is really nice to have especially when you’re taking photos outside because it eliminates any problems you might have when it’s super bright and it may be more challenging to see the screen.

The body itself is made entirely of composite material but it doesn’t feel cheap. This grip is nice and deep for a mirrorless and there is rubber all over it so it fits very securely in my hand. I really like having a grip like this on a camera I’m going to use without a strap. Some smaller cameras don’t have one and I always worry about dropping them.

SELFIE SCREEN/TOUCH SCREEN

Let’s talk a little about the screen. The M50 has a fully articulating 3” touch screen which Canon calls the Vari-Angle. This is an absolute must for vloggers and youtubers and is a really nice feature to have regardless. If you’re behind the camera you just flip it and then lock it into place. If you’re in front of the camera, you can have it open on the side so you can see yourself .

You can also have it face up if you want to work with the camera on a tripod on at waist level and then finally, you can even have it pointed down if you’re doing overhead shots. If you are shooting and holding the camera up in the air, you can have it pointed down and that also works for overhead shots.

It’s a full touchscreen so you can control the menu using the touch screen and change various settings and in the camera. Of course, as part of the dual-pixel autofocus system, you can touch anywhere on the screen to set focus. When you’re shooting photos you can either use the screen in liveview and then tap to focus and shoot. The screen is nice and bright and worked great for me indoor and outdoors.

One last thing that I want to point out about this articulating screen that is nice when comparing it with a flip up screen like on a G7 X Mark II or an M50 is that the screen does not interfere with the hotshoe if you want to mount an external mic.

On cameras with a flip up screen, you have to mount an external mic somewhere to the side, or you won’t be able to see the screen. Here, because the screen is on the side, you can mount the mic on top of the camera so you have a more compact rig.

CANON M50 WIFI/BLUETOOTH/NFC

Next let’s talk about connectivity options and this is an area where Canon made  HUGE UPGRADE.

Like many of the other Canon cameras, the M50 also has built in Wi-Fi with NFC (Near Field Communication) which lets you use the Canon camera connect app to, pair the camera with a smartphone or tablet so you can wirelessly share images and movies. This is awesome for when you’re doing a shoot and maybe you took some stills that you quickly want to post to your Instagram or Facebook profile, you can quickly transfer them to your phone and post them. So why did I say that there is such a huge upgrade? Because finally Canon enabled remote shooting and full control for both images and video.

If you’ve seen my review of the Canon M6 you know that I was frustrated by the fact that I could only shoot stills using the app, and I couldn’t start or stop video with it and definitely couldn’t change any of the settings with it. .

When I vlog or anytime when I’m in front of the camera, it’s great to be able to control the camera using the app. Canon took all that feedback and now you can control everything you want from the app!! Resolution, framerate, focus mode and point, aperture, shutterspeed, ISO, white balance, audio settings, I’m super pumped about this.

That’s huge when you’re working alone, you can literally use your phone as a remote monitor. There is a slight delay but it’s an awesome feature and one that I use all the time.

Canon M50 Skill Level

Let’s talk a little about the skill level of this camera. If you’ve gotten this far in the video, you know that even though the M50 is designed to be an entry-level mirrorless camera, there are a lot of features that make it a great choice for both beginners and advanced users.

For more advanced users, there is a ton of manual control that you can have for both video and photography.And for beginners, you can put everything on Auto to start with, and then slowly learn how to use the other modes. This way, as you learn more about photography, you don’t outgrow the the camera.

Canon M50 Additional Features

I also want to talk about other features that this camera has that may help you make a buying decision.

First I want to talk about image stabilization. The M50 uses a combination of built-in 5-axis digital image stabilization and optical lens-based image stabilization to minimize camera shake and produce sharper images and video when shooting handheld.

Remember that this is meant to help but isn’t going to produce results like the ones you would get from a 3-axis gimbal. I’ll put some links in the description to some gimbals that I think would work well with the M50.

Next, I already mentioned this before, but Canon included a really nice OLED electronic viewfinder. For example, if you wanted to add an EVF to the M6, you’d have to spend an extra $200. I know that a lot of photographers prefer using an EVF for portraits and it’s also a great feature for when it’s really bright outside.

Next I want to talk about timelapse. Not only can the M50 can do in-body timelapse, it’s also super easy.There are three specific timelapse scenarios built in (fast, slow, slower subject movement) which will automatically pick the right settings for your timelapse shot.

If you want a little more control, there is also a Custom which gives you full control. you just select an interval in seconds, that’s how long between each shot, how many shots you want the camera to take, and whether you want auto exposure to be used on the first image and then remain the same, or if you want the camera to use auto expose for each picture.

Once you select these settings the camera will show you how long it will take to shoot, and how long the final timelapse video will be.I will do a dedicated video to walk you through different types of timelapses so make sure you subscribe and hit that bell so that you get notified when it’s published.

For photography, the M50 has a nice pop-up built-in flash, you just pull it up and it’s activated. It’s small but works nicely for a built-in flash on this size camera.

Should I buy the Canon M50

Ok, so I think the M50 is a great choice for you if you’re a beginner and are looking to step into the mirrorless camera space. It’s a great camera  vlog, create video for YouTube and also if you want to have a really nice camera for photography.

The APS-C sensor and the DIGIC 8 image processor are a great combo and give you very nice  results in low light. You can shoot 4K at 24fps, and Full HD or 1080P in up to 60 FPS which also lets you do slow motion at 50% if you edit your videos in 30fps. The ability to have interchangeable lenses is really nice. There are plenty of EF-M options from Canon and other manufacturers and you can start out with one lens and then add to your kit as your needs change or grow.

The dual-pixel autofocus is amazing. It’s fast, reliable and does a great job at tracking faces and moving subjects through the frame and is perfect for both photography and video. I’m super happy about the mic input which lets me connect an external microphone to the camera and get much fuller audio without have to separately record it and then sync it in post production.

The articulating, or Vari-Angle, screen is also a fantastic feature that I think anyone shooting stills or  video is going to appreciate.

It’s super small and portable and it a great option for photographers that don’t want a bulky and heavy camera with them. The size and particularly the weight are perfect YouTubers and vloggers who want to be on the move with the M50. It’s crazy light but at the same time has nice build quality, a very secure grip and an excellent electronic viewfinder.

You can use Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to easily move images from the camera to a mobile device and I’m super excited the Canon camera connect app now gives you full control over both photography and video features. Although it’s targeted at beginners, there are a ton of features and manual settings that more advanced users are going to appreciate.

And finally we talked about built-in image stabilization the timelapse mode that lets you easily get timelapse movies with just a couple of clicks.

The body alone sells right for $779 and the kit with the 15-45mm lens is $899 which is a great deal because the lens on its own is $299, so you’re saving $180 if you buy the kit.

I’ll put links in the description because there are always specials and discounts and the links will be automatically updated with the lowest pricing.

I mentioned a crazy good deal that’s going on right now. You can get the Canon M50 Creator kit for $749. You can the body, the 14-45mm kit lens, a Rode VideoMic GO and a 32GB SDHC Memory card. Seriously, if you’re thinking about getting this camera, click the link in the description and buy it now.

The body alone is on Sale for $629 and the body with Kit lens are on sale for $699.

I really hope I was able to give  you a good overview of the Canon M50.  If I did, please let me know by giving this video thumbs up, tweet it, share it, and if you haven’t yet, hit that subscribe and notification buttons.

You can also find me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @techgeartalk.

Good luck and see you soon.

Buy the Canon M50 Camera (updated):

BEST DEAL: CREATOR KIT
Canon M50 Body only
Canon M50 Kit used (for review) in video

Great Additional Canon M50 Len Options:

Canon EF-M 11-22mm
Canon EF-M 55-200mm

Microphones for Canon M50:

Rode VideoMicro Compact On-Camera Microphone
Rode VideoMic Pro
Rode VideoMic GO
Rode VideoMic Pro Plus

My favorite 3-axis Gimbals for smaller Camera:

Moza Lite 2
Ikan MS-PRO Beholder 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer
Zhiyun-Tech Crane v2 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer
Beholder DS1 Handheld Stabilizer 3-Axis Brushless Gimbal

Comments

  1. Besides A canon adaptor what other brands perform as good to expand the lense range?

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