Price, full specs and features (September 4, 2022) at Smartphone City

For many of us, smartphones seem to have replaced high-end cameras as they become more beastly and portable every year. However, as good smartphone cameras can get, they can’t always be pitted against professional cameras. The control you get when using a professional camera remains unmatched compared to smartphones. Canon is quite a popular name in the camera market and is better known for its EOS range. The EOS lineup has seen steady growth in India. While DSLRs have their own hype, the EOS M series has a different charm. We’ve used the Canon EOS M6 and the M3 (for a short period of time) and found it worth the price, much better than many of those two- and three-camera smartphones. And this year Canon has added a new member to the lineup: EOS M50.

This new mirrorless camera hit the Indian coast in April this year and costs Rs 61,995 when you buy it together with the EF 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens. Canon claims to have improved the video recording function with the M50 along with a lot of other enhanced features. So we tried out the new mirrorless camera for a few weeks and here’s our review.

Design

Canon EOS M50 plays on the same design as the rest of the EOS M series, so you won’t be in for many surprises there. The camera has the well-known sleek design with a rotating screen. As much as we like the compact look, we still found it a bit difficult to get the right grip. Nevertheless, it is compact and takes up less space in your bag. Compared to the EOS M6, the M50 is a tad heavier at almost 400 grams (including battery and microSD card), but that won’t be a problem for most users.

The overall look and design are more on the premium side, as has been the case with other EOS M mirrorless camera series. From buttons to grooved rotating dials to the case, everything is black and gives the M50 an unobtrusive look. Plastic dominates the construction of the camera, but also ensures that the device feels robust.

You get almost everything in terms of functionality, a control button like the one present in the M100, an electronic viewfinder that was missing in M6, hotshot, mode dial and more. You also get a customizable function button along with the usual dedicated shutter release and video recording buttons.

There’s also a 3-inch LCD touchscreen that rotates up to 180 degrees and extends out sideways, something that makes life easier for vloggers. The battery and SD card slot are both on the bottom and can be accessed with just one slot like other M-series mirrorless cameras.

While the design blends in with the rest of the lineup and lacks out-of-the-box functionality, it still looks attractive. But as we all know, the design is just a small part of the package. A lot of it depends on how the device performs.

Performance

Canon EOS M50 is something that will not be the first choice of a casual photographer. It’s made for those who are serious about photography, but isn’t as feature-rich as a high-end DSLR. It could potentially be a good alternative to a mid-range DSLR, but with some sacrifices in features.

The camera has a 24MP CMOS sensor on board and snaps images in the usual 3:2 aspect ratio. You also get a Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus system that quickly and accurately tracks the subject while shooting videos. Some of the autofocus modes you get here are Face+Tracking AF, Zone AF, and 1-point AF.

Shooting was a joy with the Canon EOS M50. The 24MP sensor does a great job of replicating colors, something Canon has perfected over the years. The dynamic range of pixels is good because one can brighten up dark images a few more stops without seeing a lot of noise. There’s no doubt that the resulting images are super sharp, a credit to those 143 autofocus points that work in tandem with the Dual Sensing image stabilization system. However, the latter feature is not available on all compatible M50 lenses.

It’s worth adding that, after using CR2 for over a decade, Canon has now switched to CR3 for RAW images. CR3 introduces the compressed RAW or C-RAW format that is just as good as the regular RAW image, but weighs less with minimal quality deviations. If you like to use the RAW format, you can use C-RAW for everyday use.

The Canon EOS M50’s ISO values ​​are decent, but nothing to raise eyebrows. The mirrorless camera has an ISO range of 100 to 6400 in Auto mode and can go up to 51200 in P mode (extended). The noise is minimal when shooting at night. You hardly notice it on a large screen. Some of the silhouette shots we took with the M50 turned out really nice. Blacks are intact and the halo effect was nothing that should be a problem. However, zooming the image on a large screen will show some smoothness as the processor tries to hide the noise. But this is only for those who really strive for perfection.

The overall quality of the image appears to have improved slightly, but may not be immediately apparent to many. The M50 is also the company’s first to use the Digic 8 processor. While the difference isn’t immediately noticeable, comparing the zoomed-in image quality to that of the EOS M6 will show some improvement in the M50. The color reproduction is good with red, green and blue showing fine.

The video performance of the Canon EOS M50 is also above average. The camera records in MP4 and H.264 formats in three different resolutions: 4K (3840×2160 pixels), Full HD (1920×1080 pixels) and HD (1280×720 pixels). As for the frame rates, the camera can record 4K video at 24fps, Full HD videos at 60fps, 30fps, and 24fps, and HD videos at 120fps and 60fps.

One of the drawbacks we noticed with 4K video recording was that the camera disables the Dual Pixel autofocus system, missing a certain level of video stability. We don’t know yet what made Canon make that decision, but it won’t be appreciated for a video maker. The second drawback is that as the video resolution increases, the coverage area gets cropped.

Speaking of quality, most users will find the videos good enough to run almost anywhere. But if you’re a professional videographer, you might not like it quite right. The 4K video quality may seem decent to regular customers, but those who zoom in and put it against an advanced DSLR will see the video a little smoother. We tested the video with the M50’s own sibling, EOS 5D Mark IV and Lumix GH5 (just for the sake of it) and liked them better.

The autofocus in videos works perfectly on moving subjects. Jumping from a subject in a close-up video recording to a distant subject is also fast and accurate. If you want a more stable video recording of moving subjects, we recommend shooting it in Full HD, as the Dual Pixel AF also plays well with the specific resolution.

There are some changes to the connectivity options of the M50, but most remain the same as previous M-series cameras. It has a new feature called Auto Transfer, which transfers JPEG images to connected smartphones and PC as it clicks. It’s worth adding that only JPEGs can work with this feature, not RAW images or videos. Nevertheless, it is only possible to send videos and other images to smartphones or PCs if they are on the same wireless network.

Also, as has always been the case, you should download the Canon Camera Connect app on your smartphones to sync it up and transfer images.

The 2.36 M-dot OLED electronic viewfinder works as expected without giving you any chance of complaining. As for the LCD screen, the touchscreen functionality is great compared to what is seen on competitors. It can be unfolded and rotated, giving the photographer the necessary flexibility when clicking images in difficult situations. It also has a touch autofocus function so shooting videos with the subject in focus is easy too.

The Canon EOS M50 performs well in terms of battery performance. The mirrorless camera runs on an LP-E12 battery and can take approximately 200 shots before it runs out. However, the battery life can be further extended if the ‘Eco Mode’ is activated. Of course, recording videos takes more power. In ideal condition, meaning you can shoot videos with the screen on and without zooming, the camera can run for about 120 minutes. It can also give a playback time of about 3-4 hours.

Some of the sample photos and videos may include: viewed here.

verdict

The Canon EOS M50 is definitely one of the better mirrorless cameras in the M series that takes care of some basic features and offers a few more tweaks. Priced at Rs 60,000, the camera fits perfectly into the lineup and we believe delivers more features for the given price compared to those in Nikon’s 1 series and Sony’s RX series. Professionals can make some reservations about the M50, but then Canon is aiming for a different target group. If you have a standard DSLR and want to upgrade to a camera with nearly the same capabilities yet a compact form factor, the EOS M50 could be one of the best cameras out there. If the budget is tight, one can also go for the EOS M6.

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