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Canon EOS M50 Camera Review

Tested using Methodology v0.12
Reviewed Feb 08, 2021 at 07:40 am
Latest change: Writing modified Aug 23, 2023 at 02:23 pm
Canon EOS M50 Picture
7.6
Travel Photography
7.6
Landscape Photography
7.1
Sport & Wildlife Photography
8.1
Vlogging
7.3
Studio Video
3.8
Action Video
This camera was replaced by the Canon EOS M50 Mark II

The Canon EOS M50 is a compact APS-C mirrorless camera. It offers very good image quality, even in dimly-lit environments, and has a relatively small, lightweight body. Its autofocus system is effective and consistent, and it has a fairly broad selection of photo and video configuration features. It has a bright, sharp, and responsive touchscreen interface that's easy to operate, even for novice users. Unfortunately, it has a short battery life and middling video quality in both FHD and 4k, so your videos may appear slightly soft and grainy, especially in poor lighting conditions, and recording in 4k incurs a severe crop.

Our Verdict

7.6 Travel Photography

The Canon M50 is good for travel photography. It takes fairly clear, sharp images, even in fairly dark environments, and has a responsive autofocus system that tracks subjects reliably. It's light enough to carry for extended periods, too. Unfortunately, its short battery life may not be sufficient for a full day of use.

Pros
  • Compact, lightweight design.
  • Great autofocus performance in photography.
  • Good image quality.
Cons
  • Cheap build quality.
  • Short battery life.
7.6 Landscape Photography

The Canon M50 is good for landscape photography. Its fully articulated screen is bright enough to be read in direct sunlight, and it's light enough to be carried around on a hike without too much of an issue. It takes reasonably sharp images and comes with a lens that offers a reasonably flexible focal range and can let in a good amount of light. That said, its plastic construction doesn't feel especially rugged and isn't weather-sealed.

Pros
  • Compact, lightweight design.
  • Great autofocus performance in photography.
  • Good image quality.
  • Bright, fully-articulated screen.
Cons
  • Cheap build quality.
7.1 Sport & Wildlife Photography

The Canon M50 is decent for sports and wildlife photography. It has a high maximum shutter speed, allowing you to capture still images of fast-moving subjects, and a consistent and quick autofocus system. Image quality is good even at relatively high ISO settings, which is good for less well-lit environments. Unfortunately, its kit lens has a short maximum zoom, and its maximum shooting speed falls short of other mirrorless cameras, so you can't shoot distinct sequences of moving subjects.

Pros
  • Great autofocus performance in photography.
  • Good image quality.
  • High maximum shutter speed.
Cons
  • Cheap build quality.
  • Short battery life.
  • Maximum continuous shooting speed is a little slow.
8.1 Vlogging

The Canon M50 is a good option for vlogging. It has a fully-articulated screen that can be oriented to face you directly and the camera itself delivers excellent overall face-tracking performance whether you're shooting in 4k or FHD. Unfortunately, it's best to stay in well-lit environments, as it exhibits significant amounts of visual noise in dark areas. While its video stabilization performance is decent in FHD, quite a bit of camera shake may be present in 4k video. Its battery life also isn't especially impressive, so you may need to keep a second battery charged for longer shooting sessions.

Pros
  • Compact, lightweight design.
  • Bright, fully-articulated screen.
  • Good overall autofocus performance while shooting video.
Cons
  • Middling video recording quality.
  • Bad image stabilization performance in 4k.
7.3 Studio Video

The Canon M50 is an alright choice for studio video. Video quality in both 4k and FHD is sub-par overall, especially in less well-lit environments, but it does have an effective and reliable autofocus system and an easy-to-use menu system. There's also a fairly broad selection of inputs and outputs for videography accessories. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a clean HDMI output or a headphone jack to accurately monitor audio levels.

Pros
  • Good overall autofocus performance while shooting video.
  • Easy-to-use menu system.
Cons
  • Short battery life.
  • Limited selection of inputs and outputs.
3.8 Action Video

The Canon M50 isn't designed for action video. While it's relatively lightweight and compact, it feels slightly cheaply-made, isn't water-resistant, and doesn't feature support for high-speed frame rate recording, so you can't generate smooth slow-motion videos. Its stabilization performance is also disappointing overall, so handheld video may have a jittery, unstable quality.

Pros
  • Compact, lightweight design.
Cons
  • Cheap build quality.
  • Middling video recording quality.
  • Bad image stabilization performance in 4k.
  • Limited selection of frame rate recording options in 4k.
  • 7.6 Travel Photography
  • 7.6 Landscape Photography
  • 7.1 Sport & Wildlife Photography
  • 8.1 Vlogging
  • 7.3 Studio Video
  • 3.8 Action Video
  1. Updated Aug 23, 2023: Added link to the Canon EOS R100 in the 'Build Quality' section to provide an alternative that feels better built.
  2. Updated Dec 20, 2022: We noticed the focal length was off in the original 'FHD Rolling Shutter' video, so we've reshot and reuploaded it for comparable framing. The score and rolling shutter measurement are unchanged.
  3. Updated Dec 14, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 0.12.
  4. Updated Dec 07, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 0.11.
  5. Updated Sep 16, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 0.10.
  6. Updated Aug 04, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 0.9.
  7. Updated Apr 22, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 0.8.
  8. Updated Aug 02, 2021: Multiple retests, including screen brightness, lens luminance and light falloff, image quality and luminance noise data for ISO 51200, 4k crop factor, and FHD max bit rate. The sample gallery, object tracking videos, and low light videos were also reshot to be more in line with our current methodology.
  9. Updated Feb 08, 2021: Review published.
  10. Updated Feb 08, 2021: Early access published.
  11. Updated Nov 30, 2020: Our testers have started testing this product.
  12. Updated Nov 04, 2020: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  13. Updated Sep 23, 2020: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

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Black (Body Only) EOS M50
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Black W/ EF-M 15-45mm Lens EOS M50
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White W/ EF-M 15-45mm Lens EOS M50
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Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Canon M50 comes in two color variants: 'Black' and 'White'. We tested the 'Black' variant fitted with the EF-M 15-45mm lens, and you can see its label here. We expect the 'White' variant to perform similarly overall.

You can also purchase the Canon M50 with the EF-M 55-250mm lens or without a lens at all, but we haven't tested the performance of these variants.

If you come across a differently-equipped variant, let us know in the discussions so we can update our review.

Compared To Other Cameras

Canon EOS R50

The Canon EOS R50 is better overall than the Canon EOS M50. It has an updated autofocus system with more reliable AF tracking and better video specs, including uncropped 4k video at up to 30 fps. On top of that, its RF lens mount is more future-proof since Canon has effectively stopped development for the M50's EF-M mount.

Canon EOS R100

The Canon EOS M50 and Canon EOS R100 each have their own advantages. The R100 feels better built, has a higher-capacity battery, and offers eye tracking in 4k video, though both cameras are saddled with a max frame rate of 24 fps and a severe crop when shooting in this resolution. Meanwhile, the M50 is a little more compact, features a fully articulated touch-sensitive display, and has a faster max shooting speed. Unfortunately, it's worth noting that Canon's M-mount is discontinued, and the manufacturer won't be developing any new lens designs for this system.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
7.8
Design
Portability
Height
3.5" (8.8 cm)
Width
4.8" (12.3 cm)
Depth
2.2" (5.5 cm)
Volume
36.3 inยณ (595.0 cmยณ)
Weight
0.87 lbs (0.40 kg)
6.5
Design
Build Quality

  • Wheels are robust and offer clicky feedback
  • Buttons lack some proper physical feedback when pressing them
  • Body is made of hard plastic
  • Screen hinge feels a little delicate
  • Inputs are covered by rubber flaps
  • Consider the Canon EOS R100 if you're looking for a better-built entry-level camera

Design
Body
Body Type
SLR-Style
Water Resistance
No
Mirrorless
Yes
Rugged
No
Hot Shoe
Yes
Customizable Button
Yes
Command Dial
1
Tripod Mount
Yes
Lens Mount
EF-M Mount
Built-In Flash
Yes
Fastest Shutter Speed
1/4,000 s
Design
In The Box

  • Canon EOS M50 mirrorless camera
  • Canon EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens
  • Lens cap
  • Shoulder strap
  • 1x Canon LP-E12 battery
  • Battery charger
  • User manual

7.5
Design
Ergonomics & Comfort
Hand Grip: Small Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Medium Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Large Hand
No
Hand Grip: Extra-Large Hand
No

  • Touchscreen interface gives you access to most essential functions, freeing up your thumb since you don't have to rely on physical buttons
  • Grip is fairly small, which can cause your hand to cramp up during longer shooting sessions
  • Wi-Fi/Bluetooth connection button is located near the natural resting point of your right palm, making it very easy to press unintentionally
  • Not a lot of room on the backside of the camera, and it's easy to accidentally touch the screen

Design
Viewfinder
Viewfinder Type
Electronic
Advertised Coverage
100%
Advertised Resolution
2.36 million dots
Advertised Magnification
N/A
9.5
Design
Screen
Screen Articulation Type
Fully-Articulated
Screen Max Brightness
966 cd/mยฒ
Advertised Resolution
1.04 million dots
Size
3.0" (7.6 cm)
Touchscreen
Yes
9.0
Design
Menu System
Guide Mode
Yes
App Name
Canon Camera Connect

  • Menu navigation is intuitive with physical and touch controls
  • Functions related to autofocus, image quality, video quality, and menu customization are readily accessible
  • Graphics clearly indicate the functions found in each category
  • Guide mode helps walk novice users through the camera's features

not tested
Design
Built-In Lens
Maximum Aperture
No built-in lens
Max Aperture (Full-Frame Equivalent)
N/A
Minimum Focal Length
N/A
Maximum Focal Length
N/A
Max Focal Length (Full-Frame Equivalent)
N/A
Optical Image Stabilization
No
Luminance
N/A
Light Falloff
N/A
Design
Sensor
Sensor Type
CMOS
Advertised Effective Pixels
24.1 MP
Sensor Size
APS-C
Processor
DIGIC 8
Extended ISO Minimum
N/A
Native ISO Minimum (Base ISO)
100
Native ISO Maximum
25,600
Tested Firmware
Ver. 1.1.0
5.2
Design
Battery
Battery Type
Canon LP-E12
USB Charging
No
Use When Charging
No
Advertised Battery Life In Photo
235 photos
Tested Battery Life In Video
90 min
Photo General
6.6
Photo General
Photo Shooting Speed
Low Speed Continuous
4 fps
High Speed Continuous
9 fps
Silent Shooting Continuous
N/A
Raw Buffer Size
11 Photos
JPEG Buffer Size
52 Photos
Buffer Empty Time
4 s
3.8
Photo General
Photo AF-C Tracking
Autofocus Tracking Shots
Perfect Focus Hit Rate
27%
Usable Focus Hit Rate
41%
8.8
Photo General
Photo AF-C Center Point
Autofocus Center Point Shots
Perfect Focus Hit Rate
84%
Usable Focus Hit Rate
98%
8.8
Photo General
Photo Image Stabilization
Minimum Shutter Speed Achieved
1/6 s
In-Body Image Stabilization
No
Photo Image Quality
7.5
Photo Image Quality
Photo RAW Dynamic Range
Dynamic Range At Base ISO
9.8 f-stops
Dynamic Range At 1/500s Exposure Time
8.0 f-stops
Dynamic Range At 1/2000s Exposure Time
6.7 f-stops
Dynamic Range At 1/4000s Exposure Time
5.8 f-stops
7.6
Photo Image Quality
Photo RAW Sharpness
Vertical Edge MTF50 At Base ISO
1,563 LW/PH
Horizontal Edge MTF50 At Base ISO
1,811 LW/PH
7.1
Photo Image Quality
Photo RAW Noise
SNR 18% At 1/8 Exposure Time (125 ms)
32.7dB
SNR 18% At 1/125 Exposure Time (8 ms)
24.1 dB
SNR 18% At 1/1000 Exposure Time (1 ms)
15.6dB
SNR 18% At 1/4000 Exposure Time (0.25 ms)
N/A
Pictures Sample Gallery
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Skate Park Picture
JPEG Skate Park Picture Download
RAW Skate Park Picture Download
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Polish Church Picture
JPEG Polish Church Picture Download
RAW Polish Church Picture Download
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Studio Picture
JPEG Studio Picture Download
RAW Studio Picture Download
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Stairway Picture
JPEG Stairway Picture Download
RAW Stairway Picture Download
Video General
Video General
Video Features
Full HD Video
Yes
4k Video
Yes
6k Video
No
Clean HDMI Output
No
Advertised Max Chroma Sampling Over HDMI
Not Advertised
Advertised Max Bit Depth Over HDMI
N/A
Log Picture Profile
No
Recording Light
No
Video General
Audio
Audio Test Sample
Audio Recording
Stereo
Microphone Level Display
Yes
Video General
Video File Format And Compression
MP4 H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
Yes
MP4 H.265 / HEVC
No
MOV H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
No
MOV H.265 / HEVC
No
AVCHD H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
No
All-I Compression
No
4k Video
3.0
4k Video
4k Video Frame Rate
240 fps In 4k
No
120 fps In 4k
No
60 fps In 4k
No
30 fps In 4k
No
24 fps In 4k
Yes, with a Crop
4k Crop At Max Available fps
1.5 x
7.8
4k Video
4k Video Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In 4k
123 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In 4k
120 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In 4k
4:2:0
Bit Depth In 4k
8 Bit
Record Time Limit In 4k
30 min
Overheat Recording Interruptions in 4k
0
4.2
4k Video
4k Video Autofocus Performance
Object Tracking In 4k
7.0
Face Tracking In 4k
1.2
Face Detection In 4k
Yes
Eye Detection In 4k
No
6.5
4k Video
4k Video Quality
Low Light Capability In 4k
6.0
Test Scene Extract In 4k
7.0
4.0
4k Video
4k Video Rolling Shutter Effect
4k Rolling Shutter
9.7ยฐ
Full HD Video
8.5
Full HD Video
FHD Video Frame Rate
240 fps In FHD
No
120 fps In FHD
No
60 fps In FHD
Yes
30 fps In FHD
Yes
24 fps In FHD
Yes
FHD Crop At Max Available fps
1 x
7.6
Full HD Video
FHD Video Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In FHD
60 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In FHD
30 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In FHD
4:2:0
Bit Depth In FHD
8 Bit
Record Time Limit in FHD
30 min
8.0
Full HD Video
FHD Video Autofocus Performance
Object Tracking In FHD
9.0
Face Tracking In FHD
8.0
Face Detection In FHD
Yes
Eye Detection In FHD
No
6.8
Full HD Video
FHD Video Quality
Low Light Capability In FHD
6.0
Test Scene Extract In FHD
7.5
6.6
Full HD Video
FHD Video Rolling Shutter Effect
FHD Rolling Shutter
5.0ยฐ
Storage And Connectivity
Storage And Connectivity
Storage
Card 1 Slot
SD Card UHS-I
Card 2 Slot
No 2nd Card Slot
7.8
Storage And Connectivity
Inputs / Outputs
USB
Micro USB
HDMI
Micro (Type D)
Headphones
No
Microphone
Stereo
Wi-Fi
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes