Canon EOS M50 review: Compact, but with DSLR versatility

Canon EOS M50 review: This mirrorless camera is really compact, and yet can pass off as a point-and-shoot device.

I have been lugging around a Canon camera for almost half my life. And for most of the other half, I dreamt of lugging around a Canon. However, for the past couple of years, my Canon EOS 1200D and its lenses has been locked up safely in some cupboard as I went around clicking photos on a smartphone. But for the last week I have been carrying a Canon in my bag, almost forgetting it was there.

Canon EOS M50

The Canon EOS M series is the range of compact mirrorless cameras the Japanese camera maker debuted a couple of years back. The Canon EOS M50 is the latest from the company and stands out for being really compact. I think this will be a huge factor for those who choose to buy this camera, for the M50 is small enough to pass off as a point-and-shoot. But then being small does not mean the camera is light or flimsy. As a photographer, I like some weight to help me be stable while clicking. The M50 weighs around 350 grams without lens and hence offers this stability.

For a Canon user like me, the camera and its features were all very familiar. The one change is that you adjust shutter speed or aperture using a ring which is now part of the trigger, and not separate, like in the DSLRs. This took some getting used to as my finger kept feeling for the crag under the trigger. One other difference is the lock on the lens, which is almost like an on/off button for the camera, as you can’t shoot without unlocking here. There is a vari-angle LCD with touch so that you can move around settings fast and even focus better when shooting video.

The settings on the M50 are very easy to understand and the menu, despite being exhaustive, is comfortable to navigate. The software can be customised to show only what you want while framing a picture. The M50 can be easily yoked to a smartphone using the Canon Connect app, after which you can transfer photos to the phone, or even control the camera from the phone. My only issue here was the ability to move photos in bulk. But I could enable the setting to move new photos to the phone automatically.

I like mirrorless cameras primarily because they are so good in low light. The Canon M50 is no exception. Using the camera with a 15-45mm lens I was impressed by the performance. The ISO can go up to 25600, but you don’t have to always go to those extremes to get good low light shots. Again, as you are composing a frame, changing a setting is as easy as touching the value on the screen and turning the dial.

The M50 is quick to click, but it won’t shoot unless the AF is locked and at times you might need to adjust your position. Since there is no full manual override on the lens, I had to step back at times to get subject locked. But then you can switch to the full auto mode and just click without a thought.

The camera offers some good creative filter modes for those who like to experiment. I liked the fisheye lens option and the grainy black and white but thought the HDR mode was too made up. There are also preset scenes, including a self-portrait mode, which is a testament to the times we are in, as well as the portability of this camera. In fact, the portrait mode of this camera gives you a good idea of where the smartphones still have to play catchup.

In the video mode, you can go up to 4K with 25fps which is good enough for shooting broadcast quality footage if needed. The auto-focus in the video mode is impressive and moves smoothly as you pan, and this is one of the areas where a mirrorless camera is better than a DSLR.

Canon EOS M50 verdict

Priced around Rs 62,000 with the basic lens, the Canon EOS M50 is a great option for those who want the versatility of the DSLR with the portability of a compact camera. In fact, this is one camera that has got me thinking if I should upgrade. There are a lot of other mirrorless cameras that have impressed me over the years, but none have been this affordable. Also, this comes with the added advantage of being a Canon, something a lot of amateur photographers like me are just comfortable with.

Canon EOS M50 price in India: Rs 61,995 (with EF-M15-45 IS STM)

Canon EOS M50 specs: 24.1 megapixel APS-C CMOS Sensor | DIGIC 8 image processor | ISO 100 – 25600 (expandable to 51200) | 1/4000sec. to 30sec shutter speed | OLED EVF + 3-inch TFT colour liquid-crystal monitor | Movie shooting in 4K 23.98p / 25p | 5-axis image stabilization during movie shooting (Combination IS) | NFC, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi

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