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Canon EOS M50 Review - Performance

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Canon EOS M50 Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Shutter Response <0.05secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.05secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response  0.15secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 1.2secs
Shot to Shot without Flash 0.2secs
Shot to Shot with Flash 0.8secs
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
8.5fps (39 shots)
Continuous Shooting - Flash 0.8secs
Continuous Shooting - RAW 8.5fps (10 shots)

Shutter response and focus speeds are very impressive, particularly in good light. This slows in low-light. Shot to shot time is also very impressive, although the flash will slow this down. We were able to shoot at 8.5fps in high-speed continuous shooting mode and could take 39 JPEG shots before the camera slows down. This is reasonable, but sports photographers are likely to want to shoot more than this. 


Canon EOS M50 Sample Photos

Sample Photos - Colour reproduction is excellent, and the same as you get from other Canon EOS cameras, with good colour saturation. Skin tones are good, and detail captured by the kit lens is quite impressive. The flash performs well, with no signs of red-eye visible. Dynamic range captured is good, with the "Auto Lighting Optimizer" giving a boost to shadows. 


Canon EOS M50 Lens test images

Lens Performance - We shot with the 15-45mm kit lens, which gives reasonable performance, with good macro focus for a "kit" lens. The lens also has built-in optical image stabilisation, which helps in low-light. The lens does feel quite "plasticy" but the compact size and lightweight helps keep the camera system small. The camera has a number of options in the camera to correct for any lens distortions, including peripheral illumination correction (vignetting), distortion correction, digital lens optimiser, chromatic aberration correction, and diffraction correction. This means that almost all of these issues should be corrected automatically when switched on, although we did notice some vignetting at the wide-angle end of the lens.

For portraits, we switched to using the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 lens with the EOS-M adapter. In the photos, you can see the benefit of a bright prime lens for portraits and significantly better subject separation. The Canon EOS M system is really crying out of a range of bright prime lenses, such as a 35mm f/1.8, 50mm f/1.8, and 85mm f/1.8, or brighter, which would be particularly useful for portraits. 

Face and eye-detection work well and is something that's available on most other mirrorless cameras. It's nothing new, and has been around since the Olympus OM-D E-M5, which came out in 2012, but is completely new for Canon, and of course a welcome addition, particularly useful for portraits and photos of people. 


Canon EOS M50 ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - The M50's ISO range can be extended to ISO51200. Higher than other Canon APS-C cameras. For the lowest noise and best detail possible we would recommend using ISO100 to ISO3200, as images have low levels of noise and good levels of detail... For lower light situations ISO6400 to ISO12800 still provides good results, although noise increases and detail is reduced. At ISO25600 noise levels become strong and we would recommend avoiding this setting if possible, although results may still be useful if resized and used on the web. ISO51200 is best avoided as noise is extremely high, and detail is very low.

Noise compared to the competition...

The M50 gives slightly worse noise performance compared to the G1X Mark III at ISO6400/ISO12800, however, images are slightly sharper, but with more noise. Noise is also slightly more prominent at these higher ISO speeds when compared to the Canon EOS 800D. The M50 does give the option of ISO51200, which is new for Canon, but as with most cameras, the highest ISO speed is best avoided. (Editor's note, we complain when cameras don't offer ISO speeds up to ISO51200, but then when they do, we complain that there's too much noise).


Canon EOS M50 White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) gives a warm result under tungsten lighting. Using the AWB: White priority setting it's possible to get a much more accurate result under tungsten lighting. The Tungsten preset gives a warm result. AWB also gives a warm result under mixed lighting. AWB performs well under fluorescent lighting so that you shouldn't need to use the preset, however, if you do, then the fluorescent preset also gives a good result. 


Canon EOS M50 Digital filters

Digital Filters - Digital Filters can only be used when shooting JPEG only, and can't be shot when shooting both JPEG+Raw images. There is no built-in automatic panoramic mode. You can choose picture styles, for example, "Portrait", "Landscape", "Fine Detail", and there are options to adjust sharpness, contrast, saturation and colour tone. 


Video - The M50 records 4K UHD video at 24/25fps (PAL) with stereo sound. The focus system does not use dual-pixel focus during video recording, so can be a little slow at times. The ISO speed can be extended up to ISO25600. High-speed video is recorded at 100fps, at a resolution of 1280x720.

The crop factor when using digital IS is quite strong. The 4K video recording has a 1.56x crop, which increases to 1.75x with digital image stabilisation (IS) enabled, or 2.26x crop with enhanced IS. FullHD video recording uses the full width of the sensor (with digital IS switched off). There's an option for "Auto level" and you can manually set the sound recording level. There are also options for wind filter and attenuator. 

You can adjust the colour settings for recording video (and for taking photos), however, there aren't any "Flat" or "C-Log" profiles available. The closest would be Neutral (and you can adjust sharpness, contrast, saturation, and colour tone). We used Standard colour for this video.



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Photographs taken using the Canon EOS M50

the lock keepers cottageThe "thirst" of many to come.the photographerPretty ElsieINNER PEACE AND THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDERLight of my lifeBleeding HeartTravel revisited.Heron in flightRight of wayHunting for lugworms.The Oxford HillLift off!Flowery bubblesMy Tonka Truck has grown up!

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6bq5 7
28 Mar 2018 7:54PM
When comparing the number of lenses available for this little camera consider combining the offerings from Panasonic and Olympus and just call it micro 4/3. Then you have an ecosystem with 65 lenses and that's not counting any 3rd party offerings.
ChrisV Plus
14 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
29 Mar 2018 3:44PM

Quote:When comparing the number of lenses available for this little camera consider combining the offerings from Panasonic and Olympus and just call it micro 4/3. Then you have an ecosystem with 65 lenses and that's not counting any 3rd party offerings.

And the fact there are no third party lenses for the M mount might also suggest there has [at least up to now] been little confidence from others to match Canon's meagre commitment to the format. Perhaps once they release their larger format mirrorless we'll start to see a change.

The M5 does look like the first offering from Canon that's both viable from a usage PoV and decent value [although perhaps still frustratingly compromised]. It is very late to the party.
29 Apr 2018 11:10AM
The AF is the key feature, this is the perfect vlogging camera. Olympus has poor AF and Panasonics are hopeless! MFT lenses are becoming very expensive too. The M lenses are limited but you can adapt EF and EF-s lenses to the M50 giving a huge range to choose from with a thriving second hand market. At this price, you cant go wrong, I will buy it for definite.
29 Apr 2018 11:14AM
Actually Iím surprised it gets only 4/5 for value. Its got a great sensor, digic 8 firmware and 145 point dual pixel AF for the price of a lower level bridge camera !
lerass 7 1 Greece
19 May 2018 11:13AM
i have this camera with the kit lens but i also tested with the canon adapter and a lot of canon lenses and one sigma
one think iam amazed is that the focus system is accurate and simply just works with any auto focus lens
the sensor deliver better photos with better glass than the kit lens (witch is best for run and gun situations)
and yes its super ergonomic and with fuer buttons you can do anything fast for the price this camera is a small and affortable beast

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