Made evident by the "Mark II" moniker, the Canon EOS M50 Mark II is the successor to the Canon EOS M50. Attention-grabbing is that the M50 is the #1 selling mirrorless camera in the U.S. market at review time.
What started as a single model has now filled out into an entire line of MILCs (Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras). Though positioned as an entry-level model, the M50 Mark II is considerably feature-filled. Headlining those features is 4K video capabilities, Canon's excellent 24 MP imaging sensor, an OLED EVF (Electronic Viewfinder), and powerful eye autofocus.
Here is a summary of the features found in the M50 Mark II:
That list encompasses many of the primary camera features. What is new with the Mark II?
"** The live streaming service available with this product is for live streaming on YouTube only. To use live streaming, you need to have an active YouTube account and an image.canon account. Please be aware that YouTube may change, stop, or terminate its services, including live streaming, at any time without notice. In accordance with YouTube’s "Restrictions on live streaming" users must have a minimum of 1,000 channel subscribers in order to live stream from a mobile device (including camera products with live streaming capability). For up-to-date information from YouTube on restrictions, please visit https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2853834?hl=en. Canon makes no representations or warranties with respect to any third party product or service, including live streaming." [Canon]
Per Canon USA, the M50 II's imaging sensor and image processor are the same as those of the M50. With the differences list being short and the image quality remaining the same, I've opted to make this review hands-off and primarily a repeat of the Canon EOS M50 review. That said, the improved AF system, bringing in technology I have loved in the Canon EOS R5 and EOS R6, is a substantial upgrade to the M50 Mark II, and this enhancement should not be overlooked.
Following is a chart that shows a variety of specifications for the many of Canon's recent EOS camera offerings.
|Canon EOS 5D Mark IV||1.0x||36.0 x 24.0mm||5.36µm||6720 x 4480||30.4||.71x||100%||f/8.6|
|Canon EOS 6D Mark II||1.0x||35.9 x 24.0mm||5.75µm||6240 x 4160||26.2||.71x||98%||f/9.3|
|Canon EOS 7D Mark II||1.6x||22.4 x 15.0mm||4.1µm||5472 x 3648||20.2||1.0x||100%||f/6.6|
|Canon EOS 90D||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||3.20µm||6960 x 4640||32.5||.95x||100%||f/5.2|
|Canon EOS 77D||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||3.72µm||6000 x 4000||24.2||.82x||95%||f/6.0|
|Canon EOS Rebel T8i / 850D||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||3.72µm||6000 x 4000||24.1||.82x||95%||f/6.0|
|Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / 250D||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||3.72µm||6000 x 4000||24.1||.87x||95%||f/6.0|
|Canon EOS Rebel T7 / 2000D||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||3.72µm||6000 x 4000||24.1||.80x||95%||f/6.0|
|Canon EOS R5||1.0x||36.0 x 24.0mm||4.39µm||8192 x 5464||45.0||.76x||100%||f/7.1|
|Canon EOS R6||1.0x||36.0 x 24.0mm||6.56µm||5472 x 3648||20.1||.76x||100%||f/10.6|
|Canon EOS R||1.0x||36.0 x 24.0mm||5.36µm||6720 x 4480||30.3||.71x||100%||f/8.6|
|Canon EOS RP||1.0x||35.9 x 24.0mm||5.75µm||6240 x 4160||26.2||.70x||100%||f/9.3|
|Canon EOS M5||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||3.72µm||6000 x 4000||24.2||100%||f/6.0|
|Canon EOS M6 Mark II||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||3.20µm||6960 x 4640||32.5||opt||100%||f/5.2|
|Canon EOS M50 Mark II||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||3.72µm||6000 x 4000||24.1||100%||f/6.0|
|Canon EOS M50||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||3.72µm||6000 x 4000||24.1||100%||f/6.0|
|Canon EOS M200||1.6x||22.3 x 14.9mm||3.72µm||6000 x 4000||24.1||n/a||n/a||f/6.0|
EOS M cameras natively mount EF-M lenses and, with an EF-EOS M Adapter, Canon's huge lineup of EF-S, EF, TS-E, and MP-E series lenses become compatible. Note that, as with all APS-C format cameras, a selected lens's focal length will provide an angle of view similar to that of a 1.6x longer focal length mounted on a full-frame sensor camera (including when using EF-M and other APS-C-only lenses such as the EF-S series).
Obviously, the APS-C format is huge relative to the size of the imaging sensors in mobile phones and point-and-shoot variety cameras. Image quality, especially in low light, is an especially big advantage they bring.
The EOS M50 inherits the same imaging sensor found in many of Canon's other current APS-C sensor format cameras. That is a very positive feature as this is a great sensor, and Canon makes use of volume production for cost efficiencies that all of us appreciate.
You will notice that the M50's effective MP count dropped by 0.1. Canon informed us that the reason for this change was some of the pixels taking on a supporting role, being used for other purposes, such as AF. Twenty-four megapixels has become a Canon APS-C standard resolution, and this resolution is very high.
My expectation was that the M50 and M50 II would share the same image quality as the imaging sensor-sharing M5, M6, M100, T7i, 77D, 80D, etc. And they do.
Resolution is a key image quality factor, and the site's image quality tool is well-suited for that. I pre-loaded that link with a comparison using the M5 as the base comparison camera. The M50 II performs the same.
I set the apertures in that comparison to f/5.6. With APS-C 24.2/24.1 MP imaging sensors having a 3.7µm pixel pitch, diffraction begins impacting sharpness when apertures narrower than f/6.0 are selected. Results at f/8 begin to show very modest softening and, at f/11, you are going to see the difference in your images. This is not to say that you should not use f/11, but you should be aware of the penalty being paid for using narrower apertures and be discerning with your exposure choices. Use the tool to learn how diffraction affects sharpness, and you will be prepared to make a knowledgeable decision in the field.
Canon has been primarily standardized on 24 MP APS-C sensors for years, and this sensor delivers very nice results in regards to noise (M50 results shown and discussed).
The Kodak Color Control Patches shown in the standard ISO noise test results are generated from RAW images with (this is a key) no noise reduction (unless specifically indicated by the result set). These evenly-colored patches make noise readily apparent. These samples represent a worst-case scenario. Most real-world subjects are more detailed and better hide noise.
How apparent is the difference between camera models is the big question. If you struggle to see the difference in the color blocks, you will not likely discern it in your images either.
The M50's ISO 100 results are very clean – this is normal for EOS cameras. As always, increasing the ISO setting increases the apparent noise. My personal tolerance for current APS-C sensor noise is ISO 3200. Results at ISO 6400 are noisy, but they can be usable. More of a last resort is ISO 12800, and a significant percentage of the details get lost in the low signal-to-noise ratio at ISO 25600. The uses for ISO 51200 seem few.
Many M50 test image sets in addition to the standard RAW-captured set are provided in the site's noise tool. One additional set explores the in-camera JPG file format. This set again utilizes the Standard Picture Style, but with the default settings used. The most obvious (and only) difference I see in the JPG-captured set is the significantly increased sharpness — over-sharpening. This creates halos and increased noise levels.
Three sets of with-noise-reduction JPG results are included, illustrating the difference that noise reduction processing makes. That difference can be big in some images, but the tradeoff is in the destruction of image details and reduced sharpness. I typically use no noise reduction for low ISO-captured images and a low amount for higher ISO-captured images. As with the amount of sharpness selected, you can adjust noise reduction to your personal preference. Noise reduction is available in-camera or during post-processing.
Six sets of the M50 noise results were captured at full stop intervals between -3 EV and +3 Ev. These RAW-format images were very significantly under and over-exposed, then adjusted to the proper brightness in Canon Digital Photo Professional (software included with the camera) and are useful for evaluating image quality, including the system's dynamic range.
In the -2 EV captures, I see the M50 showing decreased noise levels compared to the 80D, indicating that there has been some improvement made in the imaging pipeline. Capturing a brighter RAW exposure than desired and reducing the brightness during post-processing typically results in lower noise levels than an image captured at the correct final brightness. This is the ETTR (Expose to the Right) concept. The problem occurs when one or more color channels get clipped with details lost. In these results, the M50 is performing quite well, perhaps very slightly better than the 80D.
Overall, this camera is delivering excellent Canon APS-C image quality, despite the tiny size of the camera.
The following table shows comparative RAW file sizes for a photo of a standard in-studio setup with a moderately-high amount of detail taken with the referenced Canon EOS camera.
|Model / File Size in MB @ ISO:||(MP)||100||200||400||800||1600||3200||6400||12800||25600||51200||102400||204800|
|Canon EOS 5D Mark IV||(30.4)||38.8||39.1||39.6||40.4||41.6||43.5||45.5||48.0||51.4||55.1||59.8|
|Canon EOS 6D Mark II||(26.2)||33.8||34.1||34.6||35.4||36.5||38.1||40.2||42.9||46.4||50.2||54.9|
|Canon EOS 7D Mark II||(20.2)||25.5||25.9||26.7||27.7||28.9||30.6||32.7||35.1||37.9||41.0|
|Canon EOS 90D||(32.5)||38.6||39.9||40.8||42.5||44.5||46.7||49.1||51.6||54.2||57.4|
|Canon EOS 77D||(24.0)||30.6||31.2||32.1||33.3||34.9||37.0||39.6||42.4||47.0||51.1|
|Canon EOS Rebel T8i||(24.1)||29.3||30.1||31.2||32.5||34.1||36.0||37.8||39.5||41.8||44.0|
|Canon EOS Rebel SL3||(24.1)||29.6||30.5||31.6||32.9||34.4||36.2||38.2||40.0||42.7||45.3|
|Canon EOS Rebel T7 (est)||(24.0)||30.6||31.2||32.1||33.3||34.9||37.0||39.6||42.4||47.0||51.1|
|Canon EOS R5||(45.0)||51.6||53.1||53.6||55.6||57.7||60.1||63.0||66.4||70.5||75.1||79.5|
|Canon EOS R6||(20.1)||24.1||24.7||24.9||25.6||26.4||27.3||28.4||29.8||31.4||33.3||35.5||35.9|
|Canon EOS R||(30.4)||35.8||36.6||37.6||38.7||40.0||41.8||43.3||45.7||48.0||49.6*||**||**|
|Canon EOS RP||(26.2)||30.7||31.3||32.0||32.8||34.0||35.5||37.1||39.0||41.5||43.4||45.8|
|Canon EOS M5||(24.2)||33.8||34.7||35.7||37.1||39.0||41.3||44.7||46.5||52.8|
|Canon EOS M6 Mark II||(32.5)||38.6||39.9||40.8||42.5||44.5||46.7||49.1||51.6||54.2||57.4|
|Canon EOS M50 Mark II||(24.1)||30.4||31.3||32.4||33.7||35.3||37.0||38.9||40.6||43.2||45.9|
|Canon EOS M50||(24.1)||30.4||31.3||32.4||33.7||35.3||37.0||38.9||40.6||43.2||45.9|
|Canon EOS M200||(24.1)||29.4||30.2||31.4||32.7||34.2||35.9||37.8||39.5||42.1||44.7|
High-resolution images create large files, especially when captured in (strongly recommended) RAW format (vs. JPG). For an ISO 100 21.1 MP EOS M50 image, you can estimate roughly 1.3MB in RAW file size per megapixel of resolution for a file size of just under 31 MB.
New with the M50 was the .CR3 RAW format that provides new features, including the C-RAW format (compressed RAW with lossy compression). Instead of the not-full-featured small and medium RAW formats Canon formerly offered, C-RAW provides full RAW file support along with a 40% file size reduction. That math adds up quickly. What started as a quick evaluation of this new feature turned into a sizeable project. Check out the article: Should I Use Canon's C-RAW Image File Format?
The Canon EOS M50 writes the 6000 x 4000 pixel image files to an SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I) memory card. Memory cards are now very inexpensive, and large file sizes are not an issue. Buy plenty of capacity and multiple cards.
I recommend rotating memory cards to maintain a backup set until, minimally, you are able to get the images safely into your formal backup strategy (which includes off-site storage). If your computer storage is lacking hard drive space, simply add external storage.
The M50 Mark II gets the same performance features as the M50, including a rather-fast 7.4 fps frame rate. If the application permits One Shot AF mode, a very fast 10 fps rate becomes available. While the M50 II can capture as many as 47 JPG images in a rated-speed burst, a solid figure, it has a miserly 10 RAW image buffer capacity spec.
|Model||FPS||Max JPG||Max RAW||Shutter Lag||VF Blackout|
|Canon EOS 5D Mark IV||7.0||Full||17||58ms||86ms|
|Canon EOS 6D Mark II||6.5||200||18/21||60ms|
|Canon EOS 7D Mark II||10.0||130||31||55ms||100ms|
|Canon EOS 90D||10.0/11.0||57/58||24/25||59ms||96ms|
|Canon EOS 77D||6.0||190/Full||21/27||70ms|
|Canon EOS Rebel T8i / 850D||7.0/7.5||170/Full||40|
|Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / 250D||5.0||Full||10||75ms;|
|Canon EOS Rebel T7 / 2000D||3.0||1110||6||120ms||170ms|
|Canon EOS R5||12/20||350||87/180||50ms||n/a|
|Canon EOS R6||12/20||1,000+||240||n/a|
|Canon EOS R||2.2-8||100||34/47||50ms||n/a|
|Canon EOS RP||4||Full||50/Full||55ms||n/a|
|Canon EOS M6 Mark II||14/30||54||23||53ms||n/a|
|Canon EOS M50 Mark II||7.4/10||33/47||10||n/a|
|Canon EOS M50||7.4/10||33/47||10||n/a|
|Canon EOS M200||4/6.1||1120||13||n/a|
To test the Canon EOS M50's drive mode speed (same as the M50 II) and RAW file buffer specs, the camera was configured to use ISO 100, a fast shutter speed (no waiting for the shutter operation) and a wide-open aperture (no time lost due to aperture blades closing). A freshly-formatted fast memory card (Lexar 128GB Professional 1000x UHS-II SDXC U3) was loaded.
In AI Servo AF mode, the AF mode most frequently used with high-speed burst drive mode, the EOS M50 captured 13 RAW frames in 1.637 seconds before filling the buffer for a 7.33 fps rate experienced. Using this card, an additional frame was captured in about .35 second intervals after the buffer filled. It should be noted that this is a UHS-II card instead of a rated-for UHS-I card.
Using the same card with the camera in One Shot AF mode with the lens cap on (insuring a black image with the smallest file size), the EOS M50 repeatedly captured 15 RAW frames in 1.40 seconds to precisely match the 10 fps rated drive speed. Additional frames were captured approximately every .25 seconds upon filling the buffer with longer pauses interspersed and, eventually, more full-rate bursts.
Your in-the-field results will likely vary modestly, and the speed of the memory card makes a difference. In AI Servo AF mode using a mid-speed card, the EOS M50 captured a substantially lower 9 RAW frames before filling the buffer, and post-buffer-full performance was also lower. Testing with the slower card revealed little difference (-1) in the One-Shot AF buffer depth, but showed a much greater difference in the post-buffer-filled rate, capturing additional frames at a substantially slower pace.
A fast frame rate is frequently used for photographing action, and photographing action frequently means tracking a subject in AI Servo AF mode, meaning that the 7.4 fps figure will often be what is realized. However, there are times when a fast frame rate can be helpful in One Shot AF mode, such as when doing HDR photography in reasonably bright lighting conditions. I say "reasonably bright" because bracketed exposures captured for HDR photography often utilize some frames with exposures long enough to push back even a slow max available frame rate.
I always find it helpful to see a visual sample of a specified frame rate in use. Drag your mouse over the labels under the following image for a visual look at the similar-performing M5's 7 fps rate at an indoor track meet.
Canon has not published a shutter lag spec for this camera. With no mirror flipping up to start an exposure and with an electronic first curtain shutter (shutter sound is made at the end of the exposure), the perception (vs. reality) of the M-series shutter lag duration has historically seemed increased, and the M50 continues this perception. I should note that the M50 provides great tactile feedback to let you know the precise moment when the shutter release has taken place.
The M-series cameras are very quiet to use, but the M50 promised to break new ground with a completely silent mode. When I came to this point in the review, I began to think this announced feature didn't make it into the production camera. After going through all menu options multiple times, I still had not located silent mode.
I resorted to searching the owner's manual, and only then was I able to find silent mode, hidden as one of the SCN (Special Scenes) modes. The decision to implement silent mode in this way immediately limits its usefulness as only the fully automatic exposure mode is supported. As this camera is geared toward beginners and amateurs, that decision will likely have few ramifications.
In silent mode, with a wide-open aperture, you only feel the slight click of the shutter release and see a white frame border quickly flash in the OVF/LCD. Because Canon EOS cameras utilize a wide-open aperture until the image is captured, the aperture blades must be closed to their specified opening size at image capture, and that movement creates a slight noise. So, in this case, "nearly silent" would be more accurate.
This stealthy feature is a huge advantage for photographers wanting to avoid attention, such as when they are photographing wildlife, a quiet event or even a sleeping child (if you have young babies/kids, these moments are precious to capture).
Silent shooting mode requires a full electronic shutter (both first and second curtain), and that comes with both advantages and disadvantages.
Let's start with the positives. With no mechanical shutter being used, there are no moving parts, shutter failure is not possible, there is no shutter vibration to be concerned with and, relevant to the just-finished discussion, the camera can be operated in absolute silence, full stealth mode (at least nearly so). Again, wildlife and event photographers should take careful note of that last benefit.
The downsides of an electronic shutter are primarily related to the current-technology line-by-line reading of the imaging sensor – a rolling shutter. Fast side-to-side subject or camera movement results in a very-strongly angular-shifted image with vertically straight lines becoming noticeably slanted (with the camera in horizontal orientation).
Here are the M50 sound clips:
Canon Dual Pixel CMOS AF system has been a high performer, and the M50 Mark II gets the latest eye autofocus technology that has been performing spectacularly in other recent EOS camera models.
Live View and Movie focusing modes include what has become the Canon standard for Dual Pixel CMOS AF: Face Detection with Tracking, Zone AF (no longer Smooth Zone AF or FlexiZone Multi), and 1-point AF (no longer FlexiZone Single). On the recent-previous models, all focus modes work very well, and the (human) face detection tracking combined with the ability to influence which face is selected is especially impressive.
"Eye Detection AF" was included in the M50, and when enabled in the menu (requires Face Detection with Tracking mode), this feature adds an additional layer of focus point selection within face detection. When a person's face is large in the frame, only part of their face may be rendered in focus due to inadequate depth of field. In that case, it is crucial that the eyes are in focus. Eye Detection AF locates the subject's eyes and displays a smaller AF point within the larger face detection AF point.
The AF zone coverage in older Dual Pixel AF implementations was approximately 80% of the frame with 49 AF points available. New with the EOS M50 was that, with certain lenses, approximately 88% of the frame horizontally and 100% of the frame vertically along with 143 individual AF points can be utilized for AF. Those lenses not making the list still provide 80% coverage with 99 AF points. More points and greater coverage means that recomposing is needed less frequently, and an AF point can be held on a subject closer to the edge of the frame for fast shutter release timing or for motion tracking in AI servo AF mode. The improvement sounds nice in words, but it was really nice in use.
AF is possible with max. apertures of f/11 or wider. This AF system impresses with its EV -4 - 18 working range.
The M50 Mark II inherits the M5's capacitive touchscreen, allowing for Touch Focus during both Live View still photography and before/during video recording. Just tap your finger on the LCD where you want the camera to focus, and it happens – smoothly. It's super easy – I love it.
New with the M5 and also-inherited by the M50 and M50 II is Touch & Drag AF, permitting the entire LCD or a specific portion of it to be used as a trackpad to position the AF point. As with any major new feature, it must be trained into one's workflow, and this one was straightforward to adjust to. By touching and dragging on the LCD, the active AF point can be very quickly repositioned, either absolutely based on the touch location within the LCD (or selected portion of the LCD) or moved relative to drag direction. I opt for the "Relative" option vs. "Absolute".
The speed of use provided by the Touch & Drag AF feature is great and, overall, the M50 II's AF system is a huge asset.
With each new camera that Canon has introduced since the ground-breaking EOS 5D Mark II, creating high-quality videos has become incrementally easier. The M50 Mark II inherits the M50's video feature set that builds upon the traditional DSLR and mirrorless EOS predecessors with the inclusion of Canon's very impressive Dual Pixel CMOS AF and 4K video recording.
The value of being able to record 4K video cannot be understated, even if your typical output is only Full HD 1080p. The additional resolution captured in 4K recording is substantial. The illustration below demonstrates the difference between Full HD and 4K resolutions.
If outputting to 1080p, 4K video can easily be downsampled. Crop the frame to provide a tighter angle of view, or even crop your FHD video within the confines of the 4K captured frame. You can also mimic zooming in and out of a scene to add even more production value to your 1080p movies.
Of course, creating 4K content is the primary benefit of purchasing a 4K-capable camera. 4K video offers more than 4x the resolution of Full HD, allowing for beautifully sharp and detail-rich movies that will remain impressive on resolution-hungry devices. Note that the M50's 4K recording is cropped vs. down-sampled.
The M50 offers video recording in .MP4 format using the MPEG-4 AVC / H.264 codec, with audio being recorded in AAC (.MP4, stereo) via its dual front microphones or the 3.5mm stereo input jack.
Available frame rates and compression include:
3840 x 2160 (4K): 24 fps (23.98 fps)
1920 x 1080 (Full HD): 60 fps (59.94 fps) / 30 fps (29.97 fps) / 25 fps / 24 fps (23.98 fps)
1280 x 720 (HD): 120 fps (119.9 fps) / 60 fps (59.94 fps)
Movie recording modes are fully automatic or manual. Auto ISO with exposure compensation is available in manual mode for a balance of manual and automatic control. The M50 II also supports Time-Lapse Movie creation in movie mode.
The M50 LL's Vari-Angle LCD is a feature that videographers will greatly appreciate, making filming from low or high angles – or for filming oneself for vlogging purposes – a breeze.
Also designed to aid video quality is Canon's newly developed in-body 5-axis image stabilization system, combining in-lens optical stabilization with in-camera digital image stabilization. This system can be set to one of three settings (Enabled, Enhanced and Disabled) and can provide stabilization for non-stabilized lenses or increase the stabilization capabilities of lenses featuring traditional IS systems. Maximum stabilization is achieved using one Canon lenses featuring Combination IS (including the EF-M 18–150mm f/3.5–6.3 IS STM and EF-M 15–45mm f/3.5–6.3 IS STM).
In my limited M50 tests using the Canon EF-M 15–45mm f/3.5–6.3 IS STM Lens, the in-lens IS worked extremely well, while the digital IS feature has again left me unimpressed, as it has with past similarly-featured cameras I've tested. My handheld results captured with digital IS enabled are not as smooth as the in-lens-only IS produces. The in-lens IS alone is great and sufficient for my needs.
The rolling shutter/jello effect is rather noticeable when panning at medium and fast speeds during M50 video capture, but more-stationary shooting delivers superb results. Overall, the EOS M50 II's video-specific features make it a less compelling option for videographers when compared to the other cameras such as the EOS 90D, which offers more features. However, the EOS M50 II will deliver more than sufficient video quality for the majority of its users, and with the ability to record 4K, this camera will likely play minimally a pivotal backup/second/third camera role in even serious videographers' kits.
If you have not already done so and are not completely familiar with EVFs, you will likely find the Comparing Electronic Viewfinders to Optical Viewfinders article worth reading.
From my perspective, the addition of a built-in high-resolution 2.36M dots OLED EVF to an M-series camera is a great advancement. With an EVF, an M-series camera is far easier to use, especially in bright light, than any of its siblings without an EVF, either built-in or accessory-attached. And, the built-in version of the EVF, although it makes the M5 and M50 II slightly larger than the sans-EVF models, is both convenient and compact relative to using an optional EVF. The built-in EVF also leaves the flash hot shoe available for use, and the design appears much more durable.
The quality of the M5's EVF is very good with a very high resolution, and the M50 and M50 II get the same EVF. I did not notice pixelation (it can be distracting), and I seldom saw the pixels appear to flicker as I panned around a scene. The size of the viewfinder image is very nice, and the rear-extended position of the eyecup is also comfortable.
Another mentioned issue that I specifically encountered with this EVF on the M50 was the blackout time/stop-motion view through the viewfinder when shooting at high frame rates. When photographing subjects in action, I could frame them as they approached directly toward the camera, but as soon as they began moving laterally, I had to guess where they might be. The viewfinder does not keep up with the scene while capturing images. For this reason alone, I do not recommend this camera for serious action photography.
Especially useful to me is the dual-axis electronic level helping me keep horizons level. Great also is the amount of additional information available for display and that this information is highly customizable. On the M50, the EVF proximity sensor does a nice job at turning on/off the appropriate LCD based on how the camera is being used.
Important is that this EVF has a diopter, but it is not so easy to set in its under-the-viewfinder location. However, it is also harder to inadvertently change.
While EVFs have some drawbacks relative to OVFs, they also have some advantages, and I greatly appreciate having an EVF vs. only the rear LCD.
The EOS M line is all about delivering big camera image quality from a tiny package, and next, we will look at some of the physical attributes of the camera. One differentiator between EOS M models is the available controls, with the M200 having few and the M5 having many. The M50 II falls between those two models.
To compare the M50 Mark II with many more Canon EOS camera models, use the site's camera body comparison tool.
The back of the M50 II is identical to the M50 and very similar to the M5 and M6 II.
The buttons on the back of the M50 II are the same as the M5 and M6, and those are well-positioned, useful, well-labeled and nicely located with space remaining mostly for the LCD. The M5 and M6 have a rear control dial, while the M50 II has cross-key-functionality at that location. Though small, this round-shaped control is very easy to use with location and direction especially aided by raised nubs on each of the four sides. It is not nearly as easy to tactilely find the four flush-mounted buttons surrounding the rear controller, and it is especially challenging to use them with gloves on.
Big on the back is always the LCD, and the M50 II's LCD is nice. This is Canon's 3" (7.5cm) Vari-Angle Clear View LCD II monitor, featuring capacitive touch and high resolution with a reasonable approx. 1,040,000 dots (the M5 gets 1,620,000 dots). Only the mic port is on the left side, so wires obscuring the view should not be an issue, and the forward-facing position, as shown below, will be greatly appreciated by video bloggers.
The LCD's touch capability (electrostatic capacitance) provides great control over camera settings. Pinch, tap, double-tap, flick, etc. gestures are supported.
All of Canon's interchangeable lens cameras feature easy-to-use, logically-laid-out menu systems. A series of tabbed menus are especially quickly accessed using the touch screen, and the My Menu provides a customizable list of frequently used options. Pressing the "Q" button provides a substantial list of camera settings that, via touch, can be very rapidly changed with little time spent looking for a most-used feature.
From a top-of-the-camera perspective, the M5, M6 II, M50 II, and M200 start to show their positions in the lineup, with decreasing controls showing on each next-lower-end model.
The M50 II's mode dial is not as fully-loaded as the M6 II, but it has a solid subset of the options. M50 II shooting modes range from extremely-easy and smart point-and-shoot to fully manual with most everything in between covered, including a wide range of special effects that can be applied while shooting. One switch, two dials, and three buttons are fit into a compact space to the right of the EVF and pop-up flash.
The M50 again gets a power switch vs. a button.
On the left side of the camera, under a flexible port cover that pulls open and rotates out of the way, is a microphone port. The right/grip side of the camera features an HDMI OUT terminal (type D) and A/V digital out (Micro USB 2.0) port.
Small size and light weight are hallmarks of the entire EOS M series and, while the M50 II remains tiny, there is a small size and weight penalty for its additional features, primarily the EVF.
|Model||Body Dimensions||CIPA Weight|
|Canon EOS 5D Mark IV||5.9 x 4.6 x 3.0"||(150.7 x 116.4 X 75.9mm)||31.4 oz (890g)|
|Canon EOS 7D Mark II||5.9 x 4.4 x 3.1"||(148.6 x 112.4 x 78.2mm)||32.1 oz (910g)|
|Canon EOS 6D Mark II||5.7 x 4.4 x 2.9"||(144.0 x 110.5 x 74.8mm)||27.0 oz (765g)|
|Canon EOS 90D||5.5 x 4.1 x 3.0"||(140.7 x 104.8 x 76.8mm)||24.7 oz (701g)|
|Canon EOS 77D||5.2 x 3.9 x 3.0"||(131.0 × 99.9 × 76.2mm)||19.0 oz (540g)|
|Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / 250D||4.8 x 3.6 x 2.7||(122.4 x 92.6 x 69.8mm)||15.8 oz (449g)|
|Canon EOS Rebel T7 / 2000D||5.1 x 4.0 x 3.1"||(129.0 x 101.3 x 77.6mm)||16.8 oz (475g)|
|Canon EOS R5||5.5 x 3.8 x 3.5"||(138.0 x 97.5 x 88.0mm)||26.0 oz (738g)|
|Canon EOS R6||5.5 x 3.8 x 3.5"||(138.0 x 97.5 x 88.4mm)||24.0 oz (680g)|
|Canon EOS R||5.4 x 3.9 x 3.3"||(135.8 x 98.3 x 84.4mm)||23.4 oz (660g)|
|Canon EOS RP||5.2 x 3.36 x 2.76"||(132.5 x 85.3 x 70mm)||17.3 oz (485g)|
|Canon EOS M5||4.6 x 3.5 x 2.4"||(115.6 x 89.2 x 60.6mm)||15.1 oz (427g)|
|Canon EOS M6 Mark II||4.7 x 2.8 x 1.9"||(119.6 x 70.0 x 49.2mm)||14.4 oz (408g)|
|Canon EOS M50 Mark II||4.6 x 3.5 x 2.3"||(116.3 x 88.1 x 58.7mm)||13.7 oz (387g)|
|Canon EOS M50||4.6 x 3.5 x 2.3"||(116.3 x 88.1 x 58.7mm)||13.7 oz (387g)|
|Canon EOS M200||4.3 x 2.6 x 1.4"||(108.2 x 67.1 x 35.1mm)||11.3 oz (320g)|
My take is that the small size and weight gain for the M5 and M50 II over the other M models is completely worth the EVF advantage. The EOS M200 is smaller and lighter, but it has very little grip surface. When the absolute smallest option is needed, that model may be the best choice. But, the increased grip size found on the M5, M6 II, and M50 II make these cameras much easier to hold onto and, if much time is spent with the camera in hand, these models are a better choice for this reason alone. The M50 II's grip is nicely designed, and it works well despite the diminutive size.
Note how close the M5 and M50's size and weight are to the EOS SL2, the tiniest DSLR currently available. While these cameras retain some significant differences, they are both targeting a similar market – those looking for great image quality and camera performance in a small and light package.
All models in the entire current Canon EOS line (and most discontinued models as well) feature very nice build quality, and even the least expensive models appear this way. Construction is always tight with dials and buttons assuredly clicking affirmation of use. As usual for EOS models, Canon has ergonomically rounded most of the camera, and especially the areas intended to be gripped are void of sharp corners. Unless the retro look is what you are going for, you will likely find this design aesthetically pleasing.
Like most of Canon's recently released EOS models, the M50 II has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
These technologies provide easy transfer of images and movies to compatible devices. Transfer images and movies to smartphones and tablets, to web services such as Canon's Image Gateway, to media players such as DLNA-compatible TVs, to PictBridge-compatible printers, to the Canon Connect Station CS100 photo and video storage and sharing device, or send them directly to another Canon Wi-Fi-compatible camera.
Smartphone and tablets connect using Canon's free Camera Connect app. In addition to transferring movies and still images, this app provides some remote camera control features and provides a live view display of the scene. Camera Connect has a lot of untapped potential, with the current feature set being somewhat basic.
Bluetooth is a relatively new EOS technology feature. However, the M50 II's Bluetooth is only useful as a wireless remote release using, for example, Canon Connect to simply initiating a still photo capture or starting and stopping movie recording. Attempting to access the other Canon Connect App options, including image transfer, initiates a Wi-Fi connection. Able to utilize the camera's Bluetooth capability is the Canon BR-E1 Bluetooth Remote.
Sometimes entry-level cameras get the new technology first, and that is the case with the original M50. New is that the M50 II can automatically transfer images to a wirelessly-connected device as they are captured via Canon Camera Connect. Also, Image Transfer Utility 2 can be configured to automatically upload images to a computer when a camera connects to the same network. Arrive home late from a hard day of shooting, tired and ready for bed? No worries. The images on your memory card can automatically be copied wirelessly across the network.
Now common is for Canon's latest EOS DSLRs to feature built-in RAW conversion to JPG, complete with many adjustments available for doing so, and the M50 once again supports this feature. While shooting in RAW format ensures the highest image quality, this file format is not so welcomed by many of the wirelessly-connected devices. With the built-in RAW conversion, you can photograph in RAW format, create a JPG file in-camera and then wirelessly transfer it. Note that C-RAW is supported by this feature.
This camera does not feature a built-in GPS. The Canon Connect App is able to serve as a GPS logger, though battery drain will be high on the logging device. While the M50 II does not directly support the Canon GP-E2 GPS Receiver, the GP-E2's logging function can also be used to geotag images later (accuracy depends on the camera's date and time being accurately set).
The M50 II utilizes the LP-E12 lithium ion battery pack, the same battery shipping with EOS M200.
This battery is very small, light, and convenient. But, in a mirrorless camera, this battery's approx. 250 shots rating (up from 235 in the M50) is likely to leave you wanting. There are many factors that affect battery life (including drive mode, flash use, and temperature). The key is to take enough charged batteries with you to satisfy your needs (and keep an eye on the battery level indicator to make sure the battery change happens at a convenient time).
When you buy a Canon EOS camera, you are buying into an incredible family of lenses, flashes, and other accessories. The camera body (or multiple bodies) is the base your system is built on, and a lens is the next essential piece of kit. The Canon EOS M50 II is available (in black or white) as a body-only kit, in a kit with the very small Canon EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Lens or in a kit with the 15-45 IS STM and the Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM Lens.
Those opting to purchase the M50 II are likely to choose it in part because of its great image quality and small size. To realize the great image quality part requires a high quality lens. The APS-C image sensor is large and large imaging sensors require a large image circle to cover them. This means that lenses, at least those with wide apertures, may not be able to completely scale down relative to this camera's size.
Canon's EF-M Lenses are very compact, and they can all be good choices for this camera. Along with many others, I used the EF-M 15-45 on many EOS M models and appreciated this lens' smaller retracted size and wider angle of view compared to the EF-M 18-55mm lens I previously used. To remain as similarly compact as the M cameras, the review-time-available EF-M lenses have narrow max apertures with two exceptions – the Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM Lens pancake-style lens and the impressive Canon EF-M 32mm f/1.4 STM Lens. Check our Best Canon Mirrorless Camera General-Purpose Lens page for the latest recommendations.
Via the EF-EOS M Adapter, all Canon EF-S, EF, TS-E, and MP-E lenses can be mounted on any of the M models. While only a small percentage of these lenses retain the small size and light weight spirit of the M's, having them available is a huge asset, especially for those already having (or planning to have) a larger EOS model in their kits.
The M50 II is an entry-level EOS M model, and along with entry-level status comes a low price. But, the inclusion of a high-grade EVF adds necessary cost. The M50 II's initial street price is modestly higher than the M200 and modestly lower than the M6 Mark II. Of course, the M6 II lacks an EVF, and the optional EVF increases the price difference between these models.
Today, all EOS cameras hold a huge array of features and reviewing these cameras can be a daunting and time-consuming task. One could write books about using this camera and getting the most from it. Hopefully I've given you the basics needed for decision making.
To dig deeper into this camera's capabilities, I recommend reading the owner's manual. A link to the manual is provided with this review.
Owning a Canon product gives you access to Canon support and the support I have been provided by Canon's USA division is excellent (sorry, I have no experience with the other Canon divisions). When I call for support, I get an intelligent person who sincerely wants to help me with whatever my question or problem is (I challenge them sometimes). Canon repair service, though I seldom need it, is very fast and reliable.
Having a camera handy will, alone, result in more images captured, and the M50 II is especially easy to keep handy. I took this little camera's predecessor along on several short trips and can say that its convenience factor is really high.
Hallmarks of the feature-filled M50 II include great image quality and an excellent Dual Pixel AF system (intelligent, quickly controllable, and with good speed) in a compact package with the EVF making this camera even more usable than the M200 counterpart, especially under bright lighting. Of course, the 4K video feature will not go overlooked, and the entry-level price, considering the EVF inclusion, is itself quite attractive.
While a complete beginner can use this camera to simply capture very high-quality images, the advanced user who takes the time to learn this camera's more advanced features can have great control over their imagery. And, with Canon's entire EOS system accessories behind it, the M50 II's capabilities are practically unlimited.
Whether it is tucked into a pocket, in a camera case for backup purposes, or used as an always-in-hand primary camera, the Canon EOS M50 II can always be there for you with professional-grade image quality.
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