Canon EOS R50 Review

Canon EOS R50
In-Depth Review

The entry-level Canon EOS M50 was the #1 selling mirrorless camera in the U.S. market, and the Canon EOS M50 Mark II followed its lead into great popularity. The Canon EOS R50 migrates the M50 line to the EOS R series, and never before has entry-level looked this good.

The features that made the M50 and M50 II ultra-popular were not lost in the handoff to the R50, including low price, ease of use, compact size, light weight, impressive AF performance, and outstanding image quality.

Still, the R50 raises the performance bar substantially, especially in regards to AF performance and ease of use, with the fully automatic A+ mode gaining notable improvements, including Creative Assist aided adjustments, Creative Bracketing, and Advanced A+ (computational photography is at work here). Simply turn the camera on and take pictures. A+ mode figures everything else out.

The R50's position in the R-series line-up is reflected in its name, with the number following the "R" indicating the camera's position in the lineup. The higher the number, the lower-end the camera, with full-frame and APS-C models intermixed in the mid-level model positions. The R50 initially represented the entry-level position, but the Canon EOS R100 soon took over that title.

The entry-level consumer and enthusiasts this camera targets are likely using their phone cameras with frequency. The R50's imaging sensor measures 22.3 x 14.9mm, while the biggest imaging sensor in an iPhone at review time is 9.8 x 7.3mm. Those numbers make the total light-capturing area difference 332.27mm2 vs. 71.54mm2.

It doesn't take an engineer to understand that a far larger imaging sensor translates into far more light captured, and the massively larger lens plays a similarly significant role in image quality. Your phone camera images may look good on your phone, but phone camera images, especially those captured in low light, and especially those with subject motion, often begin to fall apart when observed at the detail level.

Yes, your phone is convenient and easy to use. Want a high-powered camera that is as easy to use as your phone? Check out the Canon EOS R50.

When simplicity and convenience are important, the R50 ensures that image quality does not suffer. While the R50 is capable of delivering professional-grade image quality, advanced and professional photographers are going to find this camera's simplicity, including reduced controls and settings and the small grip, to be detrimental.

Summary of Canon EOS R50 Features

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  • 24.2 Megapixel APS-C Canon CMOS Imaging Sensor (same as the R10)
  • DIGIC X Image Processor
  • ISO 100-32000, Expandable up to 51200
  • High-Speed Continuous Shooting at up to 12 fps with the 1st Curtain Electronic Shutter and 15 fps with the Electronic Shutter (no Full Mechanical Shutter available), up to 1/8000 shutter
  • Outstanding-performing Dual Pixel CMOS AF system
  • AF Working Range of EV -4 – 20
  • Full-Width Movies up to 4K UHD 30 fps (6K oversampling, 10-bit), FHD 120 fps
  • Coordinated IS (Optical IS and Digital Movie IS), Aspect Ratio Markers (matching social media sites)
  • Focus Bracketing
  • 0.39" (9.9mm) OLED Color EVF, 2.36 million dots
  • 3" Vari-Angle LCD Touchscreen with 1.62 million dots
  • Single UHS-I SD Memory Card Slot
  • Digital 2x and 4x extender (JPG support only)
  • Multi-function hot shoe
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • No highlight alert during playback
  • No IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilizer)
  • No LCD coatings
  • No self-cleaning imaging sensor
  • No Headphone Port
  • No Remote Port
  • RF Lens Mount, Compatible with EF/EF-S/TS-E/MP-E Lenses with Adapter
  • Super Compact, Ultralight Weight, and Inexpensive

While the RF mount specification may seem trivial (all interchangeable lens cameras have a mount), this mount is a big deal, especially to the lens engineers. The RF mount retains the large 54mm inner diameter advantage of the EF mount (for reference, the Nikon Z mount has a similar 55mm diameter, the Nikon F-mount is only 44mm, the Canon EF-M mount is 47mm, and the Sony E mount is 46.1mm), maintaining the rigidity, durability, strength, and ultra-wide aperture support a large-diameter mount provides while reducing the flange back distance (distance from the back of the lens's mount to the imaging sensor) from 44mm to 20mm.

The RF mount supports optical designs that are potentially smaller than possible with the EF mount and often include large-diameter rear-positioned elements that can feature a reduced angle of light rays in the image circle periphery. Bending light to a lesser degree can improve image quality, including better-corrected aberrations. The larger rear-element design of RF lenses also lends to a comfortable shape and weight balance. Improved camera-lens communication also increases performance, including instant feedback for enhanced in-lens image stabilization.

The lens is critical to the camera's overall performance, and Canon's RF lenses are impressive — reason alone to buy into the Canon EOS R-series cameras. Canon lens engineers remain excited about the performance the RF mount avails to them, and I was again told to expect great features and performance still to come.

A big reason to choose an RF-mount camera is that Canon has not introduced a new EF, EF-S, or EF-M lens in years.

Canon EOS R50 Top

Sensor and Image Quality

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The R50 gets Canon's APS-C (1.6x field of view crop factor) 24.2 MP CMOS imaging sensor (not backside-illuminated (BSI) and not stacked) first seen in the R10.

While numerous other Canon EOS APS-C cameras share this resolution, only the R10 shares the R50's imaging sensor at review time.

ModelFOVCFSensorPixel SizePixels/MegapixelsViewfinderDLA*
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV1.0x36.0 x 24.0mm5.36µm6720 x 448030.4 .71x100%f/8.6
Canon EOS R31.0x36.0 x 24.0mm6.00µm6000 x 400024.1 .76x100%f/9.7
Canon EOS R51.0x36.0 x 24.0mm4.39µm8192 x 546445.0 .76x100%f/7.1
Canon EOS R6 Mark II1.0x36.0 x 24.0mm6.00µm6000 x 400024.2 .76x100%f/9.6
Canon EOS R61.0x36.0 x 24.0mm6.56µm5472 x 364820.1 .76x100%f/10.6
Canon EOS R71.6x22.3 x 14.9mm3.20µm6960 x 464032.5 100%f/5.2
Canon EOS R81.0x36.0 x 24.0mm6.00µm6000 x 400024.2.70x100%DLA
Canon EOS R101.6x22.3 x 14.9mm3.72µm6000 x 400024.2 100%f/6.0
Canon EOS R501.6x22.3 x 14.9mm3.72µm6000 x 400024.2.95x100%DLA
Canon EOS R1001.6x22.3 x 14.9mm3.72µm6000 x 400024.1f/6.0
Canon EOS R1.0x36.0 x 24.0mm5.36µm6720 x 448030.3 .71x100%f/8.6
Canon EOS RP1.0x35.9 x 24.0mm5.75µm6240 x 416026.2 .70x100%f/9.3
Sony a7 IV1.0x35.9 x 23.9mm5.1µm7008 x 467233.0.78x100%f/8.2
Canon EOS M6 Mark II1.6x22.3 x 14.9mm3.20µm6960 x 464032.5 opt100%f/5.2
Canon EOS M50 Mark II1.6x22.3 x 14.9mm3.72µm6000 x 400024.1 100%f/6.0
Canon EOS M2001.6x22.3 x 14.9mm3.72µm6000 x 400024.1n/an/af/6.0
* Learn more about DLA (Diffraction Limited Aperture)
View the full Canon EOS R50 specifications to compare additional cameras.

The R50's available aspect ratios are 3:2 (6000 x 4000, default), 4:3 (5328 x 4000), 16:9 (6000 x 3368), and 1:1 (4000 x 4000).

The 24 MP resolution matches the EOS R3, a camera deployed primarily by professionals and serious amateurs at the top of their game. This resolution is easily adequate for full- and double-page magazine spreads.

The R50's ISO range is 100-32000 in 1/3 stop increments along with the extended H(51200) setting. I always dismiss the highest ISO options, assured that they will have a too-low SNR (Signal-to-Noise Ratio).

Utilizing the same DIGIC X processor, the same Canon CMOS imaging sensor, and similar technology, the R50's image quality will be the same as the not much older R10. Therefore, this R50 image quality discussion is based on the R10's lab performance. To save days of testing, the R10 test results are used to illustrate the R50 image quality.

The Canon EOS R50 resolution test results show very sharp image details with a bit of moiré beginning to show.

Notice the R50's image quality advantage in the EOS R50 compared to the Rebel T7i/T8i.

Here are some additional interesting comparisons:

EOS R50 compared to the M50

EOS R50 compared to the R

EOS R50 compared to the 90D

Another revealing image quality test is our color block noise test. Sensor technology improvements (including onboard circuitry) implemented by sensors seldom appear on a specification chart, but they do appear in pictures of a Kodak color block chart.

Canon EOS R50 ISO Noise Comparison

Important to understand is that the site's "Standard" color block noise test results include no noise reduction (unless otherwise specified) – a key factor that may cause the results to appear dissimilar to those seen elsewhere. Since noise reduction can be applied to any image during post-processing, what matters most to me, what differentiates cameras, is how clean the base RAW images are. While noise reduction can improve an image, noise reduction can be (and usually is) destructive to fine detail. My strategy is to apply light noise reduction only when needed, and I do this only during post-processing of RAW images.

Another critical factor in the prominence of noise is sharpening. Noise appears as details to sharpening algorithms that typically sharpen the noise along with subject details, making the noise more apparent. Our Canon RAW image processing for this test utilizes a sharpness = 1 setting that is usually ideal for a good camera and lens combination.

When using the comparison feature of the site's camera noise tool, let your eyes discern the results. The even colors found in these test charts make noise more apparent than most real-life subjects, as detail in a scene will far better hide the noise. If you can't readily see the difference in a color block comparison, it is unlikely that you will recognize the difference in real-world results.

The base ISO setting (ISO 100 with the current EOS models) is always my preferred setting for very clean, low-noise results. However, not all situations accommodate ISO 100, noise increases as ISO settings go up, and all current EOS cameras deliver great image quality at significantly higher settings.

At ISO 400, slight noise graininess becomes perceptible in smooth-colored areas of the image. By ISO 1600, you will notice some noise in most images. Still, I find Canon APS-C ISO 1600 very usable.

Noise levels at ISO 3200 are becoming more troublesome, but these images are still decent with some noise reduction added, especially when viewed at less than 100% resolution. ISO 6400 images can be usable, but the SNR is suffering at this setting, and the results are getting ugly at 12800. Results from settings over ISO 12800 have low usability. Just because the feature is present doesn't mean that you should use it.

Many other noise test results are available for the R50.

Lossy-compressed CRAW format results are available, and these results appear the same as the normal non-lossy-compressed RAW results.

Both RAW and JPG results using the camera default settings (standard picture style with a high USM strength setting of "4") are provided, along with noise reduction samples from both formats.

Regarding high ISO noise, you can have smooth, or you can have detailed. Pick one. While not as black and white as that scenario implies, the amount of noise reduction applied to an image requires consideration of the overall appearance. The amount of noise reduction ideally applied to an image is not directly dependent on the ISO setting alone. You may find that some subjects are more receptive to noise reduction than others. As a generalization, I prefer low noise reduction when higher ISO settings are used.

All of Canon's EOS cameras provide a wide range of noise reduction, sharpness, and other image quality setting adjustments, enabling you to dial the results into perfection. That these settings can be adjusted in-camera is particularly important for those requiring compressed JPG format images right out of the camera (without using the camera's own RAW image conversion capabilities).

Multi-shot Noise Reduction (MSNR) is one of the additional in-camera options available in many of the latest EOS models, including the R50. MSNR merges image data from multiple (four) exposures taken in a full frame rate burst into a reduced noise image. The concept makes a lot of sense. MSNR remarkably provides between one to two stops of noise reduction, but ... I still have not found a compelling use for this feature.

The downsides to Multi-Shot Noise Reduction include: MSNR is currently available only with JPG output (I would like to see this feature added to Canon's Digital Photo Pro software for RAW capture processing – perhaps as another HDR preset). Multi-Shot Noise Reduction is not so useful with moving subjects (or with a moving camera). Long exposure NR, Dust Delete Data, Multiple Exposure, and HDR or HDR PQ Mode must be set to off to enable MSNR. MSNR is not available with AEB, WB bracketing, focus bracketing, or creative filter shooting. The camera reverts to Standard NR in Auto/Basic zone modes, during video recording, in Bulb mode, and when the camera is powered off. Flash is not supported in MSNR mode. After the 4-shot burst is captured, the camera becomes "busy" while processing the merged image.

So, while this feature is a nice idea, its limitations make it less useful in real-world applications. I am far more likely to use a low ISO setting with a longer exposure when shooting stationary subjects from a tripod.

MSNR might be a good option when handholding the camera in very low light levels.

Many "Exposed +/- EV" result sets are provided in the noise tool. These images were (intentionally) over or underexposed at capture and adjusted to the standard brightness during post-processing. These results would be similar to an incorrectly captured exposure being adjusted, shadow detail brightness increased or highlight details recovered, and they demonstrate the camera's dynamic range (exposure latitude) capabilities.

In general, underexposing an image results in increased noise in the adjusted image, and shadow details may be lost. The risk of overexposing an image is that highlight detail can be lost, and there is a benefit to being able to pull out highlight and shadow details even in a properly exposed image.

The R50 results show that underexposing produces only modest additional noise when brightness is adjusted even without noise reduction applied. That is, modest additional noise when the RAW files are processed in software other than DPP. In DPP, the underexposed results appear cleaner than the properly exposed results, hinting at some software help applied.

Overexposing an image has a very positive effect on noise levels until highlights become clipped, and then overall image quality suffers. Exposing to the right, overexposing so that the histogram chart moves to the right of the ideal final histogram, is beneficial, producing lower noise levels at the desired final brightness, as long as the highlight detail is not lost. I shoot with the low-contrast Neutral Picture Style selected in camera to gain an on-camera histogram that best shows the exposure latitude afforded by particular scenes. Especially when shooting still subjects, I often set the exposure to push the graph toward the right side of the histogram but not stacked against the right side (unless I determine that setting is needed for a particular scene). Exposures are corrected in post-processing and, with the high SNR, resulting images are optimized for overall quality. If there is movement in the frame, a faster shutter speed may be a better choice than modest overexposure. If shooting JPGs in-camera, the proper final exposure should be selected.

While the +3 EV results show highlights being lost, the still very overexposed +2 EV results are looking reasonable, even at ultra-high ISO settings.

This comparison shows that the R7 has slightly more highlight recoverability than the R50.

I shoot in RAW format nearly 100% of the time, but for those that do not, having lens corrections available in camera is a very positive benefit. Lens corrections available in the EOS R50 during image capture are peripheral illumination, distortion, chromatic aberration, and diffraction, along with a DLO (Digital Lens Optimizer) feature.

The R50 supports HDR PQ HEIF 10-bit recording. Often, the first question is likely, "What is HDR PQ?" HDR PQ (Perceptual Quantization) is a new gamma curve based on the characteristics of human eyesight. It supports HDR recording at ITU-R BT.2100 standard (PQ).

Your next question is likely, "What is HEIF?" HEIF stands for "High Efficiency Image File Format," a standard created by the MPEG group. As with JPEG, HEIF is a file format used to store image data after the image development process is complete. While JPEG files use an 8-bit YCbCr 4:2:2 lossy compression scheme, HEIF uses a 10-bit YCbCr 4:2:2 HEVC compression algorithm (also lossy), complying with the ITU-R BT.2100 HDR standard. HEIF provides up to 4x more precision in image data gradation and a wider color range than sRGB and Adobe RGB can store.

HEIF files are containers, able to store multiple images (typically compressed with a codec such as HEVC (H.265)) along with image derivations (cropping, rotation), media streams (timed text, audio), depth information, image sequences (like a burst of images, supports animation), image data (EXIF), and more. Huge is that, thanks in part to computing power improvements, HEIF files are compressed to a significantly smaller size than JPEG files, about 50% smaller at similar quality levels. Along with all of the other benefits, Apple migrating to HEIF from JPEG means we can expect this standard to take hold in the industry.

Per Canon, "HEIF files are intended to be viewed on HDR-compliant displays and monitors."

The Activate HEVC codec option is available in the DPP help menu, and once selected, the Canon HEVC Activator is downloaded (serial number required). Once that app was installed, DPP understood the .HIF file format and the HDR PQ images look remarkably good (including those captured in RAW format). I was not planning to share the results of this testing, and the scene is of low photogenic quality with unstable lighting, but I thought the camera's performance warranted sharing with you. The following are downsized screen captures (at review time, Photoshop could not open .HIF files). Look closely at the outdoor brightness while the indoor blacks retain detail (that detail is even more obvious in the full-size images) as illustrated by the 1D X III.

Canon HDR PQ

The in-the-field results from the R50 confirm that this camera produces excellent image quality. Those used to phone camera image quality will especially be impressed.

Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM Lens Portrait Sample Picture

This portrait was captured with the Canon EOS R50 and the RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM Lens (I meant to use f/2, but in haste, the aperture was set at f/2.8).

Canon EOS R50  Memory Card Door Open

In-Body Image Stabilization (IBIS)

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In this case, achieving the target light weight, small size, and low-cost required foregoing in-camera image stabilization.

However, a large percentage of RF lenses feature image stabilization, including the compact, lightweight, affrordable Canon RF-S 55-210mm F5-7.1 IS STM Lens used to capture this portrait.

Canon RF-S 55-210mm IS STM Lens Portrait Sample Picture

File Size and Media

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The following table shows comparative RAW file sizes for a photo of a standard in-studio setup featuring a moderately-high amount of detail. The R50 results are based on R10 numbers.

Model / File Size in MB @ ISO:(MP)100200400800160032006400128002560051200102400204800
Canon EOS R6 II(24.2)28.729.430.231.132.133.334.536.238.240.343.043.2
Canon EOS R6 II CRAW(24.2)16.216.717.318.018.819.719.819.319.018.819.417.8
Canon EOS R7(32.5)40.040.141.342.644.346.048.050.352.655.0  
Canon EOS R7 CRAW(32.5)21.522.523.524.726.327.928.427.927.527.0  
Canon EOS R8(24.2)28.729.430.231.132.133.334.536.238.240.343.043.2
Canon EOS R8 CRAW(24.2)16.216.717.318.018.819.719.819.319.018.819.417.8
Canon EOS R10(24.2)29.029.830.831.833.334.936.037.739.741.8  
Canon EOS R10 CRAW(24.2)16.517.017.818.719.921.421.320.820.720.7  
Canon EOS R50 *(24.2)29.029.830.831.833.334.936.037.739.741.8  
Canon EOS R50 CRAW *(24.2)16.517.017.818.719.921.421.320.820.720.7  
Canon EOS R100(24.1)30.431.332.433.735.337.038.940.643.245.9  
Canon EOS R(30.4)35.836.637.638.740.041.843.345.748.049.6*****
Canon EOS R CRAW(30.4)23.123.524.525.226.528.029.431.633.849.6*35.3***
Canon EOS RP(26.2)30.731.332.032.834.035.537.139.041.543.445.8 
Canon EOS M6 Mark II(32.5)38.639.940.842.544.546.749.151.654.257.4  
Canon EOS M6 Mark II CRAW(32.5)24.625.626.327.831.729.731.734.036.442.1  
Canon EOS M50 Mark II(24.1)30.431.332.433.735.337.038.940.643.245.9  
Canon EOS M200(24.1)29.430.231.432.734.235.937.839.542.144.7  
RAW file sizes increase with 1. Resolution 2. Bit Depth (more is better/larger) 3. Detail (noise adds detail, so high ISO file sizes increase) 4. Lack of compression. Memory and disk are cheap – buy more.

The R50 has a single SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I) memory card slot, aiding in the compact size, light weight, and low-cost principles.

This camera formats memory cards quickly.

Introduced with the Canon EOS M50 was the .CR3 RAW format, and the Canon EOS R50 gets this feature. This RAW file format enables new features, including C-RAW, compressed RAW with lossy compression vs. the normally compressed RAW with non-lossy compression.

C-RAW provides full RAW file support along with an estimated 40% file size reduction (an impressive 43% in the ISO 100 file sizes shared above) over Canon's already efficient RAW file format size. The saved space adds up quickly, significantly impacting memory card and hard disk storage capacity requirements.

What started as a quick evaluation of this new feature in the M50 review turned into a sizable project. Check out the article Should I Use Canon's C-RAW Image File Format? for more information.

This bottom of the camera located card slot shares an access door with the battery. While this location is less convenient than a dedicated side-of-the-camera slot access door, space and cost savings are realized by this design. Interesting is that the R50 and R8 use opposite card orientations (label back vs. label front) despite having the same card location. Also note that this door's latch is not spring-loaded — it must be manually locked closed.

Frame Rate, Buffer Depth, Shutter

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The Canon EOS R50 can capture up to a fast 12 fps using the first curtain electronic shutter. Note that the full mechanical shutter is not available.

Switch to the full electronic shutter, and the R50 captures up to 15 fps, retaining full autofocus and autoexposure functionality. While some MILCs are faster, the 15 fps second performance is still impressive. 15 fps is only 1 fps slower than Canon's best-ever DSLR, the EOS-1D X Mark II, when used with the viewfinder.

Sometimes the difference between an average image and a great one is separated by milliseconds, and at 15 fps, this camera stands a good chance of catching the perfect peak action moment.

Today, camera maximum frame rate determination is complicated by many variables. Here is the Canon EOS R50 drive mode and continuous shooting rate table:

Shutter/Drive ModeHi+HiLow
Electronic15155
Elec 1st Curtain127.63

These are up-to rates, with battery power level, battery type, lens model, Dual Pixel RAW shooting, temperature, shutter speeds, etc., potentially affecting the realized rate.

This camera does not feature RAW burst mode or Pre-Shooting.

RAW and C-RAW files have 14-bit A/D conversion with the electronic 1st curtain shutter, and 12-bit A/D conversion is provided with the full electronic shutter. Is dropping to 12-bit a problem? While there is a psychological difference, the image quality difference will seldom be noticed in ideally exposed images. Reduced quality will show primarily in smooth gradients such as the sky when contrast is adjusted, and noise levels may increase in brightened images, especially in the shadows.

ModelFPSMax JPGMax RAWShutter LagVF Blackout
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV7.0Full1758ms86ms
Canon EOS R312/3054015020-76ms0ms
Canon EOS R512/2035087/18050msn/a
Canon EOS R6 Mark II12/401,000+11050-84msn/a
Canon EOS R612/201,000+240 n/a
Canon EOS R715/30224/12651/4250-99msn/a
Canon EOS R86/401000+/1201000+/56  
Canon EOS R1015/23460/7029/2150-100msn/a
Canon EOS R5012/1542/287  
Canon EOS R1006.5 (3.5)1006  
Canon EOS R2.2-810034/4750msn/a
Canon EOS RP4Full50/Full55msn/a
Canon EOS M6 Mark II14/30542353msn/a
Canon EOS M50 Mark II7.4/1033/4710 n/a
Canon EOS M2004/6.1112013 n/a
View the full Canon EOS R50 specifications to compare additional cameras.

Buffer depth is not a strength of this camera. The fast RAM used by camera buffers is expensive, and certain is that the R50's reduced internal memory lowers its cost — and buffer depth.

At 15 fps, the 7-frame RAW buffer will be filled in about 1/2 second. Capturing peak action within that 1/2 second often requires careful timing of the shutter release press.

Switching to the 1st curtain electrical shutter does not reduce the continuous shooting rate much and, therefore, does not increase the burst time length substantially. Using the C-RAW format increases the buffer to 15, a marked improvement.

If a longer continuous burst is required, JPG image capture is the option, affording capture of two or three seconds of action.

With the full electronic shutter selected, this camera does not produce a shutter sound during image capture (though you might hear the aperture or other sounds). The electronic shutter is perfect for use during quiet events such as weddings, when photographing skittish wildlife, and during audio capture. The full electronic shutter has advantages and disadvantages.

At the top of the advantages list is that the full electronic shutter enables the slightly faster 15 fps drive mode. With no mechanical shutter used, there are no moving parts, there is no shutter vibration, shutter failure is highly unlikely, and again, the camera operates in near silence.

With no sound or other haptic feedback, knowing precisely when the image is being captured can be problematic, and adding a "beep" is counter to the goal of the silent shutter. Canon handles this issue nicely, with a white frame appearing in the viewfinder the instant the image is captured. Also, the R50's shutter release features haptic feedback in the form of a lightly felt click. I like this.

Features disabled when the full electronic shutter is selected continue to be reduced, but some restrictions remain. For example, flash is not supported.

Additional downsides of an electronic shutter are related to the current technology line-by-line reading of the imaging sensor. Fast side-to-side subject or camera movement can result in an angular-shifted image with vertically straight lines becoming noticeably slanted (with the camera in horizontal orientation). Understand that the second curtain of a mechanical shutter chasing the first curtain can produce the same effect. Still, the difference between mechanical shutter (with electronic first curtain shutter, under 3ms) and electronic shutter performance in this regard has historically been quite big.

We saw the R3's fast imaging sensor readout drastically reducing, practically eliminating, this effect, but keeping the R50 affordable means a slower sensor readout. Check out this table of tested imaging sensor readout speeds.

Model (times in ms)Electronic1st Curtain Mechanical
Canon EOS R516.33.5
Canon EOS R6 Mark II14.53.4
Canon EOS R729.22.4
Canon EOS R814.53.4
Canon EOS R1035.02.8
Canon EOS R5035.32.4
Tested imaging sensor readout speeds are accurate to approximately +/- 0.2ms.

The R50's 35ms readout speed is relatively slow, and about the same as that of the R10.

Certain light pulsing (including from others' flashes) can influence electronic shutter-captured results, creating troublesome banding. Here is an electronic shutter banding example:

Electronic Shutter Banding Example

Note that this image was captured by the R8 at a fast 1/8000 sec. shutter speed and high 6400 ISO setting, but good quality battery-powered lights illuminated the ColorChecker.

Defocused highlight bokeh circles can become clipped or truncated when using an electronic shutter.

As mentioned, the R50 features 12-bit vs. 14-bit capture in electronic shutter mode.

The R50's available shutter speeds are 1st Curtain Electronic: 30-1/4000 sec. (1/3 stop increments), Electronic: 30-1/8000 sec. (1/3 stop increments up to 1/8000 plus 1/16000 in Tv and M modes) (note the 30 sec. capability), Bulb (available range varies by shooting mode). Historically, entry-level Canon EOS cameras featured a 1/4000 sec. that limited some uses, typically using ultra-wide apertures in bright light. While the R50 does not feature the extreme 1/16000 shutter speed now available in higher-end cameras, 1/8000 is a great feature at this price point. Note that 1/2-stop adjustments are not available (I never use them).

Flash X-Sync is 1/250 sec. using electronic 1st curtain. Flash exposure compensation is +/- 3 stops in 1/3-stop increments.

Autofocus

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Getting great images requires high-precision focusing, and Canon's latest AF systems have changed the photography and videography games. These outstanding performing cameras, featuring incredible subject tracking and eye detection in conjunction with fast frame rates, make getting what used to be a trophy shot into a routine occurrence.

With the latest Canon Dual Pixel CMOS AF system, the photographer is often freed to focus on composition and shutter release timing, letting the camera handle AF.

Impressive is that the technology from the high-end EOS AF systems gets re-used in low-priced EOS camera models.

In Canon's most recent AF systems, People, Animals, or Vehicles can be specified. Canon's response to my asking why we had to select one (and remember to change it when necessary) was that the algorithm processing required this parameter for performance reasons. My questioning of the need for this setting was also answered with the Auto option. Now, the camera can determine which subject type is in the frame.

Note that the R50's AF subject tracking does not include horses, aircraft, and trains like the R8 and R6 II.

The EOS R50's Dual Pixel CMOS AF system features Spot AF (AF can be selected from 4503 available positions for stills, 3713 for Movies), 1-point AF, AF point Expansion 4 points (up, down, left, right), AF point Expansion surrounding (all surrounding points), Flexible Zone AF 1-3, and Whole Area AF (entire focusing area with 1053 maximum focusing zones). Note that, when enabled, subject tracking in Servo AF mode will take over the AF point selection once the subject is established. Turn off tracking to lock AF to the selected point or area.

AF coverage is up to approx. 100% x 100% of the frame, though coverage can vary depending on the lens used. Generally, only very narrow aperture lenses and lens plus extender combinations cause reduced coverage. Those coming from a DSLR will find the ability to maintain continuous focus with a point in the periphery of the image to be game-changing.

With the extreme number of focus points available on this camera, moving between individual focus points becomes challenging, including significant repetitive button pressing or holding.

Notably missing on the R50 is the joystick multi-controller.

The tap, touch, and drag AF touchscreen interface is a great R50 focus point selection option, allowing the AF point to be quickly moved throughout the frame.

I don't use manual AF area selection on EOS cameras nearly as frequently as I previously did due to the subject detection technology performing so well.

The R50 can AF at EV -3.5 – 20 (at 23°C & ISO100). While the low number is not nearly as impressive as that of its higher-priced siblings, EV -3.5 is still quite dark, and that performance is without aid from the AF assist lamp.

Located on the camera's left side is a bright LED focus assist lamp that extends AF capabilities into complete darkness within its very good range. The focus assist lamp may be blocked by the hand holding the camera in a normal shooting position. As a lens hood can partially block this light, hood removal is sometimes optimal depending on the focus point selected and the amount of reflected assist light available for the selected point.

The R50 focuses fast, and this advanced AF system is suitable for practically all pursuits.

For those choosing between Sony and Canon MILCs, note that the Canon does not defocus the lens before focusing in One Shot AF mode. Especially because of this design difference, Canon's One Shot AF lock time is faster than the current Sony camera models.

Most review-time-current sensor-based AF systems do not provide cross-sensitive AF point technology. As a result, the R50 camera may struggle to focus on only perfectly horizontally oriented lines of contrast. That said, I don't often encounter this issue with any R-series cameras, and rolling the camera slightly until focused will usually resolve AF lock-on issues.

With imaging sensor-based AF, this camera can be expected to focus consistently accurately, even with third-party lenses. Using the imaging sensor for AF enables the mirrorless advantage features such as precise eye and subject tracking — a DSLR will rarely focus on an eye behind obstructions, but this camera often will.

Canon EOS R5 Focus Bracketing

Focus Bracketing was a very useful feature first provided in the Canon EOS RP, the R5 (the source of this sample picture), and now multiple additional cameras. Now found in the R50, this feature has more details to be understood, and the Canon Focus Bracketing page tackles this topic.

Canon's latest AF systems are outstanding performers.

Movies

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The R50 features uncropped movies up to 4K UHD 30 fps (6K oversampling, 10-bit), and FHD 120 fps. This is a feature first for an entry-level EOS camera.

Canon EOS R50 Movie Specifications:
Container Format: MP4
Bit depth: 8 or 10 bit
Compression: H.264 / MPEG-4 or AVC H.265 / HEVC
Color Sampling Method: YCbCr 4:2:0 YCbCr 4:2:2
Standards Compliance: Rec. ITU-R BT.709 or Rec. ITU-R BT.2100
Color Gamut: Rec.709 or Rec.2020
Audio: AAC

Movie sizes are:
4K UHD (16:9) 3840 x 2160 (29.97, 25, 23.98fps) inter frame (IPB) / (IPB Light)
Full HD (16:9) 1920 x 1080 (119.88, 100, 59.94, 50, 29.97, 25, 23.98fps) inter frame (IPB) / (IPB Light)
Full HD Timelapse (16:9) 1920 x 1080 (29.97, 25fps) intra frame (All-I)
Full HD HDR (16:9) 1920 x 1080 (29.97, 25fps) intra frame (All-I)

Canon Log is not available. The max recording duration is 1 hour (excluding High Frame Rate movies) (with exclusions, including power and storage limitations). There is no 4 GB file limit with exFAT formatted card. Prerecording is supported.

Dual Pixel CMOS AF II with subject and eye detection and tracking is available during movie recording. 5-axis Movie Digital IS aims to steady video recording, especially big movements, and coordinates with in-lens image stabilization.

A video and stills switch is not provided.

Zebra display is available and especially useful for movie exposure control. False color display is not available.

Additional features available:

  • Vertical Video Metadata
  • Movie Self Timer
  • UVC/UAC Support, for USB livestreaming
  • Recording Emphasis
  • Aspect Markers

If you have read any of the site's lens reviews using the current format, you understand that most lenses have focus breathing. The angle of view changes, usually a modest amount, as focus is racked between extents. While the subject framing can usually be adjusted (if necessary) for still photos, the scene change is not welcome when racking focus during filming.

The EOS R50 supports focus breathing correction during movie recording. As the current RF lenses do not have a motorized zoom feature, cropping is the available correction mechanism. RF lenses released before the R50 may require a firmware update to support this feature.

As usual for EOS R-series camera video, the R50's video quality is excellent. R50 movies exhibit a relatively low rolling shutter effect, and the 4k output is outstanding.

Canon EOS R50 Front

Exposure/Metering System

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The EOS R50's high-performing metering system features 384 zones (24x16), and the metering range specification is good: EV -2 – 20 (at 23°C, ISO100, with evaluative metering).

EOS R50's metering modes include Evaluative metering (AF point-linked), Partial metering (approx. 5.8% of the area at the center of the screen), Spot metering (approx. 2.9% of the area at the center of the screen), and Center-weighted average metering. Exposure compensation is +/-3 stops in 1/3-stop (but not 1/2-stop) increments.

AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing) uses those same numbers with 3 shots available.

I continue to be impressed by EOS cameras' metering capabilities, and the R50's metering system is very reliable. While I still use manual mode 95% of the time, I rely on the camera's metering via Auto ISO an increasing percentage of the time.

Related to metering is Canon's Anti-flicker mode, a game-changer when photographing under flickering lights, especially when photographing fast action.

Canon EOS R50 LCD Open

Viewfinder and LCD

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The EOS R50 has a compact 0.39" (9.9mm) OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) EVF (Electronic Viewfinder), with an appropriate 2.36 million dot resolution.

The R50 EVF features a 100% view and 0.95x magnification, and it has good contrast and color. This EVF has a 22mm-high eyepoint design, and the dioptric adjustment of -3 to +1 facilitates viewfinder use without glasses. OVF simulation is available.

An EVF makes a configurably-vast amount of information available for display (up to 41 items) and also makes that information rotatable, ideal for shooting in vertical orientation. A quality EVF makes reviewing images easy, especially when zooming in for sharpness verification, especially in bright daylight, and especially for eyes that otherwise require corrective optics (if you don't need glasses now, expect to need them at some point).

A feature I heavily rely on is an electronic level, and all full-functioned current-design cameras have this feature. The R50's level is excellent, featuring a reduced viewfinder presence (less subject obscuring) and ideal tuning.

Canon EOS R50 LCD Open Front

The EOS R50 features Canon's 2.95" (7.50cm) Clear View LCD II, featuring approx. 1,620K dot Vari-angle Touchscreen LCD. The Vari-angle feature of this LCD permits rotation of nearly 180° horizontally and 270° vertically, making hard-to-get shots and unique perspectives (including selfies and vlogging) easy to capture.

Canon EOS R50 LCD Open Front with RF-S 18-45mm Lens

While this is not Canon's highest-resolution LCD display, the image quality is good. Anti-smudge coating is not applied, making this LCD modestly more difficult to clean than models featuring this coating. Anti-reflection coating is also not applied.

Canon's touchscreens make changing camera settings easy, including via the always excellent Canon menu structure and the handy "Q" button (showing the Quick Control screen).

Tour of the Canon EOS R50

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At the beginning of this review, I referenced the EOS M50 Mark II. Here is that visual comparison (the R50 is on the left):

Canon EOS R50 Compared to Canon EOS M50 Mark II

The changes, aside from the RF lens mount, are modest. On the back, the right side of the cross keys controller changed from the flash settings function to drive mode selection, and the info button moved left for easier thumb access.

On the top, the movie record button moved into the M.Fn button position where it is easier to access with the index finger. The M.Fn button went missing, but a recessed ISO button showed up to the right of the shutter release.

To visually compare the Canon EOS R50 with many other camera models, use the site's camera product image comparison tool.

Those familiar with Canon's R-series and M-series cameras will find the R50 requiring little acclimation, while those moving to the R series from a DSLR model should expect a bit of a learning curve. While the learning curve is well worth the effort, advanced users should note the lack of dials and controllers on this camera. The touchscreen and lens control ring provide alternative access to the missing dial functionality.

Canon EOS R50 Back

Back of the Camera

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As hinted, the R50's back-of-the-camera features are somewhat limited compared to the higher-end models. Advanced photographers will wish for a joystick and a rear control dial surrounding the cross keys.

The latter feature should have been included in this camera, reducing the need to use the touch screen or lens control ring. I especially like the Canon EOS M5's small rear control dial. That said, the provided 4-way cross keys controller is easy to use.

The Set button, located in the center of the cross keys, acts as the "Q" Quick control button in shooting mode, making commonly used features readily available. Note that the menu button does not wake the camera.

I often complain that Canon R-series camera's flush-mounted buttons are hard to tactilely locate and press, especially when wearing gloves, and I again complain about that issue with this camera. The R50 buttons need distinguishable plastic depth changes around them.

While I already discussed the Vari-angle rear LCD, note how flushly it mounts, tucking into the back of the camera, and also note the recessed portions of the camera back that enables it to be easily pulled out. The LCD can be stowed in reversed orientation, providing greater protection.

Canon EOS R50 LCD Closed

The back view shows the compact viewfinder aiding the R50's small dimensions. The diopter adjustment is under the viewfinder and awkward to use.

Canon EOS R50 Body Top

Top of the Camera

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The power switch is on the right side where it is accessible by the camera gripping hand.

Obvious from the top view is that the viewfinder provides adequate nose relief from the LCD, and the new Multi-function hot shoe is seen on top (I know, I need to remember to remove the shoe cover). Note that a Canon AD-E1 Multi-Function Shoe Adapter is necessary to adapt legacy Speedlite accessories to the updated Multi-Function Shoe.

Next to the right of the viewfinder is the mode dial. The R-series models without a top LCD have a dedicated mode dial. This dial is prominently-featured for easy right-thumb access, and with a non-locking design, mode changes are a quick swipe of the thumb away, even when the camera is powered off. The mode dial and other top-of-the-camera dials are raised only somewhat, protected from impact damage.

The R50's mode dial has 9 options, though some modes access many others.

The EOS R50 (and nearly all other EOS cameras) has a fully automatic point-and-shoot mode. Complete beginners can open the box, charge and install the battery, insert a memory card, and select the green A+ fully-automatic Scene Intelligent Auto mode to have a camera ready to go, taking care of everything for point-and-shoot (or camera phone) simplicity. This mode is simple from the user's perspective, but it is far from simple from a technological standpoint as it uses powerful artificial intelligence algorithms to deliver excellent results in various situations.

Included modes are Canon's standard P (Program), Av (Aperture Priority), Tv (Shutter Priority), and M (manual). Missing on the dial are Fv, Bulb, and Custom modes.

Also included on this dial are Movie, Hybrid Auto (captures a movie 2-4 seconds before the photo is taken, similar to the older Movie Digest Scene modes that captured video and stills together), SCN (Special Scene Mode), and Creative Filters. SCN contains the creative modes, including Portrait, Group, Landscape, Panoramic Shot (new), Sports, Kids, Panning, Close-up, Food, Night Portrait, Handheld Night Scene, HDR Backlight Control, and Silent.

Toward the top of the right side are the shutter release and top dial, features very similar in function and orientation as Canon's other EOS DSLRs and MILCs.

The common M-Fn button and top Quick Control dial are missing on the R50's top.

The red Movie shooting button provides logically-positioned instant access to video recording.

Canon EOS R50 Left Side

Side of the Camera

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An External Microphone In (3.5mm Stereo mini jack) port is provided on the left side of the camera.

Canon EOS R50 Right Side

USB 2.0 (Type-C) and HDMI Micro out (Type D, HDMI-CEC not supported) ports are provided on the right side of the camera.

Notably missing are a headphone port and E3-type remote release terminal.

Canon EOS R50 Body

Front of the Camera

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The front of the R50 features only the basics, including the lens release button, AF assist lamp, and brand markings.

Size of the Camera

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A hallmark of mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras is small size, and this one is tiny. Small size is reason alone to reach for the R50.

When looking for opportunity to save space in camera design, the grip, typically dimensionally protruding more than any other physical feature, is an easy target. However, if one spends much time with a camera in hand, grip ergonomics are critically important and a too-small grip becomes, quite literally, a pain.

The R50's grip size was obviously sacrificed to reduce the camera size, but Canon's engineers provided a good compromise. While my pinky does not fit on this grip, it is quite usable and not uncomfortable.

ModelBody DimensionsCIPA Weight
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV5.9 x 4.6 x 3.0"(150.7 x 116.4 X 75.9mm)31.4 oz (890g)
Canon EOS R35.9 x 5.6 x 3.4"(150 x 142.6 x 87.2mm)35.8 oz (1015g)
Canon EOS R55.5 x 3.8 x 3.5"(138.0 x 97.5 x 88.0mm)26.0 oz (738g)
Canon EOS R6 Mark II5.5 x 3.9 x 3.5"(138.4 x 98.4 x 88.4mm)23.6 oz (670g)
Canon EOS R65.5 x 3.8 x 3.5"(138.0 x 97.5 x 88.4mm)24.0 oz (680g)
Canon EOS R75.2 x 3.6 x 3.6"(132.0 x 90.4 x 91.7mm)21.6 oz (612g)
Canon EOS R85.2 x 3.4 x 2.8"(132.5 x 86.1 x 70.0mm)16.2 oz. (461g)
Canon EOS R104.8 x 3.5 x 3.3"(122.5 x 87.8 x 83.4mm)15.1 oz (429g)
Canon EOS R504.6 x 3.4 x 2.7"(116.3 x 85.5 x 68.8mm)13.3 oz. (375g)
Canon EOS R1004.6 x 3.4 x 2.7"(116.3 x 85.5 x 68.8mm)12.6 oz. (356g)
Canon EOS R5.4 x 3.9 x 3.3"(135.8 x 98.3 x 84.4mm)23.4 oz (660g)
Canon EOS RP5.2 x 3.4 x 2.8"(132.5 x 85.3 x 70mm)17.3 oz (485g)
Canon EOS M6 Mark II4.7 x 2.8 x 1.9"(119.6 x 70.0 x 49.2mm)14.4 oz (408g)
Canon EOS M50 Mark II4.6 x 3.5 x 2.3"(116.3 x 88.1 x 58.7mm)13.7 oz (387g)
Canon EOS M2004.3 x 2.6 x 1.4"(108.2 x 67.1 x 35.1mm)11.3 oz (320g)
Sony Alpha 7 IV5.2 x 3.8 x 3.1" (131.3 x 96.4 x 79.8mm)23.0 oz (650g)
View the full Canon EOS R50 specifications to compare additional cameras.

This camera's small size and light weight make it a perfect take-everywhere companion. I stored this camera and a small RF-S lens vertically in the space a lens alone normally consumes in my backpack.

Build Quality

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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.

The EOS R50 does not have specified weather resistance. I recommend using a rain cover (for all cameras) when dust and moisture are expected, but weather sealing can be a save-the-day or trip feature when unplanned wetness happens.

With no full mechanical shutter available, the R50 cannot close the shutter when powered down as some R-series cameras do.

Additional Features

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Useful is that the R50 can directly plug into a phone using an MFI-certified cable.

Wireless LAN (IEEE802.11b/g/n) (2.4 GHz) and Bluetooth 4.2 support are provided. Connect to EOS Utility or a Smartphone.

Easily transfer images and movies to compatible mobile devices (and then to social media) using Canon's free Camera Connect app (iOS | Android). With lots of potential awaiting development, this app provides some remote control of the camera's settings and shutter when shooting still images. Wireless remote printing to a compatible printer is also supported via Wi-Fi.

Utilizing this camera's Bluetooth capability is the Canon BR-E1 Bluetooth Remote. Want to be part of your own family picture? Or just don't want to deal with a remote release cord when using a tripod? This is an accessory you may want.

The R50 does not have a self-cleaning sensor.

Canon EOS R50 Flash Up

Flash

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The Canon EOS R50 has a built-in flash.

Manually raise the flash housed in the front of the viewfinder box when this feature is desired. The pop-up flash is especially useful for fill light.

The R50 does not feature "Master" or "Sender" optical wireless capabilities (without an accessory).

Canon EOS R50 Angle with RF-S 18-45mm Lens

Battery

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Batteries are dense, and creating a small, light, and affordable camera typically involves a small battery. Logically, Canon again used the Canon LP-E17 Battery for the R50. Great is that many EOS camera models utilize the same battery. Not as great is that a small battery size equates to reduced capacity, and the R50 has an underwhelming battery life rating.

The R50's battery life rating:

With LCD Approx. 440 shots (at 23°C)
With Viewfinder Approx. 310 shots (at 23°C)

For the size of this camera, those numbers are not bad, and real-life experience usually yields considerably better results. A charged battery lasted all day with casual use.

This tiny battery takes up very little space in the camera bag or your pocket, and it is advisable to always have at least one spare along.

The EOS R50 provides a 4-level battery indicator.

Compatible and power-related are the Canon USB Power Adapter PD-E1 (USB power), AC Adapter AC-E6N, AC Adapter Kit ACK-E18, and DC Coupler DR-E18.

Canon EOS R50 in White

What is the Best Lens for the Canon EOS R50?

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A lens can make a big difference in a camera's overall performance and resulting image quality, and the growing, directly compatible Canon RF Lens lineup is impressive.

The EOS R50 is available in black or white in a body-only kit, in a kit with the Canon RF-S 18-45mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM Lens, or in a 2-lens kit that adds the Canon RF-S 55-210mm F5-7.1 IS STM Lens.

The RF-S 18-45mm lens available in the kit is ideally paired with the compact, lightweight, and inexpensive EOS R50.

Those wishing for a longer zoom range should consider the Canon RF-S 18-150mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM Lens.

For those who want to step up to a professional-grade lens, my choice for an R50 standard zoom lens would be the Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens, Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens, or Canon RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM Lens. These lenses offer an ideal general-purpose focal length range, wide apertures, image stabilization, a high-performing AF system, professional-grade build quality, and excellent image quality. However, none is compact like the R50.

Again, the Canon RF Lens lineup is very impressive, featuring many options for varied needs.

Via one of the Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS Rs, ranging from relatively low to rather high-priced, Canon EF, EF-S, TS-E, and MP-E lenses become compatible. These adapted lenses perform as native.

Canon's EF-M lenses are not compatible with the RF mount, even with the adapter, and because of their shorter flange back distance (18mm vs. 20mm), it is unlikely that we will see a Canon option to support this combination. Note that when using some third-party manual focus lenses on the adapter (Rokinon/Samyang, for example), the camera may not take a photo unless "Release shutter without lens" is enabled in the menu.

Next, minimally add a telephoto zoom lens to the kit. The Canon RF-S 55-210mm F5-7.1 IS STM Lens and Canon RF 100-400mm F5.6-8 IS USM Lens are a nice match to the R50, and the far heavier and more expensive Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens is an outstanding choice.

Canon EOS R50 Angle

Price

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The R50 is, by far, Canon's least expensive R-series camera at review time. The features and performance available for this price make it a bargain.

Wrap Up

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Keeping a review of the incredibly feature-laden Canon EOS R50 concise but complete is a difficult balance to find, and this review is not a complete description of every feature available. Canon will publish an intimidatingly long but well-designed owner's manual (a link to the manual will be provided at the beginning of this review) that highlights all of the features found on this camera, explaining their use. Read the manual, use the camera, repeat.

Owning a Canon product gives you access to Canon support, and the support provided by Canon USA (minimally) is excellent. When I call for support, I get an intelligent person who sincerely wants to help me with my question or problem. Although I seldom need Canon repair service, it is fast and reliable.

The production Canon EOS R50 camera used for this review was on loan from Canon USA.

Alternatives

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The EOS R50 is going to be a best-seller, but let's look at some alternatives, starting with the similar-appearing Canon EOS M50 Mark II.

Check out the EOS R50 vs. M50 II specification comparison along with the visual comparison of these cameras. Here are the Canon EOS R50 advantages over the M50 II:

  • Far more advanced AF system
  • DIGIC X vs. DIGIC 8
  • Up to 1/8000 sec. shutter speed vs 1/4000
  • Higher resolution LCD (1.62 million dots vs. 1.04)
  • Exposure Compensation of +/- 3EV in 1/3 increments vs. +/- 2EV in 1/2 or 1/3 increments
  • Canon Multi-function accessory shoe
  • Up to 15 fps with AF tracking vs. 7.4 fps
  • LP-E17 Battery Pack vs. LP-E12
  • Slightly updated controls
  • Slightly lighter: 13.2 oz vs. 13.7 oz (375g vs. 387g)
  • Much larger native-mount lens selection, though a few key models remain on the wanted list

Here is the M50 II advantages list:

  • Slightly smaller: 4.6 x 3.5 x 2.3" vs. 4.6 x 3.4 x 2.7" (116.3 x 88.1 x 58.7mm vs. 116.3 x 85.5 x 68.8mm)
  • Less expensive (if still available)

Going with the newer model, the R50 makes sense in this comparison.

At review time, the next higher R-series camera is the Canon EOS R10. The R50 and R10 are similar era cameras (an about 1 year age difference), and much of their tech is shared.

Check out the EOS R50 vs. R10 specification comparison along with the visual comparison of these cameras. Here are the Canon EOS R50 advantages over the R10:

  • Up to 1/8000 (electronic) sec. shutter speed vs 1/4000
  • Higher resolution LCD (1.62 million dots vs. 1.04)
  • Has a dedicated ISO button
  • Is modestly smaller: 4.58 x 3.37 x 2.71" vs. 4.8 x 3.5 x 3.3" (116.3 x 85.5 x 68.8mm vs. 122.5 x 87.8 x 83.4mm)
  • Is slightly lighter: 13.2 oz vs. 15.1 oz (375g vs. 429g)

Here are the Canon EOS R10 advantages over the R50:

  • LCD has Anti-smudge
  • Has full mechanical shutter option
  • 23 FPS for 70 JPEG or 21 RAW images vs. 15 FPS for 28 JPEG or 7 RAW images
  • Has a joystick multi-controller, an additional top dial, an M-Fn button, an AF-On button, and a Lock button
  • Has additional modes on the dial, including a pair of Custom modes
  • Has a self-cleaning imaging sensor
  • Supports SDXC UHS-II vs. UHS-I
  • Has an E3 remote controller port
  • Larger grip is easier to use

Advanced photographers will prefer the added control provided by the R10.

If going simple, why not go completely simple? There are a lot of numbers higher than 50, and if ultimate simplicity is a goal, there seems to be an opportunity for an even less-featured model, such as an EOS R100 with only a shutter release, EVF, and touchscreen LCD.

A few months after making that statement, the Canon EOS R100 was introduced, with more features than I offered (but no touchscreen). Perhaps most surprising was the R100's $200.00 USD lower price tag.

A compact, lightweight, entry-level targeted camera with an ultra-low price begs the question: "What is missing?" Or, "Where did the $200.00 go?" Comparing the R100 to the next model up, the Canon EOS R50, helps to clear those answers.

The Canon EOS R100 is shown to the left of the R50 below.

Canon EOS R100 Compared to Canon EOS R50

Check out the EOS R100 vs. R50 specification comparison, along with the visual comparison of these cameras.

What are the differences between the Canon EOS R100 and the R50? Here are the R50's advantages:

  • 24.2 MP vs. 24.1 MP (the resolution difference is not noticeable, but the R50 has a newer imaging sensor)
  • DIGIC X vs. DIGIC 8 and operating system port from M50 and M50 II
  • More advanced AF area selection and subject detection
  • Touch and Drag AF area selection
  • Focus Bracketing
  • Light Flicker avoidance mode
  • Exposure compensation of +/-3 stops in 1/3- or 1/2-stop increments vs. +/- 2 EV in 1/3-stop increments
  • ISO 100-32000, H (51200) vs. 100–12800, H (25600)
  • Up 1/8000 sec. shutter in 1/2 or 1/3 stop increments vs. up to 1/4000 in 1/3 stop increments
  • Full-featured electronic shutter mode with 35.3 ms readout vs. limited silent shooting mode (full auto only) with 78 ms readout
  • Vari-angle touch screen Clear View LCD II with approx. 1.62 million dots vs. 1,040,000 dots. (not Vari-Angle or Touchscreen)
  • Flash Exposure Compensation (FEC) of +/- 3EV vs. +/- 2EV
  • Multi-function Shoe vs. Conventional Hot Shoe
  • 2s+remote, 10s+remote shooting modes
  • 12 fps 1st curtain electronic shutter continuous shooting with AF vs. 3.5
  • 15 fps electronic shutter continuous shooting with AF vs. n/a
  • HEIF, HDR PQ, HEVC
  • 4K UHD 30 fps (uncropped, 6K oversampling, 10-bit) vs. 4K UHD 24 fps (cropped, 8-bit)
  • FHD 120 fps vs. 60 fps
  • Max movie duration 1:00 vs. 29:59
  • Has an ISO button on top
  • Has an electronic level
  • Selectable Control Ring functionality vs. exposure compensation only
  • Compatible with Control Ring on mount adapter
  • Compatible with Canon USB Power Adapter PD-E1
  • Compatible with the Canon RF 1.4x and 2x Extenders, RF 85mm F1.2 L USM DS Lens

What are the R100's advantages?

  • E3 Remote Release Port
  • Slightly Lighter: 12.6 vs. 13.2 oz (356 vs. 375g)
  • Considerably less expensive

While the R50 holds most of the advantages, and some of them are compelling, the lower price line item on the R100's list holds significant weight.

Summary

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The Canon EOS R50 features outstanding AF performance, excellent image quality, compact size, light weight, and a near-bottom-of-the-line price. There is a lot to like about this camera.

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