The M50, and the future of M? Locked

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The M50, and the future of M?

Some thoughts regarding the recent M50 that have been nagging on me, no order...

I really think the M50 has a strong target audience; generation Z.

After working with many folks in that generation, they're looking for something just like the M50, small, light, powerful with interchangeable lenses and decent vlog/youtube capacity at an affordable price point.

That new sync to your phone as you shot is a real game changer, it finally deals with the elephant in the room of smartphone photography always having a leg up on social media. This is the bunch that shoots, and can't upload to Instagram fast enough, hence if your camera is syncing shot-to-shot, and, say you shoot JPEG+RAW (or say JPEG S1 with C-RAW), with 1x1 aspect ratio on the JPEG (instagram default), you're all set with those SOOC Canon colors. They're also big on working touch screens, the original EOS M (what a shock) and SL1/2 series due to the smaller size and affordability. This thing takes on the A6300, and does the same job at the same price point, better. After watching Kai's review, the contrast AF (in 4k) is quite good in good light, and for 1080, well it's a winner.

Regarding as a stills weapon, I was shocked to learn the M50 has another shocking crippling, other than no DPAF in 4k which turns out is intentional (even though I know we had a thread hit the 150 cap arguing it wasn't)... There's a rather noteworthy footnote, arguably bigger than no DPAF in 4k:

"*** The EOS M50 camera’s EVF does not support a display change to the vertical layout"

What?!

So less dials, no DPAF in 4k, and no "portrait" orientation support even though they have Eye-AF. Hmmmm.

Really curious what Canon's going to do with the M5 II and M6 II. Couple thoughts on that and the future...

Canon did a same sensor with DIGIC only upgrade here. That DIGIC upgrade is responsible for:

1/2 stop IS improvement on select lenses

Additional DPAF coverage

Additional AF points

Eye-AF support

Faster AF speed and superior tracking

Improved 1080P output (higher bitrate)

4k with h.264 output

Improved AWB options

Improved highlight retention options

Improved sharpness and DLO in-camera

On-the-fly smartphone syncing

C-RAW support (which I suspect may just be the 12-bit raw ala M5/6 rebranded as C-RAW, which is quite good btw)

1EV sensitivity improvement

Claimed improved high ISO noise reduction for SOOC JPEG

Any new mirrorless or Powershot G's should in theory (that are DIGIC8) get some or all following as well, that's exciting stuff.

Disclaimer, some of those DIGIC8 enhancements are software driven, like the 1/2 stop of IS, sharpness, etc, others are hardware driven like AF which is (largely) computationally bound. Either way the DIGIC8's hardware or software brings those with it.

Another disclaimer, I did predict that DIGIC was the long pole in the tent of DPAF some time ago; there's always been too much data coming off that DPAF firehouse for the DIGIC6 or 7 to handle (all of), and arguably still for the 8. Nobodies talked about AF performance in any reviews of the M50 yet, but I suspect it really delivers between it's added AF points, Eye-AF, larger coverage on select lenses and claimed improved speed and tracking. The M5 was already good, but, the M50 should close more of the gap between SLR and mirrorless AF, which the 1EV sensitively bump alludes to.

It'll be exciting to see say a M5 II that presumably isn't DPAF and 4k neutered, portrait EVF neutered and has more dials, at a minimum.

The other thing to look forward to, change in sensor design.

Since this is the same 24MP sensor (confirmed now), that means we're about due for a new APS-C, whether that shoe drops with the 7D III, 90D, or M5 II, we'll see. But, we could be looking at BSI, IBIS, or, full 4k readout via downsampling instead of a center crop.

The other thing we may see, if Canon's really feeling adventurous, there's always been the possibility of a XC-M, that is a cinema camera with EF-M mount. That'd be wild. It'd also arguably be the GH4 (and now 5) killer Canon's rumored to be working on.

In any event, I think the M50, even though I was skeptical of it at first, definitely has a home, the future of the M between DIGIC8 and the upcoming fast prime (Nokishita has a 100% track record for their sourced rumors/leaks, and, their source "breaks" when launch is imminent, that is we may see the new EF-M 32mm f/1.4 STM very, very soon) alone is quite bright, but, it could get much brighter if a substantial sensor upgrade came along or a dedicated EF-M cinema offering (or more lenses; depends how serious Canon's gotten).

Side note, although I'm excited about the future of the M myself, Canon still needs a fast normal zoom to sway me from my G1X III, or my kids to hit sports, or a FF mirrorless with native mount. Fat chance on the latter, but the rumor mill is now talking a native mount, not EF mount, that's intriguing. Maybe Canon changed their mind?

Canon EOS 7D Canon EOS M6 Kodak Pixpro S-1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Pentax Optio M50 Sony a6300
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