Travel and family photography: Canon EOS M50 Mk II vs Olympus E-M5 Mk III

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Dr Nick Riviera New Member • Posts: 24
Travel and family photography: Canon EOS M50 Mk II vs Olympus E-M5 Mk III


I am looking for a lightweight alternative to my current system (Nikon D7100 + a set of decent lenses) for travel and family photography. I do not plan to give up my DSLR because I am really happy with it feature- and image quality-wise, at least for now. However, with family life catching up (my 1 year old is growing fast) I cannot justify lugging around my kit everywhere. But that doesn't mean I will compromise on photography. Au contraire! Movie capabilites are less important to me but I would like to have at least a microphone input and some form of image stabilization.

A phone is not an option because it simply doesn't feel like a camera.

I've tried a few point and shoots like the Sony RX series but was disappointed with the quality although the shots were taken in a pretty well lit room. And again, doesn't feel like a camera.

I also own a Ricoh GR and while it is perfectly pocketable and it affords great image quality, I never really enjoyed shooting with it because of its fixed focal length and the absence of an EVF.

To sum up: I need an interchangeable lens camera.

From a cost (I live in China by the way), weight and size perspective I have narrowed down the choice to a few options I was able to test in store (the internet is really no substitute). Lens selections are of course a matter of debate, but I've tried to come up with some comparable options for travel and people photography.

Canon EOS M50 Mark II

  • Excellent handling, "mini DSLR" feeling.
  • Very versatile flip screen which can be stowed away to protect from scratches.
  • Intuitive and easy to use menus.
  • Great Eye AF, 100% tack sharp with all lenses I was able to test, including the awesome EF-M 32/1.4. I give this a high priority because more than half of my pictures are currently people shots.
  • The connectivity and app for transferring files to the phone seems to be one of the bests in the market. I very frequently use that function and the crappy Nikon software for my WU-1 adapter drives me mad every time is use it...
  • M50 Mk II + 18-150 + Sigma 56/1.4 --> 957 g / 1200 EUR.
  • M50 Mk II + 11-22 + 18-150 + Sigma 56/1.4 --> 1177 g / 1500 EUR.
  • I also tested the M6 Mark II. Technically a better camera but not an option because of the ugly hot-shoe mounted EVF protrusion.

Olympus E-M5 Mark III

  • More plasticky feel than the Canon but more external controls. I would say a draw.
  • Inferior EVF compared to the Canon. But that might just be the crappy setting of the store.
  • Weather sealing. Clear win for Olympus.
  • Full featured electronic shutter (the Canon offers it only in auto mode).
  • Possibly an inferior sensor, compared to the Canon?
  • I got lost in the menus. Clear win for Canon.
  • Face + Eye AF only snapped on relatively close faces but apart from that it worked pretty well. I would however still give an edge to the Canon.
  • I was not able to test it but IBIS will probably be much better than that of the Canon. But then, IBIS won't help for most of my people shots.
  • Uncropped 4K Video vs heavily cropped 4K on the Canon. Clear win for Olympus.
  • Much more feature packed, computational photography features such as high res mode (not sure I will use them, though).
  • Much larger lens selection with some really stellar options and real used market. However, the pro lenses unfortunately negate the advantage of the m43 system from a weight and size perspective. So I don't want to buy into those.
  • EM-5 Mk III + 14-150 + 45/1.8 --> 815 g / 1200 EUR.
  • EM-5 Mk III + 9-18 + 14-150 + 45/1.8 --> 970 g / 1600 EUR.
  • The EM-10 Mk IV would be a great and cheap option if had a better AF system and a microphone port.

I have also looked at:

  • Nikon: while I could use my existing lenses, accounting for the adapter that would make my system almost as bulky and heavy as my D7100. And I really don't like the flimsy body of the Z50. Might as well get a D3500 then, much cheaper and I would not need an adapter... FF systems such as the Z5 and above would be real upgrades but we are looking at 2-3 kEUR including a set of Z-mount lenses.
  • Sony: while the A6xxx series and the A7C look great from a technical point of view I just hate the ergonomics and except the A6100 all those cameras are significantly bigger than the Canon or the Olympus mentioned above.
  • Fuji: the XT-30 looks like a good option although I don't like the retro styling. Might have a look at the X-E4. But, again, good lenses for this system are well built but heavy.

I am heavily leaning towards the Canon. From a features point of view the Olympus definitely wins but I just like the Canon better.

What would be your choice?

 Dr Nick Riviera's gear list:Dr Nick Riviera's gear list
Nikon D7100 Olympus E-M5 III Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D Tokina AT-X Pro 12-24mm f/4 DX II +4 more
Canon EOS M50 II Nikon D7100 Olympus E-M5 III
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