First Impressions

by Dan Bracaglia

We loved the EOS M100 for its small size, connectivity and ease of use. With the M50, buyers now have an easy-to-use Canon mirrorless option with a more substantial grip and a lovely electronic viewfinder. There's only one control dial, so this camera is clearly geared toward entry-level users. But before you dismiss it, consider for a moment that this is actually one of the most exciting Canon cameras to be launched in some time. Why? Because it indicates what's to come for all Canon entry- and enthusiast-level cameras in the near future.

The M50 is the result of Canon listening to its users and the needs of beginners as a whole.

4K is here, at long last. For years Canon shied away from bestowing UHD capture on anything but its high end DSLRs, even while other brands included it in all their offerings. Unfortunately, despite having the latest processor, there are some serious limitations to 4K capture, including a 1.7x crop (on top of the native 1.6x crop imposed by the APS-C sensor, which equates to a 2.7x total crop (relative to full-frame) and not being able to use Dual Pixel AF. But I'm hopeful that the latter shortcoming doesn't carry over to other new models.

Better connectivity via instant sharing is also the new reality for Canon entry-level cameras. Once paired with a smart device, the send-to-smartphone feature on the M50 is truly awesome. Other brands have already introduced this type feature in some of their models, and it's one I've come to really like. The question is, will the promise of Canon colors and instant sharing be enough to win over the 'my smartphone is good enough' crowd? It's hard to say. But if the instant sharing works reliably, I could see the M50 converting some folks.

The M50 is the result of Canon listening to its users and the needs of beginners as a whole

It's also exciting to see Dual Pixel AF coverage increased with certain lenses. We've long been impressed by how fast and accurate it is and it will be interesting to see the results of putting the M50 through our standard AF tests. The new Eye Detection AF mode also sounds promising. Sadly, it only works in AF-S and won't track an eye, so it's only useful if your subject stays reasonably still.

In all, the M50 is the result of Canon listening to its users and the needs of beginners as a whole. Moreover, it looks like a super fun camera to use. The limitations are a bit of a letdown, but overall it's a clear sign of more versatile M-series cameras to come – so maybe hold off buying that M6 for a little while.