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So what is the Canon EOS M50 best suited for in the real world?

Candid & Street photography

ISO 200 | 1/500 sec | F9 | EF-M 15-45mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM lens @ 24mm equiv.
Photo by Barney Britton

While not a go-to camera for this kind of shooting, the M50 allows one to take photos without drawing a lot of attention. The autofocus is quick and decisive, its fully articulating LCD lets you 'shoot from the hip' while a silent mode uses the electronic shutter without any annoying beeps. There's only one native lens really suited for street photography, the 22mm F2 (equivalent to 35mm,) as all of the EF-M other lenses are slow zooms.

Landscape

ISO 100 | 1/160 sec | F7.1 | EF-M 15-45mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM @ 72mm equiv.
Photo by Barney Britton

The M50 can handle landscape photography just fine but, as with street photography, it's not a camera you'd pick out of a lineup for that task. What makes the M50 most appealing for landscapes are its vibrant JPEG colors that are a Canon trademark. On the M50 greens should be a little greener, since Canon has reduced the yellow tint that we've noticed on earlier M-series models. While not class-leading, the M50's 24MP sensor has enough dynamic range to let you brighten the shadows a few stops without a huge noise penalty.

The rotating LCD definitely comes in handy for shooting on a tripod. It's worth noting that the widest lens for the M50 is the 11-22mm F4-5.6, which is equivalent to 18-35mm, which may be a bit too telephoto for some landscape photographers. That said, the 11-22 is compact, fast to focus and relatively sharp.

Family & Lifestyle

Whether it's casual snapshots or keeping a moving child in focus, the M50 is up for the challenge. We were impressed with the improvements that Canon made to the AF system, which can keep subjects in focus, via face detection or tapping on the screen, even at 7.4 frames/second.

You can quickly transfer images to your smartphone and then text or email them effortlessly

The built-in flash can serve as a fill light and if you want to 'bounce,' there's a hot shoe for attaching something more substantial, like Canon's very cool 470EX-AI.

The M50 can be safely handed off to a less-experienced photographer after switching into Auto mode. There, the camera will select a scene mode automatically, giving users a 'smart' point-and-shoot experience. If you want everyone in the picture, the fully articulating LCD is perfect for selfies.

Sharing photos with friends and family is easy. You can quickly transfer images to your smartphone and then text or email them effortlessly.

Travel

ISO 100 | 1/250 sec | F5.6 | EF-M 55-200mm F4.5-6.3 @ 216mm equiv.
Photo by Jeff Keller

The EOS M50 is well-suited for taking along on vacation, whether for a day or a month. It's compact (though not as small as the EOS M100) and Canon makes a nice travel lens to go along with it: the EF-M 18-150mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM.

As with people photos, you'll want to share photos of your travels right away. The constant connection provided by Bluetooth can transfer your pictures to your smartphone right as they're being taken, so you can post them on your favorite social media site in near-realtime. Another handy wireless feature lets you automatically transfer photos and videos to your Mac or PC when both your camera and computer are on the same network.

The M50 does lose a few points for its poor battery life and lack of USB charging. If you are thinking about this camera, be sure to buy a few extra batteries and keep them charged up while you're on the go.

Video

Much has already been written in this review about the video capability of the M50 and, simply put, it's a poor choice for the videophile.

The highly advertised 4K feature is the most disappointing thing, with so-so quality, huge crop factor that makes wide-angle shooting impossible, lack of Dual Pixel AF and noticeable rolling shutter. You do get Dual Pixel AF back when you shift to 1080p but even then the quality isn't great.

The M50 does have an effective digital IS system, but it increases the already large crop and reduces video quality noticeably.

Other Use Cases

There are several other use cases that we consider when reviewing a camera. We didn't find the M50 to be well-suited as a camera for weddings & events, sports & wildlife, action & adventure or portraiture.