What is the best digital camera for travel? I have the answer to that question, which is why I’ve chosen to review Canon’s EOS M50 camera. It has some amazing features, and its size makes it the perfect travel companion. It’s lightweight enough to toss into your camera bag or purse, and captures outstanding stills and video. The M50 is an incredible compact camera that may just be your new best friend!
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The Canon M50 Mirrorless Camera
The Canon M50 is a great choice for both amateur and aspiring photographers who want to take their photos and videos to the next level. It’s also a great option for seasoned photographers who are tired of lugging around heavy equipment. The M50 is an awesome choice for those who want to upgrade their smartphone images, but don’t want to invest in a DSLR. This is where mirrorless cameras shine.
I shoot with Canon’s 5D Mark II, and love it, but for travel it’s too bulky, so I’ve been looking to find an affordable option with enough professional-type features that my images and videos are still top notch. The M50 is much more than an entry-level camera, although not as robust as a professional DSLR, and that’s just fine with me!
The first in Canon’s M series, and perhaps even topping the list, the M50 comes with an affordable price tag, shoots crystal clear, vibrant stills, along with cinematic 4K video. It also shoots full-frame stunning 1080p video.
My initial question was: “How can a camera so compact, pack so much punch?” Well, the reason the M50 is so small is the fact that it’s mirrorless, which excludes it from the DSLR category. However, many of its features mimic that of a higher-end DSLR.
Mirrorless Cameras Vs DSLR
Mirrorless and DSLR cameras both come with their own set of pros and cons. Mirrorless cameras sport a lower price tag, are lightweight, compact, and generally shoot better video because they use phase detection while recording.This is one advantage to not having a mirror, and results in faster, more-accurate video.
DSLRs are more expensive, come with a wider array of lenses and accessories, but are bulkier and have a steeper learning curve. The optical viewfinder makes them very effective for shooting in low light. Mirrorless cameras, on the other hand, have an electronic viewfinder, which is amazing for viewing images in real time.
You can then determine if your shot is exposed correctly. You can also see a live histogram, along with metering information. These advantages come with a downside, however, as an electronic viewfinder will drain the battery more quickly.
Pros And Cons
- Dimensions: 2.3 x 4.6 x 3.5 inches
- Weight: 0.86 pounds
- Optical sensor resolution: 24 megapixels
- Optical zoom: 3X
- Video capture resolution: 4K UHD 2160
- Viewfinder: Electronic with histogram and metering information
- EF-M 15-45mm lens
- Batteries: Lithium
- Microphone input (amazing for vlogging and Youtube videos)
- Interchangeable lenses that are small and lightweight
- Shoots at 120 frames per second
- Compact and lightweight camera body
- Dual pixel CMOS auto focus system (This is especially useful for video)
- DIGIC 8 image viewfinder
- Fully articulated LCD
- Vari-angle rear display (selfie flip screen)
- High ISO
- Automatic and manual focus
- C-Raw processing – you’ll get a 40% smaller file size, but with full resolution and editing versatility
- Image stabilization
- Silent photo mode – amazing for sleeping babies and musical performances
- 4K video is cropped – not a big deal if you’re used to shooting 1080p, which is remarkable in itself.
- A dual memory card slot would be convenient as would more lens options
- Mic input would be easier to maneuver if it were on top of the camera
More Great Features
If all these features weren’t enough, the M50 also has built-in wifi and bluetooth. I especially like the articulating screen that moves out to the side. You can flip the screen if you’re into taking selfies, and the flexibility allows for both low and high-angle shooting.This screen also makes previewing your photos simple.
The newest processor form Canon, DIGIC 8 image viewfinder boasts up to 143 auto focus points, a new eye-detection auto focus system, and better noise performance to give you the best image quality possible.
With the automatic image transfer feature, you can automatically transfer and backup your files to any compatible device. The Camera Connect app lets you transfer images directly to your smartphone. You can then share your pictures or videos to social media for your friends and family to enjoy!
If you don’t want to shoot 4K video, due to the cropping aspect, shoot an HD video in 1080p at 60fps. Your video will be exceptional! Or capture a compelling slow-motion video effect by shooting in 720p at 120 frames per second. The image will be soft and noisy, but for water shots, this is a nice effect. If you don’t like noise, shoot in 1080p at 24fps for the same effect, excluding the noise or other image issues. For more creative capabilities, take advantage of the built-in timelapse features.
A workaround for the 1.7X cropping factor would be to move the camera further away from the subject. This would then be equivalent to 1080p video. This may or may not work depending on your situation. Having said this, some people consider the cropping aspect a positive because they can zoom in and crop their videos if they want.
Keep in mind that 4K videos produce really large files so if you’re looking to shoot long videos, you’ll need additional SD cards and batteries. This isn’t an issue for me as I prefer shooting in 1080p regardless. Higher ISOs, indicative of many cameras, produce noise. The M50 performs quite well in low-light situations, offsetting this possible drawback.
Canon EF-M Lens System
The M50 uses an entirely different lens mount, called EF-M. All of the mirrorless cameras from Canon use this lens mount system. One disadvantage is the lens selection is quite slim, with only a few lenses available at this time. I only need two lenses so this isn’t a concern of mine.
Fortunately, you can use a Canon adapter, which will allow you to use any EF lenses that you already have. Since the EF-M lenses are really small, I would grab at least one additional EF-M lens on top of the kit lens the camera comes with. A major perk of the M50 is its compact size so using EF-M lenses won’t add to its weight.
There’s also the option to purchase the EOS M50 video creator kit that includes a Rode video mic, along with a 32GB Sandisk memory card. This is a must if you’re a vlogger or YouTuber. The M50 excels when it comes to video creation, and by the way, the sound is really impressive. Click here to learn more.
This kit comes with an EF-M 55-200mm lens, which is perfect if you need a telephoto lens, and be sure and check out this 22mm EF-M lens. It’s absolutely brilliant, and one of the best EF-M lenses available. It’s fast, with an aperature of F.2, and will create stunning bokeh and a nice shallow depth of field.
The Canon M50 has all the qualities of a convenient point-and-shoot camera, combined with the professional features of a more expensive camera. Capture high-quality stills and video with this affordable, lightweight little beauty, complete with precision auto focus, DIGIC 8 image viewfinder, a fully articulated LCD, and 4K video.
This camera would be the perfect gift for anyone who loves to travel, a first-time camera buyer, or a professional photographer who’s had it with lugging around heavy camera gear. The M50 is a great mirrorless camera. What do you think? Let me know in the comment:)