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Tried and Tested: 8 Key Features of the EOS M50

Announced in February this year, Canon's new mirrorless camera, the EOS M50, is not only small and easy-to-use, but also packed with a myriad of new features. These include a new, improved image processor, and 4K movie shooting for the first time on a Canon mirrorless camera. Are these worth the hype? We took the camera on a test shoot during sakura season. (Reported by: Yuki Imaura)

EOS M50

 

1. Resolving power

Magnolias showing EOS M50 resolving power

EOS M50/ EF-M55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM/ FL: 142mm/ Aperture-priority AE (f/5.6, 1/320 sec, EV+0.7)/ ISO 100/ WB: Manual

Magnolias in full bloom. The petals were depicted in smooth tones at the EOS M50's base ISO speed of ISO 100. With such quality, the 24.1-megapixel sensor is more than adequate for capturing images of picture-worthy scenes you come across in daily life.

 

2. Gradation

Dame’s Rocket flowers shwing EOS M50 gradation

EOS M50/ EF-M55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM/ FL: 94mm /Aperture-priority AE (f/7, 1/200 sec, EV-0.3)/ ISO 250/ WB: Manual

The purple flowers, of a species called ‘Dame’s Rocket’, were blooming inconspicuously in the grass. I wanted to draw attention to them and the quality of the surrounding light, so I used the Japanese camellia plants in the foreground, creating foreground bokeh.

It is rather difficult to get the ideal exposure for scenes like this. However, notice how in this image, the subtle colour gradations are well-reproduced, all the way from the patch of grass where the sunlight strikes through to the silhouettes of the foregrounded plants. The EVF on the EOS M50 makes it easier to configure camera settings while checking the effects in real time, increasing your chances of a successful shot.

 

3. Vari-angle LCD screen

Sakura from low angle

EOS M50/ EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM/ FL: 15mm/ Aperture-priority AE (f/8, 1/160 sec, EV +0.7)/ ISO 200/ WB: Manual

Sakura blooming out of a tree trunk. I placed the camera right up against the tree trunk facing upwards. The Vari-angle LCD screen on the EOS M50 gives you the freedom to shoot from a variety of camera angles, including ground-skimming low angles like this one.

 

4. Continuous shooting

Shidare-zakura showing EOS M50 high-speed continuous shooting

EOS M50/ EF-M55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM/ FL: 135mm/ Aperture-priority AE (f/11, 1/320 sec, EV+0.3)/ ISO 640/ WB: Manual

The tips of weeping sakura (‘shidare-zakura’) branches taken right at the moment where a train passed by in the background. The EOS M50 is capable of high-speed continuous shooting of up to 10 fps when using One-Shot AF.

 

5. High ISO speed performance

ISO 1600 shot of sakura under the moon

Shot with ISO 1600
EOS M50/ EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM/ FL: 15mm/ Aperture-priority AE (f/4, 1/5 sec, EV±0/ ISO 1600/ WB: Manual

 

ISO 12800 shot of sakura under the moon

Shot with ISO 12800
EOS M50/ EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM/ FL: 15mm/ Aperture-priority AE (f/4, 140 sec, EV±0)/ ISO 12800/ WB: Manual

Sakura trees in bloom under the full moon. The LED street lights helped to ensure that the lighting conditions were not too dark. The EOS M50's native ISO speed ranges from ISO 100 to 25600. As a professional photographer, I like to use an ISO speed of around 1600 when shooting night shots like this for work as it ensures smooth tones with as little noise as possible. But if you are shooting for personal use, the quality you get at ISO 12800 will probably still be decent enough.

 

6. AF performance

Sakura in the breeze

EOS M50/ EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM/ FL: 15mm/ Aperture-priority AE (f/3.5, 1/1,000 sec, EV+1.3)/ ISO 200/ WB: Manual

A wide-angle close-up shot looking up at the weeping sakura. Windy scenes like this are very challenging for AF, with the flowers swaying in the breeze. However, I was somehow able to take the shot thanks to the high-speed performance of the Dual Pixel CMOS AF.

With the backlight from the evening sun in the background, the image is prone to overexposure and blown highlights (blowout). However,  these were suppressed by using Highlight Tone Priority mode.

 

Sakura in low light

EOS M50/ EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM/ FL: 20mm/ Aperture-priority AE (f/5.6, 2 sec, EV+0.3)/ ISO 200/ WB: Manual

This scene of a park at night was captured with a slow shutter speed. The scene was dark despite the street lights, but I was still able to achieve autofocus for all shots without any issues. The EOS M50 can carry out AF in lighting conditions as dark as EV-2 thanks to the new DIGIC 8 image sensor and improvements to Dual Pixel CMOS AF.

 

7. C-RAW

Large, fallen Japanese camellia flowers lying on a bed of birdeye speedwell (veronica persica). I shot these images in both traditional RAW and C-RAW format and compared them. C-RAW retains the same image resolution as traditional RAW but results in a smaller file size. The images below are the files, exported to JPEG format using the in-camera post-processing function. I did not notice any difference in image quality.

RAW image exported as JPEG

Shot in traditional RAW format and processed in-camera
EOS M50/ EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM/ FL: 32mm/ Aperture-priority AE (f/11, 1/100 sec, EV -0.7)/ ISO 200/ WB: Manual

 

C-RAW image exported as JPEG

Shot in C-RAW format and processed in-camera
EOS M50/ EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM/ FL: 32mm/ Aperture-priority AE (f/11, 1/100 sec, EV -0.7)/ ISO 200/ WB: Manual

 

8. Movie-shooting

The EOS M50 is Canon's first mirrorless camera to support 4K video, which gives you footage rich in depth and dimensionality. The 25p/24p frame rate is certainly sufficient for viewing on a PC or smartphone.

On the EOS M50, 4K recording takes place using a 3840 x 2160-pixel area (UHD 4K standard) from the centre of the image sensor. This gives a narrower angle-of-view than still images and Full HD videos shot at the same focal length. If necessary, shoot with a wider angle and/or try adjusting your standing position.

The camera also has an HD 100p/120p High Frame Rate movie shooting option that allows you to take 4x slow motion movies with ease. Playback time becomes 4 times the shooting time, so keep the shooting time short if you want to have an easier time during post-editing!

4K movie taken using the EOS M50

 

High frame rate movie taken using the EOS M50

 

Summing up: A full-featured camera that is easy to use

In general, I got the impression that the EOS M50 is well-equipped camera. It is packed with the features that users would expect from Canon’s EOS M mirrorless camera series.

For example, it is very user-friendly: Just as with the latest EOS entry-level DSLR cameras, the menu items are easy to understand, and features such as in-camera RAW post-processing let you get creative without the need to use a PC.

The compact size of the camera and lens and the low failure rate when shooting using the EVF are also examples of EOS M-series strengths that the EOS M50 embodies.

Users who love their buttons and dials might have their misgivings about the camera’s relatively simple design. However, even after taking that into consideration, I would still say that the EOS M50 is a good, easy-to-use camera.

 


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EOS M50 Kit (EF-M15-45 IS STM & EF-M55-200 IS STM)

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EOS M50 Kit (EF-M15-45 IS STM)

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EF-M55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM

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EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM

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Digital Camera Watch

Delivers daily news related to topics such as digital cameras and peripheral devices, and imaging software. Also publishes articles such as reviews on the use of actual digital camera models and photo samples taken using new models.

http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/

Yuki Imaura

Born in 1986 in Saitama prefecture, Yuki Imaura is a landscape photographer. From editing magazines, he now works freelance, photographing various natural landscapes throughout Japan, and wildlife animals with vigor. He also writes for magazines and is a lecturer in photography.

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