The M50: Another Insipid and Overpriced Camera from Canon

The M50: Another Insipid and Overpriced Camera from Canon

Disappointment only comes with expectations. Fortunately, the leaked specifications of the Canon M50 published a few days ago on the internet prepared us for the worst. It’s beyond that.

Pathetic Battery Life

We were used to poor battery life with Sony cameras but Canon decided to join the race to the bottom with a certain success. The M50 will run out of power after only 235 pictures. At least Sony corrected this bad trend on the new A9 and A7 cameras.

Fake 4K

Announcing 4K video on this camera is misleading. The implementation of high-resolution video is only worth the value of the “4K” sticker on the box. With a crop factor of 1.6x (or 2.56x total crop relative to full-frame) the video mode is almost unusable. In respect to the full-frame field of view, a 22mm EF-M lens mounted on the M50 is equivalent to 56mm in 4K mode. Adding insult to the injury, Canon decided to disable the fantastic Dual Pixel Auto Focus when filming in 4K. Another missed opportunity for Canon to dominate the gimbal work sales. This light and compact camera would have been perfect for this type of job. Perhaps Canon is not able to deliver the technology because of the lack of power of its DIGIC processor? However, since most entry-level smartphones and GoPro knockoff can now deliver 4K, I would be inclined to blame the “Executive Crippling Department” at the company headquarter. Sadly, this service dominates the R&D and marketing teams of the Japanese firm.

Poor Value

At $780, the M50 is not cheap, especially when examining the limited selection of native lenses. Six years after the introduction of its mirrorless segment, it seems that Canon never seriously considered the EF-M mount. Most of the seven lenses available today are slow zooms except for the unique 22mm f/2 prime lens.
The poor battery life, the absence of usable 4K, and the lack of sensor stabilization which becomes the norm on most mirrorless cameras make it hard to recommend this product. Knowing the level of Canon's technology, the dynamic range of the M50 will probably lag behind the competition.

Finally, there is nothing else to say about the uninspiring M50. On the DSLR front, Canon announced a “new” camera today; the 4000D, which is nothing more than a reheated 400D from 2008. Fun fact: the lens mount is made out of plastic. Who says Canon did not innovate?

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59 Comments

Grant Watkins's picture

"Fake" 4K

The fact of the crop factor doesn't make it fake.

The GH5 has a crop factor

The Sony A6500 has a crop factor.

Also just because the camera does have DPAF in 4k, doesn't mean it fake.

"This light and compact camera would have been perfect for this type of job. Perhaps Canon is not able to deliver the technology because of the lack of power of its DIGIC processor? However, since most entry-level smartphones and GoPro knockoff can now deliver 4K"

All entry-level smartphones and gopros don't have inter-changeable lens.

You need to come up better articles than this trash.

Anonymous's picture

Ooops. Canon fan boy got his feelings hurt.

Michael Aubrey's picture

How do you know that he isn't just a GH5 fan who is defending the validity of cropped sensors?

Or did you just want to insult someone?

Oh, the latter?

Yeah, go home.

Jeff McCollough's picture

It has nothing to do with liking one brand more than another. Facts are facts.

Kawika Lopez's picture

Seriously dude? Be honest with yourself.

Yes, both the GH5 and the A6500 have crop factors, but they do utilize the entire sensor. They don't impose an additional crop factor on top of that to shoot 4k. This is misleading and makes it very difficult to achieve any wide shots since lenses are designed to over the entire sensor. Not just a section of it.

Dual pixel auto focus is one of the biggest reasons Canon is still relevant in the video realm as far as DSLR video. A relevance which is already dangling by a thread. Without this, the only thing we have to hold on to is the Canon color.

With these things combined, in my opinion, this makes 4k in this camera virtually unusable.

Look man. Im a huge Canon fan myself. I constantly preach on usability and cherish my 5D III as the camera that started it all for me, but just be honest with yourself. How is there any value in this cameras 4K capabilities with so many better options out there?

Jeff McCollough's picture

You're right. I can't believe that someone would call it "fake 4k" just because it has a cropped sensor and then later on in the very same article can think they can use cellphones and GroPros in the same argument.
hahahaha I think that either Fstoppers hired the wrong writer or the editors should have said no to this article.

Jonathan Ferland-Valois's picture

It's true that it's not "fake 4K", but a 2.56x crop is pretty darn bad given that the lens range is built around a 1.6x crop. Good luck finding wide angle lenses for video.

Dallas Dahms's picture

"Crop factor" is only applicable when you are using lenses from a larger format on a smaller format, or comparing the angles of view between formats. If you use a small format lens on a matching small format sensor there is no crop factor. Get that "crop" factor BS out of your mind.

Christian Fiore's picture

Crop factor is always in play on non-FF sensors. Focal lengths aren't advertised based on the sensor size they're made for. Despite being a matching "small format lens", that 22mm lens still has a has a 35mm FOV due to crop factor.

Dallas Dahms's picture

Oh lawd... I strongly suggest that you learn a bit about these things (that means more than one format of photography) before you engage in conversations about cropping and what it actually means.

Christian Fiore's picture

Funny, since I've owned 1", m4/3, APS-C, and FF. The same lens looks different on each of them. 18.5, 25, 35, and 50 give roughly the same FOV mounted on their respective cameras. All equivalent to 50mm on FF. Go figure.

Dallas Dahms's picture

Not equivalent. Similar. A 50mm lens is a 50mm lens. A 25mm lens is a 25mm lens. There is some maths in there that you need to acknowledge.

Adrian Gaynor's picture

The focal length of a 50mm lens remains the same at all times, however, the effective focal length changes according to the sensor size. On an APS-C sensor a 50mm lens becomes effectively a 75mm with its associated field of view. On a 4/3rds sensor it becomes effectively a 100mm lens with its associated field of view. This is true whether the lens was made for full frame or cropped sensor. So, although the focal length remains the same, its characteristics change according to which size sensor it is being used on. This is referred to as the crop factor.

Whether a lens is made for FF or APS-c or micro 4/3rds refers to the lenses ability to cast an image size that will cover the whole of the intended sensor area. That's why a lot of Nikon "DX" lenses result in vignetting when used on a FF sensored camera.

Dallas Dahms's picture

My friend, the only time a focal length of a lens changes is when you use a zoom lens. A 50mm lens is always a 50mm lens no matter what system you use it on. The internet perpetuated and totally unscientific (and pointless) practice of this so called “equivalence” between formats based on focal length is the quickest way of figuring out who actually knows what they are writing about and who is simply regurgitating nonsense they have read on forums and articles.

If you know your format you don’t need to be concerned about focal lengths from a format you don’t use. Wide angle, normal and telephoto are the terms to use.

Oliver Kmia's picture

Canon never mentions the crop and DPAF removal from the specifications list, this is misleading and dishonest, especially when they emphasis heavily about the 4K feature everywhere on their marketing materials. Imagine you buy this cameras in good faith for Vlogging only to discover the huge crop and lack of usable focus (after you heard all about its greatness on the internet). You would feel abused so I have no issue calling this fake.

As for crop, it wouldn't necessary be a problem if Canon offered adequate lenses to deal with the crop. M43 cameras have plenty of lenses designed for the native 2x crop (eg. 12-35mm, 35-100mm, 7-14mm, etc.). The widest EF-M lens is 11mm (thus 28mm in 4K).

Jeff Gillisroy's picture

There's a tipping point with crop factors, dude. Want to tell us that +2.5x isn't past it?

Tor Ivan Boine's picture

The Gh5 doesn't crop in 4k. (GH4 does, but not as much as 1.6)

Tony Tumminello's picture

Then don't buy it. Also don't buy the 4000D while you're at it, I guess?

Oliver Kmia's picture

You guessed correctly, my 400D from 2008 still works great, no need to buy another one 10 years later with a plastic lens mount.

Alex Armitage's picture

Why do people care so much what Canon is making? It seems like the people who complain the most don't even shoot Canon. It's like complaining that Toyota cars don't drive themselves in 2018 when you own a Honda.

Kaden Classen's picture

I agree. It seems like a lot of people write articles about how gear doesn't really matter and then proceed to complain when Canon doesn't deliver perfect cameras. I shoot Canon and I'm fine with it.

Sergio Tello's picture

Easy, it's a just a click bait article. Most of these people have not used, nor are planning to buy, the articles they criticize just to get a reaction.

Christian Fiore's picture

I wouldn't use or buy this camera, since it's 2015 tech at best at 2020 pricing.

Pham Anh's picture

I myself don't shoot Canon, I shoot Sony, but I have so many Canon lenses (adapter) and really interested in switch to Canon mirrorless.
Does it make sense to you now that there are people who don't shoot Canon but care about Canon making?
This M50 and M5 earlier really disappoint and discourage me to buy actually.
And the way Canon cripple some product to avoid cannibalizing others are really unwise

Dimitri Mathieu's picture

Your argument is right but be honnest, over 100 Nikon/Sony shooters spending their time trolling every Canon article, maybe 1 is in your legit case...

Christian Fiore's picture

Yup, I was hopeful that Canon's new generation of sensors would bring something to the table that I could use my (growing) collection of EF lenses on natively. Sadly, it didn't. And I'm not even talking about DR. High ISO isn't even competitive.

Oliver Kmia's picture

Alex Armitage People care so much because the only thing they get after spending big money on canon lenses is a middle finger from this company. Unlike cars, you can't switch between camera systems that easily (or you gonna loose money). I shoot Canon, I'm fine with it but I don't enjoy to see this level of non-sense. No one ask for a perfect camera, but I would appreciate if Canon could deliver something in line with the standards of 2018 without intentionally removing key features for the sake of it.

Sergio Tello Next time I'll just copy/paste the content from the canon brochure and press kit. No mention of battery life, crop factor and lack of DPAF there.

Alex Armitage's picture

There's a lot of things that can't be put on a stat sheet though, many of those always get overlooked in this debate as well.

Since 2008 with the 5DM2, Canon hasn't released the latest and greatest, best specs etc. It's always been behind when it comes to spec sheets. It's been 10 years. I don't see why anyone expects them to release something that's beating the market in stats, it's clear that isn't their focus. Canon benefits in other ways. Their lens line, like you mentioned. Color Science, DPAF, etc.

To me, Canon is like Toyota. They release new stuff but it's never the flashiest with all the bells and whistles like Mercedes or Lexus. But it's more reliable and stable without cramming too much un tested gear into one product.

Christian Fiore's picture

Their lens line can be used by other brands with AF. Their color science can be duplicated in post. Sony's hybrid AF goes toe to toe with DPAF. Canon's plusses are running out. Fast.

Ryan Stone's picture

Their colour science can’t be duplicated in post otherwise you’d see D750 images that don’t feature orange-yellow leather people.

Alex Armitage's picture

Even though most of that is flat wrong, why do you even care?

Deleted Account's picture

Lexus is Toyota:-)

Dimitri Mathieu's picture

Must agree with that. You guys seem to have made the best choice, you own the ubber techno gears (Nikon/Sony/Pentax) so why did you spend your time trolling another brand on internet ? Go out, use your stuff to take great photography, it's well known, only gear matter :) Canon politic is a shame, that's right, but why do they care if they are not in their market ?

Jeff Gillisroy's picture

..."used"....

Israel Groves's picture

I currently shoot with a Panasonic GH4, but I am looking to upgrade my camera. I would like to purchase a Canon. Unfortunately, Sony is blowing Canon out of the water with their A7 series. I can’t justify investing in Canon when the only benefits (to me) are slightly better AF and color. Based on what I’m reading from other folks that are looking to upgrade, I’m not alone. Canon should be very afraid. I, and many up-and-coming photographers, are getting ready to permanently commit to the Sony ecosystem. That is where the innovation is right now.

Personally, I’m giving Canon until April to change my mind.

Terry Poe's picture

I'm shooting Canon, invested in Canon, yet it pains me to watch how Canon abuses loyalty of its customer base by delivering models with obsolete/crippled functionality.

Regarding fake 4K I think that Canon is so far behind in sensor/signal processing technology that they just can't master the right way to do it. Instead they deliver easy shortcuts and illusion of staying update.

Jan Christian Zimara's picture

Hopefully they'll change and release a full frame mirrorless as A7 III for native EF Lenses.... But I think it would be to sipmle

Oliver Kmia's picture

You are right but the technological lag doesn't explain the lack of DPAF. That's pure crippling.

Alex Armitage's picture

I suspect theres an overloading issue on the Digic 8 processor to do DPAF and record 4k at the same time.

Or it's possible they couldn't get it functioning correctly on the smaller sensor at it's crop. Possibly unlocked in a firmware update. Give it time!

Darius English's picture

Well said, abusing loyalty is all they’re doing.

Paul Elliott's picture

Woah! Are people still buying Canon cameras? 🤨

Ryan Stone's picture

Yep, 65% of the full frame market and 85% of professionals at the olympics.

Paul Elliott's picture

Wow! That's an astonishing number of sheep!

Fritz Asuro's picture

Once the same "dual pixel" technology comes to other manufacturers (.. Sony, Nikon, Panasonic?), Canon would be set aside.

George Popescu's picture

I hope the 90D will be bringing some 4K as well, if they gave it to this camera for $700 then they should give it to the 90D which will probably be about $900 for the body only, I'm waiting for that over choosing the 80D to upgrade right now.

Will Rogers's picture

I ditched Canon when my 5D2 failed in the snow before Christmas.
I didn't see any of their lineup as a real upgrade.
Sure the 5D4 is a big upgrade on a 5D2, but the Sony a7R3 was an even bigger upgrade.

Canon will only tempt me back if they seriously improve their sensors and release a mirorrless system. I would love a 5DsR mk2 and a mirorrless like the new Sony a7iii but I doubt it will happen, so in a few weeks I will sell the last of my Canon lenses and keep my 5D2 (now working again) as a backup to keep in the car

Robert Nurse's picture

I started out with Canon (AE-1 Program) and am still a Canon shooter to this day. Question to the Canon fanboys: the M50 aside, if it weren't so cost prohibitive to switch to other makers, would Canon be able to hold onto market share with its current attitude towards innovation? Personally, I doubt it.

Mike Dixon's picture

I'm a Canon shooter, for now. I shoot mostly photos, but do some video. I don't really care what you shoot. However, it seems that regardless of the Canon camera, there's always something with each one that is lacking when it comes to shooting video. It's either the video format, lack of 4k, lack of a mic jack, lack of flip screen, etc. It's *always* something. Canon needs a change in leadership. They need to understand that there are a lot of people that aren't going to buy a Canon cinema camera - regardless of the price. So either make a DSLR that shoots good video or risk them just going to another brand altogether.

Robert Nurse's picture

Canon knows that most shooters heavily vested in Canon gear aren't going to jump ship due to cost. Hence, they're less likely to compete, IMO. I seriously considered Sony cameras. But, switching would take a huge bite out of my rear end. So, I live with Canon and they know it. Don't get me wrong. I like Canon. But, I know better is out there and at the same price point. Now, if I were just starting out today, it would not be with Canon. People that ask what gear to start out with, I send them elsewhere.

Boris Sheikman's picture

This will be a great camera to buy used on eBay for $150. Hopefully more native lenses will be released by then.

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