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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Alex Armitage's picture

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

user-128252's picture

Lexus is Toyota:-)

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 ?

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!

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.

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.

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.

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

Anthony Cayetano's picture

Cropping the sensor coverage for 4K does not mean it's "fake", UNLESS the crop only covers less than 3,840 pixels per line and is upscaled for 4K. This is similar to many GoPro knockoffs and dashcams. Having said that, the most likely reasons Canon chose to crop may be because the sensor is not fast enough to deliver at least 24fps if the full sensor width was read and/or that the camera's processor can't downsample the larger resolution fast enough (remember, the CPU still has do do other things such as real-time encoding). But Canon did miss a critical opportunity by not allowing Dual-Pixel focus in 4K, further compounding the 4K feature set.

Black Rock's picture

lol, I don't see the point of attacking the messenger.

Oliver Kmia is just telling the truth, the cold hard fact. If all the people who bash him can close their eyes for one second, take a deep breath, they will see the writing on the wall: Canon M50 is a piece of half baked junk,

Jan Kruize's picture

Anyone seen a photographer with a sony around his neck at the olympic wintergames? Please call me.

I thought I remembered reading somewhere that the DPAF system used a secondary layer of the sensor or something like that, so the reason you're getting it disabled may be that they're using that secondary layer to provide you with the higher resolution image instead. Just me making a semi-educated guess. That might also explain the strange super crop as well.

Wes Jones's picture

So disappointing that Canon even put this camera out. It makes them look totally out of touch with what other camera manufacturers are doing.

People concentrate too much on 4K. There are other features of the camera I like. I'm a photographer and not a videographer and 1080p is adequate for me. It's a good vlogger camera with it's articulating screen. When you use the 11-22 M lens 4K cropped is useable.

Canon needs to compete with the A7Rlll and use, if at all possible, the EF mount lens we all have so much money invested in. The M50 just is a non-starter... (I bought an A7Rlll and a metabones adapter. Sorry Canon : (

Reading the comments was more fun than reading the article... to be honest, the author has obvious issues and is blatantly biased against Canon... not sure if he should have been the one to 'review' (if you can call this one)... Canon M50 might be a disappointment, but so is this article... Yes! everyone has the right to their opinion, but if you start writing for masses, i believe being biased is not the way to go about it...