CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

Canon's M50 middle mirrorless plays catch-up with 4K, improved AF

The updated many-point autofocus system, 4K video support and more will be welcomed by Canon mirrorless fans.

Lori Grunin
Lori Grunin Senior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Expertise Photography, PCs and laptops, gaming and gaming accessories
3 min read
Lori Grunin/CNET

Canon took the opportunity to make quite a few changes when it configured the EOS M50 mirrorless. It uses a new Dual Pixel CMOS sensor with an autofocus system that covers more of the scene, can record 4K video, supports eye-detection autofocus and debuts with a new app that can automatically transfer photos from the camera to a device. 

If those sound familiar, well, they are. Sony and Panasonic have offered those capabilities for a couple years, and now those  once-advanced products have dropped in price to the same place as the M50. But they're all new for Canon.

Shop for Canon EOS M50 (with 15-45mm lens, black)

See all prices

Slated to ship in April, the M50 sits between the M6 and the M100 based on price -- it will be $780 for the body, $900 for the kit with the 15-45mm f3.5-6.3 IS STM lens or $1,250 for a dual-lens kit. I don't have pricing for the UK or Australia, but the body price converts to approximately £560 or AU$1,000.

According to Canon, the M50's updates were based on a wish list from current users, which included an electronic viewfinder -- the optional one for the M6 is built into the M50 -- an articulated, rather than tilting, touchscreen display and the return of the touch-and-drag focus on the LCD which had been dropped between the M5 and M6. It's smaller than the M5 as well.

The Canon EOS M50's design offers no surprises

See all photos

Though it lives below the M6 in Canon's product line, it's a lot more capable. The new sensor is the same resolution, but the on-chip autofocus system increases the frame coverage, jumping from 49 points to 99 points; 143 points with select Canon lenses (and it's a pretty big selection). The system should also perform a bit better in low light. 

In addition to enabling automatic transfer between the camera and a mobile device -- only for JPEGs, though -- Image Transfer Utility II finally lets you transmit files to your computer without having to go through Canon Image Gateway. Woohoo! And the new CR3 raw format (C-Raw) shrinks raw file size by about 40 percent: It maintains the same image dimensions, but performs a light lossy compression on the image data. (Canon's not saying what it's doing, but based on the histograms that's my impression.)

It uses an updated version of Canon's image processor, Digic 8, which enables most of the new capabilities I've mentioned, as well as 720/120p slow motion and 4K UHD/30p video recording. As with many of Canon's modern mirrorless models, it incorporates the company's Dual Sensing image stabilization, optical stabilization that incorporates gyro sensor feedback from the body into its compensation calculation. No sensor shift for Canon!

If you're a Canon mirrorless fan, this looks like a really attractive option.

Comparative specifications

Canon EOS M50Sony A6300

Sensor effective resolution

24.1MP Dual Pixel CMOS

24.2MP Exmor CMOS

Sensor size

22.3 x 14.9

23.5 x 15.6mm

Focal-length multiplier






Sensitivity range

ISO 100-25,600/51,200 (exp)

ISO 100-25,600/51,200 (exp)

Burst shooting


15 raw/47 JPEG

(10fps with fixed focus and exposure)


44 JPEG/21 raw


(mag/ effective mag)


0.4 in/10mm

2.4m dots

100% coverage


0.4 in/10 mm

2.4 million dots

100% coverage


Hot shoe




143 points phase-detection AF (with specific Canon lenses); 99 points

425-point phase detection, 169-area contrast AF

AF sensitivity

-2 - 18 EV

-1 - 20 EV

Shutter speed

30 - 1/4000 sec.; bulb; 1/200 x-sync

30-1/4000 sec.; bulb; 1/160 x-sync

Shutter durability




384 zones

1,200 zone

Metering sensitivity

0 - 20 EV

-2 - 20 EV

Best video

H.264 QuickTime MOV

4K UHD/24p, 1080/60p, 720/120p

XAVC S @ 100Mbps; UHD 4K 2160/30p, 25p, 24p; 1080/120p


Stereo; mic input

Stereo, mic input

Manual aperture and shutter in video



Maximum best-quality recording time per clip


29 minutes


Dual Sensing IS

(Optical with gyro data sent from body)



3-inch/7.7 cm 

Articulated touchscren

1.04m dots


Tilting, flip-up

921,600 dots

Memory slots

1 x SDXC

1 x SDXC

Wireless connection

Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth

Wi-Fi, NFC




Wireless flash



Battery life (CIPA rating)

235 shots

(875 mAh)

350 (VF), 400 (LCD)

(1,020 mAh)

Size (WHD)

4.6 x 3.5 x 2.3 in

116 x 88 x 59 mm

4.7 x 2.6 x 1.9 in

119 x 66 x 48mm

Body operating weight

13.8 oz (est.)

390 g (est.)

14.3 oz (est.)

405 g (est.)

Mfr. price (body only)





Primary kit


(with 15-45mm lens)



(with 15-60mm PZ lens)

Release date

April 2018

March 2016

Shopping laptop image
Get the best price on everything
Shop your favorite products and we’ll find the best deal with a single click. Designed to make shopping easier.
Add CNET Shopping