Canon EOS M50 Mark II Overview
A couple of weeks ago, one of Canon's favorite vlogging cameras got a slight upgrade, and today we'll overview it. Of course, we are talking about Canon's M50 Mark II, which contrary to the expectations, comes with just a few improvements and features, especially designed for social media and content creators.
This camera is currently available for $599.00 (body only), or $699.00 (with an EF-M 15-45mm zoom lens), and is basically a freshened up version of Canon's previous M50 Mark I, and just like it, the Mark II features a 24.1-megapixel CMOS sensor with ISO 100-25600 and the DIGIC 8, an image processor that allows the camera to record 4K video at 24 frames per second.
In short, the upgrades include better eye autofocus for both still photos and videos, which allows it to precisely track the moving subjects within the frame. And as some other 2020 released cameras, the EOS M50 Mark II can easily be used as a webcam thanks to the free Canon EOS Webcam Utility software, which comes with wireless YouTube Live streaming capabilities with a very much handy built-in self-timer so we can keep our videos within time limits in advance.
And according to Canon, it will be available in late November if things keep themselves right on track. So, what can you really expect to have out of this tiny yet powerful friend? Well, let's dig deeper into it right now!
The M50's Legacy
Since its introduction in 2018, Canon's M50 has been one of their most popular and best selling mirrorless cameras so far due to, both its portability, and imaging capacity. They achieved quite a sweet-spot by combining a compact yet elegant design with an excellent electronic viewfinder and amazing imaging capabilities for a camera of its price and size. With the Mark II, Canon retained all the goodies of the 2018 M50 version while enhancing just a couple of key-spots they considered crucial for the customers they aimed this camera at.
What About the Specs?
Well, the key features from the Canon EOS M50 Mark II are quite decent, and just within the spectrum of current entry level cameras' standards.
- 24.1 Megapixel (APS-C) CMOS sensorDIGIC 8 Image Processor
- Dual Pixel CMOS AF and Eye Detection AF4K UHD 24p
- Full HD 120p
- Vari angle Touchscreen LCD2.36 Million Dots OLED EVF
Up to this point, these are exactly the same specs you can find in the original EOS M50, which could get a bit cheaper after the EOS M50 Mark II release. And these, are the new features in the 2020 M50 version:
- Interesting Vertical Video Mode
- It can be used as a webcam
Said that, the main big improvements here are autofocus related, eye and touch.
What to Expect from It?
This notoriously good camera has been intuitively designed around the APS-C sensor size; something substantially surprising for a company which enjoys manufacturing bulky and big camera bodies. Which, honestly, feel awesome in the hand, but tend to exhaust your arm after a full day of shooting. The APS-C sensor on this camera is quite smaller than the full-frame sensor found in Canon's R5; however, it has been said that the M50's sensor is a bit close to the old time favorite Super 35 Sensor found in motion pictures. Thanks to its price and quite impressive performance, this has to be the best entry-level mirrorless camera Canon has to offer right now.
Let's make a small parenthesis here. With such good image processing and capturing capabilities found in smartphones today, anyone willing to invest in a camera has to be considered as someone who is undoubtedly interested in photography. Having a dedicated gadget for image making nowadays seems almost unnecessary, and yet we have newer and better cameras coming out every year. Again, anyone who buys a camera, has an immediate distinction from the rest of the people who simply enjoy taking photographs for social media and communication purposes.
Nowadays, still-imagery isn't sufficient for the active demands of creative content creators. Almost everything we consume today comes with the video ingredient involved; and beyond photography, the EOS M50 Mark II offers a welcoming gateway for all the newcomers to the video craft too. This is possible thanks to a combination of stills and motion features in an affordable package, and in simple terms, this has to be a great introduction to shooting video at a serious level for beginners in the craft.
Interesting, But How?
Thanks to the technology built in the EOS M50 Mark II, anyone can shoot a perfectly focused scene with two subjects in the frame. How? "Simple", by touching on the two persons' faces. This is a dreamed-like feature, and is now widely available thanks to Canon even at entry levels like the one this camera is aimed at. Eye-precision Autofocus is extremely useful, especially when shooting fast-moving action or even vlogging. Anything in motion that benefits from having that bit of an extra while framing and focusing fits within the uses that will perfectly go along with this fantastic piece of imagery gear.
Photographers and video creators alike know the benefits of having a flip screen; and when it comes to tilt abilities, there are some angles and axises that work quite better for specific usages than others. Canon's EOS M50 Mark II features a very interesting feature related to its flip screen, which allows vertical video recording to be more intuitive and pleasing without the time consuming need of further edits and crops. Basically, the whole interface changes into a vertical layout, making the act of framing and composing a more fluid act for some content creators' workflows. Also important about video working flow, the M50 Mark II comes with a clean HDMI output so you can record your stuff to an external recorder, or monitor it out on a larger display.
So, is it Worth Buying?
In short, maybe. We rarely state that you need to buy something, and this time it won't be different, especially when the camera is pretty much the same as the EOS M50 Mark I from 2018. Therefore, we'll tell you we think about the M50 legacy so you can decide the best option for you. Just remember, with that legacy in mind, both cameras are just equally great, making it one of the most flexible mirrorless camera systems released by Canon so far.
Said that, if you are planning on making content creation a major thing in your life, then you should probably go for the Mark II rather than the I due to the autofocus refinements. Unless you don't care about your viewers' visual experiences, you might leave odd focusing glitches in your videos. But as a content consumer, you know how annoying constant focusing is when reproducing a video, and of course, dealing with it in post-production is always a headache, hence the overwhelming amount of videos out there with this artifact.
How Does it Feels Like?
If you remember Canon's M5, then you'll find the M50 Mark I and II extremely familiar to it, but with some goodies in it. The camera feels great in hand, and the vari-angle LCD screen makes the act of video recording (especially vlogging) a great joy. In case you are not familiar with Canon's M system, we have to warn you that the whole lenses from this line-up are quite small (something street photographers will find completely appealing of course), and might feel a bit odd when using them, especially if you come from the EF mount lenses. But contrary to what you might be thinking about this, they don't feel clingy when using them, the EOS M50 Mark I and II both feature an extremely well designed grip with a clever ergonomic in mind.
Beyond the side hand-grip and the lens release button, the M50's design is quite clean and minimal, almost free of any adornment or whatsoever. From above, a hot-shoe and a quite basic pop-up flash (which, honestly, won't be using that much if you are planning on getting serious with your photographs). Unlike earlier DSLR cameras from Canon, the flash is not only lowered but also raised manually. Again, you won't be using it unless you encounter a weird emergency situation. At the right side of the camera, the expected top controls, the M-Fn and record buttons, the On/Off switch, the front command dial and shutter release, and last but not least, the Mode dial.
If you are a quite advanced photographer, you'll instantly find the lack of EV compensation dial to be quite frustrating, but in such an entry level camera, we also didn't expect this to be present either. If you are newer to photography, let us quickly explain what this is all about. When shooting in "almost-manual" modes (like shutter or aperture priority modes), there are some circumstances in which you won't the camera to adjust the settings to achieve perfect exposures but darker or brighter images. The EV compensation dial enables you to achieve that by compensating with a more or less amount of desired stops (thirds of stops actually).
At the back of the camera, you'll find that pretty much everything is placed in the right position (which is pretty much expected after so many years of experience of course, but there are some times that even Canon has forgotten about these basic user interface principles). The dial comes with the Q/Set button at the center, and it can be pressed in the cardinal directions (up, down, left, right) to set EV, control the flash, toggle AF and MF, and delete images during playback. The handy Q menu can also be accessed via the rear touch screen, via an overlay display that puts additional shooting settings at your fingertips. Here, one can quickly set things like ISO, toggle between single and AI Servo focus, adjust the metering pattern, and more.
The rear display is a standard 3-inch, 1.04 million dot screen with touch input support. The vari- angle design allows the whole screen to swing out and to the side of the camera on a hinge, and can face all the way forward, up, or back. You can also close the screen against the body, showing its back (which is covered in a textured leatherette). There are also a few touch functions available, and menus are quite navigable, you can tap to focus, and if you're in the right focus mode, you can tap on a subject to start tracking it. When using the EVF (2.36 Million Dots OLED) you can slide your finger on the LCD to move the active focus point. And when shooting video, sliding your finger from one subject to another racks focus.
Curious fact: This EVF, which is also in the Mark I, behaves extremely well, and makes the whole investment worthy of doing it.
Wrapping it Up
The young legacy left by the EOS M50 has proven that it is an excellent camera, even for some serious (professional) applications which scope from vlogging to even stun-shots disposable cameras. But after so little improvements made from one Mark to the other, why buy it? Well, there are some interesting scenarios in which you might consider investing in the Mark II rather than the Mark I.
First, if you find that autofocus is crucial for your content, then you should take the Mark II road, second, if you find that the vertical shooting layout will return you some real benefits, and last but not least, scarcity. Lets face it, Mark I will eventually sell out, and it will only be found available in used conditions.
Our personal opinion, on this particular camera, Mark I is quite sufficient, but upon not being able to get a Mark I these days, Mark II is pretty sweet too!
And since you are her with us, don't forget to check our camera accessories here.