It’s fair to say Canon missed the start gun for mirrorless cameras, with Fujifilm, Panasonic and Olympus already well down the track and pulling away.

But the traditionally cautious camera maker, better known for its rock-solid, reliable DSLRs, finally has a jet-heeled mirrorless contender in the race.

Aimed at smartphone-upgraders rather than dial-loving DSLR fans, the EOS M50 brings a host of firsts for a Canon mirrorless cam: 4K video recording, a vari-angle touchscreen, a silent shutter mode, and its new Digic 8 processor.

If you’re looking for your first ‘proper’ camera, it’s a strong new contender, and a smaller alternative to Canon’s entry-level EOS 200D DSLR.

Should it be the start of your mirrorless journey? I lived with one for a week to find out...

DESIGN: SIMPLE PLEASURES

The M50 looks and feels like a cute, shrunken DSLR.

There’s a centrally placed viewfinder, which traditionalist Canon says is where it ‘should’ be, rather than pushed away into the corner like those found on rangefinder-style mirrorless cams.

The chunky grip’s textured coating makes it feel comfortable in the hand, although the rest of the camera has a slightly more plasticky finish. Still, that’s to be expected at this price point, and it’s what you’ll find on Canon’s entry-level DSLRs, too.

You can buy the M50 on its own but, unless you already happen to own any of Canon’s EF-M lenses or fancy attaching some EF/EF-S ones via an adaptor (hint: you probably don’t), you’ll need to buy one to go with it.

The 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM is available as part of a kit. Being collapsible, it’s an ideal partner for the M50 if you’re looking to keep the overall size and weight down. Another option is an 18-150mm lens, which gives you a lot more flexibility, but is also much larger.

When it comes to controls, Canon’s mirrorless cameras come in two flavours. Its more ‘serious’ models (the EOS M5 and M6) have a range of dials and buttons that will be comfortably familiar to those coming from DSLRs.

And then there are those like the M50, which replace physical buttons with more smartphone-like touchscreen menus.

This means there aren't a huge swathe of dials and buttons on the M50. If you’re looking for something a little more advanced, you might prefer one of Canon’s more advanced mirrorless models like the EOS M6.

On the top of the camera there’s a minimalist mode dial, giving you quick access to the various shooting modes - including manual, semi-automatic (aperture priority and shutter priority), scene mode and so on.

Just in front of this, there’s a second dial which controls various things depending on the shooting mode. If you’re in aperture priority, it’ll set aperture, for example. If you’re in manual mode, you can use it for both shutter speed and aperture, but you’ll first need a quick tap of a button on the back of the camera.

Also up here is a dedicated video record button (which you can set to be something else, if you like), and a function button, which can also be customised (ISO feels like the obvious choice). These top buttons and dials, along with all the rear buttons, are easy to reach with either your thumb or your forefinger.

Slightly more fiddly are the buttons on the back of the camera. These are pretty small, so those with larger hands may find them a little fiddly. This is, of course, one of the downsides of a smaller mirrorless camera compared to a DSLR.

Unsurprisingly, we’ve got a similar user interface here to that found on Canon’s recent entry-level models. That means it’s very user-friendly, offering tips and advice on how different settings will affect your final image.

If you’re a little more advanced and don’t need your hand held, you can switch back to a more traditional display if you prefer.

VIEWFINDER AND SCREEN: KEEPING IT REAL VERSATILE

Aside from its smaller size, the biggest difference between the M50 and a beginner DSLR like the EOS 200D is the electronic viewfinder.

Not long ago, an EVF was an obvious black mark if you could have an optical version instead. But recently there’s been a bit of a switcheroo, especially for entry-level snappers like this.

Optical viewfinders don’t show 100% of the scene, whereas an electronic one always will. You also have other benefits, such as being able to preview how settings changes will look in the viewfinder, and quickly reviewing your image once it’s been taken without taking the camera from your eye.

The M50’s EVF is large, clear and bright, while using it is a straightforward - the sensor alongside it automatically switches it on when you lift it to your eye.

On the downside, it’s a little overly contrasty, making it slightly tricky to get a wholly accurate representation of exactly how your image will look, especially if there are a lot of shadow areas.

Handily, the touchscreen can continue to be used to set the AF point when you’re using the viewfinder, thanks to Canon’s excellent “Touch and Drag” option. While many cameras have this, with Canon you get the option to assign only a portion of the screen to the action, helping you prevent accidental ‘nose shots’.

The screen is fully articulated too, which is handy for shooting from awkward angles, as well as being useful for video recording. And can also fold it inwards toward itself to protect it when you're chucking it into a rucksack.

IMAGE QUALITY: PUNCHY, VIBRANT AND PACKED WITH DETAIL

 

 

 

Stuff says... 

Canon EOS M50 review

It’s no mirrorless wundercam, but the M50 is a solid little performer and an ideal first camera for smartphone upgraders
₹61995
Good Stuff 
Small and light
Good viewfinder
Looks like a mini DSLR
Bad Stuff 
Dials and controls might be too limited for some
Limited battery life
Small selection of native lenses right now

Where to buy Canon EOS M50: