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  • Cheryl Tan

Canon EOS M50 Mark II Review: Is This Your New "Faithful"?

Is bigger always better? Well, the Canon EOS M50 Mark II is clearly making a statement that that's not always true. Let's get into what makes this entry-level camera tick and click, in ways that would satisfy your photography and video needs in such a small package.

Released in early 2021 and making its comeback in this second version of the original M50 with new updates, it's hard to spot the differences between this newer version and the original. They are both identical in design and build, weighing in at 350g and retaining the small form factor in this white body we have with us.

Personally, I would avoid getting it in this colour. Something about white plastic body constructions on cameras would just end up getting really dirty when you're out in nature, for example, going on trails where there's mud and dust, or simply for long-term use. White plastic tends to fade into a yellow-ish tone after just a few years, so yeah, safer to just get it in black if you're thinking about getting this camera.

The grip is slightly too small for my liking and I kinda wished it came with a secondary dial for aperture or shutter speed control. Jumping back and forth making adjustments with the touchscreen is definitely not ideal when you're in manual exposure mode. The single dial close to the shutter button is well placed nonetheless and doesn't get in the way when changing your settings while using the EVF, which is bright and enjoyable to use.

The M50 Mark II has a 24.1MP APS-C CMOS sensor and has a native ISO of 100. Paired with the EF-M 15-45mm kit lens and the 55-200mm zoom lens that Canon was kind enough to lend us, the M50 mark II feels right at home when we were out doing our usual street photography in daylight. The colour science within Canon camera lineups has always been great, even for the original M50, and it's no surprise how it still maintains its colour accuracy in this version. I was intrigued in using the Picture Profile called "faithful", for whatever reason it's named that way, I had faith the preset would serve me well.

Sharpness and detail in textures have very low strength, finesse and threshold which is perfect for architecture, and the camera maintains consistent contrast, saturation and skin tones for portraitures. I did, however, run into some colour fringing when taking some shots of nature like trees or grass, and it can get slightly muted when your exposure settings are off by a few stops. So be wary of the exposure meter when taking stills in those environments, especially if you want to use them straight out of the camera. But it's definitely nothing that an edit can't easily handle with tint and contrast.

Taking stills with the M50 Mark II now comes with a new feature. Tap-to-Focus is now available in this version to help utilise more of the fully articulating 3-inch LCD touchscreen monitor on the back, making it very user-friendly for beginners or for when taking lower to the ground shots. The trusty Dual-pixel Autofocus system is as reliable as usual, with some fallbacks when taking stills for sports. With continuous shooting speeds of up to only 10 frames per second, it's only then you start realising that it was not made for sports photography, but it still manages decently enough for its calibre thanks to better Eye Detection autofocus in this model.

As light begins to fade, noise and grain will start to become more prominent. With a range of 100 - 25,600 ISO and an expandable range of 51,200 ISO, you can really push the APS-C sensor if you really wanted to. In some settings, you could get away with night photography but I personally prefer the output from Sony cameras for low light performance as it produces less noise than the competition.

Diving into its video output, on the other hand, leaves me quite impressed and disappointed at the same time. With the ability to shoot 4K at 25 FPS, 1080p up to 60 FPS, and high-frame rates up to 120 FPS at 1080p. It's worth noting however when shooting in 4K, it will add a significant 1.5x crop to your image and Dual Pixel Autofocus would not be available as it will not be utilising the full width of the sensor. So unless you're using something less than a 10-18mm lens to shoot in 4K, we recommend sticking with 1080p.

With even more crop than a skimpy tank top is when you enable the in-body electronic image stabilization. And you get even further crop when Enhanced Image Stabilization is turned on. Framing up shots can be quite a challenge because of this, especially in confined spaces like the inside of a car which would have been ideal to smoothen out some of the shaky footage coming from the bumps on a road.

Slow-motion is commendable in its own capabilities, and I'm glad it at least shoots in 1080p. Not the best of its kind, but I did end up shooting at higher frame rates than planned. So well done Canon, for making me forget about the 4k.

All in all, I believe it's made for beginners or vloggers who are on the lookout for a good hybrid camera or someone interested in entry-level photography and videography. Priced at RM2,859, it's perfect for getting your money's worth without having to eat cardboard for the month just to get the latest and greatest. In many ways though, it may not even be the greatest in its price range, with a worthy contender in the Sony ZV-E10 which comes with better capabilities such as 4K with no crop, better low light performance, and a dedicated E-Mount that should serve you well for all of your Sony lenses without having to get an adapter like with the M50 Mark II.

But if you're an existing Canon user with Canon glass, specifically looking for a good B-cam that won't set you back too much, then it could be a good option for you. It may take a little tender loving care to get it to do what you want it to, but it still earns my respect at the end of the day given its size and weight class. Nothing but a promising future for us camera nerds knowing how affordable mirrorless cameras are getting, and some wishful thinking of how crop factors will soon just be a thing of the past.


Content by Fitri Aiyub


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