Canon’s complete munchkin-sized camera system

Despite its dinky size, “mirrorless” EOS M50 will lift your digital photography to a whole new level

Canon EOS M50 with 15-45mm lens, £649
Canon EOS M50 with 15-45mm lens, £649 | Image: Hugh Threlfall

When I first unpacked Canon’s new EOS M50, an ideal holiday camera for the serious or aspiring snapper if I ever saw one, I thought either I had become a giant or that a regular DSLR-type interchangeable-lens camera had mysteriously shrunk in my hands. 

The “mirrorless” M50 is almost comically dinky. Mirrorless, I should say, is not an easy concept to explain in a few words – Dr Google will help if you must know – but in short it means that around 80 per cent of the characteristics of a professional DSLR can be replicated in a significantly smaller machine. The M50 contains elements borrowed from many more expensive and sophisticated Canon models. Using adapted components from the pro 5D, it has what the company claims is the fastest autofocus in any Canon mirrorless camera, and the fastest burst shooting, at 10 frames a second. 

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The M50 is designed primarily for people who want to go the extra several miles beyond even the best phone camera’s furthest limits, without being confronted by too many buttons and menus. I don’t disparage phone cameras at all in saying this, but the addition alone of a viewfinder (and the M50’s electronic one is among the best I’ve ever tried) propels your photography into a different league. Add to that the seven new lenses Canon has built for the M50, plus the ability to use, via an adaptor, 102 existing Canon lenses, and you have a complete camera system in munchkin size. 

The 15-45mm lens with which I tested the camera is a good all-purpose glass, but there is also a great 22m f2 “pancake” lens that reduces the M50 down to an even more compact form. Honourable mention, too, for the brilliant macro 28mm Canon also lent me, with an image stabilizer and built-in light. If you love macro, this lens also takes regular non-microscopic photos.

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