The Canon EOS M50 Mark II has officially arrived as the successor to one of the most popular mirrorless cameras of all time – and it’s fair to say it isn’t quite what we, or the recent rumours, had in mind.
Firstly, the Canon EOS M50 Mark II won’t initially be available in all regions, with Europe, the Middle East and Africa all missing out, for now at least.
The new Canon EOS M50 successor also lacks many of the features that were rumoured in the past month, including the latest Digic X processor or a new sensor.
Instead, the EOS M50 Mark II is an extremely minor refresh of the small, EF-M camera that came out in early 2018. Want to know whether or not it’s the model to fill the compact mirrorless camera-shaped hole in your photographic life? Here’s everything we’ve learned about the EOS M50 Mark II, including where you’ll be able to buy it.
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Strangely, the Canon EOS M50 Mark II hasn’t been given a global launch. We asked Canon to clarify the camera’s availability and it told us:
“Canon has today (14 October 2020) announced the launch of the EOS M50 Mark II in some international regions. This is the successor to the award-winning EOS M50 mirrorless camera. At this stage, we are unable to confirm if and when this digital camera will release in EMEA.”
So there you go – fans of the original Canon EOS M50 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa will have to wait to see if its successor goes in sale in their regions.
How much does the Canon EOS M50 Mark II cost? In the US, it’ll be available to buy from late November for a body-only price of $599.99 (around £460 / AU$835). If you’d rather pick it up with a lens, you can get the EOS M50 Mark II with an EF-M 15-45mm for $699.99 (about £540 / AU$975) or the in a double zoom lens kit with the EF-M 15-45mm and EF-M55-200mm for $929.99 (£715 / AU$1295).
Specifications and Features
There had been growing rumours that the Canon EOS M50 Mark II would bring exciting new features like a Digic X processor, a new 32.5MP sensor and unshackled 4K video powers. Unfortunately, these were wide of the mark, and the EOS M50 Mark II is a much more minor upgrade.
In fact, there doesn’t appear to have been any real hardware upgrades at all. It’s still a small, light APS-C mirrorless camera, with the same 24.1MP CMOS sensor as before and the now slightly ageing Digic 8 processor.
While the retention of that familiar sensor isn’t an issue – it’s a tried-and-tested chip that produces very good photos – the lack of a new processor means the EOS M50 Mark II appears to carry many of the same limitations of its predecessor, including a heavy 1.6x crop for 4K video. It also lacks Dual Pixel AF in 4K mode, which meant we really only recommended its predecessor for those happy to shoot in 1080p.
The EOS M50 Mark II does at least bring a few new features in the software department. There’s apparently improved autofocus, including Eye AF for stills and video (for the modes that support it), and assistance for vertical video shooting.
There are a couple of interface improvements, too – you can tap the screen to autofocus while you’re looking through the EVF, and there’s also a new tap video record button on the vari-angle touchscreen.
Lastly, the Canon EOS M50 Mark II is compatible with wireless YouTube Live streaming and Canon’s EOS Webcam Utility software, so it can double as your Zoom cam when you’re not out shooting.
But that, disappointingly, appears to be it for the improvements from the Canon EOS M50. Actually, for owners of the latter, there is apparently very little reason to upgrade.
Canon Rumors, which originally posted some of those rumours about a new sensor and processor chip, thinks that those specs may now instead be for a second new EOS M digital camera, which could end up being announced at a later date. We hope so because a more comprehensively updated EOS M50 would be a fantastic little camera on paper, at the very least. And that, sadly, is where it will stay for now.
Given some of the promising rumours about the Canon EOS M50 Mark II in the run-up to its launch, it’s a pretty big let-down. Even taking into account our raised expectations, it’s an extremely minor refresh of what’s been one of our favourite (and biggest-selling) mid-range mirrorless cameras.
There appear to be very few reasons for existing Canon EOS M50 owners to upgrade, and anyone looking for a small, hybrid mirrorless camera for shooting a mix of stills and video should probably consider alternatives like the Panasonic Lumix G100, Nikon Z50, Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III or the rumoured Fujifilm X-S10.
In many ways, the Canon EOS M50 Mark II also raises more questions than it answers concerning the future of the EF-M system. We had hoped to see a new version of the EOS M50 inject some new life into Canon’s crop sensor system, which has recently been in the shadow of the full-frame Canon EOS R range and its RF lenses.
Does the EOS M50 Mark II indirectly confirm that another, more powerful EOS M camera is in the works? Possibly, but there are no concrete rumours about that right now, and it looks like Canon’s energy is very much directed towards its EOS R digital cameras.
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