Canon EOS R50
Canon is promoting the EOS R50 as a traveller’s camera and ‘the perfect gateway into the EOS R range for content creators looking to step up from their smartphone and refine their style, in both stills and video, using a dedicated camera’.
The R50 is a good performer and a nice fit for its target market, which is why we’ve nominated it as an Editor’s Choice. Serious photo enthusiasts looking for a lightweight camera kit for travelling could also find it attractive – although it won’t replace a more capable, features-rich enthusiast or professional model.
Announced on 9 February in the lead-in to CP+, the EOS R50 is the new entry-level model in Canon’s APS-C EOS R system. Targeted at travellers and content creators looking to step up from their smartphone’, it has similar, SLR-like styling to the original EOS M50, which was released in February 2018 and updated with a Mark II model in October 2020 and has been popular with buyers in the Asian markets. The R50 shares many features with the EOS M50 Mark II and could be seen as its replacement.
Angled view of the EOS R50 with the pop-up flash raised and RF-S 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM kit lens fitted. (Source: Canon.)
We reviewed the camera with the RF-S 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM kit lens, which was tested in August 2022. It’s a slow lens with a plastic mount and a 2.5x zoom range but it’s compact and light and its retracting design makes it easy to carry while its STM focusing is quiet enough for use when vlogging.
Who’s it For?
Canon is promoting the EOS R50 as a traveller’s camera that caters for the almost 80% of Australians who have indicated they plan to travel this year. It is also described as ‘the perfect gateway into the EOS R range for content creators looking to step up from their smartphone and refine their style, in both stills and video, using a dedicated camera’.
The EOS R50 kit is being promoted to vloggers and content creators who want to ‘step up from their smartphone and refine their style’. (Source: Canon.)
The R50 slots into Canon’s mirrorless RF-mount line-up below last year’s EOS R10 model, which is more of an enthusiast’s camera, although it shares a number of features, including the image sensor and processor. Potentially a replacement for the current EOS M50 Mark II, a bit limited for serious enthusiasts.
Like those cameras it’s not environmentally sealed, which means it can’t be used outdoors in inclement weather, putting it out of contention for bushwalkers (unless they have waterproof housings or camera bags). The table below compares key features of the EOS R50 with the EOS M50 Mark II and the EOS R10, a similarly priced and pitched camera we have recently reviewed.
|EOS M50 Mark II
|116.3 x 85.5 x 68.8 mm
|116.3 x 88.1 x 58.7 mm
|122.5 x 87.8 x 83.4 mm
|Body weight with battery and card
|22.3 x 14.9 mm CMOS sensor
|Stills: JPEG, HEIF, Dual Pixel CR3.RAW, C-RAW, Movies: MP4 (H.264/MPEG-4) IPB/ IPB Lite compression
|Stills: JPEG, CR3.RAW, C-RAW, Movies: MP4 (H.264/MPEG-4) IPB/ IPB Lite compression
|Stills: JPEG, HEIF, Dual Pixel CR3.RAW, C-RAW, Movies: MP4 (H.264/MPEG-4 H.265/HEVC) IPB/ IPB Lite compression
|No; in-camera digital IS available for movies
|100 to 32000 plus expansion to ISO 51200
|100-12800 plus expansion to ISO 25600; ISO 100-6400 for movies
|100 to 32000 plus expansion to ISO 51200
|3-inch vari-angle TFT touch screen, 1,620,000 dots
|3-inch vari-angle, TFT touch-screen, 1,040,000-dots
|0.39-type OLED EVF with 2,360,000 dots
|Dual Pixel CMOS AF System
|Subject detection AF
|People, animals and vehicles
|Subject eye detection
|People, animals and vehicles
|Max. 15 fps
|Max. 10 fps
|Max. 23 fps
|28 JPEG, 7 Raw
|36 JPEG, 10 Raw
|123 JPEG, 21 Raw
|Oversampled 6Kto 4K 25P, FHD 100p. 50p, 25p
|4K 25p. FHD 50p, 25p, 24p, HD 100p, 50p
|4K 50p, 25p. FHD 100p, 50p, 25p,
|Video recording limits
|60 minutes for normal recordings; 15 min. max for slow-motion recordings
|Max. 30 minutes for normal recordings; 7.5 min. max for slow-motion recordings
|120 minutes normal recordings; 30 min. max for slow-motion recordings
|Log recording in movie mode
|Yes GN 6
|Yes GN 6
|320 shots/charge with EVF, 450 shots/charge with monitor
|250 shots/charge with EVF, 305 shots/charge with monitor
|290 shots/charge with EVF, 450 shots/charge with monitor
|Average street price (with kit lens)
In terms of specifications and price, the R50 shapes up well against its main competitors, which include Canon’s own EOS R10, which comes with the same kit lens but is larger, heavier and higher-priced because of its faster burst speeds, greater buffer capacity and longer video recording times. Nikon’s Z50 is getting long in the tooth and its Z30 lacks an EVF, which will deter some potential buyers.
While the cropped-sensor cameras released by Sony in the past two years have been designed primarily for vloggers, none of them have come with electronic viewfinders. In contrast, Fujifilm, OM Systems and Panasonic are pitching their smaller cameras at a more sophisticated, enthusiast buyer and are more in line with Canon’s EOS R7 and R10 models.
Whether the R50 will sell as well as the EOS M50 models is debatable since many consumers are cutting spending on discretionary items. However, this camera offers some tangible advantages over many of its similarly-priced competitors. Features like a lightweight body with a comfortable grip, fully-articulated monitor and high-resolution EVF will work in its favour.
So will the easy integration of the camera with a smartphone and the ability to choose between fully automated shooting and user-controlled adjustments with the P, Tv, Av and M shooting modes.
Build and Ergonomics
The mostly polycarbonate body of the R50 is similar in styling to the M50 II but a little slimmer and taller. It’s also slightly lighter at just 375 grams with battery and memory card and uses the same relatively small LP-E12 rechargeable battery, which shares its compartment with a single UHS-I compatible SD card slot.
Front view of the EOS R50 with no lens fitted. (Source: Canon.)
The front panel has similar styling to the EOS R10 but the grip moulding is shallower and it lacks the AF/MF switch. In addition, the LED that acts as an AF-assist and red-eye reduction light as well as a self-timer/remote control indicator is on the left side of the lens mount instead of between it and the grip.
The top panel of the EOS R50 with no lens fitted. (Source: Canon.)
The top panel controls are pared back. The shutter button is located near the leading edge of the grip with a dedicated ISO button is located to its right, slightly behind it. Further back is a control dial for adjusting camera settings. Behind it is the Movie record/stop button, which is closer to the EVF hump.
Further back sits a raised mode dial where the settings are split between the automated settings of Canon’s traditional .Basic Zone and the Creative Zone’s P, Tv, Av and M modes. There’s a separate Movie recording mode between them. To the right of the mode dial is the power on/off lever switch, which sits between the mode dial and the strap loop.
The built-in flash pops up automatically when needed if one of the auto modes is used. With a Guide number of six (ISO 100/metres), it’s not particularly powerful but useful for filling-in shadows when subjects are backlit. As in the R10, wireless Master and Sender functions aren’t supported.
The rear panel of the EOS R50 with the vari-angle monitor reversed. (Source: Canon.)
The control layout on the rear panel is almost identical to the M50’s, with all the buttons located on the right of the monitor. There’s a standard arrow pad with a central Q Set button and directional buttons for AF/MF selection, exposure compensation, drive modes and delete. Playback and Menu buttons sit below it with the info button above and AF/AE lock buttons on the outer edge of the thumb rest.
The eyepiece for the EVF projects backwards by about 15 mm over the monitor screen. It has a narrow rubber-like cushion around the top and sides and a slider for adjusting the dioptric settings of the EVF lens on its base.
The side panels of the EOS R50 showing the interface ports. (Source: Canon.)
A flexible cover on the right hand side panel protects the HDMI Micro out Type D and USB 2.0 USB Type-C digital terminals, while a similar cover is provided for the Mic-in terminal on the left side panel.
Like most entry-level cameras, the R50 has a combined battery and memory card compartment. The battery is the same LP-E12 rechargeable unit as was used in the M50 Mark II, but the R50 has better power management and is rated for approximately 320 shots/charge with the EVF or 450 shots/charge with the monitor. No claims are made for movie recording or playback. Unlike the R10, the R50’s single slot only accepts UHS-I SD cards.
The camera supports USB charging but Canon also provides a separate battery charger and cable with the new camera. Canon’s Camera Connect app plus built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity make it easy to pair the camera with nearby smart devices to view or transfer files, upload them to social media or control the camera remotely.
Sensor and Image Processing
The APS-C image sensor in the R50 is the same as the sensor in the R10. So is the DIGIC X processor. Like the R10, the R50 supports JPEG, HEIF (High Efficiency Image File) format and both CR3 and C-Raw formats for stills, with the 3:2 aspect ratio the default recording setting. The native sensitivity range is ISO 100-32000 with extension to ISO 51200 available, if required.
Burst shooting speeds are about average for an entry-level camera and not as high as in the R10. Buffer memory capacities are also substantially lower.
Oversampled 6Kto 4K UHD movie recording is available at up to 25 for PAL system countries. Full-HD High-frame rate movies can be recorded at up to 100 fps with Dual Pixel CMOS AF tracking. The special Movie for Close-up Demo Mode makes vlogging and video content creation simple and convenient and recordings can extend for up to one hour.
Also handy for vloggers are the Aspect Markers that can be set up to ensure the correct aspect ratios for delivering video files to different social media sites. Users can also set movie rotation information during or after movies are recorded to ensure videos will be played the correct way when viewed on a smartphone.
UVC/UAC compatibility allows the R50 to be used as a webcam for streaming live video in Full HD to popular platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Skype without requiring additional software.
Playback and Software
Playback functions are similar to those provided by other Canon cameras, with settings distributed across four menu pages. All the standard options are available for stills and movies, including protect, erase, rotate, rate, crop, resize and HEIF to JPEG conversion. Slideshows can also be created and image searching is supported.
As usual, the bundled software must be downloaded from Canon’s website. A QR code it provided in the Advanced User Manual to make this easy. Applications include EOS Utility, Digital Photo Professional and Picture Style Editor for computers plus Camera Connect and Digital Photo Professional Express for smart devices (which will require a paid subscription).
The review camera and RF-S 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM kit lens delivered similar Imatest results to the EOS R10 we reviewed in August 2022. This isn’t surprising since both cameras have the same sensor and image processor, although the R50’s results fell a little short of those from the R10. https://www.photoreview.com.au/reviews/mirrorless-cameras/mirrorless-cameras-aps-c/canon-eos-r10/
JPEG files from the camera were able to slightly exceed expectations for the sensor’s 24-megapixel resolution near the centre of the image frame, although not by quite as much as those from the R50. Recordings toward the edge of the frame fell short by similar amounts, again with the R50 delivering slightly lower resolution.
CR3.RAW files recorded simultaneously with the JPEGs and converted into 16-bit TIFF format with Adobe Camera Raw (our preferred raw file processor) produced resolutions that were significantly above expectations from near the centre of the frame but just met expectations towards the edges. Saturation and colour accuracy were similar to the results we obtained for the EOS R10 for both JPEGs and raw files but, again slightly lower.
Resolution remained relatively high across the camera’s sensitivity range, although JPEG files showed more slightly decline at settings from ISO 6400 on than equivalent JPEGs from the EOS R10. The graph below shows the results of our Imatest tests across the camera’s sensitivity range.
Low light test shots similar to those recorded with the EOS R10, with very little noise evident at sensitivity settings up to ISO 6400, followed by a gradual loss of sharpness as sensitivity was increased. It’s worth noting that exposure levels remained constant and both saturation and colour accuracy were retained throughout the sensitivity range.
The built-in flash can only be used in the electronic first-curtain shutter mode and is as weak as the R10’s flash, with a Guide Number of 6 (ISO 100/m) which means its light can’t travel far before it attenuates. Our tests at different ISO settings were shot with the 45mm focal length setting. They showed slight under-exposure at ISO 100 and 200 but correctly exposed shots between ISO 400 and ISO 1600, after which the 1/60 second default synch speed delivered increasing over-exposures that resulted in files that were unusable by ISO 25600.
Auto white balance performance was similar to the results we obtained from the EOS R10. The ambience priority setting retained the warm cast of incandescent lighting and also preserved an orange cast in shots taken under warm-toned LED lights. But the white priority setting went part of the way towards removing these warm casts.
Shots taken under fluorescent lighting showed no apparent colour cast, regardless of which auto WB setting was used. The same was true for flash shots using the on-board flash. The manual pre-sets slightly over-corrected with all four lighting types but it was easy to pull colours back into line with the in-camera adjustments provided. As usual, raw files provided plenty of scope for adjustments post-capture.
Autofocusing performance was similar to the R10’s and very good for a camera at this level, particularly with respect to subject identification and tracking when shooting video. As with the R10, we found very few instances where the camera failed to find focus when the correct AF mode was set.
Video quality was much as we expected, based on our findings with the EOS R10. The camera was able to respond to changes in subject brightness and contrast quite quickly, although not quickly enough to eliminate the need to crop out a few transitional frames in post-production editing. Autofocusing and subject tracking while shooting movie clips were as fast and accurate as it was for stills.
Soundtracks recorded with the camera’s built-in microphones were similar to those we recorded with the EOS R10 and good for a camera at this level. They were certainly adequate for basic vlogging. No interference was recorded from lens adjustments during autofocusing or zooming.
For our timing tests we used a 128GB SDXC I U3 card with a read/write speed of 95 MB/second. It took a few seconds to power-up the review camera, largely because the lens had to be extended before the first shot could be captured. Once that was done, the camera responded within half a second.
We measured an average capture lag of 0.3 seconds when moving from severely out-of-focus to sharp focus. This delay was reduced to less than 0.1 seconds when the camera had a shorter focus range to cover and then eliminated by pre-focusing the lens.
It took an average of 2.3 seconds to process a single file regardless of whether it was a JPEG, or a HEIF file, and 2.5 seconds for a CR3.RAW file or a RAW+JPEG or RAW+HEIF pair. Shot-to-shot times averaged 0.3 seconds.
In the high-speed continuous shooting mode with the electronic first curtain shutter we recorded 42 JPEG frames in 3.1 seconds before the camera paused, which is close to the specified frame rate.. Processing this burst took just over 30 seconds. The same frame rate applied with HEIF files, which took much the same time to process.
When using the same settings for raw file capture, recording stopped after 7 frames were captured in 0.6 seconds, which is close to the 15 fps frame rate. It took just over 30 seconds to process this burst. We obtained similar results when recording RAW+JPEG pairs, although the camera paused after 6 frames and processing took a little longer.
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Image sensor: 22.3 x 14.9 mm CMOS sensor with 25.5 million photosites (24.2 megapixels effective)
Image processor: DIGIC X
Lens mount: RF (accepts RF and RF-S lenses)
Focal length crop factor: 1.6x
Digital zoom: Stills – Digital teleconverter 2x or 4x; Movies – approx. 1x to 10x
Image formats: Stills: JPEG (DCF Ver. 2.0, Exif Ver. 2.31), HEIF, CR3.RAW, C-RAW, RAW+JPEG; Movies: MP4 (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC) with IPB compression
Image Sizes: Stills (3:2 aspect ratio): 6000 x 4000, 3984 x 2656, 2976 x 1984, 2400 x 1600; CR3.RAW only at 6000 x 4000 pixels); Movies: Oversampled 6Kto 4K at 25P, Full HD at 100p. 50p, 25p (with IPB compression)
Aspect ratios: 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, 1:1
Image Stabilisation: Lens based
Dust removal: Dust Delete Data acquisition/correction
Shutter (speed range): Electronically controlled focal-plane shutter (Electronic 1st-curtain shutter (30-1/4000 seconds plus Bulb; Electronic shutter: 30 to 1/8000 second; movies – 1/8 to 1/4000 second)
Exposure Compensation: +/-3EV in 1/3EV steps (+/-EV for movies)
Exposure bracketing: 3 frames across +/- 3EV in 1/3-stop increments
Other bracketing options: Focus
Self-timer: 2 or 10 seconds delay
Interval recording: Yes, for time-lapse (ALL-I compression)
Focus system: Dual Pixel CMOS AF (range EV -4 to EV20)
AF selection: 651 zones/4503 points selectable for stills, 527 zones/ 3713 points for movies;
Focus modes: One-shot AF/ AI Focus AF/ Servo-AF / MF
Exposure metering: 384-zone metering sensor with Evaluative, Partial, Centre-weighted average and spot metering patterns
Shooting modes: Scene Intelligent Auto, Hybrid Auto, Special Scene Mode, Creative Filters Mode, Program AE, Aperture Priority AE, Shutter Priority AE, Manual Exposure
Picture Style modes: Auto, Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Fine Detail, Neutral, Faithful, Monochrome, User defined 1-3
Other in-camera adjustments: Auto lighting optimiser, HDR shooting, Clarity, lens aberration correction, peripheral illumination correction, distortion correction, chromatic aberration correction, diffraction correction, digital lens optimiser
Filter modes: Grainy B&W, Soft focus, Fish-eye effect, Water painting effect, Toy camera effect, Miniature effect, HDR art standard, HDR art vivid, HDR art bold, HDR art embossed
Colour space options: sRGB and Adobe RGB
ISO range: Auto, ISO 100 to 32000 in 1/3 or 1-stop increments; extension to ISO 51200 available
White balance: AWB (ambience priority), AWB (white priority), Daylight, Shade, Cloudy/twilight/sunset, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Flash, Custom, Colour temperature setting (2500-10000K)
Flash: Yes, retractable flash; GN 6 (m/ISO 100)
Flash modes: E-TTL balance / Evaluative (Face Priority) / Continuous flash control / Continuous shooting priority (CSP) mode / Speedlite menu direct button / Quick flash group control
Flash exposure adjustment: +/- 3EV in 1/3EV steps
Sequence shooting: Max. 15 frames/sec. with electronic shutter
Buffer capacity: Max. 28 Large/Fine JPEGs, 7 RAW files (with electronic shutter)
Storage Media: SD, SDHC, SDXC cards (UHS-I standard compatible)
Viewfinder: 0.39-inch OLED EVF with 2,360,000 dots, 100% coverage, up to 119.88 fps refresh rate, 0.95x magnification, 22mm eyepoint, -3.0 to +1.0 dpt adjustment
LCD monitor: 3-inch vari-angle TFT colour LCD with 1,620,000 dots, 170 degree angle of view, 100% coverage, capacitive touch sensing, magnification, +/- 7 steps of brightness adjustment, aspect marker
Interface terminals: USB Type C, HDMI Type D, microphone jack, 21-pin multi-function shoe
Wi-Fi function: Built-in Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11b/g/n); Bluetooth v4.2 (Bluetooth Low Energy)
Power supply: LP-E17rechargeable Li-ion battery; CIPA rated for approx. 450 shots/charge with monitor, 320 shots/charge with EVF
Dimensions (wxhxd): Approx. 116.3 x 85.5 x 68.8 mm (excluding protrusions)
Weight: Approx. 375 grams with battery and card
Distributor: Canon Australia; 1800 021 167
Based on JPEG images recorded with the RF-S 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM lens.
Based on CR3.RAW files recorded simultaneously and converted into 16-bit TIFF format with Adobe Camera Raw.
All images and video captured with the RF-S 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM kit lens.
Auto white balance with incandescent lighting, no corrections.
Auto white balance with incandescent lighting, AWB white priority mode.
Auto white balance with fluorescent lighting, no corrections.
Auto white balance with warm-toned LED lighting, no corrections.
Auto white balance with warm-toned LED lighting, AWB white priority mode.
Auto white balance with flash, no corrections.
ISO 100, 30-second exposure at f/6.3; 40mm focal length.
ISO 800, 30-second exposure at f/6.3; 40mm focal length.
ISO 6400, 3-second exposure at f/13; 40mm focal length.
ISO 12800, 1-second exposure at f/11; 40mm focal length.
ISO 25600, 1-second exposure at f/16; 40mm focal length.
ISO 51200, 1/2-second exposure at f/16; 40mm focal length.
Flash exposure at ISO 100, 1/60 second exposure at f/6.3; 45mm focal length.
Flash exposure at ISO 800, 1/60 second exposure at f/6.3; 45mm focal length.
Flash exposure at ISO 6400, 1/80 second exposure at f/6.3; 45mm focal length.
Flash exposure at ISO 12800, 1/125 second exposure at f/8; 45mm focal length.
Flash exposure at ISO 25600, 1/200 second exposure at f/10; 45mm focal length.
Flash exposure at ISO 51200, 1/250 second exposure at f/11; 45mm focal length.
18mm focal length, ISO 125, 1/500 second at f/8.
45mm focal length, ISO 125, 1/640 second at f/8.
18mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/200 second at f/9. Top image – JPEG file, bottom image – CR3.RAW file recorded simultaneously.
45mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/500 second at f/11. Top image – JPEG file, bottom image – CR3.RAW file recorded simultaneously.
Close-up at 18mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/500 second at f/11.
Close-up at 45mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/500 second at f/11.
Close-up at 45mm focal length, ISO 125, 1/250 second at f/11. CR3.RAW file.
45mm focal length, ISO 125, 1/200 second at f/10.
18mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/20 second at f/14.
18mm focal length, ISO 200, 1/60 second at f/4.5.
Backlighting; 32mm focal length, ISO 125, 1/125 second at f/5.6.
18mm focal length, ISO 160, 1/80 second at f/4.5. CR3.RAW file.
22mm focal length, ISO 800, 1/50 second at f/5. CR3.RAW file.
37mm focal length, ISO 400, 1/60 second at f/9.
18mm focal length, ISO 400, 1/80 second at f/8.
18mm focal length, ISO 800, 1/60 second at f/8.
18mm focal length, ISO 12800, 1/150 second at f/9.
18mm focal length, ISO 25600, 1/320 second at f/10.
18mm focal length, ISO 51200, 1/500 second at f/11.
Still frame from 4K 25p video clip.
Still frame from 4K 25p Light video clip.Still frame from FHD 50p video clip.
Still frame from FHD 50p video clip.
Still frame from FHD 50p Light video clip.
Still frame from FHD 25p video clip.
Still frame from FHD 25p Light video clip.
RRP: AU$1399 (with 18-45mm kit lens)
- Build: 8.8
- Features: 8.8
- Ease of use: 8.9
- Autofocusing: 9.0
- Still image quality JPEG: 8.9
- Still image quality RAW: 9.0
- Video quality: 8.8