Canon EOS R50 Mirrorless Camera REVIEW
PAT PILCHER gets to fiddle extensively with an especially excellent camera with top video and touchscreen smarts.
$2169.00 (camera body/two lenses)
$1699 (camera body/single lens)
The Canon R50 is Canon’s entry point for Vloggers and photographers wanting to get their sweaty hands on a quality shooter that is part of Canon’s mirrorless EOS R range without selling their firstborn or parting with a kidney. It has many features that will appeal to beginners and experts. When I heard the R50 was arriving in town, I put my hands up to get a review unit sent to Witchdoctor Towers. Here’s what I found.
Design-wise, the R50 is a sleek-looking shooter. It sports a small but comfy grip and is light enough to make extended shooting/filming sessions pain-free. Equally nice, its fold-out LCD touchscreen sports a super intuitive interface that makes all its features accessible. In short, Canon has crafted a slimmed-down version of the more powerful EOS R10. The R50 also sports more of an emphasis on auto-functions and using the touchscreen.
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This makes the R50 one of Canon’s lightest and simplest R series cameras. Weighing in at a snip under 375g (including a memory card and battery), the R50 is perfect for extended hand-held shooting sessions.
On the video front, the R50 didn’t disappoint. Its 24MP sensor captured stunning video and stills. Everything looked sharp, detailed and vivid but, most critically, natural. Much of its impressive photo and video capabilities come down to the DIGIC DV 4 Image Processor, the same silicon found in Canon’s higher-end R series shooters. The DIGIC DV 4 silicon also makes autofocus super responsive and offers 15fps continuous shooting.
Regarding its video, the R50 can capture 30p in 4K (which is downsampled from 6K). I also found that when using the R50 in portrait format, I could record vertical video, which may prove handy for anyone wanting to shoot social media video clips.
A definite bonus with the R50 comes in the form of the two lenses bundled with it. In the box with the R50 are 18–45mm and 55–210mm R Series lenses. Considering the reasonable sticker price of the R50, having two lenses bundled makes it a sweet deal.
There is a built-in flash for low-light shooting. Still, if you want to use a more powerful flash, you might need an AD-E1 Multi-Function Shoe Adapter, so a 5-pin flash will play nice with the 21-pin digital shoe baked into the R50.
There’s a multitude of shooting modes baked into the R50. I particularly liked the Slow & Fast Motion mode. With it, I got slow-motion or hyper-motion footage, which was fun. The baby mode (which automatically adjusts focus and exposure) allows parents to focus on capturing great photos of their wee ones without fiddling with distracting camera settings.
Having used the R50 to get stunning shots, its built-in Wi-Fi functionality allows you to easily transfer footage to a smartphone/PC/Tablet for sharing on social media (or editing). You can also use the Wi-Fi mode to remotely control recording video.
As good as the R50 sounds, there is a gotcha. This comes in the form of a relatively short battery life. While testing it, I got about two hours of continuous shooting before the battery demanded quality time with the bundled charger dock. If you’re shooting or recording a lot of footage, you’ll probably need to invest in an additional battery.
Battery aside, the R50 is a great shooter that offers oodles of features that’ll appeal to both amateur and professional photographers/videographers alike. A sleek and light design, decent zoom lens, and shooting modes make it a great go-to option for anyone wanting an affordable mirrorless camera. The cherry on the cake is its built-in Wi-Fi and an intuitive touchscreen interface.