The EOS M50 Mark II may not be the newest model, nor does it have the most impressive specs by today's standards, but it is one of Canon's most popular cameras in the EOS M series and is still selling well to this day.
Introduced alongside the R7, the R10 becomes the first APS-C product in Canon's Mirrorless RF (EOS R) lineup. It brings a breath of fresh air to Canon's APS-C format, with faster performance, better video and more advanced features than we've seen on the EOS M system before.
How to compare the two products.
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1. Auto Focus
The R10 is a newer model and as such carries some of the latest technology that Canon has to offer. In fact, the camera has very similar specs to the flagship R3: Dual Pixel CMOS AF II (Canon's advanced phase detection system) and a variety of subject recognition modes for people, animals and vehicles.
The M50 II has an older version of the same AF system and the software is less advanced. It can recognize people's faces and eyes and track them within the frame (at a lower level), but that's where the advanced features end.
Another difference is the maximum number of AF areas you can use. In single-point mode, the R10 has 4,503 points to the M50's 3,975. If you use tracking mode, those numbers drop significantly, but the R10 still maintains a higher number: 651 points versus 143 points.
Then we have low light sensitivity where the difference is less relevant: -4EV for the R10 measured with an F1.2 lens and -4EV for the M50 but measured with an F1.4 lens, which means you have a half stop difference in favor of the EOS M camera.
The last point concerns video recording: in 4K mode, the M50 II only uses contrast-detection autofocus and not Dual Pixel CMOS AF. This drastically reduces performance: it's slower and much less reliable than the R10 when recording 4K video.
2. Shutter and trigger speed
With the mechanical shutter, both cameras can expose with a maximum of 1/4000 s. Switch to electronic shutter and the R10 can speed up to 1/16,000s.
The M50 doesn't have the same feature, and the electronic shutter (which also lets you shoot in Silent mode) is only available in Special Scene mode.
When it comes to continuous shooting speed, the R10 is superior too: it can record 15 frames per second with the mechanical shutter or 23 frames per second with the electronic shutter. These values work with AF and AE tracking.
The M50 II is slower: 10 fps when working with One-Shot AF (single AF) or 7.4 fps with Servo AF (continuous). Switching to electronic shutter makes no difference.
Unsurprisingly, the new model's buffering capabilities are better thanks to UHS-II SD card compatibility, as you can see in the table below.
Both cameras can shoot 4K video, but there are key differences to note.
First, the frame rate. The R10 can go up to 60p, while the M50 II only does 24p and 25p.
Second, we need to talk about sensor plants. The R10 can record 4K up to 30p using the full width of the sensor, so no cropping and oversampling, meaning it uses every pixel to deliver the best possible quality. However, if you want 50/60p there is a hefty 1.6x cut.
The M50 always crops 1.5x at 4K. So if you want high resolution for videos, your field of view will always be compromised. As mentioned, the M50 doesn't use phase detection AF when recording in 4K, which is another major limitation.
In Full HD, there's no sensor cropping on either camera, but the R10 can shoot up to 120p (in high-speed mode), while the M50 stops at 60p. To get 120fps on the M model, you need to select 720p resolution.
Third, we have video quality: the R10 can internally record 4:2:2 10-bit using the HDR-PQ profile (H.265 codec), so it stores more color information compared to the M50 (4: 2 8-bit :0) .
Fourthly, Canon says the R10 can shoot at 4K continuously for around 50 minutes (at an ambient temperature of 23C). The M50 is limited to 30 minutes/clip.
As for audio, both cameras have a microphone input, but no headphone output. The R10 also allows you to use a compatible digital audio microphone on the multifunction shoe.
The two cameras have the same format (APS-C) and almost identical resolution on the sensor: 24.2 MP for the R10 and 24.1 MP for the M50 II.
The ISO range is also almost identical:
100 – 32.000
100 – 51.200
100 – 25.600
100 – 51.200
Note that in video mode the R10 range increases by 12,800 or 25,600 with extended range.
For the M50 II it's a maximum ISO 6,400 at 4K and a maximum of 12,800 at 1080p.
According to Canon, the R10's sensor is a new version with micro-lenses and improved circuitry to improve quality and performance. Also note that the R10 has a faster image processor, which explains the higher speed it can deliver.
The R10 is bigger and a little heavier. Unlike the M model, it is weatherproof.
- R1: 122,5 x 87,8 x 83,4 mm, 429 g
- M50II: 116,3 x 88,1 x 58,7 mm, 387 g
The R10 offers more physical controls, most notably the AF/MF button on the front, the AF joystick on the back, and an additional dial on top to more easily change exposure.
Both can only hold 1 SD card, but the R10 supports the faster UHS-II type.
6. Visor e monitor LCD
Here the specs are very similar. Both cameras use a 0.39-inch, 2.36 million-dot OLED viewfinder with a 22mm eyepoint.
Surprisingly, the M50 II has higher magnification (0.62x vs. 0.59x), but the R10 EVF has a faster refresh rate of 120 Hz (when the Smooth setting is selected).
The rear monitor is the same: 1.04 million-dot touch-sensitive LCD.
7. Additional Resources
The R10 as a later model has some additional features to offer.
It can take 10-bit HEIF photos with HDR PQ gamma, which offers more color information than 8-bit JPGs. Note that not all image editing software supports this file type.
Then there's Focus Bracketing and Focus Stacking (on camera), two features that are sure to interest macro photographers.
Finally, there's a pre-shoot mode that allows the camera to save a series of images before pressing the shutter button all the way down. This is very useful for capturing fast actions that are difficult to predict.
Cameras use different batteries and have different ratings.
The R10 comes with the LP-E17, which can take 430 frames with the LCD or 260 frames with the EVF.
The M50 II uses the old LP-E12 with a capacity of 305 (LCD) or 250 shots. (EVF).
Additionally, the R10 can be charged via USB.
The R10 is available for $980 / £900 / €1030.
The M50 II is more affordable and can be had for $600 / £590 / €610.
Note: Prices are for body only and valid for August 2022, excluding temporary discounts.
10. Lens Mount: very important!
This last chapter is a little long, but it's worth reading because I'm going to talk about the most important difference between these two cameras: the lens mount.
The R10 uses the newer, more sophisticated RF support, while the M50 II features the older EF-M support. This means you can use a different set of lenses with each camera, which cannot be interchanged.
Simply put, lenses designed for the R10 are NOT compatible with the M50 II and vice versa.
If you don't know much about Canon's foray into the mirrorless camera market, you might be wondering why the company developed two different APS-C systems in the first place. To answer that, we need to turn the clocks back a bit.
In 2012, mirrorless cameras (or compact system cameras as they were called back then) were gaining in popularity, but they were still in the early stages of development. They featured many new technologies, but were not on par with DSLRs when it came to critical performance (particularly autofocus) or lens choice. As a result, many photographers didn't take them seriously and saw them primarily as a compact vacation solution.
Still, the mirrorless camera market had grown enough to attract interest from all camera brands: Sony, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus and Panasonic were already investing in it, and Canon didn't want to miss the opportunity.
So, in July of this year, the company launched the EOS M, which followed the same marketing trend: a small, compact system whose lightweight construction is its main selling point. In the years that followed, it released more models and built a modest 8-lens array (thankfully augmented by third-party manufacturers).
But mirrorless products evolved quickly. Soon they became more than just cute, tiny cameras. More advanced and professional features have been incorporated into more robust bodies. The performance gap for DSLRs has started to evaporate. It was pretty clear that mirrorless was the future.
So Canon was faced with a challenge: build from what already existed or build something from scratch. He chose the latter. I suppose the EOS M series flagship specs weren't ambitious enough, so the engineers came up with a new system that can satisfy amateurs and professionals alike. Instead of continuing with the EF-M mount, they introduced the RF mount, which was bigger and had more electronic pins to improve body-to-lens communication, among other things.
Released in 2018, the original full-frame EOS R model was followed by the entry-level RP, the more advanced R5 and R6 before arriving at the flagship R3. The number of lenses produced for the new system gives an idea of the broader ambitions: at the time of writing, there are currently 29 RF lenses in total (with more on the way), versus 8 EF-M lenses used in 10 years.
It became clear very quickly that the RF series would be the future of Canon's commitment to interchangeable lens cameras, and it was only a matter of time before the company expanded the system with APS-C models, as it has long done with DSLRs. One system, two sensor formats, same mounting: this solution offers much more flexibility.
You're probably thinking that the EOS M system's days are numbered at this point, but to be honest, it's not quite as black and white as it is here. It's true that companies often let a product die slowly and quietly, rather than giving us a clear statement of its death. But the EOS M series is selling well from what I can tell, and remains a more compact solution than the EOS R system. So I can see Canon wanting to keep it alive for the time being.
What I don't expect for the EOS M System are big releases like new lenses or new cameras in the coming years. I think Canon will continue to sell what they already have for as long as possible, but all new product efforts will be reserved for the HF system.
Canon R10 x M50
If you're curious about the differences between the R10 and the original M50, you'll know they're very similar to what I described above.
The M50 II is a minor upgrade compared to its predecessor and you can read all about it in our separate article.Article M50 vs. M50II.
If you've read the article from beginning to end, it's pretty easy to see that the R10 is the winner: it's faster, offers more features, has less constrained video performance, and is part of a lens ecosystem that is not only broader but also has a bright future ahead.
Personally, I think the R10 is a better investment, especially if you want to carry more lenses or even a Canon full-frame camera in your bag as you continue your photography journey.
That said, the M50 II retains some advantages, especially when you look at the price: it's smaller and cheaper. It might not have the best specs, but it's capable of producing fine images. Personally, I really like it in combination with the 22mm F2 lens. It's a very compact solution and I'm never let down when I photograph my son playing. If that's enough for you, then the M50 II might be just what you need.
For something more ambitious, or if your primary interest is video, the R10 is arguably the better choice.
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