Xmas bargain, or Xmas turkey? Is the Canon EOS M50 Mark II still worth buying

Canon EOS M50
(Image credit: Canon)

The Canon EOS M50 Mark II has long been a favorite among vloggers, content creators, casual shooters and photographers on their travels. Despite its massive popularity though, not only is this a 5-year-old camera, the entire EOS M product line was discontinued this year. 

Not only has the Canon EOS M50 Mark II been discontinued, but it has been directly replaced by the Canon EOS R50 – which is more advanced and uses the new RF mount which will be the backbone of Canon cameras for the next few decades.

So… the M50 isn't worth a second thought, right? 

Wrong, says I. 

Let's get the big one out of the way first: yes, EOS M is a lame duck system. Okay, it's a dead system. Which means that there will never be any new lenses released for it. Quick and easy case closed, on paper.

Well, the thing is, I don't think it really needs any new lenses, because the EF-M ecosystem is already pretty well populated. And since it can easily adapt EF and EF-S lenses from DSLRs, you have access to literally hundreds of other optics – giving you the ability to use almost any glass you need. 

Now, it's clear that the best Canon RF lenses are cutting-edge. In fact, its best lenses are the best on any system, for my money. Here's the thing, though: the RF lens mount is physically much bigger than the EF-M mount. Which means that even the most compact RF optics are never going to be as small and light as the best Canon EF-M lenses for the EOS M system. 

This is a massive win for the Canon EOS M50 Mark II, whose primary selling point is its tiny size. Yes the Canon EOS R50 is technically a better camera – newer sensor, more advanced AF, uncropped 4K… but it's not a better camera if your main focus is having the smallest and lightest setup possible. Especially since there are still only a limited number of comparable RF-S lenses designed for it. 

Admittedly, customers looking for the most compact camera-and-lens combo to keep in their glovebox, sling pack or handbag is pretty niche. But it's the same audience that probably doesn't care that much about 4K video, more AF points or 0.1MP of extra resolution. 

If that's you, you can save at least a hundred bucks by opting for the Canon EOS M50 Mark II – and a whole lot more, if you buy one used from somewhere like MPB or KEH. It's a camera that I still happily use – and even pick up in preference to the R50, precisely because it has a smaller footprint in my bag and it still takes great photos and video. 

So, it's not a fashionable take, but yes – the Canon EOS M50 Mark II still has plenty going for it. Don't mistake "no new lenses" for "no use". After all, people still buy old SLR cameras – and they haven't made new lenses for those in decades!

You might be interested in our Canon EOS R50 vs M50 Mark II head to head, as well as our round-up of the best travel cameras and best cameras for beginners

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.