Canon M50 vs SL3
The Canon EOS M50 and the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 (labelled Canon 250D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2018 and April 2019. The M50 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the SL3 is a DSLR. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 24 megapixels.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS M50 and the Canon EOS Rebel SL3? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon M50 and the Canon SL3 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
Both cameras are available in two different colors (black, white).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SL3 is notably larger (11 percent) than the Canon M50. Moreover, the SL3 is markedly heavier (15 percent) than the M50. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the M50 nor the SL3 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Canon M50||116 mm||88 mm||59 mm||390 g||235||n||Feb 2018||779||ebay.com|
|2.||Canon SL3||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||449 g||1070||n||Apr 2019||599||amazon.com|
|3.||Canon T8i||131 mm||103 mm||76 mm||515 g||800||n||Feb 2020||749||amazon.com|
|4.||Canon M50 Mark II||116 mm||88 mm||59 mm||387 g||305||n||Oct 2020||599||amazon.com|
|5.||Canon M6 Mark II||120 mm||70 mm||49 mm||408 g||305||n||Aug 2019||849||amazon.com|
|6.||Canon T7||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||475 g||500||n||Feb 2018||449||amazon.com|
|7.||Canon 77D||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||540 g||600||n||Feb 2017||899||ebay.com|
|8.||Canon M6||112 mm||68 mm||45 mm||390 g||295||n||Feb 2017||779||ebay.com|
|9.||Canon M100||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||302 g||295||n||Aug 2017||499||ebay.com|
|10.||Canon SL2||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||453 g||650||n||Jun 2017||549||ebay.com|
|11.||Canon T7i||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||532 g||600||n||Feb 2017||749||ebay.com|
|12.||Canon M5||116 mm||89 mm||61 mm||427 g||295||n||Sep 2016||979||ebay.com|
|13.||Canon M3||111 mm||68 mm||44 mm||366 g||250||n||Feb 2015||679||ebay.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The SL3 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 23 percent) than the M50, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 24 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the M50 and the SL3 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the SL3 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 1 month) than the M50, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.
The Canon EOS M50 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-51200. The Canon EOS Rebel SL3 offers exactly the same ISO settings.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|4.||Canon M50 Mark II||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/24p||24.0||13.6||1939||83|
|5.||Canon M6 Mark II||APS-C||32.3||6960||4640||4K/30p||24.0||13.5||1848||83|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the SL3 provides a faster frame rate than the M50. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/25p, while the M50 is limited to 4K/24p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the M50 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the SL3 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon M50, the Canon SL3, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Canon M50||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||10.0/s||Y||n|
|2.||Canon SL3||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|3.||Canon T8i||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||7.5/s||Y||n|
|4.||Canon M50 Mark II||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||10.0/s||Y||n|
|5.||Canon M6 Mark II||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||14.0/s||Y||n|
|6.||Canon T7||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|7.||Canon 77D||optical||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|8.||Canon M6||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0/s||Y||n|
|9.||Canon M100||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.1/s||Y||n|
|10.||Canon SL2||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|11.||Canon T7i||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|12.||Canon M5||2360||n||3.2 / 1620||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0/s||Y||n|
|13.||Canon M3||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.2/s||Y||n|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
The Canon M50 and the Canon SL3 both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the M50 and the SL3 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS M50 and Canon EOS Rebel SL3 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon M50||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|2.||Canon SL3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|3.||Canon T8i||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Canon M50 Mark II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|5.||Canon M6 Mark II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|6.||Canon T7||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Canon 77D||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|8.||Canon M6||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|9.||Canon M100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|10.||Canon SL2||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|11.||Canon T7i||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|12.||Canon M5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|13.||Canon M3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
The SL3 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the M50 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on ebay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the M50 was succeeded by the Canon M50 Mark II. Further information on the features and operation of the M50 and SL3 can be found, respectively, in the Canon M50 Manual (free pdf) or the online Canon SL3 Manual.
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon M50 or the Canon SL3 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS M50:
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 59g or 13 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2018).
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel SL3:
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (4K/25p versus 4K/24p).
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1070 versus 235) out of a single battery charge.
- More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (23 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 1 month) more recently.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (5 points each). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon M50 and the Canon SL3 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the M50 or the SL3. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Canon M50||..||+||4/5||79/100||..||3.5/5||Feb 2018||779||ebay.com|
|2.||Canon SL3||..||o||4.5/5||79/100||4/5||4/5||Apr 2019||599||amazon.com|
|3.||Canon T8i||4.5/5||+||3/5||80/100||4/5||3.5/5||Feb 2020||749||amazon.com|
|4.||Canon M50 Mark II||4/5||..||4/5||..||4.5/5||3.5/5||Oct 2020||599||amazon.com|
|5.||Canon M6 Mark II||..||+||4.5/5||85/100||4/5||4/5||Aug 2019||849||amazon.com|
|6.||Canon T7||..||o||3.5/5||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||449||amazon.com|
|7.||Canon 77D||4.5/5||..||4/5||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899||ebay.com|
|8.||Canon M6||..||..||..||80/100||4/5||4/5||Feb 2017||779||ebay.com|
|9.||Canon M100||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||3.5/5||Aug 2017||499||ebay.com|
|10.||Canon SL2||4/5||+ +||4/5||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549||ebay.com|
|11.||Canon T7i||4.5/5||..||3.5/5||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||749||ebay.com|
|12.||Canon M5||4/5||+||4/5||82/100||4/5||4/5||Sep 2016||979||ebay.com|
|13.||Canon M3||4/5||o||..||75/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||679||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Canon M50 vs Canon SL3
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Canon M50||Canon SL3|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF-M mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2018||April 2019|
|Launch Price||USD 779||USD 599|
|Sensor Specs||Canon M50||Canon SL3|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||22.3 x 14.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||332.27 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||26.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.72 μm||3.72 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.22 MP/cm2||7.22 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/24p Video||4K/25p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 25,600 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 51,200 ISO||100 - 51,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 8||DIGIC 8|
|Screen Specs||Canon M50||Canon SL3|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||95%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon M50||Canon SL3|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations||100 000 actuations|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon M50||Canon SL3|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon M50||Canon SL3|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||235 shots per charge||1070 shots per charge|
116 x 88 x 59 mm
(4.6 x 3.5 x 2.3 in)
122 x 93 x 70 mm
(4.8 x 3.7 x 2.8 in)
|Camera Weight||390 g (13.8 oz)||449 g (15.8 oz)|
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