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Canon M50 vs Sony A7

The Canon EOS M50 and the Sony Alpha A7 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2018 and October 2013. Both the M50 and the A7 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on an APS-C (M50) and a full frame (A7) 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.

Headline Specifications
Canon M50 versus Sony A7
Canon M50 Sony A7
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF-M mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
24 MP, APS-C Sensor 24 MP, Full Frame Sensor
4K/24p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-25,600 (100 - 51,200) ISO 100-25,600 (50 - 51,200)
Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots) Electronic viewfinder (2400k dots)
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 3.0 LCD, 1230k dots
Swivel touchscreen Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
10 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
not weather sealedWeathersealed body
235 shots per battery charge340 shots per battery charge
116 x 88 x 59 mm, 390 g 127 x 94 x 48 mm, 474 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS M50 and the Sony Alpha A7? 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.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon M50 and the Sony A7 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The M50 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the A7 is only available in black.

Size Canon M50 vs Sony A7
Compare M50 versus A7 top
Comparison M50 or A7 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A7 is notably larger (17 percent) than the Canon M50. Moreover, the A7 is markedly heavier (22 percent) than the M50. It is noteworthy in this context that the A7 is splash and dust-proof, while the M50 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

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.

Concerning battery life, the M50 gets 235 shots out of its LP-E12 battery, while the A7 can take 340 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. The power pack in the A7 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon M50 4.6 in 3.5 in 2.3 in 13.8 oz 235 n Feb 2018 779 i
 
Sony A7 5.0 in 3.7 in 1.9 in 16.7 oz 340 Y Oct 2013 1,699i
 
Canon SL3 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 15.8 oz 1070 n Apr 2019 599 i
 
Canon G5 X Mark II 4.4 in 2.4 in 1.8 in 12.0 oz 230 n Jul 2019 899 i
 
Canon M6 Mark II 4.7 in 2.8 in 1.9 in 14.4 oz 305 n Aug 2019 849 i
 
Canon T7 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 16.8 oz 500 n Feb 2018 449 i
 
Canon M6 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 13.8 oz 295 n Feb 2017 779i
 
Canon M100 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.7 oz 295 n Aug 2017 499i
 
Canon SL2 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 16.0 oz 650 n Jun 2017 549i
 
Canon T7i 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 18.8 oz 600 n Feb 2017 749i
 
Canon M5 4.6 in 3.5 in 2.4 in 15.1 oz 295 n Sep 2016 979 i
 
Canon M3 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 12.9 oz 250 n Feb 2015 679i
 
Sony A7 II 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 21.1 oz 350 Y Nov 2014 1,999i
 
Sony A7S 5.0 in 3.7 in 1.9 in 17.2 oz 380 Y Apr 2014 2,499i
 
Sony A7R 5.0 in 3.7 in 1.9 in 16.4 oz 340 Y Oct 2013 2,299i
 
Sony RX1R 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.0 oz 270 n Jun 2013 2,799i
 
Sony RX1 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.0 oz 270 n Sep 2012 2,799i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The M50 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 54 percent) than the A7, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon M50 features an APS-C sensor and the Sony A7 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the A7 is 158 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon M50 and Sony A7 sensor measures

Even though the A7 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 24 megapixels. This implies that the A7 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 5.97μm versus 3.72μm for the M50), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the M50 is much more recent (by 4 years and 4 months) than the A7, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.

The Canon EOS M50 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A7 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-51200.

M50 versus A7 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Canon M50 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p........
 
Sony A7 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.814.2224890
 
Canon SL3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/25p........
 
Canon G5 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p........
 
Canon M6 Mark II APS-C 32.3 6960 46404K/30p........
 
Canon T7 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p........
 
Canon M6 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
 
Canon M100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278
 
Canon SL2 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
 
Canon T7i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
 
Canon M5 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.4126277
 
Canon M3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972
 
Sony A7 II Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.913.6244990
 
Sony A7S Full Frame 12.0 4240 28321080/60p23.913.2370287
 
Sony A7R Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.614.1274695
 
Sony RX1R Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.013.6253791
 
Sony RX1 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.114.3253493

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the M50 provides a higher video resolution than the A7. It can shoot video footage at 4K/24p, while the Sony is limited to 1080/60p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the A7 offers a slightly higher resolution than the one in the M50 (2400k vs 2360k dots). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon M50, the Sony A7, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Canon M502360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 10.0 Y n
 
Sony A72400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
 
Canon SL3optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon G5 X Mark II2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 30 Y Y
 
Canon M6 Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 14.0 Y n
 
Canon T7optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon M6optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n
 
Canon M100none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.1 Y n
 
Canon SL2optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon T7ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Canon M52360 n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n
 
Canon M3optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
 
Sony A7 II2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y
 
Sony A7S2400 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
 
Sony A7R2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 4.0 n n
 
Sony RX1Roptional n 3.0 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Sony RX1optional n 3.0 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The M50 has one, while the A7 does not. While the built-in flash of the M50 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The M50 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the A7 does not have a selfie-screen.

The M50 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A7 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

Connectivity comparison

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 Sony Alpha A7 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Canon M50YstereomonoY-micro2.0YYY
 
Sony A7YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-
 
Canon SL3YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y-Y
 
Canon G5 X Mark II-stereomono--micro3.1Y-Y
 
Canon M6 Mark IIYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Canon T7Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon M6YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon M100-stereomono--mini2.0YYY
 
Canon SL2YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon T7iYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon M5YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon M3YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Sony A7 IIYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-
 
Sony A7SYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-
 
Sony A7RYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX1RYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Sony RX1YstereomonoY-mini2.0---

It is notable that the A7 has a headphone jack, which makes it possible to attach external headphones and monitor the quality of sound during the recording process. The M50 lacks such a headphone port.

The M50 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the A7 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the A7 was succeeded by the Sony A7 II. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Sony websites.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon M50 and the Sony A7? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS M50:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/24p vs 1080/60p).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (116x88mm vs 127x94mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 84g or 18 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (54 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years and 4 months of technical progress since the A7 launch.

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Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha A7:

  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1230k vs 1040k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (340 versus 235) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in October 2013).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M50 is the clear winner of the match-up (11 : 6 points). 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 wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

M50 11:06 A7

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon M50 and the Sony A7 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the M50 or the A7 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon M50+79/100..4/53.5/5 Feb 2018 779 i
 
Sony A7+ +80/1005/54.5/55/5 Oct 2013 1,699i
 
Canon SL3o79/1004/5..4/5 Apr 2019 599 i
 
Canon G5 X Mark II+82/100....4/5 Jul 2019 899 i
 
Canon M6 Mark II+85/1004/5..4/5 Aug 2019 849 i
 
Canon T7o..3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i
 
Canon M6..80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779i
 
Canon M100+..4/5..3.5/5 Aug 2017 499i
 
Canon SL2+ +78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549i
 
Canon T7i..80/1004.5/54/54/5 Feb 2017 749i
 
Canon M5+82/1004/54.5/54/5 Sep 2016 979 i
 
Canon M3o75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679i
 
Sony A7 II+82/1004.5/55/55/5 Nov 2014 1,999i
 
Sony A7S..86/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Apr 2014 2,499i
 
Sony A7R+ +82/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2013 2,299i
 
Sony RX1R....4/5o4.5/5 Jun 2013 2,799i
 
Sony RX1..79/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,799i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time 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.

Canon M50:
Check Amazon price
Sony A7:
Check Ebay offers

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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon M50 vs Sony A7

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon M50 Sony A7
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF-M mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2018 October 2013
    Launch Price USD 779 USD 1,699
    Sensor Specs Canon M50 Sony A7
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 35.8 x 23.9 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 855.62 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 43 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.72 μm 5.97 μm
    Pixel Density 7.22 MP/cm2 2.80 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/24p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 25,600 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 51,200 ISO 50 - 51,200 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 8 BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 90
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 24.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 14.2
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 2248
    Screen Specs Canon M50 Sony A7
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.71x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2360k dots 2400k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 1230k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon M50 Sony A7
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 10 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon M50 Sony A7
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket no Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in NFC built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in no Bluetooth
    Body Specs Canon M50 Sony A7
    Environmental Sealingnot weather sealedWeathersealed body
    Battery Type LP-E12 NP-FW50
    Battery Life (CIPA)235 shots per charge340 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 116 x 88 x 59 mm
    (4.6 x 3.5 x 2.3 in)
    127 x 94 x 48 mm
    (5.0 x 3.7 x 1.9 in)
    Camera Weight 390 g (13.8 oz) 474 g (16.7 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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