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Review: Canon EOS M50 Mark II

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Ever since the pandemic, the world of content creation has changed drastically. During lockdowns, many turned to creating and watching content online as their favourite thing to do. No wonder, many vendors have started coming out with products focused on content creators, including vendors of laptops, smartphones, displays, desktop PCs, and so on.

Canon is the latest to jump onto the bandwagon with its EOS M50 Mark II. This mirrorless camera, which is aimed at helping content creators create vlogs, live streams, selfies, images, and so much more, is a successor to the widely popular M50. While both the M50 and the M50 Mark II may look a bit similar, there are some big differences.

The M50 Mark II offers improved autofocus, including eye autofocus for stills and video. You also get vertical video shooting support, which is great for using on social media platforms. In addition, you can just tap the video record button and movie self-timer for a better vlogging experience.

There’s also support for wireless YouTube Live streaming, an AF Working Range down to EV -4 vs. EV -2 on the M50, and a metering range down to EV -2 vs. EV 0 on the M50. The only thing that’s missing from the Mark II is the NFC, which isn’t a biggie.

The M50 Mark II rocks a 24.1 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, that offers excellent picture quality and shallow depth of field. You also get 4K recording capabilities at 24 frames per second, and Full HD recording at 120 frames per second. Canon has used the DIGIC 8 Image Processor to process all the footage you shoot with the M50 Mark II.

There’s also a high-resolution OLED EVF and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities. Images or videos shot using the camera can also be automatically transferred to compatible devices while shooting or when a Wi-Fi network is available. The ISO range on this one ranges from 100 to 25600. There’s also a 3-inch touchscreen LCD II monitor, with Vari-Angle that allows you to open it at an angle of 180° to the side.

There is also a 7.4-fps high-speed continuous shooting and you get up to 10-fps continuous shooting with AF Lock. The camera also comes packed with a Dual Pixel CMOS AF that allows for up to 143 AF points. You can also touch and drag the AF to easily adjust the AF point directly on the LCD panel. You also get a 5-axis image stabilization when shooting movies.

Handling the Canon EOS M50 Mark II is pretty easy since it is styled like a mini DSLR. The body itself does not have a heft to it – so vloggers and content creators would find it easy to operate with one hand. The control dial, shutter button, record button, and M-Fn can all be found on the top right-hand side of the camera’s body.

Sample 1

We found the touchscreen of the camera to be very responsive. It is quite bright as well – so viewing it won’t be a task under direct sunlight. The camera also comes with a 3.5mm microphone jack, micro-HDMI, and USB Micro-B slots running down the side.

One of the biggest upgrades on the M50 Mark II, as mentioned earlier, is its autofocus capability. The Mark II features face and eye tracking when shooting both stills and video. During our review period, we found the M50 Mark II to perform quite well in terms of eye-tracking, even when shooting fast-moving subjects under low light conditions.

Sample 2

Image quality is top notch – it was able to provide images with good colour and detail. The quality of images and videos are comparable to those found on the M50 since the Mark II uses the same sensor as its predecessor. While the M50 Mark II is capable of shooting 4K videos, we found the quality of the Full HD footage much better to look at.

On a Full HD 1080p capture, you can use the dual pixel autofocus feature, which lets you use eye tracking on your subjects. Here, too, the M50 Mark II did a brilliant job. The camera also allows for direct live-streaming to a YouTube channel. The only catch here is that you need to have at least 1000 subscribers on your channel to be able to use this feature, a limitation, which we found a bit weird, at first.

Sample 3

It may be because YouTube’s streaming guidelines add this restriction to mobile devices such as smartphones. However, streamers who use a webcam are not bound by this limitation. Possibly, YouTube’s ToS classifies the Canon EOS M50 Mark II as a mobile device and thus the minimum 1000 subscriber requirement.

Sample 4

The Canon EOS M50 Mark II is available at a price of AED 2600 for just the body. For AED 400 more, you could opt for the Canon EOS M50 Mark II Mirrorless Camera, Black and EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM bundle. The pricing, as you can see, is very affordable and pocket-friendly.

Sample 5

The performance of the Canon EOS M50 Mark II is also very good, considering it offers a wide range of features that can help content creators create outstanding content. If you are looking for an able mirrorless camera to start your stint with vlogging or content creation, at an affordable price point, the Canon EOS M50 Mark II might be just for you.

Price: AED 2600 (body only), AED 3000 (body and 15-45mm lens kit)

Canon EOS M50 Mark II AED 2600 (body only), AED 3000 (body and 15-45mm lens kit)
  • Final Rating
3.5

Summary

The M50 Mark II rocks a 24.1 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, that offers excellent picture quality and shallow depth of field. You also get 4K recording capabilities at 24 frames per second, and Full HD recording at 120 frames per second. Canon has used the DIGIC 8 Image Processor to process all the footage you shoot with the M50 Mark II.

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Digital Cameras

Sony Launches the new Alpha 7 IV with a 33-Megapixel Full-Frame Image Sensor

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Sony today announced three new additions to its imaging line-up — the interchangeable-lens camera Alpha 7 IV (model ILCE-7M4) with newly developed 33- megapixel (approx., effective) full-frame image sensor and two new flashes, the HVL-F60RM2 and HVL-F46RM. The Alpha 7 IV takes ‘basic’ to the next level for full-frame cameras with excellent image quality and performance, redefining the original standard set by the Alpha 7 III. The new model features many of Sony’s most advanced imaging technologies including the latest BIONZ XR processing engine and advanced AF (autofocus) capabilities based on the flagship Alpha 1 model, combined with streamlined operability and enhanced reliability for photos and movies, making it the perfect all-around camera for today’s imaging enthusiasts and professionals who shoot all scenarios.

The Alpha 7 IV also boasts 33 MP resolution, rich movie expression, and various features to support the growing demand for remote communication, bringing new meaning to what a ‘basic’ camera can accomplish. “With the introduction of the Alpha 7 III, we set the baseline for what full-frame cameras should deliver, and now it is time to redefine those boundaries,” said Murat Gebeceli, Head of Digital Imaging, Sony Middle East and Africa. “The Alpha 7 IV brings together the best of Sony imaging technology to deliver a fantastic experience in both stills and video, meaning that users in the Middle East & Africa region will be able to capture exactly the content that they want, in whatever situation they find themselves in.”

The new Alpha 7 IV is the ultimate hybrid camera packed with outstanding still image quality and evolved video technology with advanced autofocus, enhanced operability, and workflow capability. The model was also developed with the environment in mind by using Sony’s original recycled plastic SORPLAS for the camera body and the packaging with recyclable materials and less plastic. With a newly developed 33MP full-frame back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS image sensor, superior image quality and Wide ISO sensitivity range expandable to ISO 50-204800 is achieved.

The high resolution enables the camera to express smooth gradation, fine details, and textures of the subject while reducing noise. Its 15-stop dynamic range allows a wide expressive range while Creative Look settings can help to create original looks effortlessly for both stills and video. The latest processing engine BIONZ XR used in the flagship Alpha 1 delivers high-speed AF, uninterrupted continuous shooting at 10fps with AF/AE tracking, and a large buffer for a smooth shooting experience. Alpha 7 IV tracks subjects with tenacious Real-Time Tracking and 759 phase-detection AF points in a high-density focal-plane phase-detection AF system that covers approximately 94% of the image area. Additionally, for the first time, Real-time Eye AF can now track birds and animals’ eye for both still images and movies, in addition to humans. The detection accuracy for the human face and eyes is also approximately 30% more improved, compared with Alpha 7 III.

The Alpha 7 IV inherits technology taken from real-world movie production including S-Cinetone – adopted from Sony’s highly regarded Cinema Line cameras used by a broad range of filmmakers and content creators – to deliver a rich, cinematic look. High-quality movie is achieved with 4K 60p recording in Super 35mm mode and up to 4K 30p recording with 7K oversampling in full-frame mode. The new camera also features 10-bit depth 4:2:2 colour sampling to enable natural gradation, XAVC S-I intra-frame encoding for more efficient editing workflows, and XAVC HS for doubled compression efficiency.

To meet the growing need for precise AF performance when shooting videos, unique AF features are achieved when using the Alpha 7 IV with a Sony E-mount lens, including AF Assist that supports focus transitions when using AF and Focus Map that visualises depth of field. For the first time in the Alpha series, the new camera features Breathing Compensation to combat focus breathing and maintain a consistent angle of view throughout focus changes and can be switched on or off. The Alpha 7 IV is a hybrid still and movie camera with outstanding operability and reliability that easily allows the user to switch from photo to movie and back at their convenience.

New to Sony’s line-up of Alpha cameras is a dual-layer mode dial with the lower layer for selecting Still/Movie/S&Q and the top layer for Auto/P/A/S/M and MR (Memory Recall), enabling users to quickly select and switch between the dedicated settings. It also has 5-axis optical in-body image stabilisation for a 5.5- step shutter speed advantage, as well as an improved grip for greater comfort and a CFexpress Type A compatible media slot to support media with faster writing and clearance. Additionally, the 3.68 million-dot (approx.) OLED Quad-VGA viewfinder is 1.6 times the resolution of the Alpha 7 III viewfinder, allowing users to benefit from the upgraded live-view image quality that minimises false colour and increases resolution.

Videographers can record 4K 60p 10-bit 4:2:2 video continuously for more than an hour thanks to the camera’s heat-dissipating structure. Optical ‘Active Mode’ image stabilisation helps optimum video shooting. They can also benefit from the 3.0-type 1.03 million-dot (approx.) side-opening vari-angle touch-panel rear LCD monitor, top-panel REC button, and high-capacity Z-series battery. The Alpha 7 IV body is built with magnesium alloy to achieve robustness while minimising its weight. In addition, the redesigned structure and lens lock button contribute to enhanced dust and moisture resistance.

The HVL-F60RM2 with GN 60 and 20-200mm coverage and HVL-F46RM with GN 46 and 24-105mm are powerful wireless flashes that offer precise control, enhanced high-speed and intuitive operability. They are designed to meet the needs of both professional and advanced content creators when shooting with a Sony Alpha camera, including the Alpha 7 IV, to offer the ultimate Alpha Lighting System through the flash and camera communicating in detail with each other.

Both flashes have upgraded continuous shooting flash performance, up to 200 times at 10 frames per second for the HVL-F60RM2 and 60 times for the HVL-F46RM. The optimised flash algorithm ensures both flashes are overheat-resistant, and a set of four Ni-MH (Nickel-metal hydride) batteries can power up to 240 flashes with a 1.7 second recycle time for the HVL-F60RM2 and up to 320 flashes with a 2.0 second recycle time for the HVL-F46RM.

When used in combination with an Alpha camera, they allow users to experience the unique communication and system benefits of the Alpha Lighting System. For example, with the Alpha 7 IV, P-TTL flash control metering for every frame in Mid, and Hi continuous mode has become possible in addition to Lo continuous mode. The flash release time lag is also shortened to capture momentary facial expressions and movements of the subject.

With the Alpha 1, the HVL-F60RM2 achieves a phenomenal up to 20fps of continuous shooting and approximately 20 flashes per second can be produced for more than 10 seconds with the external flash battery adapter FA-EBA1. When Alpha 1 is used with Sony’s flashes including HVL-F60RM2 and HVL-F46RM, users can sync up to 1/400 second shutter speed to expand expressive capabilities when shooting in full-frame mode. In addition, with the silent electronic shutter of the camera, silent flash shooting is possible when absolute silence is required.

The Alpha 7 IV will be available from November 2021 in the Middle East & Africa. The HVL-F60RM2 flash and HVL-F46RM flash will be available from October 2021.

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Canon Launches EOS R3 and new RF Lenses

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Canon has launched the new EOS R3 – a powerhouse for sports photography and reportage. Blending tradition with cutting-edge technology, the EOS R3 offers all the familiarity and speed of Canon’s renowned EOS-1 series, with the innovation and versatility of the pioneering EOS R System. Designed using feedback from the most demanding professional press and sports photographers, the EOS R3 features over 100 improvements upon Canon’s mirrorless and DSLR models.

The result is a camera that streamlines workflows and takes the connection between camera and photographer to new levels, for unbeatable speed and responsiveness. With a brand new, innovative 24.1 megapixel sensor, the EOS R3 gives the optimal balance of performance, resolution, and speed to offer news and sports photographers a camera to outperform and outpace the competition. Leveraging the new 24.1-megapixel backside-illuminated stacked CMOS sensor, the EOS R3 offers lightning-fast image capture and enhanced responsiveness.

The powerful sensor almost entirely eliminates rolling shutter distortion and with a rapid shutter speed, offering a range of 30 seconds to 1/64000th of a second, it helps sports photographers freeze the fastest of subjects. When using the electronic shutter, photographers can shoot up to 30fps with AE and AF tracking even when shooting RAW files, as well as options for shooting at 15fps and 3fps. The electronic shutter can also be used with both Canon and third-party flashes for the first time. Removing the traditional weaknesses of electronic shutters, Canon has introduced Flicker detection and a High-Frequency anti-flicker shooting mode to detect and correct flickering light sources and prevent banding or colour and exposure issues.

Capable of focusing in 0.03 seconds, the EOS R3 is the fastest EOS R series camera yet – perfect for capturing the unpredictable action of sport and reportage. Powered by Dual Pixel CMOS AF II, the EOS R3 features an improved Deep Learning algorithm, offering AF tracking including human and animal eye, body, and face detection as well as head detection for humans in both stills and videos. Designed with motorsports photographers in mind, Canon has also introduced a vehicle tracking function, to expertly track motorbikes, open cockpit Formula cars as well as GT and rally cars – with the ability to prioritise the vehicle or the driver’s helmet. Eye, face, head, and body detection are now available in all AF modes, as well as a new Flexible Zone allowing users to select the size and shape of the Zone AF area. The EOS R3 sets a new standard for its ability to focus in lighting conditions as low as – 7.5 EV – making this one of the most capable low-light cameras available.

To maximise control over all these AF options the EOS R3 offers three different ways to select the AF points: the quick smart controller, the precise multi-controller, and the instinctive Eye Control AF. Eye control AF provides a more natural connection between the camera and the photographer. This intuitive and pioneering AF point selection method moves the focus point to where the photographer looks. In situations where the story can quickly unfold, this allows photographers to instinctively focus on the action with just a look. Enhancing the ability for handheld shooting and steady movie production on the move, the 5-axis In-Body Image Stabilizer can combine with optical Image Stabilizer in selected RF lenses and offers industry-leading performance with up to 8-stops.

For professional photographers shooting in the field, it’s not just about the speed of capturing a moment but also the speed of getting it to the news desks and editors that matters. With a number of professional connectivity options including built-in version 5.0 Bluetooth and 5 GHz Wi-Fi, the EOS R3 streamlines workflows and simplifies the connection to a smartphone or Wi-Fi network. Ideal for sport arenas, the built-in Gigabit Ethernet port enables a high speed wired connection. And, for when speed really matters, photographers can transmit images to clients via FTP. For existing EOS R5 and EOS-1D X Mark III users, network settings can be shared between the three cameras.

Users can remotely control the camera from a mobile device using the Canon’s Camera Connect App or using the Browser Remote function via an ethernet connection. A popular feature from the EOS-1D X Mark III, the Browser Remote function also enables users and head offices to remotely change metadata, browse and download images. Users will also be able to use Canon’s Mobile File Transfer (MFT) app – a mobile application for professional photographers that transfers images over a mobile device to an FTP/FTPS/SFTP server.

Future enhancements of the app will include text conversion of voice memos, enhancing the ease of use for professionals. A new smartphone holder accessory for the EOS R3, the Smartphone Link AD-P1, allows users to mount their iOS or Android device on top of the Multi-Function Shoe Adapter and easily transmit images via the new MFT app. The Canon Camera Connect app now enables the EOS R3 firmware to be updated via your phone – a first for an EOS camera.

As with the EOS R5, the EOS R3 takes Canon’s hybrid offering to the next level – meeting the demand for photographers to capture the action in both high-quality stills, and impressive high-resolution video. It offers powerful video capability, capturing 6K 60p RAW resolution footage, which offers 50 per cent more detail than 4K. With 6K CRM RAW files, exposure and white balance can be corrected post capture to ensure stunning image reproduction. 4K footage up to 60p is oversampled from 6K guaranteeing the highest possible 4K movie quality. Great for high speed and dynamic sports, the EOS R3 captures 4K 120p footage for stunning 4K resolution slow motion. It’s now possible to record up to six hours of regular video or 1.5 hours at high 119.88/100p frame rates.

At its core, the EOS R3 is designed to help photographers outpace their competitors – and the same is true for video. To reduce the file size and speed up video workflows, CRM light or MP4 footage can be recorded in All-I, IPB, or the smaller IPB light option, allowing users to select from a range of bit rates to meet their needs and storage requirements. Dual card slots, including a UHS-II SD card slot and the ultra-high-speed CFexpress make shooting 6K RAW video possible and support simultaneous recording to both cards in MP4, providing a fail-safe backup of vital footage.

Canon’s renowned Canon LOG 3 enables 10-bit internal recording, to achieve a greater dynamic range or 10bit HDR PQ which minimises the need for editing or grading footage in post-production. Excellent for roving reporters, the EOS R3 features Canon’s new Multi-Function Shoe and is compatible with the newly launched Directional Stereo Microphone DM-E1D – a camera-powered directional stereo microphone using digital processing – and the TEAC Tascam CA-XLR2d-C XLR adapter which enables two channel recording with professional XLR microphones.

The EOS R3 employs a new lightweight, dust and water-resistant magnesium body for use in harsh conditions. Weather resistance can be also maintained when using existing Speedlites, by connecting them to the newly announced Multi-Function Shoe Adapter AD-E1. The EOS R3 also powers the new, compact Speedlite Transmitter ST-E10 through the Multi-Function Shoe, which gives photographers the ability to remotely control multiple radio Speedlites.

Canon has also announced the launch of two new RF lenses, designed to help the next generation of enthusiasts and content creators curate a kit bag with great potential, at a low cost. These two lightweight and compact lenses include Canon’s first ultra-wide prime lens in the EOS R line-up, the RF 16mm F2.8 STM, and the RF 100-400mm F5.6-8 IS USM – a telephoto zoom lens that brings the photographer closer to the subject. The versatile RF 16mm F2.8 STM meets the growing demand for vlogging, while also offering a lens that’s perfect for landscape, architectural, and astrophotography. Helping photographers bridge the gap to distant subjects, the RF 100-400mm F5.6-8 IS USM is ideal for sports and wildlife photography.

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Digital Cameras

Sony MEA Launches Mentorship Program for Content Creators

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Sony MEA has announced the Sony Mentorship Program for the region’s content creators. This is a three-month program that aims to discover, nurture and elevate regional talent. Open to content creators, visualizers and aspiring storytellers in the Middle East and Africa, the Sony Mentorship Program is powered by Sony’s Vlogging Camera ZV1.

Murat Gebeceli, Head of Digital Imaging, Sony Middle East & Africa said: “We look forward to discovering and guiding a new generation of bold and fresh new creative talents through the Sony Mentorship Program, an initiative that reflects our commitment to expanding opportunities available to regional talent. Through the three-month program, we will be empowering creatives with access to world-class gear such as Sony Vlogging Camera ZV1 as well as guidance from mentors, who are all successful trailblazers in their own right.”

Applicants can apply for the Sony Mentorship Program through https://alphauniverse-mea.com/sonymentorship/. They need to submit five still images or one video, up to one minute long. Along with this applicants also have to submit a personal video of up to one minute duration which explains why they want to part of the program.

Applicants’ images and/or video can be shot using any equipment of their choice, even a computer camera or smartphone. The personal video is meant to give the judges a visual introduction to the applicant’s persona. Applicants are required to be on camera to introduce themselves, and not provide just a voice-over.

Based on their applications, eight participants will then be selected for entry into the Sony Mentorship Program. The deadline to submit the application is midnight, January 15, 2020 UAE time. Selected participants will be notified after January 24, 2021, via email or phone. The three-month long program takes places from end January until April 2021.

Eight industry players will be assigned to be one-on-one mentors to the eight successful applicants. The eight mentees will also be given a Sony Vlog Camera ZV-1 and GP-VPT2BT Grip, worth $1000, to shoot as well as the opportunity to let their final project shine on the world stage. They will have access to exclusive online workshops to improve their photography, videography and editing skills.

Mentees also have the opportunity to have their project featured on Sony’s social media channels and Alpha Universe MEA. Three of the mentees will be announced as the final winners in April 2021, once the program concludes, judged for the quality and creativity of their resulting content. The first winner will be awarded $3,000, the second winner will walk away with $2,000, and the third winner with $1,000, along with a chance to do a commissioned project with Sony. Additionally, they will be recognised as pioneer members of Sony Collective, with their completed projects featured on AlphaUniverse.com.

Three ZV1 cameras are also up for grabs for the general public across the region, when they vote for their choice of winners in the competition. The program is currently open only to legal, adult residents of the Middle East and Africa. Applicants can be users of any camera brand.

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