Canon M50 Performance

Timing and Performance

Very good overall performance for its class, though buffer could be deeper.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

~1.6 seconds

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.8 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Powering on and taking a shot was about average for a mirrorless camera, taking about 1.6 seconds. Switching from Play to Record and taking a shot was almost twice as fast, at 0.8 second.

Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus
Single-point (center) AF

0.069 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture.

Full Autofocus
Single-point AF
TTL flash enabled

0.140 second

Time to capture while forcing flash to fire. Preflash metering pulses from flash often slow shutter response.

Manual Focus

0.060 second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".


0.053 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

In terms of the Canon M50's ability to determine that it's properly focused when shooting the same target multiple times using the EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens, its full autofocus shutter response was extremely fast a mirrorless camera. We measured only 0.069 second for full AF shutter lag using single point (center) AF-S mode. That's faster than most mirrorless cameras and faster than many pro DSLRs as well. Enabling the built-in flash added delay for the pre-flash metering resulting in a capture lag of about 0.14 second, though that's still very fast.

Shutter lag with manual focus was very good at 0.060 second. "Prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure resulted in a lag time of only 0.053 second, also very good for a mirrorless camera.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.

Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large/Fine JPEG

0.35 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames.

Single Shot mode

0.38 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames, with a lot of variation.

Early shutter


Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous mode
Large/Fine JPEG

0.10 second
(10.0 fps);
36 frames total;
4.5 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 36 shot buffer capacity, then slowed to an average of 0.20s or 4.9 fps when buffer was full with a lot of variation.

Continuous mode

0.10 second
(10.0 fps);
10 frames total;
2.9 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 10 shot buffer capacity, then slowed to an average of 0.48s or 2.1 fps when buffer was full with a lot of variation.

Continuous mode
RAW + Large/Fine

0.10 second
(10.0 fps);
10 frames total;
4.3 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 10 shot buffer capacity, then slowed to an average of 0.66s or 1.5 fps when buffer was full with a lot of variation.

Flash recycling

3.2 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a 64GB Lexar Pro 2000x UHS-II SDXC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity also affects cycle times and burst mode performance, with higher ISOs generally increasing cycle times and reducing burst performance.

Single-shot cycle times were quite good, taking an average of 0.35 second for best quality JPEGs or 0.38 second RAW+ L/F JPEG files, though occasionally the RAW+JPEG cycle time was much longer, as high as 2.2 seconds. (Note that we no longer test single-shot mode with just RAW files, as the results are usually somewhere in between JPEG and RAW+JPEG modes.)

Full-resolution continuous mode speeds were very good at exactly 10 frames per second no matter the file type, matching Canon's 10 fps spec, though keep in mind that's with AF and AE locked at the first frame. Canon says up to 7.4 fps is possible with continuous AF, however we don't test continuous AF mode in the lab.

Buffer depth for best quality JPEGs was decent at 36 frames, slightly exceeding Canon's spec of 33 even though our test target was designed to be difficult to compress. Also note that the buffer-full rate was pretty good at an average of almost 5 frames per second, but it varied a lot. When shooting RAW files, the buffer depth dropped to 10 frames for both RAW and RAW+JPEG frames, matching Canon's spec. Buffer-full rates were about 2.1 and 1.5 fps respectively, with a lot of variation. Canon says the new compressed C-RAW format will increase the buffer to 16 frames at 10 fps, however we did not confirm that in the lab.

Buffer clearing times were good with our fast Lexar Pro 2000x UHS-II despite the M50's lack of UHS-II support, ranging from 2.9 seconds after 10 RAW files, to 4.5 seconds after a max-length burst Large/Fine JPEG frames, but the camera doesn't let you change settings or view just-shot images while it's writing to the card.

The Canon M50's built-in flash took an average of 3.2 seconds to recharge after a full-power discharge, which is good.

Bottom line, the Canon M50 generally offers very good performance for its class with decent startup time, very fast autofocus, low shutter lag, quick single-shot cycle times and swift burst modes. However buffer depths at the highest burst speed could be better, particularly when shooting standard RAW files.


Battery Life
Poor battery life for mirrorless ILC.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Still Capture,
(CIPA standard, EVF or LCD)

The Canon M50 uses a custom LP-E12 rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and ships with a dedicated battery charger. Battery life is well below average for a mirrorless camera, CIPA-rated at only 235 shots per charge when using either the EVF or LCD. The camera does however offer an Eco mode which can boost battery life to a more competitive 370 shots per charge. Still, we strongly recommend you pick up a second battery and keep it freshly charged and on-hand.

The table above shows the number of shots the Canon M50 is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))


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