When it comes to the production of mirrorless cameras, Sony and Canon are in a position that is distinctive from that of their competitors. They are the only company that produces cameras with sensors of both full-frame and APS-C sizes, and they do it exclusively. Full-frame models, such as the Sony A7 III and the Canon EOS R, which were compared here, come with a higher price tag to match their larger sensors. However, if you don’t have pockets quite as deep, there are still some enticing models on offer from both manufacturers. The APS-C ranks of Sony have been strengthened with the recent arrival of the Sony A6400, but Canon has the well-established Canon M50 in its arsenal. We investigated both of them to determine which one is the better investment.
|Sony A6400||Canon EOS M50|
|Resolution||24.2 megapixels||24.1 megapixels|
|Processor||BIONZ X||DIGIC 8|
|ISO range||100-32,000 (expandable to 102,400)||100-25,600 (expandable to 51,200)|
|Video||4K 30p/Full HD 120p||4K 25p/Full HD 60p|
|Rear LCD||3-inch, touchscreen, 921,600 dots||3-inch, touchscreen, 1.04 million dots|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth|
|Weight (body with battery and card)||403g||387g|
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||120 x 66.9 x 59.7mm||116.3 x 88.1 x 58.7mm|
Design and Build
Although both cameras use sensors that are classified as APS-C, the actual dimensions of the CMOS modules inside each camera are distinct from one another. The image sensor of the Sony A6400 has a resolution of 24.2 megapixels and measures 23.5 millimeters by 15.6 millimeters, whereas the image sensor of the Canon M50 has a resolution of 24.1 megapixels and measures 22.3 millimeters by 14.9 millimeters. This indicates that despite the resolutions being almost the same, the pixels on the Sony camera will be slightly larger, which should lead to greater results.
The two versions are easily distinguishable from one another from the outside. Both models have electronic viewfinders with 2.36 million dots, however, the Canon model has a false pentaprism that gives it a more DSLR-like appearance, and the Sony model has an offset finder that gives it a rangefinder-like appearance. There are positive aspects to each viewfinder. If you’re coming from a DSLR, you’ll probably feel more at home with the Canon, but the finder on the Sony means you won’t have to hide behind your camera as much while taking portraits, which is a plus.
If you go with the Canon, you should prepare for the possibility that you will require a spare battery. According to the testing standards of CIPA, the battery in the M50 will need to be recharged after only 235 shots, whilst the battery in the A6400 should be able to keep going for 360 shots. Although these results may appear to be low, the test did involve the use of a flash for fifty percent of the frames. There is an Eco Mode available on the Canon, which reduces the amount of time the back LCD is lit when the camera is inactive. This allows the battery life to be extended to 370 shots.
Both of these cameras have rather modest grips, and their top plates have layouts that are remarkably similar to one another. The primary dial on each of these cameras is used to select the exposure mode.
According to Sony, the autofocus of the A6400 is the world’s fastest among interchangeable lens cameras with an APS-C sized sensor, and the company claims that it can focus in as low as 0.02 seconds. The Dual Pixel CMOS AF on the Canon can’t equal this speed, and it also can’t compete with other brands in terms of the number of focusing points or the image area covered. In comparison, the Canon has a maximum of 143 points, which can vary based on the lens that is being used, and only covers 80 percent of the frame while the Sony has 425 points covering 84 percent of the frame. The autofocus sensitivity of the Canon is the same as that of the Sony down to EV-2, which means that its performance in low light should be comparable to that of the Sony.
In comparison to the Canon, which has a maximum native ISO of 25,600 and can be expanded to 51,200, the Sony has a native ISO that peaks out at 32,000 and can be expanded to 102,400. This gives Sony a superior performance in low light than the Canon. Because neither of these models has image stabilization built-in, you will need to rely on the lens-based systems that are offered by both of these manufacturers.
If you choose Sony, you will have a wide variety of lens options to choose from because it utilizes the common E-mount. There are around 40 different lenses available to pick from, and additionally, there are independent alternatives available. In comparison, Canon’s EF-M lens lineup is considerably more limited; at the moment, there are only eight options available, of which only three are prime lenses. You do have the option, however, of purchasing an adapter that enables the use of any lens with an EF or EF-S mount. This gives you access to a significantly wider selection of lenses than Sony does. Those who already have accessories with a Sony A-mount can use them on the A6400 by purchasing an adapter.
When it comes to video, Sony cameras have long been among the best, and this instance demonstrates that this remains true. The A6400 can record in 4K at 30 frames per second and Full HD at 120 frames per second, whereas the Canon can only give 4K at 25 frames per second and Full HD at 60 frames per second. However, Sony has a lot more video-centric capabilities than Canon does, such as S-Log and a microphone connector for external devices. This truly makes it ideal for people who are interested in shooting both stills and videos.
One area in which the Canon excels, on the other hand, is in its rear LCD, which offers more customization options and has a higher dot count. The touchscreen monitor that Sony provides can tilt up by 180 degrees and down by 74 degrees, and it has 921,600 dots. The viewing experience should be slightly enhanced as a result of the variable-angle unit of the Canon, which folds out to the side and uses 1.04 million dots.
Both versions include integral flash units, and while neither is likely to provide coverage over extremely long distances, the Sony model has an advantage thanks to its higher guide number of 6 compared to the Canon model’s lower number of 5.
If you are a fan of social media or simply want to share photographs quickly, Sony’s suite of wireless connectivity choices, which includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC, is sure to appeal to you. Additionally, its newly added 1:1 aspect ratio option will also likely appeal to you. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity are still available on the Canon EOS M50, making it a capable device in this regard despite its more compact size.
When it comes to frame rates, Sony brings more happiness to the table. You will be able to take pictures at a rate of up to 11 frames per second (fps) with the A6400, and you may adjust the AF and AE settings in between each frame. The Canon can achieve a maximum of 10 frames per second, however, this is without autofocus or exposure monitoring. If you do, the pace will decrease below 8 frames per second. In a similar vein, the maximum burst of frames is superior on Sony, with up to 116 JPEGs or 46 RAW files being able to be captured at 11 frames per second, in comparison to only 33 JPEGs or 10 RAWs on the Canon.
Canon M50 vs Sony a6400 Specs Comparison
|Camera Model||Canon M50||Sony A6400|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF-M mount lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2018||January 2019|
|Launch Price||USD 779||USD 899|
|Sensor Specs||Canon M50||Sony A6400|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.72 μm||3.91 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.22 MP/cm2||6.55 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/24p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 – 25,600 ISO||100 – 32,000 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 – 51,200 ISO||100 – 102,400 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 8||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||83|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||24|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||13.6|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||1431|
|Screen Specs||Canon M50||Sony A6400|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots||2359k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon M50||Sony A6400|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||11 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations||200 000 actuations|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||YES|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in 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 A6400|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon M50||Sony A6400|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||235 shots per charge||410 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)
|120 x 67 x 50 mm|
(4.7 x 2.6 x 2.0 in)
|Camera Weight||390 g (13.8 oz)||403 g (14.2 oz)|
It appears like Sony came out on top with flying colors. The Sony A6400 outperforms the Canon M50 in virtually every category of specification, and in addition, it offers a greater lens range and more advanced video features. However, it is important to note that it costs approximately twice as much as the Canon, which is something that may cause you to reconsider your decision.
In and of itself, the Canon M50 is a fully adequate camera, and it satisfies the requirements of the major benefits of mirrorless cameras, which are that they are well featured while yet being small and lightweight. Even if you spent extra money on the optional EF-EOS M lens adapter, which allows you to use EF and EF-S lenses on your Canon EOS M camera, you would still spend less money overall than if you had just purchased the Sony camera body on its own. Therefore, if money is a primary concern, you shouldn’t fully discount the Canon brand.