Canon EOS R50: Initial Thoughts & Review

The Best Value Camera Ever Created...Again?
By Nirupam Nigam

Over the past year, Canon has released multiple new RF mirrorless cameras for the mid range, enthusiast market. It has been refreshing to finally have some underwater camera options that are affordable upgrades from compact underwater systems. The recent release of the Canon EOS R50 is particularly exciting with a 24.2 megapixel APS-C RF mirrorless camera body for just $680.

While the R50 gives the promise of unbeatable image quality and autofocus at a price point just $180 more than the TG-6, the release is confusing with similar Canon cameras like the Canon R10 and R7 having been released just months before. With the same sensor as the Canon R10, the Canon R50 may be a better and more affordable option for many underwater shooters. Ultimately, we'll need to take this exciting new camera underwater to truly know which camera is the best buy for underwater photo and video shooters. Fortunately, the Nauticam R50 housing is already available at Bluewater Photo and we expect another R50 housing from Ikelite to follow close behind. The Nauticam R50 housing is unique in that it has a fixed port with a bayonet mount that can be used with the Nauticam WWL-1 or WWL-C.


Canon EOS R50 Specifications

  • 24.2 MP APS-C CMOS Sensor
  • Burst shooting up to 15 FPS with electronic shutter 
  • Dual pixel autofocus with subject tracking an low light AF to -4 EV
  • ISO range - 100-12,800
  • RF and RF-S Lenses
  • 1/250 sec flash sync
  • UHD 4K /30p video
  • UHS-1 SD Card Slot
  • Multi-Function Shoe, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth
  • 440 shot battery life
  • Size: 116.3 x 85.5 x 68.8mm
  • Weight: 375 grams

Key Features

A Smaller Form Factor

We didn't think an APS-C mirrorless camera from Canon could get smaller, but the R50 is even smallter than the R10! At 375 grams and 116.3mm on the longest edge, the R50 is the perfect camera for dive travel. We anticipate that it will fit easily into Ikelite smaller, DLM style housings and Nauticam has developed a special housing with an extremely small footprint. 

Professional Grade Autofocus

Fortunately for underwater shooters, both Sony and Canon have included their top-of-the-line autofocus systems in all of their recent cameras. The Canon EOS R50 is equipped with a similar autofocus system to what is found in the flagship "R3" camera. Although we have not yet brought the R50 underwater, it will be similar to the R10 which had very effective autofocus subject tracking - with quick and accurate acquisition. We are beyond excited to think that such an affordable camera will be available to shooters with a professional autofocus system. 

No Mechanical Front Shutter

Like the Canon EOS R8, the R50 does not have a mechanical front curtain - only a mechanical rear curtain. While this not affect underwater photos, exposures can be uneven at shutter speeds above 1/4000. Bokeh at high shutter speeds (above 1/1000), will also not look as good with higher end cameras. With sync speeds at 1/250 sec, it's unlikely that most underwater photographers with strobes will need to shoot at higher shutter speeds. 

4K Underwater Video

For underwater videographers, the Canon R10 is a better option as it is capable of filming 4K/60p video. For a quick (and stable) clip, the Canon EOS R50 can film 4K/30p video. There is no crop and it is oversampled from 6K, ensuring excellent quality. 



With a compact form factor and affordable camera body, the Canon EOS R50 will likely be our top recommendation for anyone looking to upgrade from their compact underwater camera. Although it does have some limitations compared to its sibling - the Canon R10 - current underwater housing options for the R50 make it an affordable and versatile package. 



Nirupam Nigam is the Editor-in-Chief of the Underwater Photography Guide and the President of Bluewater Photo - the world's top underwater photo & video retailer. While growing up in Los Angeles he fell in love with the ocean and pursued underwater photography in the local Channel Islands. After receiving degrees in Aquatic and Fisheries Science and General Biology, as well as a minor in Arctic Studies, Nirupam worked as a fisheries observer on vessels in the Bering Sea and North Pacific. Since then, Nirupam has been a full time underwater photographer and photo gear head. Check out more of his photography at!


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