Gear Talk General Opinion Rumors

Canon M5 & M50 Successor Speculation

Expecting anything from the Canon EF-M system is an exercise in futility, but my job is talking cameras and it’s fun to speculate on if and what successors to the Canon EOS M5 and M50 could be like. Well that and I want to write up a wish-list for my ideal EF-M camera, haha…

Now that the Canon EOS R5 an R6 were officially announced, there is the potential that we could see new equipment in the EF-M system. I don’t think it will happen until those cameras are actually being sold. The R5 is apparently coming out on July 30th and the R6 will be on August 27th.

The R6 is looking like a nice combination of features for the price. People in the RF system now have two professional level bodies to go along with their kit like the 28-70mm f/2 lens…

What could be the next EF-M camera body? There are rumors floating around, but they have little substance and are low in the rumor rating scales.

I’m going to speculate here about the hinted at Canon EOS M50 Mark II and something to replace or take a step above the M5.

I got into EF-M with the original M, but eventually sold that and didn’t look at the mount again until the M50 came out. The M50 is a nice little camera, but it does have a number of drawbacks to me. Custom modes is the biggest one and then lacking three dials for dedicated direct exposure control. After getting an M100 and then… selling that, I eventually bought a used M5. The M5 has a lot going for it. Custom modes are huge to me. I really missed that feature when I got into the M50 from Nikon DSLRs that had the feature.

The chance of me getting a M50 Mark II is slim if it follows the limited control scheme of the M50. I think many users of the M50 might want to grow as well. The people that push the M50 will likely realize what it’s lacking and the ones that haven’t are probably happy with it. One group will want to upgrade and the other won’t.

What I expect from Canon for the M50 Mark II:

  • Sensor from the M6 Mark II.
  • No IBIS
  • Same limited control scheme of the M50.
  • Re-purpose the existing integrated EVF so that it feels upgraded over the M50. Maybe larger optics like what the RP has.
  • Fully articulating screen like the M50.
  • LP-E12 battery. Canon loves splitting the entry/mid level M cameras up with the E12 and E17. My guess is that the few extra pennies or dollars the E17 costs to produce is their reasoning.
  • Lower price than the M6 Mark II.
  • Limitations to keep it less featured than the M6 Mark II.

I still see a direct M50 replacement in a weird place if it is positioned below the M6 Mark II while having an integrated EVF. Though it’s only true if Canon doesn’t intend to make an M5 replacement. There won’t be much pricing range to play with between the M50 replacement and the M6 Mark II.

If Canon decided to effectively drop the M50 for a stripped down M6 Mark II, I’d expect…

  • Sensor from the M6 Mark II.
  • No IBIS
  • Optional EVF like the M6 Mark II.
  • Control scheme like the M50, so simplifications such as a single top adjustment dial and a d-pad instead of a back wheel d-pad combination.
  • LCD screen is a difficult one. They could put a fully articulating one in there, which I think would be the smart move. Otherwise they’d re-purpose the screen mechanism of the M6 Mark II.
  • Lower the build quality and materials like what they did to the M50 compared to the M5.
  • LP-E12 battery.
  • Lower price than the M6 Mark II.
  • Limitations to keep it less featured than the M6 Mark II.

Oddly enough, this camera would be more interesting to me than a simple M50 update. I’d like full sensor 4k video even if it’s not the most amazing quality compared to cameras that down-sample from a higher resolution. As long as they didn’t hinder it too much in firmware compared to the M6 Mark II, I’d be interested. I’d be especially interested if they did away with that old 29 minute 59 second per video clip time limit. I really dislike this limitation and applaud Sony for doing away with it even if their cameras technically have something like a ~13 hour cap per clip… haha. Thanks to Potato Jet for finding that out with a 24 hour continuous vlog he attempted plus details here.

Now let’s talk about a flagship EF-M camera. When the M6 Mark II was released there was semi-official word… whatever you want to call it… Well, media with first access to the camera received information from Canon UK and USA that the M5 wasn’t getting an update. At face value that appears to mean that the M6 Mark II would be top of the line.

It still could be true, but if they meant that the flagship would be more than what separated the original M5 and M6, things could get very interesting. The big question is is whether Internal sensor stabilization (IBIS) will come to the EF-M system. If it does then it’s likely that the first camera to have it would be at the top due to the added development cost and manufacturing cost. It will add to the size of the camera too.

IBIS is not going to be a simple conversion from RF to EF-M. On the other hand, EF-M came before RF so there is a chance IBIS was designed on the EF-M platform first. But there is no way they would have released an EF-M camera with IBIS before doing it in RF. EF-M was their mirrorless testing ground, but I assume that flipped once RF was a thing.

Cameras with sensors around the APS-C size have their own following. It’s turned into an odd format now that price between full-frame and APC-C converged. As of the release of this article, the Canon EOS RP with its full-frame sensor costs around $700 less than the Fujifilm X-T4 and $400 less than the Sony A6600.

Pricing of top-end APS-C is certainly unusual. The X-T4 currently $100 less than a Sony A7 iii that aligns much better to it than the Canon EOS RP does. The X-T4 is a much newer camera, which partly explains it, but people not attached to a mount would be hard pressed to justify the price when they could go larger sensor.

Canon probably sees this and might be reluctant to compete at the top of APS-C. How many people will pay $1500 to $1700 for top of the line APS-C gear? In the same vein, Canon doesn’t have the lens library in EF-M to match something of the X-T4’s level. Now that I’m thinking this through I do wonder if the M6 series will be it.

We know that the EF-M currently has a set design philosophy. Look at how the cameras are sized where the bottom of the mount nearly touches the bottom of the camera. Look at how the diameter of every EF-M lens is the same diameter (at least the ones I’ve used). Their focus is on a specific size for this system. Canon could deviate from that considering how unique they’ve been with the RF system, but we will see.

Even with conditions against a top of the line APS-C EF-M camera, let’s take a crack at potential specifications. If you’ve used the Canon EOS RP before, you would know that it actually has a lot more features than the M5 and M50. Three custom modes. Minimum shutter speed in auto ISO, focus bracketing, interval timer, 6 AF methods, and a lot more. I’m not sure how the M6 Mark II stacks up because I haven’t used it.

Given how featured the RP actually is and the announcement of the Canon EOS R6, I’d consider a top-of-the-line EF-M camera to fit between those cameras. Let’s speculate about specifications. The first list is my most realistic.

  • The same sensor as the M6 Mark II.
  • A mixture of buttons and dials from the original M5, M6 Mark II, and EOS RP.
  • Mode dial like the RP with three custom modes and maybe Fv mode from the R6.
  • Three adjustment dials in the style of the M5.
  • A mixture of firmware features from the M6 Mark II, RP, and R6.
  • An enhanced EVF, most likely similar to what’s in the RP, but hopefully more like the R6’s higher resolution one. I really hope the EVF optics are physically larger than the M50 and M5 because they are on the cusp of feeling too small.
  • LP-E17 battery, potentially with increased capacity in a revision like they did with the LP-E6NH.
  • A single card slot
  • IBIS… maybe.
  • An AF/menu navigation nub similar to the R6… maybe.

My wish list for a high-end EF-M camera. I’ll call this my zero chance EF-M hopes and dreams camera body. Effectively the R6 but scaled down to EF-M. Or to put it another way, a combination of the X-T4 and A6600 with Canon stuff added.

  • A new sensor that’s not as pixel dense as the sensor in the M6 Mark II. Between 20 and 26 mega-pixels, but the M6ii sensor would be okay as well.
  • IBIS
  • A quality full mechanical shutter, not whatever they did to the M6 Mark II. I can’t recall the specifics but I think it was gimped in some way. With that, 1/8000th maximum shutter speed.
  • Dual UHS-II SD card slots. Placed on the grip side, not the bottom of the camera.
  • Control layout similar to the R6 but fit into a smaller camera. It needs 3 adjustment dials and the AF/menu nub… 3 custom modes and Fv for good measure. Yeah, basically the R6.
  • 4k 60 and 1080p 120 without heat issues, no video crop, and full DPAF. Okay, that sounds impossible given the limitations that the R6 apparently has, lol. IBIS works well in video and EF-M lenses with IS combine well. Add nice digital stabilization for good measure.
  • No 29 minute 59 second artificial limit to video clips.
  • Dare I say the new LP-E6NH battery. Sony did it with their Z battery in the A6600. Canon, step up! Of course it would have USB charging and powering the camera to go along with that.
  • Some type of grip height accessory like the RP has and/or a true battery grip.
  • No integrated flash, but the camera has weather resistance.
  • Dare I say internal GPS and licensing of Pentax’s sensor shift astro-tracking feature or rolling their own. They basically copied Pentax with the Fv mode, so why not that too! haha

Honestly, most of the specifications are not crazy when you look at the features of the X-T4 and A6600 combined. Would I want to spend $2000 on this… ehhhhh…. no so much, but I’d be tempted at least.

Let’s quickly talk about native EF-M lenses.

I think there is a good chance an upgraded M5 camera would come out with a new kit lens. Something hopefully faster than existing ones yet keeps 15mm at the wide end. Okay, 15mm feels unlikely but I much prefer that compared to 18mm. My hope would be that it’s a constant maximum of f/4 with IS, but I feel it’s unlikely. If not, they would bundle this with the 15-45mm and 18-150mm.

Extremely unlikely speculation here, but if Canon does make a flagship EF-M camera maybe Canon would make something between 300mm and 500mm in EF-M similar to those announced RF 600mm f/11 and 800mm f/11 lenses. I’d prefer a long telephoto with f/4 or f/5.6 constant maximum, but the slow ultra long lens would be interesting to try out. They’d need to get the price down to align with the price-points of this mount. I don’t see them making fast long glass for EF-M but there is definitely a big gap in this mount… not considering adapting EF/EF-S glass.

My ideal EF-M wide prime lens would be a 12mm that’s decently fast and has IS built-in. That would get the general look of a ~20mm on full-frame, which was always one of my favorite focal lengths on FF.

I’ll be editing this document as time allows. For typos mostly, but if any other ideas show up I’ll add them in.