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GEAR TESTS: Canon EOS R50 Mirrorless Underwater Camera Review

Jim Decker

Jim Decker

CEO: Backscatter Underwater Video & Photo



The Canon R50 is an extremely compact mirrorless camera, which could easily be mistaken for a compact camera. The housing is also pretty compact as well. I shot it with the kit lens and a Nauticam WWL-C conversion lens which will get out to 130 degrees of coverage. Being used to full 180 degree fisheye lenses, I found the 130 degrees a little limiting for larger scenes, but having that zoom capability is great to getting in tighter shots and setting up a video story.

The camera is responsive like a mirrorless camera and shoots pretty quickly. I set the internal camera flash to manual low power and got the speed and recycle that most compact cameras tend to lack.

Image quality looks pretty darn good for what it is, and of course it has that Canon ambient light white balance color that is absolutely perfect.

With so little happening in the high end compact category for years now, I think small mirrorless cameras have just about spelled out the death of the high end compact camera.

Robin Dodd




The Canon R50 embodies the classic Canon underwater shooting experience, but it's hard to believe its compact size until you see it in person. This super lightweight and small 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor camera was a ton of fun for both photo and video shooting. The ambient light custom white balance produces the same excellent color quality we've come to expect from Canon. The process for capturing a white balance could be improved, since it does require switching from video to photo mode, but it wasn't a deal breaker.

I used the Nauticam NA-R50 housing with an integrated port designed for the Canon RF-S 18-45mm lens. This setup simplifies things by using a bayonet mount to attach a wet wide-angle lens, eliminating the need to change lenses underwater. I paired it with the Nauticam WWL-1C, which provided a broad 130-degree coverage and exceptionally sharp results. The entire rig is compact enough and straightforward to handle single-handedly, especially when shooting without strobes or lights on control arms.