I recently bought a Canon M50, and it's actually my first time ever taking pictures with a camera other than my phone, so I'm super noob.

Today I was playing around with my M50, trying different photo modes and I notice that when I use the Av mode and change the F value, I can't see any differences in the LCD of the camera. But there are clearly differences between the photos taken. I made a video to illustrate the problem.


As you can see, the purple sticker in the back is unreadable with the 2 pictures when being taken (when I change the F value), but then when we check the picture with the view button, we can (kind of) read the sticker with one picture, but not with the other.

Maybe the camera is supposed to be like this because it's mirrorless and I wasn't aware of this? As I said, all of this is new for me, but I'm very frustrated that I can't trust the LCD.

So is that a defect or that's normal?

Thank you.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Have you checked the manual that came with the camera? \$\endgroup\$
    – twalberg
    Commented May 9, 2019 at 12:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @twalberg honestly, no. But I dont even know what to look for. I dont even know the terms... could you help me out? I tried "Exposure Simulation" and it is enabled. \$\endgroup\$
    – Pablo
    Commented May 9, 2019 at 13:00

1 Answer 1


Your camera is operating as it should. "Liveview" is a term that describes using the rear LCD as a viewfinder.

In the "OLD" days, film cameras used some kind of an optical viewfinder.

When digital cameras came long 35mm Digital SLR's continued to use an optical viewfinder while "Point and Shoot" compact digital cameras and "Mirrorless" cameras tended to use the rear LCD display as a viewfinder.

When this feature was added to DSLR's it was called "Live View".

"Exposure Simulation" can show you what the exposure of the photo will look like on the rear LCD, before the photo is taken. It can be turned on or off on some cameras, while some cameras will always default to a full brightness display of Liveview. There can be advantages to both types of Liveview displays, so it is nice to have the option to turn Exp Sim on or off. Your M50 has this option.

You need to learn about the EXPOSURE TRIANGLE. Aperture, shutter speed, and ISO all interact to give you the correct exposure. If you change one, one of the others must also be changed to retain the correct exposure.

In your video the photo brightness does not change because you have Auto ISO enabled which automatically changes the sensor sensitivity to compensate for the changes you made to the aperture.

If you want to see the effects of any changes to shutter speed and aperture on your photo, you need to shoot in Manual mode with manual control over aperture and shutter speed. You also need to use Manual ISO and set your own ISO. THEN, if you have Exposure Simulation enabled, you will be able to see the brightness effects of any changes you make to any of the THREE parts of the exposure triangle. (Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO)

The purple sticker in the background became sharper with a smaller(higher number) aperture because of "Depth of Field". You can think of Depth of Field as the Depth of Focus. DOF increases with small apertures and more of the background and foreground will be in focus as you use smaller apertures.

Some cameras have an option to enable "Depth of Field Preview". You should be able to enable Depth of Field preview in your M50 using "Configuring Custom Functions" or "Assigning Functions to Buttons".

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From the M50 user guide:

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  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks you for the extensive explanation about things. I am really trying by best to learn things. But my "problem" is not with the photo brightness, but with the focus. When looking via the LCD, before taking the shoot, both "photos" (high f-number and low f-number) have the blured background, but when I click "play" and check the photo, one have a blured background and the other one no, which is what I am actually expecting to happen, but I would like to see that change on the LCD before taking the picture. Is that not possible? \$\endgroup\$
    – Pablo
    Commented May 9, 2019 at 13:45
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I edited the end of my answer to give information about Depth of Field. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 9, 2019 at 13:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you very much. It looks like M50 do have (or should have) Depth of Field, according to the official website: canon.co.uk/cameras/eos-m50/specifications So maybe my camera is defective? \$\endgroup\$
    – Pablo
    Commented May 9, 2019 at 14:06
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ No, you just need to dig deeper in the menu system to find it. Try "Custom Functions" or "Assigning Functions to Buttons" \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 9, 2019 at 14:11
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Exposure simulation + spot metering = great combination, try it :) \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 9, 2019 at 16:56

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