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Assuming the person using the camera has taken basic photography classes will the Canon EOS M50 Mark II take better pictures of children outside then an iPhone 13 Pro?

For additional context I am totally blind so can't judge mirrorless camera quality compared to smartphones. My wife would like a Camera to take pictures of our kids instead of just using her phone. I am considering getting her the following as a Christmas gift. Canon EOS M50 Mark II Mirrorless Camera with 15-45mm Lens (White)

Assuming she takes a basic photography class will this camera take noticeably better pictures then an iPhone 13 Pro?

I'd like to get her an entry level camera with the understanding that if it's something she uses regularly we may decide to get a more expensive one in the future. I think she may be underestimating the convenience of a smart phone so don't want to spend $2000+ on a fancy camera with multiple lenses if a non-smartphone camera is not something she will use heavily.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You can check this Q/A where we compare pretty old camera with (more or less) contemporary phone: photo.stackexchange.com/q/130239/34947 \$\endgroup\$ Oct 29, 2022 at 19:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ There is at least one big variable that could swing the answer one way or the other: How far will the children be? Are you taking photos of them playing on a playground that allows the photographer to get as close as they wish? Or are they playing youth soccer, t-ball, or other field sports where the minimum distance one can shoot from is much greater? \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Oct 30, 2022 at 3:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ Cameras don't take pictures, photographers do. Part of being a good photographer is recognizing which tools will allow one a greater chance of getting the photos one wants to capture. That requires being able to articulate exactly what one is aiming for, so one can select the right tool to maximize the chance of success. If you can articulate more specifically what types of photos your wife wishes to capture, we can perhaps help you in understanding what type of camera will be most appropriate. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Oct 31, 2022 at 1:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ iPhones have a relatively low ceiling of what they can actually do. The real question may be: Does your wife want a new camera because she thinks it will magically make her pictures better, or does she want one because she's frustrated because she's approaching that ceiling of what her iPhone can accomplish and she wants to progress? If the former, it probably won't, if the latter, finding out what she's wants to do, but can't, would be a good first step, it will guide your choices. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 31, 2022 at 11:49

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Assuming the person using the camera has taken basic photography classes will the Canon EOS M50 Mark II take better pictures of children outside then an iPhone 13 Pro?

That's not really enough information to go by. But while an M50ii might be more responsive than an iPhone 13 Pro, it may not be ideal in a lot of ways. It's more expensive, it may require a lens to more easily shoot this subject that it doesn't come with. And it may still depend on the shooter's reflexes and ability to draw a bead on a moving subject and operate the autofocus system to get things in focus.

In addition to all this, popular opinion and rumor in 2022 is betting that the EOS M line of cameras may be discontinued in the near future if Canon builds out the EOS R system to have entry-level $500 bodies in the lineup. EOS M's EF-M lenses, unlike Canon dSLR EF/EF-S lenses, cannot be adapted for user on the EOS R mount.

Assuming she takes a basic photography class will this camera take noticeably better pictures then an iPhone 13 Pro?

It depends on what type of pictures we're talking about. There are reasons that smartphone cameras have taken over in the snapshot department and that camera manufacturers no longer develop many small-sensor low-cost point and shoot cameras. What the higher-end cameras give you are bigger sensors and more controls. But using them to best advantage is still up to the photographer. You're kind of asking a question like: "is a violin better than a recorder? Which makes better music, assuming you've taken a basic music class?"

Just as a violin can make nicer music than a recorder, an interchangeable lens camera can make nicer photos than an iPhone. But it's also harder to learn, will require more time to master, and in and of itself isn't automatically better. It won't backup to the cloud or fit in in a pocket, and it won't always be with you the way a phone is. But the phone camera can't change aperture settings, is much more limited on lenses, has a much smaller sensor, and relies on computational processing modes to accomplish what happens physically with an interchangeable lens camera.

I'd like to get her an entry level camera with the understanding that if it's something she uses regularly we may decide to get a more expensive one in the future. I think she may be underestimating the convenience of a smart phone so don't want to spend $2000+ on a fancy camera with multiple lenses if a non-smartphone camera is not something she will use heavily.

Just me, but you're not avoiding the $2k "fancy camera with multiple lenses" issue if you get her an M50 Mark II. That is a fancy camera that can use multiple lenses that may easily cost $2k to build a basic system with. Any new interchangeable lens camera pretty much is. Even the $500 ones.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The rumors of the demise of Canon's EOS M system have been flying ever since it was introduced in 2012, mostly by vloggers and other youtubers in the U.S. who are obsessed with camera gear and always having the newest, latest, and greatest gear. They're not remotely in the marketing segment to which Canon has aimed the EOS M system, and they're not the marketing segment that has made the EOS M system the best selling MILC system in the world. As long as 30% of Canon's camera division revenue is from sales of EOS M cameras and lenses, Canon will continue to sell them. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Oct 31, 2022 at 1:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelC, sure. That's why I put "ifs"and stressed rumor about that. But the release of the R7 and R10 indicates that Canon's not maintaining separate APS-C and full frame mirrorless mount systems and it wouldn't make financial sense for them to do that. We'll see if R100 / R1000 models get released taking over where the ###D, ####D dRebels and the current EOS M models sit. There also haven't been any new EOS M body releases over the last two years. \$\endgroup\$
    – inkista
    Oct 31, 2022 at 5:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ APS-C EOS M bodies and APS-C Rebels have coexisted for a decade. What Canon does with the RF mount may or may not preclude the continuation of the EOS M line. But the EOS M line has always been about compact, lightweight, and affordable cameras and lenses. Note that every single lens in the EOS M system is 61mm in diameter (give or take 0.5mm). The Rebels are all larger than the EOS M models, most zoom lenses for Rebels are larger than EF-M lenses. Pretty much any body using the RF mount with a 54mm throat diameter, compared to the 47mm throat diameter of the EF-M mount, will be larger, too. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Oct 31, 2022 at 9:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelC I hate to say the obvious, but the Rebels are all dSLRs (which are probably also going bye-bye). EOS R are mirrorless. It's disingenuous to claim that decade as proof of future behavior. There's nothing stopping them from making small light EOS R bodies. And 7mm of lens diameter isn't that huge of a consideration to a lot of shooters (if it is, they shoot micro four-thirds). And for Canon to pay to maintain/develop/inventory more than one mount system as the market shrinks makes no sense. Also, think of the FD/FL-> EOS clean sweep; it's not like they haven't done it before. \$\endgroup\$
    – inkista
    Oct 31, 2022 at 23:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ The point is that APS-C DSLRs and APS-C mirrorless EOS M cameras existed side-by-side in Canon's lineup because they were aimed at two different market segments. The same is true of Canon's mirrorless RF lineup and Canon's EOS M lineup. They're aimed at different kinds of potential buyers. Considering the provision of EF→RF and EF→EF-M adapters, Canon seems to have decided to avoid the "clean sweep" of 35 years ago. Since Canon doesn't have any m4/3 products, for all practical purposes, the EOS M system is Canon's offering to that market in the West. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Nov 3, 2022 at 7:29
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A camera will only make pictures if it is there, out, and turned on when events unfold. The advantage of the iPhone as a camera is that it is powered on and there already.

Cameras are tools and each one is different. Because they are different and people are different, it is best for a photographer to choose the camera themselves with advice from experienced photographers.

The M50’s are fine cameras technically in part because there are very few bad cameras. In addition it is easy enough to use that taking a class is not necessary (though it might be helpful).

If the the M50 is too much bother it won’t be there to take pictures. If the photographer is afraid to use it it will inhibit use.

So my advice is let your love pick the camera they like and make pictures with it right away. Because making pictures is the best way to learn the important aspects of photography.

Making lots of pictures is also a great way to prepare before taking a class.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree. Photography is a slow paced learning and naturally evolving personal hobby. One finds the shortfalls of the camera first and then moves forward to find a new solution. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 31, 2022 at 9:36
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Outdoors means (unless it is nighttime or you are far away from the equator in winter) that you will have a lot of light available. That means that there will not be a huge amount of difference. All cameras work well under such conditions. Those are the easiest conditions imaginable.

Some advantages that the Canon camera has:

  • The photos will be higher resolution (approximately twice as many megapixels). This might not matter depending on what you want to use the photo for (e.g. many social media sites will reduce the resolution anyway). It will however allow you to crop the image significantly and still have a high resolution image.
  • If you use a zoom lens, you can pick any angle of view in its range and get full resolution; the iPhone has (from my research) only three fixed-focal-length cameras. Also, you can mount other lenses that will allow angles of view that you can't get on the iPhone at all.
  • Although this depends on the lens and settings you use: you may be able to get a blurred background ("bokeh"), which isolates your subject better. This is almost impossible to achieve with smartphones.
  • Physical buttons and wheels may be more convenient and faster to operate than having to do everything with a touchscreen. (I do not use an iPhone and do not know how convenient camera apps on it are, but there are simply limits to what even the best touchscreen interface can do.)
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  • \$\begingroup\$ Just to Note, the 'long' lens on a 13 Pro is 'reasonable', add to that the computational 'portrait' mode which fakes a decent bokeh background & the difference comes down to 'enthusiasm'. A half decent DSLR can still wipe the floor with it, but it does require technique & patience through a learning curve. Stick a good 85 - 120mm prime on it though, or even a half decent mid zoom & it's an absolute hands-down winner for portraits. Any phone with only a standard short lens is a miserable loser in comparisin, it's just the 13 Pro does have that longer option. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 29, 2022 at 18:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Would you consider the Canon EOS M50 Mark II a half decent camera? Also are there any recommended 85 - 120mm prime or zoom lenses to get with this camera? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jared
    Oct 29, 2022 at 20:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jared It's best to post new questions as questions not in comments. Be advised that shopping questions are likely to get closed. Anyway I'm sure the M50 is a decent camera although I have never used it, but there are a lot of decent cameras available. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eric S
    Oct 30, 2022 at 0:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jared Canon makes an EF-M 18-150mm zoom and also an EF-M 55-200mm zoom. One can also use Canon EF lenses without any functional penalty using an EF to EOS-M adapter. There are dozens of lenses currently available in the EF mount, not only from Canon but also from third party manufacturers such as Sigma and Tamron. There are even more (hundreds) EF lens models that have been discontinued/upgraded still widely available on the used market. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Oct 30, 2022 at 3:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jared There are no bad cameras anymore…except for very very cheap junk. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 30, 2022 at 17:13

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