Canon M50 Mark II
The Canon M50 Mark II is a good entry-level mirrorless camera for long term time-lapse. However, unlike the old DSLR mounts, there are only a few suitable lenses that will fit an M mount camera. This article explains the different lens options and how to configure them. Once you’ve got the lens sorted, you may wish to read our article on the Canon L Cable Pack for details on mounting the M50 to a photoSentinel.
We recommend and stock the 7Artisans 12mm f/2.8 Mark II EOS-M mount lens for use with the Canon M50. This lens takes sharp photos, has virtually zero chromatic aberration, and is good value for money (contact Sales for more details). It a prime lens with manual focus and has a manual aperture ring. If you’ve been using photoSentinel products in the past, the manual focus and aperture may change the way you setup the lens. More details on this further down this page.
Below is a summary of some of the other lens options for the M mounts that we’ve tested as well.
Angle of view (horizontal)
|7Artisans 12mm f/2.8 Mark II EOS-M||86°||Our preferred lens, see notes above.|
|Rokinon 12mm f/2.0 for EF-M||86°||Almost identical feature set and image quality to the 7Artisans offering. It is more expensive but has a much nicer feel when moving the aperture ring.|
|Meike MK-12mm f/2.8||86°||Similar feature set to the two lenses above but softer images.|
|Canon EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM||73° - 28°||This is the kit lens that comes with the M50. This lens produced sharp and clean images in our testing. However, historically we’ve had issues with Canon STM lenses randomly losing focus. While we haven't seen this issue on this lens yet, we need to test it with thousands of photos to be sure that it isn’t a problem.|
|Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens||91° - 53°||Like the lens above, this is a Canon STM Lens and we are yet to test whether it suffers from the same random focus loss issues that other Canon STM lenses do. As a result, it’s not recommended.|
|Venus Optics Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D Lens for Canon EF-M||102°||Much wider than the other lenses, but this Laowa lens has a lot of vignetting. This does create a cool artistic effect but probably not what you want for construction photography. As a result, we do not recommend using this lens.|
Manual Focus and Manual Aperture Lenses
All the recommended lenses listed above have manual focus and manual aperture rings. Although you lose the ability to remotely configure the aperture setting, the manual and focus lenses only need to be set once, are cheaper, and are less likely to shift mid-project than their automatic counterparts.
For most outdoor applications, the focus ring can be set to infinity ∞ and the aperture about f/8. Once you’ve set the rings, tape around the circumference of the lens with some electrical or duct tape to ensure the rings don’t move during your project.
Camera Settings For Manual Aperture Prime Lenses
Please follow the steps below to use any of the lenses recommended above on a Canon M50 MKII.
- Flick the power switch on your photoSentinel controller down to put it into Setup Mode. This will power the camera on. If the camera screen goes blank during setup, press the camera shutter button to wake it up again.
- Set camera mode to Aperture Priority by moving the dial to the “Av” Position on top of the camera.
- Set time zone, time, and date in the camera settings. If the camera has never been turned on, it will prompt you to set the time zone, time, and date automatically. Just set any time on the camera, as the photoSentinel controller will update the camera time when it first connects to the camera.
- Put the camera in standard display mode. Although not strictly necessary, this will make it easier to jump between settings.
Menu -> -> OK -> Menu Display -> Standard.
- Enable Release Shutter w/o lens. This step is essential to get the prime lenses to work. To find this setting, follow these steps:
- Menu-> Custom Functions(C.Fn)
- Press left or right to select Custom Function 4 “Enable Release Shutter w/o lens”. Press the select button to use up/down to change to enabled.
- Menu-> Custom Functions(C.Fn)
- Other settings are up to you, although we recommend fixing the white balance and ISO. For further information, please refer to our guide to the Best Long-term Time-lapse Settings for Construction. A summary of recommended camera settings is available here.
- Finally, power the camera off and then on (using the switch on the camera, not the photoSentinel controller) to save the settings.