Canon 50D Review

Accordingly, the EOS 50D is also more of a simple model upgrade of the EOS 40D and will disappoint those Canon fans who expected something more spectacular. An EOS-5D successor is also expected, but has not been announced today. More about this in the next days or weeks. But now we want to dedicate ourselves to the presentation of the EOS 50D.

Short evaluation

Pros

  • Practical “Quick Control Screen” function
  • Efficient vignetting correction function, AF fine correction function
  • Improved screen (compared to EOS 40D)
  • Higher resolution (compared to EOS 40D) does not affect image quality

Cons

  • Unlike Nikon, no further development of exposure metering and AF control
  • Missing display of the set exposure metering mode in the viewfinder
  • No built-in RAW converter function, spartan range of camera-internal image post-processing functions and effect filters
  • Built-in flash unit cannot be used as control flash for TTL wireless flash mode

This is occupied by two to three digital SLR camera models: the less recent EOS 40D, the new EOS 50D that replaces it in the medium to long term and – a little further up – the much newer EOS 5D Mark II. We’ve already tested the EOS 40D, and we’ll be testing the EOS 5D Mark II, followed by a “small” check-up of the EOS 50D as part of our periodic “routine checks”.

Canon 50D

The innovations compared to the predecessor model EOS 40D can be counted on the fingers, but are not completely unimportant. The usable net resolution of the sensor of the same size (22.3 x 14.9 mm according to APS-C format), also manufactured in CMOS technology, increases from 10.1 to 15.1 megapixels. Also new is the (better) ability of the sensor to free itself from dust. Integrated sensor cleaning systems are nothing new anymore, but the EOS 50D is supposed to be newer and work more efficiently than the sensor cleaning systems of other EOS cameras. Canon talks about a reworked sensor cleaning system; of course they continue to try to prevent dust deposits on the optical low-pass filter in front of the image sensor in advance (according to Canon, thanks to a new fluorite coating, the dust can also be easily removed with a simple dust brush), and there is still the possibility to detect “stains” caused by the dust on the images afterwards via software and have them automatically removed/retouched.

Canon 50D

However, more pixels on the same area usually means more image noise. And when Canon also increases the signal amplification of the EOS 50D in such a way that the light sensitivity level settings recently go up to ISO 12,800 (the basic setting of ISO 100 to 3,200 can be extended up to this value), quality-conscious Canonists get a bad feeling in the stomach area. According to Canon, the noise problem was once again solved by a new microlens structure and new signal processing electronics. Nothing new in itself – after all, this is the old recipe that Canon used to solve the noise problem with every new, higher resolution camera generation. The most important component of the new signal processing electronics is the brand-new DiGIC-4 processor, which converts the analog sensor signals with a computing depth of 14 bit into digital signals. This should lead to an improved signal-to-noise ratio, a greater color depth (16,384 vs. 4,096 color gradations), an extended dynamic range and a more detailed tonal reproduction. Canon has always demonstrated great skill in signal processing and image quality optimisation, so it is exciting to see what image quality the EOS 50D will be able to achieve in the first independent tests.

Canon 50D

 

The new DiGIC-4 processor still has enough power reserves to open up new functions for the EOS 50D. These include “correction of peripheral lens brightness” (i.e. built-in vignetting correction), the “Auto Lighting Optimizer” (i.e. automatic contrast compensation with light-saving shadow illumination) and facial recognition in LiveView mode. And because a more powerful camera processor also means a faster camera, the EOS 50D achieves a frame rate of 6.3 frames per second in continuous mode (at full resolution with a frame size of 4,752 x 3,168 pixels). The EOS 50D supports the UDMA mode of modern memory cards for image storage. This allows the camera or the camera processor to address the memory card directly (without detours via a so-called I/O chip in the camera) and thus transfer the image data much faster to the memory card. According to Canon, you can shoot up to 90 JPEG pictures in a row in continuous mode with UDMA cards, while with ordinary CompactFlash cards (the EOS 50D still offers a slot for Type I and Type II cards) “only” 60 pictures in a row can be achieved.

In addition to the six JPEG image quality levels, the EOS 50D offers three RAW levels (including an sRAW1 mode with 3,267 x 2,178 pixels and a new sRAW2 mode with 2,376 x 1,584 pixels). Simultaneous recording of JPEG and RAW/CR2 images is of course also possible (max. ten consecutive shots in continuous mode). But the new DiGIC-4 processor is also credited on the official EOS-50D product page with being fast enough not only to enable fast and long image sequences, but also to handle the greater detail diversity on the new 920,000 pixel fine 7.6cm screen (3″ TFT LCD). Thus, with the same screen size, the EOS 50D displays the pictures much finer than the EOS 40D (3″-TFT-LCD with 230.000 pixels). Such a resolution is actually also necessary in order to fully enjoy the advantages of the live image mode, especially when focusing manually on the screen. The EOS 40D already had a live image mode, but with an image preview on a relatively coarse pixel display, without switchable face recognition and also without the choice between two operating modes (quick mode with mirroring and use of the AF sensor and not quite as fast, but uninterrupted live mode with the image sensor being used for a different purpose than the AF sensor) as with the EOS 50D and other, more recent digital EOS cameras. By the way, the EOS 50D’s built-in screen is not the only high-resolution device, but – thanks to the HDMI interface – can also be used when connecting the camera to an HDTV-capable TV, beamer or similar.

 

Canon 50D

Other new features of the EOS 50D include additional menu languages (the number of menu languages increases from 18 to 25), a so-called “Quick Control Screen” (i.e. a display mode of the screen in which the most important camera settings are summarized on the screen and can be selected directly with the control buttons for changing the settings) and a so-called Creative Auto mode, in which the image result (e.g. background sharpness) can be adapted to your own wishes and ideas even without special photographic knowledge.

The font size of the menu texts has been increased for better legibility, an individual function has been added in comparison to the EOS 40D (now a total of 25), the seals of the battery and memory card compartment are said to have been reinforced, the LCD of the camera is said to have been made even less reflective (the viewing angle independence is still 160° h/v), there is now an additional – not further specified – form of a fade-in image design aid in addition to the grid, there is an AF fine correction function to correct possible front or back focus problems, and the autofocus now also takes into account the type of light source (e.g. B. color temperature and flickering of a fluorescent tube).

Remained or the robust construction (magnesium alloy housing), the autofocus module (with nine cross sensors and a sensitivity of -0.5 to 18 IL), the light metering cell (35 metering fields for multi-field metering) and the light metering cell (35 metering fields for multi-field metering) were adopted from the EOS 40D, the low-noise shutter release mode, the built-in miniature flash (LZ13 and further without control function in wireless E-TTL mode) and the complete optical viewfinder system (with an image field coverage of 95%, an interpupillary distance of 22 mm, a diopter correction of -3 to +1 dpt. and replaceable viewfinder mats).

Ergonomics and workmanship

To discover that it is based on its predecessor, the EOS 40D, you only need to look at the EOS 50D. Housing shape(s), number and arrangement of control elements, external dimensions, screen size etc. – at first glance everything is the same! In fact, most of the changes and innovations have taken place under the hood. In the case design itself, Canon continues to use a stainless steel chassis and a robust magnesium alloy for much of the rest of the case. However, in the course of model maintenance, the rubber seals around the battery and memory card compartment were reinforced in order to increase protection against dust and moisture. According to its technical data, however, the EOS 50D can also withstand no higher humidity (max. 85% relative humidity) than its predecessor.

It remains to be seen whether anything will change with regard to dust protection. Canon claims to have improved this with the new gaskets and a new dust and dirt repellent fluorite coating on the front of the first optical low-pass filter, but whether the EOS Integrated Cleaning System will be able to better remove dust from the sensor surface will have to be tested.

However, Canon’s sensor dusting system has been one of the better/effective systems in the past and can’t have gotten any worse. Fluorite is also one of the materials used in the new coating of the camera screen. The monitor hasn’t got bigger (the screen diagonal remains at 3″ or 7.6 cm), but finer (the resolution rises from 230,000 to 920,000 pixels), less reflective and less sensitive to fingerprints, nose-picks, scratches or the like. The screen is now even easier to read (the viewing angle increases from 140° h/v to 160° h/v); the screen brightness can be adjusted unchanged in seven steps.

The screen of the EOS 50D also makes a good impression with regard to the remaining imaging characteristics (colour fidelity, brilliance, low noise, jerk-free operation with fast camera pans). This is especially noticeable in live image mode. But the camera menus also benefit from the better screen. As if to emphasize the high resolution of the screen, the graphic design of the menu system has been visually enhanced. The structure of the menus has remained largely the same and the control of the individual menu items (approx. 45 menu items with a total of over 200 different settings) takes a little getting used to with the knob-like miniature joystick (official name: Multicontroller) on the back of the camera, but the symbols/pictograms are now a little more finely pixelated and have slight shading effects. The good legibility of the menus is maintained and even slightly improved.

Canon 50D

Canon 50D

But an excursion into the menus is not always necessary. The EOS 50D now comes with a so-called “Quick Control Screen”, which can be used to make the most important camera settings and recording parameters directly on the screen. Simply press the Multicontroller, select the function to be adjusted with it and select the desired setting either with the front or rear control wheel – that’s all you need to do. But there’s nothing new about this; you already know it in more or less modified form from the competition (Dual Control Panel from Olympus, Quick-Navi-System from Sony, Info-Button from Nikon etc.). But it’s good that Canon now also offers such a quick adjustment system. The familiar personalization options of the camera (user programs, PictureStyles, MyMenu) ensure further fast and convenient operation of the camera. Only the new, freely assignable function key is conspicuous (instead the Jump key of the EOS 40D is omitted) as well as the omission of a user program on the program selector wheel (only C1 and C2). The former C3 position makes room for a CA position on the program selector wheel. The Creative Auto mode is a kind of extended fully automatic mode, in which the user can influence the background sharpness and/or the image brightness with two virtual sliders – without having to have any basic photographic knowledge. The classic fully automatic function (green rectangle) and the scene mode programs are of course retained by the layperson.

Otherwise, pretty much everything stays the same. Fortunately, the upper liquid crystal display (status LCD) retains its switchable orange backlight, the optical viewfinder (0.95x viewfinder magnification, 95% field coverage, 22mm eyedistance/exit pupil, diopter correction in a range from -3 to +1 dpt, replaceable viewfinder mats) still lacks a display of the exposure mode set and a built-in eyepiece shutter. The metal tripod thread in the optical axis (important for panoramic shots) holds – as it should be – a tripod quick-change plate without blocking the access to the battery compartment. Since the EOS 40D, there’s no longer any reason to complain about the image loss when the memory card compartment is accidentally open (a warning message has appeared since then); however, you can get annoyed about the placement of the dipping button depending on your personal preferences. Minor improvements to the ergonomics are available in the form of a separate live image key (the live image activation displaces the Print/Share function to the second assignment of the key) and the enlargement of the font size for the menu texts. In summary, one can say that the EOS 50D, which measures 145.5 x 107.8 x 73.5 mm and weighs about 858 grams (with battery, memory card and strap – but without lens), retains the feel of its predecessor and has experienced some improvements in terms of usability.

Equipment

As far as the basic equipment is concerned, the EOS 50D hardly leaves anything to be desired. All the settings and functions required for everyday photography (exposure programs and metering modes including spot metering, shooting functions, etc.) are there. In addition to the flash/accessory shoe on the top of the housing, the rubber tab on the left side of the camera contains a PC sync socket for connecting studio flash units or similar devices, an electrical cable remote trigger connection, the PictBridge-compatible USB 2.0 high-speed interface, a conventional PAL/NTSC video output (3.5 mm jack socket) and a high-resolution (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) HDMI interface. The slide show function of the camera has been reworked so that you can now also set the display duration (on the EOS 40D it was set to 4 seconds), switch the repeat loop on/off and play back the images sorted by folder or date. Via the system expansion interface on the bottom of the camera, you can connect the optionally available BG-E2N battery/portrait handle (which allows the use of either two BP-511A batteries or six standard AA/Mignon cells) or the WFT-E3/-E3A Wireless File Transmitter (for wireless image transmission via WLAN/WiFi), also from the EOS 40D accessory range, to the camera.

But if it goes beyond this basic configuration, the EOS 50D doesn’t cut such a good figure. The built-in image post-processing functions are limited to a minimum (rotate/align images, redefine image detail, automatic correction and retouching of red eyes) and can only be called up via the print menu in PictBridge direct print mode, a function for camera-internal conversion/processing of RAW to JPEG images is not available, a GPS module is not available as an original accessory. The actually very practical A-DEP depth of field program is only available in the fully automatic version (with analog EOS models you could alternatively set the start and end point of the desired focal length), and with wireless flash you need expensive accessories if you want to enjoy the full comfort of E-TTL-II flash metering and control. The built-in miniature flash (LZ 13) of the EOS 50D cannot be used as a control flash. Canon has been overhauled by Nikon for the precision of the flash metering; after all, the balance between ambient light and flash light is still very balanced, the on-board flash jumps out automatically (auto pop-up) or at the user’s express command (at the touch of a button), depending on the exposure program set, and it only takes 3 seconds to recharge when fully discharged. The flash cover can be described as good (the field of view of a 17mm lens is illuminated up to the corners), whereby the height of the on-board flash is sufficient to prevent the phenomenon of red eyes to a large extent, but not sufficient to flash over many lenses without any drop shadows.

The EOS 50D offers some flash functions. In addition to the standard settings (flash on/forced, flash off, pre-flash function against red-eye), there are advanced settings such as flash exposure compensation, the possibility of flash long-time synchronization with synchronization to the 1st or 2nd flash, and the possibility of flash on/off. Shutter curtain, flash metering (FEL) and – in combination with external system flash units – even automatic flash bracketing (FEB), high-speed flash sync (to exceed the 1/250 s shutter speed limit for flash) or individual flash functions. If you prefer taking pictures from a tripod without a flash, you’ll appreciate the mirror lock-up function (can be connected to the 10 or 2 second self-timer). Further special functions are available in the form of a grid of variable size (3×3 matrix or 6×4 matrix) and a switchable exposure preview in live image mode, a histogram display (also for each individual colour channel) in playback mode, an image authentication function (for this, the optional Data Verification Kit is required) or a dust erasure data function (for the subsequent calculation of dark areas in the image caused by dust on the sensor).

A special feature of the EOS 50D and many live image-capable digital EOS cameras are the noiseless operating modes. The camera’s rich triggering noise can already be significantly attenuated in mode 1 by moving the oscillating mirror more slowly and motor-controlled, even while retaining the continuous-advance function (albeit at a slightly reduced frame rate). In mode 2, continuous shooting is no longer possible, but you can delay the really unmasking camera noises to a later moment by holding down the shutter button and thus reduce the shutter noise to a barely perceptible click. By the way, the EOS 50D makes use of UDMA-capable CompactFlash cards when it has to be fast rather than quiet. Direct memory access then allows up to 90 JPEG Large images in succession with a sustained frame rate of 6.3 frames per second (at full resolution) for normal motifs; without UDMA, the frame rate already breaks down after the 60th JPEG Large image. The maximum number of image sequences depends very much on the information content of the captured images, so that in practice the values mentioned can be slightly undershot to strongly overshot.

Lens

As popular as the EOS system is, so extensive is the range of compatible lenses. At the same time as the EOS 50D, the EF-S 18-200mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS was introduced; a universal zoom with an extremely comfortable focal length range from the equivalent of 29 to 320 millimetres (corresponding to KB), a variable light intensity from F3.5 (at the wide-angle end) to F5.6 (at the telephoto end), a close-up limit of 45 cm throughout and an integrated movable lens unit for optical image stabilisation (IS system). Although the EOS 50D is already one of those cameras for which one likes to choose a suitable lens in a very individual way, it is – probably for less determined customers – also sold together with this lens in a set. The EF-S 18-200mm 18-200mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS alone costs about 600 EUR, and you can be a bit more demanding. Thus, the lens is solid and cleanly manufactured (including metal for the bayonet and robust plastic for the lens tube), the zoom and focusing ring is nice to grip and sufficiently large, the optical construction is of high quality (16 lenses in 12 groups, use of aspherical lenses and special UD lenses, SuperSpectra multi-coating, etc.) and there are even such special features on the lens as a zoom lock (which prevents the lens tube from slipping during transport). The somewhat large front lens diameter of 72 millimetres forces a relatively expensive filter to be purchased; further points of criticism include the lack of a distance scale on the focusing ring, which cannot be rotated particularly smoothly, manual focusing and the lack of an ultrasonic drive for autofocus.

Nonetheless, the EF-S 18-200mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS is fast and sharp with 1:3.5-5.6 IS and not too penetrating drive noise. The focusing speed is not only due to the lens, but also to the autofocus electronics in the camera. Here, the EOS 50D makes use of the same AF module as the previous model EOS 40D. According to this, nine AF points are still displayed in the viewfinder in a rhombic arrangement; the red markings show where in the image the nine cross sensors of the autofocus detect the subject during automatic focusing. The middleAF sensor is even a double cross sensor: By diagonally arranged sensor rows, the autofocus at least in the center of the image should also respond to such structures (from an ambient brightness of -0.5 IL), which are a problem for a normal cross sensor. As usual with Canon, there are three AF modes in normal autofocus mode (One-Shot for single-frame focusing, AI-Servo for dynamic/pre-calculated focus tracking and AI-Focus for automatic AF mode selection); while the built-in miniature flash plays the AF auxiliary light with a little discrete light salvo, a newly added AF fine correction function is intended to avoid front and backfocus problems.

Canon 50D

The autofocus system of the EOS 40D/50D may be extremely fast and achieve a very high “hit rate” (the autofocus should now also take the type of light source into account when measuring focus), but the autofocus of the latest Nikon cameras is now superior to the Canon system. In the expectation that the engineers will thoroughly revise the AF system of the EOS cameras, Canon can at least boast of having the more powerful autofocus in live image mode. When it comes to contrast measurement (as with digital compact cameras), the EOS 50D, thanks to the concentrated computing power of the DiGIC 4 processor, is able to focus a little faster than its direct competitors, both in live mode with a freely placeable AF field of view and in face recognition mode. However, it must also be mentioned that the EOS 50D can only recognize one face at a time during live viewing with face recognition (compared to a maximum of five faces with the Nikon D90). Of course, in the live image mode of the EOS 50D (i.e. as with the EOS 40D) you can continue to use the phase comparison method with a small interruption due to the mirror beat, and of course you can also switch off the autofocus completely, in order to adjust the sharpness quickly and precisely by hand with the help of the electronic screen magnifier (optionally 5 or 10 times magnification).

Picture quality

With its 15.1 megapixel sensor, the EOS 50D is back at the top of its class for the time being. But first of all, a lens must be able to keep up with such a high resolution in terms of imaging performance. The set lens EF-S 18-200mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS only rudimentarily holds up as a universal zoom (it’s not a high performance lens). The slight open aperture weaknesses, however, are normal for a lens of this zoom level, and if you close the aperture by one value, the lens gives an even better performance image. If, on the other hand, you fade down too much (already from F8.0 at the wide-angle end and from F13 from the medium focal length to the telephoto end), the first diffraction blur occurs, among other things. So the set lens doesn’t offer much scope when playing with different apertures. Somewhat unusual is that the loss of resolution with this lens from aperture F5.6 does not occur near the edges/corners of the image, but rather at medium image height.

The new vignetting correction function of the EOS 50D seems to work pretty well. With the EF-S 18-200mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS, the vignetting is relatively low even at an open aperture and isn’t really visible; only at medium focal length and largest aperture the vignetting correction fails easily and gives an overcompensation close to the image edges, followed by a sudden decrease in brightness. The EOS 50D comes factory with the correction data from 26 different Canon lenses, with room for the correction data from 40 lenses (supplied by the constantly updated EOS utility software).

With the distortion correction, on the other hand, one must first help oneself out with foreign software on the computer. And the EF-S 18-200mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS already requires some correction. At the wide-angle end, the set lens shows an extremely strong barrel distortion, and even at the medium focal length as well as at the telephoto end, the distortion remains more or less visible. The noise of the EOS 50D is barely visible. In the past EOS-D generations, Canon has reduced the size of the joints between the individual microlenses on the sensor again and again, and now the EOS 50D wants to have them completely removed – which should further improve the luminous efficacy of the microscopically small converging lenses.

 

Canon 50D

 

In addition, there is the progress made in chip manufacture (increasing purity of silicon wafers, reduction of conductor paths through ever finer photo-engraving processes, more powerful signal amplification components, etc.), so that at least from ISO 100 to 800 the ratio between noise freedom and loss of detail through noise suppression is very good. Then a strong noise reduction occurs, which leads to very good noise values at ISO 1,600 and 3,200 and still moderate noise values at ISO 6,400 (H1 level) due to the performance of the new DiGIC 4 processor, but impairs the resolution and/or detail fineness and the image character. The ISO 12,800 level (H2) is to be regarded more as a makeshift due to the borderline image quality. It may help to set the now four-stage high-ISO noise reduction to “low” or “off” (the EOS 40D could only be switched on or off) and to experiment with programs like Noise Ninja or Neat Image on the computer. By the way, if the image noise becomes noticeable at low sensitivity levels mainly in the brighter brightness areas of the image exclusively as brightness noise, it also expands into these brightness areas of the image with increasing sensitivity despite relatively strong noise suppression in the shadows and continuously increases the color noise from ISO 3.200.

When dealing with contrasts, the EOS 50D scores rather well in the DCTau test (high input dynamics and not particularly neutral, but visually pleasing and resolution-emphasizing tonal value reproduction); for very hard cases, i.e. for extremely high-contrast subjects, there are the individual functions “tonal value priority” and “automatic exposure optimization”, the functionality of which we discussed in more detail in the digitalkamera.de test of the EOS 450D (see further links). The sharpness of the EOS 50D is pleasingly low, but due to the dominance in the lights it leads to quite visible ghost lines underlaid with color fringes. In general, Canon likes to accept different small image disturbances in order to achieve good resolution values during tests and/or to deliver the supposedly better images during the pure visual image comparison. For example, the weak optical low-pass filtering has a positive effect on the resolution, but this also results in color artifacts and moiré effects, which are particularly noticeable in diagonal image structures. Other artifacts on the EOS 50D include compression/block artifacts in color-intensive image regions using the lower of the two image quality settings available for JPEG images per resolution level.

RAW/CR2 images now have three resolution levels: full 15.1 megapixel resolution, reduced resolution to 7.1 megapixels (sRAW 1) and reduced resolution to 3.8 megapixels (sRAW 2). The EOS 40D knew only one sRAW setting. The JPEG and RAW settings can be combined as desired. Of course, the raw data recording is also the solution if one doesn’t want to bother with the different white balance settings. However, with JPEG shots, the automatic white balance works quite reliably (except for the red/orange tint shots under incandescent light); we haven’t yet got to know a digital camera that achieves a perfect automatic white balance with all artificial light sources across brands and models. There are no other colour casts to be seen on the pictures, and the pictures taken with the EOS 50D are not too colourful either (the colour saturation can be controlled via the PictureStyle image parameter presettings). For the exposure metering in general, the same applies as what we have already written above in connection with the flash exposure metering: This is very precise (the EOS 50D performs extremely little outlier) and superior to most competing camera systems, but Canon has been overtaken by Nikon and Nikon has been able to extend its lead in technology and precision by refining the measurement in recent times.

Canon 50D

Bottom line

Canon has undoubtedly succeeded in updating its models. Even though most of the innovations and improvements are in the details, the EOS 50D is the logical further development of the EOS 40D presented a year earlier. With its new 920,000 pixel screen, 15.1 megapixel sensor, DiGIC 4 processor (which now also includes Face Detection), HDMI port and a host of new features, the EOS 50D is state of the art in many ways. But the market has become so fiercely competitive that you have to offer much more than your direct competitors in order to really make a name for yourself. And as long as the EOS-D models still lack features that have long been a matter of course with other DSLR systems (e.g. camera-internal RAW converter and other advanced image post-processing functions, TTL wireless control with the built-in flash, built-in filter effects) and some competitors rush ahead in important disciplines (e.g. Nikon in terms of AF and exposure), a camera like the EOS 50D can only be perceived as substantial progress within its own family.

Fact sheet

Fact sheet
Manufacturer Canon
Model EOS 50D
Price approx. 1.300 EUR***
Sensor Resolution 15.1 megapixels
Max. Image resolution 4.752 x 3.168
(aspect ratio) (3:2)
Lens EF-S 18-200mm 1:3,5-5,6 IS
Filter threads 72 mm
Viewfinder Pentaprism
Field of vision 95%
Enlargement 0,95-times
Diopter compensation -3 to +1 dpt.
LCD monitor 3″
Disbandment 920.000
rotatable
swivelling
as seeker yes
Video output Composite, HDMI (Type C)
as viewfinder yes
Program automation yes
Aperture priority yes
Aperture priority yes
manual exposure yes
BULB long-term exposure yes
Scene modes
Portrait yes
Children/Babies
Countryside yes
Macro yes
Sports/Action yes
more 2
Exposure metering Multi-field, Integral, Selective, Spot
Flash yes
Guide number 13
Flash connection System flash shoe
Remote release yes
Interval shooting
Storage medium CompactFlash (with UDMA support) Type I and II, Microdrive
Video mode
Size
Codec
Resolution (max.)
Frame rate (max.)
Sensitivity
automatic 100-1.600
manually ISO 100-12.800
White balance
Automatic yes
Sun yes
Clouds yes
Fluorescent lamp yes
Light bulb yes
Other Shadow, flash, WB fine correction, WB bracketing
Manual yes
Autofocus
Number of measuring fields 9
AF auxiliary light Flash salvo
Speed < 0,4 s
Languages Yes
more 19
Switch-on time approx. 0.2 s (without sensor cleaning)
One-hand operation
(zoom and shutter release)
Weight
(Ready)
858 g (body only
)1.464 g (with lens**)
Continuous shooting function*
Number of series images unlimited (JPEG
)10 (RAW+JPEG)
16 (RAW)
Frequency
(frames/s)
6,3
Endurance run
(frames/s)
6.3 (with JPEG up to the min. 60th image)
with flash yes
Zoom
Zoom adjustment at lens
Zoom levels continuously variable
Time WW to Tele
Memory speeds*
JPEG 0,9 s (3,4 MByte)
RAW 1,7 s (17,3 MByte)
Triggering during storage possible. yes
Battery life approx. 150-590 images (with/without permanent LiveView)
– = “not applicable” or “not available
“* with SanDisk Ultra III 1 GB CF memory card**
with lens***
without lens EF-S 18-200mm 1:3,5-5,6 IS

Short evaluation

Pros

  • Practical “Quick Control Screen” function
  • Efficient vignetting correction function, AF fine correction function
  • Improved screen (compared to EOS 40D)
  • Higher resolution (compared to EOS 40D) does not affect image quality

Cons

  • Unlike Nikon, no further development of exposure metering and AF control
  • Missing display of the set exposure metering mode in the viewfinder
  • No built-in RAW converter function, spartan range of camera-internal image post-processing functions and effect filters
  • Built-in flash unit cannot be used as control flash for TTL wireless flash mode

Firmware 2.1.2 for Canon EOS 5D Mark II and 1.0.9 for 50D: UDMA 7 performance

Canon has released new firmware for the EOS 5D Mark II and EOS 50D digital SLR cameras, which improves performance with UDMA 7 memory cards launched in February 2012. The new firmware for the EOS 5D Mark II has the version number 2.1.2, the version for the EOS 50D has the number 1.0.9 and also corrects some spelling mistakes in the Dutch language. The new firmware versions can be downloaded from the Canon support website and installed by the user himself. If necessary, support or a helpful reseller can be asked for assistance.

Canon EOS 50D Datasheet

Electronics

Sensor CMOS sensor APS-C 22.5 x 15.0 mm (crop factor 1.6
)15.5 megapixels (physical) and 15.1 megapixels (effective)
Pixel pitch 4.7 µm
Photo resolution
4.752 x 3.168 pixels (3:2)
2.592 x 2.592 pixels (1:1)
2.353 x 1.568 pixels (3:2)
Picture formats JPG, RAW
Colour depth k. A.
Metadata Exif (version 2.21), DCF standard

Lens

Lens mount
Canon EF-S

Focusing

Autofocus mode Phase comparison autofocus with 9 sensors
Autofocus Functions Single AF, Continuous AF, Manual, AF Assist Light
Focus control Depth of field control, dimming button, Live View

Viewfinder and Monitor

Reflex viewfinder Reflex viewfinder (prism viewfinder) (95 % image coverage), 22 mm interpupillary distance, diopter compensation (-3.0 to +1.0 dpt), replaceable focusing screens
Monitor 3.0″ TFT LCD monitor with 920,000 pixels
Info display additional info display (top)

Exposure

Exposure metering Center-weighted integral measurement, matrix/multi-field measurement over 35 fields, spot measurement (measurement over 4 % or 9 % of the image field, AF-AE coupling)
Exposure times 1/8,000 to 30 s (Automatic
)Bulb function
Exposure control Program automatic, Aperture automatic, Time automatic, Manual
Bracketing function Step size from 1/3 to 1/2 EV
Exposure compensation -2.0 to +2.0 EV with step size of 1/3 EV
Sensitivity to light ISO 100 to ISO 1.600 (automatic
)ISO 100 to ISO 3.200 (manual)
Remote access Remote tripping
Scene modes various scene modes, landscape, night scene, close-up, portrait, sports/action, fully automatic, 1 additional scene modes
Picture effects B/W filter in yellow/orange/red/green, B/W tinting effects in blue/violet/green
White balance Auto, Cloudy, Sun, White balance bracket, Fine-tune, Shadow, Flash, Fluorescent lamp, Incandescent light, from 2,800 to 10,000 K, Manual
Color space Adobe RGB, sRGB
Continuous shooting Continuous shooting function max. 6.3 fps at highest resolution and max. 90 stored photos, RAW continuous advance mode with up to 16 consecutive images
Self-timer Self-timer at intervals of 2 s, special features: or 10 s (optional)
Shooting functions Live histogram

Flashgun

Flash built-in flash (hinged
)flash shoe: Canon, standard centre contact
Flash number Guide number 13 (ISO 100)
Flash functions Auto, Fill Flash, Flash On, Flash Off, Slow Sync, Flash On Second Shutter Curtain, Red-Eye Reduction

Equipment

Image stabilizer no optical image stabilizer
Memory
CF (Type I, Type II)
Power supply Power supply connection
Power supply 1 x Canon BP-511A (lithium ion (Li-Ion), 7.4 V, 1,390 mAh)
Playback Functions Playback histogram, image index
Face recognition Face recognition
Special functions Orientation sensor, Live View
Ports Data interfaces: USBUSB type
:USB 2.0 High Speed
AV connectors AV output: HDMI output Micro (Type D)
Supported direct printing methods PictBridge
Tripod socket 1/4″
Features and Miscellaneous built-in low-pass filter sensor cleaning
by vibrating sensor (can be switched off)
Calculation of dust by softwareRAW
filesDIGIC
4-signal processor9-point autofocus
with automatic or manual selection of the focusing pointAF working range
from -0.5 to 18 LWEinzel autofocus
and/or predictive focus tracking (ONE SHOT/AI FOCUS/AI SERVO)
Exposure value storage adjustable
image parameters (6 3 sets)
Playback zoom (1,5

to 10x)
Display of shooting information in playback mode with highlighting of the light orientation sensor
for automatic image alignment Simultaneous
RAW/JPEG recording possible25
Personalization function with 74 settings2
3 User memory LCD status display
illuminatablePTP-supporting shock-resistant

metal housing (composite cladding, aluminium/plastics/glass fibre underframe)
Partially sealed, interchangeable
viewfinder matting discsISO extension
H1 (equivalent to

ISO 6.400) and H2 (according to ISO 12.800)

Size and weight

Dimensions W x H x D 146 x 108 x 74 mm
Weight 790 g (operational)

Other

included accessories Canon BP-511A Special batteryCanon
CB-5L Charger for special batteriesCanon
IFC-400PCU USB cableCanon
RF-3 (housing cover)
Canon VC-100 Audio- / Video cableHama
150 cm flash connection cableCamera cover
RF3Shoulder strap
EW-100DGR

 

 

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