Canon announces EOS 50D
As expected, the replacement for the EOS 40D has been announced just prior to Photokina. The new EOS 50D is the top end of the “prosumer” market and has a number on improvements over the 40D which is just about a year old. Let’s get right into it and see what this new camera is all about.
The body itself is almost identical to the 40D in size, shape, and controls with the exceptions being that there is now a silver bezel on top of the mode dial, an icon in the LCD on the top of the camera will indicate when Highlight Tone Priority is enabled, a new Type C HDMI video port on the side are the only things besides the 50D logo that are noticeable.
The official feature list is show here, we will dig into more of these later on:
- New 15.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor with improved noise reduction, wide range ISO 100-3200 (H1: 6400, H2: 12800), 14-bit conversion for smooth color tones and gradations.
- Next generation DIGIC 4 Image Processor for faster processing, 6.3 fps up to 90 JPEGS using UDMA CF cards; 60 consecutive JPEGS or 16 RAW using standard CF cards.
- 3.0-inch Clear View LCD (920,000 dots/VGA) with multiple coatings for improved viewing and smudge-resistant protection.
- Enhanced Live View shooting includes Face Detection Live mode.
- 9 cross-type high-precision sensors for accurate target subject acquisition and diagonal center cross-type AF point with f/2.8 and faster lenses.
- New Lens Peripheral Illumination Correction setting to automatically even the brightness across the image.
- Updated EOS Integrated Cleaning System with a fluorine coating for better resistance to dust.
- Creative Auto goes a step beyond full auto with on screen setting display.
- HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) output for displaying full high-resolution images on a High Definition TV.
- Compatible with over 60 Canon EF/EF-S lenses and most EOS System accessories.
The new sensor
As expected, a new sensor is built into the 50D that improves the light gathering ability by using bigger micro lenses over each pixel. Effectivily this will give you 1 to 1.5 stop of better noise reduction allowing you to shoot at ISO 3200 and have images that have noise that is closer to what ISO 1600 looks like on the 40D. Like the previous 20,30,40, the 50D is an APS-C sized sensor giving is a 1.6x crop factor and delivers images at 4752w x 3168h pixels. The integrated cleaning system is also claimed to work better than the one built into the 40D.
The new processor
The next generation of the Digic processor, the Digic IV is debuted in the 50D. This new processor is claimed to be 30% faster than the Digic III and provides a plethora of new features.
- Full size RAW (15.06 megapixels), sRAW1 (7.12 megapixelss) and sRAW2 (3.76 megapixels)
- Three levels of High ISO Noise Reduction
- Three increments of Auto Lighting Optimizer
- Peripheral Illumination Correction – This is a vignette control based on profiles of Canon lenses
- ISO 100 – 3200 is standard along with extended ISO of 6400 and 12,800
Although many of us were hoping for dual card slots, the 50D still sports a single Compact Flash slot although support of UDMA makes for faster read/write speeds.
The LCD on the rear has been improved with more resolution giving you 920,000 pixels which now gives you even great clarity than previous models. The Live Mode provided through the read LCD has also been improved with two types of autofocus now available including a simple quick mode that toggles the Live View off while the camera performs the focus and Live autofocus that uses contrast detection like we saw possible when using DSLR Remote Pro for tethered shooting. Like many new point and shoots, the 50D now has face detection when using the Live Mode autofocusing.
Shipping and Price
The EOS 50D is supposed to be available sometime in October at $1,399. As the camera gets closer to the release date I am sure more information will become available, especially from some of the sites that get pre-production units to test.
For a detailed hands-on preview of the 50D, check out: http://www.dpreview.com/previews/canoneos50d/