Product Type: Canon digital cameras
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The Canon EOS 50D superb image quality
Canon EOS 50D
Member Name: Markh5682
Canon EOS 50D
Date: 20/03/09, updated on 20/03/09 (629 review reads)
Advantages: Superb image quality, well built, High resolution, low noise, Excellent spec .
Disadvantages: Only minor gripes, no CF card included, large and heavy compared to some .
I bought this camera almost as soon as it was released, so I have had plenty of time to get used to it, and test it fully before writing this review.
The first thing you notice is that this is not a small lightweight camera, but is a solid well built camera designed for serious use, yet despite it's size and weight it is still easy to hold and is comfortable to use, for those of you that have used the EOS 40D it has the same body shell as that, and has the advantage of using the same accessories as the EOS 40D as well.
The menu's are well laid out and easy to use making this camera easy to set up and use, the large LCD screen is bright and clear, and much higher resolution than previous EOS cameras,(920,000 pixels) excellent for manual focusing in live view and checking the focus of pictures you have already taken.
Auto focus is lightning quick and accurate under normal conditions, and even in low light conditions it is still quick. (tested with canon lenses)
Cramming 15 megapixels resolution onto a small sensor causes problems with digital noise on many cameras, but not here, digital noise (graininess) is not apparent at all until you get into the highest ISO settings (ISO-100 to 3200 is available) and even then it is well controlled, (there is also the option of setting a very high ISO-6400 or ISO-12800 setting but noise is apparent at such high settings and is best used in emergency only,)
With it's 15mp resolution, even severely cropped or greatly enlarged pictures are crystal clear, colours are rendered accurately, even in difficult lighting conditions, when set to auto white balance, snow comes out as white snow, not bluish as on some other cameras that I have used, picture quality really is superb, and has to be seen to be believed.
One thing I have noticed, is that this camera, when it is set to program mode, has a tendancy to slightly over expose pictures under certain lighting conditions, especially Where there is water or any other reflective surfaces present, I usually set the camera to auto-exposure bracketing by either a 1/3 or a 2/3 of a stop to compensate for this when taking these pictures, but as it is usually less than 1 stop over exposed it is fairly easy to fix this in post processing, this is where RAW files (digital negatives) come in useful as they contain more picture information than jpegs, so over and under exposed areas in high contrast pictures can be fixed a lot easier, the camera comes supplied with very good RAW editing software, but I normally use photoshop to edit my RAW files as that is the software I am more used to using for this.
You get the best of both worlds with this camera as you can record both jpeg + RAW files simultaneously.
(RAW files are the raw data that a camera records and must be converted after processing to a useable picture format, such as jpeg, bmp, gif, tiff etc. that can be displayed on a PC or Mac screen, and used for printing.)
The built in flash is adequate for most situations but if you take a lot of flash photos and need a higher output flash, then one of canon's speedlight flashes can be used instead.
It is compatible with all Canon's EX series speelight flashguns.
It has a fast 6.3 frames per second high speed continuous shooting mode,
and a 3 frames per second low speed continuous shooting mode.
It is compatible with the latest high speed, high capacity CF cards, making it possible to fit thoudands of pictures onto one card, even when shooting jpeg + RAW simultaneously at maximum resolution. I have a 32gb 133x CF card in mine and I can fit a whole days shooting onto it, and still have plenty of room to spare.
One interesting feature on a camera of this level, is the inclusion of "Creative auto mode" This is an auto mode with simple controls for making adjustments, Making this camera more user friendly for beginners.
It is compatible with all canon EF and EFS lenses, and with canon's image stabilised lenses you get pin sharp pictures even in low light or with longer telephoto lenses. * (see notes below about chosing lenses for this camera.)*
Good all round performance.
Excellent picture quality.
High resolution with low noise.
Good low light performance.
Quick and accurate focusing and a very effective image stabilisation (with Canon's IS lenses)
Live view function.
6.3 frames per second continuous shooting.
Well built and strong with its metal body shell.
Takes the same accessories as the EOS 40D
Compatible with the latest high capacity CF cards.
Raw or Jpeg files are recorded, Raw+Jpeg simultaneous recording is also possible.
large and heavy.
No movie function.
No CF card supplied, so if you don't already have one, you will need to buy one before you can use it (with 15mp resolution the higher the capacity of the card the better).
This is an excellent camera for the serious photographer and is a worthwhile upgrade from an older camera.
If you already own an EOS 40D then the difference in performance would not warrant the expense of an upgrade, but if you want a second body with higher resolution then this would be an ideal companion to your existing EOS 40D, as most of the functions are the same and you can use all your current accessories with it.
It would also be a good back up camera for a professional photographer, who does not want to go to the expense of a second full frame pro camera.
It is more expensive than some other "prosumer" cameras, but with the features and performance that you get, it is worth every penny.
It is available from Amazon for £836.95 (Body only) at the time of writing, which is a good price for this camera.
(from the manual)
15.1 Megapixel APS-C sized CMOS Sensor
6.3fps continuous shooting, max. burst of 90 JPEGs with UDMA card
DIGIC 4 processor
ISO 100-3200, expandable to 6400 &12800
9-point wide area auto focus
3.0" Clear View VGA LCD (920,000 pixels) with Live View mode & Face Detection Live AF
Magnesium alloy body, with environmental protection
EOS Integrated Sensor Cleaning System
HDMI connection for high quality viewing and playback on a High Definition TV
Full compatibility with Canon EF and EF-S lenses and EX-series Speedlites
* RAW (.CR2; 14-bit)
* JPEG (EXIF 2.21) - Fine / Normal
* RAW + JPEG (separate files simutaneous recording)
* sRAW1 (7.1 MP)
* sRAW2 (3.8 MP)
* Creative auto
* Program AE (P)
* Shutter priority AE (Tv)
* Aperture priority AE (Av)
* Manual (M)
* Auto depth-of-field
* Night portrait
* Flash off
* Camera user settings 1
* Camera user settings 2
**Notes and advice on choosing lenses for this camera.**
There is often confusion for people when buying lenses for DSLR cameras (especially if they are new to DSLR's), as the actual focal length of a lens is not the same as the effective focal length that they will get on their camera, and most good camera shops have conversion charts to make this easier when advising their customers of the best lens to buy for their needs, but most online shops do not, hence the advice below.
When you buy a lens it has an actual focal length, (that stated on the lens itself) or range of focal lengths in the case of zoom lenses, (magnification) measured in millimeters, e.g. 100mm focal length.
The actual focal length on any lens is rated for 35mm film cameras and professional full frame DSLR cameras with a censor size of 35mm x 24mm, this is the standard rating for all SLR lenses.
The censor on this camera (and on most EOS DSLR cameras) is the "APS-C" sized censor with a measurement of 22.3mm x 14.9mm, this means that the effective focal length of the lens will be different to the actual focal length of any lens you buy when used with these cameras, this effective focal length is known as the "35mm equivalent."
This is not a fault, but is a feature of all DSLR cameras, with the exception of professional full frame cameras.
To find the 35mm equivalent of any lens used, you must multiply the actual focal length of the lens, by a factor of 1.6, thus a 100mm lens will have an effective focal length of 160mm (35mm equivalent) when used with these cameras.
This is great news if you want to use telephoto lenses for wildlife etc. as you will get higher magnification from your lens, for less cost than on a full frame camera, so for instance a 70 - 300mm zoom lens will have a 35mm equivalent of a 112 - 480mm zoom lens when used with these cameras.
But on the other end of the scale, wide angle lenses will be less wide, and you will need to buy a more expensive wider angle lens to compensate for the difference in the effective focal length, thus a 10 - 22mm ultra-wide angle zoom will become a very useful 16 - 35.2mm wide angle zoom (35mm equivalent) on these cameras.
The standard lens on a 35mm camera is 50mm which gives approx x1 magnification, but on these cameras, it is the equivalent of an 80mm portrait lens, a focal length of 31.25mm would give you the equivalent of a 50mm lens (35mm equivalent) on these cameras.
The coversion factor for Canon cameras is x1.6 of the actual focal length, other camera manufacturers may vary, so it is best to check the manual of your camera first.
So if you are new to DSLR cameras, or are upgrading from a 35mm film camera, I hope this info will help you to make the right choice when buying extra lenses for your DSLR camera, because the difference between the actual and effective focal length of a lens can significantly change the type of photo which you can use it for.
This review is also on Ciao! & Amazon UK under the same name.
Thanks for reading - Mark
Summary: Superb picture quality, on a very well specified, but easy to use camera.
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