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Canon EOS 50D

By dpreview staff on Aug 26, 2008 at 04:00 GMT

Pre-Photokina2008: No surprises to hear that Canon has launched the much anticipated EOS 50D, an upgraded version of EOS 40D. On the surface it looks almost similar to its predecessor. However, there are quite a few significant improvements; fifteen megapixel CMOS sensor, faster DIGIC 4 processor, 3.0" VGA LCD monitor with Live View mode offering 3 AF modes, ISO sensitivity expandable to 12800 and an HDMI connection for high Quality Image viewing. It also includes a new Quick Control screen which shows the most commonly used settings and Creative Auto mode for automatic focus and exposure.We're expecting to be able to bring you a full in-hands preview later today.

Features at a glance:

  • 15.1 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • 6.3fps continuous shooting, max. burst 90 JPEGs with UDMA card
  • DIGIC 4 processor
  • ISO 100-3200, expandable to 12800
  • 9-point wide area AF
  • 3.0” Clear View VGA LCD with Live View mode & Face Detection Live AF
  • Magnesium alloy body, with environmental protection
  • EOS Integrated 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

Jump to:

Press Release:

Outstanding speed and resolution for the discerning photographer: the EOS 50D


Amstelveen, The Netherlands, 26 August 2008: Canon today strengthens its EOS range with the addition of a powerful new digital SLR: the EOS 50D. With a 15.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor, 6.3 frames per second shooting and Canon’s latest DIGIC 4 image processor, the EOS 50D delivers unparalleled speed and resolution at a price point that is unique in today’s market.

Outstanding, clean images
A newly designed 15.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor delivers ultra-detailed, low-noise images – ideal for large-scale reproduction or creative cropping. New manufacturing processes, plus redesigned photo diodes and microlenses, extend the light gathering capabilities of the sensor – allowing more pixels to be fitted on the CMOS sensor without compromising image quality. These changes ensure improved high ISO performance and low noise. High-speed, low light shooting is enabled by ISO levels of 3200, expandable to an ultra-sensitive 12800.

The EOS Integrated Cleaning System – including the improved Self Cleaning Sensor Unit with a new fluorine coating – increases protection of image quality by helping to reduce, repel and remove unwanted dust from the sensor. Stubborn particles can be removed automatically in post-production with Dust Delete Data and Canon’s included Digital Photo Professional software.

Rapid-fire performance

Canon’s new DIGIC 4 processor is fast enough to allow up to 6.3fps continuous shooting, in bursts of up to 90 JPEGs with a UDMA card. Used with Canon’s wide area AF system, which locks onto subjects with 9 individual cross type sensors, stunning action sequences can be captured – even in low-light conditions. This makes the EOS 50D particularly suited to sports and wildlife shooting.

DIGIC 4 works with the CMOS sensor to deliver 14-bit image processing, for smooth gradation and natural-looking colours – as well as ensuring ultra-fast startup times and near-instant image review after shooting.

See everything
A new 3.0” Clear View VGA LCD provides extra-large and wide angle-of-view image review, with plenty of clarity for accurate focus checks in playback. By switching to Live View mode – which displays a real-time image on the LCD – photographers can enjoy simplified shooting from awkward angles, or connect to a PC for remote shooting. Live Mode now offers three ways to auto focus: Quick AF, Live AF, and new Face Detection Live AF, which optimizes focus based on faces detected in the frame – for fast, spontaneous portraiture.

Control and ease
The famously intuitive EOS menu system includes a new Quick Control screen, for instant access to the most commonly-changed settings. A new Creative Auto mode offers automatic focus and exposure – while still allowing creative ‘tweaks’ to settings such as background sharpness.
“For advanced amateurs and semi-professionals – or professionals looking for a powerful backup model – the EOS 50D stands alone,” said Mogens Jensen, Head of Canon Consumer Imaging, Europe. “No other camera in this price bracket offers a comparable combination of speed and image quality.”

Technologies Explained

CMOS
Canon’s CMOS technology is one of the company’s key competitive advantages, with noise reduction circuitry at each pixel site delivering virtually noise-free images. In comparison with CCD technology, the lower power consumption characteristics of Canon’s CMOS sensors also contribute to longer battery life.

Signal conversion in Canon’s CMOS sensors is handled by individual amplifiers at each pixel site. Unnecessary charge transfer operations are avoided, vastly speeding up the process of getting signal to the image processor. Noise generation is reduced, power consumption is limited and faster frame rate potential is increased.

DIGIC
Image data captured by the CMOS sensor is processed by Canon’s purpose-built DIGIC image processors before being written to the camera's memory card. DIGIC technology uses advanced image processing algorithms to ensure precise, natural colours, accurate white balance, and advanced noise reduction. Ultra-fast processing speeds result in highly responsive camera operation and near-instant start-up times.

DIGIC chips work with a high speed DDR-SDRAM image buffer – reading, processing, compressing and writing image data fast enough to keep the buffer clear during long continuous shooting bursts. And because DIGIC integrates all key processing functions, power consumption is kept to a minimum.

EOS Integrated Cleaning System
The EOS Integrated Cleaning System combats sensor dust in three important ways: Reduce, Repel and Remove.
  1. Reduce - Internal camera mechanisms are designed to minimise dust generation. The redesigned body cap prevents dust generation through wear on the cap itself.
  2. Repel - Anti-static technologies, including a special fluorine coating, are applied to the low-pass filter covering the front of the sensor so as not to attract dust.
  3. Remove - A Self-Cleaning Sensor Unit uses hi-frequency vibrations to shake dust from the infrared filter for a period of approximately one second after each start up. For instant shooting after power up, this feature is disabled immediately the shutter release is depressed.

Canon has also developed an internal Dust Delete Data system, which can map the position of visible dust on the sensor. This can then be deleted automatically after the shoot with the latest Digital Photo Professional software.

Picture Style
Picture Style pre-sets simplify in-camera control over image qualities. Picture Style pre-sets can be likened to different film types – each one offering a different colour response. Within each selectable pre-set, photographers have control over sharpness, contrast, colour tone and saturation. The camera’s factory default configuration is set to deliver immediately-usable JPEG images without need for additional menu settings. Picture Style presets applied to a RAW image can be revised with Canon’s Digital Photo Professional software.

The six pre-sets are:

  1. Standard – for crisp, vivid images that don’t require post-processing
  2. Portrait – optimises colour tone and saturation and weakens sharpening to achieve attractive skin tones
  3. Landscape – for punchier greens and blues with stronger sharpening to give a crisp edge to mountain, tree and building outlines
  4. Neutral – ideal for post-processing
  5. Faithful – adjusts colour to match the subject colour when shot under a colour temperature of 5200K
  6. Monochrome – for black and white shooting with a range of filter effects (yellow, orange, red and green) and toning effects (sepia, blue, purple and green).

Software

Digital Photo Professional Software
Digital Photo Professional software provides high speed, high quality processing of lossless RAW images. Processing with Digital Photo Professional allows real-time display and immediate application of image adjustments, giving control over RAW image variables such as white balance, dynamic range, exposure compensation, noise reduction and colour tone – plus the ability to view Auto Focus points on an image. The Lens Aberration correction tool allows precise correction of different types of distortion caused by certain cameras. Images can be recorded in camera with sRGB or Adobe RGB colour space.

Digital Photo Professional supports sRGB, Adobe RGB, ColorMatch RGB, Apple RGB and Wide Gamut RGB colour spaces. ICC (International Colour Consortium) profiles can be attached to TIFF or JPEG images when converted from RAW. This allows faithful reproduction of colours in software applications that support ICC profiles, such as Adobe Photoshop. For improved efficiency, a set of image adjustments can be saved as a recipe and applied.

EOS Utility
The latest version of EOS Utility provides essential support for Live View remote shooting, camera configuration and image transfers. Tightly integrated with Digital Photo Professional, EOS Utility can be configured to monitor ‘hot’ folders, automatically renaming and moving incoming images to a structured file system. Users can also tag their images with EXIF data, including copyright information.

Picture Style Editor
Picture Style Editor allows users to create individual Picture Styles that fit with their personal requirements. Each Picture Style contains detailed information on how specific colours should be represented within an image. Once new Picture Styles have been created, they can be uploaded directly into the camera and applied to JPEG or RAW images. When working with RAW files in DPP, both personal Picture Styles and the 6 predetermined Picture Styles can all be adjusted.

Additional images

Canon EOS 50D specifications

Sensor • 22.3 x 14.9 mm CMOS sensor
• RGB Color Filter Array
• Built-in fixed low-pass filter (with self-cleaning unit)
• 15.5 million total pixels
• 15.1 million effective pixels
• 3:2 aspect ratio
Image processor DIGIC 4
A/D conversion 14 bit
Image sizes • 4752 x 3168
• 3456 x 2304
• 2353 x 1568
File formats

• RAW (.CR2; 14-bit)
• JPEG (EXIF 2.21) - Fine / Normal
• RAW + JPEG (separate files)
sRAW1 (7.1 MP)
sRAW2 (3.8 MP)

Lenses • Canon EF / EF-S lens mount
• 1.6x field of view crop
Dust reduction • "EOS Integrated Cleaning System"
• Self-cleaning sensor unit (filter in front of sensor vibrates at high frequency at start-up and shutdown - can be disabled)
• Dust Delete Data - Data from a test shot is used to 'map' dust spots and can be later removed using Canon DPP Software
Auto focus • 9-point TTL CMOS sensor
• All points cross-type for lenses of F5.6 or faster
• Center point additionally sensitive with lenses of F2.8 or faster
• AF working range: -0.5 - 18 EV (at 23°C, ISO 100)
Focus modes • One shot AF
• AI Servo AF
• AI Focus AF
• Manual focus
AF point selection • Auto
• Manual
Predictive AF • Up to 8 m
AF assist • Stroboscopic flash
AF microadjust • +/- 20 steps
• Adjust all lenses by same amount/individually adjust up to 20 lenses
Metering • TTL 35 zone SPC
• Metering range: EV 0.0 - 20 EV
Metering modes

• Evaluative 35 zone
• Partial (9% at center)
• Spot metering (approx. 3.8% at center)
• Center-weighted average

AE lock • Auto: One Shot AF with evaluative metering
• Manual: AE lock button
Exposure compensation • +/-2.0 EV
• 0.3 or 0.5 EV increments
Exposure bracketing • +/- 2.0 EV
• 0.3 or 0.5 EV increments
Sensitivity

• Auto ISO (100-1600)
• ISO 100 - 3200
• 0.3 or 1.0 EV increments
• H1 (6400) and H2 (12800) expansion

Shutter • Focal-plane shutter
• 100,000 exposure durability
• 30 - 1/8000 sec
• 0.3 or 0.5 EV increments
• Flash X-Sync: 1/250 sec
• Bulb
Aperture values • F1.0 - F91
• 0.3 or 0.5 EV increments
• Actual aperture range depends on lens used
White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Shade
• Cloudy
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Flash
• Custom
• Kelvin (2500 - 10000 K in 100 K steps)
WB bracketing • +/-3 levels
• 3 images
• Blue / Amber or Magenta / Green bias
WB shift • Blue (-9) To Amber (+9)
• Magenta (-9) to Green (+9)
Picture style • Standard
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Neutral
• Faithful
• Monochrome
• User def. 1
• User def. 2
• User def. 3
Custom image parameters • Sharpness: 0 to 7
• Contrast: -4 to +4
• Saturation: -4 to +4
• Color tone: -4 to +4
• B&W filter: N, Ye, Or, R, G
• B&W tone: N, S, B, P, G
Image processing

• Highlight tone priority
• Auto lighting optimizer (4 settings)
• Long exposure noise reduction
• High ISO noise reduction (4 settings)
• Auto correction of lens peripheral illumination (vignetting)

Color space • sRGB
• Adobe RGB
Viewfinder • Eye-level pentaprism
• 95% frame coverage
• Magnification: 0.95x(-1 diopter with 50 mm lens at infinity)
• Eyepoint: 22 mm
• Interchangeable focusing screen Ef-A standard (2 other types optional)
• Dioptric adjustment: -3.0 to +1.0 diopter
Focusing screens
(optional)
• Ef-A (Standard Precision Matte - included)
• Ef-D (Precision Matte with grid)
• Ef-S (Super Precision Matte for easier manual focus)
Mirror • Quick-return half mirror (transmission:reflection ratio 40:60)
• Mirror lock-up (once or multiple exposures)
Viewfinder info • AF points
• Focus confirmation light
• ISO sensitivity
• Shutter speed
• Aperture
• Manual exposure
• AE Lock
• Exposure compensation amount
• AEB level
• Spot metering area
• Flash ready
• Red-eye reduction lamp on
• High-speed sync
• FE Lock
• Flash compensation amount
• ISO speed (while changing)
• WB correction (while changing)
• Highlight tone priority icon *
• B&W mode icon
• Warnings
• Maximum burst for continuous shooting
• Buffer space
LCD monitor • 3.0 " TFT LCD
• 920,000 pixels
• 7 brightness levels
• 160 ° viewing angle
• Dual anti-reflection
LCD Live view • Live TTL display of scene from CMOS image sensor
• 100% frame coverage
• 30 fps
• Real-time evaluative metering using CMOS image sensor
• Best view or exposure simulation
• Silent mode
• Grid optional (x2)
• Magnify optional (5x or 10x at AF point)
• Three AF modes - Live mode/Quick mode/Face Detection
• Histogram
• Remote live view using EOS Utility 2.0 (via USB or WiFi/Ethernet using WFT)
Record review • Off
• On (histogram via INFO button)
• Display mode same as last used Play mode
• 2 / 4 / 8 sec / Hold
Playback modes

1. Single image with exposure, file number, storage slot
2. As 1 but also image count and quality
3. Detailed exposure information, thumbnail and luminance histogram
4. Less detailed exposure info., thumbnail, luminance and RGB histograms

Playback features • Optional blinking highlight alert
• Optional AF point display
• Magnified view (up to 10x)
• 2x2 or 3x3 thumbnail index
• Jump (by 1, 10, 100 images / by screen or date)
• Delete / Protect
Flash • Auto pop-up E-TTL II auto flash
• FOV coverage up to 17 mm (27 mm equiv.)
• Guide number approx 13 m / 43 ft (ISO 100)
• Cycle time approx. 3 sec
• Flash compensation +/-2.0 EV in 0.3 or 0.5 EV increments
• X-Sync: 1/250 sec
External flash • E-TTL II auto flash with EX-series Speedlites
• In-camera flash configuration (currently only 580 EX II)
• Wireless multi-flash support
• PC Sync
Shooting modes

• Auto
• Creative auto
• Program AE (P)
• Shutter priority AE (Tv)
• Aperture priority AE (Av)
• Manual (M)
• Auto depth-of-field
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Close-up
• Sports
• Night portrait
• Flash off
• Camera user settings 1
• Camera user settings 2

Drive modes

• Single
• High-speed continuous: 6.3 fps
• Low-speed continuous: 3 fps
• Self-timer: 2 or 10 sec (3 sec with mirror lock-up)

Burst buffer • Large/Fine JPEG: 90 frames (with UDMA card)
• RAW: 16 frames
Orientation sensor Yes
Auto rotation • On (recorded and LCD display)
• On (recorded only)
• Off
Custom functions 25 custom functions with 74 settings in 4 groups
Menu languages

• English
• German
• French
• Dutch
• Danish
• Portuguese
• Finnish
• Italian
• Norwegian
• Swedish
• Spanish
• Greek
• Russian
• Polish
• Czech
• Hungarian
• Romanian
• Ukrainian
• Turkish
• Arabic
• Thai
• Simplified Chinese
• Traditional Chinese
• Korean
• Japanese

Firmware User upgradable
Portrait grip • Optional WFT-E3/E3A
• Optional BP-E2N battery grip
• Optional BP-E2 battery grip
Connectivity

• USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
• Video out
• HDMI connector
• N3 type wired remote control
• PC Sync flash terminal
• Communication terminal on base for WFT-E3/E3A

Storage • Compact Flash Type I or II (inc. FAT32)
• Supports UDMA cards
• Canon Original Data Security Kit supported ("Original Image Data")
• No CF card supplied
Power • Lithium-Ion BP-511A rechargeable battery (supplied & charger)
• Supports BP-511 / BP-511A / BP-512 / BP-514
• CR2016 Lithium battery (date/time backup)
• Optional AC adapter
Wireless connectivity
(optional WFT-E3/E3A)
• Mounts on base of camera and also acts as vertical grip
• Has its own BP-511A battery
• Wireless 802.11b / 802.11g
• Wireless security: WEP, TKIP/AES, WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK
• Wireless methods: Infrastructure or Ad Hoc
• Wired ethernet (100 Base-TX)
• Transfer: FTP, PTP (remote control by computer), HTTP (view / remote fire)
• USB host capable: External hard drives, flash drives
• USB comms: GPS devices (records coordinates and altitude in image header)
Dimensions 146 x 108 x 74 mm (5.7 x 4.2 x 2.9 in)
Weight • No battery: 730 g (1.6 lb)
• With battery: 822 g (1.8 lb)
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