The EOS 50D is provided with the 'Canon EOS Solutions Disk 19' which includes:
Canon ZoomBrowser EX 6.2 - Easy to use image browsing and organization with a unique interface. Includes rudimentary image editing, printing and e-mail. Allows RAW conversion via the RAW Image Task plug-in (version 2.7 provided). - Windows only.
Image Browser 6.2 - Mac OS X only. *
Canon EOS Utility 2.5 - Automatic or Manual transfer of images via WIA, also allows for the adjustment of camera settings and remote 'tethered' shooting. *
* Universal Binaries (Intel / PowerPC) for Mac OS X.
As is normal in our digital SLR reviews we like to compare the supplied RAW conversion software, any optional manufacturer RAW conversion software and some third party RAW converter. In the case of the EOS 50D we had the supplied Zoom Browser and Digital Photo Professional as well as Adobe Camera RAW 4.6.
JPEG - Large/Fine, Default settings
ZB - Zoom Browser 6.2
DPP - Digital Photo Professional 3.5
ACR - Adobe Camera RAW 4.6
Place your mouse over the label below the image to see the color from a GretagMacbeth ColorChecker chart produced using each RAW converter. As we would expect there is hardly any difference between JPEG from the camera and Zoom Browser and Digital Photo Professional (The two Canon software applications share the RAW conversion engine). Adobe Camera RAW produces more vibrant colors and has a slightly more contrasty tone curve.
Canon EOS 50D
Sharpness and Detail
Again Zoom Browser and Digital Photo Professional produce near identical output. In terms of color and contrast it's also as good as identical to the out-of-the-camera JPEG but shows very slightly more detail. The sharpest and most detailed image (only by a whisker though) was from Adobe Camera RAW.
These crops demonstrate that more detail is available from Digital Photo Professional and Zoom Browser than can be obtained from out-of-camera JPGs. Adobe ACR produces the cleanest images overall but show a hint of color moire.