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Viewfinder

The EOS 50D gets the 40D's 0.95x magnification viewfinder. It's nicely designed, avoiding distortion or corner softness. As with previous models the eyepiece rubber is removable allowing for the eyepiece cover or different eyepieces / angled finders to be fitted.

Focusing screens

The 50D retains the 40D's ability to swap focusing screens for users with specific needs:

  • Ef-A Standard Precision Matte
      - the supplied focusing screen, bright and with a normal matte
     
  • Ef-D Precision Matte with grid
      - a more matte finish easier manual focusing also includes a grid pattern
     
  • Ef-S Super Precision Matte
      - even more matte but obviously slightly darker, optimized for F2.8 and faster lenses
Focusing screen as supplied with installation arm The range of EOS 50D focusing screens

Viewfinder view

The viewfinder gains a little 'D+' symbol that indicates whether Highlight Tone Priority is active.

AF point behavior remains unchanged: In automatic AF point selection mode the AF points chosen by the camera are highlighted briefly when you initiate AF (half-press shutter release / AF button), otherwise the selected AF point is highlighted. In automatic AF point selection mode the AF point will only highlight once an AF lock has been achieved. With a single AF point selected it will blink once as you half-press the shutter release and once more upon AF lock (or not at all if no AF lock was possible). In AI Servo AF mode (with the shutter release half-pressed) the selected AF point blinks just once and then tracks AF.

1 AE lock / AEB in-progress 9 Highlight tone priority
2 Flash ready / FE lock warning 10 ISO speed indicator
3 High-speed sync (FP flash) 11 ISO speed
4 FE lock / FEB in-progress 12 White balance correction / WB bracket
5 Flash exposure compensation 13 Monochrome shooting
6 Shutter speed / status indication 14 Maximum frames in a burst
7 Aperture / status indication 15 Focus confirmation
8 Exposure level indicator / compensation    

Battery Compartment

The battery compartment on the EOS 50D is in the base of the hand grip, behind a simple clip- locked door. The door itself is removable (to make way for the optional battery grip). The EOS 50D is supplied with the BP-511A Lithium-Ion battery pack which provides 1390 mAh at 7.4 V (10.3 Wh). There's a tiny rubber flap on the inside edge of the hand grip (nearest the lens mount), where the cable from the optional AC adapter's dummy battery exits.

Battery Charger

As with previous EOS x0D SLRs the 50D is supplied with the CB-5L battery charger, it's relatively small and lightweight and easy to pack for travel. Charge time is around 90 minutes and the LED on the top of the charger indicates charge progress.

WFT-E3/E3A Wireless Battery Grip (optional)

The EOS 50D supports the same three battery grips as the 40D. The BG-E2 (same as the EOS 20D & 30D), BG-E2N, which is almost the same but has rubber seals around the battery compartment door, and finally the WFT-E3/E3A wireless battery grip. The one thing the WFT-E3/E3A doesn't do is provide any extra power to the camera; as you can see it's a different design to the BG-E2 series as it doesn't have the dummy battery stalk. Instead the camera battery stays in the camera and the grip simply attaches to the bottom of the camera (and communicates through a new connector).

With the WFT-E3/E3A you can shoot wirelessly (802.11b/g) direct to FTP servers as well as have two-way communication over PTP and HTTP. In HTTP mode you can effectively remote control the camera, see a live view, change settings and take shots. The USB port can be used to store directly to external USB hard disks (although only small flash devices can be powered by the grip) or provide GPS data from USB GPS devices. Images from 40D.

Compact Flash Compartment

The Compact Flash compartment on the EOS 50D is at the rear corner of the hand grip and is opened by sliding the door towards you and flipping outwards. The door itself has a metal hinge and opens with plenty of room to remove the CF card once ejected. The CF activity light is to the bottom right of the quick control dial. In addition to the Type I and Type II Compact Flash cards (including the >2GB, FAT32 varieties) supported by the 40D, 50D also supports the faster, more recent UDMA standard and the Compact Flash + standard.

Connections

The 50D's connectors all live down the left-hand edge of the camera under a split rubber flap. There are now effectively two columns of connectors, each with its own cover. On the left we have PC sync and the remote terminal (N3), on the right video-out and USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed). The 50D gains an HDMI connector, not seen on the 40D.

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