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There is plenty out there on the Canon EOS 50D, so here are my highlights of likes and not likes after owning one for a few hours, please not that a lot of my comments are based on my move from my 30D. I think for 40D owners there really is not much reason to upgrade to a 50D unless you really want that new screen and higher pixel count. There are no sample images right now as I am not confident my initial shots are doing the camera justice, there will be plenty to follow for sure.

Likes and Loves

1. New display

The new display is simply stunning, coming in at 3 inches it actually feels way bigger when it lights up. The new higher resolution means you can finally review images for sharpness rather than just a quick histogram check (which is pretty much all I used the 30D image review for). Along with the display the menu system compared to my 30D is simply wonderful, everything is right there in easy reach thanks to the new layout. And the ‘My Menu’ allows me to put in one place my most accessed menu items.

2. Construction

It just feels solid! The main wheel above the shutter button has a nice solid ‘click’ feel to it, my 30D always felt a little soft. The whole build of the camera just feels really solid when shooting, and once I added my BG-E2 from the 30D I was right back at home.

3. Lens mount

Maybe it was just the one I had but lenses always had a little movement on my 30D, but no more with the 50D. It never effected anything other than it just bothered me.

4. Higher ISO is now an option

Gone are my days of hugging ISO 100 or 200, finally I can switch to a higher ISO and get what I consider to be more than acceptable results. And with my favorite Noise reduction plugin Noiseware Pro from Imagenomic the noise just disappears even in the ISO 1600 range.

5. Live view

Not something I will use much, I’ve always been a viewfinder kinda guy. But Live view is impressive there is no doubt of that. I can see many reasons why people would use it but it is still a strange find on a camera that places it’s self between the amateur and professional bodies. The one thing that I think is a great addition though is the ability to have a grid over the view, this will help those that love the rule of thirds and help those that are new to it’s rules of composition.

And it certainly will be nice to try when the camera is on the tripod at angles that give us all neck ache or in my case, you’re just too short to see thru the finder 🙂

Dislikes or Concerns

1. Battery compartment cover

One thing that I was surprised to find was the nice little slide and release catch to remove the battery cover is gone, instead you just pull it out at an angle. I am wondering how many times you could remove the cover before it started to get a little loose from all that friction. Not that you would remove it all the time, but sometimes I feel like using the battery grip extender and other times I like to shoot without in more of a ‘travel around mode’.

2. Focusing when viewed at 100%

I need to do more to test this, but I was somewhat surprised at how soft images felt when viewing at 100%. Now to be fair once you scale them down they look great, but still it does catch your attention when you zoom in and the edges are not as crisp as perhaps you would expect. I did test with manual focus and even played with the AF micro tweaking (a nice addition to the camera by the way). I tested with my 24-105 F/4 L IS and my 70-200 F/4L IS and both gave the same results. So I am hoping that this is something that either I’ll get used to or will be a firmware tweak.

As I say, once you scale the images down to anything around the 2500 pixel wide range you don’t even notice it and everything is nice and sharp, but one of the pluses of the bigger mega pixel is being able to crop more than you would with a lower resolution sensor for when the lens does not quiet make the distance.

3. Auto Focus speed

I just thought it would be more noticeable improvement over my 30D but it does not feel that way to me.

4. Auto illumination and noise

After doing some reading on there are some suggestions to turn this feature off in the camera to improve the noise in shadow areas. It seems (and certainly I can see it) that whilst this feature opens up the shadows some what it also brings out the noise.

Well that’s enough for now, plenty more to follow I’m sure as I get to learn what the camera is capable of and adapt to it’s ways. One thing is for sure, for me at least it’s a very welcome upgrade to my 30D.


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