Friday, August 29, 2008

Canon EOS 50D

Before Photokina 2008, Canon has announced the EOS 50D DSLR along with Canon EF-S 18-200mm F3.5-5.6 IS Lens.

Photo courtesy

Comparing against the EOS 400D I have owned since the beginning of this year, why would I consider an upgrade to EOS 50D (or EOS 40D as that will continue to be available)? I can think of the following reasons, assuming EOS 50D will be at least as good as EOS 40D for the following parameters:
  1. Better image quality due to sensor enhancements and 14-bit processing
  2. Expanded usable ISO range and better noise reduction
  3. Faster auto focus that works better under low light conditions
  4. Better build quality and weather resistance
  5. Better LCD screen (3.0" size, VGA resolution & usability under bright light) for image review
I am ambivalent about the following features:

Live View
Even on Point & Shoot digital cameras (I have owned and used quite a few including Canon S2 IS), I tend to use view finder rather than LCD screen. The poor performance of LCD screen under sunlight and power drain are two major factors why I choose not to use LCD.

Higher Resolution The 15 MP on EOS 50D comes at a cost - file size. I started shooting RAW recently and find disk space an issue even with the 9 MB RAW files generated by my 10 MP EOS 400D. As of now, my photographs are pretty much used only for display on my blog, but I would still like to have archival copies of all images for whatever the future holds.

High Speed Continuous Shooting
I am primarly a landscape photographer and have not used the high speed continuous shooting mode extensively. However, this is something I would like to experiment with for wildlife & sports photography and maybe even for portrait photography, especially with kids. EOS 40D & 50D are capable of 6+ fps and have higher buffer sizes for storing more images in burst mode.

In summary, I personally would evaluate & justify the price premium primarily with respect to image quality, low light performance and build quality. There are of course, other factors like weight, battery capacity, responsiveness and custom functions. But they would not weigh in as primary factors if and when I consider upgrading to a better camera body.

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