Pros Smooth 15 MP image quality, improved high ISO performance, fast motor, excellent screen, 'My Menu' quick access to commonly used settings, improved menus, handling, same battery as previous xxD cameras, AF performance, size, weight, controls
Cons Almost none, Main control dial could still use a 'lock' so that it can't be turned inadvertedtly
Summary The 50D is an excellent upgrade to the 40D. The rear LCD display alone makes it worthwhile. The image quality when using Canon's DPP software (and NOT Adobe Camera Raw 4.6) is class leading. The fast motor makes this camera an excellent choice in the mid range camera class and one of the few that is suitable for sports action. It makes an excellent back up camera to a pro level Canon. Anyone familiar with any of the xxD Canons can switch to the new body almost instantly, due the consistency in Canon's designs. 'My Menu' negates any issues with access to the myriad of menu options modern digital camera possess and gives Canon users near instant access to mirror lock up. Some people (ie. CNET reviewers in particular) dwell on Canon's 3.8% spot meter stating that it's too large an area. (check out the editor's image of the birds and wanting to spot meter the eye of a small bird) For my needs, the 3.8% spot works fine. Using the in camera over exposure warning and the histogram allows for excellent fine tuning of the exposure. I find I rarely need the spot meter as the multi segment meter does an excellent job of giving me an exposure that is very close to begin with. Canon's unique rear rotary control dial is the best camera control I've used or seen used by any camera manufacturer. The 'joystick' control is excellent for fast selection of focus points and for reviewing the magnified image on the LCD. Together, I feel they are the best available system. I have shot with ISO 1600 in really poor light and have found the results (when processed in DPP) to be outstanding. While CNET criticizes the AF system, I have used it to shoot fast action sports in extremely low light and been amazed by the ability of the camera to focus in very poor conditions. It forces me to wonder if the reviewers tested the AF system in similar real world conditions. In summary, the 50D is an excellent camera and an outstanding value by any measure.
Pros VGA display, solid build, nice new system menu interface
Cons Disappointing low light performance, higher noise levels than the 40D, Less per-pixel detail than the 40D, RAW files too big for the quality one gets
Summary After I read what canon had to say about their new sensor and processor, I decided to give the 50D a try. I mainly wanted to get larger resolution images, better detail and better high sensitivity ISO performance compared to what I get from my 40D and my 30D.
Well, the 50D failed miserably in these 3 areas! Do not get me wrong, i is by no means a bad camera, it's just that I cannot see any SUBSTANTIAL improvement over the 40D other than cosmetic, namely the VGA display.
Surely the new display is gorgeous to work with but actually it turned out to be a double-edged sword because after I used it to check the low-light images I had taken, I could very clearly see how NOISY they were! According to Canon, smaller pixels in the 50D's sensor are not detrimental to the image quality because their "Newly-developed 15.1 megapixel CMOS sensor sensor" and their new processor, the D!GIC 4, work together to give you better and faster performance. At this point I must state that I used Canon L grade lenses to shoot, so it was not because of my cheap optics that I got mediocre images (mediocre, that is, taking into account that this new camera is supposed to outperform the 40D it replaces). In other words, if you are not going to use the 50D with the best glass available, you should probably stay away from it lest you be disappointed. By the way, dpreview.com just published today a full review of this camera and I was glad to read that I was not the only one noticing all the above-mentioned deficiencies.
In conclusion, I believe the 50D may well be one of the first victims of the DSLR pixel war. Instead of delivering a truly improved high-ISO performance, a better AF system and better image detail, Canon decided to give us more not-as-efficient pixels and a beautiful display!!!
If you are getting your first DSLR or are planning to upgrade from an entry-level one, GET THE 40D (or even the 30D for that matter) WHILE YOU CAN!!! It will be CHEAPER and you WILL NOT be disappointed. JSYK: I returned the 50D and used the store credit to buy another L grade lens. Since I still need to get larger resolution and better detailed images, at this point I am just hoping that the 5D Mark II won't be another disappointment or I will regret not having bought the old 5D...
"was not impress"on by willie0343
Pros Screen is sharp and crisp even in sun light pictures are very good in automatic modes.
Cons Pictures in high ISO settings are disappointing.
Summary I think that the small c-mos sensor is being taxed to it's limit in the higher ISO settings which leads to noisy photos and as a Canon fan it is disappointing.My friend loves his Nikon D300 in the high ISO settings and comparing it to my Canon 50D he is right. I would have to do some photo touch up in photoshop to get it to look like his straight out of the NIkon D300 camera.As a Canon fan I will just get me a 40D.
Pros NOISE CONTROL, IMAGE QUALITY, BURST RATE(cnet dosent think so, there wrong), AUTO FOCUS, CONTROL, FUNCTIONS, YOU NAME IT!!
Cons NONE WHAT SO EVER(unless of course you are converting raw files with a beta version of ACR)
Summary NOISE control is awesome!! I have a hard time finding noise on any file up to ISO 800!! ISO 1600 and 3200 are very detailed and the noise is controlled very well!! The reported noise issues are false!! I have made images at ISO 3200 that are outstanding. I would compare them to ISO 1600 on the 40d!! This concern about noise is crazy talk. I think dpreview started all this hoopla'. They used a beta version of ACR to convert raw files!! Who in there right mind uses a beta version of a software to do a review that will be swallowed up by every novice photographer!! Its really sad to see CNET being so negative about a great camera like this one!! Its worth the upgrade!!
Pros Great battery life and fast motor for action shots.
Cons Mode dial is hard to read for us small text challenged people.
Summary Use in design of websites for clients who want a personable feel.