Canon Eos 50D Review.
Before I start this review I think it is only fair that tell you little about myself so you can make up own minds if you are considering buying this camera. I am a very keen amateur and enjoy taking photos mainly for myself. I have been using digital cameras for some years now and started with a Kodak 1MB which I still own today. I am keen to use editing software to make my photos more appealing to the general viewer, but this is an area that I am still learning. Please remember I consider myself no expert like I find a lot Do, If you are a professional or maybe what I call a 400% pixel analyzer, you opinions maybe not the same as me. So please do not give me hard time if you don’t agree.
My reasons for upgrading are for the past 18 months a have enjoyed using my Canon 400D, I have some great photos from this camera and this made me enjoy this hobby even more. Over this time I purchased a couple of lenses which I am more than happy with for an amateur so decided I would budget up to £1000 pound for a new body. £1000 on new body for an amateur you might say? Yes I confess this was “A want” more than “A need” but I am enjoying this hobby so much I wanted to get away from using entry level DSLR. I also know that it is my skills and not my camera that will make my photos better. The cameras under consideration and my first impressions were:-
Lots of new features, only just released, higher mega pixel.
Cheaper and would leave money maybe for lenses.
Used friends, I loved the feel, great images, would need to buy new lenses.
I started my hours of online reviews including lots of magazine reading and quickly decided that even if the Nikon D300 was a great camera it was off my list due to the fact that I already own canon fit lenses, so it was down to the 40D and 50D. I liked the extra features on the 50D, the higher Vga screen would help me check my photos better, How many times I have loaded an image onto my PC which I thought was sharp only to discover it was not as happened more times than I can remember. The extra resolution would help me when I crop in Photoshop but was a little concerned about all this talk of High noise levels due 15MP being crammed onto a crop sensor. I don’t use high ISO in general but I know I would have to test this myself at the ISO levels I use most. Both cameras have live view and I remember the times when I was on the floor with my 400D trying to use the view finder, so this feature is a bonus to me also. Having played with both cameras in the shop, taken sample images and a price drop on 50D I went with the 50D over 40D. The price difference for me in the end was £200 and I was happy to pay this extra even if 50D image quality was not much different to the 40D. I am not one for major studying of pixel level detail and I liked the new menu and features of 50D. The 40D seemed old and dated to me. I also purchased the battery grip; I was using one on my 400D and loved it.
My Canon 50D
I have spent a few days playing and taking some photos and getting used to using this camera after I fitted my walkabout 18-200mm OS sigma lenses. At this stage there were a couple of things I did not like. The battery was not lasting when using Live Mode, (only about 1 hour). It was fine without live view and maybe this was due to me turning on and off all the time. With the grip fitted its heavy, I do like this as it helps me steady my shots better but I did not think I would need to take out gym membership. I fixed the battery issue by going out and buying extra batteries and I will only use the grip when I am on a long shoot. I probly could of saved buying the grip and used that to pay for the extra batteries.
I have taken photos at all ISO levels and noise reduction setting which there are four and for me the noise level issue is not a problem. As said before I never use high ISO setting and after reading the cameralab.com review it as confirmed what I have found, Up to ISO1600 the noise to me looks about the same as the 40D and the D300. Over this there is more but I will never go over ISO1600, In fact compared to 400D I have found less Noise for the same ISO setting so I am Happy. I have not tried any printing yet to review if this is a problem that will show on paper.
Canon 50D Photos
My Conclusions So Far.
Apart from the battery issue and the weight I am happy with everything so far and it seems to be doing everything that it says on the tin. I have not had a chance to go out on a shoot yet, but so far I have less out of focus images due to the VGA screen, the focusing is much faster than I am used to. Some of my photos are a little soft which could be my lenses (I know my sigma lenses is very soft at large apertures and some focal lengths) or using too much noise reduction but this I can correct in Photoshop or shoot in RAW. The Images seem to me to be the same as the 40D so if you own a 40D you may think the extra is not worth the upgrade. Comparing to Nikon D300 I think they are almost the same, maybe the D300 just has the edge. Images on the D300 are a tiny faction Sharper.
I will time permitting update this review when I have had more experience but please feel free to comment or ask questions.
See Gordon Laing more in-depth review at Cameralab.com which I found to be the more down to earth and best anywhere.