Customer Review

201 of 204 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent camera with superb picture quality at a price., 19 Feb 2009
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This review is from: Canon EOS 50D Digital SLR Camera - Body Only (Electronics)
I bought this camera almost as soon as it was released, at a very competitive price from amazon, so I have had plenty of time to get used to it, and test it fully before writing this review.

The first thing you notice is that this is not a small lightweight camera, but is a solid well built camera designed for serious use, yet despite it's size and weight it is still easy to hold and is comfortable to use, for those of you that have used the EOS 40D it has the same body shell as that, and has the advantage of using the same accessories as the EOS 40D as well.

The menu's are well laid out and easy to use making this camera easy to set up and use, the large LCD screen is bright and clear, and much higher resolution than previous EOS cameras, excellent for manual focusing in live view and checking the focus of pictures already taken.

Auto focus is lightning quick and accurate under normal conditions, and even in low light conditions it is still quick.

Cramming 15 megapixels resolution onto a small sensor causes problems with digital noise on many cameras, but not here, digital noise (graininess) is not apparent at all until you get into the highest ISO settings (ISO-100 to 3200 is available) and even then it is well controlled, there is also the option of setting a very high ISO-6400 or ISO-12800 setting but noise is apparent at such high settings and is best used in emergency only, and with it's 15mp resolution, even severely cropped or greatly enlarged pictures are crystal clear, colours are rendered accurately, even in difficult lighting conditions, when set to auto white balance, snow comes out as white snow, not bluish as on some other cameras that I have used, picture quality really is excellent, and has to be seen to be believed.

The built in flash is adequate for most situations but if you take a lot of flash photos and need a higher output flash, then one of canon's speedlight flashes can be used instead.

It is compatible with all canon EF and EFS lenses, and with canon's image stabilised lenses you get pin sharp pictures even in low light or with longer telephoto lenses. * (See below, for notes on buying lenses for this camera)

PRO's

Good all round performance.
Excellent picture quality.
High resolution with low noise.
Good low light performance.
Quick and accurate focusing and a very effective image stabilisation (with Canon's IS lenses)
Live view function.
Well built and strong with its metal body shell.
Takes the same accessories as the EOS 40D
Compatible with the latest high capacity CF cards.
Raw or Jpeg files are recorded, Raw+Jpeg simultaneous recording is also possible.

CON's

large and heavy.
Expensive.
No movie function.
No CF card supplied, so if you don't already have one, you will need to buy one before you can use it (with 15mp resolution the higher the capacity of the card the better).

In conclusion....

This is an excellent camera for the serious photographer and is a worthwhile upgrade from an older camera.
If you already own an EOS 40D then the difference in performance would not warrant the expense of an upgrade, but if you want a second body with higher resolution then this would be an ideal companion to your existing EOS 40D, as most of the functions are the same and you can use all your current accessories with it.
It would also be a good back up camera for a professional photographer, who does not want to go to the expense of a second full frame pro camera.

It is more expensive than some other "prosumer" cameras, but with the features and performance that you get, it is worth every penny.

Highly recommended.

Notes and advice on choosing lenses for this camera.

There is often confusion for people buying lenses for DSLR cameras (especially if they are new to DSLR's), as the stated focal length of a lens is not the same as the actual focal length that they will get on their camera, and most good camera shops have conversion charts to make this easier when advising their customers of the best lens to buy for their needs, but most online shops do not, hence the advice below.

Here's why........

When you buy a lens it has a stated focal length or range of focal lengths in the case of zoom lenses, (magnification) measured in millimeters, e.g. 100mm focal length.

The stated focal length on any lens is rated for 35mm film cameras and professional full frame DSLR cameras with a censor size of 35mm x 24mm, this is the standard rating for all SLR lenses.

The censor on this camera (and on most EOS DSLR cameras) is the "APS-C" sized censor with a measurement of 22.3mm x 14.9mm, this means that the effective focal length of the lens will be different to the stated focal length of any lens you buy when used with these cameras, this ammended focal length is known as the "35mm equivalent."

This is not a fault, but is a feature of all DSLR cameras, with the exception of professional full frame cameras.

To find the 35mm equivalent of any lens used, you must multiply the stated focal length of the lens, by a factor of 1.6, thus a 100mm lens will have an effective focal length of 160mm (35mm equivalent) when used with these cameras.

This is great news if you want to use telephoto lenses for wildlife etc. as you will get higher magnification from your lens, for less cost than on a full frame camera, so a 70 - 300mm zoom lens will have a 35mm equivalent of a 112 - 480mm zoom lens.

But on the other end of the scale, wide angle lenses will be less wide, and you will need to buy a more expensive wider angle lens to compensate for the difference in focal length, thus a 10 - 22mm ultra-wide angle zoom will become a very useful 16 - 35.2mm wide angle zoom.

The coversion factor for Canon cameras is x1.6 of the stated focal length, other camera manufacturers may vary, so it is best to check.

So if you are new to DSLR cameras, or are upgrading from a 35mm film camera, I hope this info will help you to make the right choice when buying extra lenses for your DSLR camera.

This review can also be seen on Ciao! under the name of Markh5682
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 Jul 2009 23:14:11 BDT
Last edited by the author on 20 Jul 2009 23:18:35 BDT
Pete Eccles says:
I really don't agree with your cons of this camera. Yes it is large and heavy as it's a semi/pro spec camera. Same reason for your comment on the expense, this camera is compared with the Nikon D300 so in comparison the 50D is extremely cheap, it's actually to cheap in my eyes. To a lot of pros like myself, the movie mode is a gimmick and I for one love it that this camera doesn't have that function. I am glad that it doesn't come with a CF card as I would like to choose this myself. I think you will find that most DSLR's do not come with cards!

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jul 2009 03:54:35 BDT
Last edited by the author on 22 Jul 2009 04:06:42 BDT
markh5682 says:
Hi Pete,
Like you I am an experienced photographer, and when I bought this camera I knew exactly what I was getting and ordered the CF card at the same time, and don't really see the the points you mentioned as cons.

But it must be remembered that not everyone who reads these reviews are pro or advanced amateur photographers, but many will be amateurs considering upgrading from an entry level DSLR or even a compact or bridge camera, often bought as a kit with everything you need to get started thrown in as standard inc. SD or CF cards.
I have seen people get quite upset when they get their camera home, only to find that they cannot use it straight out of the box like they could with their camera kit with everything thrown in.

I agree with you that things like movie mode are gimmicks, but some people, when they buy an expensive camera, expect it to have at least all the gimmicks that their other camera had.

As for Price and weight, Whilst an experienced photographer would expect this, and take it into consideration, people upgrading from a lightweight entry level model may need to be aware that it will be more expensive and a lot heavier than their current model, and in the review conclusion I also state that the camera is good value and worth every penny.

Thank you for your input, I may change the wording of Cons to reflect this.
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