Canon EOS 50D Review


I managed to get my hands on a new production Canon EOS 50D since a few days ago and and am doing a review of this new camera as I have promised. As in my review of the Canon EOS 40D last year, I will leave the comprehensive technical review to publications like I will be mainly concentrating on the design changes compared to the 40D and new features and improvement in the 50D. I hope this review will answer most of the important questions people have been asking all over the world in different forums.

The main changes and improvement with the 50D according to Canon are:-

1.  A new 15.1-megapixel CMOS APS-C size image sensor with newly designed gapless microlenses over each pixel to reduce noise and expand sensitivity up to ISO 12800

2. DIGIC 4 image processor provides faster processing speed compared to DIGIC 3 in the 40D

3. Peripheral illumination correction, which automatically evens brightness across the image field, making an image of a blue sky even toned throughout

4. Auto Lighting Optimizer analyzes the brightness of subjects and automatically adjusts dark images so that they appear brighter

5. A new 3.0-inch Clear View LCD screen which features 920,000 dot/VGA resolution, four times the pixel count of the EOS 40D camera’s screen, for better clarity and color

6. HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) output to display crisp, clear images on a High-Definition TV

7. support UDMA cards for faster writing of image files

8. AF Microadjustment feature, originally introduced last year with the Canon EOS-1D Mark III professional digital SLR camera, has also been added to the EOS 50D for maximum control over focusing precision

All the above claimed improvements were basically copied from Canon official’s press release. Let’s see how many of these claims hold up.

External Appearances

The body of the 50D is essentially the same as the 40D. The buttons, dials and LCD are all in exactly the same position. Although a couple buttons have different or additional functions. The 2 bodies have the same measurements, but the 50D is slightly lighter at 730g (740g for the 40D). The mode dial is in silver rather than black as in the 40D. Otherwise, there is practically no difference between the 2 bodies.

The cameras looked practically from the front identical except the name tag of course.

The back of the camera looked identical too.

The top of the cameras are identical except the mode dial of the 50D is in silver instead of black.

The rubber terminal covers are obviously longer on the 50D, thanks to the addition of an HDMI terminal.

Changes in Features and Design

You can clearly see the HDMI output in addition to the other output terminals.

There are no additional buttons on the 50D. However, there are some minor changes with the buttons compared to the 40D.

The “Print” button on the left side of the viewfinder also function as the button to turn on “Live view” mode. On the 40D, Live view mode is turned on by pressing the “SET” button in the middle of the large “Quick control dial” on the right side of the LCD display.

The “JUMP” button on the 40D amongst the row of 5 buttons at the bottom of the camera has been replaced by the “FUNC” button. The FUNC button can be assigned to have different functions in the custom menu:-

1. select LCD brightness menu

2. select Image Quality menu

3. select Exposure comp/AEB setting menu

4. select Image jump menu

5. select Live view function settings menu

On the 40D, you can save 3 sets of “Camera user settings”, which can be selected by selecting C1, C2 and C3 on the black mode dial.

On the 50D, you can only save 2 sets of “Camera user settings” which correspond to C1 and C2 on the silver mode dial. The “lost” C3 position has been replaced by “CA” position on the 50D mode dial.

New LCD Display

The 50D has finally caught up with the competition and now has a 3″ LCD display with VGA resolution 640x480x3=921,600pixels. The 40D also has a 3″ LCD but only with a resolution of 320x240x3=230,400pixels.

The questions that many people have is whether the 50D LCD can be used to check sharpness and focus during image replay like in the Nikon D3 and D300. Actually, many people had the misconception that the 40D LCD has too low a resolution to check image sharpness and focus during image review. However, the real reason why the 40D could not be used to check sharpness and focus critically was not because of the LCD resolution. During image review, the 40D is only actually reviewing a very low resolution thumbnail rather than on the actually RAW or JPEG file. When you enlarge the image during review, this low resolution preview will become rather blur and cannot be used to critically assess image sharpness. However, the Nikon D3 and D300 is either previewing a very high resolution thumbnail or on the actual RAW or JPEG file (I do not know exactly which method Nikon is using, but whatever image it is using for review, it is of high enough resolution to critically assess image sharpness).

So the important question with the 50D is that if Canon has changed from previewing a very low resolution thumbnail to a high resolution thumbnail or RAW or JPEG file itself.

I have borrowed a Nikon D3 from a friend for comparison here.

The above is an image review on the 50D LCD.

The above is an image review on the Nikon D3 with a similar photo as on the Canon 50D.

Now let’s enlarge the image to maximum size and centered it around the point of focus.

It is hard to reproduced in a photo, but you can still see the image review showed fairly good sharpness. You just have to believe me that in real life, the 50D LCD can be used to check image sharpness and focus. But let’s compare it to the Nikon D3 before we move on.

The Nikon D3 can actually enlarge the image a bit more than the 50D, but whether this additional enlargement is beneficial in checking image sharpness is hard to say.

Creative Auto Shooting Mode

CA stands of Creative Auto shooting mode. It is a new auto shooting mode and the 50D is the first Canon camera with this shooting mode.

When you set the camera to “CA” mode, you will see the above display on the back LCD display. Basically you can make different settings in this menu like set the flash to auto on, always on or always off. Set different Picture Styles. Set image quality. Set single shot, continuous shooting or timer shooting modes.

The supposed innovation here is, instead of directly setting aperture  value or shutter speed, there are 2 sliders on the LCD display.

The first slider allows you to vary the blurring/sharpening of the background. This basically means, the sliders changes the aperture value and hence the depth of field.

The second slider allows you adjust the picture brightness. So it is effectively just an exposure compensation control. It will -EV(exposure value) if you shift it to the left and +EV if you shift it to the right.

In my humble opinion, this new CA shooting mode will only be of use to newbies and beginners who know very little about photography. Any advanced amateur, professional or even learner photographer who is at all serious about seriously learning photography would not really use this mode or any of the other fully auto modes.

One note of interest though, for the first time on Canon DSLR cameras, you can select RAW instead of JPEG in any of the shooting modes including all the fully auto modes. Previously, one can only shoot in JPEG format with the fully auto modes.

Auto ISO

Auto ISO on the 50D is improved over the 40D and more versatile. In most of the shooting mode, auto ISO would set ISO between 100-1600. I have tried it out for short time and it seemed to work quite well, changing ISO from 100 to 1600 depending on ambient light level.

On the 40D, auto ISO behavior changes in most shooting mode and was rather limited and worked in an awkward way. For example, In P, Av and A-DEP modes, the ISO will be set between 400-800. If overexposure would result at ISO 400, a lower ISO, as low as ISO 100 will be set. In effect, ISO 400 is the base ISO and only under very strong lighting would force the camera to shift to lower ISO.

Although, the auto ISO on the 50D is certainly an improvement over the 40d, it is still not as versatile as on Nikon DSLR.

Lens Peripheral Illumination Correction

This is a feature that provides in-camera correction for light falloff at corners of an image (or technically called vignetting). Basically all it does is increase brightness of the 4 corners to match the brightness at the center of the image. It maybe a useful feature for JPEG shooters that do not want to do post-processing on a computer. For RAW and JPEG shooters who do post-processing, vignetting is easy and quick to correct with most image manipulation software.

Anyway, if you do want to use it, it can be easily activated in the menu. I have not really bothered testing it out, but I believe it should work as advertised.

Auto Lighting Optimizer

Auto Lighting Optimizer analyzes the brightness of subjects and automatically adjusts dark images so that they appear brighter or at least that’s what Canon claimed it would do.

It can be activated in the custom menu and has 4 settings:- Standard, Low, Strong and Disable. I set it on Strong and put it to an extreme test with a scene with very high dynamic range.

The above photo was shot with Auto Lighting Optimizer off.

The above was shot with Auto Lighting Optimizer set on Strong. it can quite clearly be seen that the brightness of the shadow area has been increased and some shadow detail has been recovered.

Again, I think this feature could be useful to JPEG shooters who do not want to do any post-processing. It would be much less useful to RAW and JPEG shooters who regularly do post-processing work.

Live View

Live view on the 50D is very similar to the 40D. I will not go into details about live view here, please read for 40D review for detail description. I will only discuss new features here.

Live view on the 50D is activated by the Print button rather than the SET button (as described earlier).

In addition to one shot AF using center AF point to focus, the 50D also has Live AF mode, which uses contrast detect AF as in practically all point & shot digicam.

You can select different AF mode in the menu. There is also a Live “Face” mode, which can detect faces as in many new point and shoot digicams.

Live contrast detect AF modes are kind of slowish compared to Quick mode (one shot AF), but it works alright and the focus area can be shifted to an part of the screen.

I can also report the face detect AF works well and despite my attempts at trying the fool the camera, it still successful managed to recognize real human faces and ignore faces of stuff toys.


50D uses exactly the same autofocus system as the 40D. However, because of the faster DIGIC 4 processor, autofocus is claimed to be faster than on the 40D. (I have read from somewhere that suggested that the 50D actually has a dedicated processor for AF calculations and does not use the DIGIC 4, but I do not know if it is true or not)

Again, I will not go into details about the 50D AF performance. I could not truly detect much difference with the 40D while testing it. My opinion is that the 50D AF performance is decent and should satisfy the majority of users.

AF Microadjustment

The 50D supports AF microadjustment. This feature can be activated in the custom menu.

AF microadjustment can be either disable completely, applied same adjustment to all lenses or apply adjustment to individual lenses. There are 20 memories for storing data for 20 lenses.

I can verify the it works as advertised and can effectively adjust AF.

Continuous Shooting Performance

Canon officially quotes a 6.3fps continuous shooting performance with 90 large/fine JPEG (with a UDMA card) or 16 RAW burst.

The 40D official specs quoted a continuously shooting rate of 6.5fps. However, it has actually been tested to have only 6.3fps in real life usage. The difference is because the 50D spec is based on CIPA standard, which needed to be accurate down to the first decimal point, whereas for the 40D, the specs was conveniently rounded up to 6.5fps.

I tested the 50D with an 8GB Sandisk Extreme IV CF card. It managed to shoot 110 large/fine JPEG pics at 6.3fps before slowing down and 16 RAW before slowing down.

Test Photos ISO 100 to 12800

All the samples posted are large/fine JPEG with High ISO speed noise reduction set at 0:Standard. You can click on the photos for a full size view.

ISO 100

ISO 200

ISO 400

ISO 800

ISO 1600

ISO 3200

ISO 6400

ISO 12800

I think the 50D images are usable up to ISO 6400. ISO 6400 cleans up reasonably well after noise reduction on a computer. ISO 12800 has too much color noise and also exhibits quite noticeable vertical banding even at reduced web size. ISO 12800 is probably only really for emergency use, and has too much noise for any serious usage.

High ISO Test

According to Chuck Westfall, Technical Advisor at Canon USA, the 50D can be expected to have noise levels to be roughly 1 to 1.5 stops better in the high ISO range compared to the 40D, despite a having a sensor with 50% resolution increase. A lot of people are interested as to know whether this promise would hold up. I am going to post some 100% crop comparing the 50D to 40D at high ISO and also another comparison to the current high ISO king, the Nikon D3.

High ISO 100% Crops 50D vs 40D

In the following crops from ISO 1600, 50D are on the left and 40D on the right. I have taken 40D RAW at -1 and -2EV and then corrected the exposure in Canon Digital Photo Professional to simulate ISO 6400 and ISO 12800 on the 40D for comparison purpose.

ISO 1600


ISO 6400

ISO 12800

From ISO 1600 to 3200, I really cannot see too much difference between the noise level between the 50D and 40D. Although at ISO 6400 and 12800, the 50D did pull ahead of the 40D simulated high ISO.

However, the 50D has 50% more pixels than the 40D. Now if we up-res the 40D files to 50D resolution, would the 50D begin to show an advantage or not? Let’s find out.

The following crops were made with 100% crops from 50D and 100% crops from 40D files up-res to 50D resolution.

ISO 1600

ISO 3200

ISO 6400

ISO 12800

Again, I can’t really see much difference in noise level between the 2 cameras at ISO 1600 and 3200. Although, the 50D crops seemed to showed more details. At ISO 6400 and 12800, the 50D again showed less noise compared to the 40D, but paradoxically, the 40D crops seemed to be sharper and showed a little bit more detail.

50D vs D3 high ISO 100% Crops Comparison

Just so that I won’t have more people commented that I should not compare the 50D to D3 and I should have compared it with the D300 or D90, I will include a reply that I have made to someone here:-

As I have pointed out in the review, I knew the Nikon D3 is not really a direct competitor to the 50D. However, since Canon claimed such major advances with high ISO performance (1 to 1.5 stops improvement at high ISO as claimed by Chuck Westfall, that should make it pretty close to D3 performance if the claim held up), I thought it would only be “fair” to compare it against the current “gold standard” in high ISO performance, the Nikon D3.

Plus the fact that I don’t have any close friends who own the D300 and lend it to me for testing. Otherwise, I may have compared it with the 50D too.”

I am just going to compare 100% crops from 50D and 100% crops from D3 files up-res to 50D resolution. 50D crops are on the left and D3 crops on the right.

ISO 1600

ISO 3200

ISO 6400

ISO 12800

It is quite clear that the D3 showed less noise than the 50D at all ISO from 1600 to 3200 and the D3 also retained more detail as well.

Perhaps this was not a fair comparison as the D3 is at more than 3 times the price of the 50D. However, the 50D sensor does have more pixel resolution than the D3 and Canon also claimed major advance in noise level with the 50D. So I think it was interesting to compare the 2 cameras nevertheless. Anyway, the results speaks for themselves.


The Canon 50D has a sRAW1 mode than shoots RAW files at half the size (7.1MP) of the full resolution RAW files. There has been rumours around the net that Canon may have pixel binning technology that would produce sRAW files with lower image noise. Well, I don’t know Canon has put this technology into the 50D, but let’s see if sRAW does indeed perform better than full resolution RAW.

The first pic below is a full resolution 50D JPEG file down-res to sRAW1 resolution. The second pic is a native sRAW1 file at 7.1MP. Both were shoot at ISO 3200. You can click on the files themselves for a full size version view. See both of them at full size and compare the noise the details.

On the full size images, the native sRAW1 file clearly showed more detail and has a little less noise. I think sRAW1 mode can be a useful mode for shooting under low lighting and high ISO if you can live with the 7.1MP resolution.


Instead of the usual 18 months product cycle, Canon has chosen to release the 50D only 1 year after the 40D. This was probably due to the intense competition from other DSLR makers like Nikon and Sony. The question is of course whether the 50D is a worthwhile upgrade.

If you are still using a 20D, 30D, then I am sure the 50D wold be a very nice upgrade. If you are an xxxD user (350D, 400D and 450D etc), it is certainly a nice upgrade too.

However, the tricky question is of course whether it is a worthwhile upgrade over the 40D. The 50D basically shares the same body with the 40D. There is no difference in build quality. The 50D gives you 50% more sensor resolution than the 40D. It has a better LCD display, which can be used to critically check image sharpness and focus. It also has other new useful features like AF microadjustment, and those who have been haunted by back-focus lenses would certainly welcome this feature. The 50D does bring a usable ISO 6400 mode, but I failed to see much improvement in noise level from ISO 1600 to 3200.

If you are a birder or other types of photographer who need the increase resolution, the 50D will be a good upgrade. If you have also been haunted by back-focus lenses, the 50D should also help you out. It is overall a nice camera and I don’t think most poeple would be disappointed with getting the 50D. However, the only caveat is that, do not expect the 50D to show any real improvement in high ISO performance compared to the 40D and the competition.


263 thoughts on “Canon EOS 50D Review

  1. Great review!

    One spot I noticed with a misspelled word:
    “Perhaps this was not a fair comparison as the D3 is at more than 3 times the price of the 50D. However, the 50D sensor does have more pixel resolution than the D3 and Canon also claimed major advance in noise level with the 50D. So I think it was intersting to comapre the 2 cameras nevertheless. Anyway, the results speaks for themselves.”

    comapre needs to be compare.


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  3. Thank you for this really interesting review. Due the results showed in comparison with the 40D, I’m agree with your conclusion about the updagrade convenience.

  4. Something that im a little bit fed up with is how everyone seems to only care about the ISO.

    I know the camera hasnt been out for long but someone must have tried things like how fast and how secure the AF is.

    Maybe im selfish because thats what im trying to find out.

  5. Thanks for the very good review.

    From your test iamges I would say 50D produces similar level of noise as 40D with 50% more pixel, and this is real improvement on high ISO performance.

    On whether one should upgrade from 40D, it depends on if you need the extra pixel or not. If you do, then 50D is for you. If not, you get the same ISO performance with your 40D (but with less pixels).

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  7. To properly compare the 50D and 40D iso performance as probably intended by Canon you should most likely have DOWNSAMPLED the 50D output to match the 40D rather than UPSAMPLING the 40D to match the 40D. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’d manage to see the noise improvement Canon claims once you do that.

  8. Very helpful and comprehensive review, answering most of my questions about whether to upgrade from my 20D to a 40D or to a 50D. I do need low light capability often, as I shoot dogs in motion, indoors in very poor light. But even so, the noise reduction at ISO 3200 is very close between the two cameras – and I can’t be so sure that 6400 (which I do need occasionally) would be noticeable for small prints and web displays.

    I’ve saved the link to your review, and wil go over the review again, probably more than once.

    Many thanks for all this excellent work!!

    Bill Hansen

  9. Excellent reivew and compares between 50D and 40D and I agree it was worth doing a compare with the D3. This was the best compares I have seen so far. ISO performance is actually important to me for the type of shoots I am doing. One item I have been hearing and have not seen anyone attempt to do some compares on the claim is that the 1 1/2 stop improvement had to do with the NR processing in the camera and had nothing to do with the RAW files. I am not sure if this is really true or not, but I would be interested in seeing some compares with the NR processing and comparing the JPG. The sense I got was that with the 15.1 Pixel, the 50D has more Pixel to work with and had the ability to provide more details as compare to the 40D… It would be nice if someone can either prove this claim is true or demonstrate that it not…

  10. My compliments. I think you’ve done a very good job that will be helpful to many!
    My only question is how you produced the sample jpegs. Are these raw-captures processed in ACR, or did you use DPP? My findings indicate that the noise performance is radically improved with the DPP software with NR applied. I found it hard to get similar results with ACR and third party NR sw.
    Perhaps you should include samples and findings from out of camera jpegs with NR on?


  11. Quick question. When using the AF microadjustment, does the 50D automatically detect your lens and switch to the to the adjustment you stored in memory.

    Or do you have to manually recall the adjustment for each lens when you swap lenes?

  12. Very informative…

    But why won’t you go into further detail about the 50D’s AF? I really would like to know how AI Servo performs (in comparison to the 40D’s AI Servo).

  13. Excellent review. This is exactly what I was looking for — a side by side comparison with the 40D. I would however like to see a comparison between the two cameras regarding resolving power.

    Is there any chance you could show a side-by-side (40D vs 50D) comparison with regards to resolving finely-detailed images at a lower ISO? Maybe ISO 200 or even 100?


  14. Good Job!

    I’d really like to see a comparson of noise with the D300, since they are the real competitors, but the cost to switch to Nikon is too high for me. Mostly, I don’t like buying the Nikon software and paying for upgrades every 2 years. I shoot in a studio in tethered mode and use live view a lot.

    I had sold my 40D a couple of months ago, using a backup XTi. Yesterday, I found a almost new 40D for a lot less than I sold mine for, and went ahead and bought it. At less than half the price of a new 50D, I couldn’t justify passing it up.

    I cancelled my 50D order. I still have a 5D MK II on order, so I will probably keep both.


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  16. Illuminating review regarding ISO performance. Its too bad Canon did not place more substance in this 50D “upgrade”. It is merely an incremental improvement at best. I will not buy since i already have the 40D.

  17. Very informativ review! Well performed in every way.

    But I dont get your conclusions about sRAW1 from your examples. I think the sRAW1 example has more noise than the full size picture. Most visible in the dark areas. Maybe you didnt post the right pictures?

  18. Sweet review. Sure the D3 is better at ISO-grain and noise but you could also own 3 50D’s for the price of a single D3. Not really competitors but at least you were aware of this point in your review.

    I’m a Canon guy, but the best thing for consumers to have competition. And now that Nikon is picking up the slack (after falling behind a bit the past 5 years or so) is great! It keeps Canon on their toes and keeps prices low and everybody benefits, except those fanboys.

    How about that new 5D MKII? I assume you’ve all seen the “Reverie” video shot with it’s 1080p HDvideo and Canon lenses!

  19. hi there folks, ive been reading all the information i can about the new 50D, specially since my frist DSLR its the Canon XTi and i want to upgrade now….

    what to buy? 50D? or go for a 40D with another lense maybe? I have a Sigma 17-70 and a Canon 50mm 1.4…

    Im also reading lots of stuff about difraction limits specially on the new canon cameras, so im really lost between the 40D and the 50D, wich one to choose? they are almost 500 $ apart now….

    and im worried about the 15 mp of the 50D, seems that canon is in the megapixel bandwagon now… perhaps a 50D with just 12mp would be a dream…..

    also i wonder why they did not added video capabilities to the 50D even if it was standard resolution, and also, will it be possible to add that with a firmware update? or some special hardware is needed for that?

    what worries me most about the 50D its the difraction limit, cause L lenses are way to expensive for me now, and i dont want to invest 1500$ on a 50D if i would not be able to use all that resolution and also if the main diferenses between 50D and 40D are that slim….

    im eager to hear about your recomendations on my thougths…

  20. Very interesting. I think I will stay with my 40D for now. I don’t think the extra pixel is necessary for me. I would have liked to have seen more photo quality comparisons of normal shots between the two cameras.

  21. Terrific review! Very informative and good use of comparison with the D3.

    I would like to know how the 50D does with diffraction at high f-stops. Some say that you shouldn’t shoot higher than f 8.0 to avoid halo’s around your subject.

    I shoot landscapes and like to use f 11 or ideally f 16-18.


  22. Bien por la comparación de las dos cámaras de segmento medio o sea la 40D y la 50D .
    Yo creo que se pusierón un poco más las pilas la gente de Canon , estaban un poco quedados , tan quedados se quedarón que se hicierón alcanzar con Nikon , en todo sentido . Como usuario de Canon , espero que Canon en su futura Canon 60D , haga valer una brecha importante de novedades , y no dejarnos primeriar con la competencia( Nikon) , que sin lugar a dudas quiere tomar la delantera de nuevo o sea señores , quiere ser de nuevo la N° 1 , y eso Canon no tiene que dejar que pase , por eso hay que dar el primer golpe , porque el que pega primero pega dos veces .


  23. Great review, and having played with my new 50D for a couple of hours I agree with your conclusions. It has been a great upgrade from my 30D with one exception, I really don’t notice that much difference so far on the AF front. Infact I’m a little surprised at the results thus far with my 70-200 F/4L and 24-105 F4/L. I was just expecting them to seem sharper than they are at 100%, I have messed with the AF correction and it doesn’t appear to help the situation leading me to believe it is just ‘how it is’ at 100% view. Sure enough as soon as I scale them down they look great, just a little disappointed with 100%.

    I look forward to giving the camera a proper test in the coming days and see if it’s just the user expecting more from all those $$$ spent 🙂

    I think from my 30D the one feature that stands out the most has to be the new screen, stunningly clear and finally I can check focus in camera. And the updated menu system is a dream to navigate.

    Thanks again,

  24. Thanks for the overwhelming response! I’ll start answer some questions today. I hope I won’t missed out any. Also thanks to all those who have pointed out the numerous typos.

    But before I answer the questions, just a little background info. I bought this camera as a present to my father I knew he wanted the 50D. I had the camera for 3 days with me before I gave it to him and I did as much testing as I could within those time. So the review might be as extensive some might have wished. As I don’t have the camera with me anymore, I won’t be able to do further testing at the moment, but if I gathered enough request on certain subject to test, I might borrow the camera back from my father and do some further testing.

    Hi Alessandro,

    I will do another high ISO comparison between the 50D & 40D with down sample 50D files to match the 40D resolution this time. I’ll add them to the review when it’s done.

    Hi Vidar,

    I have shot samples with NR on low and strong. I wanted to put the review up soon, as I had quite a few request to get the review up as soon as possible. I will add the section in later to compare different NR settings.

    Hi Mike,

    Yes, as far as I could see the 50D recognized and remember all the different lenses I have put on it, including 3rd party Sigma lenses.

    Hi Daan B,

    There are some people who are not too happy with the 40D AI servo performance. I am not one of them. Perhaps I don’t shoot enough fast action subject to notice the problem. When I tested out the 40D last year, I did test out the AF servo and did not find much problem with it. As I only had the camera for 3 days and could only do testing on a limited number of topics. I chose not to do a comprehensive testing on AI servo performance. I have done informal AI servo test on the 50D though, but couldn’t find much problem with it.

    Hi Alan,

    Low ISO comparison with the 40D will have to wait till I borrow the camera back from my father.

    Hi ED,

    I didn’t do a comparison with D300 because I don’t have any close friends who own it and can lend to me for testing.

    Hi Veljo,

    The 40D is already much better at dust resistance compared to the 30D and 20D and I believe the 50D could only be better.

    Hi Rhane,

    I have 2 Canon EOS 5D Mark II on order, one for myself and another for a friend. So I will definitely test it out as soon as it is released and I can my my hands on one.

    Hi neildomingues,

    As I have pointed out in the review, I knew the Nikon D3 is not really a direct competitor to the 50D. However, since Canon claimed such major advances with high ISO performance, I thought it would only be “fair” to compare it against the current “gold standard” in high ISO performance, the Nikon D3.

    Hi tetsu,

    I doubt if canon would add video mode to the 50D with a firmware upgrade as the 50D lacks a mic and audio circuit, so even if you can shoot video, you will not get any sound. I guess you will have to wait for the 60D. At the current rate Canon is pushing out new cameras, you can probably get the 60D in Sept 2009 😉

  25. Your last two samples may have been reversed. Your text reads that the first image is 15mp shrunk to 7mp. then you conclusion reads that the native 7mp (the second one) “clearly shows more detail” But upon examination, the first image clearly shows more detail.

    So the question is, was your text wrong or did you get the two confused during your analysis?

  26. Hi Roland,

    Great review. Last year, I also read your 40D review which is excellent as well.

    If it is possible, could you compare this one with D300 and D90 if you get the chance? Especially the high ISO qualities.

    Also looking forward reading your 5D2 review (if you do it).


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  28. Either you got your hands on a bad 50D or I got my hands on a good one. Previously I had a 40D and did comparisons with my 1D MKIII at ISO 3200, and the 40D didn’t compare to the 1Ds MKIII. Yesterday, I did the same comparison with the 1D MKIII and the 50D at ISO 3200. Even though the 50D images were 50% bigger than the 1D MKIII images at 100%, the 50D images were clearly the winner at noise at ISO 3200. Maybe you should try another 50D, your’s is prolly pre production.

  29. Good morning,
    thank for the great review, but the tests more appropriate comparison would be for the Nikon D90. The Nikon D3 is too higher cost for a comparison to peers. OK test with the Canon D40

  30. I’ve now gone and borrowed my buddy’s 40D, just to make the comparison after reading your review. All I can say is shame on you. My comparison showed that the 50D blows the 40D out of the water and I did all my tests with raw files. Are you working for Nikon?

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  32. Great review. Very insightful and informative. The 50d does seem promising and the value is excellent. Hopefully, it and the 5D mk2 will not end up like some of the current 1D-series bodies that have been plaqued with issues. Having the D3 and the D700, I have to congratulate Nikon for providing some of the photographers a chance to go where they have never been before (especially in low-lighting areas). What Nikon have achieved is equally impressive as what Apple have done with the iPhone. I’m not a brand loyalist, but appreciate the cameras (any cameras) as tools, an extension of the mind and hand.

    I am looking forward to heading back to Canon camp for 2009. People are wondering what happened to the Canon Jedi. Let’s just say, he went to the dark side, but have returned…

  33. Hi Lorenzo,

    I have already said more than once why I chose to compare the 50D with Nikon D3 and I won’t repeat it again here. Perhaps you should have read my review and my subsequent answer in the follow up comments more clearly first.

    Hi Gil,

    Well, if your copy of 50D is much better than the one I tested and blew the 40D away, then congratulation to you!

    The copy I tested is definitely NOT a pre-production copy. I bought it like everyone else from a camera shop, and if it was a bad copy and not typical of other 50D, then it should be shame on Canon, not me. I have long been a Canon user and all my DSLRs and lenses are Canon. You should know your facts before you make childish and “fanboy” accusation like “are you working for Nikon”.

    If anyone really want Canon to do well with their cameras, I am certainly one my them. I really wished the copy of 50D I tested would blew the 40D or even the D3 away, but unfortunately it did not. So if my honest findings had upset you, then be it. I have been accused of many things before, but it’s the first time someone accused me of “working for Nikon”. I just don’t understand how some people can just be so rude on the net.

    • Roland Lim

      I am looking at the Canon 40d and 50d if they were close to the same money what would you get? I also do astrophotography but do not want to change the filter

      • Hi Doug,

        The 40D is probably discontinued in most countries by now. Of course some shops may still carry some old unsold stock of 40D. If you can find one, then obviously, it should be significantly cheaper than the 50D.

        However, 50D has been launched for over 1/2 year now and the prices would have dropped in most countries. Canon seemed to have gone to a one year product cycle for the xxD series and a new 60D may well be coming in 2 to 3 months time.

        Personally of course if the 40D and 50D prices are very close, then I would of course choose the 50D, but that scenario is highly unlikely.

  34. Hi thanks for having reviewed the 50D.

    About auto iso, does it work on manual mode ?? If not it’s pretty useless IMO.

    You’d better have shooted at a fixed shutter speed (say 1/125s) and fixed aperture and raise iso setting because less than 1/50s exposure time are too long and don’t reflect practical use of a camera (such low shutter speeds are prone to motion blur) and won’t show the amount of noise you can expect in dim light situations.

  35. Thank you for the review!

    One question. Is the downsized image that was used the same as the 3200 image furter up?

    Just can’t get over how much better the sRAW1 one looks compared to the downsized one. Might it be because of the orignal for the downsize was a JPG??

    Would it be possible to redo it using a RAW for the downsize original instead of a JPG??? Using same RAW conversion settings?

  36. Roland,

    When using the AF microadjustment, does the 50D automatically detect your lens and switch to the to
    the adjustment you stored in memory.

    Or do you have to manually recall the adjustment
    for each lens when you swap lenes?

  37. Many thanks for the time and trouble you went to in compiling this well thought out review. It’s been a big help to me and doubtless many others.


  38. Dope review! I think I might save some money and get a 40D instead. Seems there is not that much improvement and the additional features are things that I am not too interested. Kudos homie!

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  40. A very interesting review. I would like to add some personal experience. I own a 40D and borrowed a 50D for a couple of hours. Being a hobbyist, my interest was in seeing how good the 50D IQ is compared to 40D on “normal shots”, meaning the 80% shots that do not require hig ISO, or super-fast fps, or tricky AF. My verdict (others may differ) is the same as yours. 50D IQ is clearly better than 40D’s. Enough to justify upgrading? I am not sure. For some, maybe, for others, maybe not.

  41. Thanks for an intelligent report on the 50d. I have searched the net for information like this before I upgrade from my 20d. Of course there’s lots more I would like to see and hear about before I spend my hard earned savings. I will bookmark your page and hope to see more good things like this.

  42. First of, Roland, thanks! You put some serious heat on a review even just havin used the camera in less than 72 hrs. Great job!

    Ok guys, everyone has their opinions of what they own and what they wish they can have but can’t because they are stuck with a recent purchase of a 40D (like me. lol). Some may just feel that the 50D does not employ enough improvements to switch from 40D. Honestly, I felt screwed, deliberating for a whole year from my 30D to 40D. I jumped, only to find out 2 months later a 50D is on the horizon. Ouch! I know it may not be a big deal, but, its like buying a car and 2 months later a new one comes out with the same body but with a different emblem model. (Sh.t mines only got 1000 miles but is already the old model)

    However, I am in acceptance and ready to move on with just one question and this maybe an amateur Q but I am an amateur but love photgraphy & Canon… Plain & Simple: Screw the features – Is the 50D gonna give sharper pics & colors than my 40D overall (I use only L lenses)? If it is, I don’t mind stepping up. If the difference is less than 10% then I’ll stay with my 40 and add the 5Daddy2.

    PS. Yikes! Where did they dig up a chrome mode dial?

  43. Thank you very much for the excellent review.
    I am the birder and currently using 40D.
    Since I need the pixels then 50D is the replacement.
    I will buy it in near future.

  44. Awesome review, Roland,

    I’m one of those who bought a 40d, my first digital SLR (I’m a late adopter) right after it came out, after decades of many decades of shooting film. It was right before my trip to Africa, and it transformed my photography from the previous trip a year earlier in which I went through just under 50 rolls of film.

    So, I have absolutely no regrets over getting my 40d, but I was surprised over the quick upgrade to the 50d.

    I’m doing a debate with myself wr to upgrading, but the lens adjustment feature and the LCD are two big drivers for me. The extra pixels less so. I’ve been disappointed with the 40d’s screen and find it mostly useful for composition, and I’ll now able to check focusing. Unlike others, I find the auto focusing pretty amazing, even in low light, esp. compared to my old EOS 3’s. In my experience (shooting birds in flight and the Blue Angels) and verified by many others (Check out Arthur Morris’ Birds as Art wonderful website) for hi-speed action shots, the center focus point is best to use. I would like more focus points, but mostly for portraiture.

    Thanks again,


  45. You never answer my question above and reading Gil observation, I am wondering when Gil test his compares between the 1dmkIII and 50D, was he comparing the RAW or the JPG files that had NR processed???

  46. Hi Bill,

    Actually although not directly addressed to you, I already said in comment 34 above that I have shot samples with NR on low and strong as well and I will do another test comparing shots at different NR settings. Perhaps the results will answer your question.

    As to Gil’s, I guess only Gil would know.

  47. Thanks for this review!

    Regarding noise improvement, I think, if you take sraw mode into consideration, than you have your 1-1.5 stops advantage. For me that is good news, as I am totally satisfied with the 8 MP of my 30D… 😉

  48. Thanks for great review!

    Got my 50D 27th Sept and my experience so far correspond with yours when i comes to high ISO.
    I have done some low ISO testing myself, comparing the resolution at 100 ISO between 50D, 40D and 5D. You might find it interesting to take a look at my test images; – click NEWS on the top menu.
    I think we got a great camera here, both in resolution, noise and overall IQ at low and medium ISO.

  49. Hi there,

    My name is Trevor…and looking at your site…I’m quite impressed….in fact a bit more…especially with the Food&Drink page.I am into photography,but unfortunately not the quite resources to get my hands on a good DSLR Camera.Could you please recommend a good and reasonable one for me….

    PS-I’ve added you to my Blogroll….hope to see you at my place.


  50. Hi Trevor,

    Thanks! What is your budget for getting a DSLR + lens? What kind of photography would you be doing mainly? Need to know at least this much to make any recommendation for you.

  51. Will the lack of a video mode be the deal breaker here? Nikon’s 90D has 720p video. Will Canon come out with a 50DMkII or 60D in less than one year to square with the competition. They already have the technology in the 5DMkII.

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  61. Right now I have my first digital SLR (A Canon XT (350D)) and was getting ready to upgrade. Your review is great and I will probably be getting a 50D soon. Again thanks for the review.

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  63. Two Thoughts…

    1. Not sure that the pushing of -1 and -2 ev and then correcting in DPP or something else is a valid comparison of the ISO between the 50 and 40… I think a more valid comparison would have been to put the 50D at say 1600 and then put it side by side w/ the 40D at 800 – that would be a valid 1 stop comparison… Or do a similar 3200 on the 50D and a side by side with a 1600 and 800 from the 40D to get both 1 and 2 stops of comparison.

    2. As for the display comparison – I think it might have been interesting to see if you can take a pic (jpg) from one of the cameras, load on a CF card, and then display that same image in the other camera. There is just too much other stuff that is different between the two images. The DoF on the Nikon image is very much shorter than the DoF on the Canon…

    – Will

  64. Hi Winnie,

    Whether the lack of video in the 50D is a deal breaker really depends on how much one really wants to shoot video. Video is a nice feature to have, but how not everyone want or need video feature in a DSLR. But I guess due to marketing pressure, video will sooner or later become a standard feature in all new DSLR.

    Hi Denis,

    Those boxes are different variety of Chinese tea of course. Mostly Oolong tea.

    Hi Will,

    You missed the point. Afterall, ISO 6400 and 12800 are not real ISO on the 50D anyway. They are effective just ISO 3200 under-exposed by 1 and 2 stops and then pushed by +1 and +2 EV in camera. These “expanded” are good for jpeg shooters. RAW shooters can always achieve the same effect during RAW conversion.

    So my test was to see whether these expanded ISO were really better than on the 40D.

  65. Thanks for the excellent review. It does leave unanswered a question that’s important to me, though. The Canon site says that the 50D has exposure compensation of +/- three stops; but the screen shots on DP Review show only two stops. I realize that DPR had a pre-production model; so I’m curious as to the validity of Canon’s site. Since I take many shots for HDR and have sometimes been frustrated by not being able to bracket more broadly, this is important to me.

    Thanks again,

  66. Thanks for a great and informative review!

    Your high-iso tests finally did it for me, and I went down and picked up my 50D today.

    I wanted to compare the 50D to my old 400D, so I did some tests, and have written a small comparison between the 400D and 50D, with regards to high-iso performance. Hopefully some will find it useful, when considering upgrading from xxxD to the 50D.

  67. Roland,

    Thanks for your effert!
    Don’t let the people who complain bug you, some will always find fault, if they can do better, let them!

    I have the 40D and a bit peeved that it’s replacment came so soon, but other than the very nice Lcd, and the microw adjustment, I don’t see to much to envie.

    My impression is that other than for heavy cropping, the extra resolution really does not translate to much and one will need to see if defraction becomes a real issue at smaller apatures?

    Looking forward to your review of the 5D Mark II. It seems that FF gives more detail even with less Mp as the 50D vs D3 sems to show.

    Right now other than the almost usless small jpeg Canon gives for reviewing images(Why can’t they give us a firmware update to fix this?) I am very happy with my 40D and I think if it lives up to it’s billing for image quality and I can swing the cost the 5D Mark II would give me the best of both worlds!


  68. Thanks Roland,

    As you have heard so many times before, this is a great review and the best I have found thus far. Your review has been very informative allowing me to confirm my previous suspicion that the Canon 50D is the camera I should be purchasing.

    Although it is my first DSLR camera, I have always loved shooting photography as a hobby and have been looking at DSLRs for a long time. A lot of this I do not understand so I have two main questions for you:

    1. What site or sites would you recommend for purchasing a new Canon? (with discounts??)

    As you have purchased quite a few, I would imagine you might have a suggestion, and I thank you in advance.

    2. What would you recommend for photography courses or possibly just an informative internet site?

    I have seen lots about courses offered from the New York Institute of Photography, and I was just curious about your opinion or suggestions. Thank you again!

    Mitchell Geisler

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  71. Hi Roland,

    When you did the preview comparison with the D3 to see whether the 50D did preview a high resolution embeded jpeg did you use:
    1. RAW file
    2. RAW + Jpeg fine
    3. Jpeg

    Thanks for your clarification

  72. Your D3 has a hot pixel. Ouch. I’ve heard that’s a problem.

    D3 crushes the 40D & 50D at noise, but you can also make out far more detail. Impressive.

    If you look at the green background of the ISO1600 40D shots, they show more detail than the 50D shots!

    I hate noise, so I’m sticking with my 40D. An upgrade would be the D700, not the 50D.

  73. Hi Mitchell,

    I live in Hong Kong and buy all my cameras and lenses here. So I can only recommend shops in Hong Kong. I am afraid I won’t be able to offer you any real advice for shopping in US (I assume you are from US, sorry if I am wrong), other than to say it would probably be best to shop from well established camera shops or large retailers like Amazon, Best Buy or B&H. If the price sound too good, it most likely is too good to be true. There are many scammers based in in Brooklyn who practice the “switch & bait” technique. they usually advertise at much lower than normal price, say $800, when everyone else are selling at around $1,300. If you were to come to Hong Kong and shop, then you can read my article on shopping for cameras in Hong Kong:-

    As for photography course and web sites to learn photography. Some people benefit more from joining classes than others. Some can learn quite well from reading books and learning from photographic web-sties. Others may prefer joining a class to learn. It’s all a matter of preference. But the most important things is to practice the techniques in real life. The following is a list of sites you can start with:-

    Or you can go to a book store and buy some books on learning basic photographic techniques like composition, lighting, color and post-processing. The first 3 + post-processing are the basic backbone to digital photography IMHO.

    Hi Andes,

    All the photos were shot in RAW+JPEG mode.

    Hi MJJ,

    That’s not my D3 fortunately. But I’ll pass the message to my friend who owns the D3. he probably won’t be too pleased ;P

  74. Thanks for the excellent review. I especailly like the comparison of noise levels. As high ISO performance improves it allows a wider range of photography. Indoor sports, theatre or performances come to mind. These kinds of comparisons are not moot. I can take my 5D places the 40D can’t even dream of going.

    has an excellent discussion of image quality, mega-pixels and noise which your review fits exactly. I wouldn’t expect too many improvements in the future. I expect a 5D RAW processed with the latest software to be only slightly more noisy than the 5D Mark II.

    The biggest disappointment is that the only two things I consider worth upgrading for – Auto-ISO and RAW with the Basic modes – can both easily be done with a simple software upgrade to my 40D.

  75. Good Review on both 50D can 40D DSLR.

    I have a request for you whether you can post some people or landscape pictures taking by 50D? I really want to see the quality between 50 and 40D!

    Thank you

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  77. Hi!

    Did you use a RAW only or RAW+JPEG Foto for checkung sharpness of the 50D Display?
    As I can see, you used RAW+FINE on the Nikon…

    On Canon DSLRs (I tested it with a 30D and 1D Mark III) you had better sharpness on display preview when you shoot RAW+JPEG than RAW only.

  78. An excellent review of the new Canon body… I think the test with the D3 is a little off just because you can see the screen in the background which seems like a depth of field issue not really an image quality issue, but other than that, looks super.

    I have the D300 and the D700 and the noise quality of the D700 far outweighs the D300, so I think this Canon body would probably kill the D300 as far as noise goes. The D700 can shoot ISO-3200 all day with little noise but I haven’t really even tried ISO-6400 yet, just seems so far out there for someone who use to shoot velvia 50 🙂

    Nice review.

  79. Hi Darren,

    I’ll try and borrow the 50D back from my father and do some landscape shots later.

    Hi Mark,

    I tested the 50D shooting in RAW+large/fine JPEG.

    Hi Scott,

    The point was that I was focusing on the plant in front and not the background, so the depth of field should not really matter. I was trying to show sharpness of the plant, not the background.

  80. Thanks for a great review. I’ve been starting my photography hobby with Canon 350D and now have ordered the 50D :). Was thinking about 40D a while back but then opted to wait for the 50D I knew was around the corner and it came out sooner than I expected. Now I see many points that justify the upgrade.

  81. please don’t compare this 50d to Nikon d700 or out of mind comparing to d3, please compare to d300,
    40 d sitting between d80 and d300 at price tag, so this new 50d is fair enough to compete with d300, even d300 still more expensive camera than 50d,

  82. Hi sadar,

    I have explained more than once why I made the comparison between the 50D and the D3. I have even included my reasons in the main article. You don’t have to agree with me, but at least make sure you have read what I wrote and understand my reasons before asking me not to compare the 50D with D3. I have done it already, I have my reasons. I respect those who don’t agree with me. But I have published it already and I am not going to remove it. I don’t have the D300 and do not know anyone who can lend it to me either. So these are the facts. Just get over it please!

  83. Hi, a very good review, congratulations !
    Still, I have a question: had just made up my mind and go for a 40D as Canon announced the 50D. I have to buy the lenses too… So, my big problem is no: should I go for the 50D or do I stay with the 40D as my first choice?
    It would not effect my choice of lenses, only I would have to save a little longer to get them all…
    What’s your advice Roland???

  84. Hi 40going50,

    I need to ask you a few questions first before I can make any suggestion.

    1. What is your present budget?
    2. What lenses are you planning to get?
    3. What kind of photography are you planning on doing?

  85. Hi Roland,
    The lenses I’m planning are: 70-200 f2.8 L IS + Extender 1.4; 24-70 f2.8 L or 17-55 f2.8 IS and perhaps the 10-22.
    Budget is around 4.000 Euro’s.
    My photography is various:
    1/ Sports (mostly outdoors – cross/bycicle races – You know Flanders/Belgium is known for that 🙂 )
    2/ Portraits & events
    3/ Concert photography
    (in that order)
    During holidays also some landscapes/city monuments and fam. pictures (like everybody I suppose)

  86. Hi, Roland-

    Loved your review–thank you! I used to be a serious amatuer film photographer with a couple of A-1 & AE-1s. Finally decided to come out of the dark ages and get a DSLR. I think I’ll be getting the 50D. Budget is $1500-2000 USD.

    I’ll be shooting airplanes (I’m an airline pilot), horses & horse shows (I own 2, and show a lot), wildlife, flowers (I grow orchids) and probably people. Which lens or combination of lenses might you recommend as a start for someone getting back into photography, and who has a limited amount of knowledge about DSLRs?

    Thanks for your help and insight–and it’s OK that you don’t know someone with whatever that Nikon is–I don’t know anyone who owns a P-51 any more, so I never get to fly them these days! 🙂

    Just curious, how much would the camera be in Hong Kong? I could fly over to do my shopping!


  87. Interesting review and comments.

    I just upgraded from a 40D to a 50D, and I find I like the Digic IV interface and “gut feel” of the 50D a lot better than the 40D, although until laboratory tests are conducted I don’t think any of us will know the true differences in image quality.

    Advantages of the 50D over the 40D:

    – Better LCD resolution
    – Firmer grip
    – Better user interface (Digic IV)
    – Peripheral correction (automatically adjusts JPEGs for particular lenses)
    – Better live view (useful for me in cramped situations where I need to manually focus)
    – Bigger viewfinder eyepiece
    – Higher (Cough, Cough) Megapixels

    But I’m flirting with the idea of buying a 5d Mark ii when it comes out next month.

    To answer your questions to 40going50 as they apply to me:

    1. Almost unlimited. That is not to say it should not be used wisely.

    2. I already own one L (70-200/4L), two EF-S (17-55/2.8 IS and 60/2.8 macro), and one Tokina (EF-S-like 11-16 mm) lens. I’ve considered the 17-40/4L, 16-35/2.8L, and 24-70/2.8L, but if I were to own a full-frame camera like the 5d ii, the 16-35/2.8L would be my first pick on the wide range.

    3. Indoor low-light photography (parties, family gatherings, children playing, etc.), indoor macro photography (e.g. auction website photos), pet photography (dogs, cats, snakes, etc.), and indoor wide-angle photography (e.g. real estate). Right now I have a 50D and 17-55/2.8 EF-S lens, a Tokina 11-16mm to fill in the ultrawide, and a 70-200/4L to fill in the tele, and finally EF-S 60/2.8 for macro. I’m probably fine with this setup and shouldn’t worry about APS-C vs FF for low-light shots, but I wonder, and with the promise of HD movie mode on the 5d is tempting (only a bonus perk, really). The downside of the 5d ii for me as compared to 50D is the slower FPS and no built-in flash (although I own a 430EX).

    Am I set with this 50D setup, or considering I’m indoors all the time, should I consider the 5d II ?

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  89. Hi 40goingon50,

    Everyone has different priorities, so there is no definite answer as to whether to get the 40D or 50D. However, my opinion would be to get the 50D and initially get the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM for sports and concert and EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM for portraits events and landscape. When you have the spare cash then you can consider getting the EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5. The EF 24-70mm f/2.8L, although a very good lens, is a rather awkward range on a cropped frame camera like the 40D or 50D, and would work much better on a full frame DSLR. The image quality of the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM also deteriorate significantly with a 1.4x TC, so for best image quality, you cna also skip getting the 1.4x TC.

    Hi Karen,

    With a budget up to $2000, you can consider the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM with the 50D. That should make a fine combo.

    The best price that I know of currently for the 50D in Hong Kong is HK$9,000. You can read my articles on street price of the 50D in Hong Kong and Recommended Camera Shops in Hong Kong :-

    Hi 30going40,

    The 5D mark II is at least on paper certainly a camera which should have better image quality compared to the 50D, but it is not available yet and it is hard to know if it will really live up to all the promises. If you can wait, I’ll be getting a 5D Mark II and will be reviewing it after I get it.

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  92. Thanks for the advice Roland. I appreciate it very much. What the 1.4 TC concerns, I take it then that it’s better to crop afterwards then using a TC? Will try to find that out with a friends gear.
    Thanks a lot again and keep up this good work, reviews and site!

  93. Just wonder wich firmware in your tested camera. The recent DIWA test refers to firmware 1.0.2 giving better noise and color performance than 1.0.1. Hopefully there will be better high iso noise performance in this upgrade.
    “The test of the Canon EOS 50D was first made with firmware v.1.0.1, then with an updated firmware, version 1.0.2. The updated version significantly improved color and image noise performance. Apart from camera performance, also a test of the new EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS was made.”


  94. Hi Per Arne,

    The 50D I tested has firmware 1.0.1 installed. Firmware wasn’t available for download when I tested the camera, nor can I find it at Canon’s web site at the moment.

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  97. In the pictures you posted, I prefer the 40d over the 50d. The only thing that would tempt me is the resolution on the LCD screen. Besides that, I am staying with the 40d.

  98. I currently own the 30D, 40D and now I’ve had the 50D for about a week.
    Hate to say it but the comparison with the much more expensive Nikon was useless info. I realize you mentioned the fact of the difference in price but I think it was pointless.
    You may as well have compared it to any high dollar camera.
    Secondly, having had the 50D for a week now and using it and visually seeing it’s capabilities, I feel rather than it being an upgrade to the 40D, it’s much more like a new camera in the same basic body as the 40D. Firstly, 15 meg is alot of firepower and you can definitely notice it in your images. The back LCD panel is incredible for viewing. The extra features inside are great. I can’t say much about the Live View because I don’t use it and feel it is a useless feature that the camera manufacturers are sticking on the newer models. As well as video capability.
    So, I’d just like to finish with, after doing an immense amount of research and using some of the better camera brands, I see nothing out there that comes close to the value you get with the Canon D’s for the money. This seems to always be the problem with comparisons of the Canon D’s and Nikon. They are always compared with a Nikon that costs lots more. An extra $1000 on a $1400 camera is huge. I would certainly expect to get lower noise on a camera that costs twice the price.
    How about comparing that D3 to a new Canon 5D?

  99. I am convinced after the sample photos, that there is no need for me to purchase the 50d upgrade. I really liked the 40d IQ better than the 50d, and on the photolabreview website, it shows comparisons as well, and the 40d just looks sharper and better. The only thing that will tempt me for the 50d is the better LCD monitor, kind of like the D300 I used to own. I do like that feature.

  100. Hi Bob Hosid,

    You said you said you were just entering digital photography. So are you just new to “digital” part of photography or new to photography completely?

    If you are just new to the “digital” part of photography, then I would assume you know the basics of photography and all you needed to learn is the digital part, then for starters, you can just study the manual and practice using the 50D. It should not be difficult.

    However, if you are completely new to photography, then learning to use the 50D can be quite daunting. I would suggest start with using P mode first and then go to a book store and buy a few books on learning the basics of photography first.

  101. Hi Jim,

    You are entitled to your opinion and you are free to think what you want. However, I have explained more than once why I chose to compare the 50D to the Nikon D3 at high ISO. If you think it’s useless info, then be it and just ignore it.

    I have been a long time Canon user too. I had a 300D which I sold already, I also have a 20D and 40D. It’s funny how some people still think I was trying to bash Canon. I did not compare the 50D to the much more expensive D3 just to make the 50D looked bad. Canon did actually make some rather extravagant claim about high ISO capability of the 50D and they should be prepared to have the 50D compared to the current gold standard. I was rather disappointed that the 50D did not meet the extravagant claims that Canon made. Remember that I also compared the 50D to the 40D and I failed to see the claimed improvement with high ISO as well. So I will continue to stand by my review.

    I also discussed about all the new features you liked and more, like the new high resolution 3″ LCD, new 15MP sensor, micro AF adjustment….etc, etc. Did I for one moment dismissed those new features as useless upgrade???

    Someone earlier accused me of working for Nikon. Of course I don’t, but neither am I working for Canon. I am just a passionate Canon user, but not a fanboy. I will always just write about my honest opinions. I will not only talk about the good points but will also talk about the bad points as well.

    For example, I agree with you that 15MP is a nice resolution increase and I believe this increase resolution can clearly be seen at ISO 100-800. But at ISO 1600 or higher, the 50D failed to show any true increase in resolution in real life compared to the 40D. So if someone need 15Mp camera and only work at low ISO from 100 to 800, then 50D would fit the bill. But for 40D user who need higher resolution at high ISO (1600 and above), then the 50D would disappoint, I am afraid.

    In fact I sent the review to a senior executive at Canon Hong Kong to read and he did not make any protest about my review results and applauded my effort.

    As for comparing 5D MarkII to Nikon D3, I have said more than once than I have the 5D Mark II on order and will review it once I get the new camera.

  102. Hi Roland,
    Firstly, let me say that it makes me feel good when two individuals can have a sensible debate on a subject which I feel we did. Thanks. Now days that is refreshing.
    You speak of the extravagant Canon ISO claims. Honestly Roland. Suzuki says they have fantastic cars that can be compared to any but does that seriously mean that you take one out to the track and run it against a BMW? There isn’t a single camera maker out there that doesn’t make claims from testing done under their ideal lab settings. Does that make it right? Of course not but it’s just the way things are in ALL products now days and I think it is up to us to realize it and not do such out of whack comparisons. Really Roland. What exactly did you think the results were going to be? You knew. It was just a silly comparison. Can a Nikon camera comparably priced to the 50D come close to the noise of the D3? Of course not. Can a comparably priced Nikon to the 50D match the noise levels of the 50D? That is what you should have been testing. I’m sorry, I just think that there was no place at all, anywhere, in a review of a $1400 camera with a camera that costs over twice as much. Period. I’m glad all reviews arent’ done like that because we would never get any useful information out of them.
    Secondly, as a man who does camera and camera equipment reviews, I know you know that quite often, too often actually, there is a difference in performance from one piece to an identical piece, and this happens with every single camera maker. I’m not saying this happened here but how would you explain someone like myself, with 30 years photography experience, seeing an increase in image quality that is so obvious? And yes, with ISO’s as well. I own and have used these cameras daily and feel I am quite qualified to make some judgments of my own equipment of which I am very familiar with and believe me, I look and test one against the other to see if I’m getting my money’s worth and because I love to see just how much improvement certain technologies make.
    Thanks for listening and for your response.
    I’ll be looking forward to that 5D MarkII review. Curious what you will compare it to. The only thing out there better is the EOS 1Ds Mark III. That’s about 3 times the money. But that’s a Canon so that won’t do.
    Take care,

  103. Hi Jim,

    Thanks for the response. I guess we may never see eye to eye on certain subject, but that does not mean we cannot have a useful discussion as you have said.

    To use your analogy, would I make a comparison between a Suzuki (assuming that they have made some rather wild claims about certain aspect of the car’s performance), would I then compare it to a much more expensive BMW?

    I would if Suzuki had made a claim that can be quantified. For example, if they claimed that the brand new Suzuki Feromagafantastic coupe (which only costs 1/3 of the BMW M3) is a major breakthrough in technology with a engine size of only 2,000cc producing 500hp and is the fastest coupe under 4,000cc with a acceleration of 0-60mph under 4 sec and top speed of 250mph.

    I would certainly test it out to see if those claims are true indeed. Would it really beat the BMW M3 from 0-60mph? Would it beat the BMW M3 at top speed on a track? Those would definitely be figures I want to check out. Of course I would not compare the Suzuki’s build quality, equipment level or handling with the BMW M3, because the 2 cars won’t be in the same price range and I would not expect Suzuki to build a car with the same build quality and equipment level as a car that is 3 times the price.

    However, if the claims were not so specific and extravagant, something like “one of the best performing car” in it’s class. Or “the car with the best handling” in it’s class. Then I would certainly not compare it to a BMW M3 at all, and certainly would only compare it to other cars in it’s class with similar prices.

    So to come back to camera reviews, if Canon did not claimed major advances in technology that would result in major gain with image quality at high ISO with the 50D (such as gapless microlenses, DIGIC 4 processor with faster and improved algorithm in high ISO noise reduction, and specific claims such as “1 to 1.5 stops improvement at high ISO”), then I certainly would not compare the 50D high ISO performance with the D3. With a claimed 1 to 1.5 stops improvement at high ISO, if the claim turned out to be true, the 50D should come close to the high ISO performance of the D3. I never expected it to beat the D3, but if the claim had held up, it should at least have come pretty close. What else on the market would have at least 1 to 1.5 stops better performance at high ISO compare to the Canon 40D other than the Nikon D3 and D700 anyway?

    It’s not like I compared the 50D build quality with the D3, or the environmental seals or the continuous shooting performance. I would never expect the 50D to come close to the D3 at these aspect. And Canon never made claims in these areas. But Canon did make rather specific claims about improvement at high ISO performance.

    Now just because the 50D did not perform as good as Canon claimed it would at high ISO, that I would pronounce it as a bad camera and tell people not to buy it? I believe I did nothing like that. I just gave out my honest opinions and let the readers decide whether the 50D would be the camera they want to buy.

    And lastly, actually I did think about the possibility of the 50D I bought on the street being a “sub-par” body. I did actually asked the senior Canon executive whether they would lend a 50D body for me to test. However, it turned out that they have no camera available for reviews yet since all the new stocks have been sold.

  104. Hi Roland.
    Well, it’s been nice, the civility. (smile)
    I suppose we shall just have to agree to disagree. Which I don’t think is a bad thing at all. Actually, it’s a healthy thing. Many sites don’t allow that and yours does, so that is a feather in your cap.
    Thanks for the debate,

  105. canon claimed great advancements in technology in regards to noise in APS-C size sensors. arguably, they did. higher iso, better results on lower to mid iso. remember when you compare the 40d and 50d there is a 5 mp difference, so even being on par with the 40 in regards to niose is a huge accomplishment for the 50. canon never claimed it could go up against the the likes of a full frame camera, that would just be ridiculous. i end in asking a simple question. Panasonic is claiming great advancements in noise on point and shoot cameras. if you were to review P&S cameras (smaller sensors) would you then compare it with a d90 with a bigger sensor?

    for anyone new to digi photography higher MP usually results in more noise and bigger sensors result it less noise.

    Nikon D3= Less MP and bigger sensor $4000
    Canon 50D= more MP and smaller sensor $1500

  106. Roland,

    Thank you for an excellent Review! I am still a 20D user with L glass. Your review convinced me it is time to move up!

  107. Hi Roland,

    Thank you very much for this review. I recently purchased the 50D, upgrading from the 40D, and am also finding the high ISO noise claims by Canon to not be entirely accurate. Unfortunately I had to sell my 40D before getting the 50D, so I’m hoping you might be able to perform a few more comparisons, as others have also requested.

    I noticed that DPP (Digital Photo Professional) handles noise reduction settings differently with images from the 50D compared to the 40D, when converting from RAW. That has been addressed here:

    In the new comparison tests, I would like to see all images taken in RAW with in-camera noise reduction disabled, and the same noise reduction settings used for both cameras when converting to JPEG inside DPP; perhaps at 2 for luminance and 1 for chrominance, or both at 0. The ISO settings I would like to see compared in this way are 100, 200, 400, 640, 800, 1000, 1600.

    Doing concert photography with the 40D, most of my shots were taken between ISO 640 and 1000. What I would also appreciate is if you can compare a few shots taken in low-light, where ISO 800 is needed to produce a somewhat darker than original scene, using the lowest F-stop on a lens, at a shutter speed of 1/160. In my own testing of the 50D, high ISO noise seems to appear more when in true low-light, as apposed to increasing the F-stop or shutter speed.

    I agree with down-sampling 50D to match 40D, but only to have that along with the up-scaling you already provided. It seems to me that providing both is the best way to please all

    I think it would be good to compare a 100% crop to show each camera’s sharpness. A good image to focus on would be the page in the instruction manual containing the focusing screen’s option of a “Precision Matt with grid.” It is on page 183 of the 50D’s North American, English manual, and I believe page 162 of the 40D’s manual. This photo does not have to be zoomed in; simply of that page, including text and whatever background there may be, then cropped to show the grid and some text. I suggest ISO 100 for this, with noise reduction disabled both in-camera and in DPP when converting from RAW. The 50D seems softer than the 40D to me, but this exact comparison is needed to be sure.

    Reading your later comments, I see your 50D has Firmware 1.0.1 installed. I think you should include that information in this post so people can see it. I have read in forums that 1.0.2 is supposed to improve noise performance, but my 50D is 1.0.2 and I dont’t see improvement. I have also read that 1.0.3 is released, but, like 1.0.2, is not available for download from Canon or anywhere else. Some people have stated in forums that firmware cannot actually improve noise performance – and I think what they mean is that it cannot improve noise performance when in-camera noise reduction is disabled. Canon’s in-camera noise reduction, even on the lowest level, creates a blotchy image, and that is unacceptable to me. I wonder, if you contact Canon, maybe they would provide the newer firmware for your updated test results.

    What lens have you used for the review? Some people are claiming that L lenses are needed to take full advantage of the 50D. Could you set up one comparison of a Canon L, a lesser grade Canon, and perhaps another brand if you have one? Perhaps adjusting each camera to match settings in F-stop and focal length?

    If the original RAW files can be provided through a service such as YouSendIt or RapidShare, that would be extremely excellent so that people can do their own testing of various options. I would like to try testing images with other noise-reduction programs, and also to see how the noise levels hold up when editing to increase brightness, among other things.

    Thank you again for taking your time to do this; it is greatly appreciated by so many people.


  108. Hi Roland,

    I have to say I admire you for the time you spent reviewing the 50D, and for your replies individually to every question mentioned by reviewers. Wow, I am impressed!

    Back to the subject at hand, I purchased the 50D before reading any reviews because my 10D had been playing up so I had done my research on the 40D, and when the 50D came out I got this instead of the 40D of course. But your review has been very useful to me even after purchasing the 50D in order to know more about how it compares with what else is out there, so thanks!

    Your disucssions and answers to comments are truly amazing and make for a worthwhile read to all of us out there.


  109. Excellent review. This is exactly what I was looking for — a side by side comparison with the 40D. I would however like to see a comparison between the two cameras regarding resolving power.

    Is there any chance you could show a side-by-side (40D vs 50D) comparison with regards to resolving finely-detailed images at a lower ISO? Maybe ISO 200 or even 100?


  110. Hi mark free,

    Of course I agree that with a 5MP increase in resolution over the 40D, even if the 50D has same level of noise at high ISO compare to the 40D, it is still an achievement. I never said it was not (some would argue that Canon should have stayed at 10Mp or 12MP at the most with the 50D and it might have produced high ISO images that could have been truly remarkable and ground-breaking). However, the point was that Canon did claim better high ISO performance compared to the 40D, 1 to 1.5 stops better. Unless of course you don’t consider what Chuck Westfall, Technical Advisor at Canon USA, as official and representing Canon.

    Yes, Canon did not specifically claim that the 50D can go up against a full frame camera like the D3, but as I have said many, many, many times (do I need to repeat yet again???), if the claim of 1 to 1.5 stops better ISO performance did hold up, the 50D high ISO performance would have come pretty close to the D3.

    And to answer your simple question, as far as I have read, this was what Panasonic have claimed about their new P&S digicam:-
    “This not only produces a clearer image in high ISO sensitivity recording, but also faithfully reproduces details in low-lit areas of pictures taken at low ISO sensitivity. It supports a High Sensitivity mode that lets the DMC-FZ28 record at a setting of up to ISO 6400, sensitive enough to capture subjects in near-total darkness without using a flash.”

    Panasonic did not make any specific quantitative claim with improvement in high ISO as far as I know. However, if they had made a specific claim, something like “a 3 to 4 stops improvement at high ISO compared to other P&S digicams”, then that claim would certainly lead me to believe that the new Panasonic digicam may have high ISO performance that approaches that of cropped frame DSLR like the Nikon D90.

    Of course Panasonic never made specific claim like that and I certainly would not compare the Panasonic digicam to a DSLR like the D90 if I were to review it.

    Of course you are right about the general rule that higher MP usually results in more noise and larger image sensor usually results in less noise. This general rule is purely physics and of course will be true in general.

    However, remember technology does move on, and high ISO image noise performance have improved with time over the last few years. I would consider the 2nd last time a major improvement occurred was when Canon released the Canon EOS 20D. Even at 8MP resolution, it still managed to produced high ISO images with significantly better high ISO noise performance than the 10D with a 6MP sensor. One can certainly say that the Canon EOS 20D was class leading in its’ days. The next major breakthrough came when Nikon released the Nikon D3 with a 12MP full frame sensor. It was significantly better at high ISO than anything else on the market at that time. It was even better than the Canon EOS 5D with a 10MP full frame sensor.

    If technology were to stand still, and technology cannot improve high ISO performance in time, and the only thing that affects high ISO performance are sensor size and sensor resolution, then Nikon, Canon and all other camera and sensor makers can simply just forget about product development and research and nothing they do will improve high ISO noise performance. The Canon D30 will have better high ISO noise performance than the Canon 50D and the Nikon D1 will better high ISO noise performance than the Nikon D300 ( as both the older cameras with less resolution than the newer cameras).

    Don’t forget the D3 is 1 year older than the Canon 50D. If Canon did make the technological breakthrough (of course unfortunately it did not happen with this generation, maybe the next), then it would not be inconceivable that the 50D at less than 1/3 of the price of the Nikon D3 can have high ISO image quality that approaches the D3.

    Lastly and surely, the 3 times price difference between the Nikon D3 and the Canon 50D is not simply because the D3 has a larger sensor with less MP and the 50D has a smaller sensor with more MP. This explanation would be far too simplistic and kind of misleading to those “new to digi photogrpahy”. Much of the price difference can be attributed to other factors such as better build quality, built in vertical grip, dual CF card support, full environmental seals, faster frame rate, faster and more sophisticated autofocus system…….. etc, etc.

  111. Hi kyle,

    Thanks for the constructive suggestions. I would certainly consider your suggestions when I have time to add more test to my 50D review. Unfortunately, I have been rather busy lately and have not had much time to even respond to comments and questions let alone add to the review.

    I used a Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L for all the 40D and 50D test shots.

  112. Thanks Roland,

    I understand that these tests do take a good amount of time to be done well. I look forward to your updates when you have that time available.

    I also wanted to add that I support your reasons for comparing the Canon 50D to Nikon D3. It’s a shame not everyone can see the logic and usefulness behind that.. especially with how well you’ve explained everything.

  113. For all those who still think it was pointless or ridiculous for me to have compared the Canon 50D to Nikon D3 at high ISO, perhaps you should read this article by Michael Reichmann of Luminous Landscape, a well-known professional reviewer:-

    He compared a US$40,000 Hasselblad and Phase One 39 Megapixel back with a US$500 Canon G10. Oh my gosh, have Michael gone crazy? Did he really expect the cheapo Canon G10 to compete with the megabucks Hasselblad? And canon never made any claim that the G10 could go up against a medium format camera with a huge sensor anyway! Rather than continue to flame me here, perhaps you should all go to and flame Michael instead 😉

  114. With film SLR it used to be the type of lens that gauge sharpness and film that measured sensitivity and grain. Now with DSLR it is the sensor that handles both. The bigger the better. As time goes by, it won’t be 18 or 12 months for new models to come out but earlier like 6 months. A new entry: black silicon is on the horizon.

    Comparisons! There’s nothing wrong to compare orange with apple in terms of favorite fruit. As always the camera on the other side of the fence looks sharper or whatever.

    I still have my film SLR Canon system with a slew of FD lenses Canon failed to bridge with DLSR like Nikon. A year ago, I purchased Canon Powershot G9 just to tread on digital format. For sentimental reasons, I still plan to keep my film SLR system although I am now contemplating to grow towards DSLR with a 40D, perhaps. Lo and behold, here comes 50D and 5D Mark II while I’m still in the middle of my research.

  115. Hi gengis2510,

    Thanks for your thought on this subject. Just a few comments.

    Yes, the main difference between film SLR and DSLR is that, ina DSLR, the image sensor replaced the physical film in a film SLR. In the film world, there is nothing a camera maker can do to alter the film. Film makers came out with new formulation once in awhile and all one need to do to instantly upgrade their film SLR was to buy the new film and put it in the camera.

    In the digital world, the sensor cannot be replaced and when the camera makers come out with new and better models with new sensors every year, then one has to make a choice to to buy a completely new camera if one were to take advantage of new sensor technology. That’s an unfortunately side-effect of the digital revolution.

    As for camera on the other side of the fence always looks sharper or whatever. I would have to respectfully disagree. Although there are always subjective elements in doing any review, I hope to be as objective as possible. I always tried to make comparisons based on objective facts. If objective testing reviewed results that showed the camera on the other side of the fence looked better, then be it. But it could also show the camera on this side of the fence looked better. That is the whole point of doing objective comparison. the result will not be based on blind emotion.

    Good luck on your quest to find the DSLR that suits your needs!

  116. Roland, Roland, Roland. The self proclaimed ‘passionate Canon user’.
    I thought I could just move on and let you ramble and give out some bad info and ignore it. After all, it is your web site. But I made one big mistake. I came back for another peek. I shouldn’t have done that.
    Holy smokes, Roland. Read above. You’ve got people who are either making decisions or leaning heavily towards buying a 40D instead of a 50D just by listening to you! Have you no conscience? As I’ve said, I own the 30D, 40D and now the 50D and there is a significant upgrade in each new version. I use these on a daily basis. I see it with my own eyes!!! Very clearly.
    You compare the 50D to a camera that costs three times the money, and keep hiding behind a statement by Chuck that you read somewhere like it’s the be all end all reason to compare these two. It wouldn’t matter if Chuck OWNED Canon, he is one man. Does his one statement that you have grasped with a death grip really justify such a comparison? I’m sure he has just as much proof positive as you claim to have proof negative. Chuck Westfall is no slouch in the photography world. He is extremely well respected throughout the industry. Do you think that he just grabs numbers out of his head and puts them out there without proof? Of course I don’t know, but I would have to think that CANON would have a slightly better, more accurate lab than you. I could be wrong but Canon is the largest camera manufacturer on earth. I would have to guess he has forgotten more about cameras than you….or I. I wonder, with your incessant fascination with this one supposed statement if maybe he once backed into your car in the parking lot or something? There has to be more to it than is being told here. You just keep repeating ‘what Chuck said’. So what? You are reviewing a camera not disproving something someone else said. That’s not a review.
    As for the people making decisions on your opinions, how about making as much of a big deal of all the other major upgrades that have been made? The 50D is a huge value for the money. Do pro’s carry these camera’s as back ups for no reason? C’mon. Yes, you mention a few things, but not with the fervor that you seem to have over this one statement that one man happened to make. It’s as though you take some great pride in the fact that according to your tests Chuck could be wrong and a camera that costs a third of another doesn’t perform as well. I don’t see anywhere in there where you mention that as far as noise goes, DPP does an incredible job of taking care of it, the same as Neat Image or any of the other high end noise reducer software that lots of camera brand owners use. How about we mention, just this once, that comparably priced cameras, Nikons, Sony’s etc, do no better with noise than the 50D.
    That is WHAT MATTERS HERE AND WHAT YOU SHOULD, AS A REVIEWER, BE LETTING THE READERS KNOW. So, for someone buying a camera in this price range they’re not getting an inferior, noise ridden camera that was tested against a camera 3 times the price. What they are getting is a camera that handles noise really well, at least as good and better than many others that cost about the same. That doesn’t mean the 50D is inferior. It’s right in the ball park where it belongs. How is it that you consistently forget to mention these things and only keep repeating the mantra, Chuck said this. Chuck said this. Chuck said this. The only difference is it doesn’t compare to a MUCH more expensive camera that ONE man said it would. Yes. He is a tech guy. Yes. He is ONE man. That’s all. One man. It’s amazing how much hiding you can do behind one man, although Chuck is a big guy. lol I’ll even go this far. For arguement sake, Chuck Westfall never did any testing and has no proof of his statement and is a total liar that doesn’t know a thing about camera’s. Who cares????? You are writing reviews!!!!! You are still doing a disservice to your readers by giving them bum dope and ‘leading them to believe that the Canon 50D is a noisey camera when in fact it is right where it should be within it’s price point.
    So, like I said, it’s your site and as such you shall do as you please and deservedly so. I just feel that,
    1. You are wrongly advising people and knowingly allowing them to make decisions and spend their hard earned money on the fact that you have a hard spot for some reason with Chuck Westfall.
    2. Because you continue to hold on to ‘one statement’ one guy made, you are making totally irrelevant comparisons that give false results that lead people to believe that the 50D is somehow lacking because it won’t stand up to a few words some man said. You have them walking away, or better yet, writing and thanking you for ‘enlightening’ them on how noisey and inferior and crappy the 50D is and telling you thanks because they were going to buy one but not now. That’s not right, Roland.
    Take care Roland,
    I’m sure you’ll have an answer. I can’t wait. You can look my letter over many times but you can’t show me a single lie.
    The 50D is an awesome camera, as well as the 40 and 30D’s. Each better than the last, as it should be with technology.
    Can’t wait to see what the 5D Mark II will be compared to.
    How about we do a Hasselblad this time.

  117. Hi Jim,

    Oh Jim, I thought I really believed you were genuine when you said this:-
    “I suppose we shall just have to agree to disagree. Which I don’t think is a bad thing at all. Actually, it’s a healthy thing. Many sites don’t allow that and yours does, so that is a feather in your cap.”

    Now you have led me to believe otherwise. You have every right to disagree with me or anyone in the world. You also have the right to believe that you are right and other people are wrong. But what makes you think that just because someone else disagree with you, you have a right to make accusation like “Have you no conscience?”

    When I receive any criticism or negative comments, I can either agree or disagree with them. If I agree with them, I will simply say so and make appropriate correction if necessary. If I don’t agree with them, then I have 2 options. I can either choose to ignore the comment and not publish it at all. Or I can publish the comment and reply to it and give reasons why I disagree with them.

    So Jim, when you wrote your comments, which I did not agree with. I chose to publish your comments and gave out my reasons and rationale as to why I disagree with you. If you still did not agree with me, that is just fine. Then as you have said, “we’ll just have to agree to disagree”.

    However, in your latest comment, you seemed to have gone completely over the edge and were not talking about reasons anymore.

    You accused me of “giving out bad info…. and that I’ve got people who are either making decisions or leaning heavily towards buying a 40D instead of a 50D just by listening to me, and that I have no conscience.” And your reasons for the accusation, “You own the 30D, 40D and now the 50D and there is a significant upgrade in each new version. You use these on a daily basis. You see it with your own eyes!!! Very clearly.”

    Jim, be fair and rational. I have done a review to test out the 50D and have actually made thorough comparison with the 40D. I actually wrote about improvements like 5MP increase resolution, improved LCD display and image review, new additional features like AF microadjustment…etc. Did I for one moment said the 50D was not an overall a better camera over the 40D? Did I say anywhere that people should buy the 40D instead of the 50D? All I said was in my testing, I could not see any significant improvement with high ISO compared to the 40D and the competition. It makes me wonder actually whether you have read my review fully or not or just read 3 lines that you did not agree with and continue to mount an attack on me based me that 3 lines you did not agree with.

    Jim, just because you claimed that “you own the 30D, 40D and now the 50D and there is a significant upgrade in each new version. You use these on a daily basis. You see it with your own eyes!!! Very clearly.”, then everyone one else in the world who has different findings compared to yours should just completely dismiss their own findings and believe your claims instead? If I did that, then I really would have no conscience.

    Out of the 140+ comments I received, there were comments from 2 person who bought the 50D and have tested it out at high ISO and agreed with my findings that the 50D were not better than the 40D at high ISO. Including you Jim, there were also 2 persons who did not agree with my high ISO findings. So what does that mean? Not everyone agree or share the same finding as you, Jim.

    And when you said this,”You’ve got people who are either making decisions or leaning heavily towards buying a 40D instead of a 50D just by listening to you!”, what facts were you basing that accusation on?

    I have gone through the comments that other people have left here. Out of the 140+ comments, at least 10 persons said they bought or would buy the 50D based on reading my review and only 5 persons said they would not upgrade to the 50D yet after reading my review, and some of those said they would wait for the 5D Mark II instead.

    Someone in comment 109 above asked me whether he should be the 40D or 50D, and in comment 115, I actually advised him to get the 50D instead of the 40D.

    So really Jim, what facts did you based your accusation on???

    I have given my reasons and rationale for comparing the 50D with the Nikon D3 at high ISO and I am not going to repeat them here yet again. If you don’t agree with them, as I have said again and again, that is just fine. You have not given me one sensible and objective reason as to why I should agree with you as far as I am concerned. I think any further discussion is pointless since we will never see eye to eye this subject.

    Actually, I think you were only upset because my test results failed to showed the promised improvement in high ISO. However, if it had turned out that my test did showed the promised improvement and the 50D at high ISO were actually close to or almost comparable to those from a Nikon D3, then I am sure you won’t be complaining about the comparison between 50D and D3 anymore. You would probably rave about the high ISO capability of the 50D and how it would even match the Nikon D3.

    My only query is that, why on Earth Jim are you so upset that I made a high ISO comparison between the 50D and D3? It’s just a small part of the review. I also made comparison at ISO between the 40D and 50D. I also wrote about all the other new features and improvement with the 50D. Why are you insisting on ignoring 95% of the review and just keep jumping on me for that 5% that you did not agree with? You seemed to think readers would not buy the 50D just because I compared it with the D3 at high ISO. Well, I have answered to that above and the facts seemed to tell a different story.

    I do not know Check Westfall personally and I have nothing against him. if I were trying to hide behind that statement that Chuck made and maybe he actually bumped into the back of my car and that’s why I had a grudge against him, then I could just as easily say the same thing about you. Why are you, Jim, continuously trying to put me down and call out groundless accusation based on a small part of my 50D review, namely the comparison between 50D and D3 at high ISO? Did I bumped into the back of you car some time ago and that’s why you have this grudge against me?

    I know Canon is a big camera maker, probably the biggest camera in the world. Yes, they certainly have much better test equipment than me or any other reviewers in the world including well respected review sites like, and However, are we supposed to believe everything big camera makers tell us just because they have better testing equipment than anyone else? If your logic is true, then there would be no need for any camera reviews and all camera review sites and magazine can just go on permanent holidays. There would be no need for camera buyers to read reviews because they can just trust what camera makers tell them as the info they receive would be 100% accurate.

    I really do not want to go on arguing with you anymore Jim. It serves no purpose debating with someone who refused to be rational and only listens to his own reasons and refused to listen to his opponents arguments and when he could not find a rational reason to further the debate, he resorted to baseless and groundless accusations.

    Never in one moment, did I ever say the 50D was not a fine camera. If you still want to continue with your hallucination that I am trying to bash Canon and have been trying to get people not to upgrade to the 50D, then you just continue doing that.

    Jim, I hate to end by saying this, I was really hoping that you are a reasonable person and could stand up to a healthy debate and at least show some basic respect and courtesy even if you could not come to agree with me. However, you attitude lead me to believe that you seemed to be nothing more than a Canon fanboy and could not tolerate anyone who said anything remotely disadvantageous to Canon.

    Good luck with your life Jim!

  118. Hi Jim,

    Thanks for your final comment on this subject. Although you explained yourself quite well and already said you won’t write anymore opinions on this subject, I am afraid if I published it, I would feel the urge to reply to one or 2 points on your final comment and that might just perpetuate a debate that is going nowhere. So I am sorry and please forgive me for deciding not to publish it.

    Although our debate did not end too harmoniously, I did mean what I said when i wished you good luck. I wished you all the best in your future endeavour.

  119. Dear Roland, I was using a 30D when your 40D review came out. I really liked your review but I kept my 30D because it could still fulfill my needs then. So when the 50D came out it was about time to upgrade. Again you did a great review and I appreciated the way it was done. It’s a worthwhile upgrade for me but I didn’t do so just by relying on your review,there are other reviews out there too.
    I am not bothered about high ISO capability on the 50D because I am being realistic of what the camera is capable of, otherwise I’ll keep waiting for the 5D Mk7 or 1 Ds Mk6!
    I do concur that sRAW produces less noise and I need less sharpness increment as compared to my 30D during post processing. Comparing it to the D3 or a 5d or 1Ds has no bearing whatsoever for me because I still cannot justify paying so much for a FF camera. Will those take better images,definitely,will it make me a better photographer,maybe not. Down the road I know P&S will be FF, noiseless at ISO 3200 and sells for USD300. The fun and exciting part is now, it’s about nailing the exposure with what we have in our hands. Hey,even my camera phone is way better than my first digicam!
    What I am trying to say is that there’s a camera for every budget and every level. There’s also many reviews for each of them. There’s technical and not so technical but you tend to go back to a few that you personally like. Your review my dear Roland is one I always come back to. Keep up the good work, we do appreciate it. Keep it coming.

    John Tan

  120. Dear Roland,

    I really enjoyed the debate between you and Jim, … at least it improved my English.
    Besides I have to say that found your D3/50D comparison very usefull, similarly like Ken Rockwells D3/5D sharpness comparison. It helped me to decide what camera (not considering the brand mark) I really need and should buy. Many thanks for testing and sharing and also for funny and refreshing focus on G10/H3 comparison.


  121. After some Error 99s and a gut feeling that the 50D “wasn’t quite right”, I returned mine for a refund.

    Today my 40D sold on eBay for 80% of its buying price.

    I’m now waiting for the 5d Mark ii, about a month away.

    Canon sent me this message tonight. Too late to fix the Error 99s — I’ve already returned my 50D.




    Please be advised of the availability of a firmware update version 1.0.3 for the EOS 50D
    digital camera.

    This firmware update (Version 1.0.3) incorporates the following fixes.

    1. Corrects a phenomenon in which an image becomes overexposed when
    C.Fn.II-3 Highlight tone priority is sent to “1” together with other camera settings.
    (This correction has already been incorporated in the Version 1.0.2 and later firmware.)
    2. Corrects a rare phenomenon in which “busy” blinks on the camera’s display panel
    and the shutter cannot be released due to the timing of battery installation.
    3. Corrects a rare phenomenon in which “Err 99” appears on the camera’s display panel
    and LCD monitor and the shutter cannot be released due to the timing of
    pressing the shutter button.

    Firmware Version 1.0.3 is for cameras with firmware up to Version 1.0.2. If the
    camera’s firmware is already Version 1.0.3, it is not necessary to update the firmware.

    This update is available at:

    Thank you,
    Customer Support Operations
    Canon U.S.A., Inc.

  122. Hi Roland —

    Thanks for the informative review, but I think I can help you improve your process.

    Now, I don’t claim to be a white coated lab rat, but I think there is a basic problem with the methodology in your noise comparison tests between the 40D & 50D. You are comparing the two cameras at 100% (“actual size”) crops of the same scene, showing the same sized print to compare the two.

    Not all 100% crops are created equal.

    Since the sensor of the 50D is approximately 50% bigger than than the 40D’s, the percentage of the original scene shown in the 50D crop is proportionally smaller than the percentage of the scene shown in the 40D crop. Put another way, you see less of the bear’s head in the 50D crop than in the 40D crop because of the bigger sensor on the 50D — 100 crop is at a higher magnification of the original scene.

    That leads to a miss-leading conclusion.

    To be a valid test noise, the area of the original scene shown in the side by side comparison needs to be the same: eg the bear’s head needs to appear to be the same size in both pictures. Specifically, the 50 D crop needs to be at about 50% less magnification. That will result in a significant reduction in perceived noise, probably easily within Canon’s claim of a 1.5 stop reduction.

    Why use the different methodology than a straight 100% crop comparison? Think about it.

    When you make an 8X10 enlargement, the “enlargement” is a function of multiplying the size of the original file to reach the desired size. The larger the size of the original file, the smaller the multiplication factor to reach an 8×10. that’s why a 6X6 typically has lower noise than a 35mm.

    So, say you have two shots of exactly the same scene. One of the shots has 50% higher resolution than the other. At an “actual size” 4″X6″ crop, they appear to have the same amount of noise, BUT, not all crops are equal if the sensor size is different. The larger file requires 50% less magnification to produce an 8X10, so the perceived noise will be substantially less for the camera with the larger sensor.

    The noise level in the 40D & 50D appear the same in your crops, but the noise level in full sized photos of the same scene will be less for the 50D because the magnification is less to produce the full sized photo. Hence the 1-1.5 stop improvement.

    Make sense?


  123. Hi Roland,

    Thank you so much for the timely review and comparisons of the 40D and 50D, as I am now trying to buy a Canon digital. I have the 35mm EOS Rebel, and I am probably the only person left on the planet using film…everyone that sees it laughs.

    My needs are very specific for a camera, and I was wondering if even the digital rebel series would be an option. I take regular photos indoors and outdoors, but the bulk of my photos are of my daughter in theatrical and dance productions with lowlight. Lots of movement at times. When I called Canon over the summer to figure out what I should set my camera on (as we can’t use flash when photographing the shows), I was stumped at the variety of answers I received from canon usa. A lot of the techs had to look the answer up in the manual!

    I tried shooting some pix with 800 film and some with 1600 (which were grainy). I have the normal lens and I sat up front for the photos so I got a little bit of light from the stage but not much. I shot a variety of photos on TV, AV, and I believe P. I thought I’d try everything, but the problem was I don’t know which setting produced the few clear shots I got! It was very frustrating.

    I saw a photographer at a symposium I went to the other day and I asked for his recommendation and he said either the 40D or even the xsi or xti (not sure which rebel he said) and that if I got a tamron 2.8 lens that would give me clearer motion pictures (I don’t get anything when my daughter is in dance numbers except big blurs). I also spoke to someone who said they used to use a 30d with a lens stabilizer, but this photographer I spoke with said I didn’t need a lens stabilizer most likely.

    I am not too concerned about the price as I want a camera I can use for lots of years and that will be a nice investment. I even tried the smaller canon powershots but also got blurry pix with lots of movement.

    Can you help?

    Many many thanks!

  124. Roland,
    Thank you for your review, it prepared me for the 50D review.
    I emailed your link to people who bought my used 40D’s.

  125. Hi Winsor White,

    Thanks for the suggestion. I understand what you mean. However, that was exactly why I did not just do one comparison at native 100% crops from the 50D and 40D. I also did a second comparison, up scaling the the 40D files to 50D resolution and then did a 100% crop comparison, that should have equalized the field.

    Although, some suggested that I should have down scale the 50D files to match 40D resolution, rather than up scale 40D to match the 50D resolution. there are pros & cons of doing them either way, but the end result would still be that, the resolutions between the 2 cameras would be matched for noise comparison. I am of the opinion that, by up-scaling the 40D files to match the 50D, if there is any advantage in having a native 15MP sensor, then one should be able to see the resolution advantage. However, by down-scaling the 50D files to match 40D resolution, then one would not be able to see if there is any resolution advantage with the 50D or not.

  126. Hi Denise,

    For the kind of photography you do, in my humble opinion, these are the things you need:-

    1) a fast lens with large aperture, at least f2.8 or preferably even larger
    2) a camera capable to good quality high ISO shots
    3) shoot in either tv mode or manual mode as you really want to control and maintain the shutter speed at a fast enough speed to freeze action. For slowish movement on stage, you would need to have shutter speed at least 1/250 to 1/320 to have any reasonable chance of having a clear shot. For faster action on stage, you will need even faster shutter speed. In my experience, shutter speed of at least 1/50 to even 1/1000 maybe necessary.

    Both 40D and 50D should be able to give you reasonable quality photos at ISO 1600 or maybe even 3200. But you need to have well exposed shots at such ISO. At high ISO, if you under-exposed the shots, noise would become very visible. Withe well exposed shots, noise is usually quite well controlled even at ISO 1600 and 3200.

    Since you said budget is not a concern, perhaps you should wait a little longer for the 5D Mark II. That camera may have better noise control at high ISO than the 40D or 50D. I am going to test it out when I get my hands on one.

    If you would consider other camera brands as well, then the Nikon D700 or D3 may be a viable option for you. These 2 cameras are known to give good quality shots at high ISO, even up to ISO 6400.

  127. Roland,

    Thank you so much for your rapid reply. You reinforced what I have thought about for quite some time – I DEFINITELY NEED SOME PHOTOGRAPHY CLASSES! I get so confused about aperture and shutter speeds and ISO not to mention the “noise” factor! It is so refreshing to see someone who knows his cameras, what seems inside and out, go to all this trouble to help a newbie like me try to get the next level of photography. I love shooting all kinds of pix, but as a busy mom, I just never get a chance to enjoy classes. I heard that there is a school in Maine, here in the US, called Rockport so perhaps I will put that on my list to Santa this year!

    I think the 5D Mark II might be just a tad more than I want to spend (isn’t that the one that runs upwards of $6000 and as high as $12,000?). Since I’m so far from being a professional, I think the D series would be a good fit. I have battery packs for my Canon Rebel, would they work with the digitals or would I have to go out and buy all new ones? I have a show to photograph on December 4th and 5th, so that is why I would like to get something before then and get up to speed and do some practice shots. This show has some flying in it, so I’ll really need help.

    Thanks for your great input!

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  129. Hi Denise,

    Although the 5D Mark II is significantly more expensive than either 40D or 50D, but even the list price in US is only $2,699, NOT $6,000 or $12,000. However, since you said you were a total newbie, then I suppose a 40D or 50D would do just fine for you.

    The battery pack for your Canon Rebel would not work on either 40D or 50D. Digital SLR use different batteries. Even the Digital Rebels use different batteries from the 40D or 50D. The camera bodies would come with one battery. If you need extra batteries, you would have to buy new ones. Those from your old Rebel would not work, I am afraid.

  130. Thanks for your reply. I’ve been a Canon guy during the film years and a very passionate photography hobbyist and semi-pro (weddings, graduations, etc.). Two bodies, A-1 and F1 New, along with a slew of FD lenses. I still shoot film but no longer as much as before. Digital pictures need not be printed like film. Digital photos can be transcribed to CDs, DVDs, Slide shows and would become a photographer’s portfolio.

    Hence, I think the battle among dlsr makers will shift to the elimination of noise rather than who can make a camera with highest megapixel, shutter speed, fps, etc. To eliminate noise, a dslr has to have bigger/high tech sensors. And it is for this reason the 5 mp point-and-shoot is far superior to a 5 mp camera in a cellphone.

    Future ads of dslr makers would be trumpeting 100% Noiseles from ISO 80 to 800. A new model will advertize 100% Noiseless from ISO 80 to 1600 and so forth.

    While I was still shooting film, a friend of mine was using a G3 and I like the resolution as comparable nearly to my film. Now, I’m using a G9 which is quite an improvement. Hence, on my next purchase I am more counting on the dlsr maker with models who will have good reviews from experts like you on the noise aspect beween 10 to 14 megapixel.

    By the way, have you read the bashing review on Canon EOS 50D on

  131. Hi genghis2510,

    Yes, I have read the review of the 50D. I wouldn’t say it’s a bashing review though. I still came out as a highly recommended camera. They just didn’t think there was improvement with high ISO IQ compared to 40D and similarly priced competitors and also the dynamic range was slightly worse than 40D, but overall, it is still a great camera.

    My personal opinion is that many people on forum are just too sensitive and defensive and could not accept any negative criticism of their beloved Canon model. I have been criticized by a few people here too for showing results that didn’t exactly showed the 50d having better high ISO performance than the 40D.

    Anyway, good luck on your search for a DSLR!

  132. Hi Ryan Morales,

    Sorry for the late reply.

    Both the 50D and D90 are fine camera and you should be able to get good results with either. There are pros and cons with either camera and in the end it’s really all down to personal preference and everyone will make a different choice. I am afraid it is a question only you can answer yourself.

  133. Hello Roland,

    thank you so much for you review, I am surfing for infos oon the 50D for about 3 days now, and you review was one of the most informing one I ound, especially your tests regarding the SRAW1-ISO behaviour. Thanks a lot!

    Now I wonder when you will put your hands onto a 5D MkII, do you already have an idea?

    Thanks! Martin

  134. Thank you so much for your replies. I really like your site because of its personal touch and personal (not corporate) views. A very nice site for fair no-nonsense research. I do not know if the people who interact with your site are like me who are only here for the purpose of getting help in acquiring a dslr – and who might not return after a purchase to be honest.

    I do not own an interchangeable lens digital camera. But I have a digital Canon G9 fixed lens and old Canon A-1 and F1 New system acquired in the film era. So, the only comparison I can benchmark my dslr choice is from my Canon Powershot G9.

    A negative review on a dslr model no matter how it’s said or written, bashing or otherwise, directly or indirectly, implied or with intent, on major dslr review sites like yours can in one fleeting moment put on hold one who has set his mind in acquiring that model. Like when I acquired Canon A-1 during the film years and many were shouting Nikon for its something or another. Nevertheless, I choose Canon F1 New for my second body. Of course, one can conclude that since I acquired a Canon slr as my first body naturally the system (lens and accessories) and literally my photography soul went to Canon.

    Ok, now it’s the DSLR era. I have a fairly good focus and knowledge about the DSLR playing field, e.g., noise, megapixels, sensor size and technology, viewfinder (vga or not), form factor, lens configuration, etc. To reiterate, I am a Canon G9 user and I have about immersed myself in it (although now and then I go back using a roll in my A-1 or F1 new). This, however, would not necessarily draw me to be fixated with Canon DSLR system – like when I was during the film years. However, it’s the menuing and control system that leaves me worried. If ever I will opt for a Nikon I’m afraid I would have to start all over migrating towards it – my deepset Canon G9 focus towards Nikon alien system of menus and controls – like when I opted to migrate from Microsoft to Linux OS.

    I have narrowed my choice between Canon EOS 50D and Nikon’s D90 – but more inclined on the 50D. Would you say my fears and apprehension are all wrong (unfounded) if ever I chose Nikon D90 for its noise handling (good for available light shooting I do most often) over Canon 50D that I could adjust to easily due to its similar/related menu system and controls to my Canon G9.

    Tahnk you in advance.

  135. Hi genghis2510,

    Actually, IMHO, the Canon 50D and the Nikon D90 have pretty similar noise handling at high ISO and there is really not a great deal of difference between them. I think you would get similar results at high ISO with either of these cameras, so there isn’t really a great deal of difference to choose between these 2 cameras as far as high ISO noise performance is concerned.

    As for menu system, you should go to either some big cmaera shops carrying both Canon and Nikon models or go to their respective showrooms and test out the cameras to see whether you like the handling and ergonomics. I don’t think it will take too much to learn and get used to either camera really.

    In the end, both Canon 50D and D90 are fine cameras and I think you would get fine results and won’t be disappointed with either.

  136. Thank you, Mr. Lim.

    More power to your good site. I’ll notify you of my choice once I’ll get my hands on it.


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  138. Dear Roland, I would appreciate your opnion on the following matter. I am in the market for a new dslr. I am an amateur, retired, in Sri Lanka and enjoy most types of photography but will probably not take sports shots but do have everal marine aquariums, which I would enjoy shootingand its species which would probably qualify for fast moving shots. The two I have narrowed it down to are Canon 450d or a canon 50d.I have alsso reviewed the Nikon d90 but figured it ws very similar to the 50d. The price difference is not a problem. The reason I like the 50d is because of it’s advertised high res. LCD. I will not be able to see either camera before purchasing. my question is will the quality of the LCD be very apparent. I would like to start using software, but as both have a high res. that won’t be a deciding factor would it? As I can see the 450d has all I want if the LCD quality would not be a noticable differnce. However I’m thinking with such a difference in res. it would be apparet when looking at the LCD. Looking forward to hearig from you.


  139. Mr. Lim,

    Thank you for the wonderful insight. It’s a blessing to have someone with your skill and experience to give time to us all. I’ve enjoyed your detailed observations, comparisons and reasonable suggestions.

    For those that don’t agree with you on some points, I truly hope they will understand the world doesn’t always work in harmony. Your point of view is as valid as anybody else.

    Reviews and comparison analysis are good when done without any attached bias. Knowing you, you are an artist/photographer, not a fanboy or brand loyalist. Your ability to create magic is because of your talent. Those that brought flames upon you should reconsider their position, not only as a photographer, but as a human being. We’re all on the same boat, sharing 1 Earth.

    Mr Lim – your contribution in society is what makes you a hero. We all know Heroes will have Villians, but in the end, reasoning and righteousness will always prevail.

    Continue to do what you’re doing because it’s for the good of everyone. I look forward to many more of your reviews.

    Take care.


  140. Hi Siri,

    If you have have narrowed your choice to between the 450D and 50D and price difference is not a problem, then really there should not be any difficulty in choosing which to buy. the obvious choice has to be the 50D. The 50D is the nicer camera to use in many ways, better built, more features.

    The 3″ LCD on the 50D is definitely better than the LCD on 450D and is easily noticeable. But that’s not the only difference between the 2 cameras. The 50D has many other useful features compared to the 450D.

  141. hey roland,

    I have really benefited from your extensive review so far! I am upgrading from the rebel xt and am torn between the 40 and 50d. What is the very latest? Has the 50d proven itself to be well worth the extra $$? I’m leaning toward the 50d but I still just don’t know!

    thanks for your hard work!


  142. I often shot on water, the waterproofing on my 40D is pretty rubbish. Is the waterproofing on the 50D considerably improved? The two bodies look identical.

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  145. Hi Hans,

    Canon did not state that there was any improvement with environmental seals in the 50D. As far as I could see, I did not noticed any difference with the environmental seals between the 40D and 50D.

    Canon never claimed the 40D or 50D were waterproof anyway. There is a difference between environmental seal and waterproof.

  146. As of this post, I have not decided which to have: Nikon D90 or Canon 50D. It seems reviews and fora are rather inconsistent. Nikon and Canon dslr owners are fighting it out bashing each other who’s the better system. And practically, their views/comments just cancel out each other.

    What’s disturbing are analyses and comparisons. Their tests show and support‘s review on Canon 50D. Except for features like higher pixels, better viewfinder, hdmi port. etc. the things that count most in print and resolutions show Canon 40D is superior: sensor mark, color depth, dynamic range, signal-to-noise-ratio, etc. Nikon’s D90 scored far better than the two Canon dslrs!

    Although tests result may not be discernible in print or in screen unless pored over in pixel-peeper labs like dxomark, it makes one who’s on the prowl of having his first dslr go for the better dslr as shown on the independent test and comparison results. Naturally, the tests will move first-time dslr owners towards Nikon. And after that get stuck on the brand as they accumulate their slew of lenses with Nikon mount.

    The bottom line is that reviews don’t really affect dslr owners who are already stuck (captured market) with whatever brand system they started with. It’s the first-time dslr owners like me who’ll have yet to make the initial choice before getting stuck with the choice thereafter that’s targeted by Canon and Nikon marketing team.

    I’m still scouring the web for independent lab results like dxomark to reinforce my chosen brand. If your goodself know some with integrity it’s highly appreciated if you could guide me to those sites.

    Thank you.


  147. Hi Roland
    I have had the 10d,30d,400d and was looking for something better and in a price range that was affordable.
    I was almost about to go the extra mile with the 50d, but for what I am shooting it does not offer much more for the cost.
    Your review made up my mind to stick with the 40d until they come out with a 60d.
    I trust you will do just as detailed a review on it.
    I am an avid canon user and all my equipment is canon.
    The only problem I have had with canon is with their repair dept in Calgary. They tend to be slow and won’t even look inside to find out if the error 99 shows for more than one reason without a payment first.
    Software tends to make up for any small differences such as vignetting.
    Thanks for the review and helping me choose.


  148. Well, it looks like the 5d Mark ii may be out any day now…

    Eagerly awaiting mine… After a fun but questioning run with the 50D.

  149. Pingback: Canon 50D Loving it soo far — Just Loving it. —

  150. “However, the 50D has 50% more pixels than the 40D. Now if we up-res the 40D files to 50D resolution, would the 50D begin to show an advantage or not? Let’s find out.

    The following crops were made with 100% crops from 50D and 100% crops from 40D files up-res to 50D resolution.”

    That is not the way to do it. The 50D image should be (properly) downsampled to the 40D resolution. This way, the high-frequency detail of the 50D, at frequencies the 40D simply does not have, gets filtered out, as it should.

    • Hi santorini,

      I have answered that question more than once before and I won’t go into details anymore. You may have a point and you maybe right. But there is another school of thoughts that favor upscaling the 40D files to match the 50D files, because that might show the resolution advantage of the 50D if any. Ideally, I would like to also do another comparison with 50D downscale to match 40D resolution. Unfortunately, I do not have the time to do that so far.

  151. Dear Roland,

    I have to admit I am getting really crazy. In my early days I used mechanical Nikon cameras and then I made the move to a Nikon D70. I was impressed with Nikon’s capability to focus in low light (though I did not know that this is special compared with what I experienced with Canon later). However I was not happy with the picture ‘feel’ (no problems with the sharpness, I just did not appreciate the colour scheme) and traded the Nikon in for a Canon 20D. I have had the 20D for close to 4 years and was always satisfied. I had some issues with low quality lenses though and that compelled me to start the ‘search’ again (which is a pain as the choice is mind blowing). I just looked into my budget and did not look left or right and went straight for the 50D + a 24-105L lens. I bought it yesterday. After about 1 hour I had the notorious message Error 99 and had to take out the battery to get rid of it and then I found that the life view does not focus (maybe I used wrong settings) and is very slow. I went on the internet and thats when the problems started. I get the impression that everyone favours the Nikon D300 over the Canon 50D and now I am kind of depressed. I really invested lots of time on the internet hoping that somebody would favour the 50D but nope. I got a new 50D today from the shop because of the Error 99 issue (yes, the firmware was already the latest release 1.0.3) and now I am sitting here with a camera which I actually like and still feel unsure if I made the right choice. I admit that I am a spec junkie and the Nikon seems to score higher based on the AF points (yes, I should have done my home work first..). But funny enough I tend to turn them off anyway and always use only one in the centre (works best for me). I am not a pro. Just somebody who wants the photographs sharp (in focus) at any situation. I accept that photographs are out of focus when I make mistakes but I expect that the camera is fast enough in dynamic situations and can find a focus. I had issues in the past with the 20D where I could not focus (low light, fast action) and hope the 50D is better. Can you give me a few encouraging words please..
    PS: I am exploiting you with my silly request as your review appears fact based and ‘down to earth’
    Thank you very much

    • Hi Axel,

      My opinion is that the 50D is a very good camera and you should be able to get very good results from it. Is the Nikon D300 a better camera than the Canon 50? The D300 maybe better in some areas, but the 50D maybe better in others. They are both fine camera and both should give good results. You have already bought the 50D, so I think you should stop worrying about whether the D300 would be better. Just go out and start shooting and enjoy the 50D and forget about the D300. There will always be a better camera around, if you keep thinking the other camera maybe better, then you will never be happy. Photography is much more about the photographer. The camera is merely a tool.

      As far as focusing is concerned, personally, I have no complaint about the 50D AF performance. And if you have back-focus problem have any lens, you can always use micro-AF adjustment in the 50D.

  152. Pingback: Canon EOS 50D and 400D high-ISO comparison « Erik’s blog

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  154. i been using canon 50D for almost 2 months.. i’m total not happi wif its photo quality. Despite all the great feature like LCD n AF micro adjustor… the photos at high ISO is really bad, sucks n not acceptable. all the details is lost and what is canon doing and why are they doing this? the worst thing is that canon claimed the ISO performance is better than 40D which is not true at all. they are lying. i have to rate canon EOS 50D the worst canon SLR product of all time.. this backwards going products.

  155. Hi Roland,

    Thanks for the informative review, for days im in searching for Canon 50D infos and reviews, and im a newbee to D-SLR and could not differentiated the ISO noises and all the features it offers, but im still learning!

    I was abled to grab 1 from my local Circuit City store a complete new set of 50D and EF28-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS USM kit for the price of 1249.99 + tax. My question to you is what is your opinion on the lense that came with it ?

    Thanks, and looking forward to see your reviews on Canon lenses.

    • Hi Tom,
      The 28-135mm is not a good choice of lens to go with the 50D. On the 50D, the 28-135mm will have a 35mm full frame field of view equivalent to 44.8-216mm and is a rather awkward range as a general purpose zoom. The Canon EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM would be a much better choice to go with the 50D IMHO.

  156. Hi Roland,
    I think you must be a saint to put up with, much less respond to the abuse you have gotten in your review. I personally enjoyed your review. I have a 10D and have just about saved enough money to upgrade so naturally your article, along with numerous others, has been a big influence. My inclination is to go with the 50D as it is such a big improvement over my 10D. I have also heard rumblings that Canon is revising their product line next year (2009) and am inclined to think they will not be messing with the 50D since it was recently released. And I also think waiting for the “next generation” will have one waiting forever!
    While I may ultimately agree or disagree with some of your findings, it will never negate the fact that I really appreciate your efforts to bring light to us consumers. Blessings on you for your efforts and rats on the ones that can’t appreciate a well-thought out review, regardless of whether they agree or not.

    • Hi Linwood,

      Thanks for the comment. I really appreciate it. The world would be a better place if there are more people like you, who can appreciate other people’s work and can tolerate different opinions.

      Unfortunately, especially on the internet, there are too many people who do not tolerate people have different experience and views compared to their own and would go out of their way to be rude and obnoxious to those they do not agree with. Maybe it’s because people can hide behind the real world on the net and do not have to face real people and they then believe that they can just say or do anything and be rude and indiscriminately criticize and put down anyone they don’t like.

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  158. Hello Mr. Roland Lim, your review on the Canon 50D was excellent and written so the ‘layman’ could read it, understand it while being interesting at the same time.

    I do agree that Canon has made some eyebrow raising claims regarding High ISO in this model, all in the name of marketing (hype).

    Now in regards to Jim Nicholson, there will always be someone like him where they can never be happy unless they are arguing just to disagree, regardless of whether or not they have a valid point or make any sense, at least to a normal sane person. He is just another “armchair expert” and any dissimilar opinions than his will not be tolerated . He is one of those who believes in “free speech’ as long as it follows what he believes and believes only, If you don’t agree, you are WRONG…

    I own the Canon 50D and recognize it’s strengths and weaknesses. It is a remarkable camera for its price.

  159. Hi Roland,
    Thank you for your reply and your encouraging words! It’s a bit silly of me to bother you with my request so I am even more impressed that you took the time to answer!
    I am by no means qualified to make any judgment about both cameras in question. I just hoped that my money was well spent. Right after I bought the 50D and a decent lens I was off to Nepal on a trekking trip. Have just come back and can say that I am happy with the 50D. The Nikon might have done better (I will never know) but the Canon just did a superb job. I took 2000 pictures in 10 days in various kinds of condition and many of them are just perfect from my point of view. What I like most is the speed and accuracy of the auto focus and the perfection of the exposure. I played a bit with exposure adjustments and have to say that the camera usually had the better judgment than me. Meaning when I thought I need more light the picture generally looks too bright and vice versa. I took pictures in Kathmandu in narrow alleys with diffuse lighting conditions and I am very impressed by the cameras ability to find the best balance. I took lots of quick shots of people and again I am impressed by the auto focus and light balance.
    I took lots of pictures of people, houses etc from a bus travelling at 50km/h or more and the pictures are all decent (in focus). The success rate seems substantially higher than with my 20D.
    I played with the ISO settings as well and I feel that up to 1600 ISO the pictures are fine.
    Merry Christmas and all the best for 2009!
    Thanks again

  160. Hi Roland,

    I think you’re really patient. You answer all the questions no matter what. I really like your reviews. Thank you very much.
    Don’t be discouraged by those who like to argue on your reviews. I just see them as they have different aspects although some of them are very picky, some brand-biased and some just-want-to-argue.
    I used to read reviews from but they are very typical. I don’t expect someone to tell me everything about a camera model in every possible aspects. What I want to say is that I appreciate your reviews. They are much better than my expectation. You have put a lot of time and patience.

    For those who like to argue, there is no one unique perfect solution. Every thing has its own advantages and disadvantages. Just to know them and use them wisely according to your needs, right? Even after knowing them well, we still can make mistakes.
    Even if you can buy 1Ds MarkIII and ask others if it’s worth buy or not. Some will surely say they won’t buy it even if they can afford because of weight, this and that. It all depends on what you need after all.
    If you think Nikon work best for you, then you buy it. If you shoot most of your photos with iso 6400 then get a camera that work well in that speed.
    I think Roland can give us the reviews to some extent and we do appreciate too. There would be some misses in them. We should help him with sharing our knowledge, rather than criticizing him.

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  162. Hi Roland,

    I ended up buying a 50D. Wow, I am a happy camper, unlike some of your other contributers! Again thanks for your time in putting together some excellent info. You are to be commended.

    Now – 2 requests. 1st – should you ever decide to review Apple’s Aperture, I would love to see it. 2nd – would you remove all the stupid comments (like Gil) so those of us that would like to stay informed can skip the crap and get to the meat?


    • Hi Linwood,

      Thanks! I am glad you bought the 50D and like it.

      I haven’t used Apple Aperture, but I might try it one of these days since I just upgraded to a new Macbook Pro that would be powerful enough to run it. Previous, I was using Adobe Lightroom and Capture One Pro. I am willing to give Aperture a try later on.

  163. Very good review

    was very precise review and test, but for those mention that the canon has more pixel yes that is true and comparing to the high iso shows more noise, but everyones forgot the Nikon D3 is full frame, compared to Canon not been a full frame camera…..just guess for yourself…

  164. Canon 40D VS 50D, or Why did I return my 15 MP 50D and kept its 10MP bro…

    The following is what I posted on

    I’ll leave all camera body details and the list of features for the magazines and get right to the question: Which camera should I get?
    (Note: I have already owned the following DSLRs: Canon XTI, Canon 5D and as of three weeks ago – a Canon 40D.)

    Around Christmas, Aden Camera Toronto started selling Canon’s excellent 40D body for $809.99 CAD. As of last week, they reduced the price of the brand new Canon 50D camera body by $250 and are selling it for $1119.99 CAD. Not bad.

    The latest price cut triggered the question: Is the new 50D worth the extra $400 and should I exchange/upgrade to it? Some of the new features that attracted me to 50D were: 15MP which is 50% greater megapixels, micro adjustments – referring to the feature borrowed from the Pro camera, better LCD screen, Digic4 chip, etc. Well, I made my move and purchased the 50D, however, for comparison purposes I kept my less than a month old Canon 40D as well. The reason was that I wanted to make an educated purchase e.g. did not get caught in the camera release hype…

    Round 1: Tripod mounted shots

    Reading the Canon 50D specs I was pretty amazed. Therefore my initial intention was to prove to myself that the new 15MP camera body offers much better picture quality, better focusing and greater details. To minimize any personal bias in my intended testing I created a “semipro shooting set”: I arranged a small table and placed some suitable items on it including the free Resolution Card from Digital Camera magazine (actual card size is a half letter size).
    See pic.1:

    I placed two tripods 4’ across from the table and started shooting. At first I began attaching various fixed and zoom lenses to the two tripod mounted bodies. Such lenses were the Canon 50mm f1.8 II, Canon EFS 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS, Sigma 24-60mm f2.8 EX DG and the Canon 75-300mm f3.5-5.6 II. Well, as you can see all is (joking) “semipro” e.g. not overly expensive optics. Soon I realized that due to the variables added by each lens it would be really hard to compare the data. Therefore, all pics shown will be from the Canon EFS 17-85mm IS USM lens.

    Some very important notes:

    – Images are straight from the camera and no manipulation whatsoever was done to the pics
    – All focusing is right at the middle of the setup picture shown above, where the magazine cover shows a tripod. I always focused on the square logo on the tripod head shown. Mind you, due to the depth of field, some 3D objects I displayed may be a bit off focus.
    – Some more info is given in the title bar of the pictures shown: 40 or 50 refers to Canon 40D or 50D, AU means autofocus, IS means the 17-85mm IS was used and all at Av (Aperture priority the lowest number for the lens).
    – When reviewing the images I made sure I select a picture representable for a whole group of images and it is a quality shot. That’s why the results I show represent not a lucky or bad shot but predominantly consistent performance.

    After the first 20 or so shots were done, I reviewed them and then something started to change: Both cameras produced outstanding pictures (see Pic.2: 40D is on the left and 50D on the right side),

    but they were exactly the same. Except the slightly bigger size of the 50D images, I was not able to see the benefit of the added 50% more megapixels.

    The only difference in resolution I was ever able to see was from the black and white bar code tests I did, where two parallel lines are just a microscopic part away. Although it depends on the distance the picture is taken from, the 50D showed a more pronounced white gap in between. In all other shooting situations when we have colours, shapes and shades it would be impossible to observe that. Here is the proof, where virtually, no detectable resolution differences can be found on the 1:1 crop from the right end of the set table where the Resolution Card is. See Pic.3: 50D in on top and 40D on the bottom.

    The picture shows that from this shooting distance both cameras start to blur below the number 7 line on the left side of the card.

    Round 2: Handheld shots

    Most people in the “semipro market segment” including myself would be shooting from hand. Although I sometimes carry a travel tripod, typically I’m caught without one. That’s why I did bunch hand held shots using the IS lens I have. Once again The picture review showed that both cameras produce very good images. However in my tests 40D provides better quality images including colour saturation and dynapics, contrast and resolution. See Pic.4 showing four wide angle images: two 40D pictures are on the left side and two 50D on the right.

    Pic.5: four zoom images at 85mm and again two 40D on the left and two 50D on the right. Check the focus achieved on the glass… Unless the case is that 50D needs a focus adjustments the pics show 40D doing a better job.

    Pic. 6. One more time, I wanted 50D to shine and did another brick focusing test. Although the focusing was not as easy as I thought the wall test showed 40D focuses better.

    Pic.7: My favorite test that I always do: The INDY test. For all 4 pictures shown the focus is between both NNs. 40D is on the left side, 50D on the right. One can see the DOF changing but altogether-amazing quality from about 3 feet.

    Results, based on my expectations

    From the nearly 800 shots taken, just couple of times the focusing of the 50D was a little better than the 40D. Possibly due to required adjustment issues. However for the vast majority of pics both focused really well and consistently.

    Rather than shots of barcodes no increased sharpness was noticed on the pics. Actually lost of detail was consistent on the pictures from the 50D (discussed further down).

    Colour saturation:
    The colour saturation of 40D is (not by much) better than that 50D. I tried some post processing and saturated the slightly “bleached” colours of 50D, but it got me into dealing with each colour individually and I abandoned the approach. Most of the time 40D provided much better shading range resulting in more details on the pictures. Again, 50D showed lesser dynamic range.

    LCD display:
    The new screen is obviously cleaner. However, soon after I started using it, I personally got used to it. Switching back to the 40D’s screen did not cause even the slightest discomfort.

    Micro adjustments:
    One of the selling points of the camera was the in camera micro adjustments. When I used it I found that my lenses did not really benefit from it and never tried it again.

    That is probably the marketing tool Canon uses the most. Well for me it produced nearly twice as big JPEG file size, but did not get me anywhere near the expected picture improvement. The 50 percent increase in megapixels did not show even 1 percent increase in quality.

    Review conclusion:
    I can say that feature wise Canon 50D is the better “feature packed” camera. Offers more refined use and flexibility. However image wise both cameras performed exactly the same. Since I love Canon cameras I do not want to go to extremes and say that 40D is the better camera. Many settings like sharpness, colour saturation and contrast can be adjusted by the user but definitely in my test pics I noticed that 40D provides cleaner, colour rich surfaces and detail just everywhere you look.
    Therefore personally I cannot justify using bigger file size images but still get same focus, resolution, saturation and detail. If both cameras were priced the same, I would’ve thought which one to keep, but not at 50 percent ($400) higher price. Based on my tests I decided to stay with the 40D and use the money and go on a photo trip, thanks for the idea Rob 🙂 …


    Amount Paid (US$): 663
    This Camera is a Good Choice if You Want Something… Solid Enough for a Professional

  165. On 26 October, Jim Nicholson wrote, “Holy smokes, Roland. You’ve got people who are either making decisions or leaning heavily towards buying a 40D instead of a 50D just by listening to you!”

    Hi Roland,

    I came upon the exchange with “Jim Nicholson” a full three months after it happened, and I have to say that you’ve been vindicated. If one removes “features” from the equation (sharper LCD, micro AF adjustment, etc.), the truth is that many buyers ARE struggling between which gives the better image quality, the 50D or 40D, and the result is probably about even.

    For example, in its review of the 50D pretty much says that Canon overreached with 15mp and that the 40D image quality is superior. Same with another prominent tester,, where in his review of the 50D he admits to struggling over which camera to use for his EF-S lens tests – 40D or 50D – because the 50D does not have the same level of “sharpness at the pixel level.” Plenty of buyers seem to ask the same question every day: 40D or 50D if only image quality is considered?

    So you can feel good about your conclusions, and I’m glad you didn’t let one self-proclaimed “camera equipment reviewer” (who, it’s worth noting, did not link to any of his own reviews!) get to you.

    Great website, great review; keep up the good work.

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  167. Roland,
    I just found your reviews and they are great. Thank you. I just completed a ‘cycling’ photo event for 8 days and going through my photos see (and have seen it before) some very very disappointing action photos. You mentioned in some of your posts “lens back focus”. I see this time and time again in my photos and am wondering:
    Is there a test I can perform to see if my 70-200mm IS 2.8 lens has this problem with back focus? It’s very frustrating to know I have one chance at a shot and upon review, the cyclist is blurry but the spectator or tree in the background is perfectly sharp. It could also be my lack of knowledge (oh, I am shooting in TV and AV modes).

    Also, I currently shoot with a 40D (and a 30D) and would love a ‘full frame’ camera. I thought I could potentially upgrade to the 5D Mark II (since the One Series is no where near in my budget), but after reading your (and other reviews), it doesn’t sound like it’s going to be fast enough for sports photography. Although with the 40D, I find that shooting in burst mode will give me one image that sharp and 9 that are blurry. Could just be me.

    I don’t really need another camera, although the 30D is very very slow, I thought I would keep the 40D, get a 50D or the new 5D, and down the road get a 300 fixed lens. Dreaming….

    Thank you and can’t wait to hear from you,

    • Hi Veronika,

      Please read the following article. Although your 40D does not have micro-AF adjustment, you can still use the method described to check whether your 40D with the 70-200mm are back-focusing or not.

      For shooting sports like cycling, I would use Tv mode and avoid using Av mode. I would want to control the shutter speed, set it at fast enough speed to stop action, or slow enough to allow “panning” shots. With Av mode, you cannot control shutter speed directly, and is not the ideal mode to use IMHO.

      If the stationary background was sharp and cyclist was blurry, it could be due to 2 problems. 1. your camera maybe focusing on the background instead of the cyclist or 2. the more likely explanation is that your shutter speed was to slow can could not “freeze” action, so the cyclist in motion would be blurry and the background which was stationary would be clear,

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  170. Great review.

    I already bought the 50D and wanted to reiterate what you said – if a person has a 40D you are exactly right in recommending that this probably isn’t an upgrade they need to make unless they have the money to burn (and if they have money to burn, go 5D mark II or something…) But its a great upgrade for an XTi, XSi, etc.

    Again, great review, very informative.

  171. hi, i read your review with interest, i bought a 50D two months ago as an upgrade to my 400D. luckily i kept the 400D as i have been very dissapointed with the 50D, i cannot achive perfect focus, ive tried and tried the micro focus adjustments with the same canon and sigma lens’s i use on the 400D. i have always been very happy with the tack sharp images from this camera, but the 50D does not compare well.
    setting up on a tripod, using cable release and 2sec timer with mirror lock up does not achive the same sharp focus as the 400D operated without cable release etc.
    Maybe ive been unlucky with mine, but its going back to the shop for a refund!!!
    before anyone says to try some other procedure, i would like to say that myself and four other very competent digital photographers have exhausted every possibility and put it down to a poor camera. many thanks for the review, im sorry i cannot concurr with your findings

  172. hi Roland,
    Could you tell me why USA Canon 50d more expensive than Asia Canon 50d? better quality… or something?? please
    Thank you very much

    • Hi LE DO,

      As far as I know, Canon 50D is the same around the whole world, whether in Asia, USA or Europe. The price discrepancies between different countries are purely due to commercial, marketing and business reasons. It has nothing to do with quality of the cameras, and should be the same in the cheapest country vs the most expensive.

  173. hi, just to update, i returned my 50D and was given a replacement. immeadiately saw a great improvement with sharp focus and fine detail. i have just downloaded the latest firmware and software and now have the camera i wanted. a note on the firmware states that vertical noise banding problem has been addressed. as this was apparrent even with the replacement, it has now been eliminated by the upgrade.
    now i am happy to say that the EOS 50D is an upgrade from my 400D, but that camera still gives exceptional results and i often use it as an “everyday” camera, reserving the 50D for conditions warrant it.
    thanks for the continued discussions, its good to hear other peoples experiences.
    best regards, Roger

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  175. Hi Roland,

    Thanks for posting such informative article on your blog. I have been considering upgrading my 450D to either a 40D or 50D.

    Your conclusion has helped in determining which to buy. However i am still juggling the balance between difference in price and functions of both cams.


  176. I have used the 50D for quite some time now ( and there’s no denying the images it produces are much softer than the 40D at the pixel level. This is to be expected in a camera that bumps the resolution up 50% on the same-sized sensor simply because there is less wiggle room. It is essential to use top quality optics with this body if you want to take advantage of the higher levels of detail the body is capable of capturing. Images captured with lenses, that were considered “good” on other bodies, may appear fuzzy since the optics are not capable of focusing as sharply as needed. My “L” lenses do very well. My other lenses, well, I sold them since this body REQUIRES pinpoint focusing capabilities. If the lens provides a less-than-perfect image to the sensor, the 15MP sensor will definitely capture a blurry image.

  177. I am planning to buy a DSLR, shortlisted two models based on my budget,
    1) Nikon D90
    2) Canon EOS Rebel T1i
    3) Canon EOS 50D

    Whats the real advantage of 50D over D90 and Rebel T1i(D500)


    • Hi Srini,

      There are always pros and cons in comparing and choosing different cameras. Comparing cameras from the some make is easier. The Canon 50D is better than the 500D in many ways. The 50D has much better built quality with a metal body rather than plastic one. The ergonomics and control system is better. The buffer size is bigger and continuous shooting speed is faster. There are extra features like microAF adjustment. Of course some may prefer the 500D because it is cheaper, although not as well built, it is smaller and lighter, and of course the 500D has movie mode, which the 50D does not have if that is important to you.

      As for comparison between the Nikon D90 and Canon 50D. It is not just a choice between different camera, it is choice between different system. There are pros and cons with going into either system and in the end it’s only a choice you can make for yourself. The decision making process is too complicated for me to explain here I am afraid. But both are fine cmaeras and I am sure you will be happy with choosing either.

  178. As a 10/20/40/D owner for my normal work and sports work with a 500F4 i found the 50D extremely versatile and mostly worry about the end result rather than whats good or bad of the different models.

    Once i have purchased an new model i forget about about the old model and move own.

    I also own a Canon 1ds Mark 11 and will never part with it but rather have them setup for different jobs rather comparing.

    Nice work on the test people should just realize how brave you got to be to test 2 very good cameras and put it up for the world to be the judge.

    Keep up the good work somebody have to keep is educated.

    Laurel / Cape Town

  179. hi Roland,
    I have been reading you reviews and realized that most pics you took were without PP and the contrast/saturation are pretty good.
    May I know what picture style you used for your tests?

    I am using a 40d with 17-40mm lens. I am not very pleased with the contrast/saturation it gives. in fact i find that the colors/saturation/contrast from my 55-250mm matches the 1740mm L lens. hmm…

    Could it be a lens problem? Something undeniable is the sharpness of the 1740mm …

    • Hi Ed,

      The test or sample photos I posted for camera reviews were basically without PP, but most of the other photos I posted on this blog had PP done. For photos I posted in reviews, the Picture Style I used was Neutral. For other photos, Picture style didn’t really matter because I shoot in RAW and do not use 3rd party RAW processor like Capture One Pro or Lightroom and the Canon Picture Styles have no effect.

  180. Howzit, I shoot on the water in Hawaii. My profession is Capt. for Big Game Fishing. My subjects are extremely fast. Blue Marlin, they reach speeds of 50mph and are very unpredictable. I had a canon XTi and had great quality w/ a 70-300 Is F1:4-5.6 lense. I heard, after I made the purchase of the 50D, that the auto focus was slow and the al servo was not good???? I hope this is not true. Can you help answer that or help me. Mahalo, K

    • Hi Kevin,

      It depends on who you ask and who you listen to. Some people find the autofocus good and never complain, so you will in general not hear much about people saying the autofocus of the 50D is good. However, there is another group of people (my personal opinion is thatt this group is relatively small, but I have no real or solid figure) who claimed that 50D has not so not good autofocus, and this group of people tend to be rather vocal and you would hear a lot of noise from these people saying how bad the autofocus system of the 50D is.

      If you ask me, my opinion is that the 50D has a reasonally good autofocus system for this class and price range of camera. Most people should find the autofocus system good enough for most purposes. However, of course don’t expect the 50D to have the best autofocus system around. You will have to pay significantly more to find a camera with much better autofocus.

  181. Hi Roland,
    You have more than enough suport around the world,so people
    who dont like what you say or disagree with your work tough.
    You stand out amongst us all.If you make mistakes so what,so do we all,let anyone who does not cast the first stone. Its the help and advice and foot sloging that counts to the millions of viewers that you do for all. So for every bad guy out there ill pass on your blog to ten more People who just love Photography.
    So eat your heart out boys Rolands not far off his 1,000,000 And those figures say a lot. Roland does this from the heart I know So lets not argue, make a coment but keep the the badness out of the equation. We all love you Roland, keep going let them eat their heart out.
    You Know me

  182. Roland,
    Thanks so much for this wonderful review you did on the 50D. What made this review special was the fact that you took three great cameras compared them fairly and with great clarity and objectivity. I came away with what I really wanted to know, that being the 50D is a great camera and peforms well in low light.
    Thanks again.

  183. I am convinced after the sample photos, that there is no need for me to purchase the 50d upgrade. I really liked the 40d IQ better than the 50d, and on the photolabreview website, it shows comparisons as well, and the 40d just looks sharper and better. The only thing that will tempt me for the 50d is the better LCD monitor, kind of like the D300 I used to own. I do like that feature.

  184. After some Error 99s and a gut feeling that the 50D “wasn’t quite right”, I returned mine for a refund.

    Today my 40D sold on eBay for 80% of its buying price.

    I’m now waiting for the 5d Mark ii, about a month away.

    Canon sent me this message tonight. Too late to fix the Error 99s — I’ve already returned my 50D.


  185. Good review. The only thing I lust for on the new 50d vs my 40d is the larger screen. Other than that, the increase in pixels is probably a disadvantage to me – larger files and the extra pixels don’t do anything for my shooting needs.

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  191. Good review. The only thing I lust for on the new 50d vs my 40d is the larger screen. Other than that, the increase in pixels is probably a disadvantage to me – larger files and the extra pixels don’t do anything for my shooting needs.

  192. Hi Roland,

    I bought the 50D only 16 days ago. I was little worried due to the negative ratings by some on the net. But as I had no choice for a prosumer DSLR at this price point, I got the 50D.

    Have not been able to test its potential that much however, till now it lived upto its promises. Nice images with details and good ISO performance for its level and price. As a hobbyist nature and wildlife shooter upgrading from 450D; the strength that attracts me most is the burst rate. It’s really a joy to activate and the Digic IV provides a tremendous support. May be pros will prefer sth like the 1D MkIV but for users like me, it’s good enough. My only concern is; probably a 12 mp sensor would have made it a world beater.

    So far so good, I’m happy with it. Rebel/xxxD users will definitely find it a great upgrade. Happy shooting to all.

  193. Good news. EOS 50D produces great images when shot at sRAW1. This resolution is good enough for huge prints without any quality loss. The added benefit is; I get significantly more space on my CF memory card. Try it out.

    Happy shooting.

  194. Good day Sir! Im residing here at Hong Kong and I was just wondering as a beginner, would it be okay if I buy a Canon EOS 50D as a beginner instead of getting the Canon EOS 450?

    • HI Kathy,

      Being a beginner does not necessary mean you have to buy the cheapest entry level camera. If your budget allows, DLSR at one or 2 level up usually offers better built and feature set than entry level camera. There is nothing wrong with buying the 50D as a beginner, but remember buying a better camera alone will not give you better photos or make you a better photographer. Learning and applying basic photographic techniques is the key.

  195. Hi Roland,

    I was just wondering if the photos produced by the canon 50D is considered muted and the colours are like less saturated. This was my impression from some sample images I saw on the internet. Do you feel the same also? 🙂
    If so, can this be improved? like through some of its settings?

    Also, compared to the canon 60D, which do you think would be a better choice? I am getting my first dslr, and so I am quite stuck between these 2 models. Do you have any advice to spare? 🙂

    Thanks so much and your review rocks! 🙂

    • Hi Benny,

      Muted and less saturated compared to what? You have to be comparing it with something else, without a reference, it’s hard to know what you were talking about.

      In general, I do not feel that the colors of the 50D is muted though. However, colors and saturation is all a matter of taste and can be either adjusted in camera in during post-processing. Simply setting different “Picture Style” in camera will give you different color and saturation.

      I am in the process with writing a 60D review and hopefully will be publishing it in the next few days. I will be comparing the 60D to the 50D. Maybe you can wait a few days to read my new 60D to find out more answers.

  196. In fact I was little disappointed when I bought EOS 50D. To me it was sort of compromise choice. However, after using it for a year; I’m of the opinion that this model can cater to users’ needs for 3 years more starting from now. It does and will deliver the goods with all top brass or any Canon lenses. Its autofocus is quite efficient, burst rate is sufficient, ISO range is high, shutter speed is high – what more can a prosumer ask for?

    If you are not after “attention getter” setup; just grab this camera with any Canon lens compatible for the situation, shoot in RAW = Pro quality results.

    The common viewer doesn’t inquire about equipment used for images; he/she rates the image on merits. And on merits; its images are at par with the highest quality around.

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