August 26, 2008

More on the Canon 50D

Canon sent me a news release at Midnight, EST to announce several new products. Among these were the 50D and a new lens. (More on that later.) I have to admit I was totally surprised by this news, especially since people who had been good sources before, denied this camera even existed. Good job keeping a secret Canon – you sort of actually kept this one under wraps.

More about the camera. The EOS 50D is to ship in early October 2008 at an expected street price of US$1399 in the U.S.

Perhaps the most interesting feature Canon is promising on this camera is the new processor. The DIGIC 4 processor is Canon’s next-generation, 14-bit DIGIC 4 processor. Canon says it offers both more functionality and about 30% faster processing speed than the DIGIC III processor in the 40D. This could very well account for how Canon plans to cram so many megapixels onto a small sensor and control noise.

The camera also offers additional features like Live View, a brighter rear view finder, HDMI out, UDMA support and more. What’s interesting is that it seems to offer several features not found on the flagship 1DS MKIII.

The auto-focus is essentially the same nine-point auto-focus found on the 40D.

Canon also announced a new zoom for its 1.6X sensor size cameras. The EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS. It incorporates two aspherical and two ultra-low dispersion elements. It does NOT offer USM focusing but DOES offer Canon’s four-stop image stabilization.

We’re going to try to get our hands on a review unit and if we do, we’ll get back to you with more information.

EDITOR’S NOTE: These sorts of posts often result in protests from the four percent of you who shoot Pentax, Sony, Fuji, Olympus and other cameras, wondering why we spend so much time covering Canon and Nikon. Please know we’d be glad to cover the other cameras, even though more than 90% of our audience shoots Canon or Nikon. But the other companies so far, have refused our requests for review units. Many of them do not believe in or understand the power of online media and the communities we serve. This is unfortunate since our audience is significantly larger than many of the print publications these manufacturers do supply with review units. So just know, it’s not for lack of trying. Those other manufacturers just don’t care about you guys.

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Join the conversation! 77 Comments

  1. Sounds like Canon is going to keep selling crop sensor DSLR’s for a while. Two new 1.6X crop bodies this year and a new EF-s lens. I presonally don’t mind the crop sensor much, but then this is a hobby for me. Actually the EF-s 18-200mm makes a lot of sense, I can see this becoming a very popular lense, especially if it is up to the quality of the EF-s 17-55 f2.8 IS USM lens.

    I vaguely recall hearing Scott mention on a past TWIP that camera manufacturers were going to move away from crop sensors? What’s the deal Scott?

    Reply
  2. Sounds like Canon is going to keep selling crop sensor DSLR’s for a while. Two new 1.6X crop bodies this year and a new EF-s lens. I presonally don’t mind the crop sensor much, but then this is a hobby for me. Actually the EF-s 18-200mm makes a lot of sense, I can see this becoming a very popular lense, especially if it is up to the quality of the EF-s 17-55 f2.8 IS USM lens.

    I vaguely recall hearing Scott mention on a past TWIP that camera manufacturers were going to move away from crop sensors? What’s the deal Scott?

    Reply
  3. @Ed I didn’t say they were going to stop this week! I said as a trend, we’ll see them moving AWAY from cropped sensors. Eventually, they will abandon them. But obviously, not this week :)

    Reply
  4. @Ed I didn’t say they were going to stop this week! I said as a trend, we’ll see them moving AWAY from cropped sensors. Eventually, they will abandon them. But obviously, not this week :)

    Reply
  5. I’m curious to see high ISO performance. Compared to MKIII and Nikons offerings.

    I guess at PMA in march we should expect a MKIV or MKIIIn with Digic IV and 16 megapixels. Seems logical to me that that the 1d series should be better in EVERY aspect than the 50d. Which now it isn’t.

    Reply
  6. I’m curious to see high ISO performance. Compared to MKIII and Nikons offerings.

    I guess at PMA in march we should expect a MKIV or MKIIIn with Digic IV and 16 megapixels. Seems logical to me that that the 1d series should be better in EVERY aspect than the 50d. Which now it isn’t.

    Reply
  7. Not earth shattering, nice though. Face detection gets a big “whatever”, but everything else looks nice. Might even take one of those 18-200mm EF-S lenses if the quality across the whole zoom range is good enough.

    And now the spec comparing gadget freak inside me feels comfortable that I have an upgrade path from the 400D (aka XTi) that (on paper at least) makes me feel like I got something for my upgrade money. The 40D (still a great camera) always had me thinking “I’ll wait and see what comes down the line…”

    Reply
  8. Not earth shattering, nice though. Face detection gets a big “whatever”, but everything else looks nice. Might even take one of those 18-200mm EF-S lenses if the quality across the whole zoom range is good enough.

    And now the spec comparing gadget freak inside me feels comfortable that I have an upgrade path from the 400D (aka XTi) that (on paper at least) makes me feel like I got something for my upgrade money. The 40D (still a great camera) always had me thinking “I’ll wait and see what comes down the line…”

    Reply
  9. Sounds like an ideal coupling for travel. Way lighter than my 1D MKII and the 24-70L +++

    Reply
  10. Sounds like an ideal coupling for travel. Way lighter than my 1D MKII and the 24-70L +++

    Reply
  11. I wonder if Canon is feeling some heat from Sigma in the all-in-one travel lens market? It will be interesting to see how the auto focus compares, even without USM, because Sigma reverse engineers the Canon auto focus rather than licensing it.

    Reply
  12. I wonder if Canon is feeling some heat from Sigma in the all-in-one travel lens market? It will be interesting to see how the auto focus compares, even without USM, because Sigma reverse engineers the Canon auto focus rather than licensing it.

    Reply
  13. Very cool news. Kind of a bummer for me since i just bought my 40D a month ago. That’s fine though, I have accidental coverage on it and once it breaks I’ll just have to upgrade.

    Are the EF-s lenses actually what they say they are 18mm-200mm or do you still multiply 1.6?

    Reply
  14. Very cool news. Kind of a bummer for me since i just bought my 40D a month ago. That’s fine though, I have accidental coverage on it and once it breaks I’ll just have to upgrade.

    Are the EF-s lenses actually what they say they are 18mm-200mm or do you still multiply 1.6?

    Reply
  15. Additional notable observations:

    • The sensor is (apparently) a new design
    • Three RAW modes (RAW, sRAW 1, and sRAW 2).
    • (optional) “Automatic ISO” (100 – 6400)
    • No change to AF Points
    • Addition of ISO info in viewfinder
    • High Tone Priority only available in ISO 200-1600
    • FPS: 6.3 (max burst: JPEG 60 on CF, 90 on UDMA / RAW: 16)

    And… It STILL has that stupid “Direct PRINT” button.
    Anyone actually use that?

    I’m REALLY surprised that they’ve come out with a new EF-S lens.
    That means they plan to keep the APS-C around for a long time.

    Reply
  16. Additional notable observations:

    • The sensor is (apparently) a new design
    • Three RAW modes (RAW, sRAW 1, and sRAW 2).
    • (optional) “Automatic ISO” (100 – 6400)
    • No change to AF Points
    • Addition of ISO info in viewfinder
    • High Tone Priority only available in ISO 200-1600
    • FPS: 6.3 (max burst: JPEG 60 on CF, 90 on UDMA / RAW: 16)

    And… It STILL has that stupid “Direct PRINT” button.
    Anyone actually use that?

    I’m REALLY surprised that they’ve come out with a new EF-S lens.
    That means they plan to keep the APS-C around for a long time.

    Reply
  17. “It does NOT offer USM”

    I was quite excited when I heard the announcement of the 18-200mm IS. As I’ve felt this is a big gap in the Canon line when compared to Nikon’s offering. I had just heard about the Tamron 18-270mm with image stabilization. But one of the gripes many pointed to was no USM or equivalent on the Tamron.

    So when I heard Canon was releasing an 18-200mm, I thought “oh, maybe I’ll give up that longer reach for faster focus”. Well, it looks like I might stick to the Tamron after all.

    18-270mm will make the perfect vacation lens, especially in light of many airlines excessive restrictions on luggage and carry-on.

    The 50D sounds like a good offering. I heard someone say it didn’t really offer much of an upgrade over the 40D. They must have been nuts. Because just the 5megapixels and 12800 ISO option is a pretty huge leap from the 40D. Add in the new UDMA memory option, HDMI output, and a fair amount more. The 50D looks to be a fairly good upgrade. Far better than the 30D was for us 20D owners.

    Reply
  18. “It does NOT offer USM”

    I was quite excited when I heard the announcement of the 18-200mm IS. As I’ve felt this is a big gap in the Canon line when compared to Nikon’s offering. I had just heard about the Tamron 18-270mm with image stabilization. But one of the gripes many pointed to was no USM or equivalent on the Tamron.

    So when I heard Canon was releasing an 18-200mm, I thought “oh, maybe I’ll give up that longer reach for faster focus”. Well, it looks like I might stick to the Tamron after all.

    18-270mm will make the perfect vacation lens, especially in light of many airlines excessive restrictions on luggage and carry-on.

    The 50D sounds like a good offering. I heard someone say it didn’t really offer much of an upgrade over the 40D. They must have been nuts. Because just the 5megapixels and 12800 ISO option is a pretty huge leap from the 40D. Add in the new UDMA memory option, HDMI output, and a fair amount more. The 50D looks to be a fairly good upgrade. Far better than the 30D was for us 20D owners.

    Reply
  19. I use direct print every time I’m in Africa and run out of Polaroids. jk

    Reply
  20. “The 50D sounds like a good offering. I heard someone say it didn’t really offer much of an upgrade over the 40D. They must have been nuts. Because just the 5megapixels and 12800 ISO option is a pretty huge leap from the 40D.”

    Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Call me a skeptic, but I’ll wait to see how it handles the noise at 800+ before saying it’s an upgrade to the 40d. Canon has done some interesting work with this sensor, but I think it’s quite perliminary to say it’s going to be better.

    Reply
  21. “The 50D sounds like a good offering. I heard someone say it didn’t really offer much of an upgrade over the 40D. They must have been nuts. Because just the 5megapixels and 12800 ISO option is a pretty huge leap from the 40D.”

    Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Call me a skeptic, but I’ll wait to see how it handles the noise at 800+ before saying it’s an upgrade to the 40d. Canon has done some interesting work with this sensor, but I think it’s quite perliminary to say it’s going to be better.

    Reply
  22. @andrew who says that Canon is done announcing stuff. Photokina will take place from Tuesday, September 23 to Sunday, September 28, 2008 so there is still plenty of time for them to make more announcements. If I were Canon I wouldn’t announce both the 50D and 5DM2 (or what ever they call it.). That would overshadow the 50D because everyone would be talking about the 5DM2.

    Reply
  23. @andrew who says that Canon is done announcing stuff. Photokina will take place from Tuesday, September 23 to Sunday, September 28, 2008 so there is still plenty of time for them to make more announcements. If I were Canon I wouldn’t announce both the 50D and 5DM2 (or what ever they call it.). That would overshadow the 50D because everyone would be talking about the 5DM2.

    Reply
  24. “The 50D sounds like a good offering. I heard someone say it didn’t really offer much of an upgrade over the 40D. They must have been nuts.”

    Well, sorry. But as a 40D shooter, when I saw these specs, I took a good hard look. And I decided I’m more than satisfied with my camera, it works perfectly for what my needs are, and am not about to run out and get the “new, shiny” model.

    Reply
  25. “The 50D sounds like a good offering. I heard someone say it didn’t really offer much of an upgrade over the 40D. They must have been nuts.”

    Well, sorry. But as a 40D shooter, when I saw these specs, I took a good hard look. And I decided I’m more than satisfied with my camera, it works perfectly for what my needs are, and am not about to run out and get the “new, shiny” model.

    Reply
  26. Stephen Cupp is right. I don’t think Canon is sitting doing nothing about the 5D. It’ll wait for Nikon to make all of their announcements and THEN unveil the 5D mk II so they’ll steall all of the attention. Right?

    Reply
  27. Stephen Cupp is right. I don’t think Canon is sitting doing nothing about the 5D. It’ll wait for Nikon to make all of their announcements and THEN unveil the 5D mk II so they’ll steall all of the attention. Right?

    Reply
  28. I don’t mind that you are Cannon and Nikon heavy, I listen for the non-camera talk, or at least the feature discussions. But I shoot on a Sony for one reason, I have a tremor and it makes it all but pointless to get a camera without built in stabilization. When are Cannon or Nikon going to give this feature in a camera body?

    Reply
  29. @Stephen Cupp you’re right i actaully mentioned that they would probably announce an 1D MkIII upgrade in next few weeks and at the latest in march. But firefox ate my post and i had to retype it and i omitted that part.

    Anyone know if there are any sample images other than the rally car image yet? The rally car image was fairly impressive especially since i didn’t see any noise and it was at 1600 ISO.

    Reply
  30. @Stephen Cupp you’re right i actaully mentioned that they would probably announce an 1D MkIII upgrade in next few weeks and at the latest in march. But firefox ate my post and i had to retype it and i omitted that part.

    Anyone know if there are any sample images other than the rally car image yet? The rally car image was fairly impressive especially since i didn’t see any noise and it was at 1600 ISO.

    Reply
  31. As for the 5D upgrade I’ think it makes sense to use an upgraded 21 megapixel sensor used in MKIIIs. 21 megapixel full frame camera would with DIGIC IV should be very impressive as landscape camera for sure.

    Reply
  32. As for the 5D upgrade I’ think it makes sense to use an upgraded 21 megapixel sensor used in MKIIIs. 21 megapixel full frame camera would with DIGIC IV should be very impressive as landscape camera for sure.

    Reply
  33. Scott, I am a sony user and love hearing news like this. The 50D is an improvement on the long in the tooth 40D. Anything that keeps photo companies on their toes and improving is good news.

    Reply
  34. Scott, I am a sony user and love hearing news like this. The 50D is an improvement on the long in the tooth 40D. Anything that keeps photo companies on their toes and improving is good news.

    Reply
  35. Like others I’m ambivalent about the megapixel jump since I’ve become a fan of the 10-12mp range. It’s probably because I’m not a very good photographer yet and it lets me cram a ton of photos onto the cards that I use.

    I’m mostly excited about a drop in price for used gear as people trade up, it’s hard out there for a cub reporter.

    Reply
  36. Like others I’m ambivalent about the megapixel jump since I’ve become a fan of the 10-12mp range. It’s probably because I’m not a very good photographer yet and it lets me cram a ton of photos onto the cards that I use.

    I’m mostly excited about a drop in price for used gear as people trade up, it’s hard out there for a cub reporter.

    Reply
  37. After reading more about the 50D there are some very interesting features that is going to make it hard to resist since I have a 20D currently. Here’s the list

    ISO in the viewfinder
    AutoISO
    Quiet Mode
    2 different continuous shooting modes
    Screen almost twice the size of my 20D
    Customizable Menu for quick access to features you use
    Cleaning System
    Center point additionally sensitive with lenses of F2.8 or faster (Most of my lenses are F2.8)
    Different Focusing Screens

    I do have some questions about the AF microadjust feature though. Does anyone know how that works.

    Reply
  38. Seems like a worthy upgrade to the 40D. Nothing earthshattering really but not bad at all.

    I will be extremely disappointed if Canon continues with the megapixel race in the 5D. If this rumored 5DmkII does have 21mp, I will be shopping for an old 5D. The vast majority of shooters do not need that many megapixels, even someone like myself who does landscapes and large prints. With that quantity of mp and the subsequent file size of the RAW images, I would not only be upgrading my camera body but also my computer, which I really have no desire to do. So I will continue to keep my fingers crossed that it comes nowhere near that obscene number of megapixels…

    Reply
  39. Seems like a worthy upgrade to the 40D. Nothing earthshattering really but not bad at all.

    I will be extremely disappointed if Canon continues with the megapixel race in the 5D. If this rumored 5DmkII does have 21mp, I will be shopping for an old 5D. The vast majority of shooters do not need that many megapixels, even someone like myself who does landscapes and large prints. With that quantity of mp and the subsequent file size of the RAW images, I would not only be upgrading my camera body but also my computer, which I really have no desire to do. So I will continue to keep my fingers crossed that it comes nowhere near that obscene number of megapixels…

    Reply
  40. @Joe you do need to multiply by 1.6. So it’s a 28.8-320. The 40D still looks like a good offering at $950-$1000 for a body only (though out of my teenage jobless price range :-(, but who uses Dad’s 30D).

    I’m very curious about the noise. Not that the pixel density is high or anything, but with increased resolution and a new engine w/ higher ISO it could be good or not change at all.

    Now will Canon introduce a fast L lens with a wide zoom (17-18) that extends to 70-100 range? It’d be a killer lens for all bodies, but good for crop sensors. Just take the 24-70 down to 18 add IS and drop the price (haha) and they’d have a hit.

    Maybe I should focus on the 50D which the slight body tweaks look really nice from a 30D or 40D point. The weather sealing is sooooo useful and the removal of the jump (playback only) button for a Fn. is nice. You can also apparently customize the direct print button. And the made a slight change to the dial to make it more g9 like (better).

    Oh BTW we won’t see a Canon camera for a very long time (it seems) without a direct print button. At least with the higher end models we can customize them, finally. For most it just wastes space

    Reply
  41. @Joe you do need to multiply by 1.6. So it’s a 28.8-320. The 40D still looks like a good offering at $950-$1000 for a body only (though out of my teenage jobless price range :-(, but who uses Dad’s 30D).

    I’m very curious about the noise. Not that the pixel density is high or anything, but with increased resolution and a new engine w/ higher ISO it could be good or not change at all.

    Now will Canon introduce a fast L lens with a wide zoom (17-18) that extends to 70-100 range? It’d be a killer lens for all bodies, but good for crop sensors. Just take the 24-70 down to 18 add IS and drop the price (haha) and they’d have a hit.

    Maybe I should focus on the 50D which the slight body tweaks look really nice from a 30D or 40D point. The weather sealing is sooooo useful and the removal of the jump (playback only) button for a Fn. is nice. You can also apparently customize the direct print button. And the made a slight change to the dial to make it more g9 like (better).

    Oh BTW we won’t see a Canon camera for a very long time (it seems) without a direct print button. At least with the higher end models we can customize them, finally. For most it just wastes space

    Reply
  42. Tell us more about noise and ISO… Is is all about noise and ISO…

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  43. Tell us more about noise and ISO… Is is all about noise and ISO…

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  44. Oh, and for us HDR folks, can we finally bracket more than 3 shots at a time? I would love at least 5 or 7.

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  45. Oh, and for us HDR folks, can we finally bracket more than 3 shots at a time? I would love at least 5 or 7.

    Reply
  46. Regarding the print button: it now doubles up to initiate live view mode, so not so useless any more.

    As for manufacturers abandoning crop sensor cameras, I for one hope they never do, as they have a huge advantage for macro-photography.

    Reply
  47. Regarding the print button: it now doubles up to initiate live view mode, so not so useless any more.

    As for manufacturers abandoning crop sensor cameras, I for one hope they never do, as they have a huge advantage for macro-photography.

    Reply
  48. @RandyJayBrown: “Tell us more about noise and ISO… Is is all about noise and ISO…” It is interesting how the end users, starting from the actual usage experience arrive at the same bottom line as one who would work designing these from the physical basics. New sensor technology is exactly that: get less noise and greater ISO at the same time. For a given technology these two are related and you can’t get one up without letting the other down, except if you start enlarging the pixel size…
    As Alex have hinted in some past shows, the next different technological breakthrough will be the speed at which sensors can respond repeatedly, with all that newly gained ISO and low noise. Designs already exist, though not for an artistic and friendly use such as photography…

    Reply
  49. Okay, so smaller pixel sites (and many more of them) and higher sensitivity settings. Holding judgment on the noise situation until we start seeing actual pictures from actual units coming out. Suffice to say that a camera manufacturer allowing a higher ISO setting on the camera does not necessarily mean that that setting can/should be used. It’s like judging the performance of a car on how high the numbers on the speedometer go.

    Still, it looks good that 3200 is no longer a “Hi-ISO” setting. My impression with “Hi-ISO” settings were that they were essentially “fake” sensitivity settings made by post-processing the raw sensor data rather than physically adjusting the chip sensor site sensitivities. So, if that terminology holds true, then “3200” on the 50D relative to “Hi-3200″ on the 40D should be a significant improvement. On the other hand, such analysis doesn’t bode well for the 64000 and 12,800 settings, which are both labeled as “fake”. In the end, the actual max sensitivity level seems to have been doubled. I wonder what this will mean to the clarity at 100 and 200 (meaning, will the “sweet spot” now be somewhere between 200 and 400 as it is between 100 and 200 on the 40D?)

    Other than that, yes, the usual gripes about more pixels meaning higher storage costs. I’ve found 8GB CF cards appear to be rather flakey (especially from RiData, who gave us some rock-solid 4GB cards), so I’ve stepped back down to multiple 4GB cards … were I to lose 1/3 of the space just by each photo being that much larger, I’m not sure I’d gain enough in post-processing (cropping) flexibility to make up for it.

    Overall, good to see movement. I’d like to see more aggressive movement on the noise front to answer Nikon (granted, Nikon was really behind on noise until recently, so had the opportunity to make a significant splash even by just “catching up” to Canon, but Canon’s suddenly very far behind Nikon now). I’m not really in the “Full-Framer” camp (I like the lighter weight and cost of EF-S lenses, and “35mm” still seems utterly arbitrary to me), so I don’t see the “missing” 5DmkII announcement as critical (although, as pointed out above, I’m sure it’s coming soon). I’m more interested in seeing where the mid-range x0D line goes in the future. Movement is good. I’d just rather have seen more movement on the pixel “quality” rather than pixel “count”.

    Reply
  50. Okay, so smaller pixel sites (and many more of them) and higher sensitivity settings. Holding judgment on the noise situation until we start seeing actual pictures from actual units coming out. Suffice to say that a camera manufacturer allowing a higher ISO setting on the camera does not necessarily mean that that setting can/should be used. It’s like judging the performance of a car on how high the numbers on the speedometer go.

    Still, it looks good that 3200 is no longer a “Hi-ISO” setting. My impression with “Hi-ISO” settings were that they were essentially “fake” sensitivity settings made by post-processing the raw sensor data rather than physically adjusting the chip sensor site sensitivities. So, if that terminology holds true, then “3200” on the 50D relative to “Hi-3200″ on the 40D should be a significant improvement. On the other hand, such analysis doesn’t bode well for the 64000 and 12,800 settings, which are both labeled as “fake”. In the end, the actual max sensitivity level seems to have been doubled. I wonder what this will mean to the clarity at 100 and 200 (meaning, will the “sweet spot” now be somewhere between 200 and 400 as it is between 100 and 200 on the 40D?)

    Other than that, yes, the usual gripes about more pixels meaning higher storage costs. I’ve found 8GB CF cards appear to be rather flakey (especially from RiData, who gave us some rock-solid 4GB cards), so I’ve stepped back down to multiple 4GB cards … were I to lose 1/3 of the space just by each photo being that much larger, I’m not sure I’d gain enough in post-processing (cropping) flexibility to make up for it.

    Overall, good to see movement. I’d like to see more aggressive movement on the noise front to answer Nikon (granted, Nikon was really behind on noise until recently, so had the opportunity to make a significant splash even by just “catching up” to Canon, but Canon’s suddenly very far behind Nikon now). I’m not really in the “Full-Framer” camp (I like the lighter weight and cost of EF-S lenses, and “35mm” still seems utterly arbitrary to me), so I don’t see the “missing” 5DmkII announcement as critical (although, as pointed out above, I’m sure it’s coming soon). I’m more interested in seeing where the mid-range x0D line goes in the future. Movement is good. I’d just rather have seen more movement on the pixel “quality” rather than pixel “count”.

    Reply
  51. How can you guys be commenting on the cameras noise when you haven’t seen a RAW file taken with the camera. Do you all think Canon was sitting on their butt doing nothing since the 40D came out. If Nikon or Sony since they make the sensors can do it don’t you think Canon can do it too?

    As to the memory cards you’ll probably want to replace the cards you have with the UDMA cards eventually anyways.

    Reply
  52. How can you guys be commenting on the cameras noise when you haven’t seen a RAW file taken with the camera. Do you all think Canon was sitting on their butt doing nothing since the 40D came out. If Nikon or Sony since they make the sensors can do it don’t you think Canon can do it too?

    As to the memory cards you’ll probably want to replace the cards you have with the UDMA cards eventually anyways.

    Reply
  53. @Stephen Cupp you need to calm down. I can do math. That’s how I can comment. It’s physics – if you cram more light sites onto the sensor – you increase noise. I made it clear as well that the new processor might help this. We will test and give you our opinion. Nikon is NOT making a sensor this small with this many pixels on it.

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  54. @Stephen Cupp you need to calm down. I can do math. That’s how I can comment. It’s physics – if you cram more light sites onto the sensor – you increase noise. I made it clear as well that the new processor might help this. We will test and give you our opinion. Nikon is NOT making a sensor this small with this many pixels on it.

    Reply
  55. On the noise front, another mitigating factor (reducing the natural noise levels) is that the microlenses are apparently “gapless” in the 50D (whereas in the 40D they had gaps) … thus, more light goes to the sensors, overall … which may or may not be enough to make up for the smaller and closer-together sites …

    Another question on the “noise” front: the SRAW format is a decent resolution to work with … will this format improve the noise response significantly (ie, do multi-site averaging) or just inherit the full-res noise (ie, just drop out every other pixel before saving to the CF card)? I haven’t tried it with my 40D because I’m generally more concerned with the available resolution than noise artifacts. Still, you’d think that, done right, the “cut down” resolution modes would possibly be the way to satisfy both the noise ninjas *and* the pixel mongers.

    Overall, though, the default assumption until proven otherwise is that more pixels per inch == more noise, given equivalent levels of technology. If this can get decent noise at 15MP, just imagine the silky smoothness of a full frame 15MP sensor with the same technological advances! For that matter, imagine a Medium Format back with the same tech!

    Reply
  56. On the noise front, another mitigating factor (reducing the natural noise levels) is that the microlenses are apparently “gapless” in the 50D (whereas in the 40D they had gaps) … thus, more light goes to the sensors, overall … which may or may not be enough to make up for the smaller and closer-together sites …

    Another question on the “noise” front: the SRAW format is a decent resolution to work with … will this format improve the noise response significantly (ie, do multi-site averaging) or just inherit the full-res noise (ie, just drop out every other pixel before saving to the CF card)? I haven’t tried it with my 40D because I’m generally more concerned with the available resolution than noise artifacts. Still, you’d think that, done right, the “cut down” resolution modes would possibly be the way to satisfy both the noise ninjas *and* the pixel mongers.

    Overall, though, the default assumption until proven otherwise is that more pixels per inch == more noise, given equivalent levels of technology. If this can get decent noise at 15MP, just imagine the silky smoothness of a full frame 15MP sensor with the same technological advances! For that matter, imagine a Medium Format back with the same tech!

    Reply
  57. Just baught a 40D a month ago. Now here’s 50D. Chaps my ass a bit. Don’t get me wrong, the 40D is awesome, but I crave the ISO.

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  58. Here is a guy who has got his hands on the new Canon 50D, and has reviewed it. His name is Brutus Östling, who is a Swedish version of Scott (since he is also an avian photographer) :D

    The original website is in Swedish. I used Google to translate it. If you understand Sweedish, you can go the original website.

    http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tidningenfoto.se%2FSites%2FFoto%2FDefault____54487.aspx&hl=en&ie=UTF8&sl=sv&tl=en

    Reply
  59. Here is a guy who has got his hands on the new Canon 50D, and has reviewed it. His name is Brutus Östling, who is a Swedish version of Scott (since he is also an avian photographer) :D

    The original website is in Swedish. I used Google to translate it. If you understand Sweedish, you can go the original website.

    http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tidningenfoto.se%2FSites%2FFoto%2FDefault____54487.aspx&hl=en&ie=UTF8&sl=sv&tl=en

    Reply
  60. Regarding the attention given to Canon/Nikon at expense of other brands: I am a Sony A100 user and do find it disappointing that Sony and other brands hardly get a mention. Clearly it is harder for you guys if the manufacturers won’t supply you with gear (shame on them) given you are all Canon or Nikon users. Certainly it makes hands-on reviews out of the question. All the same, there are sometimes newsworthy developments that could still usefully be commented on, even without hands on the gear.

    A case in point is say the live view/ live histogram system on the Sony A300 and A350 which (unlike Canon/Nikon) does not go blank when you take the picture. Maybe if you gave other brands at least a passing recognition of existence you might get more change out of the manufacturers. Right now they might think you are so wedded to the big two that they would just be wasting their time.

    There is no doubting that Nikon/Canon are in the lead, in terms of market and quality/range of gear. But other manufacturers are trying to catch up, and innovating. Please don’t ignore them completely.

    Reply
  61. Regarding the attention given to Canon/Nikon at expense of other brands: I am a Sony A100 user and do find it disappointing that Sony and other brands hardly get a mention. Clearly it is harder for you guys if the manufacturers won’t supply you with gear (shame on them) given you are all Canon or Nikon users. Certainly it makes hands-on reviews out of the question. All the same, there are sometimes newsworthy developments that could still usefully be commented on, even without hands on the gear.

    A case in point is say the live view/ live histogram system on the Sony A300 and A350 which (unlike Canon/Nikon) does not go blank when you take the picture. Maybe if you gave other brands at least a passing recognition of existence you might get more change out of the manufacturers. Right now they might think you are so wedded to the big two that they would just be wasting their time.

    There is no doubting that Nikon/Canon are in the lead, in terms of market and quality/range of gear. But other manufacturers are trying to catch up, and innovating. Please don’t ignore them completely.

    Reply
  62. @Dennis Wright – sorry – we’re not going to be like the echo chamber sites here. We won’t report on camera features or news that we can’t test or verify. And frankly, we’re MUCH less likely to talk about Sony than any other brand since they have essentially directly told us to “sod off.”

    And just to be clear, Nikon/Canon are not just in the lead – they OWN the market. There’s a reason Sony and these other companies have such a tiny market share.

    I’ll repeat – if you want coverage of other brands, contact the manufacturers directly and ask them to provide us with access. We’ll gladly go with an open mind and look at their gear, review it, test it and report on it. Until then, it’s not practical.

    Reply
  63. @Dennis Wright – sorry – we’re not going to be like the echo chamber sites here. We won’t report on camera features or news that we can’t test or verify. And frankly, we’re MUCH less likely to talk about Sony than any other brand since they have essentially directly told us to “sod off.”

    And just to be clear, Nikon/Canon are not just in the lead – they OWN the market. There’s a reason Sony and these other companies have such a tiny market share.

    I’ll repeat – if you want coverage of other brands, contact the manufacturers directly and ask them to provide us with access. We’ll gladly go with an open mind and look at their gear, review it, test it and report on it. Until then, it’s not practical.

    Reply
  64. I have contacted Sony direct, not that I expect my lone voice to achieve much. I would urge other TWiP listeners/readers to do the same, even if not Sony users. Or contact Pentax/Olympus/Sigma – whoever.

    It must be healthy for everyone to cover a wider range of brands. I do not believe the Canon/Nikon stranglehold will last forever, any more than Microsoft can keep Apple/Linux out forever. The show should have an eye to the future, some of which is being created by Nikon/Canon but not all.

    Look, on a recent episode you covered sensors and mentioned the Foveon which does away with Bayer mosaics but has fewer pixel positions than conventional sensors. It is available in a Sigma camera. Should you not be following this up? Is this a possible development path you can ignore or only mention in passing in a show like this?

    Reply
  65. @Dennis I am going to try one more time here and then I’ll have to move on. Sigma won’t return my calls. Are you reading what I’ve written here? How exactly would you propose I follow this up? Perhaps you could find it in your wallet to purchase all the gear you’d like us to cover and send it to us for review. Otherwise, you might find another podcast that covers these brands better than we do.

    We have asked our audience to contact the other manufacturers, and at times they have done so. In the case of Pentax, we got a response. Then Pentax never sent the review unit they promised us. The rest of the second and third-tier manufacturers have ignored us. Except for Sony who not only ignored us, but for all intents and purposes told us to **** off.

    I’ve covered this subject now as deeply as I can. I have to get to work on the next show.

    Reply
  66. @Dennis I am going to try one more time here and then I’ll have to move on. Sigma won’t return my calls. Are you reading what I’ve written here? How exactly would you propose I follow this up? Perhaps you could find it in your wallet to purchase all the gear you’d like us to cover and send it to us for review. Otherwise, you might find another podcast that covers these brands better than we do.

    We have asked our audience to contact the other manufacturers, and at times they have done so. In the case of Pentax, we got a response. Then Pentax never sent the review unit they promised us. The rest of the second and third-tier manufacturers have ignored us. Except for Sony who not only ignored us, but for all intents and purposes told us to **** off.

    I’ve covered this subject now as deeply as I can. I have to get to work on the next show.

    Reply
  67. @CraigD: Hey! High five to my fellow tremor camera shooters! We’re the guys who use IS because we HAVE to, and love photography enough that we don’t let it stop us! That said, I do wonder if there was some sort of a lab test that could be done to measure which is better, on camera IS or in lens IS. I shoot Canon, and love low light photography, sometimes in areas where tripods are a no-no, so my limited budget has made my 50mm 1.8 my best friend!
    Ok, so, to keep this from becoming a thread-jack… Do you guys think Canon will ever move to putting IS in camera, or will they just keep raking in more money with higher priced IS lenses?

    Reply
  68. @CraigD: Hey! High five to my fellow tremor camera shooters! We’re the guys who use IS because we HAVE to, and love photography enough that we don’t let it stop us! That said, I do wonder if there was some sort of a lab test that could be done to measure which is better, on camera IS or in lens IS. I shoot Canon, and love low light photography, sometimes in areas where tripods are a no-no, so my limited budget has made my 50mm 1.8 my best friend!
    Ok, so, to keep this from becoming a thread-jack… Do you guys think Canon will ever move to putting IS in camera, or will they just keep raking in more money with higher priced IS lenses?

    Reply
  69. Looks like a very interesting unit – I will be giving it serious consideration to be my prime body, relegating my 400D to back-up status.

    The noise performance would have to be significantly improved over the 400D for them to be able to offer 12800 ISO as a usable option. Will be very interested to see how it actually works out in practice. Better low-light performance is the single most desired feature for my next purchase.

    I really hope they do not drop the compact sensor size, it is a perfectly legitimate format, NOT a ‘crop sensor’, Scott seems a little too focussed on his own wants and needs. It’s a boon for people like myself who move around a lot, on foot, bicycle. or by air, and want to carry a useful collection camera gear with them.

    Reply
  70. Looks like a very interesting unit – I will be giving it serious consideration to be my prime body, relegating my 400D to back-up status.

    The noise performance would have to be significantly improved over the 400D for them to be able to offer 12800 ISO as a usable option. Will be very interested to see how it actually works out in practice. Better low-light performance is the single most desired feature for my next purchase.

    I really hope they do not drop the compact sensor size, it is a perfectly legitimate format, NOT a ‘crop sensor’, Scott seems a little too focussed on his own wants and needs. It’s a boon for people like myself who move around a lot, on foot, bicycle. or by air, and want to carry a useful collection camera gear with them.

    Reply
  71. The technology for image stabilising in lenses is quite different to what is usable or applicable to in-camera anti-shake. I can imagine that the in-lens technology may be able to achieve better results, tuned for the focal range of the lens.

    Any info on how in-lens stabilisation performance actually compares to in-camera for comparable effective focal length lenses?

    Reply
  72. Bob, in camera IS in many cameras do take into account the focal length of the lens. There may be some limitations in the very long or very short focal lengths that in-camera may not be good for, but I’ve found in-camera to be very good. In-lens is often about as good, sometimes a lot better for certain lenses, but not all lenses are available with an IS variant. This is all about trade-offs though, each system has its own benefits and weaknesses.

    Reply
  73. Bob, in camera IS in many cameras do take into account the focal length of the lens. There may be some limitations in the very long or very short focal lengths that in-camera may not be good for, but I’ve found in-camera to be very good. In-lens is often about as good, sometimes a lot better for certain lenses, but not all lenses are available with an IS variant. This is all about trade-offs though, each system has its own benefits and weaknesses.

    Reply
  74. Canon rumour sites in order of preferrence :
    http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/rumours.html
    http://www.canonrumors.com/

    The specs of the 50D was not a surprise for any reader of those sites.

    Reply
  75. Canon rumour sites in order of preferrence :
    http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/rumours.html
    http://www.canonrumors.com/

    The specs of the 50D was not a surprise for any reader of those sites.

    Reply

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