Bringing another rumor cycle to an end, Canon has announced the EOS 50D, a follow-up to the popular 40D, which will remain available at least through the end of the year. Though the timing seems a bit surprising--the 40D is only a year old, and midrange dLSR cycles tend to run closer to 18 months rather than 12--it was probably inevitable once the Rebel XSi, which is very similar to the 40D, shipped.
Built around the identical body as the 40D--the only differences are the name plate and mode-dial bezel--the 50D brings with it a bump to 15 megapixels. According to Canon, the new sensor has smaller pixels than that of the 40D's 10-megapixel version, but the company claims superior noise and image quality; 1.5 stops better, in fact, thanks to an improved manufacturing process and larger, gapfree microlenses that effectively result in the same light-sensitive area, according to Canon.
In combination with an upgrade to a newer version of the company's image processor, dubbed Digic 4, Canon also says that the higher resolution won't impose a significant performance penalty, and that the 50D will be able to maintain burst speeds close to the 40Ds. And now that the camera's CompactFlash supports UDMA, the burst buffer can process more shots--JPEGs, at least.
And though it has a 3-inch LCD like the 40D, Canon has switched to the same higher-resolution display found on the Nikon D300… Read more