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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The New Generation Of D-SLRs

Cameras keep getting better, and the latest models to come out this fall are among the very best yet for nature photographers

This Article Features Photo Zoom

new generation
Canon EOS 50D
Appearing just a year after the EOS 40D, the new EOS 50D joins rather than replaces that camera in the middle of Canon’s D-SLR lineup. It’s light, quick and capable, with a 15.1-megapixel image sensor, ISOs to 25,600 and a high-resolution Live-View monitor. The EOS 50D can use all Canon EF and EF-S lenses, which currently number more than 50, from a 10-22mm EF-S zoom to a 800mm super-telephoto.

Quick Shooting Despite the 50% increase in resolution, the EOS 50D’s maximum shooting rate is just a hair slower than the 40D, 6.3 fps vs. 6.5. You can shoot bursts of up to 90 Large/Fine JPEGs using a UDMA CF card (up to 60 JPEGs with a standard CF card) or up to 16 RAW images at that rate.

Lineage The EOS 50D joins the 10.1-megapixel EOS 40D (introduced in 2007) in the middle of Canon’s EOS D-SLR lineup, both having been preceded by the 8.2-megapixel EOS 30D (2006) and EOS 20D (2004), and the 6.3-megapixel EOS 10D (2003).

New 15.1-Megapixel CMOS Sensor The EOS 50D’s new 15.1-megapixel Canon CMOS image sensor provides 50% more pixels than the EOS 40D’s, yet it’s only 1.1% larger. Improved technology, including gapless microlenses over each pixel and advanced noise reduction, allows for ISO settings to 12,800.

New DIGIC 4 Image Processor The EOS 50D is the first D-SLR to employ Canon’s new DIGIC 4 image processor, which provides speedy operation, along with finer image detail and more natural colors than the DIGIC III. Like the 40D, the EOS 50D provides 14-bit A/D conversion, which can recognize 16,384 colors or brightness steps, four times as many as 12-bit conversion.

9-Point AF System The EOS 50D uses the same AF system as the 40D, with all nine AF points working as cross-types with lenses of ƒ/5.6 or faster and a unique diagonally oriented central sensor providing enhanced precision with lenses of ƒ/2.8 or faster. It also adds a feature brought over from the pro EOS-1D Mark III, AF Microadjustment, which allows you to fine-tune focus for individual lenses.

EOS Integrated Cleaning System The EOS 50D provides the same anti-dust features as the new EOS 5D Mark II: Self-Cleaning Sensor unit, fluorine coating on the low-pass filter to minimize dust adhesion in the first place and Dust Delete Data.

High-Res Live-View LCD Monitor The 3-inch Clear View LCD is the same size as the 40D’s, but provides much higher resolution: 920,000 dots vs. 230,000. It also provides three AF Live-View modes, along with manual focusing. Of special interest to outdoor shooters are Quick Mode AF, in which the camera’s standard quick phase-detection AF is used (great for wildlife action and low-light shooting), and Live Mode AF, in which compact-camera-style contrast-detection AF is used (ideal for tripod-mounted landscape work). There are now two Live-View grid displays, one with fewer lines and one with more lines, to help align landscapes. You now can activate Live View merely by pressing the Print Share button on the camera back.

Cool Factor 15 megapixels at 6.3 fps means you can capture fleeting wildlife moments and blow them up huge.

Image Sensor: 15.1-megapixel (effective) CMOS
Resolution: 4752 x 3168 pixels
Sensor Size: 22.3x14.9mm (APS-C), 1.6x
AF System: 9-point (all cross-types)
Shutter Speeds: 1/8000 to 30 sec., X-sync up to 1⁄250 sec.
ISO Settings: 100-3200 (1/3 increments), plus 6400 and 12,800, Auto
Continuous Firing Mode: 6.3 fps, 3 fps
Recording Format: JPEG, RAW, sRAW (small RAW), sRAW 2
Metering: 35-zone evaluative, 9% partial, 3.8% spot, CW
Storage Media: CompactFlash (CF I & II)
Dimensions: 5.7x4.2x2.9 inches
Weight: 25.7 ounces
Power Source: Rechargeable BP-511A lithium-ion battery
Estimated Street Price: $1,399
Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON, www.usa.canon.com
new generation


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