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Canon 10D vs 50D

The Canon EOS 10D and the Canon EOS 50D are two enthusiast cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2003 and August 2008. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The 10D has a resolution of 6.3 megapixels, whereas the 50D provides 15.1 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Headline Specifications
Canon 10D   Canon 50D
Canon 10D Canon 50D
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
6.3 MP, APS-C Sensor 15.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-3200 ISO 100-3200 (100-12800)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
1.8" LCD, 118k dots 3.0" LCD, 920k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 6.3 shutter flaps per second
Not weather sealedWeathersealed body
500 shots per battery charge800 shots per battery charge
150 x 107 x 75 mm, 850 g 146 x 108 x 74 mm, 822 g

Body comparison: Canon 10D vs 50D

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 10D and the Canon 50D. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Compare Canon 10D and Canon 50D
Compare 10D versus 50D top
Compare 10D or 50D rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 50D is somewhat smaller (2 percent) than the Canon 10D. Moreover, the 50D is slightly lighter (3 percent) than the 10D. It is noteworthy in this context that the 50D is splash and dust-proof, while the 10D does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the 10D gets 500 shots out of its BP-511 battery, while the 50D can take 800 images on a single charge of its BP-511A power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon 10D» 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 30.0 oz 500 n Feb 2003 1,999- i Canon 10D
 
Canon 50D« 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 800 Y Aug 2008 1,299- i Canon 50D
 
Canon T5« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449- i Canon T5
 
Canon 70D« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
 
Canon SL1« » 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549- i Canon SL1
 
Canon T4i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon T4i
 
Canon 60D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 1100 Y Aug 2010 1,399- i Canon 60D
 
Canon 7D« » 5.8 in 4.4 in 2.9 in 30.3 oz 800 Y Sep 2009 1,699- i Canon 7D
 
Canon 40D« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 750 n Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
 
Canon 30D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.9 in 27.7 oz 750 n Feb 2006 1,399- i Canon 30D
 
Canon 20D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 700 n Aug 2004 1,499- i Canon 20D
 
Canon Rebel« » 5.6 in 3.9 in 2.8 in 22.9 oz 400 n Aug 2003 899- i Canon Rebel
 
Canon D60« » 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 30.2 oz 620 n Feb 2002 2,999- i Canon D60
 
Nikon D100« » 5.7 in 4.6 in 3.2 in 27.5 oz 370 n Feb 2002 1,999- i Nikon D100

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 50D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 35 percent) than the 10D, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon 10D vs 50D

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the 50D is 3 percent smaller. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Technology-wise, the 50D uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 4) than the 10D (DIGIC), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon 10D and Canon 50D sensor measures

Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the 50D offers a higher resolution of 15.1 megapixels, compared with 6.3 MP of the 10D. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.69μm versus 7.38μm for the 10D). However, it should be noted that the 50D is much more recent (by 5 years and 5 months) than the 10D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

The Canon EOS 10D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200 The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS 50D are ISO 100 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-12800..

10D versus 50D MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under consideration, the 50D has a markedly higher DXO score than the 10D (overall score 6 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.7 bits higher color depth, 0.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.3 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Canon 10D» APS-C 6.3 3072 2048-21.110.957157Canon 10D
 
Canon 50D« APS-C 15.1 4752 3168-21.811.469663Canon 50D
 
Canon T5« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463Canon T5
 
Canon 70D« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668Canon 70D
 
Canon SL1« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363Canon SL1
 
Canon T4i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon T4i
 
Canon 60D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.581366Canon 60D
 
Canon 7D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.011.785466Canon 7D
 
Canon 40D« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.370364Canon 40D
 
Canon 30D« » APS-C 8.2 3504 2336-21.510.873659Canon 30D
 
Canon 20D« » APS-C 8.2 3504 2336-21.911.072162Canon 20D
 
Canon Rebel« » APS-C 6.3 3072 2048-21.010.854455Canon Rebel
 
Canon D60« » APS-C 6.3 3072 2048-----Canon D60
 
Nikon D100« » APS-C 6.0 3008 2000-----Nikon D100
The 50D offers Live View, so that it can project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen for framing. The 10D lacks this capability. Both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.
 

Feature comparison: Canon 10D vs 50D

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 10D and the 50D are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the 50D has a higher magnification than the one of the 10D (0.59x vs 0.55x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 10D and Canon 50D along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Canon 10D»optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 10D
 
Canon 50D«optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 6.3 Y n Canon 50D
 
Canon T5« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon T5
 
Canon 70D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n Canon 70D
 
Canon SL1« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9 Y n Canon SL1
 
Canon T4i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon T4i
 
Canon 60D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/8000s 5.3 Y n Canon 60D
 
Canon 7D« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 Y n Canon 7D
 
Canon 40D« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n Canon 40D
 
Canon 30D« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n Canon 30D
 
Canon 20D« »optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n Canon 20D
 
Canon Rebel« »optical n 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n Canon Rebel
 
Canon D60« »optical Y 1.8 114 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon D60
 
Nikon D100« »optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D100

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 10D and the 50D write their files to Compact Flash cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Canon 10D vs 50D

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 10D and Canon EOS 50D and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Canon 10D»Y-----1.1---Canon 10D
 
Canon 50D«Y----mini2.0---Canon 50D
 
Canon T5« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon T5
 
Canon 70D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Canon 70D
 
Canon SL1« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon SL1
 
Canon T4i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon T4i
 
Canon 60D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 60D
 
Canon 7D« »Ymono-Y-mini2.0---Canon 7D
 
Canon 40D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 40D
 
Canon 30D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 30D
 
Canon 20D« »Y-----1.1---Canon 20D
 
Canon Rebel« »Y-----1.1---Canon Rebel
 
Canon D60« »Y-----1.1---Canon D60
 
Nikon D100« »Y-----1.1---Nikon D100

Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.

Both the 10D and the 50D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 10D was replaced by the Canon 20D, while the 50D was followed by the Canon 60D. Further information on the two cameras, as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.


Review summary: Canon 10D vs 50D

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon 10D better than the Canon 50D or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Canon EOS 10D:

  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2003).


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 50D:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (15.1 vs 6.3MP), which boosts linear resolution by 55%.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (6 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 4 vs DIGIC).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.59x vs 0.55x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 118k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6.3 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (800 versus 500) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.1).
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (35 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 5 years and 5 months of technical progress since the 10D launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 50D is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 1 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.

10D 01:13 50D

Do the specifications of the Canon 10D and the Canon 50D place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 10D or the 50D. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews: Canon 10D vs 50D

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon 10D»-++-o- Feb 2003 1,999- i Canon 10D
 
Canon 50D«++++4.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299- i Canon 50D
 
Canon T5« »+-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i Canon T5
 
Canon 70D« »++83/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
 
Canon SL1« »+78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i Canon SL1
 
Canon T4i« »++77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon T4i
 
Canon 60D« »+79/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 1,399- i Canon 60D
 
Canon 7D« »++84/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2009 1,699- i Canon 7D
 
Canon 40D« »++++4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
 
Canon 30D« »++++oo- Feb 2006 1,399- i Canon 30D
 
Canon 20D« »-++-o- Aug 2004 1,499- i Canon 20D
 
Canon Rebel« »-++-o- Aug 2003 899- i Canon Rebel
 
Canon D60« »-++o-- Feb 2002 2,999- i Canon D60
 
Nikon D100« »-++oo- Feb 2002 1,999- i Nikon D100
Notes: ++) highly recommended; +) recommended; o) reviewed; -) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon 10D:
Check Ebay offers
Canon 50D:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon 10D vs Canon 50D

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 10D Canon 50D
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2003 August 2008
    Launch Price USD 1999 USD 1299
    Sensor Specs Canon 10D Canon 50D
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.7 x 15.1 mm 22.3 x 14.9 mm
    Sensor Area 342.77 mm2 332.27 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 27.3 mm 26.8 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 6.3 Megapixels 15.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3072 x 2048 pixels 4752 x 3168 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.38 μm 4.69 μm
    Pixel Density 1.84 MP/cm2 4.53 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100-3200 ISO 100-3200 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100-12800 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC DIGIC 4
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 57 63
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.1 21.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.9 11.4
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 571 696
    Screen Specs Canon 10D Canon 50D
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.55x 0.59x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 1.8 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 118k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 10D Canon 50D
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 6.3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 10D Canon 50D
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 1.1 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 10D Canon 50D
    Environmental SealingNot weather sealedWeathersealed body
    Battery Type BP-511 power pack BP-511A power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)500 shots per charge800 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 150 x 107 x 75 mm
    (5.9 x 4.2 x 3.0 in)
    146 x 108 x 74 mm
    (5.7 x 4.3 x 2.9 in)
    Camera Weight 850 g (30.0 oz) 822 g (29.0 oz)

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