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Canon 50D Comparison Review

The Canon EOS 50D is a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera that was officially introduced in August 2008 and is equipped with an APS-C sensor. It offers a resolution of 15.1 megapixel.

camera

The Canon 50D has a Camera Elo of 1593. This rating puts the 50D below average of all digital single lens reflex cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (APS cameras), the 50D also falls below average. – Well, the Canon 50D is more than 10 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2008.

Headline Specifications
Canon 50D
Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses
15.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video
ISO 100-3200 (100-12800)
Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD, 920k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
6.3 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed body
800 shots per battery charge
146 x 108 x 74 mm, 822 g


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Canon 50D vis-à-vis a credit card. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Canon 50D vs credit card front
50D versus credit card top view
50D and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Canon 50D alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side 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 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 50D 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 800 Y Aug 2008 1,299- i Canon 50D
 
Canon 80D« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 25.8 oz 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199 i i Canon 80D
 
Canon 7D II« » 5.9 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 32.1 oz 670 Y Sep 2014 1,799 i i Canon 7D II
 
Canon 70D« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
 
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 T1i« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799- i Canon T1i
 
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 5D« » 6.0 in 4.4 in 3.0 in 31.6 oz 400 Y Aug 2005 3,299- i Canon 5D
 
Canon 20D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 700 n Aug 2004 1,499- i Canon 20D

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Canon 50D was launched in the US market at a price of $1,299. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Canon 50D:
Check Ebay offers

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

The Canon 50D features an APS-C sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Canon 50D among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.

Canon 50D sensor measures

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). 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 50D APS-C 15.1 4752 3168-21.811.469663Canon 50D
 
Canon 80D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579Canon 80D
 
Canon 7D II« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.411.8108270Canon 7D II
 
Canon 70D« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668Canon 70D
 
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 T1i« » APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363Canon T1i
 
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 5D« » Full Frame 12.7 4368 2912-22.911.1136871Canon 5D
 
Canon 20D« » APS-C 8.2 3504 2336-21.911.072162Canon 20D

It should be noted that unlike many modern cameras, the 50D does not provide the possibility to capture videos.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 50D has an optical viewfinder that provides a field of view of 95% and a magnification of 0.59x. The tables below summarize some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 50D in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Canon 50Doptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 6.3 Y n Canon 50D
 
Canon 80D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 7.0 Y n Canon 80D
 
Canon 7D II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 8000 10.0 Y n Canon 7D II
 
Canon 70D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 7.0 Y n Canon 70D
 
Canon 60D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel n 8000 5.3 Y n Canon 60D
 
Canon 7D« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 8.0 Y n Canon 7D
 
Canon T1i« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.4 Y n Canon T1i
 
Canon 40D« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 8000 6.5 Y n Canon 40D
 
Canon 30D« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n Canon 30D
 
Canon 5D« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 3.0 n n Canon 5D
 
Canon 20D« »optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n Canon 20D

One convenient feature of the 50D is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

 

Connection comparison

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 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 50DY----mini2.0---Canon 50D
 
Canon 80D« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-Canon 80D
 
Canon 7D II« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0---Canon 7D II
 
Canon 70D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Canon 70D
 
Canon 60D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 60D
 
Canon 7D« »Ymono-Y-mini2.0---Canon 7D
 
Canon T1i« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon T1i
 
Canon 40D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 40D
 
Canon 30D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 30D
 
Canon 5D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 5D
 
Canon 20D« »Y-----1.1---Canon 20D
 

Expert reviews

While the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 50D handle or perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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 50D++++4.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299- i Canon 50D
 
Canon 80D« »++84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199 i i Canon 80D
 
Canon 7D II« »+84/1004/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,799 i i Canon 7D II
 
Canon 70D« »++83/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
 
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 T1i« »++74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799- i Canon T1i
 
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 5D« »88/100++oo- Aug 2005 3,299- i Canon 5D
 
Canon 20D« »-++-o- Aug 2004 1,499- i Canon 20D
Notes: ++) highly recommended; +) recommended; o) reviewed; -) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon 50D FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the 50D.

What technology is the imaging sensor in the 50D based on?

The camera is build around a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Canon equipped the 50D with the DIGIC 4 image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the 50D?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200.

What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Canon EOS 50D?

Canon mentions a shutter rating of 100 000 actuations for the 50D. This number represents a Mean Time before Failure, that is an average value. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust the expected shutter life of the 50D over, say, three years, one would have to take about 100 pictures each and every day.

Does the Canon 50D feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?

The 50D's flash sync speed is 1/250 sec.

Which battery does the 50D use?

The camera gets its power from the BP-511A (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Is there a vertical grip available for the 50D?

Yes, Canon offers the BG-E2N as an optional accessory to facilitate shooting in portrait orientation and to provide additional battery power.

Camera to camera comparisons

If you would like to see a side-by-side review of this and another camera, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Canon 50D
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2008
    Launch Price USD 1299
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 15.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4752 x 3168 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.69 μm
    Pixel Density 4.53 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video
    ISO Setting 100-3200 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-12800 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 63
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.4
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 696
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.59x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 6.3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed body
    Battery Type BP-511A power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)800 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 146 x 108 x 74 mm
    (5.7 x 4.3 x 2.9 in)
    Camera Weight 822 g (29.0 oz)

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