Canon seize the light with the highest ISO speed DSLR — the new EOS 50D

By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY: Canon has launched yet another DSLR model, the EOS 50D. It sits in between the 40D (RRP $1,499, body only) and the 5D (RRP $3,499, body only) and has a 12.2-megapixel APS-C size CMOS sensor, but it also has the highest ISO speed available on any DSLR.

The new 50D offers an ISO speed range of 100 to 12,800. This is the highest available on any DSLR in the market and even doubles the highest maximum capability of its own professional-level EOS1D Mark III at 6,400 ISO. And it is four times the speed of its professional-level EOS1Ds Mark III, that can be expanded up to 3200 ISO.

The fact that it has a higher speed than Canon’s own professional-level 1D models, is both a reflection of the fast evolution of DSLR, and a glimpse of a key change we could see on other new Canon models in future.

“Technology has progressed and with the new sensor and the DiG!C 4 processor as well, we are able to capture images in lower light situations than ever before,” said Canon Australia brand manager – Digital SLR, Consumer Imaging Products Group, Chris MacLeod.

MacLeod says that this low light capability makes it ideal for photographing weddings, for instance.

“The really good capability of this camera is its performance in really low light situations. So in wedding situations, for example, the tendency is to want to avoid using flash all the time because it is unflattering light, but the high ISO capability allows the 50D to capture images in low light situations such as churches.”

Another key function of this camera, which sets it apart from the lower models in the EOS range, is the new Creative Auto mode, which is an intuitive step between full automatic mode and full manual mode. Creative Auto mode enables photographers to adjust settings without needing to understand concepts such as aperture and exposure.

“Creative Auto mode now gives the next step up for people upgrading from an entry level DSLR,” said MacLeod. “Rather than saying ‘do you want f5.6 etc, it asks instead ‘do you want a sharper or a more blurred background’, or for exposure compensation for example, ‘would you like a darker or a lighter image’, rather than have to think about how to get that result through the mathematics of photography and then adjusting the settings.

“It really is a great step up for those photographers who are looking to get more creative with their photography and understanding and pushing the barriers of lenses.”

Another key feature of the 50D is Live View Mode with Auto Focus — this is another first for Canon EOS.

And yet another first for Canon DSLR, is that the EOS 50D offers HDMI output in full High-Definition, so that images can be viewed in Full HD when transferred to an HD monitor.

For full specifications and more information see the Canon DSLR webpage.

While pricing has not yet been announced, MacLeod said the 50D pricing would be a lot closer to the 40D price point than the higher 5D price point.

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