Thursday, November 06, 2008

Testing the Canon 50D

I decided to take the plunge and pick up a Canon 50D body which I thought would provide a useful back up body. It certainly on paper has some advantages for bird photography 1.6x sensor, 15 megapixels (useful for cropping) and a reasonable frame rate at 6.5 fps. It comes with a host of other features. most of which I disabled before use except tuning it in with my long lens using the autofocus micro-adjust. So off I went to find some birds to photograph. The first session was in some very windy conditions on the local shore.
A purple sandpiper in some late afternoon light
...and a passing herring gull. The first thing I noticed is that the autofocus is very fast and quickly locks on to target.The next session was under much calmer conditions and the first test subject was some mallard.
My inital thoughts from these shots were:
  • The files are huge and you only get about 178 images on a 4 gig card
  • The images had more noise than my mk3 but it seemed to clean up well in a noise reduction program.
  • The main issue was that the only RAW software that I have which will open the files is DPP supplied with the camera which has to be near the bottom of my personal list when it comes to RAW convertors.

Back out for another session on the local coast.

Common gull in flight

and then a test on the local Egrets in some end of the day light
My verdict from the inital tests are that the camera performs reasonably well although I would not say the image is quality is as a good as the mk3, but then again the 50D is a 1/3 of the cost. Obviously I need to give it some more testing and it usually take me a while to settle in with a new camera body. I will probably also feel more settled with it once I can load the raw files into my usual Capture One raw software.


Tabib said...

Good to see your posting about 50D pictures and the short verdict.
I'm planning to buy this model, upgrading from 400D that I'm now feel the limitation after 1+ yr of using it.
Great picture!

T and S said...

Awesome series of images. Like you said comparing it to the mk3 is unfair given the price difference.

My pick of this series is the images of the mallard...Thomas

Jane said...

I like the Egret pictures more than the malard. I'm no expert on digital cameras, so can only comment on what I "see" in the pictures and I loved the texture in these images. Hard in a white bird! Jane

Rich Steel said...

Thanks for the replies Tabib, Thomas and Jane. In terms of value for money I think the 50D is a great purchase




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