Canon 50D Review

 
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Canon EOS 50D Operation

Like the Canon 40D, the Canon EOS 50D has an enhanced interface, with both the traditional monochrome Status LCD and viewfinder LED display, and a rear Status display that can be brought up on the 3-inch LCD. Finally, Live View mode also has a Status display, including a live histogram.

The control layout has changed only slightly compared to the 40D. The Jump button has been removed to make room for a new Function button below the right-hand corner of the main LCD, and the Print/Share button now serves as a Live View button, freeing up the Set button for its traditional purpose of confirming selections.

 

Canon EOS 50D Top-Panel LCD Display

The Canon 50D features a top-panel LCD display, which reports practically all of the camera's main exposure and menu settings. The display is black and white, and only shows the settings that are applicable during use, though the illustration below shows the full range of settings that can appear. (Illustration courtesy Canon USA.)

Note the new Highlight Tone Priority indicator, which comes up as a D+ when HTP is active. The Custom function icon was deleted.

 

Canon EOS 50D Record Mode Displays

When the INFO button is pressed, the 50D's rear panel LCD monitor also offers a status display, similar to ones found on models without a top status LCD. New for the 50D, though, is the ability to adjust settings directly from this display using the Multi-controller joystick. The image below shows callouts for all the information shown in this shooting display. (Illustration courtesy Canon USA.)


Canon EOS 50D Record Displays
Normal record mode display.
Pressing the INFO button turns the display into a quick menu, where the displayed settings can be selected with the Multi-controller, and adjusted directly with the Quick control dial.
You can also use the SET button, which displays the dedicated menu for a function.

Additionally, the EOS 50D's rear-panel LCD monitor can be used as a viewfinder, via the camera's Live View mode (see the Viewfinder tab). A sampling of exposure information appears on-screen, and if the Exposure Simulation option is enabled, the image display reflects what the expected exposure outcome will be. An optional histogram can display, but unfortunately it isn't translucent, completely blocking that upper right quadrant.

 

Canon EOS 50D Playback Mode Displays

The display mode used in Record Review is the same as was last used in Playback mode, or you can hit the DISP button to cycle to a different mode. Likewise, in Playback mode, you can cycle between the available display options by pressing the DISP button repeatedly. You can also select between the normal luminance-based histogram and the new RGB histogram option via a Playback-mode menu item.

 

Canon EOS 50D Playback Displays
Normal playback mode display, showing shutter time, aperture, file number, and active memory card.
Pressing the INFO button cycles through several displays including a screen with one luminance histogram.
A second press brings up another display with both an RGB and a luminance histogram.
You can zoom out to thumbnail views, the standard display moving through screens with 4-up, 9-up, and 9-up with the ability to jump through images on the card 9 at a time by turning the Main command dial. The shot above shows the "jump mode" screen. There's the usual ability to zoom in on the subject, with the location of the current zoomed view within the full frame shown in the little navigator window in the lower right. We like that you can step between images while maintaining the zoomed display. This makes it easy to compare focus or other fine details from one shot to the next.


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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

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