Canon EOS 50D Optical Viewfinder

The Canon EOS 50D offers a reasonably accurate optical viewfinder, which Canon says will provide about 95% frame accuracy, the same as the 40D. Other specifications also remain the same as the 40D: a pentaprism design with 0.95x magnification (-1m-1 with 50mm lens at infinity), an eyepoint of approximately 22mm (measured from eyepiece lens center), and a diopter adjustment range of -3.0 to +1.0m-1.

Within the viewfinder display is an array of available AF points, as well as a lower information readout reporting basics such as exposure compensation, exposure settings, flash mode, focus status, etc. See below illustration (courtesy of Canon USA) for details.

Compared to the Canon 40D, the 50D's viewfinder display adds a Highlight Tone Priority mode indicator below the ISO indicator, and moves the Black & White mode indicator to below the White Balance correction indicator to make room. Otherwise, the optical viewfinder information is identical.

Focusing Screens. As with the 40D, the EOS 50D has two optional screens available. The first screen shown below is the standard screen that comes with every 50D. The second offers a grid for setting alignment, and the third is what Canon calls Super Precision Matte, which is meant for lenses with maximum apertures under f/2.8. This latter screen will allow for more precise focusing when used with these faster lenses, but it will darken if used with slower lenses. The two optional screens are priced at $45 each.

Ef-A: the standard screen Ef-D: the grid Ef-S: Super Precision Matte


Viewfinder Test Results

Good accuracy from the optical viewfinder, excellent accuracy from the LCD in Live View mode.

70mm, Optical 70mm, LCD Live View

The Canon 50D's optical viewfinder proved fairly accurate, showing about 95% coverage. This is about average coverage for a non-professional digital SLR, and matches Canon's specification. Live View mode using the LCD was very accurate, at about 100% coverage.


Buy the Canon 50D

Your purchases support this site

Buy the Canon 50D

Editor's Picks