• APS-C 369.7mm2
  • 15.1 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 3200
  • 35mm 861.6mm2
  • 24.6 megapixels
  • ISO 200 - 3200

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Differences

Canon 50D advantages over Sony A850

  • Lens selection
    Excellent vs Good
    Better lens selection gives you more options
  • Less expensive
    $1399 vs $2000 (MSRP)
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Fast startup
    ~0.30 vs 0.5 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Internal flash
    Internal flash vs None
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • More cross-type AF points
    9 vs 1
    Cross-type AF points improve autofocus performance
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    6.3 fps vs 3.0 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    43 vs 23 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)
  • Higher extended ISO
    12800 vs 6400 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Sony A850 advantages over Canon 50D

  • Larger sensor
    35mm vs APS-C
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Yes vs No
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 5.94 vs 4.99 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Higher effective ISO
    1,415 vs 696 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 880 vs 640 shots
    Capture more photos
  • More viewfinder magnification
    0.74x vs 0.59x
    Get a bigger view of the scene through the eye-level viewfinder
  • More pixels
    24.6 vs 15.1 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Dual card slots
    Yes vs No
    Gives you more storage flexibility

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • Top deck display
    Both provide
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Both provide
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use HDMI output to monitor or review video
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Bulb shutter
    Both provide
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures

Common Weaknesses

  • Focus peaking
    Neither provide
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • Touchscreen
    Neither provide
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Tiltable Screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Neither provide
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Neither provide
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • Built-in GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Neither provide
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • External Mic Jack
    Neither provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • Headphone jack
    Neither provide
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

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Review Excerpt

The Competition

Compared to Samsung GX-20

Canon 50D
Samsung GX-20
  • $1000
  • APS-C
  • HDMI out
  • More dots on screen
  • $1400
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Sony A850
Samsung GX-20
  • $2219
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $1400
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Lens selection

Compared to Sony A900

Canon 50D
Sony A900
  • $1000
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Less expensive
  • $3000
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Sony A850
Sony A900
  • $2219
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
  • $3000
  • 35mm
  • Faster JPEG shooting

Compared to Pentax K-7

Canon 50D
Pentax K-7
  • $1000
  • APS-C
  • Fast startup
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $1300
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Sony A850
Pentax K-7
  • $2219
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $1300
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Lens selection

Compared to Sony DSLR-A550

Canon 50D
Sony DSLR-A550
  • $1000
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Sony A850
Sony DSLR-A550
  • $2219
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Tiltable Screen

Compared to Canon 5D Mark III

Canon 50D
Canon 5D Mark III
  • $1000
  • APS-C
  • Fast startup
  • Internal flash
  • $2520
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
Sony A850
Canon 5D Mark III
  • $2219
  • 35mm
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $2520
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Higher effective ISO
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