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August 26, 2008 – Canon today announced the first camera to incorporate the company’s new DIGIC IV processor. The EOS 50D, a 15-megapixel digital SLR priced at $1399 (body only), is slated to ship in October. While the new camera shares many features with the existing EOS 40D (which stays in the product line-up for now, at $1099), it represents a substantial jump in image resolution, ISO range (up to ISO 12,800 at full resolution) and LCD performance, with a 3-inch, 920,000-pixel screen.
The speedier DIGIC IV processor allows the 50D to match the 6.5 frames-per-second burst performance of the 40D, but at nearly 50% higher resolution. Another advantage of enhanced processing power: the ability to adjust for light fall-off in the corners of photos (peripheral illumination correction) right in the camera, instead of having to process the images using computer software. The 50D will come with profiles for 26 lenses already loaded, with the option to expand the library.
Live View mode in the EOS 50D will include face detection capabilities, not available on the 40D. It also adds an HDMI port for connecting directly to high-definition TVs. The auto focus system remains the same, with 9 cross-type sensors, as does the 14-bit A/D conversion system. The 50D adds a second, finger grid display for composing images, and adds a Creative Auto mode to allow budding photographers to control camera settings based on plain-English descriptions of a setting change’s effect. For example, instead of simply offering the option to adjust aperture settings, assuming the user understands the ramifications for depth of field, Creative Auto mode will allow the user to decide whether he or she wants the background to be more blurry or less blurry, and increase or reduce the aperture setting accordingly.