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Lunch » Tags » Digital Cameras » Reviews » Canon EOS 50D 15.1MP Digital SLR Camera with EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Standard Zoom Lens » User review

Some of the feature functions I like

  • May 6, 2009
  • by
 Since there are a plethora of articles already written about Canon's most recent EOS camera, the Canon 50D, I thought I'd point out some some function features of the camera that I have already found useful. 

If you do a quick Google search about the 50D, you'll see that many reviews rightly compare the camera to it's predecessor, the 40D. There have been mixed reviews about how much better the 50D is than the 40D. I won't get into that because I never purchased the 40D. But if you're a 20 or 30D owner like myself, stepping up to the either 40D or the 50D is almost a no brainer, especially if you're a serious amateur or professional photographer. 

The features of the 50D (which can also be said for the 40D) are very useful for shooters who take lots of pictures, especially in demanding situations. Canon has greatly streamlined the 50D, making controls and features easier to get at. And though image quality is of course primary in selecting a camera, the function features should not be overlooked. When you pay for a camera like this, you should definitely know and use all its features to your advantage. 

So here a list of my "first impression" features that I would like to share. As I get more time to play around the camera, I will try to share others. 

1. Custom Menu: The 50D comes with a feature called "Registering My Menu" (page 185 in the Manual) which enables you to create a set of six of your favorite or most used menu items. After you select and set up the items, you can push the Menu button on the back of the camera, and your custom set of menu items will be the first to appear. So for instance if you use the Format, Quality, and Auto Bracketing menu items a lot, they will be included in your custom set which means you don't have to scroll to get at them. This little feature doesn't have anything to do with quality photos, but it does save you scrolling and clicking time. (By the way, have you ever stopped and wondered how many times you click and scroll on your computer everyday? It's worse than changing channels on your television.) 

2. Auto Rotate: With my Canon Powershot G9, you can turn the camera in a vertical position and the image displayed will rotate into full screen viewing. When you tilt the camera back to horizontal position, the selected image will turn back to that position. It's totally sweet. Well, you can't do that with the 50D, and I'm bummed out about that. However, I did discover that you can turn off the auto rotation of vertical images on the 50D so that images will appear full screen in playback. You can do this so that the images only rotate on your camera and not on your computer. If you don't this, you simply don't get the full advantage of viewing your vertical images on the 3 screen. This is described on page 146 of the camera's manual. 

3. Quick Control Screen: Though I haven't used it much yet, I think I will like the Quick Control Screen feature of the camera. This feature displays camera settings on the LCD monitor. You can select items and change settings while viewing them in the monitor. This may prove quicker than viewing some of the exposure settings on the top side of the camera, or having to go into the menu and change settings there. 

4. Highlight Alert: I think all the digital EOS cameras have had a feature called Highlight Alert. When enabled, this alert (when viewing photos in playback) will point out areas of the selected image that are overexposed. Some camera users call this the "blinkie" feature. I used this feature all the time on the 30D, but you have to push the Info button to get at it, and the selected image in playback is almost thumbnail size, preventing you from getting good assessment of what is blown out. Well, that problem has been corrected in the 50D. Now you can get Highlight Alert while the image is played back in full screen mode. Totally lovely. Page 133 of the manual. 

5. Custom Mode Dials C1 and C2: Similar to the custom menu feature I discussed above, this feature allows you to register a set of camera settings (shooting mode, menus, etc.) as presets and dial them up anytime you like simply by turning to the C1 or C2 positions on the camera's mode dial (page 186 of the manual). I use this feature on my Canon G9 and it's great. I've read that the 40D has three, instead of just 2, of these preset positions. Canon took away one of the positions on the 50D and replaced it with what they call Creative Auto mode. I haven't played with that mode yet, so I can't say if it's worth getting rid of one of the positions. But I do know that once you get your camera presets the way you want, these C1 and C2 positions can be quite handy. You could for example, have one position set for shooting outdoor photos and another position set for shooting indoors. Perhaps I'll write more about this later in another blog entry. 

Well, that's my five function features that I like so far. I would have included the Live View feature in the list, but I haven't played around with it enough to like it. It's more clunky and difficult to use than on the G9, in which I use the Live View all the time.
Canon 50D

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June 18, 2009
I'm really glad that you reviewed this because I'm a Canon girl looking to add a dSLR to her family of cameras!  The custom menu makes this camera seem like a cellphone, and I love the auto-rotate feature, as well; even my trusty little SD750 point-and-shoot has it!  How's the live view of this camera working out for you so far, by the way?
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Model: 50D 28-135 IS Kit
Brand: Canon

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