August 27, 2008 Canon's newest EOS digital SLR will hit shelves in October packing a 15.1-megapixel resolution, in-camera photo editing, improved noise reduction and a new DIGIC 4 Image Processor that delivers an expanded ISO range and 6.3 frames-per-second continuous shooting capability.

The EOS 50D provides ISO speeds from ISO 100 to ISO 3200 in 1/3-stop increments. The camera also features two high-speed settings with ISO speeds of ISO 6400 and ISO 12800. The CMOS APS-C size image sensor features gapless microlenses over each pixel to reduce noise and expand sensitivity, while the 14-bit Analog-to-Digital conversion process ensures smooth tones and noise reduction at higher ISO ranges.

The DIGIC 4 processor enables the 6.3-fps shooting capability, which allows users to take bursts of up to 90 Large/Fine JPEGs or 16 RAW images on a UDMA CF card. Depending on lighting conditions and shooting speed, users can choose from four settings – Standard/Weak/Strong/None – to help reduce digital noise. The processor internalizes a lot of image adjustments traditionally done on post-processing software. The camera conducts peripheral illumination correction, evening brightness across the image field, and the Auto Lighting Optimizer automatically adjusts dark images, altering the brightness of images both while they are being taken and post-capture, during playback. For further adjustment, Canon’s Digital Photo Professional software is packaged with the camera.

The EOS 50D features a 3.0-inch Clear View LCD screen with 920,000-dot/VGA resolution – four times the pixel count of the EOS 40D. The camera also includes an HDMI output, so users can view their efforts on a High-Definition TV. The viewfinder features 0.95x magnification and the EOS 40D’s Autofocus system, with nine cross-type sensors. The system’s lenses possess maximum apertures of f/5.6 or faster and incorporates a high-precision diagonal center cross-type AF point that is effective with f/2.8 and faster lenses. The EOS 50D also incorporates the EOS-1D Mark III’s AF Microadjustment feature.

The CA Creative Full Auto setting replaces technical jargon with layman’s language, for users who want high control over their photos without having to take a photography course. In this mode, the camera offers users the opportunity to “blur the background” or “lighten or darken the image”.

The Live View function of the digital SLR allows users to frame their shots on the LCD screen. This feature includes settings such as “Quick Mode AF”, which flips the mirror down and conducts regular phase-detection autofocus; and “Live Mode AF” and “Face Detection Live Mode AF”, which use the camera’s CMOS image sensor for contrast detection autofocus. Face Detection Live Mode AF can recognize up to 35 individual forward-looking faces.

The EOS 50D can capture images in JPEG and RAW formats, as well as in the 7.1-megapixel sRAW1 and the 3.8-megapixel sRAW2 formats. The camera is the first Canon Digital SLR that allows the use of RAW and sRAW settings in Basic Zone and Creative Zone shooting modes.

The camera’s Self-Cleaning Sensor Unit uses ultrasonic vibrations to move dust off the low-pass filter every time the camera is turned on and off, and includes a fluorine coating for increased dust resistance.

In addition to the USD$1,399 body-only package, the EOS 50D will be offered in a kit version with Canon's EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM zoom lens at an estimated selling price of USD$1,599.00.

And there's more...

Other recent Canon camera product announcements include the US$199.99 PowerShot E1; the US$199.99 PowerShot A1000 IS; and the US$249.99 PowerShot A2000 IS.

The 10-megapixel PowerShot E1 is powered by the DIGIC III processor and features a 4x Optical Zoom-lens, Optical Image Stabilization, Canon's Face Detection Technology and Easy Mode.

The 10-megapixel PowerShot A1000 IS is also powered by the DIGIC III processor, and features a 4x Optical Zoom-lens, Optical Image Stabilization, Face Detection Technology, Motion Detection Technology, and Red-eye Correction.

The PowerShot A2000 has the same capabilities as the A1000, but with a 6x Optical Zoom and a larger LCD screen (3.0-inches vs 2.5-inches).

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