Quick hands on with Canon 50D

Last night I went to a Canon sponsored seminar at Adorama to see the latest DSLR, 50D. I spent about 30 minutes in total playing with it along with various lenses, 70-200 f4 IS, 24-105 L, 24-70 L, 18-200 IS. Here are the features that really tempting me to upgrade from the old, trusty 10D:

The 9 points focusing is much better than the 10D since all of them are cross type. Even in the dim light of the room, the 50D latched onto sharp focus easily with no hunting. I even tried it on uniform colour wall in the dark corner and the 50D focus with no problem.
Continuous Drive
6.3 fps! Way faster than the 10D's 2.5 fps. And this is with 15 MP both RAW and JPEG, with 17 RAW and 60 JPEG buffer. This is the main feature that would be hugely useful for me, even if only for the once a year surf photographing session I go with Dan.
High ISO Performance
The new CMOS chip and DIGIC 4 processor allows much less noisy photo in high ISO setting, when compared against the 10D, but not 40D. The noise level at 3200 on 50D is approximately the same as 800 on 10D. 2 stops higher! And 12800 is still usable but quite noisy.
LCD and LiveView
The 3" VGA screen beat the crap out of the 1.25" screen on 10D. The LiveView on the LCD looks cool but I doubt I would use it often. What I find useful would be to see LiveView on the computer screen using the USB remote control connection.
Much better menu system and easier to use, thanks to the large, high resolution LCD. The joystick helps too.
Nothing special here, apart from it being noticeably brighter than 10D's.
A more detailed review is now up on DPReview.com

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NY ALT.NET October meeting

Last Wednesday the NY ALT.NET group met up again at the Microsoft office. This time we discussed various project management techniques (Agile, Scrum, etc.). We had a great turn out with nearly 40 members, all cramped into a medium size room. ThoughtWorks (my employer) sponsored the food and drinks of this meeting and we were greeted with fantastic pizza!




This time round, the video streams are provided by Vimeo after I experienced continuous upload issue with MobileMe’s gallery from iMovie. So far I have been very impressed by their service and quality, and would be migrating all of the existing NY ALT.NET videos to Vimeo in the next two weeks. Hopefully I’ll be recording in HD when Santa delivers a brand new HD camera in Dec! 🙂


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