Body Design and Controls
The 40D had a nice body, so Canon didn’t see the need to change much. In fact, if you were to set the 50D and the 40D side by side, it might be difficult to tell them apart, save for the 50D and 40D logos. Here’s a closer look at the 50D’s body and controls.
The 50D has a standard metal EF / EF-S lens mount, making the camera compatible with all Canon EF and EF-S lenses as well as compatible third party lenses.
The 50D has a 0.95x magnification viewfinder that is nicely designed. As with previous D-SLRs from Canon, the eyepiece rubber is removable, so you can attach different eyepieces or angled finders if you choose.
The 50D also has a dedicated Live View button, which is also the Direct Print button. On the 40D, you had to press the SET button in order to activate Live View. Even though the SET button did the job on the 40D, we prefer using the Direct Print button to access Live View instead.
The Compact Flash compartment is on the side of the camera near the hand grip. To open the door, you simply slide it towards you and flip it outward. The door leaves plenty of room to insert and eject the CF card.
On the other side of the camera, you’ll find the 50D’s connections. There are two columns of connectors, and each has its own cover. There’s a PC sync and remote terminal (N3) on the left and video out and USB 2.0 on the right. The right side also has the HDMI connection.
One of the easiest ways to distinguish the 40D from the 50D is by looking at the mode dial: The 40D’s is black, the 50D’s is silver. On the mode dial, you’ll find two groups of exposure mode controls, which Canon calls the Basic Zone and the Creative Zone. The Basic Zone provides automatic shooting modes for specific situations. In the Basic Zone, you’ll find Full Auto, Creative Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Night Portrait, and Flash Off modes. The Creative Zone gives you more control over your pictures, with Program AE, Shutter-priority AE, Aperture-priority AE, Manual exposure, and A-DEP (automatic depth of field AE) modes. Past the Creative Zone, there are also two customizable user setting modes.
Behind the pop-up flash, you’ll find the camera’s hot shoe mount for an external flash. As with the internal flash, the hot shoe supports E-TTL II metering.
At the top of the grip on the right side, you’ll find an LCD that provides status and setting information. Near the LCD, there’s also four buttons, three of which are control buttons; the other button turns on the backlight for the LCD. In front of these, there’s the main dial and the shutter release button. To the back of the LCD, you’ll find AF-ON, AE-Lock, and focus point selection buttons.
The battery compartment of the 50D is located on the base of the hand grip behind a clip-locked door. The door is removable to make way for the optional battery grip.
On the bottom of the camera, you’ll also find a traditional tripod mount.
Finally, the 50D’s body is about a half ounce lighter than the 40D’s, but has the same basic sturdy build and design.