Myrmecos

The Canon 50D

As you may have noticed, for a photography blog I don’t write much about camera gear.  Partly this is because I’m not the sort of person who chases the latest gadgets and gizmos, but partly because I think all the focus on equipment obscures the most important aspects of photography.  Good photography comes from the artistry of the photographer. Megapixel count has hardly anything to do with it.

I bring this up because Canon has just announced the first bit of gear I’ve been excited about in years. The Canon 50D. Ignore the bits about the 15 megapixels (irrelevant for macro) and the 6.3 frames per second (ditto).  What I like is this:

The EOS Integrated Cleaning System – including the improved Self Cleaning Sensor Unit with a new fluorine coating – increases protection of image quality by helping to reduce, repel and remove unwanted dust from the sensor. Stubborn particles can be removed automatically in post-production with Dust Delete Data and Canon’s included Digital Photo Professional software.

I spend 90% of my image processing time cloning out sensor dust in photoshop.   It’s a tedious process, consuming hours of my time every week.  If Canon’s latest camera makes a dent in the sensor dust problem I’ll be a very happy photographer indeed.

Comments

  1. #1 Kevin Z
    August 30, 2008

    My wife uses a Nikon D300 and says she never has a problem with dust and never spends time removing sensor dust in PS. ;)

  2. #2 myrmecos
    August 30, 2008

    I suspect the difference, Kevin, is not a Nikon/Canon thing but has to do with the fact that I’m a macro photographer and your wife is a portrait photographer. Dust only becomes visible at small apertures, which makes it a problem peculiar to macro and landscape work that is carried out at f/13 or so.

  3. #3 Aydin
    August 31, 2008

    Megapixel counts matter if you need to crop out large sections of an image & still need to retain enough pixels for a large enough print. I am sure you know what I am talking about.

  4. #4 myrmecos
    August 31, 2008

    Aydin- yes, and no. If you consistently need to crop out large sections of your photos you’re probably not using the right lens. Using megapixels to compensate for inadequate optics should be a short-term solution, at best.

  5. #5 Jack Jumper
    August 31, 2008

    One of the biggest problem with high pixel camera is noise.

  6. #6 myrmecos
    August 31, 2008

    Jack Jumper- Yeah, that’s one of my concerns about the new 50D. Presumably Canon’s new sensors are lower noise, but I’ll take a low-noise 8MP camera over a high-noise 15MP.

  7. #7 Paul Manoian
    June 27, 2009

    I have used the 50D for quite some time now (http://www.paulmanoian.com/) and there’s no denying the images it produces are much softer than the 40D at the pixel level. This is to be expected in a camera that bumps the resolution up 50% on the same-sized sensor simply because there is less wiggle room. It is essential to use top quality optics with this body if you want to take advantage of the higher levels of detail the body is capable of capturing. Images captured with lenses, that were considered “decent” on other bodies, may appear fuzzy since the optics are not capable of focusing as sharply as needed. My “L” lenses do very well. My other lenses, well, I sold them since I was so disappointed …