How to get the best out of Canon EOS 50D RAW files
The Canon EOS 50D is a real step up in quality of construction from the 40D it replaced. Unfortunately, although it’s a great camera in many ways, it has one fairly important flaw - high noise levels in its images. Canon made a jump from 10mp in the Canon EOS 40D to 15mp in the Canon EOS 50D and even at mid range ISOs like 400 or 800 the 50D’s images have far more noise and are far less crisp than comparable images from the 40D. Despite this, Canon decided to extend the 50D’s ISO range to 12800 ISO where image quality can be quite scary. That means that, despite being a beautifully made camera that produces superb results at normal ISOs, the Canon EOS 50D has a bit of a reputation.
So this is a camera where noise reduction really matters, and because I shoot mostly at high ISOs my Canon EOS 50D has spent most of it’s time in my equipment cupboard, waiting to go on eBay, while I kept using the Canon EOS 40D it was meant to replace.
That all changed when Adobe Lightroom 3 came along.
At normal to low sensitivity - 100 to 400 ISO - Canon’s own Digital Photo Professional (DPP) will give you very high quality results. Even at 1600 ISO DPP is very good. However, at higher ISOs it’s a different story. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that from v3 on Lightroom gives you a whole new camera.
Full Test Results
p1 p2 p3