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Canon Bows EOS 50D Digital SLR

8/26/2008 01:17:00 PM Eastern

Lake Success, N.Y. — Canon will add a 15-megapixel d-SLR to its EOS lineup in October.

The EOS 50D joins the 40D on the market. It will retail for $1,399 for a body-only kit or for $1,599 when bundled with Canon's EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM zoom lens.

The camera features a 15-megapixel APS-C size CMOS image sensor. According to Canon, a new gapless microlens over each of the sensor’s pixels reduces image noise, allowing the camera to shoot up to ISO 12,800.

The camera will include four noise-reduction settings for shooting in low-light conditions.

The d-SLR features a 3-inch LCD with a 920,000-dot resolution and three live-view modes. A quick mode AF puts the camera’s mirror down and uses standard phase-detection AF, while a live mode and face-detection live mode use a contrast detection system and the camera’s CMOS sensor. The face detection mode is capable of identifying up to 35 forward-looking faces in a frame.

The unit’s sensor vibrates to dislodge dust and features new fluorine coating on the low-pass filter for improved dust resistance, the company said.

A new DIGIC 4 processor also lets the camera perform “peripheral illumination correction” on JPEG images. The correction will automatically even brightness across an image, the company said. Canon also improved its auto lighting optimizer, which brightens dark images while they are being recorded or, new for the 50D, in playback.

The 50D can burst at 6.3 fps for up to 90 JPEGS or 16 RAW images using a UDMA CF card. Additional features include an HDMI interface, nine cross-type sensor autofocus with an AF micro-adjustment feature previously used in Canon’s high-end 1D Mark III.

New in the 50D is a creative full auto mode, which lets users make adjustments to aperture and shutter speeds while still in automatic. When set in creative full auto mode, the camera’s menu will present options such as “lighten or darken the image” or “blur background” to let consumers experiment with camera settings.

The camera will offer two new sRAW formats for creating smaller file sizes.

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