Both the french magazines Chasseur d'Image and Reponse photo concluded that the 50D had probably packed too many pixels in its sensor and overall recommend other options over it (stick to the 40D or get a D90/D300 if your are not invested in Canon lenses).
Do they offer any rational scientific basis, or just the usual misguided comparisons of per pixel noise and DR levels and 100% on-screen images, along with the currently fashionable dogma that more, smaller photosites on the same sensor size always gives worse image quality?
I ask because of the specific suggestion that staying with the 40D would be better, which is flatly contradicted by the observations in Bob Atkins' review of the 50D at http://www.bobatkins.com/photography/digit...D_review_1.html
After noting that the 50D has somewhat higher per pixel noise, he goes on to demonstrate that
"With some noise reduction applied, the 50D can show less noise then the 40D, but still maintain an edge in resolution" (page 3)
"The bottom line is that the EOS 50D resolves more image detail then the EOS 40D, and it does so with just about any lens at just about any aperture. You don't need expensive "L" series primes to realize the higher resolving ability." (page 4)
"Though I didn't do a scientific evaluation of dynamic range, the Dxomark.com website has ... Their measurements put the DR of the EOS 50D and EOS 40D within less than 1/10 stop of each other, at around 11 stops at the ISO 100 setting and 8.25 stops at the ISO 3200 setting." (page 3)
Given that, in what possible way can one claim that the 40D offers better IQ? All I can see is a bit less need to mess with NR!
And before someone says yet again that there is no point buying a higher resolution camera if you have to throw away resolution with NR or downsampling or such, I will say yet again that such processing is not always needed, not by a long shot:
The noise levels of the 50D are in many situations comfortably low enough that no NR or downsampling is needed, particularly in the low ISO situations where most if the highest resolution demands arise (landscape, architecture and other slow-moving subjects).
Thus extra NR, downsampling or simply printing at the same size as you could from a lower resolution camera are simply options for use in some lower light situations, leaving a clear resolution advantage in other, better lit, situations.
Of course, if one never has a use for more detail than a 10MP or 12MP sensor gives, the 50D is less attractive than an imagined new 10MP or 12MP Canon EF-S sensor using the same technical progress as went into the 50D sensor. I have no personal interest in sensors of over 20MP for that reason, but I sometimes crop away about half of the image area when struggling for adequate telephoto or macro reach or photographing erratically moving subjects with loose framing, and then 15MP/2=7.5MP does not sound so extravagant.