It's been rumoured for a while, but Canon has still wrong-footed most of us by announcing the new Canon EOS 50D camera a good month ahead of Photokina. The 50D packs an enormous 15.1-megapixel sensor, which is of the CMOS variety. Image processing is handled by Canon's latest Digic 4 image processor, which also manages 6.3 frames per second continuous shooting for up to 90 JPEGs. The camera goes up to ISO speeds of 3,200, expandable to a preposterous 12,800 at lower resolutions.
In case you you just can't keep your hands muck-free, the 50D includes an integrated cleaning system. This adds a new fluorine coating to the improved self-cleaning sensor filter to repel and remove dust and grit from the imaging chip.
The 50D sports a whopping 76mm (3-inch) LCD screen, which supports quick autofocus and live autofocus, as well as new face detection. You also get a new quick control screen, for instant access to the most commonly changed settings. An HDMI connection lets you plug it into your high-definition telly.
The EOS 50D is available as body only from the end of September for roughly £1,200. With an EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM kit you're looking at about £1,500. -Rich Trenholm