The Canon DC50 feature a very large 1/2.7" CCD, incrementally bigger than last year’s 1/2.8" chip. The new imager offers a 5390K gross pixel count, with an effective pixel count of 3690K in 16:9 and 3980K in 4:3. The DC50 has optical image stabilization (OIS), which unlike electronic stabilization, means that it does not reduce image quality when engaged. Last year’s DC40 did not have OIS.
Last year, we loved the DC40’s produced an excellent color balance, but we found the picture a little noisy, especially around areas of high contrast. The imager will probably have less effect on that than the processor. As the processor has been upgraded from the Digic DV to the Digic DVII, we’re hoping for a big performance boost. Our informal, on the floor testing, we found the performance to be quite promising. It appeared to have a broad dynamic range and a solid overall performance. The limiting factor during a show, of course, is the relatively low resolution of the LCD, which can give you a false sense of things. We can say that the response time for exposure, white balance, and focus shifts seems to have increased from the DC40. This camcorder looks to be a promising choice for amateur sports video. **Low Light Performance**Again, the LCD can skewer results, but pointing the DC50 towards dark, shadowy areas produced some surprisingly good results. Even under a table draped with a black table cloth, the DC50 managed to grab a lot of usable information. The level of detail in the blacks was a welcome sight. That huge 1/2.7" CCD appears to be doing what we want it to - yield great low light performance.
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