Monday, May 7, 2012
I would guess that of all the SLR cameras that Canon has made that The T50 may be the one that gets the least respect. I think that is because exposure-wise this is, with one exception, an auto only camera. The exception is that you can set the camera on flash mode and that allows you to select your aperture. However in that mode your shutter speed is limited to 1/60. So definitely if you are looking to have any creative control over your camera settings the Canon T50 would not be the camera for you.
On the other hand if you look at the T50 as a very advanced point & shoot than I think it fares better. In my experience the auto exposure on the T50 is excellent. There also is the advantage of the large bright through the lens viewfinder. Certainly much better that you'd find in most point & shoots. Then there also is the fact that this camera can use dozens of excellent fd series lenses. Of course since there is no auto focus in this camera it is not purely a point & shoot as we see such cameras today. Still the focusing is pretty easy with this camera. Price-wise the point & shoot comparison holds up. You could buy the T50 with a standard 50 f/1.8 lens for around $150. If you already had a lens then the body sold for around $100. That's in line with what the Canon Sure Shots of the time were selling for. And I can say from personal experience that you are likely to get much better results from the T50 than you would from the Sure Shots.
Of course this isn't the 1980's anymore. Today a T50 body rarely sells for more than $20. I got mine from KEH for $6. So its the kind of camera that you won't be out much if you end up not liking it. For myself I appreciate the quality results that it is capable of and I think it is good value for the money. Still I do have to admit that most of the time I want more control over the settings I am using.
The Canon T50 does have some historical interest. It was the first Canon SLR with a molded plastic body. Canon had used a lot of plastic with cameras like the AE-1, however these cameras still had metal frames. The metal frames required some machine finishing that added expense. The molded plastic did not need the finishing. The plastic look of the T50 was off-putting to many, however it seems to be a reasonably durable camera. The main killer is that eventually the LED will give out. Still for what the T50 costs it is not a big risk to give it a chance.
I mentioned earlier that I got this camera at KEH. If you haven't heard of them I would recommend checking them out. They have reasonable prices and the quality is much better than you generally find on the auction site.
Here are some specifications for the T50.
My Canon T50 Gallery.