posted on Jun 14, 2009 at 6:28AM
Head-2-Head Review: Olympus E-30 vs. Canon EOS 50D
FocusingBy Patrick Singleton
The Olympus E-30 has 11 autofocus points, two more than the Canon 50D. The E-30's spots are a bit better placed than the 50D's – we found our subjects falling under the E-30's sensors, while we frequently focused and recomposed when using the 50D. This is a particularly subjective point. It depends on the shooter's choices for composition, and even in focus point. When we shoot portraits, for instance, we focus on the subject's eye nearest the camera.
In typical room light, the E-30's autofocus feels a bit faster than the 50D. The difference could be the lenses we tested with – Olympus sent us the very appealing 14-54mm, f/2.8-3.5 zoom, while the 50D was saddled with the rudimentary 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6. Besides the gloomy maximum aperture range, the Canon lens has flimsy mechanics. The front optic group, and therefore the image, rocks left, right, up and down as one turns the manual focus ring. Serious users ought to buy the 50D with an L series lens. Given the difference in aperture of the lenses we had for our review, we can't confidently compare the 50D and E-30 low light autofocus performance.