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Canon T50 Review

This review of the Canon T50 is rather similar to my previous one of the Pentax A3000, due to the fact that they are both entry level SLR’s from Canon and Pentax.  The only real difference between the two would be that the Pentax A3000 offers a Bulb mode as well as a 1/60 sec. mode.  At the end of the day, they are both aperture priority, meaning the camera automatically chooses the ‘correct’ shutter speed while the user is in control of the aperture and the ISO.  Much like the A3000, this can be manipulated to certain extents by changing the ISO and ‘tricking’ the camera.  Another thing the A3000 has over the Canon T50 is the LCD ‘exposure’ meter that can be seen in the view finder in the form of shutter speed.  The Canon T50 doesn’t have anything special to the view finder other than ‘M’ for manual aperture control, and ‘P’ for full program auto.  I’m assuming the shutter range is the same as the A3000, ranging from 1/30 to 1/1000.

That said, Canon T50 is an excellent entry level 35mm film camera.  It is a glorified SLR for the interchangeable lens system but really functions like a point and shoot.  The lens my Canon T50 came with was the Vivitar 28mm f2.8 lens which is quite wide and sharp for what it is.  If shooting during the day with full sunlight you can really have a lot of fun switching around aperture settings, but in low light you will have limitations.  Though, f2.8 with 1/30 at dark for a point and shoot is pretty good. 

This is an old camera.  You can find these entry level SLR’s in thrift stores all across the country for $20 or less.  On classified ads, people may try to double the price for $40 or even $50.  If you don’t feel like thrift hunting, it’s worth the price to get it off from someone that did it for you.  


Canon T50 PROS:

  • Lighter than the A3000 with Pentax-A 50mm lens.
  • Even simpler settings than A3000.
  • Super efficient shooting -just choose f-stop and manual focus.
  • Cheap and pretty common in thrift stores.
  • Automatic battery operated film advance.
  • Lock mode.
  • External flash mount available.
  • Self timer mode.
  • Battery check has a beeper!

Canon T50 CONS:

  • Full plastic…which is typical for entry models like this.  Have your gaffer tape handy as your battery compartment will get banged up.

  • No back light mode for low light situations; unlike Pentax A3000.
  • Aperture priority -user does not have full control of settings. Since camera decides to choose how to expose against the light, you are at its mercy.  Perhaps you’re shooting against the light and you wanted a silhouette, but the camera decides to expose for the shadows.  
  • Shutter range of 1/30th to 1/1000th.
  • Manual focus -depends on your preference but you’re stuck with manual with this camera.


  • Take it as it is!  This is a program auto (aperture priority) camera so take advantage of it!  Maximize its efficiency by making it simple when you choose to shoot: pre-set the aperture appropriately to the light and have your finger in between the focus range in which you anticipate the subject will be.  If you’re shooting 28mm keep your focus range close to you; if you’re shooting 50mm then keep your focus range close to infinity.  After that, the only thing you have to worry about is sliding your finger correctly and pressing the shutter.
  • Push/pull your film by tricking the camera into a different ISO setting.  Setting your camera’s ISO setting to 200 while using a 400 ISO film will trick the camera into thinking it is ‘darker’ than it is.  This will force the camera to try to shoot expose brighter (if 1/60 is the correct exposure at 400 ISO; the camera at 200 ISO will choose 1/30).  Do note that this comes with its limits since the shutter range is 1/30 to 1/1000.  Same concept can be used for the opposite effect by setting the camera’s ISO to a higher digit than the film’s.  

Overall Impression:

I’m not entirely sure if the Canon T50 originally comes with a Vivitar 28mm f2.8 or not, but they’re a great combination.  The camera is so light and compact, that it is easily transportable anywhere.  Though, its plastic body does mean that it can get banged up even if it is inside a backpack, most likely it will be an easy gaffer tape fix.  The 28mm is such a fun lens, especially great for beginners learning to take dynamic portraits.  It is a slightly more difficult lens to shoot street photography due to its short focal length but that’s the sort of thing you learn as you grow.    Overall, this is a fantastic ‘point and shoot’ SLR that beginner or veterans alike would appreciate.

Video Review:

Sample Shots:

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