The Canon 50D Was Originally Designed to Shoot Video, Sports an Unused Mic

When the Canon 50D camera made its debut in August 2008, video capture wasn’t one of the listed features available to buyers. Today, that’s a different story, thanks to the Magic Lantern RAW hack that has brought video recording to the now 5-year-old camera.

What may surprise you is that it appears the 50D was originally designed to have video recording capabilities, at least some time before launch. That’s what cinema5D is hearing from an anonymous tipster who claims he works at Canon. The video recording feature was obviously dropped prior to the launch of the camera, he says.

Perhaps the biggest proof of the tipster’s claim can be found right in the camera’s body, believe it or not. In a YouTube video showing the dismantling of the 50D (embedded above), the tipster shows us the camera appears to sport a microphone base. That microphone, of course, was never used in the final version of the camera released to consumers.

Canon 50D Microphone Base

The question now is: why did Canon scrap video capturing for the 50D. Was it simply not ready? Was the move financially motivated?

We may not get the clear-cut answers we’re looking for, but nonetheless, it’s interesting to see how products evolve (or shall we say regress?) during the development process.

(via cinema5D via CanonWatch)

Update: The video has been removed after the tipster was contacted by Canon and threatened with legal action.

  • chaka kahn

    why do people insist on making videos like this with james bond esque background music its a DSLR teardown not an infiltration into a nuclear weapons facility.

  • Mike

    You never know what you’ll find inside the camera…
    Did anyone find the secret dust teleport inside the D600 yet?

  • tttulio

    If so the 50D would have a Mic input in the motherboard.

  • Kay O. Sweaver

    Its pretty obvious. Canon sold a TON of 5DMkIIs thanks to video capability. If they had done this with the 50D they would have easily lost a grand on each of those sales.

  • jkantor267

    Canon and a lot of other manufacturers are only interested in how they can screw their customers.

  • louisleblanc

    Not necessarily, changing the design of the body is more complicated than changing the design of a PCB. Maybe they managed to change the PCB before the first production run but never went through the trouble of changing the body. The mic input would require quite a few components to work (namely a preamp), I don’t see why Canon would have kept them there if they weren’t used.

  • Ralph

    You got the same thing that happens with ATM’s, why do you find Braille on the keypads at drive thru. ATM’s? Do they expect the blind to start driving cars in the near future. Though that may be a possibility in the future, they’re probably just taking manufacturing costs into consideration..probably something similar here with the Mic placement. Save them some money, providing a cheap camera for the amateur photogs, as opposed to the Big consumer group that wants everything.

  • Stewart Doyle

    It might even have been on a daughter-board, which was subsequently simply never manufactured, and no redesign of the motherboard was then ever needed. Wouldn’t surprise me if there was an unnamed IO header somewhere on the motherboard itself which would have had a ribbon connecting it to the Audio board a bit closer to the casing molding. Leaving out the audio board, and not bothering to remake the shell molds, would have saved a fortune over re-manufacturing all the plastics they presumably already had waiting for innards.

    Either that, or there was originally a 2 model plan, one for video (for a premium price point) and one as a lower price for stills, and the designs shared a plastics mold – (something Canon users are familiar with in current gen models) and for some reason the video model was dropped before production, but canon used all the molds anyway.

  • William Zhang

    Easy, they down play the function of 50D to pave the way for the 60D, which is a cost down version, has plastic body, slower FPS and noiser sensor. If 50D can shoot video, no one would buy the 60D.

  • Jim Lokus

    Then, you are more than welcome to use the “Flintstone” approach to creating images, and just shut the hell up.

  • manesg

    I just noticed that my 50D has an unused Video Out jack under one of the rubber flaps. (So one does not have to dismantle the camera.)