After much speculation, it's finally here - the Canon 50D. According to Dave Etchells at Imaging-Resource.com, while the 40D was kind of an incremental upgrade from the 40D, the 50D takes it to the next level:
Despite the smaller pixels resulting from the 50% increase in pixel count on what's basically the same size sensor, the Canon 50D claims noticeably improved noise performance over that of the 40D, thanks to a combination of more efficient sensor cell layout, new "gapless" microlenses, and improved image processing, thanks to the faster Digic IV chip.
As someone who upgraded his 20D to a 30D and his 30D to a 40D, though, I have bad news for Canon...I'm holding off on the 50D. Why? Cause I'm waiting for the successor to the 5D, Canon's legendary full-frame DSLR for the enthusiast.
While the specs for the 50D look sweeeet, my strong feeling is that the day of the less-than-full-frame-sensor has passed. It can't be that much longer until full-frame DSLR's start moving into the $2,500 price range, at which point they become very compelling.
For the first time in a long time, I feel like I'm in a bit of analysis paralysis as a digital camera consumer. The choices are becoming very difficult...