The Canon EOS 50D has one card slot that can use CompactFlash memory cards that are up to 128GB in storage size. Type I or II CF memory cards can be used and the camera is UDMA compatible.
The main specification to look at for comparing memory cards for the Canon 50D is read speed of the card. For example, the fastest CF memory cards available will save minutes over slower cards when transferring a large number of images.
If you don't want to read explanations of specs, my CompactFlash card recommendation is:
- Fastest card available and largest supported capacity.
- Read speeds up to 160MB/s.
- Write speeds up to 150MB/s.
- Water, x-ray, & shock proof.
Once you have a working CF card, expand your options with another lens. Check out the 7 Best Canon 50D lenses.
Best CF Cards
The best value CF card is likely to be either 32GB or 16GB. Larger or smaller cards are going to be more expensive per GB.
A professional card will not add a noteworthy amount to the price. Having a high-speed card will remove the need to replace the card with a camera upgrade.
Recommended CF Cards
- Transfer speeds up to 160MB/s.
- Video Performance Guarantee sepc VPG 65.
- Limited lifetime warranty.
- Read speeds up to 120MB/s.
- Write speeds up to 85MB/s.
- Sustained data recording of 20MB/s.
- Water, x-ray, & shockproof.
- Speeds up to 50MB/s.
- Excellent reliability and value.
- Ideal for mid-range DSLRs.
Memory Card Reader
The UGreen 4-in-1 memory card reader can use four memory card formats. These include all memory cards camera manufacturers use in all but the most recent professional-level cameras.
The UGREEN memory card reader connects over USB 3.0. The USB 3.0 transfer speeds will be faster transfer rates than what the Canon 50D is capable of in USB transfer mode.
There are overwhelmingly favorable customer reviews for the reader, which I agree with. I would recommend it because it has worked with all the computers (Windows, Mac, and Linux) I have used with it.
The cable keeps memory card slots from interfering with other accessories or devices that are plugged into a laptop or desktop.
When I looked for a more compact card reader that would be easier to travel with, I had to send a couple of orders back. I experienced the most commonly seen problem mentioned in customer reviews, the readers were not recognized by my computer.
The card reader supports the cards below:
- CompactFlash Cards
- SD, SDHC, & SDXC Cards (UHS-I supported)
- Memory Stick (MS), MS Pro, MS PRO-HG, & MS XC DUO
- MicroSD, Micro SDHC, & Micro SDXC Cards
Compact Flash Card Types
Compact Flash cards come in two physical sizes. They are called Type I or Type II.
The difference between the types is the thickness of the cards. The length and width of the CF cards are the same.
- Type I - 3.3mm thick
- Type II - 5mm thick
The Type II standard gave enough room for a Microdrive to be used in the Canon 50D. A Microdrive was just a compact mechanical harddrive.
Compact Flash cards had small capacities when they were initially released. Microdrives were a solution that allowed for larger amounts of storage.
Microdrives are no longer produced. Due to their mechanical nature, the drives had a high failure rate.
Some Compact Flash adapters make use of the Type II specification. An adapter can make it possible to use a MicroSD or SD card in a Compact Flash slot.
Avoiding Card Read Errors
The most wide-spread problem with cameras that use CF cards are damaged card slot pins. When a pin is bent, you may see any of the following errors:
- Err 02
- Err CF
- No CF
If you want to avoid damaged pins, do not ever force a CF card into the Canon EOS 50D. The extra room for a Type II card makes it possible for a Compact Flash card to become misaligned.
If the CF card will not easily slide into the slot, remove it and check the orientation of the card. Also, check to see if the card is damaged.
If there is no damage, carefully position the card and try inserting it again.
The best Canon EOS 50D memory card can also be used in the following cameras: