Canon have done it again with their new 550D/ Rebel T2i out on the market soon. Who would’ve thought that less than a year after the launch of the EOS 500D that a replacement would be ready to roll. Looking at the 500D it’s basically a baby 7D. Some of its features out perform the current EOS 50D. Ready to take it’s place in the consumer market, the 550D looks a great buy
The 18 megapixel sensor is a step up from the 500D’s 15 megapixel system although to really notice the difference the increase you need a full 50% size increase. It’s significantly increased movie mode will also make it a hard competitor to beat. Although it replaces the 500D, the 500D will continue to be sold for the rest of 2010, most likely at a more attractive pricing structure.
Let’s take a look at some of the improvements and additional features Canon has added over the current 500D offering.
1. 18 megapixel sensor
This is a great improvement and takes it to the leader in it’s class. Although megapixels are not critical to great images it still is a great feature to have. How it handles those extra pixels is what counts. The sensor is similar to the 7D’s but not the same while using the same vibration technology to get rid of dust.
2. LCD screen
This is the first Canon camera to have a genuine 3:2 ratio screen which displays exactly what you see on the sensor. There is no cropping reflected on the screen. This is not the crop factor we are talking about, just the size displayed on the LCD. They haven’t increased the size of the screen but have upgraded the resolution which gives you increased clarity and a better ability to check your images while shooting.
3. iFCL metering system
This is another great improvement by Canon over the 500D, a real advance in the use of technology in metering systems. It features the new 63 zone system which continually analyses colour, luminance and focus simultaneously. This provides far more accurate and consistent metering and was up till now found in the more expensive cameras such as the 7D.
Graininess is kept to a minimum by the Digic Four processor but the 550D offers the standard ISO 6400 expandable up to 12800. This increase allows photography in low light situations where flash is not permitted.
5. HD Video
You now have full control over frame rate and the ability to capture fast moving subjects by manually adjusting settings. There are a number of improvements when shooting at 1080p and 720p. Again the choice of frame rates increases the desirability of this camera over its competitors.
I’ll be taking a serious look at this camera. It has the same look a feel as the 500D as Canon does not make major cosmetic changes very easily. All the controls are basically in the same places and by upgrading you don’t need to learn a whole new series of positions.
These are just some of the improvements over the 500D giving you an upgrade worth while. Making the decision to go from 500D to 550D would be a personal one and whether it’s worth it to you paying for these additions, I’ll leave that to you. Overall it’s a great little camera and a leader in its class. However, before making the change, check out the review sites and see if the features are what you are prepared to pay more money for.