Canon EOS 550D


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Manufacturer:

Manufacturer:

Price as Reviewed:

£750.00

Given its ‘baby EOS 7D’ credentials, the 18-million-pixel, video-enabled Canon EOS 550D could be the perfect choice for the enthusiast on a budget. We put it to the test

Canon EOS 550D at a glance:

  • 18 million effective pixels
  • Live View on 3in, 1,040,000-dot LCD screen
  • 1920x1080pixel (Full HD) video recording
  • Sensitivity range expandable to ISO 100-12,800
  • Street price approximately £750

I was very impressed with the Canon EOS 7D when I tested it in AP 7 November 2009, and it seems I wasn’t alone in this view as AP forum members voted it their Product of the Year at the 2010 AP Awards. Subsequent investigations have also confirmed that even though it has a smaller APS-C-format sensor, it can really give the full-frame EOS 5D Mark II a run for its money.

So when Mike Owen, Canon Europe’s photo products planning manager, came to the AP offices to give us an exclusive preview of the Canon EOS 550D, a camera billed as a ‘baby EOS 7D’, he had my full attention. A camera that has the same 18-million pixel count and much of the same technology as the EOS 7D for almost £500 less could be as attractive to enthusiast photographers as it is to the novices at which it is primarily aimed.

In this test, as well as putting the Canon EOS 550D through its paces, I’ll look at how it compares with Canon’s top-of-the-range APS-C-format EOS 7D, which is pitched squarely at enthusiast photographers.

  • External mic: Yes
  • Video: 1920x1080pixels (at 30fps, 25fps or 24fps), 1280x720pixels (at 60fps or 50fps), 640x480 pixels (at 60fps or 50fps), MOV files with MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 compression
  • Dioptre Adjustment: -3.0 to +1 dioptre, 19mm eye point
  • White Balance: Auto, 6 presets, plus custom setting
  • Built-in Flash: Yes – GN 13m @ ISO 100
  • Shutter Type: Electronically controlled focal-plane shutter
  • Memory Card: SD, SDHC or SDXC
  • Viewfinder Type: Penta mirror
  • Output Size: 5184x3456 pixels
  • LCD: 3in LCD with 1,040,000 dots
  • Field of View: Approx 95%
  • AF Points: 9 (with centre-cross sensor) individually selectable points, auto or manual selection possible
  • White Balance Bracket: Yes over 3 images
  • Sensor: 18-million-effective-pixel CMOS sensor
  • Max Flash Sync: 1/200sec
  • Focal Length Mag: 1.6x
  • Exposure Modes: Auto, program, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual, 6 scene modes and Creative Auto
  • Weight: 530g without battery or card/s
  • Power: Rechargeable Li-Ion LP-E8 battery
  • File Format: Raw, JPEG, raw + JPEG simultaneously
  • Shutter Speeds: 30-1/4000sec in 1⁄3EV steps plus bulb
  • Drive Mode: 3.7fps for 34 large/fine JPEG files or 6 raw images
  • Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
  • Dimensions: 128.8x97.5x75.3mm
  • Metering System: 63-zone evaluative metering (linked to any AF point), centreweighted, partial (9%) and spot (4%)
  • Connectivity / Interface: USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
  • Compression: Two-stage JPEG
  • Exposure Comp: ±5EV in 1⁄3EV or 1/2EV steps
  • RRP: £799.99 body only
  • Lens Mount: Canon EF-S (compatible with EF)
  • Focusing Modes: Manual, single-shot AF, automatic AF, continuous AF
  • ISO: 100-12,800
  • DoF Preview: Yes
  • Tested as: Entry-level DSLR

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