My review of 550D having stepped up from a compact

Started Apr 26, 2010 | Discussions thread
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My review of 550D having stepped up from a compact
Apr 26, 2010

Having received my 550D last Wednesday, I thought I'd give my initial impressions. It's worth noting that this is my first DSLR, having previously used a range of decent compacts.

Upon unpacking the camera perhaps the first thing that stood out was how much bigger the camera was from what I remembered since holding it in a camera shop a few weeks back. It's a relatively small camera, but a sizable step up from the compacts i'd used before.

The build seemed solid and reassuringly weighty, but still light enough for it not to be an issue. The strap that comes with it was a nice suprise, being very well made and looking the part too. Little touches like the battery being in a a little plastic tray to protect the contacts were reassuring too. The supplied printed manual is a compact format to take out into the field, which again is a good idea given the complexity of settings. I would have liked to have seen a basic film cover on the LCD in transit, but no big deal.

First things first, charging the battery was quick, about 2 hours until it showed the little green light, which is pretty good going. Fitting it into the battery slot at the bottom of the camera was fine, although I wish they made the battery flap with a more sturdy looking material. Don't get me wrong it's absolutely fine, but isn't as reassuring as the other materials.

I attached an LCD protector to the screen, bear in mind that it's a 3:2 aspect screen so a 3" protector won't fit. I used a tomtom XL protector and just cut it down. I'll probably bin the protector once I've got used to handling the camera, the actual screen has a nice purple tint to it from the multi-coatings and you lose all of that anti-reflectiveness with a cheapo film.

Attaching the camera strap took 5 mins or so, it's like a mensa challenge to loop it the right way, but that's probably just me!

Then I fitted the kit 18-55mm lens which is protected with a cap at each end. I just removed the body cap, and aligned the white dot and twisted into place. Very secure and easy.

Finally, I screwed on a new 58mm threaded Kenko UV filter (£6.99 ebay), which is made in the same factory as HOYA filters I believe. I wanted this on, as I have a habbit of smudging my fingers on any new lens I encounter. It's

a perfect fit and gave me enough confidence to not worry about my handling too much. It has caused me some lens flare problems shooting in bright daylight, in the direction of the sun (although obviously not anywhere near it)... but I'm jumping ahead of myself!

See below for part II..

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