Rear of camera controls
The positions of the buttons on the rear of the EOS 550D haven't changed much since the EOS 500D, but their shape and profile has (making them a little easier to use), and there's a new dedicated movie/live view button on the right of the viewfinder. The direct print button now doubles as the 'Q' button (for bringing up the Quick Control screen), and the set button is customizable. There's still no dedicated metering mode button, but the plethora of buttons on the back of the camera - plus the ISO button on the top - provide a very useful range of 'hard button' direct access to the most commonly changed camera settings.
On-screen settings adjustment
When pressed the camera's hard buttons activate an adjustment screen (on the LCD) where a setting change can be made using the cursor buttons. Options are changed using the arrow buttons (left / right / up / down) or the main dial.
Camera settings display (Quick Control Screen)The interactive 'Quick Control Screen' gives you at a glance access to virtually all current settings, as well as the option to dive in and change things directly. It's been slightly redesigned to fit the new screen shape (and has a little more information). It also gets its own dedicated 'Q' button that's easier to access when shooting and means the SET button can be customized (C.Fn 10) to do something else.
Shooting mode buttons
The EOS 550D is a "shooting priority" camera, which means that no matter what mode you are in you can always still take a photograph by pressing the shutter release button. This also extends to live view mode (i.e. the mirror stays up after you've taken a shot, allowing you to take another immediately).
Play mode buttons
|Thumbnail index / reduce magnification
If in single view play mode, pressing this button will switch to a 2 x 2 thumbnail index and once more for a 3 x 3 index. If already magnified it will step back in magnification levels once.
Pressing this button enters or leaves the camera menu, described in more detail on the following pages of this review.
Toggles between four different play display modes:
• Single image view with no overlay
• Single image view with folder, file number, exposure and frame count
• Thumbnail image with exposure information, luminance histogram and blinking highlights
• Thumbnail image with exposure information, lum & rgb histograms and blinking highlights
Direct Print / PictBridge
|Jump (Main dial)
Turn the dial left or right to jump through images, the dial can also be used to navigate menu options.
Press the left or right buttons to browse through images, also be used to navigate menu options. Press the up button to change the jump mode.
Return to shooting mode, the same can be achieved by simply half-pressing the shutter release button.
Shutter button / AE lock button action (custom function 9)
Sports photographers prefer to use setting 1 or 3 where you can control when the camera AF executes, a simple press of your thumb will start AF, then you can fire off as many shots as you like (more quickly obviously) without the camera refocusing.
|Custom Function 10|
|Shutter button half-press||AE Lock button|
|AF lock||AE lock|
|AE lock (shutter release priority)||AF lock|
|AF lock||AF lock (no AE lock)|
|AE lock (shutter release priority)||AF lock (no AE lock)|
Front of camera controls
On the front right side of the camera are the last two camera controls. Uppermost here is the flash open button, a press of this will electronically release the flash unit. Below the lens release button is the depth of field preview button, hold this and the lens stops down to the indicated aperture to give a preview of the depth of field, either through the viewfinder or in Live View. One of the useful things about depth of field preview in Live View mode is that the preview image stays nice and bright, rather than darkening, as it does in the viewfinder.
Canon EOS 550D Digital SLR Camera
(inc 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens Kit)
Canon EOS 600D Digital SLR Camera
(inc. 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens Kit)
Canon EOS 1100D Digital SLR Camera
(With 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 DC III Lens Kit)
Canon EOS 1200D Digital SLR Camera
with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 III Lens
Canon EOS 550D Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)
Canon EOS 700D Digital SLR Camera - (EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens,...
Canon EOS 1200D Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)
Canon EOS 450D Digital SLR Camera Kit
(incl EF-S 18-55mm IS f/3.5-5.6 non USM Lens Kit)
Canon EOS 1100D Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)
Canon EOS 700D Digital SLR Camera - (18MP, CMOS Sensor) 3 inch LCD