Canon EOS 500D (Digital Rebel T1i / Kiss X3 Digital) Review
No surprises to see that the video recording feature that made its first appearance on the EOS 5D Mark II (Nikon snatched the credit for launching the first video-enabled DSLR by a whisker with the D90) is trickling its way down through the line-up. The 500D becomes the second Canon to offer this feature, and the first with an APS-C size sensor.
The question of whether and how a video-enabled DSLR can be a substitute for a dedicated camcorder has still not definitively been answered, but in any case the ability to shoot movies with a large sensor (and the shallow depth of field that this brings with it) and interchangeable lenses will appeal to a large number of budding videographers. Unfortunately though, like on the EOS 5D Mark II when it was originally released, the video recording functionality is fairly limited in controls.
The 500D offers true HD video capture at 1920 x 1080 pixels (1080P) at 20 frames per second or 1280 x 720 pixels (720P) at 30 frames per second. The built-in internal microphone captures mono audio. The audio quality is not fantastic and unfortunately there is no socket for an external microphone. There is a small built-in speaker for video playback in-camera.
|Sizes|| 1920 x 1080 (1080P) at 20 fps
1280 x 720 (720P) at 30 fps
640 x 480 (VGA) at 30 fps
|Audio||44.1kHz Mono (Internal Mic)|
|Format||Quicktime MOV using H.264 codec, PCM codec for audio|
|File size||5.5 MB/sec (1080P), 3.7 MB/sec (720P), 2.8 MB/sec (VGA)|
|Max file size per clip||4.0 GB|
|Running time||12 min for 1080P, 18 min for 720P, 24 min for VGA|
Using Movie Mode
Unlike the EOS 5D Mark II the 500D comes with a dedicated movie mode. Turn the mode dial to the corresponding position and press the record button on the camera rear to start or stop recording. Once in video mode you get access to movie settings such as recording size or AF mode by pressing the MENU button.
Auto focus during movie recording works in the same way that it does in normal live view mode, meaning that if it is activated in live view mode, it is available during movie recording (press the AF-ON button to focus). Since all sounds are recorded during movie recording, and any in-camera sound is magnified (including the aperture changing), using AF with the internal mic is not recommended, neither is using in-lens IS. You'll also pick up the clicks of the control dial if you change exposure compensation while recording. Unlike a conventional camcorder there's no continuous focus option, and to be honest the focus is so slow that you would never use it whilst filming.
Just like Canon's more advanced Powershot cameras you can interrupt movie recording to capture a still by pressing the main shutter release (movie capture recommences one the still has been taken, there is approximately a one second delay in the movie).
It is advisable to have at least the basic level of information displayed for movie recording, as this gives the user feedback on the aperture, shutter speed and ISO being selected by the camera. Exposure is fully automatic; as you change the exposure level using exposure compensation - or the scene brightness changes - the camera will adjust the aperture and ISO (no matter what ISO value you choose the camera will switch into auto ISO mode once movie recording begins) - you can check what's happening with a tap of the shutter button.
Only a few days ago Canon launched a new firmware for the 5D Mark II that offers manual adjustment of shutter speed, aperture and ISO settings in video mode. There is a possibility it might do the same for the 500D at some point in the future.
Movie mode displays
|Movie setting menu||You can choose between three output sizes|
|Once recording has started, the record recording icon is displayed on the top right corner of the LCD. By half-pressing the shutter button during video recording you display exposure information and ISO sensitivity.||The only control is exposure compensation, which is operated by the command dial at the back of the camera.|
Video quality comments
Looking at the sample videos that we've produced while working on this review it's obvious that the EOS 500D produces superb HD quality footage, but footage that is of limited use at the higest resolution thanks to the 20fps frame rate (that said, 720p is plenty for most consumers). Due to the 500D's smaller sensor you can't quite create the same depth of field effects as on the 5D Mark II but you still get a much shallower and cinema-like depth of field than with any digital compact camera. Since the camera uses Auto ISO (up to ISO 1600) the image can get a little grainy in low light though.
Like the Nikon D90 and the EOS 5D Mark II the EOS 500D can suffer from distortion caused by its rolling shutter. The readout of the sensor means movies are created with a rolling shutter (horizontal lines of the image are scanned, one after another, rather than the whole scene being grabbed in one go). The upshot is that verticals can be skewed if the camera (or the subject) moves too fast - the top of the image has been recorded earlier than the bottom, so moving vertical lines can be rendered as diagonals. It's not quite as bad as on the Nikon D90 and you need to pan pretty quickly to notice the effect. An example panning video is included.
We don't review dedicated high-end video cameras and therefore can't really comment on how well the EOS 500D's video quality compares to this type of equipment but we can say that compared to the movie mode on any digital stills camera or consumer camcorder we've used the quality is very impressive indeed. In good light the image quality is not far off the 5D Mark II but obviously the 500D does not give you quite the same shallow depth of field or 30 frames per second in 1080P mode. Below you'll find some examples of videos taken with the 500D for you to download and draw your own conclusions.
Sample video 1
|1920 x 1080, 20 fps. MOV (Quicktime) file. 7 sec. 36.8 MB|
Sample video 2
|1280 x 720, 30 fps. MOV (Quicktime) file. 7 sec. 24.0 MB|
Sample video 3
|1920 x 1080, 30 fps. MOV (Quicktime) file. 2 sec. 12.7 MB|
Sample video 3
|1920 x 1080, 20 fps. MOV (Quicktime) file. 5 sec. 17.4 MB|
- 16 Photographic tests (Noise)
- 17 Photographic tests (DR)
- 18 Photographic tests
- 19 Movie Mode
- 20 Compared to
- 21 Compared to (JPEG)
- 22 Compared to (JPEG)
- 23 Compared to (JPEG)
- 24 Compared to (RAW)
- 25 Compared to (RAW)
- 26 Compared to (Higher ISO)
- 27 Compared to (Resolution)
- 28 Compared to (Resolution)
- 29 Conclusion
- 30 Samples
|Intrepid View-072500 by vbuhay|
|Jazz Hands_ by Imagemi|
from Musical instruments
|Fire Urchin by sgitlin|
from Ricoh Challenge
Checkout allows Instagram users to select products for purchase and make payments directly in the app.
GauGAN as it's known, can create photorealistic images from basic drawings using the power of artificial intelligence.
The EOS RP is Canon's latest full-frame mirrorless camera, with diminutive dimensions and a diminutive price. Find out how it stacks up and get our thoughts in our early review.
Montana judge Dana L. Christensen has ruled the Republican National Committee did not infringe upon the copyright of photographer Erika Peterman after they took a photo from a Democratic candidate's Facebook page without permission and altered it to use in a derogatory promotional mailer.
Nikon has launched updates for three of its programs to address various bugs and glitches that could cause crashes and unwanted results.
LEE Filters has launched the LEE100, its next-generation filter holder that improves the design and looks in all the right places.
With the arrival of some much-needed sunshine and final production firmware for the Panasonic S1, we've been able to get outside and really start putting the camera through its paces.
Importing, culling and tagging photos is about to get a whole lot faster and look a whole lot better with the impending arrival of Photo Mechanic 6.
On its own, the FTZ adapter retails for $250 and when bundled it dropped the cost to just $150. Now, Nikon is offering it for free with all Z6, Z7 purchases in the United States.
Profoto said it spoke with Godox back at Photokina 2018 and continues to contact Godox in an effort to stop it from marketing its V1 light.
Product renders in Italian publication Notebook Italia show an unusual design that conceals all cameras with the help of a slider mechanism.
Canon says its new EF 400mm F2.8L IS III and EF 600mm F4L IS III lenses can suffer from an intermittent flickering when shooting video in M or Av modes with certain cameras.
Leica recently announced the Q2, a digital rangefinder with a fixed 28mm F1.7 lens. It's a heck of a lot of fun to shoot with, but is it right for you? Based on our time with the camera, and its specifications, we've examined how well-suited it is for common photography use-cases.
Now that our Panasonic Lumix S1R has final firmware, we couldn't wait to get out shooting with it - and we also tried the high-res mode, which combines files to get 187 megapixel images. Because sometimes, 47 megapixels just isn't enough.
In this article, travel and landscape photographer Mitch Green encourages us to spend more time in the the field.
the lens lacks any electronics whatsoever and is constructed entirely of glass and metal. Of course, that comes at the expense of weight — this thing weighs in at 1.1kg / 2.43lbs.
Drones can be useful tools in urban areas, where they're utilized for everything from news reporting to building inspections, but flying in these areas requires careful preparation. Here's what you need to know to do so safely.
Hasselblad has released a new cable release and USB double battery charger for its X1D medium format camera .
After a report published by NBC News, Flickr has taken heat for allegedly letting IBM 'scrape' photos for use in its facial recognition datasets. But the problem isn't what it seems on the surface.
Samyang has announced the impending arrival of the AF 85mm F1.4 FE lens for full-frame Sony cameras.
Some Photoshop shortcuts are simple and obvious. Others, not so much. Here are 15 shortcuts that are actually useful.
Twitter has redesigned its in-app camera for easier access from the timeline screen.
Independent cinema lens manufacturer SLR Magic has announced it will offer all of its existing MicroPrime range in the Fujifilm X mount and has even created a Fuji-specific 12mm lens.
We've updated our buying guides with three more cameras: the Canon EOS RP, Nikon Z6 and Olympus E-M1X.
CFexpress 2.0 cards will come in three different form factors, each of which will offer different maximum speeds.
Lensbaby has added a third tilt lens to its Optic Swap system, this time a 35mm lens, adding to the existing 50mm and 80mm options.
Sigma has released firmware updates for a number of its lenses as well as its EF-E adapter to address various errors and features with Canon, Nikon and Sony cameras.
We've added the Fujifilm X-T30 and Sony a6400 to our 'Best Cameras under $1000' buying guide. These two mirrorless models pack in a lot of features for just $900 body only.
Instagram, Facebook and other Facebook-owned services are down for users around the world.
Think Tank Photo has unveiled its new Vision series of shoulder bags, including the Vision 10, Vision 13 and Vision 15.