Canon EOS 550D (Rebel T2i / Kiss X4 Digital) In-depth review
The Canon EOS 550D is a difficult product to categorize. Ostensibly designed to appeal to first-time DSLR buyers and enthusiasts, it offers a lot more technology, and at a higher price, than we might expect for a camera aimed squarely at this sector. Although it might seem logical for the 550D to replace the EOS 500D, the older camera is set to continue in Canon's lineup, which leaves the 550D pinched between its entry-level (represented by the still-current EOS 1000D and the 500D) and nominally enthusiast (the EOS 50D) peers. Confusingly however, apart from build quality (which is all but identical to the EOS 500D), the 550D has more in common with the prosumer EOS 7D, and - perhaps even more confusingly - it out-specifies the EOS 50D in many areas.
Central to the impressive specification of the EOS 550D is a high-spec movie mode which offers full HD capture at up to 30 fps, manual control over exposure, and the option to use an external stereo microphone. The new camera also inherits the EOS 7D's sophisticated metering system (which brings it a lot closer to similarly positioned Nikon SLRs).So why has Canon apparently risked cannibalizing 7D sales by releasing such a similarly-specced, lower-end model? Well, Canon might have invented the 'entry-level' DSLR way back in 2003 with the attractively priced (for the time) EOS 300D, but these days, this sector of the marketplace is pretty crowded. Far from enjoying a monopoly, Canon, like all manufacturers, faces a stiff battle to make its products stand out amongst their numerous peers. To this end, Canon has pulled out all the stops with the EOS 550D and produced the most highly-specced Rebel we've ever seen. Now that a production sample has arrived in dpreview's offices, we've had the chance to subject it to our full in-depth test procedure. Read on to find out how it performs.
A brief history; Canon entry level digital SLR series
- 20/08/03: Canon EOS 300D / Digital Rebel (6 mp)
- 17/02/05: Canon EOS 350D / Digital Rebel XT (8 mp)
- 24/08/06: Canon EOS 400D / Digital Rebel XTi (10 mp)
- 24/01/08: Canon EOS 450D / Digital Rebel XSi (12 mp)
- 10/06/08: Canon EOS 1000D / Digital Rebel XS (10 mp)*
- 25/03/09: Canon EOS 500D / Digital Rebel T1i (15.1 mp)
- 08/02/10: Canon EOS 550D / Rebel T2i (18 mp)
* The Canon EOS 1000D represents a sub-class of the Rebel series and hence should be considered a parallel series.
- 18 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
- DIGIC 4 processor with ISO 100-6400 (Expansion to 12800)
- Continuous shooting at 3.7fps
- Full HD movie recording with manual control and selectable frame rates
- 7.7cm (3.0”) 3:2 Clear View LCD with 1,040k dots
- iFCL metering System with 63-zone Dual-layer Metering Sensor
- Quick Control screen to change shooting settings
- Exposure compensation +/-5 stops (although viewfinder scale is still +/-2 stops)
- Select maximum value for Auto ISO
- External Microphone socket
- Movie crop function
- Eye-Fi connected functions compatibility
EOS 550D vs EOS 500D Key differences
- Higher resolution 18MP CMOS with gapless micro lenses
- ISO 6400 no longer in 'expanded' range (12,800 max remains the same)
- Redesigned buttons and new movie/live view button
- Customizable auto ISO ranges
- Improved 63 zone metering (iFCL)
- 3:2 format screen with more pixels
- Improved movie functionality
- Slightly higher burst shooting rate (though buffer holds fewer shots)
- HDMI control (CEC)
- SDHX Compatible
Technology in Detail/What's New
- 16 Photographic tests (DR)
- 17 Photographic tests (DR)
- 18 Resolution
- 19 Photographic tests
- 20 Movie Mode
- 21 Compared to
- 22 Compared to (JPEG)
- 23 Compared to (JPEG)
- 24 Compared to (JPEG)
- 25 Compared to (RAW)
- 26 Compared to (RAW)
- 27 Compared to (RAW)
- 28 Compared to (Higher ISO)
- 29 Conclusion
- 30 Samples
|Red Otter by clicker88|
from Aviation Legends: de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter
|The Adventurer-4862 by vbuhay|
from Best Travel Photos
|Wasdale Head by Andy62|
from My Best Picture of the Week
|Gotham never new what was coming... by pocoloco|
Although it's only available to pre-order at this time, the Lexar Professional CFexpress USB 3.1 Reader is amongst the most affordable CFexpress readers on the market.
Is the Konica Hexar RF a suitable replacement for the Leica M7, especially for those craving an automated M-mount rangefinder? 35mmc's Hamish Gill has the answers.
We've been testing Olympus' newest beginner-friendly mirrorless camera as the weather warms up, documenting all kinds of creatures reappearing in the wild.
The video position on the X1D II mode dial will finally get some action as 2.7K and FHD movies can now be recorded a new firmware release that also makes focus stacking and white balancing easier
By taking instant portraits and attaching them to their hospital gowns, hospital staff can add a personal touch to their caretaking, even while wearing extraordinary amounts of PPE.
The issue will be fixed in Android 11, but users still on Android 10 need to be extra careful.
If you are looking for a fun photography project to try, Mathieu Stern has a neat idea for you. Using the 'anthotype' process, Stern used only beetroot juice, paper, a photo positive and a bit of time in the sun to create a phytotype photograph.
GoPro Labs will let you add experimental features to your HERO8 Black action cam through a beta firmware update.
Cameras' video capabilities just keep getting better. But what if you're not interested in video? Here's why you probably won't get stills-only versions of most cameras, and why they wouldn't be cheaper, if you did.
The Sony ZV-1 is the first overtly vlogging-focused camera on the market. We look at how it compares to the likes of the Canon Powershot G7 X III, both for vlogging and for photography.
What started as an internal means of checking the flange to sensor distance of its inventory turned into the painstaking task of measuring more than 2,500 camera bodies.
After originally being delayed, the organizers have decided to take the event virtual due to 'the continued uncertainty around hosting large events.'
DxO has announced Nik Collection 3. The popular plugin suite includes a new Perspective Efex plugin for fixing distortion and adjusting perspective, bringing the total number of plugins in the suite to eight.
The term 'computational photography' gets used a lot these days, but what exactly is it? In this article, the first in a three-part series, guest contributor Vasily Zubarev dives deep to show us how photography will work in the future.
DPReview TV host Jordan Drake schleps around a lot of camera equipment. In this video he shows us what gear he carries in his ThinkTank Urban Disguise 50 V2 camera bag to make the magic happen.
The lawsuit seeks up to $150,000 per image, among other things, potentially amounting to $2.25 million in statutory damages.
CIPA's April 2020 numbers reveal shipments of both DSLR and mirrorless cameras are down 60.8% and 67%, respectively, compared to April 2019.
The lens is based on the non-SE version of the lens, with only a few minor design changes oriented towards stills photographers.
We've taken the Xperia 1 Mark II to a few of our favorite spots around Seattle to get a better idea of what this flagship smartphone is capable of – see for yourself in our updated sample gallery.
As protests across the United States continue, there is an alarming rise in the number of incidents regarding police attacking photojournalists and members of the press.
Business Korea says Samsung is converting one of its DRAM production facilities into an image sensor production line, to the tune of roughly $815M.
Ever since we published our full X-T4 review last week, we just can't seem to put the camera down. It really is that nice to use. As for the image quality, we'll just let you be the judge of that!
Definitely a case of 'evolution rather than revolution', the new look is designed to help users recognize icons and logos more quickly in the different environments in which they appear
What does two years of progress look like, for Fujifilm's most video-centric models? Is the X-T4 worth the upgrade from the X-H1, or is now the time to bag yourself a bargain?
Adobe has released a new video series titled In a Lightroom Minute that breaks down tips and tricks for Lightroom CC and Lightroom Mobile in 60 seconds (give or take a few).
The Sony ZV-1 is a modified version of Sony's RX100 series aimed at vloggers and video enthusiasts. Does Sony have a winner? Chris and Jordan vlog their way through an episode to find out.
The live event is over, but the full replay is available until June 6 and they're still accepting donations — 100% of which go to Global Giving's Coronavirus Global Relief Fund and other regional charities.
Nikon's financial results don't fall far from the updated forecast shared earlier this month and highlight just how unsure the entire industry is about the future due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thinking about buying your first film camera? Great news, there's plenty of options out there! Here are 12 things to keep in mind when picking out your perfect analog companion.
The teaser doesn't share much information but based on the visuals provided, it appears to be a mid-range zoom roughly the same size as its 28-75mm F2.8 lens.