Compared to...

Studio scene comparison (RAW)

For a (more) level playing field for comparison we also shot our studio scene in RAW mode with each camera and converted it using Adobe Camera RAW (in this case a beta version of ACR 5.7). Because Adobe Camera RAW applies different levels of sharpening to different cameras (this confirmed) we use the following workflow for these conversions:

  • Load RAW file into Adobe Camera RAW (Auto mode disabled)
  • Set Sharpness to 0 (all other settings default)
  • Open file in Photoshop
  • Apply a Unsharp mask: 80%, Radius 1.0, Threshold 0
  • Save as a TIFF (for cropping) and as a JPEG quality 11 for download

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position. Lighting: daylight simulation, >98% CRI. Crops are 100%. Ambient temperature was approximately 22°C (~72°F). Camera settings as per previous pages.

Canon EOS 550D vs. Canon EOS 500D

Canon EOS 550D
Canon EOS 500D
2.6 MB JPEG (3872 x 2592)
2.9 MB JPEG (3872 x 2592)

Again, the difference between the Canon EOS 550D and its slightly lower resolution stablemate is very subtle in raw mode, and whilst both cameras give a better showing when set to raw capture than they do in JPEG mode, the difference between their files at 100% on screen is slight, and certainly not worth worrying about in this kind of environment. Both cameras are capable of all but ouresolving this studio scene, and both manage to capture the finest texture that we've presented them with here. There are plenty of reasons to upgrade from the EOS 500D to the 550D, but the extra resolution of the 550D's sensor isn't one of them.