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Canon Launches 15MP, 1080p Capable 500D DSLR

Gordon Kelly


Canon Launches 15MP, 1080p Capable 500D DSLR

This is likely to throw a knuckle duster wearing kitty amongst some heavily tarred pigeons...

Today Canon has launched the 15.1 megapixel 'EOS 500D' (known as the 'Rebel T1i' in the US') and it causes such fuss primarily because of one thing: High Definition video recording.

Yes, picking up where the 5D Mark II left off - yet at a vastly reduced price - are Full HD 1080p recording at 20fps and 720p recording at an action friendly 30fps. VGA is also there for the less adventurous with all content stored in .mov using Mpeg4 compression. There's also mini HDMI for easy connection to your home TV or projector (though not as convenient as a using a full size port).

On the stills side of things the 500D (which is an additional product in the Canon line-up, not a replacement to any one model) is built around the DIGIC 4 Imaging processor. You'll get auto features such as the 'Auto Lighting Optimizer' and 'Creative Auto Mode' for noobs and a vast range of ISO settings for more advanced users to fiddle with. These span from ISO 100 to 3200 with two further settings with H1 providing a stonking ISO 6400 and 12800. Continuous shooting runs at 3.4fps up to a total of 170 photos or nine RAW images per second with three Live View modes: Quick, Live, and Face Detection. As for the LCD, this is a tasty three incher (920,000 dots), the same as the one used in the 5D Mark II.

Now the other reason that pussy cat is so brutally equipped: cost. On the one hand Canon is bringing HD video recording to a whole new price point with the 500D, shipping it in body only form from £869 or in a choice of two lens kits: an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS for £969 and an 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, for £1,399.

The contentious issue however is the mark up as our Yank cousins snag it with the unbelievable RRPs of $799.99 for the body kit or $899.99 with the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens (18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS pricing unknown). That's a whopping £310 saving on the body kit and £350 with lens. I don't care what the exchange rate or import taxes are, that's criminal.

So the EOS 500D both delights and frustrates. It's a stunning camera but you need to overcome your jealousy at that geographical pricing when it launches in May.

In related news Canon has also released the 'Speedlite 270EX', the successor to the 220EX, a wonderfully compact, lightweight external flash which fits all its DSLRs and some PowerShot models. Fuelled by two AA batteries, it enables bounce flash shooting with four position steps from 0 to 90 degrees and cleverly lets users control functions and input settings from the camera's LCD display. At just £149.99 this is a must have piece of kit.


Press Release (US)


March 25, 2009, 11:12 pm

We demand review! We demand review!


March 25, 2009, 11:18 pm

@Randy - I had brief hands on time with it, not enough for a review or proper preview but let's just say IT'S NICE!

We're setting Cliff loose on the Canon PR as we speak ;)


March 25, 2009, 11:21 pm

Nice piece of kit!

Shame about the rather hefty "being british" tax


March 25, 2009, 11:21 pm

20 FPS?!!!!!! WTF?!! Why not 24 FPS? Or even 25...no,no....Canon will start their own imaginary standard!

That will annoy so many people. Canon's marketing strategy and product alignment gets more and more convoluted by the day.


March 25, 2009, 11:39 pm

...although video functionality outstanding, it's a great product - if overpriced at launch. If i'd just bought a 50D, I'd be heading back to the shop...(unless you need the extra speed and build quality).

Also, Nikon...I do hope you're paying attention!

Geoff Richards

March 26, 2009, 1:33 am

Y'all should be aware that the video function (either HD res, and therefore FPS) does NOT support continual autofocus while recording. In other words, you set the focal distance before hitting the "go" button (and the camera will help you with that bit if desired) but it won't adjust automatically mid-recording if your subject moves.

I'm sure Cliff will cover the pros & cons in his review (and demo the above in a video review)


March 26, 2009, 4:25 am

If I was going to buy that camera... there's a return flight on last minute.com (London LHR to new york JFK) for &#163344.10. YOU CAN PHYSICALLY GO AND GET IT YOURSELF FOR LESS MONEY! That's how retarded that UK price premium is.

I was close to going to New York a little while ago for picking up a Macbook Pro. In that case you saved several hundred pounds :P


March 26, 2009, 6:45 am

20 fps "video" means the only place this "Rebel" belongs is on the dungheap.

Or possibly up Canon's colossal collective colon.

(I vote #2)

Geoff Richards

March 26, 2009, 11:34 am

Generally speaking, while lenses have worldwide warranties, camera bodies do not. ie you'd have a US-only warranty.

I'd wait until the 500D hits the streets here in the UK before worrying too much about the price. It's only the RRP so far :)

Rich 42c5

March 26, 2009, 3:46 pm

Does this mean we'll have to wait 6 months for a review, just like with all the other (massively late) Canon reviews on TR?



March 26, 2009, 4:39 pm

These things vary, sometimes you'll get given priority and have stuff within weeks. Other times you're at the bottom of the list and it can take months. We're all keeping our fingers crossed it'll be the former.


May 1, 2009, 8:18 pm

Very good product from Canon

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