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Canon Launches EOS 550D Just 9 Months After 500D

Gordon Kelly by

Look, it's almost Mobile World Conference time and the rest of the industry hasn't entirely given up with competing news announcements...

Catching our attention more than most is Canon, which has announced a highly welcome addition to its famed EOS range in the shape of the '550D'.

Key points are as follows:

  • 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

  • 3in 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.

  • Select maximum value for Auto ISO

  • External Microphone socket

  • Movie crop function
Yes, my jaw dropped at the ISO settings too what was is in essence its new entry level DSLR, but the list makes for excellent reading in general. It also doesn't even take into account the HDMI port and HDMI Consumer Electronics Control (HDMI-CEC) which means the camera can be controlled via a TV remote. Meanwhile the 550D remains fully compatible with all Canon EF and EF-S lenses and EX series Speedlite flash units, including the compact Speedlite 270EX.

In fact, our only gripe/fear is how Canon's infamous transatlantic pricing will work out. In the US a reasonable $799 RRP (£512) has been stamped on the 550D with a lens kit, but this could easily end up circa £700-800 if Canon repeats the stunts of previous models. If not, then everyone should be happy - oh, apart from those who stumped up for an EOS 500D when it came out less than nine months ago...


Press Release

EOS 550D Sample Images (links to zip file download)

Go to comments


February 9, 2010, 5:59 am

I use a couple of 5D2's for photo / video work and I'm desperately waiting for the firmware update to enable 24/25 fps and I live in hope that it also gets the 720p 60fps update too. If Canon decide to skimp on the 5D2's update and don't include 720p and 60 fps I will be selling one of my 5D2's and getting one of these! It even has an external stereo jack input and the same sensor as the 7D.

If your primary use will be for HD video work then this body is perfect (apart from not being full frame IMO). If you really need the extra photo speed and better focus system you can get the 7D, otherwise this looks like a killer camera.

But i'd wait until Christmas time when prices will have fallen to a much more wallet friendly £500-550 mark. Good stuff Canon - keep it comin'


February 9, 2010, 3:06 pm

Nice :-) I was thinking of getting a 5D2 to replace my ageing 20D (I have all L glass), but for the price and features, this is making me think again.....


February 9, 2010, 5:58 pm

Ooooohhh!! I've always wanted to get my paws on a reasonably priced DSLR - I think Canon have just answered my prayers!


February 9, 2010, 7:56 pm

I don't get it. What's so jaw dropping about the ISO settings? The 500D already does ISO12800 and so does the Sony A450/A5x0. Not that ISO12800 is useable in any case.


February 10, 2010, 4:35 am

why does this thing cost £231 more than the 500D it replaces??????


February 10, 2010, 4:52 am

@Den - we don't have UK pricing yet, I think you've misread the dollar price!


February 10, 2010, 5:18 am

Hi Gordon,

I got the prices from jessops and warehouse express. I hope they lower them when it's actually released.

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