Canon EOS 550D

The EOS 550D is the latest in a long line of consumer level EOS DSLRs from Canon, which means that it's been tweaked to the Nth degree.

NameDSLR camera: Canon EOS 550D
At a glance:18MP sensor,Best image quality and videos on test,Accurate autofocus,Needs user involvement to deliver its best,Deserves high end lenses
Summary:There’s just no way to quibble with this camera’s capabilities at the price.

The EOS 550D is the latest in a long line of consumer level EOS DSLRs from Canon, which means that it’s been tweaked to the Nth degree. It’s the most expensive camera in the test but you get plenty for your money – consider its new generation 18MP sensor, million plus dot wide LCD screen, the improved metering system from the killer 7D and Canon’s 1080P full HD movie mode with manual controls.

The build quality and finish is outstanding, while the camera’s handling and effectiveness tend towards semi-pro status with a logical control set and neatly laid out menus that cover a wide range of options. The EOS 550D can be left in automatic and the results will put a smile on the owner’s face, but once they become intimately familiar with this camera, any limitations vanish. The output from the sensor is simply superb, even at bewilderingly high ISO levels. With all those pixels, sharpness is exquisite, as is the colour palette and the ability to handle contrast. Metering is also uncannily accurate. The EOS 550D is fast to focus, even faster to shoot and feels as good as it looks.

Video quality is fabulous as well, easily the best in the test with the most vibrant footage. The mono sound quality is high and there’s provision for an external microphone for those who are serious about video. For a model that’s basically just above Canon’s DSLR entry-level, this is a stunning camera with very few issues. Evolution obviously works.

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Ashley Kramer

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