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News

February 2010

Canon has announced a groundbreaking new addition to its EOS range of DSLR cameras - the 18 Megapixel EOS 550D - which incorporates technologies and features more commonly found in semi-professional DSLRs, such as the EOS 7D.

In a compact, lightweight body the EOS 550D includes a newly developed 18 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, Canon's advanced DIGIC 4 image processor and the ability to shoot Full 1920x1080p HD movies.

Creative control with no compromise on quality

The EOS 550D's advanced DIGIC 4 image processor and the camera's 18 Megapixel sensor support standard ISO settings of 100 to 6400 (expandable to ISO 12,800), while enhanced in-camera noise reduction technology boosts performance in low light conditions. The system's 14-bit image processing also produces smoother tonal gradation and natural looking colours for high quality prints and on-screen display.

For swift and accurate focusing, the EOS 550D features a 9-point AF system with one extra-sensitive cross-type point at the centre for shooting with lenses of f/2.8 aperture or faster, plus high-speed, continuous shooting at 3.7 frames per second (fps). Both of these features provide photographers with the opportunity to exert greater control over their images, allowing them to capture split-second moments with ease and accuracy.

Canon has filtered new technology and features from the EOS 7D down into the EOS 550D, including the 63-zone iFCL metering system. New for EOS is the ability to set the top limit for automatic ISO, allowing users to control the maximum amount of noise in their images. In a first for an 'entry-level' EOS camera exposure compensation can be set up to +/-5 stops and exposure bracketing to +/-2 stops - this allows photographers to ensure they capture a well-exposed image, even in difficult lighting conditions.

Kieran Magee - Director of Product Planning, Consumer Products, Canon Europe - explained: “Digital SLR photography has captured the imagination of consumers globally. Every year, more and more individuals are looking to record key life events with unrivalled quality or to test and explore their creativity. The EOS 550D redefines the entry-level DSLR category, putting technologies and features previously the preserve of the professional into the hands of the consumer - allowing them to achieve outstanding results. With the EOS 550D, consumers are free to explore the limits of their own creative vision."

 

The 3.0" 3:2 ratio Clear View LCD screen features 1,040k dots and allows photographers to see 100% of the image without borders.

EOS Movie function: Full HD video

As the ability to record Full HD video becomes increasingly important, Canon continues to deliver DSLR technology that sets the industry benchmark for multimedia functionality. The EOS 550D records full 1920x1080p HD video resolution with selectable frame rates of 24fps, 25fps and 30fps, as well as offering 720p video at 60 and 50fps. The EOS 550D also includes a 3.5mm stereo microphone socket to enable the use of an external microphone when capturing video footage.

Photographers can also take manual control over exposure settings; changing the depth-of-field and degree of motion blur to shoot more creatively. To provide the best possible video quality, Highlight Tone Priority (HTP) can be set independently for movie capture, without changing any still image capture settings. In situations where the subject is further away, the EOS 550D's new 'Movie Crop' function records with the central 640x480 pixel area of the sensor, creating an effective magnification of approximately seven times. The EOS 550D is the first camera in the EOS range to feature Movie Crop and gives more flexibility to capturing important moments that would otherwise be too far away.

A clear view of your world

The EOS 550D also allows photographers to view their images and video in unhindered clarity. A 7.7cm (3.0") 3:2 Clear View LCD screen with 1,040k dot resolution makes it possible to see 100% of captured images with no borders. The anti-reflective, water-repellent coating also makes it easier to see the screen in bright conditions and from a variety of angles.

Build quality and controls

The EOS 550D is built to a high quality specification with bigger, more intuitive buttons that have been redesigned following feedback from photographers. Based on this feedback, the EOS 550D also features an additional button on the new battery grip - this allows aperture settings to be changed when shooting with the camera in a vertical position, without having to re-orient the body.

 

The top plate layout and controls of the EOS 550D.

Share the moment

The EOS 550D also features an integrated HDMI port compatible with High-Definition Multimedia Interface – Consumer Electronics Control (HDMI-CEC), video and images stored on the EOS 550D can be viewed on an HD-ready TV and controlled via the TV remote.

For users who want to transfer content wirelessly, the EOS 550D includes Eye-Fi connected functions. The EOS 550D features a dedicated Eye-Fi section in the User Interface and it disables the automatic power-down function when an Eye-Fi card is transmitting (subject to country specific Eye-Fi compatibility) - allowing users to transfer content easily and without interruption.

Accessories

The EOS 550D is fully compatible with all of the Canon EF and EF-S lenses and the EX series of Speedlite flash units, including the compact Speedlite 270EX. The EOS 550D is also compatible with the new RC-6 Remote Control, allowing photographers to capture high quality stills and Full HD video without touching the camera body. The slimline infrared controller can trigger the shutter release from up to five metres away, with photographers able to select either immediate release or a two second delay for greater flexibility when shooting. As well as supporting EOS 550D, the RC-6 Remote Control unit is also compatible with the EOS 450D, 500D, 7D and 5D Mark II.

EOS 550D - Key features

  • 18 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • DIGIC 4 processor with ISO range of 100-6400 range, expandable to ISO 12,800
  • 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 of +/-5 stops
  • Select maximum value for Auto ISO
  • External Microphone socket
  • 'Movie Crop' function
  • Eye-Fi connected functions compatibility