Customer Review

64 of 67 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 20D REPLACEMENT, 18 July 2010
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This review is from: Canon EOS 550D Digital SLR Camera (inc 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens Kit) (Electronics)
After a couple of weeks my findings : excellent camera, high quality photo's, benefits (like all camera's) from good glass in front. Good, usable, movie mode, really like the 640 crop which is great for astronomy. Live view with a 3 inch LCD (crystal clear as well) makes it so much easier to focus, especially for those of us from the wrinkly generation and without perfect eyesight (note that the view finder provides about 95% coverage not 100% and is slighly on the dull side compared to a 7D with the same glass in front for instance). And masses of options, not least of which is live view, did I mention that I think that's great. I should say that I only use either manual or A mode on the camera so have no idea what the custom modes are like. They were very good on my 20D so I assume that they will be excellent on the 550D.

This camera was bought as a replacement for a 20D, got the 550D as I could not justify the price of either a 7D or a 5D Mk 2 and wasn't going to buy a 50D with 60D just around the comer. Couple of points to note however if, like me you are coming from a 20 30 40 or 50D. One is the lack of an LCD panel on the outside top of the camera takes some getting used to. I miss the convenience of a quick control dial on the camera rear, though there is a main dial top front which is multipurpose.

The 550D, though it feels very well made is certainly not in the same league build wise as a 20D. If you are used to firing off lots of shots in burst mode, this camera may not be for you - I very rarely use burst but did the other day and noticed that it's nowhere near as quick to fire or refresh as the 20D. Also the `clunk' made by the camera when you take a picture sounds `cheap' (hope that makes sense). Final point for me, I much prefer the size and brightness of the AF focus points on a 20D. They appear larger and clearer on that camera, more than once with the 550D I've had to re-focus several times just to see exactly where the `live' focus point is. That, of course, may be me, but then this is my review :-)

Overall great camera and I love it to bits, not least of all because it's so much lighter than a 20D....

UPDATE : September

After several more weeks of use with various lens, I have to say I am very impressed indeed with the quality of the results. I take photo's with both RAW and JPEG switched on at the same time and honestly find that the JPEG's are more than good enough for most purposes. The colours are clear and bright and the level of detail is a delight. High ISO use has also been a revelation, ISO 800 is more than useable and I actually tried a couple of shots outside at night with little illumination at ISO 6400 and both pictures came out well enough to see the subject clearly. Although there was a lot of noise I did not think it excessive, more like that you get from a B&W photo from a newspaper if you enlarge it, so still usable.... I don't have any L lens at the moment so am using a Canon 10-22, a Canon 17-55 and an old Canon 75-300 and I can honestly say that even when enlarged to 200% I have noticed very little, if any, drop off in sharpness, I realise that in part that is down to the lens but I never got the same level of detail with the 20D so the 550D must be doing something right.

If you want to see some examples of what the 550D can do, even in the hands of a poor photographer, there are a lot of examples on Flickr.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 13 May 2011 12:32:38 BDT
I have an old EOS 50E so you can guess how far back I am going! With it I also have Canon lenses 28-80 and 75-300. Do you know if these lenses fit the Canon digital cameras? Also, as a nod to the digital age of photography, I have the incomparable Panasonic DMC TZ7. Just how much of a step up is it to go for this level of camera?
Thank you
Stevie Downes

In reply to an earlier post on 13 May 2011 13:30:56 BDT
A. Taylor says:
I'm afraid I can't help re your lens question, my first Canon was the 20D I mention and that takes the same lens that the 550D does. For what it's worth I understand that the only camera manufacturer who has not changed the connection style of their lens over the years is Nikon, Canon has I believe at least once and maybe twice. In any event I think you may well be able to get the relevant adaptors on eBay to get the lens to work with the camera though it will probably be manual focus and no in camera metering while you use them.

With regard to the Panasonic TZ7, I have one of those as well as a Panny LX3. As you say the TZ7 is great, I would also add the LX3 is poor! Anyway, I find that the TZ7 takes excellent shots, but does do most of the work for you, while the 550D will do the same, the resultant quality is of a different league altogether. Also, as it takes RAW (+Jpeg) this gives a lot more flexibility in how you manipulate the finished print. There is one small drawback to the Canon 550D that I've never encountered with any of my small cameras, to wit, if one takes out the 550 or any DSLR in London (any big city) folks look sideways at you and the police come up and ask you what you're doing.......Hope this ramble has helped.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 May 2011 15:34:53 BDT
I really appreciate that. Thank you. I am off to the jungles of Borneo shortly and wondered if I could manage with the Panasonic. Mind, I had a camera stolen in Viet Nam but perhaps any digital camera would be of interest to such market enthusiasts.
I shall check with Canon about the lenses. The most attractive thing above all is that the image quality is in a different league. Looks like I shall have to invest. Thanks again.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 May 2011 16:51:59 BDT
A. Taylor says:
You are welcome, hope you have an excellent trip and manage to bag some great pictures.
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Review Details



A. Taylor

Location: Surrey England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 574