The new Canon 550D/ T2i…VERY powerful entry level HD-DSLR

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This is big news, for all those people struggling with the 500D/ T1i and it’s 20fps 1080p or 720 30fps with lack of manual control and can’t afford a 7D then this camera is for you. It’s retailing for just $800 body only!

  • 1080p: 1920 x 1080 pixels at 30fps (actually 29.97fps)
  • 1080p: 1920 x 1080 pixels at 25fps
  • 1080p: 1920 x 1080 pixels at 24fps (actually 23.976fps)
  • 720p: 1280 x 720 pixels at 60fps (actually 59.94fps)
  • 720p: 1280 x 720 pixels at 50fps
  • SD: 640 x 480 pixels at 60fps (actually 59.94fps)
  • SD: 640 x 480 pixels at 50fps

It also has a 3.5mm microphone jack, but unlikely to have manual controls for that.

It also has a new feature called movie crop which takes the centre of the image, and gives you a digitally zoomed in SD picture so you can get more out of your lenses if you are not worried about losing HD. I can’t see a use for this myself or in a professional situation as it is just a digital zoom but consumers may find this useful.


It shoots up to 6400 ISO too. Interestingly it seems the LCD is slightly higher resolution than the 7D too…

The camera is a massive step up from the previous model and really challenges the 7D, certainly in movie mode. Be very interesting to do a side by side of these cameras! You don’t have a number of features of the 7D, like dual processor, faster still FPS, weatherproofing and many of the top notch still features that the 7D offers but for video users, especially students, hobbyists and people dipping a tentative toe into the HD-DSLR market this looks to be sure bet. The key thing is it has full manual exposure control from the get go. This is from the official press release in the video section… I love the way Canon still calls people who buy this camera all photographers, there needs to be a new word for the hybrid users! “Photographers can also take manual control over exposure settings, changing the depth of field and degree of motion blur to shoot more creatively”

It’s funny to hear people complain about the release of this camera. From 5dmkII owners who are waiting to the firmware (it’s coming!) but more from new 7D owners. Guys/ gals you will be able to afford a B camera so cheaply soon and every pro should have two bodies. Suddenly the idea of a second body for many is much more affordable!


Here are the main features including it’s still capture capabilities:

  • 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
  • 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 +/-5 stops.
  • Select maximum value for Auto ISO
  • External Microphone socket
  • Movie crop function

Oh and for a bit of a fun here is my third and final Downfall parody about Hitler always buying the wrong camera!


      1. I am sure some will scoff, but the low light one included a number of shots done with a $100 50mm 1.8. And for my money those were not bad at all. I am impressed. Since I would use this just as a video camera I am leaning toward this and $900 worth of lenses instead of the 7d but am in “can’t-make-my-mind-up-vile.”

  1. Movie Crop is interesting for what it might become in future cameras. I read it as using the center 640×480 pixels of the sensor so more a 1 to 1 mapping rather than a digital zoom. Expand it to 1080p size and you shouldn’t have aliasing issues, though you loose the benefit of the large sensor as you are just using the center. As it probably took no hardware to add the feature it would be nice to have avaliable as an option.

  2. Great news Philip!

    Now, let’s hope you can put your hands on one of these soon and shed some light. It looks really promising. I’m really interested to see how it compares to Lumix GH-1. I hope the action footage doesn’t have as much mud as the GH-1, and performs well in low light conditions.



    1. I’d like to know this also. I’d love to shoot 720p @ 24 for many reasons. I guess it’s shoot at 1080 then downscale in edit to 720 (maintaining the 24fps) if you are desperate.

  3. Uj, that looks really nice!

    Have the 5D mark II but I am waiting to see if it will get the 60fps with the new firmware. If not, this can be a camera worth looking into as a second camera:)

    Cheers and thanks for a great blog!

    1. Exactly what I was thinking too. I actually prefer my T1i for stills since it is smaller then my 5D. I tend to grab it and take it with me when on the go. To have a T2i that can also serve as a true 2nd video cam with smooth slow-mo would be great.

  4. I have been waiting to dip a toe in the HD-DSLR market too – perhaps this is the camera for me.

    Philip can you do a review of this camera as it relates to the 7D for people like myself that are just getting into this? I would really appreciate it.

    The reason I have not purchased the 7D is because it doesn’t have auto focus when shooting video – does this one have auto focus?


  5. When you say ‘full manual exposure control from the get go’, does that include manual control over Aperture, ISO, and Shutter Speed?

    I have a t1i that I returned in order to get a 7d, and now, I think I’d rather have the t2i and a new $1k lens…

  6. When you say full manual exposure control, does that mean control over Aperture, ISO, and shutter speed during movie mode?

    I have a t1i that I just returned in order to get a 7d, and now, I think I’d rather get a t2i and an L series lens

  7. Looks an interesting option as a B camera to the 5D2. Doesn’t seem to lose much from the 7D apart from the weatherproofing and stills speed. I think I could live with that, especially given that its about 300g lighter and potentially much cheaper; though we will have to see what happens when it hits retailers.

    I hope Rich is right about the pixel mapping. This would elevate movie crop from gimmick to interesting.

    1. I am feel very flattened now too. Bought my 500D just after Christmas. I do of course realise that there is always something better just around the corner. But this just came so quickly, so cheaply and with so much better video than the 500D that it makes me want to cry too. About to eBay off my 500D now…

  8. WOOP WOOP! I will definitely be getting this camera!

    One thing I am really excited about is the fact this camera supports the new SDXC memory card format which allows for blisteringly fast transfer speeds and a theoretical capacities of up to 2 terrabytes (yes terrabytes!)

    This is perfect for me as the next update to the macbook pro will surely have SDXC support.

    I will finally be able to kiss goodbye to cables amd slow transfer speeds. Yippee!

  9. This is the camera i’ve been waiting for… Thanx to Canon!!!

    Philip, can you say anything about the HDMI-output? Will it be the same as from the 7D? Because i plan to buy a marshall HDMI-monitor during the next month. If the output isn’t that good, i have to stock up my budget to buy a 7D!

        1. Relax Sebastian, it is coming according to Joseph Bogacz, Product Marketing Division, Canon US. Athough they still won’t put a date on it. I console myself hoping its because they still hope to fit 720p50/60 in at the last minute. We can dream….


          Well worth watching this one too about the plug-in and new codec

          Too me this is major sign that Canon has recovered from its shock over HD-DSLR success and playing catch-up and started to put some strategic thinking behind this new development. For those still dreaming of a DSLR sensor inside pro video chassis that has to be a good thing.

          What’s your view on this codec Philip? Going to mpeg2 from h264 at the same bit rate is losing picture information but would it be worth it to get 4:2:2?

      1. Just ordered my 7D a week ago and i’m happy about that and i don’t regret.
        When i see this 550, i was thinking that will be an amazing B camera. I don’t want a 550D to be my A camera, jes, certainly not. I put all my trust in a 7D, maybe a MK3 when will come out.

  10. >>This is big news, for all those people struggling with the 500D/ T1i and it’s 20fps 1080p or 720 30fps with lack of manual control and can’t afford a 7D then this camera is for you.

    Is that actually a sentence?

  11. Phil,

    Would you sell your 7D for this new instrument?

    Would anyone else? The trade seems tempting, but I’m not sure it’s worth losing the dual processing and the powerful build that the 7D offers.

    Might get some money for one decent lens out of it.

    What do you all think?

    1. No, why on earth would I sell my 7D for a cheaper, less well built camera with inferior still capability? This is a great A camera for so many people and B camera for 5Dmkii/ 7D owners, but no reason to sell your 7D for this.

      1. Just needed to make sure that I had the right angle on this.

        Upon further review, it’s clear that the difference can be summed up by the simple phrase, “you get what you pay for.”

        So for many it will indeed be a great buy.

        Canon is very smart.

      2. 100% on the point Phil – as always…

        Very keen to see how this little guy compares and cuts with 7/5D footage in your hands..

        5D firmware before march would be nice…! :S

      3. If the video performance is the the main concern, and you don’t take stills, one could very logically make the case for getting this with a very nice lens(which will always last you and keep it’s value), as opposed to the 7D. Another option would be to get two of these. As for build quality it’s important for some less so for others, and I’ve also seen a rebel or two take a kicking and still last. So if the video performance is the same and if you are just doing video, than the 7d may (arguably) not be the most economical option at this point. I bought the 7d for video only, my crusty old 8mp 30d was just fine for stills(excellent in fact) and I didn’t need to upgrade but did for the video. Canon is very slick and knows how to make $$.

  12. It seems the only real difference with the 7D is the weather proofing, auto focus, and FPS. Is that worth an extra grand? To some, probably, to other’s probably not. I got to see some real world tests first though. There is an in-depth preview on if you guys are interested. The sensor is pretty much the same as the 7D and Canon says the Lowlight performance will be very close.

  13. Wow, awesome camera at an awesome price point. Yeah, this might be my next camera purchase to compliment my 7D when I need 2 angles.

    I like the idea of setting a maximum value for auto ISO… anyone know if I can do that on my 7D?

  14. Question about price here in the United States…your posting mentioned $800 – but isn’t that the price in Pounds not dollars? Dollars would be something like $1,250 or no?

    Also what about a US release date? Any news, rumors on that?

  15. I know this camera has an HDMI out and on the Press Release it states that you can preview already stored pictures or video on an external monitor. However, are you able to get a live feed out while shooting video? I know the 7D has the ability to do this.

  16. Wow, this is surprising.

    I’m a filmstudent and still saving to buy the 7D. Well, that was the plan..
    This camera looks very promising. Certainly for my budget and it’ll mostly be used to built up my portfolio for the future.
    Very curious to see a side-by-side comparison. Until then, this remains confusing.

  17. Hi Philip, in this days I’m (happy) using a 5D mark II (with magic lantern firmware) buy after sellin my 7D, for lots of interviews. I want to ask if you think the 720 50P/60P format recording will be better in the 550D than 7D (in 7D the 720/50P was unuseless because too much of aliasing and moirè effect).

  18. I am very disappointed. I bought a 7d for video only and I am very sad. I don’t care for weather proofing or better stills. This seems to do everything the 7D can do video wise. For what I paid for the 7D I could have had two of these.

  19. Canon EOS 550D / Rebel T2i & 5D Mark II :

    Now people don’t need to translate japanese Canon Press Conference Report to understand that “A Single Digic 4 CAN handle 24p & 60p”…

    Canon IS taking our ideas too (“Video Crop mode”) but NOT implementing them on the EOS 5D Mark II…

    – Chech the List of FIXES & IMPROVEMENTS that has been elaborated from LOT of user’s feedbacks and requests since long ago, there are SO MANY possible improvements (check previous post too if you want):

    Just a Firmware update is needed… NO redesign of the camera, no hardware change.

    What is Canon thinking about THOUSANDS of customers who invested thousands of dollars on Canon gear? Is that a funny game?

    – Check: The Hidden Potential of 5D Mark II that explains the process of Magic Lantern and all our requests and efforts (along with thousands of customers) for the 5D2:

    We should start a poll: “How are 5D Mark II owners feeling now?”

    Also a new Campaign requesting Fixes and Improvements that CAN be implemented via firmware update.

    Probably they will release the new firmware with 24/25p for the 5D2 soon, BUT aside of the real need for it, it would be frustrating to see that it is the only enhancement they provide, while they could take MUCH more advantage of the inner potential of this camera, giving to their customers and keeping the camera “fresh” and more competitive (so more profit from the already in-production model).

  20. Philip,

    There is probably no technical reason why Canon can’t introduce the crop zoom feature on the 7D, even more, a crop zoom feature at 720p or 1080p that uses the center portion of the sensor. This would totally improve moire and be an incredible option for far away and macro subjects with improved depth of field for many shots. All without carrying those expensive L tele primes.

    Time to start a petition for HD 1080p or 720p windowed mode on the 7D and possibly the 5D.

    1. I totally agree. This is a very exciting update if they take the potential of a crop zoom at 1080p. Moire issues caused by pixel binning could be wiped out.

      Get that petition started.

  21. I actually wonder if not having the 2nd chip and weatherproofing will help this camera when it comes to overheating.

    Time to sell my t1i. And use this as my 2nd camera for my 5D Mark II.

  22. this changes everything! argh! i bought the 500D as soon as it came out JUST for the video, but obviously it has its shortcomings. i’ve been trying to justify the cost of a 7D to my my wife and myself for almost as long but now i have no excuses!

    the 550D is going to rock my world. the stills photographer in me is somewhat disappointed that i won’t be getting the bigger better viewfinder of the 7D but i will be getting a bigger better screen i suppose. unfortunate it’s not articulated.

    1. Hmm…interesting article and I suppose it throws up a couple of immediate questions. First is whether SXDC compatible means SD4 support or just SD3. If its only the latter then it looks like the same constraints apply as with SDHC. If it is SD4, then would they nobble European cameras to keep them below 30mins and the VCR duty.

      I know its largely theoretical at the moment but the maximum speeds on SD4 SXDC are an exciting prospect. 300MBps needed a big box full of fast drives in RAID0 to achieve until recently. Some of the latest desktop SSDs are getting close to that now, so I guess it will be feasible in the near future in a smaller form factor. If you take 54Mbps data rate from a 7D for 1080p and scale it up to the full sensor size you come to 466Mbps or just under 60MBps. So 300Mbps would give plenty of head room higher resolutions, faster frame rates, better sound, less compression or more colour depth.

  23. An interesting thought then… Why does the 7D have 2 processors – just to double on continuous shooting? one dedicated to video? Or both working in unison on all things? Has anyone actually looked at what the dual DIGIC 4 processor actually do together?

    Finally, Will this new unit overheat?

    All in all though, a bargain! defo B cam.

    1. I asked a Canon rep this at Converge One and he told me the second chip is there for throughput for RAW stills in continuous mode only. Only a single chip is doing the video. This explanation fits pretty well when you look at the HD-DSLR range specs. I does mean also that a single chip is enough for 720p60 but I don’t think 5D owners like me should get our hopes up to much.

      Anyone who comments on overheating now is probably just guessing. But given that the 7D is doing the same amount of processing in a roomier chassis with better thermodynamic properties my own guess would be that it is unlikely to be better. However, I am in the UK so overheating is something I can only dreaming of. I do, however, understand why Philip values the 7Ds waterproofing.

  24. I am so upset. I just bought my Mercedes SLK and then they came up with some Mercedes A class.
    The same story all the time. In both way actually. If it is the case that you first buy – hypothetically 550d and then they unveil 7d, you can also say: Ohhh, If I knew, I will save more money to buy this great camera and not this toy.
    Is something has to be changed in human firmware?

    1. Good question! I have the GH1 and find it very good – but do love canon cameras for stills work. Perhaps Phil would share his thoughts on which he expects to be better between the GH1 and this new kid on the block. For me a lot will come down to how bad the rolling shutter effect is compared to the GH1, and how compressed the footage is?

  25. Hi Philip, the 7D is a great camera, I know. But just wondering, have you experienced the overheating problem with the 7D? I know many have. How would you suggest working around it?

    Thanks for the very informative blog. I find it a helpful resource as I dabble in multimedia

  26. Thank god for this! For months I have been on a knife edge about selling my beloved Leica and Nikon D700 to buy the 5d MKII and all the new lenses… Now I can keep my stills set up and have this 550d dedicated for video 🙂 Bad Ass – Hope the rigs come in quick succession

  27. I think I may stick with my original plan of a 7D… I prefer SDHC over CF, but in the grand scheme of things (when buying EX1Rs and LTO drives), a cheaper model that does the same thing may not be exactly what one needs.

  28. I’m not trying to complain here, but we are talking $1,000 dollars here. This is not joke. I literally bought my 7d 18 days ago. 2,300 later and this is the thanks I get from canon?

    I was happy not everyone could shoot with these. I don’t want my doctor neighbor out shooting wicked HD footage for $700.

    I mean the 7d was out for 4 months and now for 50cents you can shoot the same 1080 23.976… ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!! Do you know the lens I could buy for $1000 lak;seorihg;AIPJERAJHAIEHJalehf~~~~~1!!!!!! I acutally hope the t2 shoots crappy footage…

    1. you are complaining Paul!

      the 7d is a superior camera and just because more people can afford the cheaper one doesn’t mean every one will be going out shooting amazing footage. it’s not the camera!!

      1. If you think it’s $1,000 worth better then I will calm down 🙂 🙂 But like many, I bought it for cinema only… At least with the 5d there is a noticeable difference in picture and hardware, it’s worth the price difference.

        I’ll have to wait for video comparisons, but if the rebel 550 is just as good as 7d picture… Then darn right I’m complaining 🙂 I would get a 5d if I cared about stills you know…

        You rock Philip Bloom! You have mad DP skills. Thanks for talking me down off the ledge… 🙂

          1. Paul, what you say might be right in terms of photo since a long time. You doctor neighbour could have made great, professional photos with an 800 dollar camera, even if you’ve had a 2000 dollar one. But did he do?

            So what will change in terms of video? Lars von Trier took a cheap DV Cam to make Idiots and he isn’t even medicine.

      2. yeah i also had this silly slightly jealous feeling, worrying others will come in with their ‘cheap’ cameras and spoil the wow factor thats still possible to create with them..

        but true its about the person not camera for sure..

        its probably similar in price to the d90 which is also has the potential for greatness and thats been out some time already

        1. I see this attitude cropping up all over the web and it floors me. I can not believe you and Paul seriously thought you were in an ‘elite’ class shooting with the 7D?!?! Did you not realize that your dentist/doctor could buy a garage full of 7D’s? Do you realize how cheap the 5D/7D’s are to traditional film/video people? How do you think people with a Phantom, Red, SI, etc. feel about you? Much less those used to shooting on film!

          It’s time EVERYONE got over the elitist attitude about cameras and face facts: Anyone with the creative vision and drive will be able to create beautiful images. We haven’t quite reached parity yet, but we are nearly there, and will surely get there soon. If your ‘secret sauce’ had anything to do with a camera, you were doomed from the beginning anyway. It comes down to vision and craft, plain and simple. Cameras are only tools. Just because you have a hammer and some nails does not mean you are a skilled carpenter.

            1. Excellent canvas analogy. You could also say with a mechanical pencil and a piece of scrap paper, you can create a wonderful piece of art. They’re all just the tools behind the artists. I’ve seen absolute crap shot on the 5D Mk II, and yet a DP I regularly work with shot a car commercial on 3 D90s, or a great short film I saw called White|Red|Panic shot on the canon HV20.

              Problem is you tend to see a lot of people focusing solely on the video functionality, which may be fairly similar between the 7D and 550D (at which point I kinda understand the complaints). But I imagine their primary design as stills cameras are not quite as comperable. Some of those features like the dual processor in the 7D tend to do more for stills (this is as far as my understanding, and I could be completely wrong). And let’s not forget, build quality DOES count for quite a bit for a lot of people, and from what I see, there is a fair difference between the two.

              Personally I’ll likely look into the 550D for doing cool video stuff, partly because it makes it a lot more accessable for guys like me that want to delve into DSLR video but don’t want to buy a full 5D/7D rig because I don’t do a lot of shooting that requires my own camera. And I’ll still with my nikon for stills 😉

            2. I think the best thing about this revolution is that as the price drops we’ll eventually get to see the talent of people who were left out due to price. We might have to wade through tons of crap first, but that’s a price we’ll have to pay.

            3. Kubrick made good movies I hear, on some kind of shabby analogue film recording system.

              Paul seems to be on fire today. Damn I can’t stand elitism.

              As I said in my recent blog there is a satisfying feeling of exclusivity to stuff in the early days of it happening, but there comes an inevitable time when you have to let go of that, accept that other people will join the party, and be secure enough in your talents to A) still make great work which stands out and B) see the growing popularity of tools you trail-blazed with for the benefit it is. We all have a head start on the newcomers and we owe it to them to pass on any knowledge and to make them feel welcome!!

              More competition and more videos from talented cinematographers…. bring it on!! And regards money – it sickens me that anybody could get pleasure from someone else being denied the power of using a tool because they can’t afford it. Careers will be launched from the 550D… not many, but the cream will rise to the top no matter what the tool used – and lets face it, compared to lenses and film making ability, the technical differences between ALL the HDSLRs are actually pretty small. That’s why I dumped my 5D for the GH1 for better usability. I can sacrifice a bit of pixel peeping for a more enjoyable shooting experience.

              1. Hi Andrew, would you have chosen a 550d over the GH1 (and in place of 5D) had they existed at the time? Or are you still saying GH1’s enjoyment is worth more than the technical merits of the 550d (which on paper or ‘better’ than an non hacked GH1, sans moire/aliasing).

                I’m still trying to work out whether to buy GH1 or 550d, but the fact that the canon is actually cheaper and BETTER at stills as well as better at Video ‘out of the box’ is kind of hard to ignore.

                I do wish it had an articulated flip screen, and would also be cool if it looked as ‘nice’ as g2/gh1 with their finish and build. Was it the screen that adds to your shooting experience? the EVF/Live view etc? Or because it’s slightly more portable?

                I’ve seen some wonderful hacked GH1 footage, but in certain areas the 550D stuff I’ve seen appears to be that bit ‘better’.. or is this placebo effect?


          1. co-sign … I’ve seen the same discussion pop-up in music with the rise of software sequencers and multitrack recorders. in theory you no longer needed to book an expensive studio and everyone could make music at home … what people forgot was that it still takes experience, skill and creativity to do something meaningfull with that software.

            this video is a prime example of how the people behind the camera matter more than the equipment :
            this was shot with the Pentax K-x, set to auto. this DSLR has only 1 framerate & no control over shutter speed … there’s plenty of RED owners who could never make this.

          2. No, you make a good point. I definitely don’t think my 7d is special or expensive at all… It’s the best looking picture for 2k now for 1k 🙂 It did sound like i had an elitist attitude. I’m not meaning it that way. It’s great students will get to create higher quality pictures. It will inspire them and then us. It’s great.

            It’s NOT a technology advancement here!!! It’s that they threw recently higher end features into a body for $799.00.

            I think it was done to sell a bunch of cameras. (good for them) I personally just feel some features should be reserved for higher end prices. Probably even more then the 7d.

            I think as an industry the playing field is leveling and that’s great. I can’t buy a red one personally. So i’m in the same boat as most. I am profiting from this great technology camera like many. But I just think the same video capabilities for $799.00 is over the line this early.

            Final touch was 30k. Apple bought it now you get it with FCSPro. Get a tangent wave for $1,800 and some talent… Fantastic!!! Da Vinci and scratch will still pull in the high end jobs… I’m calm everyone. I’m smiling. Not mad or hateful. Just discussing.

      3. You are definitely right about what you said Bloom “It’s not the camera” it’s more the person handling the equipment its in fstopacademy. Myself when I’m creating, or composing musical art I don’t need too much just basic instruments. For Paul relax a bit technology will get better & better, and cheaper & cheaper be joyful. I’m excited about this new shift, what do you think about the 550D Mr.Bloom?

    2. I’m with you Paul. I don’t shoot Canon but if I had a 7D, I’d not be real happy this morning.
      I can see it now. My potential brides coming in with some hobby shooter claiming that his 550 is better than my top tier bodies because it’s 18Mp when we know full well this is not a Pro body.

      I fear that they just raised the megapixel race to a brand new level (aka the P&S wars) and not to the shooters benefit.

    3. This is the new “problem” with digital cameras and computers in general. A good quality film camera will last for decades but with digital something better is always around a very short corner. I don’t own a really “good” digital because I have no reason to buy one until I absolutely need to use it for an assignment that is going to happen the same week.
      That being said, everyone that has already purchased a 7d or 5dmkII you should continue to rejoice in your excellent taste in cameras and make “beautiful images” and forget about technological advances. The advances will continue to emerge and never really had anything to do with fine photography (or video).
      Me, I’m still waiting for a better form factor since I never really cared for hand holding a 35mm camera-I like tripods.

    4. Filmmaking is not a true art form until everyone has access to it. I think it’s fantastic that these cameras are being made and that everyone can have access to one. Like Vincent Laforet said, it’s finally coming down to talent that actually matters, the way it should be.

    5. I don’t think you need to worry about your neighbor picking up a 550D at the local big box electronics store and magically transforming into Philip Bloom. Most amateurs will simply get frustrated by the lack of autofocus and sufficient image stabilization as well as the rolling shutter issues.

      If anything, your neighbor will most likely gain respect for your talent, as he wonders how you are able to coax beautiful moving images out of a DSLR.

      Ultimately, cheap video solutions like the 550D will open doors to young, impoverished (and hopefully talented) film makers, while offering an affordable B or C camera solution to many pros.

      Embrace the plastic.

  29. On the Amateur Photographer forum they just can’t see the point of it. This demonstrates that traditional photographers are, generally, a very narrow lot and the thought of shooting high quality video either confuses or frightens them. Unquestionably this new 550D allows those of us with a tight budget to move up to the VDSLR lobby and sell off all the old gear including the HD cams that no longer fully cut the mustard. And the other benefit is that stills and video is all on the same camera — fantastic!

    Plus, of course, at the street price of the 550D (certainly in a few month’s time) buying two bodies will easy enough. The 7D is great, but in real world benefits I just can’t see that it has enough to warrant the huge price difference.

    But one last point, why is the screen of this new 550D not flippable? Bizarre. See my blog post here:

  30. For the ones that are buying cameras two weeks before PMA (and NAB is April 12-15th) BooHoo! We all know that the big trade shows are when companies announce new product lines. Video on DSLRs was almost an afterthought and now that it’s caught on like wildfire of course updates are going to more frequent.

    I hope advancements are coming for the rolling shutter issue.

  31. It seems like Canon got everything right, this time. I like the stereo-in in particular, which makes it great for interviews.
    Compared to the Gh1, it still lacks continuous autofocus, but I guess many videographers don’t need it anyhow. Still, I wonder what the competition (Panasonic in particular) has up its sleeve.

  32. Man, this is awesome. Its great to see canon start taking the VDSlR thing very seriously. Who would have thought they would put in strong video performance in the entry level segment. Hope Nikon can start matching them and bring some “real” competition into the fold.

  33. Dear Phillip.

    I too am a film student based in London who has just put every penny I’ve saved into buying a 7D. Yes I understand the 7D is a better camera, but it’s not worth the extra money for features. Most people didn’t buy the 7D because of its weatherproofing or still capabilities? The 550d has HD video with full manual control and that’s ultimately all that matters..
    I can now relate to the 5D users who felt a little cheated when the 7D came out with newer features and a lower price. When do you know when to put down your money? Whinge over, i’ll get through this.
    Film-making seems so easy nowadays. I read recently, ‘limitation can be your inspiration’. Leave the rigs & dollys at home Phillip. Why don’t you make a film with just a camera and a tripod? Prove to us it’s the man behind the lens, not the equipment.

    1. er…check out my people series. No tripod, handheld. Hardly any of my stuff has any dolly or other bits of gear (even though Glidetrack is dirt cheap)

      Would you honestly prefer it if Canon didn’t bring out the 550D at all? If you go with the attitude of feeling cheated as something cheaper comes along and would rather have waited then you will never buy anything! There is always something new coming out over the horizon! If you wait put off purchase “just in case” you will end up with nothing!

      The 7D is an outstanding Pro camera. This is a new high end consumer camera.

      1. Be happy with your camera Irrum. I use it for pro high payng jobs all the time. It’s robustness makes me confident in using it for them. I am going to get the new 550D but only as a B camera backup.

        1. I’m so excited about the new 550d can’t wait until it comes out. My question to you Philip is which lens would you go with from experience ( Zeiss ZF series 50mm f1.4, or sigma 30mm f1.4 ) ? I’ve seen some footages they are both sharp and the colors beautiful. I know ZEISS has a history of top notch lens, to anybody else reading please comment thanks.

        2. I’m so excited about the new 550d can’t wait until it comes out. My question to you Philip is which lens would you go with from experience ( Zeiss ZF series 50mm f1.4, or sigma 30mm f1.4 ) ? I’ve seen some footages they are both sharp and the colors beautiful. I know ZEISS has a history of top notch lens, to anybody else reading please comment thanks.

        3. er.. I’ve seen your people series, watching them provided me with loads of inspiration to go out and shoot something-anything.

          No I’m certainly not a bitter person Phillip, a part of me welcomes the 550D, another dslr on the market with unbelievable attributes – It can only be good thing.
          I think what I meant with my last comment all came down to a money thing. The 7D doesn’t feel worth the extra money now that there is something that can do similar job for considerably less. I am a student finishing my degree, I bought my 7D as an investment so I can step into the freelance world. The 550D would have been the more affordable option had I known about it. Money, money, money thats all it ever comes down to..

          That said Phillip, thank you for your response & reassurance.

          1. When I started at university, the school invested in a set of Media 100 suites. Around $25,000 each. Six months later, Final Cut Pro 1.0 came out. Cost of suite? $5,000. Though the universities operations manager insisted that Final Cut Pro was a toy and nothing was ever going to come of it.

          2. Just quoting from you – “The 7D doesn’t feel worth the extra money now that there is something that can do similar job for considerably less.”

            The keywords there being “… now that there is something…”

            Well when you bought your 7D you WERE happy to have better frame rates than the 5D and at a much cheaper cost. All of us that bought the 7D couldn’t believe it was sooo CHEAP!

            Folks should enjoy the camera they have NOW and stop moaning and groaning when something even cheaper comes out.

            Something CHEAPER will ALWAYS come out!

            All wannabe filmmakers can please move to the wait-for-the-rest-of your-life queue while serious people with the ‘cheap’ kit they have NOW can please join the I’m-gonna-shoot-good-stuff-now queue.

            Anyway, as we all know, most people on forums are never ever gonna be filmamkers… they’re just full of too many excuses. – The painful truth!

        4. Not me again, sorry… I am not excited about this… I want it to be expensive to get this level of a look or tool. They already slashed the price for high end red cameras to revolutionize indy guys to get this look. This price point is embarrassing. There has to be a line.

          If the 550d was $1199 I wouldn’t bat an eye
          If the 550d had a smaller sensor I wouldn’t bat an eye
          If the 550d came out November 2010 I wouldn’t care. 4 months after 7d for the low low of $19.99 is rubish.

          The 7d was cheap enough for an entry level 1080p camera with this size of a sensor. I just think they need to have some respect for themselves. There needs to be a separation between pro gear and consumer.(not that 7d video is “provideo” but it sure looks good) IF this shoots the same video specs as 7d then there is no difference/seperation?

          I’m sorry but tools make a huge difference. I would say story and writing are most important. I could point the 5d at paint drying and a dvx100. I could do the same setting up an interview talking head. Huge advantage with these dslr tools and now they are giving them away for $799.00 Outrageous!

            1. I like that prices come down, but I don’t want a $799.00 aps-c sized sensor on the market… I just think it’s too low. It’s a double edged sword I guess.

              Call me crazy. I like high prices for certain things… So does Zacuto 🙂

              1. My overriding feeling is that Paul doesn’t want ‘non-pros’ to ever handle a camera like the 7D or 5D, and so he feels cheated by the 550Ds low price point.

                Well two things… firstly – it was always gonna happen. You can’t stop the march of technology.

                And secondly – why does it matter enough to get upset about? Where is the threat to you coming from? An army of 550D users battering on your doors like zombies!? It’s all in your mind… you’re so hyped up about being in the ‘exclusive pro club’ with your 7D that you feel outrageously cheated by other people joining the club with less money. You seem scared and jealous that someone will come along and make a better movie with their cheaper 550D. Crazy talk!!

                The technology is interesting but I am so tired of this ‘exclusive pro camera clubs’ style mentality. Nothing stays exclusive for long, and nobody deserves to be in an exclusive club simply by spending money on an expensive camera.

            1. If your talking to me then you missed the boat on what I said. It was an if then statement… I wouldn’t care if…. So yes I do care, but that was already implied so you are saying…. If you are referring to me…

              Second. I’m not replying with hate. I’m critical of what canon has done. If you see it as hate then I don’t know what to say.

              I’m at peace starting now!

                1. /word

                  Technology is growing so fast that soon the only thing that will make the difference between thounsands of movies is HOW you made them. Not which tool you were using.
                  And i think thats great! Everyone has the possibility to do good video, but only a few will do AWESOME video…

          1. [insert analogy to mid 80s desktop-publishing revolution; insert analogy to mid 90s desktop music revolution; insert analogy to early 2000s desktop editing revolution]

            If you think your worth as a filmmaker is based on the expense of your gear then its your own damned fault when the price bottoms out on you. You’ve had decades and decades of precedence.

            If you can’t convince your clients that you’re still worth the money they pay because there’s a cheaper camera on the market, then get new clients or educate your existing clients better.

            There is a reason that I list my hourly rate (for me) separate from the cost of my gear.

      2. Philip:

        We appreciate your patience. For whatever reason, you have become the “DEFACTO man” in this DSLR revolution. Everyone, and I mean everyone, looks to you for thumbs up or down. I’m sure Canon 5d Mark II users felt a little slighted when the 7d came out, as 7d users do now…and the Lumix GH1 guys are probably jumping off the cliffs. Take it from a fella who plopped down over $5,000 in the late nineties for the “NEW” Canon XL-1, which now gets less quality images than my kids $250 camcorder. You never get over it! (: There will be a ton of Canon 550D users that will be right there to join the frustrated users on the jumping docks when Scarlet 2/3 hits town. In the end, it will all become obsolete. But the fact that we can create amazing images with products that used to cost 100 times the price, that’s the part we may overlook, the revolution is here, enjoy it while you can! (:

      1. i have a 7D and 2 5dmkII and plan to get a 550D. I don’t feel cheated. I feel Canon is saving me a ton of cash. Don’t forget the lenses are what makes the camera and they ain’t getting cheaper!

      2. Obviously you dont understand that Canon making great tools at a more affordable price is an utterly atrocious thing to do. It makes no sense on any level. It is unfair to people that bought HVX200 cameras 4 years ago, it’s unfair to people that bought a 1Ds 7 yrs ago for 10x the price. It just isnt fair all around. Canon has really let me down here, and if you dont get that, then maybe you just need to crawl back in your hole.

        The T2i is possibly the worst thing that could ever happen to filmmaking and those that cant see that are dumb.

        1. I’m sorry but this is ridiculous. The 5D MK II with a bunch of L lenses was still a bargain considering how much you had to pay before to get that kind of image quality. Then the 7D came out at a cheaper price point, slightly worse image quality – but still amazing. And people used it to make great content. Now the T2i comes out and more people will get their hands on this *already* inexpensive technology. Some will produce crap, others will make incredible content. It does nothing to the 7D or 5D except allow more creative people to express themselves. If you think that threatens you in some way, you should do something else – buy a porsche and drive it around some poor neighbourhood if that makes you feel a little better about life.

  34. I know people are hurting, because of this Canon move. BUT I spent over 3K on my 7D and its paid for in one and a Half projects, and I am damm happy with it. Also to live in this world and to think that technology is not going to evolve as rapidly, is to live under a rock.

    Its not the brush its the artist!

  35. that 550D at a bargain is actually a great move from all points of view.
    those who were half way saving for a 7D can decide to take the cheaper option and start shooting now.
    those who already have the 7D can sell it for a 550D and cash in the difference for better glass or a backup cam : twin setup !
    i foresee a flood of cheap gently used 7D on ebay and craigslist over the next few weeks… good good good for those who want 7Ds anyway or need a backup.
    it also confirms Canon willingness to bring standard video features to their current line up which the 5D mk2 will hopefully be soon part of the game too.

  36. I think this camera will be great! Darn it for technology to advance so fast, but hooray at the same time! The lesson learned is don’t go out and buy gear when launched because something better is on it’s way. OR, just be happy with what you have (all you 7d kids. Still a great tool)…
    I think this 550D will be great for getting B cams, C cams, d Cams, and as an A cam.
    Look guys, Canon is releasing these cameras 1 after the other. Be happy and stop complaining. Where is Nikon? How have they advanced in the video DSLR?

  37. jajajajajaja.
    Revolution, I hope the video is better than the 1D.
    at the end of the day it all ends up to TALENT and stories.
    For us in Latin America this kind of technologie will help bring the new wave of digital cinema.
    Can’t wait for the 2000D jajajajajaja

  38. Do we know anything about the data rates? Are they the same as the in the 7D? Being totally amateur is ISO 12800 enough for low light shooting?(I understand it’s too general a question)

  39. Continuous shooting with any DSLR, including this one, has nothing to do with Fat32, GB size of files etc., but is simply due to the export/import taxation rules in EU. This states that any camera that records for more than 30-minutes SD video (approximately 12-mins HD) will be taxed as a camcorder/video camera and not a stills DSLR camera (video cameras are taxed at much higher rates)…and therefore they ‘lock’ all hybrid DSLR cameras so that they remain in the cheaper tax bracket.
    ALL future DSLRs will remain the same as far as continuous shooting is involved, unless EU rules are changed or a camera production company decides to pay the higher tax band…which in turn would relate to higher prices for the consumer.

    1. you may be a little off here, the EU limit is related to 30 mins and the 4gb limit is due to fat32, 4 gig equals about 12 mins HD on these cams, otherwise 7D/5D owners in the US would enjoy continuous shooting

      1. I’m not off at all, Manus. The simple fact is that ALL Canon, Pentax and Nikon DSLR hybrid cameras worldwide are limited to the 30-minute maximum ruling. These are made in Japan and there is no difference between 5D or 7D being exported to North America or Europe, so all USA imported DSLR cameras from those companies are ‘hobbled’ the same as European imported cameras.
        If the 5D or 7D were changed to allow 30 minutes of full HD video capability then the continuos shooting mode in SD format of those same cameras would obviously exceed the 29min 59sec maximum allowed, and then be taxed accordingly at the higher camcorder export/import rates.
        This tax figure is not high for a single camera in £$ terms, but is when thousands or millions of units are taken into the equation.

  40. This is exactly what I needed. I’ve been in the market for a HD-SLR for my wedding cinematography business and just didn’t have the funds for the 7D.

    About the argument that now EVERYONE can shoot video and its all going to look the same. Crap, utter crap. There is so much more involved in making an awesome film than just the gear. One could have a RED with all the add ons, the best stabilization equipment, the best audio devices, dollies galore and still create a film that has no meaning, no emotion and no connection with their audience. We see it ALL the time in Hollywood!

    It takes SKILL to put together a well made film, not the latest tech! I still shoot on my DVX because I know how to use it well to connect to my audience. Look at some of the filmmakers now that are using the simplest forms of tech to create amazing works of art, Philip Bloom, Joe Simon, Kevin Shahinian to just name a few. Shoot, there are wedding cinematographers who use Super 8mm film and create STUNNING works like Joel Sarrato!

    It all comes downs to the person behind the lens with skills they have developed over time. Not the gear they’re using.

    1. Without taking this to personal… If you can’t afford a 7d then you may need to connect with your clients wallet a little more…

      Your films will go through the roof with this camera over a dvx100… This will unlock your creativity to a completely different level. That is the argument and the complaint. It should have a price tag. Not $799.00 No one is saying it is the gear alone and not the film maker.

      Shoot the same story with a mini DV camera and then shoot it with the new give away 550d and tell me what moves you. Go shoot a wedding with a $300 sony mini dv camera and I’ll bring my new 7d and we’ll see who wins… Not thinking the gear makes a huge difference is rubish

      Hollywood makes crap all the time. But one thing is consistent. DOF and quality of look and feel. The story may suck but if it was shot on film it’s good looking crap. There has to be a price… The End

      1. honestly i think you are getting worked up over nothing. This changes nothing. For 17 years I was part of a team of 40 news cameraman. We all had identical gear and I can tell you now that only half a dozem of them created great stuff and these are pros. The rest…well…

      2. I don’t believe there needs to be a price tag. In my line of business, emotion rules over EVERYTHING. If you show a bride a film shot with a handycam that shows true emotion and then show her an amazing film shot on a 5/7D with posed shots, albeit BEAUTIFUL shots, the bride will choose the emotion every. single. time.

        No doubt the X2i, 7D, or 5D will greatly enhance my work. I know that. But I don’t need it. I do just fine with my DVX and no one ever complains about it not being HD or a shallow DOF. It works for me and I make it work. End of story. I will upgrade when I feel the need to.

        But we’re getting off subject. The X2i looks like an amazing tool and I look forward to seeing how it stacks up to the 1/5/7D.

      3. If it makes you feel any better, Paul, there is still a decent financial investment in video/filmmaking. In fact, I think the camera can now be seen in some markets as the cheapest part of the equation. All of my lenses, tripods, and microphones and many of my lights cost more than this new 550D.

        But your argument is sort of foolish and certainly you’ll never win in this battle with technology. Quality tech will get cheaper and cheaper.

        I know people who copy my equipment piece by piece and there work cannot stand up to mine. Do they use their tools to get some clients? Sure, sometimes, but they are often jobs I might not be after. Unless you are billing yourself as a rental house, it REALLY is the talent that makes the difference. Yes, these tools are designed to allow amateurs to make quality pictures pretty easily (I have point and shoot cameras that take GREAT pics in full auto) so sure, have a noobie stand next to me, him with a 550D and me with some VHS-C camera, and yes, the image quality is likely to be better from his camera. But does he understand composition, lighting, eye-lines, story-telling. Maybe not. And if he DOES. Then good for him.

        If anything this should push all professionals or creatives to up their game and stand out against their neighbor with the new camera. But guess what, maybe the doctor next door CAN take some great pictures and tell great stories. He is welcome to join the party too.

      4. Yep, you can only polish a terd so much. You can have all the best tools and your shots can still end up looking like beautiful pieces of sh*t. So you get a 550D, but you don’t have a tripod, extra lenses, lights, audio solutions, and you don’t even know how to create or follow a story… it’s going to look like crap. Now, if you have and can obtain all of those elements then you rightly deserve the praise you get for creating a film with a cheap camera. I’ve seen amazing things created on the HV20 and terrible things created with the RED One.

        You are definitely right in saying all of these tools can make a picture look amazing even if you have a crappy story, but how much experience do all of these people have in film making to create this beautiful piece of crap? 1 year? 5 years? 30 years?

        Yes, it truly sucks that you got the 7D just a couple of weeks ago before the new announcement. How can you not be excited about film making tools that are so inexpensive! That’s ridiculous and selfish! Think about all of the talent out there that can’t afford a red one or even an HVX200 so their talents just get thrown away at a 9-5 job or a different hobby. I encourage people to be inspired and do their very best with a no competition attitude. If you can’t keep up, you get weeded out no matter what gear you are using. Right now is a very exciting time to be a filmmaker. I feel bad for you because I have spent money on gear right before they announced the next best thing and was not too happy, but I stepped off my soap box and looked at how many hours/minutes/seconds I was being a negative Nancy and realized I wasted a lot of life and energy on it (bought 5D then 7D came out). totally not worth it. If you aren’t happy, sell your 7D and get the T2i. The 7D is a photo camera for the entry level professional photographer. I think Canon (Nikon and others as well) is trying to revolutionize something here and not everyone is seeing that. I no longer have to carry around a photo camera and a still camera, thank you Canon. 🙂

        1. Well said CD it’s exciting times for filmmakers. Why can we all be happy about the technological advances Canon is making, they are paving the way for a new breed of shooters specially at such low price $899 for the 550d just incredible. For Paul let’s tally the total cost to shoot great video.

          $899 + a couple(2) canon lens avg cost $1500 & up, or Zeiss just an example that alone is more than a 7D so it’s still not cheap case closed.

      5. well i will upload a intercut-test-clip with 7D, DVX100, Casio EX FC150 (120fps) and XH-A1 footage (and maybe RED ONE too) later… nothing fancy but maybe that could be useful in relation to you this statement 😉

  41. Well I have been very interested in the thoughts of Phillip on the comparison between the new kid on the block and the GH1 but something else has lassoed my attention … the $800 in US maybe but it seems that amazon UK are taking pre orders for £800 (body only) meaning $1248 if you please. What the hell is canon UK doing????? Can this be correct? Might keep my GH1 or spend the very little extra for the 7d.

    1. Andy this confused me as well, however prices for gear in the UK always are higher than in the US which is why, I believe, the camera can go for $899 suggested retail with lens in the US but costs the equivalent of 1,250 dollars in the UK and that’s for the body only.

      1. Yea you are right but it always shocks me when I see the figures. The point is that for US customers it would make sense as a second camera or a video only cam, for us in the UK it is very close the next (better/durable/blah blah blah) camera up. The 7d body only is £1999 it’s gota be worth the extra money for a pro model…… in USA the difference would be greater. I am looking at getting the 7d to replace my GH1 (although strangely I like the auto focus) & GF1 for my pocket. It would have been nice to have saved money with 550D and get another lens. Hay ho….my tip is never wait for IT buy now and buy nice or buy twice. PS Phillip stop what you are doing now as you are costing me money all the time…. my wife hates you ….hang on, I don’t have a wife….

  42. Paul – no matter what just use the tool at your disposal – let’s see you take a point & shoot and create something worth watching (I have and it made me remember it’s the operator, not the tool)

    If you can’t do it with that – you have no business using a DSLR to shoot a project – plain and simple.

    If you think your client is going to care what you shot with – get a clue.

  43. 7d and 5d are pro cameras – use for them for a few jobs and they pay for themselves.. A cheaper camera will not necessarily shoot the same video, but even if it does, great, now we can all afford 10 cameras to shoot b roll footage like Rodney Charters from 24 🙂

    Very true words from @philipbloom .. it really is more about the lenses than the camera in terms of picture quality.

  44. A few things for people to consider when deciding between the T2i and the 7D – or even the 1DIV:

    The body difference is not just “weather-sealing”. If you have held Rebels, prosumers (10D-7D), or the pro line (1D/1Ds), then you have FELT and experienced the difference in builds. It’s not about whether some moisture will get in – it’s the difference between a toy piece of plastic and a solid professional tool. A very similar difference is found in the 50mm lens. The f1.8 is a very fine lens, but the build quality is cheap plastic compared to the f1.4 or f1.2L. The BUILD QUALITY reflects the $90/$300/$1500 price differences.

    One big issue to consider when you take that build quality in mind, is the MASS of the camera. The less mass, the LESS STABILITY. The less stability, the MORE MOVEMENT. The more movement, the more those nasty CMOS rolling shutter affects rear their ugly head.

    Also, the T2i will have worse performance in low light. I know everyone will think that because the SPECS are the same that the PICTURE will be the same. It wont happen.

    There is a world of difference between the 3 classes of Canon’s bodies, and the difference is not summed up by PRICE. Yes, price is a REFLECTION of the differences, but they do not just take a 1D or 7D guts and put it into a cheaper body.

    If you want a QUALITY DSLR, then the 7D is still the best bang for the buck. If you dont have $1500, then the T2i is a GREAT alternative. Just dont think you are getting the same camera as the 7D or that your 7D is now “obsolete”. Both are ridiculous notions.

    1. Hey Reubal,

      Nice theory about the quality, but you just don’t know till we see the difference. Shame there is hardly any footage out there, espec with lovely grading we’ve seen people play with on the other bodies… If its the same chip and same processor then I can’t imagine quality being too different.

      Ok, you’re right about about build quality, but its not that much of a big deal considering all these cams will be obsolete in the next two years. Imagine the advances in the next two years! Ridunculous.

      Bring on the 550D 🙂 Epic.

      1. A) I have been shooting DSLRs since they cost $25,000 and have owned 10 different Canon DSLR models over the years. While I do not have hard/fast proof in my hands at this precise moment that the T2i image quality is less than the higher class models, I do have 9 years of Canon DSLR experience that says otherwise. To believe that this camera, right now, for the first time in Canon DSLR history is the low price consumer model that matches and/or exceeds the quality of the higher cams is wishful thinking at best. It’s best to approach these things with logic and objective thought. Wishful thinking ends with people complaining that there cam doesnt do what they WISHED it would do. (24p on 5DII)

        B) Build quality has little to do with how many years you will use the camera. Shooters that take their cameras out of the bag and actually USE them know how much build quality matters. I’m sure Senor Bloom uses his cameras anywhere he needs/wants to. I have been in photo forums where “professionals” ask if they can take their camera to the beach – worried about the sand. Answer: your camera needs to be able to go where you need to shoot.

        1. If you read some of the reviews, the image quality of the 7D is actually it’s weakest point. Some have even found it similar to the 450D’s image quality. It seems like Canon focused on premium features on the 7D rather than image quality – and those features are great, don’t get me mistaken – but the 550D won’t be a serious downgrade in image quality. The lower price will be obvious in the features and build quality.

  45. Phillip, would you sell your HV20+LetusMini to buy this came (if you wouldn’t already have 1000 superiour cameras – so if you where … me. ;)).

    Thanks for the blog and your support for all the people suffering from this news 🙂

  46. I’m glad they’ve released this… I’ve only started to play with my 5d Mark II for video, but would definitely would love to have a B Cam for experiments / backup.

    I’m also thrilled for the price point. I WANT more people to get involved. I WANT more people to start creating. It only challenges everyone else more, and in turn, helps this whole realm of HD-DSLR videography progress further, faster.


  47. Wow, some of the arguments on this thread (I don’t want to mention any names) have been very amusing, but I’m happy that I THINK they have subsided….or calmed down a little. So petty! It’s like fighting over who’s summer-school valedictorian! As technology advances the cost of it will always come down. Price can only be a barrier to entry for so long – one needs to adapt and differentiate him/herself from the competition by some other means.

    That being said I can empathize with anyone who JUST bought a 7D and only for the video features. While there are differences that DO make the 7D better than the new guy it’s quite natural to feel the pocket book sting! Been there, done that with other purchases. But, that part about how now ANYONE can get a HD dSLR now and being a pro and the need for some socio-optical-financial class system…….that made me laugh! Bravo!

    1. I’ll throw my name in…. 🙂 If you’re tired of my logic or lack of… sorry, skip over me…

      Maybe when technology advances high enough I can get a 90k flying c63 mercedes amg for $799.00… Most of you aren’t even hearing me… All people are hearing is I think the 7d makes you a pro out of the box, or that the 7d is a “pro” (it’s actually better than most pro HD pictures I see) video camera in the first place. Or that I’m crying technology moves forward… Not what I’m saying at all…

      However, I think Philip has proven that talent and the new canons will murder a short film like never before… Putting the h.264 on the scopes and picking it apart doesn’t change the fact that this stuff looks killer. I’ve sent it in for broadcast and they were happy with it… (not kicked back)

      Use your $25,000 AJ-hdx 900 all day and think you’re a pro. I will gladly shoot a music video with a 5d and be plenty confident it’s going to smoke the panasonic in terms of look and feel. I can’t wait to see the advancements that happen soon, not so interested in cheaper bodies…

      In 2 years we will look back and a camera for 2k will be better then the one for 4k today. Thats FINE!!! I just think there is a line.

      My g4 mac (2003) cost the same as my 8 core mac (2008). Not even in the same galaxy for performance. The consistent thing is they both cost the same when I bought them… The better 8 core didn’t come out and cost half the price… ( I know 550d isn’t “better” like 8core) but I would argue for $799 maybe it is? When a better full frame 7d comes out I won’t complain. I just think it should cost 1,800 again. If Nikon would have released this 550d camera I wouldn’t care. I just don’t think it’s cool to do 4 months after releasing a flagship 7d with video button. C’mon!

      I keep putting smily faces. I’m not angry. I’m an editor and motion graphics person. Cinematography is for fun. I don’t care if the whole world has a ff35 red epic that shoots 8k rez with L glass for $799. I wish I had an autodesk flame but I don’t have 100k maybe when that comes down I’ll get it and the mercedes 🙂

      Reubal. That’s what I’m thinking despite my angst.

  48. After working as an AC on a music vid shot on the 7D I decided to shoot a short I’m DPing in s16mm, ordered the stock today.
    Played with the 50d and was upset about the lack of manual control, so the 550d looks tempting as a fun ‘B’ cam.
    I think the low price point might finnaly tip the boat over on the amount of ‘tests’ and story-less films made on HDSLRs and the focus will move away from 1080 24p F1.4 and to narrative with a look that suits.

  49. I think the price point is just right. Yes it has the same video spec as the 7D but these are stills cameras foremost. Hopefully this camera will tip the boat of story-less hdslr shorts and pointless ‘tests’ and the focus will move towards great narrative with a visual style that suits, not overtakes.

  50. what everybody needs to remember here before whinging anymore about this cheaper camera, is that first and foremost THESE ARE STILL CAMERAS! fair enough the differences in video between the 550, 7d, 5dmkII, 1d are all negligible… the photos that they take are not.

    try submitting photos to national geographic taken with a 550..

    1. it lacks proper control surely, but what makes you think that the differences between ACTUAL photos properly taken from any two of them would NOT be negligible? of course the more expensive ones may help pushing the possibilities further than the cheaper ones, but I think you’ll be fine with a 550 submitting for NG, as long as you get the shot 🙂

  51. Go Canon! We love the DSLR’s for B-Roll, and even B-Camera work when shooting with our Red One’s or Sony EX-3 cameras. Most amazed by the low light capability of the Canon 5D (not so much on the Canon 7D though).

    We are preparing for a shoot out between the Red One Mysterium and Mysterium X and think we will add the Canon to that mix. Most curious about the useable ISO between the the Mysterium X and the Canon.

  52. Philip,
    Reading this blog this morning with my coffee and LOL is it ever interesting to me to see some of these young whippersnappers cry over $800 camera bodies as opposed to $1700 camera bodies as opposed to $2400 camera bodies. How much have you and I spent on Betacam and HDcam and XDCAM bodies in the last ten to twenty years between us…$200-300K? Probably much more. The HDSLR is a godsend to any camera business-minded person, whether you shoot with ’em professionally, rent ’em, or just want one for your personal project. What an amazing tool. Anything under $6000 from Canon and Sony is practically a gift to me. I am thankful to them all—I don’t work to pay the bank anymore. Bring ’em on–make them better, make them cheaper with demand, and let us all get in the game to make exceptional video. I’d love the 550, with it’s single processor, to backup my 7D. Everybody calm down and enjoy what’s being done for you in this industry, in this decade. You’re damn lucky.

    1. Very well said, and so true !

      I too have a history of Betacam SP and SX. Those cameras cost so much more. And that is not the end of it. You also needed some kind of player/recorder to be able to do non-linear editing. I still see om my Mac those movies looking so tiny when opened in QuickTime. And full of video artifacts. Now next to these I see gigantic windows when opening the HD files of the Canon 5DmkII. Ten times cleaner and made by a camera costing a fraction of what we needed to pay even not so long ago.

      These HDSLRs are indeed a godsend.

      “What a nice picture you have there on your screen”
      “Oh no mister, this is just a frame of VIDEO !”

  53. Looking at the chart here…

    it indicates ( in japanese) that

    ~330MB Minute for full HD / 720p
    ~165MB Minute For 640*480

    YAY!!! ( or *$%$* just bought a 7D… nah only kidding!)

    1. Lovely – but a notable lack of camera movement. Just before I bought my GH1 I borrowed a 5D MKII and was horrified by the extent of the rolling shutter when using non-IS lenses, and by the noise when using IS lenses. Don’t get me wrong, of course the 5d MKII gives beautiful images, but at the time I needed to keep things light and compact without taking microphones off camera to allow for the use of IS.

      Any predictions as to how much of an issue rolling shutter will be for the 550D?

  54. Cannot wait for this camera to be released here in the UK. I wanted to get a 7D but the price to usage ratio for me didn’t work out. Very annoying about the UK price of £800 compared to US price of $800 but cannot complain still a very good camera for the money! For someone with a very slim budget what lenses do you guys suggest? The camera will be used for weddings and filming of general events so I am after some good overall lenses. I was thinking about buying the 550D with the 18-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens kit. With a couple of hundred pounds to spend on my second lens. What would you guys suggest?


  55. Why the big fuss about this new camera. Wait ’till mr. Bloom does a side by side test against the 5d and the 7d. From what I’ve seen ( test footage in the canon site ) does not impress against my 7D. The same have been said about the 7d against the 5d ( there’s something missing isn’t it? ). Wait and see. There’s talk about a 5D MkIII late this year. What then? Another bunch of guys with their hands in their heads, complaining? For th e time beeing I’m still not impressed. Thanks Philip.

  56. I’m inclined to agree that a 5D MkIII will appear soon – and probably before the firmware upgrade! Something tells me that Canon have a little problem programming that lill’ firmware upgrade… its taking rather a long time for their more-than-capable R&D team to address such an irritating problem (Unless its on purpose – I mean, do they really want to kill off their camcorder market so soon?)

    I hope I’m wrong…

  57. A little help here… Which lens do you recommend to use with the t2i (non the kit lens) for a begginer, low budged guy starting to take photo lessons?? Thxs!!!

    1. I am beginner as well who bought a stock lens (with 7D) but before using it I got another wide angle lens. I hardly used the stock lens. I would recommend you do a little research on good lens (F2.8 or even lower) and then get started from there. It might sound cheaper with the stock lens but after you pass the beginner level, you will really want to sell it or regret it. 🙂

  58. The script for your Downfall parody is the best yet, very funny and very insightful. Although I knew there was an upcoming 550D model it wasn’t even on my radar as I expected it to have a less fully featured video implementation, and I normally prefer a DSLR that’s a bit more robust. But I’m beginning to think that a DSLR like this is the way to go for the video at the moment. All that we know is that the next DSLRs and m4/3 cameras are going to get better with their video implementations. So you can guarantee that whatever you get now is soon going to get outdone on features and capability. If you are making lots of money from your cam, then it makes sense getting the more robust higher end cams, but if you are not the 550D is looking a good option to tide us over until the better stuff arrives.

    Thanks for having such a good resource and I’ve really learnt a lot from your journey with the DSLRs. I’m a stills photographer who knew nothing about video. I’ve still not started yet as I’m one of those all or nothing types, but it should be fun. One other thing is that I think that with these expanding LCD screens the manufacturers of these LCD loupes are going to have to change their design and make them 2-part affairs – the housing to fit the screen, and the assembly with the optics and eyepiece separate – then they could be used on different size LCD screens.

  59. Hey Phil,

    I met you in Boston last year. I have a EX1 that I bought not too long after you started blogging about it. I still don’t have a 35mm adapter, but I might be able to afford it this summer. Should I go that route? Or start working with DSLRs? Is the rolling shutter finally gone?

    Thanks again for all your work!


  60. Phil I know that you like the GH1, is this new wonder good enough to think about changing???? I was, like everyone else, thinking of 7d . Is the low light going to much better, the banding on the GH1 is a bit of an issue with work I am using for at the mo. Also the 24p footage does not respond to editing how I would like is this the codec? If so would the 550d be better bet? Anyone else have any input please feel free need a bit of assistance. Lens are a factor I guess, must commit at one point.

    Cheers al.

    PS this camera is drawing attention and canon must be loving it….5d Firmware anyone……?

  61. @ Downfall Youtube video:

    Definitely the best so far !

    “It’s not the wand , but the magician who wields it ”

    ” Rebel Stalin ”

    “I’m getting a Flip Mino”

    and the talk of groundhog day in the bunker + how it was shot on kodak 35mm with no bokeh…

    All made me laugh, loved it. – awesome stuff phil – perfectly sums up the situation + peoples reactions!!

  62. Hi! very nice blog… can anyone help me please? I’m going to buy the new t2i body only.. is there a good walk around lens (tight budget) that perfectly match my camera??? what are your preferences? i’m just a begginer in the dslr world and want to spend my money wisely… i know is a great camera, but i don’t know nothing almost about lenses, besides the basics… i know that a zoom lens could be a good walk around lens but, i dont now wich one! you think you can help?? many thanks from Venezuela 🙂

    1. Maybe you sould buy it with the kit lens (18-55). Then, get a “cheap” fast prime, like Canon 50mm 1.8, and a budget zoom (50-200mm, for example). Whit this combination, you’ll cover from 18 to 200mm focal and will have a fast prime for some shots.

      Of course, I’m just a newbie, so don’t take this too seriously. I’m just trying to give some answer, since nobody has done it.

      Hope it helps.



  63. Im waiting to see what this looks like, so far it sure sounds good. On my budget Ive been living with two “consumer” Canon HDV tape cameras the HV series. They are amazing in good light but the ability to have a 35mm lens capability and get acceptable results in low light is very exciting indeed. The bonus is I need the hight quality still capabilities which I’ve not had yet, and use this camera to help develop some solid “photographic chops” as it were.
    So its very much what a camera like this can teach me as well.


    As for the elephant in the room —> IE: What the heck is Canon doing to roll a SIGNIFICANT REV on their Professional Video Camcorder line….. well isn’t that a good question !!

    It seems to me if they really really wanted to they could go head to head with RED on the Scarlet release. Im not talking about just retrofitting the existing line to some solid state acquisition and a new codec. How about a WHOLE NEW camera. Could be they just don’t have the R&D resources to play in both the SLR and Video world.

    1. the second processor of the 7D is for stills only so can’t see how it will make a difference. if anything it “could” be worse as its a consumer camera and 7d is pro, but that is pure speculation on my part

    2. Well, actually it’s the opposite . . . more processors=less heat. More processors share processing “activity” therefore lowering the overall temp of each individual unit.

  64. I don’t know about you, but the body specs for the T2i look identical to the T1i, which I’m afraid is going to break in my hands every time I use one. I’m still going to buy a 7D, the build quality itself is worth the extra thousand.

  65. It looks like this is the answer to my problems. I was just about to buy a 7D and found out about this 550D. I’m much more comfortable with purchasing this camera even with it’s short comings. I’m from a video background, so this is all new to me. When Canon brings out the next generation of DSLR’s I’ll be ready for something bigger like a 5D MkIII, as I’ll have enough experience with DSLR cameras to know what to do.

    BTW thanks Philip for your website, it’s helped me and many others a lot. Keep up the good work 🙂

  66. Hi philip ,
    what with the bending of the video in full hd,i mean you know when you shoot in 25p full hd you have some bend and shake that deforme the image when you make fast mouvements. i wil be happy if you answer my question.thanks

  67. Thank You … and Sorry! T2i Ordered!
    I have been watching and being inspired by this site for a while now and am one of the likely new batch of -no experience- filmmakers to be created by the T2i. I thank you and apologize at the same time. I hope not to muddle the reputations of true talented dslr filmmaker such as yourself. I just ordered mine from B&H today! I am very excited! Thanks!

  68. As a regular EX3 user, I want to order a Canon 550D. You mentioned that it probably won’t have any audio level controls? is this the same with the 5D & 7D or do they have audio level features? What would you suggest for audio options? Could I plug an external device on the back to give me control of audio levels from the mic output?

  69. Hey Philip, i ordered the T2i yesterday and its already here today!… i want to know what mics better for making films with alot of lines, either the Rode stereo on camera mic, or the ntg3 shotgun mic, price is not a mater between the two. Thank You

  70. i’m lost now. I have a jvc everio 3ccd and always thought that 3ccd was just bettter. All digital cameras seem to distort a bit and have trouble with movmement, but i recently bought an old canon pro super 8 camera and after spending 30 quid and three weeks ended up with 3 minutes of blur; bum!

    I’m thinking of geting a 505 but still wander why it looks like a still camera if its good for filmaking.

    Ay advice please as i can’t afford to waste £800 really? Is my 3ccd jvc really that much inferior? Thanx

  71. Hm, this 550D is about the same price as a Canon HV30 + 35mm adapter (Jag35Pro). Which would you choose for hobbyist movie making where a film look is the goal? Have hybrids caught up yet? It sure is getting hard to choose.

    1. cosign with Philip, I have a HV30 that I used with a Handy35 DOF adapter.

      sold the Handy35 and the few lenses I had and bought the 550D.

      I’m keeping the HV30 for when I have to capture long events (dance performances etcetera) and for wide shots that don’t require shallow DOF.

      the 550D replaces my Handy35 and does a much better job at it : no more light loss, much sharper, cleaner and way more options in postproduction.

      and it also allowed me to sell my Nikon D70 and Pentax K-x still cameras.

      so I wouldn’t spend any money on a DOF adapter, but save a bit longer and get the 550D.

      you can find great cheap lenses on ebay. I almost exclusively use M42 lenses with an adapter from M42 to Canon/EOS. got a mint 2.8 35mm lens for $15, inherited a 50mm 1.4 from my granddad …

  72. Hi Phillip,

    Has anyone tried shooting greenscreen footage on a 550D?

    I heard it doesn’t come out quite ideal…Is that true.

    I’ve seen green screen footage tests for the 5D and 7D and they both looked amazing, so don’t understand why there are rumors of it working out on a 550D


  73. Thanks mr Bloom, that was the final decision maker for me. Making sure that if i did want to chroma key stuff I would be able to 🙂

    Definitely buying this camera

  74. While reading this blog I couldn’t believe how some people don’t realize what they really have. Disappointed with 7D now when 550 came out? No comment. I made some money shooting on cell phone camera (3mp) believe it or not and when I see all this responses….some people should really think through what they want-to make movies/stills or spend time in vain thinking did they make the right choice-don’t let the market control you.
    After 3 bloody hard working years I gathered the money and the question is:

    Go for the 550/t2i with some nice lenses?

    Or wait a couple of months for the epic full size chip 5Dmk2 with one o.k. lens?

    No stills, for movies only.

    Take care guys, and enjoy life-that is the point.

  75. I’m so excited to be picking up a T2I sometime in the future. I’m graduating from school which means I’ll no longer be able to use the school’s HVX. Props to Canon for allowing me to continue to pursue my passion in film making, even as a dirt poor student!

  76. Am I correct that the T2i does not allow “live view” video out via the HDMI port?

    I am looking at picking up the T2i for video projects, my only concern is focusing accurately.. those who are using this camera, does the hi res LCD give you enough visual to stay in focus?

    Or would you recommend a better viewfinder / external LCD (if video out works in “live-view”)

    thanks.. I can’t wait to start using HDSLR’s for my projects!

  77. Ook, at last I got one of this!!

    Now let’s work with it. I’ve been playing around and the results looks quite consistent, compared to the Ex1 I’ve been working around last couple of years.

    Thanks Philip for this blog, it really helps some of us to get clear views of the choices the market offers us.



  78. Hi Mr Philip.
    i just bought canon 550D, it’s a great camera!
    however, i have a problem about the video.
    i could not play the video with window media player. there are statics on and off. can you please help? thank you.

  79. Fascinating debate about gear and the oeuvre. I am well beneath amateur but I will be getting my 550D in a few days.

    A deceptively simple video entry I shot for a Havaianas contest made it to the top ten, made it through online voting, and won the nod of Havaianas Brazil judges to be top scoring at 96%, while the close contender was in 70% range. I just used my everyday iPhone. I knew it had to be raw and guerilla-style. I knew a mobile phone would do the job. It’s never about the gear, the medium even. It’s always the story, the intention, then that dictates the medium, the gear.

    Now, I’m going to Rio and Sao Paulo on an all-expense paid trip for a week, hopefully with a 550D in tow 🙂

    Our winning piece:

  80. For what it’s worth I just got back from 2 months at Mt. Everest Basecamp. I was documenting a Canadian expedition on the mountain using a T2i/550d body and some solid lenses. I had doubts about the durability and weather resistance (or lack thereof) of the T2i when I headed out, but those have been laid to rest. This camera body took so much abuse physically but not only that, I repeatedly left it out over night shooting timelapse of stars and moon settings only to find it completely covered in snow in the morning. It kept going. The poor T2i body was also left in a tent several times where condensation literally dripped off of it while I drank my morning coffee. Once it dried out she kept working fine. Dust, dirt, snow, water…outdoors for 2 whole months…temperatures of -20 to +20 degrees Celsius…this camera body still works and I’m taking it to the Rocky Mountains for a rockclimbing TV pilot next week. I will be bringing a backup 7D body but I’m going to run this T2i into the ground to see what it’s made of!

    I don’t recommend any of these things for a camera body like the T2i but it’s always a treat when a piece of gear works way harder than it should for the price. Awesome.

  81. I have this camera and personally I believe it is such great value for money. It is a bargain price for a professional standard camera in my opinion. The features match cameras of more than 4 times the value. With a decent lens such as the Canon 50m f1.8 you can some incredible results.

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