Canon 550d

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Victorian_Major, Dec 29, 2010.

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  1. I'm toying with the idea of getting an EOS 550d, to replace my much loved and worn 1000f (which now has a value of at least 99p on fleabay). Any arrsers got any experience of one, and (additionally) is it worth spending a couple of hours haggling on Tottenham Court Road or is the interweb unbeatable nowadays?

    Thanks in advance... V_M
  2. ive the 500d, pictures are surpurb, very clear and crisp. The high def video is brilliant and overall its a very simple and easy camera to use!
  3. The 550 is a good camera and has a lot of features from higher spec DSLR's, the build is a little plasticky but OK. As for buying the best deals are on the web really. I buy most of my kit from these guys Warehouse Express and have never had a problem, I have a tendency to stay way from Jessops as their customer service is not as it was.
  4. Find cheapest deal online (don't forget p&p costs), most shops will at least price match, or you at least know your target price.

    I don't think you can go far wrong with most of the major manufacturers at this price level. Though don't get over obsessed with the the number of megapixel, what can you screen or printer deal with?
  5. The future ex-Mrs Bigeye bought one a few months back. I had intended to buy the 5d for myself to use as a High def video camera so originally I considered that her purchase would be a waste of money but in fact it's proved to be a bit of a gem.

    It does shoot very good video (although the functionality is a little basic): I can use the 550 as a second camera for interviews when I'm shooting with my main camera (a PDW 700 - but it's pure 1080, 4:2:2 video).
    The 550d shoots 1080p video : 1920 x 1080 pixels at 25fps - which is similar to shooting on a large 35mm film camera and from a stills point of view it packs in 18Mp.

    I love it and whilst I still hire in a 7d when the producer really insists on using one -I reckon it's one of the best consumer DSLRs on the market.

    I would take a trip down Tottenham Court Road or Edgware Road with your laptop - see what the shopkeepers say and compare it to best buy online at the nearest internet cafe.

    If you do feel the urge to shoot 'movies' make sure you have a powerful editing package as the files are huge.
  6. Thanks all, it's such a testimony to arrse that you get some quality answers so quickly.

    The HD video function is quite an important attraction, one of the reasons I am getting the camera is that we'd like to film my young son and don't have the current capability. My monitor has 4.09m pixels so I don't think it's going to be the weakest link when viewing the pictures. What lenses do you all have? I'm either going to go for the 18-55 or 18-135, possibly after getting the 50mm with the body.
  7. If video is important I would steer you in the direction of my learned colleague Phil Bloom Lenses | Philip Bloom
    Quite a handy site for those starting out shooting video on DSLR.

    Something to bear in mind is that whilst a shallow depth of field looks lovely and artistic it can be a pain in the rump when trying to shoot something moving (such as first born) The auto focus does do the job and should suffice however it will have a tendency to 'hunt' in low light conditions.

    As I've mentioned, once you've acquired your high definition media you will have to edit it - personally I use Avid or Final cut pro but unless you are intending to do a lot of video shoot/edit work they may prove to be unrealistically pricey.
  8. Personally I have a the following but I am a still photographer rather than film

    10 - 22mm
    60mm Macro
    70 - 300mm
    18 -55 mm
    150mm Macro
  9. Gremlin

    Gremlin LE Good Egg (charities)

    Don't get the 18-55mm, the lens really wasn't designed to cope with the resolution of the camera and you'll be left disappointed.

    The 18-135 is a decent starter lens, or taking a jump upwards the 15-85mm is even better. If you need a longer reach the 55-250mm produces decent quality pics for it's price.

    As for buying, use this site to compare the prices:

    Camera Price Buster - UKs cheapest camera gear

    Avoid buying cheaply from Ebay as most of the cameras will be grey imports and not have a valid UK warranty.

    WEX (as mentioned by Stilly) have good prices and are usually reliable.

    Personally I've found that the days of decent deals on TCt Rd have pretty much gone, and if anything they tend to sell older models at inflated prices so that they can haggle down.

    One minor word of warning...

    You may well find that if you are coming from a compact camera to your first DSlr, your initial impressions of the pictures which you take are those of disappointment, and you feel that the ones from your old camera were better. Everybody goes through this at the start as you need to learn the camera to get the best out of it, rather than just leaving it on the Auto green square and clicking the shutter button. With a bit of learning and practice your photos (and the processing of them) will improve by a huge margin. There's no point in going into loads of tech details at the moment, but just be aware that it happens to most people and that it's not unusual. Getting the best out of
  10. Not helpful in any way, just curious how we the consumer or the manufacturer benefits from restricting warrantys around the globe, surely its better for them that you can buy a camera when you are in Asia? I saw a young lad effed off out of a Toyota dealers, he was after a standard component for a Celica, they saw his car was imported and wouldnt sell to him?
  11. Before you leap in and buy the 550D I'd urge you to take a look at the new EOS 60D, there are some good deals around at the moment and it's a quality SLR - much better than the 550D for a relatively small increase in your budget. I struggle with the concept of using an SLR camera as a video camera if I'm honest and prefer to keep the two apart, if it were me looking for a mid range SLR I'd be buying the Canon EOS 50D (which doesn't have video capability but is currently on clearance with many suppliers with the onset of the 60D, bizarrely it's actually a better camera in my opinion with a magnesium body and most of the 60D's functionality) I have one and it is superb. For video I'd be looking at something like the Casio High-Speed Exilim EX-FC100 which as well as filming the kids etc can be used really creatively to produce movies like those on this page:Stuck In Motion – A Cool Video Technique

    Having said all that the 550D is a fine camera and you won't go far wrong with it.
  12. One pitfall of DSLR video: Rolling Shutter effect.

    YouTube - Canon EOS Rebel T2i / 550D rolling shutter test at 320mm focal length

    I've seen those, it's a brilliant little idea but what I can't understand is why more manufacturers don't get in on it. Surely, if you have the processing power, high-speed video is a trivial software thing?
  13. It's a bit of a gimmick. Hi-speed video is primarily used for checking machine parts are working or filming bits of fruit being squashed.

    if it's video you want to concentrate on then buy a good HD (1080 x 1920) camcorder. They are designed to shoot video whereas the DSLRs are stills camera that can shoot video. I'm pretty much up to speed with the latest broadcast kit but (I'm currently shooting on optical XDCAM which is Sony's High end broadcast medium ) I haven't really got my finger on the pulse with regards pro-sumer kit. There are loads out there to choose from but generally this is what I would be looking for:

    1080 x 1920 res standard high definition video
    Smooth zoom function.
    dock for top light
    ability to use with a tripod
    External mic input
    Good manual override. Trying to shoot faces against snow - the camera will expose for the bright snow and will leave faces woefully under-exposed. Therefore the ability to control the iris manually when needed is important. Same applies to focus.
    a good smooth, robust tripod. 2/3 .of your shots will probably need one
    a good monitor or decent viewfinder.

    Finally what will you be recording onto ? These are the current types of recording format available:

    Beta SP (Sony)
    Beta SX (Sony)
    MiniDV (Sony)
    MicroDV (Sony)
    DVCAM (Sony)
    DVCPRO (Panasonic)
    DigiBeta (Sony)
    HDV (mini HD) (Sony)
    DVCPRO 50 (Panasonic)
    HDCAM (Sony)

    XDCAM (sony) optical
    consumer disc (many)

    XDCAM cards
    P2 cards (Panasonic)
    Flash cards (many)
    SD cards (many)

    solid state
    NXCAM solid state (Sony)

    The type of format and transfer speed are important as you will want to edit the material once you've shot it. The transfer rate is measured in megabits and will typically be from 35 to 50 mbs for decent video cameras. (The BBC minimum for HD is 50mbs).
    The easiest way to establish which edit package would suit (Without getting technical about codecs and whatnot). (would be to check with the manufacturer/supplier of the camera.

    For instance: My work flow with a DSLR:
    shoot 10 minutes of rushes on DSLR 550 onto SD card (35mbs) stick in the side of the laptop. Open Avid NLE software- select import - import QuickTime files to Avid bin - edit rushes- Bore family.

    what the...? why the devil are those little faces appearing when I type XD? Dammit, X D
  14. I bought my Canon 7d by mail order and it turned out to be a Grey Import.

    I'm finding it quite hard to get used to the 7D and work out all the buttons, I've ordered the Book - Canon 7D for Dummies..... :)
  15. Thanks all,

    I'm not to worried about HD movies - but one of the attractions of the 550D is that it has that capability so I don't need to worry about getting another piece of kit if I ever want to put together something.

    I'm making the move from an SLR to a DSLR (we have the odd handbag sized mini digital camera - mju etc) so I know that there's extra effort and reward involved in using them. Its just rather a shame to be saying goodbye to wet film and a whole load of filters!

    I'll have a look at the 60D - thanks Chieftiff. I tend to buy things to last and my 1000F lasted nearly 20 years despite being battery thirsty and a bit plasticky. Such a shame the arrse fell out of wet film as I took a lot of B&W (was taught photography as a part of my archaeology degree) and developed it myself, but i no longer have the time or the space. So my needs are for this camera to last another 20 years.

    About the only thing that survives the transition is a warthog bag and a few hoya skylight filters. Sad eh?

    I'll also have to enrol with the OU to get some good photo editing software on student rates...