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New Canon 550D features 1080p HD

New Canon 550D features 1080p HD

Canon have just announced the latest to their sub ?1000 digital SLR range in the form of the new 550D.  The EOS 550D is a reasonable upgrade over the 500D especially if you use your camera for digital video production. The camera, incorporates technologies and features more commonly found in semi-professional DSLRs into the compact, lightweight body favoured by consumers.

With a newly-developed 18 Megapixel (MP) APS-C CMOS sensor, coupled with Canon’s advanced DIGIC 4 image processor and the ability to shoot Full HD movies, photography enthusiasts are empowered to explore new levels of creativity.

The EOS 550D makes Canon’s powerful imaging technology more accessible to consumers. Canon’s advanced DIGIC 4 image processor and 18MP sensor support standard ISO settings of 100 – 6400 (expandable to 12800), while enhanced in-camera noise reduction technology boosts performance in low light conditions. The system’s 14-bit image processing also produces smoother tonal gradation and natural looking colours for high quality prints and on-screen display.

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

Continuing Canon’s tradition of filtering new technology and features down from its advanced and professional DSLR ranges, the EOS 550D includes the iFCL metering system first launched in the EOS 7D. New for EOS is the ability to set the top limit for automatic ISO, allowing users to control the maximum amount of noise in their images. In a first for entry level EOS, exposure compensation and bracketing can be set up to plus or minus five and two stops respectively, allowing the photographer to take a number of differently exposed versions of the same shot to ensure they capture a well-exposed image, even in difficult lighting conditions.

Full HD video with creative control

As the ability to record Full HD video becomes increasingly important, Canon continues to deliver DSLR technology that sets the industry benchmark for multimedia functionality. The EOS 550D records video in full 1920?1080p HD resolution, allowing photographers to select the frame rate preferred from 30, 25 and 24fps, as well as offering 720p video at 60 and 50fps. The EOS 550D also includes a 3.5mm stereo microphone socket, enabling the use of an external microphone when capturing video. This is a brilliant upgrade over the 500D (read my initial thoughts on the 500D released May last year).

Photographers can also take manual control over exposure settings, changing the depth of field and degree of motion blur to shoot more creatively. To provide the best possible video quality, highlight tone priority (HTP) can be set independently for movie capture, without changing any still image capture settings. In situations where the subject is further away, the EOS 550D Movie Crop function records with the central 640?480 pixel area of the sensor, creating an effective magnification of approximately seven times. The EOS 550D is the first in the EOS range to feature Movie Crop and gives consumers more flexibility to capture important moments which would otherwise be too far away.

A clearer view

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

For EOS 550D photographers, shooting great pictures and video is just a first step. Thanks to an integrated HDMI port compatible with High-Definition Multimedia Interface – Consumer Electronics Control (HDMI-CEC), video and images stored on the EOS 550D can be viewed on an HD-ready TV and controlled via the TV remote.

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

The Body only version of the camera retails at ?799.99 Buy it here.

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