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  1. #1
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    Whither the Canon EOS 550D

    Hi all

    This is being launched on 24 Feb. Anyone have any thoughts about it?

    Mark

  2. #2
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Yawn

    The 550D was announced on 8th February. A 500D with an 18Mpix sensor instead of 15Mpix and a 65-zone sensor for light metering. (The Nikon cameras have a 450 zone meter or a 1005 zone meter..)

    18Mpix may impress the entry-level consumers that this camera is aimed at, but the number of pixels isn't everything. 6Mpix is enough for most people, 12Mpix is plenty and 18Mpix is overkill. Plus the smaller the pixels the less efficient they are at capturing light and the more noise you get. However the smaller the pixels the less noticable noise becomes. It's a compromise.

    If you don't have tip-top technique and lens then you're not going to be able to make use of those 18Mpix anyway. I have seen several tests of the 7D (also with 18Mpix) and the ageing 17-85IS lens. The lens is too soft to make use of the resolution provided by the sensor. Put the lens on a 12Mpix camera and then on a 18Mpix camera and you don't see any more detail.

    Right now Canon are going for more pixels and Nikon is going for bigger pixels. Looking at the feedback in magazines and on Internet it seems like the Nikon approach is better, especially if you shoot in low light. But it's close.
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  3. #3
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    Re: Whither the Canon EOS 550D

    Hmm. Interestingly, the 550D gets the same 18-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor as the Canon EOS 7D but with a 4-channel “readout” instead of the 7D’s faster 8-channel readout giving it a maximum burst rate of 3.7 frames per second, about half the speed of the 7D.

    Help me - what is the significance of the number of zones in the sensor for light metering?

    Mark

  4. #4
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Re: Whither the Canon EOS 550D

    Quote Originally Posted by ilesmark
    Hmm. Interestingly, the 550D gets the same 18-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor as the Canon EOS 7D but with a 4-channel “readout” instead of the 7D’s faster 8-channel readout giving it a maximum burst rate of 3.7 frames per second, about half the speed of the 7D.

    Help me - what is the significance of the number of zones in the sensor for light metering?

    Mark
    Canon and Nikon have different methods for measuring the light and getting the exposure.

    In the lower-end Nikon systems a 450 zone sensor looks at the image on the focussing screen and compares it with a database of 50,000 scene types. The camera then analyses the light level according to the scene type, taking into account subject distance and comes up with an exposure which is usually pretty close. The higher-end systems are even better - they have a 1005 zone sensor that is sensitive to colour.

    Canon have never said how their metering system works. It's "evaluative". The scene is divided up into 65 zones and it must try to figure out what is the right exposure by comparing the 65 zones. It seems to be influenced by the active focussing zone.

    The Canon system works but it seems to me that a system that divides the scene into 450 or 1005 zones is likely to be more accurate than one that divides the scene into only 65 zones.
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  5. #5
    Liz
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    Re: Whither the Canon EOS 550D

    Quote Originally Posted by Franglais
    Canon and Nikon have different methods for measuring the light and getting the exposure.

    In the lower-end Nikon systems a 450 zone sensor looks at the image on the focussing screen and compares it with a database of 50,000 scene types. The camera then analyses the light level according to the scene type, taking into account subject distance and comes up with an exposure which is usually pretty close. The higher-end systems are even better - they have a 1005 zone sensor that is sensitive to colour.

    Canon have never said how their metering system works. It's "evaluative". The scene is divided up into 65 zones and it must try to figure out what is the right exposure by comparing the 65 zones. It seems to be influenced by the active focussing zone.

    The Canon system works but it seems to me that a system that divides the scene into 450 or 1005 zones is likely to be more accurate than one that divides the scene into only 65 zones.
    Wow Charles! I'm impressed! I knew you were knowledgeable (you've been a great help to me). But this is awesome.

    Soooo.....having said that, may I "interrupt" and ask a question about the lower vs higher MP? I read somewhere that higher MP make the camera more sensitive to camera shake (hand shake). Is this accurate? I thought it would be the opposite.

    Thanks.
    Liz

  6. #6
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Re: Whither the Canon EOS 550D

    Quote Originally Posted by Liz
    Wow Charles! I'm impressed! I knew you were knowledgeable (you've been a great help to me). But this is awesome.

    Soooo.....having said that, may I "interrupt" and ask a question about the lower vs higher MP? I read somewhere that higher MP make the camera more sensitive to camera shake (hand shake). Is this accurate? I thought it would be the opposite.

    Thanks.
    Liz
    Hi!

    Keep on posting with the Olympus. I like the results it gives. I've decided to stick with a plastic Nikon DSLR for my lightweight kit because - I can't do without the Nikon software..

    As I said earlier, having more Mpix allows you to record more detail, but you have to have perfect technique to get it. When Chasseurs d'Images tested the 7D (18Mpix) they used the new Canon 60mm Macro lens to be sure that the lens had enough definition, plus a sturdy tripod to try to eliminate camera shake. That way they could get the full resolution out of the sensor.

    Camera shake isn't worse because you have more Mpix. It just blurs out the extra detail that you should have got so finally your 18Mpix sensor gives you the same level of detail as one with much less Mpix.

    Does that make sense?
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  7. #7
    Liz
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    Re: Whither the Canon EOS 550D

    Quote Originally Posted by Franglais
    Hi!

    Keep on posting with the Olympus. I like the results it gives. I've decided to stick with a plastic Nikon DSLR for my lightweight kit because - I can't do without the Nikon software..

    As I said earlier, having more Mpix allows you to record more detail, but you have to have perfect technique to get it. When Chasseurs d'Images tested the 7D (18Mpix) they used the new Canon 60mm Macro lens to be sure that the lens had enough definition, plus a sturdy tripod to try to eliminate camera shake. That way they could get the full resolution out of the sensor.

    Camera shake isn't worse because you have more Mpix. It just blurs out the extra detail that you should have got so finally your 18Mpix sensor gives you the same level of detail as one with much less Mpix.

    Does that make sense?
    Yes, perfect sense. Thanks!

    Like ilesmark, I looked at the T2 (but over my budget). I'm checking out the T1 (and still considering the XSi). I like the much improved LCD on the T cameras. I was looking at the Olympus E-620 for IS (but pretty much took it off my list). I am selling the E-P1 and LX3 - and getting the E-PL1 for my every day camera. But Canon is still my favorite dslr for many reasons.

    Thanks again.
    Liz

  8. #8
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    Re: Whither the Canon EOS 550D

    Hi all

    Have just ordered a Canon 550D + 18-135mm lens kit. I already have a Sigma 100-300 lens.

    A question - if you had a choice between the above, or a 550D + 18-55mm & 55-250mm Twin Lens kit for £50 more, which would you go for?

    Mark

  9. #9
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    Re: Whither the Canon EOS 550D

    It won't let me edit, so I have to add this follow-up - both the 18-55mm & 55-250mm lenses are made by Canon.

    Mark

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