Canon has announced a new consumer DSLR: the EOS 550D or Rebel T2i (USA) as an evolution of 500D.

Let''s see the main additions and improvements with comments as in the style of LightPoint articles:

  • full HD video recording (1920x1080 progressive) with full manual control of exposure. At full HD resolution, the frame rate can be 30, 25 or 24 fps while there are also a 50 and 60 fps rates but with lower resolutions. Interestingly, there is a movie crop mode that records the center portion of the CMOS sensor (pixel-by-pixel, no interpolation) with a VGA resolution (640x480): since this is a sort of super crop field of view of about 7, it is as the focal length of the lens would be 7 times... To be tried Wink.
  • socket for external microphone - good for doing a bit more serious recording.
  • the new 63-point iFCL metering system that was introduced in the higher class EOS 7D (instead of classical Canon consumer 35 zones metering);
  • a new CMOS sensor with 17.92 Megapixels (the sensor is still an APS-C so not a full frame). The higher pixel count sensor has a negative effect on burst buffer: 34 vs 170 in 500D for JPEGs and 6 vs 9 for RAWs - file size counts against buffer depth Smile.
  • larger LCD with 1040 pixels and an aspect ratio of 3:2 that better fit image size;
  • improved range for exposure compensation (and bracketing): up to +/- 5 EV, finally... Canon for years remained stuck with just +/- 2 EV.
  • other minor improvements like:
    • a new button layout;
    • selectable minimum ISO value for Auto ISO mode;
    • a basic movie crop feature - 1 second step as minimum interval;
    • a new battery that should feed up to 550 shots. We understand that is mainly a commercial policy, but almost a new battery model every new camera model is not a good customer care move to pro photographers that usually have quite a number of spare batteries to throw away...

SD/SDHC and SDXC format memory cards are supported.

Camera weight is 530 g, 50 g more than 500D but almost 300 g less than 7D.

Given all these updates, we are curious to see how Canon might fit a rumoured 60D model between this new consumer camera and the 7D model: 7D basically distinguishes itself for a higher and longer burst rate, AF lens microadjustments and better AF, important features but not so many ones to let another mid-level model enter in between. We will see.

Availability should be from March 2010 with initial price around 800 $ that is quite interesting having some higher-end features.

User manual can be downloaded from this link.

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