Canon eos 550 announced

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Kebabselector, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. Kebabselector macrumors 68030

    Kebabselector

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    #1
    Main features at a glance:

    • Addition to EOS range, not a replacement for EOS 500D
    • 18 million-pixel CMOS APS-C sensor
    • ISO 100-12,800 via expansion setting
    • New limiter in auto ISO mode
    • 3in 1,014k dot Clear View LCD screen
    • New battery form
    • 9 point AF
    • iFCL metering
    • HD video with 24,25,30fps

    let the moaning begin
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #2
    Seriously :-/
     
  3. Kebabselector thread starter macrumors 68030

    Kebabselector

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  4. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

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    #4
    I wonder how the video will compare to the 7D?

    This could be seen as an entry level or consumer HD DSLR for those who can't fork out the extra £1000 for the 7D!

    How is this upsetting?
     
  5. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

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    #5
    it's not. it's great. sony and nikon will have to follow. it's just unbelievable what you get these days for consumer prices (well, high consumer prices but still...)
     
  6. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

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    #6
    Sorry are you saying the price is high or low? I picked up a comparably priced Panasonic HDC TM300 for my video needs but it would be nice to have one of these to join them for the super depth of field shot or a nice picture!
     
  7. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #7
    I wonder if that new 3:2 ratio screen will really be an improvement. The new body design looks much more ergonomic, and the big buttons are sure to be nice. I'm mostly impressed with the 18MP sensor making it into a Rebel so soon.
     
  8. nutmac macrumors 68040

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    #8
    Ho hum. I would've much liked to see decrease in pixel count, which would help to decrease noise level at high ISO significantly, as well as file size, and increase shooting speed (which is actually worse now). And much needed ergonomic refinements.

    Metering and enhanced video modes seem to be the only real major changes here.
     
  9. niuniu macrumors 68020

    niuniu

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  10. kyzen macrumors regular

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    #10
    I'm not; look at how quickly the 50D's sensor made it down the line. Canon's noise performance has lagged behind Nikon for awhile now, so they make up for it with megapixels. (Nothing against Canon, I <3 my 7D :)).

    It will be interesting to see what Nikon kicks out the door next. The D90 is a wonderful camera, but to the average Joe out picking up a fancy camera, megapixels mean more than they should.

    Eager to see real-world sample shots from this.

    Even more eager to see what the 60D eventually brings to the table - doesn't seem like there's a significant gap to fill between the T2i and the 7D now...
     
  11. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #11
    Well, here we go again. If you normalize images from cameras with different resolutions, then you get some meaningful results; otherwise you don't. Choose a display size or a print size and then prepare images from a 12MP camera and one with 18MP--what will you get? With the latter, you'll have sharper detail and diminished noise (because the noise will get reduced into hiding). This is true whether you're posting a 1000-pixel wide photo for web viewing or a high-resolution print.
     
  12. nutmac macrumors 68040

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    #12
    Other than 3:2 screen and slightly larger buttons, the design hasn't changed at all.
    Um okay, I guess you have single handedly disproved countless megapixel myth articles. 18 MP has over 5000 pixels across whereas 12 MP has 4000. Reduced to 1000 pixels, and all things being equal (e.g., lens, shooting conditions and parameters), neither will show more details. Higher pixels will give you larger printing and more significant cropping headroom, but beyond that, there aren't any other significant benefits.
     
  13. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #13
    The grip has been completely redesigned, both in the front and in the back where the thumb goes.

    The heydey of megapixel myth-busting was at least three years ago, so you're a bit late. Since then it's been widely acknowledged that sensor technology keeps advancing, so "all things" are not "equal". For example, the Canon 7D has a new photodiode and gapless microlens design that enables each pixel to collect more light despite being smaller. And yes, more resolution can give you better image quality in a 1000-pixel image. If you don't believe me, try downloading some of the still life test images at Imaging Resource (look at their camera reviews to find them for individual cameras). Then normalize and compare. Seeing is believing.

    Now, granted, for smaller images the benefits may be too nominal for some people to care about them. But for anyone who displays or prints larger images (or who crops a lot, of course), having a higher resolution image to begin with really helps. It's no myth.
     
  14. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #14
    It's going to be interesting to see actual tests of this camera.

    DPReview's test of the 500D pointed out that the antialiasing filter used was quite strong - and removed much of the resolution advantage that the 500D should have had over the 450D.

    I hope Canon hasn't made that same mistake again.
     
  15. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

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    #15
    At some point you'll need completely new lens technology to be able to resolve enough detail to make a difference. I think we may be reaching that point soon. Now, if we want to talk bigger sensors... that's something I can see really improving quality once that resolution 'limit' is reached. Let's remember that for many years film was a standard we all understood, with grain size and alignment being the main factors in how much detail could be resolved. We're already at the point where things are for all intents and purposes, as good as some film (not all.) And, film was good enough to produce just about anything we looked at--magazine images, billboards, posters, gallery prints, etc. What are we going to do with the millions of extra pixels that don't give us much meaningful return, on a daily living basis? It's like recording... human hearing is basically 100hz to 20,000hz. Some claim the frequencies above our hearing threshold actually affect the harmonics of the audible frequencies, and that may be true... but let's say there is a limit, above which it makes no difference. It wouldn't make sense, even if technology can easily record sound at those frequencies, to actually worry about it for things geared to human consumption... anyway, I think I wore my analogy out... ;)

    And even if lenses can clearly show the difference in 12 mp vs 18 at current crop-sensor sizes, you'd probably have to be shooting on a tripod all the time, and actually make sure you were focused absolutely perfectly on the subject, then blow it up really big, then stand close... to see any practical difference.

    Of course, if one day we can make sensors the size of a pinhead that will be able to produce results like todays full-frame sensors, and be proportionally that much cheaper in the future, I'd not complain. Then we could have miniature lenses on nice, hand holdable bodies built strictly for ergonomics. The whole set-up would be pro-quality and weigh nada. I'm sure technology will get there.

    Okay, I'll admit to being on a sugar/caffeine high... stop me now!! :D
     
  16. John.B macrumors 601

    John.B

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    #16
    My first impression was that an ISO limiter was going to be necessary with a Rebel that "natively" goes to 6400 ISO.

    My second impression was to wonder why all Canon dSLRs don't have an ISO limiter? (7D, I'm lookin' at you...)
     
  17. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #17
    The point about the lenses being a possible bottleneck is a good one. Canon in particular has been slowly revising their lenses to meet the the needs of these new sensors, but without really sharp lenses, the extra resolution won't necessarily mean sharper photos.

    However, there definitely is a significant difference between 12MP and 18MP. I made exactly that jump (from a 12MP camera to an 18MP one) shortly after I started contributing stock to Alamy, who have a very high resolution requirement. They never rejected any of my 12MP images (upsized to meet their requirements), but that's because I only ever gave them the very sharpest images, created with good lenses, a tripod, etc. Once I started using an 18MP camera, I was thrilled that I would no longer have to interpolate the images, and I've gained some considerable leeway in what I can submit now. Upsizing a 12MP image introduced a certain level of softness. With an 18MP image, anything that is just slightly soft to begin with will be fine, since it does not need to be scaled up at all. And anything that is tack sharp to begin with can be cropped and upscaled from there. I've subsequently added a 21MP camera to my kit, which has been even better for stock purposes :D; I'm really making good use of the extra resolution. So I personally would not want to go back to shooting at 12MP.

    Nonetheless, different photographers have different needs. Having more resolution isn't necessarily better for everyone, especially not for people who have disk space limitations or who will never do any printing or cropping.

    Do any other Canon cameras have that feature? I'd be a bit surprised if anything in the xD series would have it, but perhaps they do. There was a time when I thought I wanted it (when I first started using a DSLR), but now I rarely do auto anything. It's surely a good feature to have for an entry-level camera, though. No doubt a lot of people will appreciate it.
     
  18. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #18
    I'm still surprised, Canon sticks to a pentamirror viewfinder. IMO it's the single biggest weakness of the EOS xxx cameras. At least the better models should include a pentaprism viewfinder.
     
  19. TH3D4RKKN1GH7 macrumors 6502a

    TH3D4RKKN1GH7

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    #19
    There's been a lot of angry chatter about this camera from video SLR users (i.e the guys who just bought 7Ds). I haven't bought my 7D yet, but even though video is my primary use, I will probably kick out the extra grand for the 7D because I plan on getting serious with my still work. I for one think this is quite an impressive "entry level" slr.
     
  20. kyzen macrumors regular

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    #20
    I'll take my dual DIGIC and 19 point AF over this slow SOB any day ;)
     
  21. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

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    #21
    Phrasikleia, what resolution requirement does Alamy have? If they were conditionally accepting images taken with a 12 mp sensor with you having to upsize them through interpolation, were most of their contributors shooting medium format digital, or scanning film...? Few dSLRs up until just a couple of years ago could even go much over 12mp.

    I'm not sure what is gained by upsizing an image via interpolation before submitting to an agency. I get it if you're actually going to print it--then Genuine Fractals and other software does a great job upsizing for larger print output (usually something the end-user/buyer would prefer to handle, I'd think...) I'm sure most of Alamy's sales are digital files with limited/unlimited use rights, and if I were a customer I'd want the "original" file, not one that was upsized. Especially if my publishing needs didn't require that. To take that 'upsized' file, and then again have to reduce it back down to intended use would be losing 'quality' both directions.... I'm somewhat surprised an agency wouldn't just want you to give them a copy of the original RAW file... and that they'd handle the rest. But... I'm certainly not speaking from experience here, so I'm a bit out of the loop on stock submissions... I'm sure not up to date on any of this stuff, but it just seems surprising to me... that's all.

    But, that's what I enjoy about this forum... I always learn new things that wind up being useful. And technology is just so dynamic. The speed of change in photography is almost scary--it's becoming like computers. And the physics of glass and lens design can't possibly evolve that fast. Maybe there will come a time when some computing algorithm actually allows us to curve some kind of viscous fluid or gas-filled membrane, and we can just program whatever lens we need right into the camera on demand.... Whew...!! :eek: :) They could be working on that already-- it's all about microprocessors now. The lens/glass and shutter are the last mechanical parts left to engineer into obsolescence.
     
  22. TH3D4RKKN1GH7 macrumors 6502a

    TH3D4RKKN1GH7

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    #22
    Which is why I said video users :rolleyes:
     
  23. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #23
    Submissions must be no smaller than 48MB, which is the equivalent of about 17.5MP or so.

    Yes, a lot were shooting medium format and still do. Very many were scanning film and still do. Still more were simply interpolating like I was, but of course interpolation has its limits. The official Alamy line is that they will allow the interpolation of 6MP output, but from what I see in forum posts over there, images from cameras that low usually get rejected for being too soft. The going advice around there is that 12MP is the safe minimum.

    No, no. You're probably thinking of microstock. Alamy is a "trad" (traditional) macrostock agency. They specialize in Rights Managed images, which have very limited (and much more expensive) licenses and largely end up in printed form. I've only been with Alamy a short while, but so far all of my sales have been for books and magazines.

    Yes, you are of course correct. I don't like the interpolation requirement either, but it's the way Alamy has worked out to keep the bar high and therefore weed out certain types of potential contributors. They require us to upscale in 16 BIT from either Raw or TIFF images, so the results are rather high quality. They also scrutinize the images for interpolation artifacts to make sure nothing has gone awry in the process.

    That would be far too much work for them and would remove a lot of creativity and fine tuning that can happen in post. They place no limit on the amount of Photoshopping you can do to your images to get great results, so long as you don't run afoul of their image quality requirements. It's not like shooting primary editorial where zero manipulation is the standard.

    That thought totally occurred to me! I was telling someone recently that I won't be surprised if I see the day that there is no such thing as a glass lens. We'll have have something like an iPad that we hold up to take a picture, and it will flawlessly do any focal length you like. Well, one can dream...;)


    [EDIT: I think I misread your question about image delivery. Yes, the images are all delivered to customers digitally.]
     
  24. simore macrumors newbie

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    #24
    The Noise debate

    I've got to thank you guys for this interesting debate, and the other I continually read on Mac Rumours, as they always make me think about the way i relate to my technology and, in this case, my photography.

    Phrasikleia - I feel I have to submit something here as the discussion of noise has been lost here in the discussion of resolution. In the abstract, which is what we are talking about here having not seen what the 550d can actually do, the advantages presented by larger numbers of pixels are voided if it means the sensor makes excessive noise. For example, in theory a crop might look better at 18mp than 12mp but NOT if it is contaminated by excessive noise. Possibly the next logical step is to talk about in camera/post production noise reduction, but even this can strip the finer details from the photo, and give a somewhat soft appearance, especially with the kind of crops we are talking about here. These are problems I have experienced with cameras when the manufacturer, and in my case canon, went for megapixels over image quality - thus voiding any "supposed" gains in image quality that the extra megapixels might have given. Although we are not talking about SLRs - canon had to reduce the megapixel count of the G11 to 10mp from the 14 in the G10 exactly because of these issues.

    For me, the key to this debate when selecting cameras for use for pleasure or on assignments lies with taking a holistic look at image quality - with all of the complications that entails in terms of the parameters to be tested and taken into consideration like megapixels, noise, sharpness, lens-camera combo's, purpose of use ect.
     
  25. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #25
    Right, I think I addressed this issue in an earlier post in this thread. The answer is twofold:

    1) If you are looking at 100% crops, then you're looking at an artificial construct. Take the 18MP image and reduce it to 12MP (that is, normalize the images), and you have also reduced the noise--often to the point of it becoming completely invisible--while still having more detail.

    2) Sensor technology improvements have improved the light-collecting abilities of sensels (or whatever you want to call them), so that pixel density on today's sensors bears little relation to a comparable pixel density on one from some years ago. Without any technological advancements, you get what happened with the G10 (same tech, weaker pixels). With some advancements you get breakthroughs like we saw with the 7D (better tech, more sensitive pixels).

    I completely agree with your last point, however. No single feature of a camera can be taken in isolation, just like you can't divorce resolution from signal-to-noise ratios. And cameras are not one-size-fits-all anyway. Each photographer has his own priorities and needs to choose accordingly.
     

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