Canon EOS 550D Review

March 31, 2010 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | |

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#1 Frank

I’m curious as to why you included the Nikon D3000 as a competitor, since it is much cheaper and really does not have the horsepower and and features of the 550. I guess the D5000 is closer to a match, but even then isn’t the D90 really its main Nikon competitor in terms of photo quality and features?

3:46 pm - Wednesday, March 31, 2010

#2 bryan

I have seen this reviewed on different sites and they all say that to really use the 18mp you need to get a different lense than the kit one.  I was just wondering what lens would you recommend?  This is my first dslr.  Would the kit lets do for starting off, then get another lense down the road?

3:54 pm - Wednesday, March 31, 2010

#3 martin

This camera looks great but it has been a fail ever since they decided to take away Compact flash cards.

Why can’t they implement SD and CF cards together?
Yet the higher-end models continue to use CF cards.. seriously canon is their deal with that!

4:02 pm - Wednesday, March 31, 2010

#4 Zoltan Arva-Toth


“Would the kit lens do for starting off, then get another lens down the road?”

Sure. The kit lens isn’t bad - all of the sample images were taken with it - it’s just that there will be folks who buy this camera predominantly for its extremely high resolution, and they might be disappointed when they see that all that fine detail isn’t that crisply rendered when they use the camera with the kit zoom.

The actual relevance of lens sharpness and resolving power depends largely on how big you want to print, how much cropping you do and how important the frame edges / corners are to your photography in terms of sharpness.

5:03 pm - Wednesday, March 31, 2010

#5 Yianni

What a camera. Best camera in class for sure. It’s resolution, high ISO abilities and movie mode is unbeatable in this price range.

Nikon must be sweating and working hard on a D5000 replacement.

I had to chat to a friend who works at a big Camera store here in Melbourne, Australia and he said the D5000 was outselling the older 500D but the new 550D is killing the D5000 in sales.

3:46 am - Thursday, April 1, 2010

#6 m3 ds

I had sticky shutter problems that could not be fixed with my EOS500D and I truly loved that camera to bits, in the time it’s taken to resolve Canon are now giving me an EOS550D by very kind means of an apology.

4:58 am - Thursday, April 1, 2010

#7 Ralph5-85

I have been a Nikon user for years.  Started in 1974 with an F2 (which I still have) and currently shooting with a D300.  I purchased a T2i (why cant they called it a 550D like in Europe) after hearing and reading great things about it.  Initially it felt like a plastic toy (which it is) and I felt awkward after handling a D300 for over a year.  But when I saw the pictures, even with the kit lens, WOW!  Within a week I ordered a 15-85mm and now I cannot go back to the D300! Craig’s list here I come!

5:49 am - Thursday, April 1, 2010

#8 r4i sdhc

This was an excellent and a very surprising review!
it’s certainly good to use the with each new model Canon improves its products rather then just adding more software based features….

8:51 am - Thursday, April 1, 2010

#9 KaHe

From the review this looks like the perfect candidate to replace my 20D.

Then I took a closer look at the samples, especially the two train stations @ ISO 320 and @ ISO 500.

Am I crazy and is this review way too Canon-pleasing commercial or what? These images look like they were produced by compact camera’s! Blown out, smeared highlights, lots of noise…
In the ISO 320 image NOTHING is sharp, even at F8!

Is there any change that the reviewer can produce some images with better glass?

At the preliminary results from a pre-production 550D seem to confirm this when I compare it with the 20D.

Probably the handling of the 550D is much nicer, with the better rear-LCD, live view, RGB histogram, better metering, but IQ wise there seems no gain.

Files from the 20D are WAY cleaner. Resolution wise,. the +10 MP in resolution compared with the 20D seems to add hardly anything…... just like my Powershot A80 (4 MP) upgrade to my Powershot A640 (10MP) was hardly an improvement except for the much quicker handling.

Should we simply boycot the newer small pixel - lots of noise - high megapixel nonsense?

9:31 am - Thursday, April 1, 2010

#10 David

At this price it is a great buy!... My first camera was a 450D and now own the more professional cameras.  Great pixel size but was wondering how the video comes out.  Anyone seen the results of this?

10:04 am - Thursday, April 1, 2010

#11 rahul

Hi All,
      Is this worth a purchase? I am thinking of buying this one. Please suggest. Will better optics like 18-135 or 18-200 help get better images? or should I get a nikon D90 or 300s?

12:46 pm - Tuesday, April 6, 2010

#12 Rock Bourgow

In your price range….
The best buy is a Canon EF 28-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS.
This lens fit on a full captor sensor…not ypur other choices.

3:52 pm - Tuesday, April 6, 2010

#13 mikes

i dont understand why every1 is so excited bout it? Maybe with better lens it produces better pix but what i see here in sample images, i mean i dont think there’s anything to celebrate

6:18 pm - Tuesday, April 6, 2010

#14 HoDog


This is not a review, it’s simply a regurgitation of Canon’s own marketing information.  There are better reviews with more substance out there.

11:31 am - Monday, April 12, 2010

#15 Tom

Should we simply boycot the newer small pixel - lots of noise - high megapixel nonsense?
Well Kahe - the 550D has more pixels but they are bigger than those on the 500 as they now use gapless lenses that are also sited closer to the detector. They are 4.7 microns on the 550D v 4.2 microns of the 500D.
I mainly use a 17 - 55mm f2.8 lens on my 550D. Trying to spend a year using almost nothing else as a project to see how much I can extract out of this lens. Great for low light of course and when I print to A2 - HEAPS of clean detail. Great lens - great camera. Tom

11:43 am - Tuesday, April 13, 2010

#16 steve

With all the bells and whistles of this high priced entry level camera, I had to return it because it froze when shooting the bay and the ocean, a beach and the bay, any into the sun when it was bright.  No matter what setting I used (other than Program-Auto) it just wouldnt fire.  I used various aperture settings, various shutter shettings, various ISO settings, no go.  I used two different lenses.  Whether it was this body or the whole line I dont know, but am I frustrated and dont know what to get now.

1:38 am - Friday, April 16, 2010

#17 Vitaly

I ordered it 2 weeks ago straight from Japan and it came with a dirty sensor (smudges from lubricant used on internal parts, even page 13 of the manual says it’s possible!) AND an array of 9 stuck pixels which looks as a white square at 100% magnification.
And this is a BRAND NEW camera!

It was supposed to be my first DSLR, but turned out to be a big disappointment. I’m sending it back for a refund… not sure if I’ll buying Canon again.
Anyways, it’s a good idea to check your Canon gear with scrutiny BEFORE you buy!

9:40 pm - Tuesday, April 20, 2010

#18 Istvan

The pictures are blurred and lack detail at full crop, they look like pictures from a cheap compact camera! There are some good photos though, if the lighting is very good. A camera in this price range should take good photos even in low light!

Btw, thanks for the review, Zoli.

9:51 pm - Thursday, May 6, 2010

#19 Andrew William

I got this one and I’m perfectly satisfied with it, actually I Love it. Detailing is perfect. Image sensor is very powerful and 18 MP is just awsome when cropping. The only point is the lens, so I got the 55-250 lens and its just Amazing. Whoever puts it on a list of models, go for it.

1:29 am - Friday, May 7, 2010

#20 Edlan

I bought my EOS 550D about three weeks ago and since then never been a day without using it… the camera is simply superb. Everything about its features excel in every level. Believe me, you’ll want to use this camera 24hours a day, 7 days a week and not ever get tired of it…

3:46 am - Tuesday, May 18, 2010

#21 Johannes

I just filmed my last short film with the canon 550d. The picture Style was Super Flat, and I tweaked the curves on the pc.
Just watch it and enjoy:

I think its pretty good for a dslr!

8:13 am - Friday, May 21, 2010

#22 Matt

I’m sure the 550D makes a great camcorder.
But I want a camera. Does anyone make such a thing anymore?

12:23 am - Tuesday, May 25, 2010

#23 bam

got it yestersday with the 18-135mm lens. i outgrew my 1000d and decided to give it to my sister. iam so satisfied with the results and everything in it. no regrets of buying the 550d first than the 1000d. i learned all my photography lessons in my 100d, its my sisters turn to learn more. 550d is a starter camera, if you got money to burn. but 1000d will do for beginners.

9:18 am - Monday, June 14, 2010

#24 Laina

great review for beginners! good job :)

im thinking of buying this camera and have been doing a little online research on how good the quality of the images can be. I came across this photographer who has used the 550D for alot of the shots - can you expert guys take a look at this link and let me know your thoughts on the kind of lens and flash thats been used? obviously alot of photoshopping too!


3:29 am - Wednesday, June 16, 2010

#25 Rock Bourgow


I have take a look at the photos and it’s a very good composition for the majority of thems but too much artificial effects who are not funny for my eyes.
Camera dslr and dedicated flash can do many things with some ajustments and some filter. For me it,s not interesting to push the photo out of the realty. You can adjust your camera for a few artistics effects but normally the restitution of the colors should not be in an extreme opposition of the reality for the majority of normal observers.

5:31 am - Thursday, June 17, 2010

#26 Qudus

Finally I got the 550D three months ago. I bring it everyday n everywhere I go. I was try a lot of combination setting just for exploring my imagination n yes I got but a few. I start to thinking that my D90 more understand me than this, but I’ll try to love both of them… I need little bit more time for practising…

3:08 am - Saturday, July 31, 2010


Hallo everyone ,
i just bought the Canon EOS 550d , and i wanted to ask this :in the LIVE VIEW mode at night shots , i cannot use the AUTO FOCUS function,but when i turn it to Viewfinder i can take the shot !

Then i check that if i put AI SERVO in the live view mode i can take the shot.
I am trying to understand if there is a problem with my cam.

11:03 am - Tuesday, August 3, 2010

#28 ariel

this a nice cam, i used it b4 but just a trial with my friend the picture is nice but don noe y it still had some noise when the lighting is low.

3:08 pm - Tuesday, September 14, 2010

#29 pedro

I’ve just bought a 550d. As the 18-135 canon objective was very bad, now ‘im buying a tamron 17-50 2.8 to see if I can get enough good pictures. Anyone have this tamron lens?

11:19 pm - Thursday, October 14, 2010

#30 Rock Bourgow

Buy the 28-135mm Canon lens
It’s a very good choice for the price and you can fixe it on a pro body if you change in the futur.
The 18-135 mm Canon is a deception lens for the price when you compare with the old 28-135mm Canon lens

2:40 am - Friday, October 15, 2010

#31 Steve

This comment from the review:

“One Shot AF is equivalent to AF-S, while AI Servo is the same thing as AF-C on other manufacturers’ models. AI Focus is similar to what some other camera makers call AF-A in that it automatically switches from One Shot AF to AI Servo if a still subject starts moving.”

Doesn’t explain anything at all…

8:10 am - Friday, November 26, 2010

#32 Ricky

Hi, how’s the video mode of this camera?  Any time limitations?  Any overheating problem?  Is it easy to use?  In what file format does it save in?  Thanks! :)

3:20 pm - Saturday, January 15, 2011

#33 Snapper

After breaking away from SLR’s to a the conveniance of a compact (Canon A640-10 megs)which produces excellent grab shots, my fingers are twitching to get a DSLR. What puts me off the EOS 550D is it’s rediculously high m/pxl count (18) who needs it at this level (one up from entry level. 12 mgs will produce A3 prints and who needs bigger than that? It just takes up a lot of file space. For my money the Sony A580 is a superior camera at about £100 cheaper and the A560 which is due out in march will be £100 cheaper still, but still offering all the mind-blowing features of the A580 (see the review in this blog) but with a perfectly adequate 14.2 mgs as apposed to the A580. On the other hand I’m waiting for the Nikon 5000 replacement…....

10:33 pm - Tuesday, February 15, 2011

#34 r4 card

I had sticky shutter problems that could not be fixed with my EOS500D and I truly loved that camera to bits, in the time it’s taken to resolve Canon are now giving me an EOS550D by very kind means of an apology.

This was an excellent and a very surprising review!
it’s certainly good to use the with each new model Canon improves its products rather then just adding more software based features….

6:59 pm - Saturday, February 19, 2011

#35 Robert Meester

The 550d is a great camera and used with good quality lenses, the results are very attractive whether for photography or video shooting. We always bring the 550d when shooting property videos using a ultra-wide Sigma. The only negative point is the overheating issue especially in warmer climates.

5:09 am - Thursday, March 31, 2011

#36 Upamanyu Sarkar

I am confused regarding which one to buy ?
Canon 550D or Nikon D5100

9:22 pm - Saturday, June 18, 2011

#37 Veli H.

Well, I’m wondering which of these two lenses is better for the 550D?

(I want this camera generally for macro, so can you please help me?)
Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Standard Zoom Lens

Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS Telephoto Zoom Lens

9:45 am - Wednesday, September 7, 2011

#38 Ehsan

well VELI H,

the canon 55 250mm is way more better, cheaper and sharper than the canon 18 200mm, and 55 250mm lens has very good macro capability as well,though you loose some distance in 55 250mm lens for the wide angle photos but on other hand you gain much more distance to catch far scenes. the problem with canon 18 200mm is that when it is fully zoomed creates noticeable distortion in photos, thats why i recommend u canon eos 55 250mm lens.
now canon 55 250mm lens comes in IS2 version which has more good look and feel..

i hope this answered your question..

8:50 am - Thursday, November 17, 2011

#39 Shawn

The 550 D looks good on reviews (almost everywhere), but it’s very different in reality.

The ergonomics and ease of use are really ok, but we all expect a camera to do what it’s made for: produce good images, and this where the 550D is the real rebel to quality.

First about the legend that the kit lens is a good enough one: this isn’t true, this lens is poor or very average at best (except may be for close-ups where it performs ok).

I have used this camera for more than 1 year and since the beginning I regret to have bought it.

At first I thought there was a fault to it, then I thought I didn’t know how to handle it, but after comparing opinions on different websites and having tried every tricks and tweaks I finally ended up concluding that it is just an average DSLR whatever category you dem yourself to be in.

1st: the color balance of the default settings is utterly wrong when it comes out of the package.
Colors are dull, misrepresented, blacks are so wrong that most of the photos need a lot of post processing just to be presentable. White balance is wrong, colors lacks of deepness and punch.

2nd: One of the big problem with this camera is the level of noise at every ISO range. I couldn’t get a pure blue sky without such a level of noise that it needed to be over processed to just appear “normal”.

3rd: It seems the the censor can’t handle a pure blue sky without rendering it as a irrelevant deep dark blue/violet one.

4th: fringing, fringing and fringing again, I had the luck to experience every kind of fringing in all the colors available from red to blue, violet ot green in any kind of light and weather, It seems that this model is not the only one with this problem in the Canon EOS range (up to the FF models).

5th: sharpness or rather the lack of it, as you can see on the samples on this website, at 18 MP, crispness seems not to exist anymore, it looks like the camera applies automatically some sort of softening (NR or else) even when you disable the setting for N in the menu.

Not talking about the strange ways the 550D autofocus (or rather auto un-focus), leaving you with the part of the photo you didn’t want to focus on and the other way around while you did everything to focus properly.

Funny particularity as well is the fact that this camera produce 2 different pictures when you shoot the same scene from the viewfinder and the liveview (while the same settings, aperture, speed, iso,where applied). It does what it wants basically. And as it is the case for all DSLR, don’t expect the picture you see on the LCD screen to be the same perfect one once you see it on a computer screen.

Compare to some advanced compact camera, the 550D couldn’t even compete, even less with cameras like the NEX-5 or 7 from Sony, other models form Panasonic in the same league and certainly not against real DSLR of this category.

Of course as anyone I manged to take also good pictures and acceptable ones with this camera, but I am utterly disappointed and never again will I buy a camera based on reviews that might be biased or simply the copy of other reviews elsewhere.

It’s a pity for Canon, because I will not be tempted to buy another of their product again while they might have very good ones (like the 7D).

So, my next move will be to sell it to some “enthusiast” review monger freak who will certainly jump on the occasion to get this fantastic camera at such a cheap price, not realizing that if it comes so cheap, it is because it’s probably a cheap product.

11:24 pm - Sunday, January 15, 2012

#40 satyam prasad joshi

This machine is amazing.Some of my photo samples you can view on >>

6:47 pm - Thursday, June 14, 2012

#41 Mhan05

I preferred Nikon D3100 and it’s cheaper compared to Canon 550D. Hehehe..

1:33 pm - Wednesday, July 25, 2012

#42 mohit

hey!i am plannin to but a dslr most canon550D budget is abt 40k…wat do u recommened ?

11:01 am - Monday, November 12, 2012

#43 Amol Suryawanshi

Hi Guys, I am planning to buy my first DSLR. my budget is around 35K and 550D its in my range. So Should i goi with it rather that Nikon 3100 ?
Wat you guys will recomend for me in my range ?

Amol Suryawanshi

5:16 pm - Wednesday, November 28, 2012

#44 naveen

I am confused regarding which one to buy ?
Canon 550D or Nikon D5100
please give me a correct idea…......
i use for party photography…

8:25 pm - Wednesday, November 28, 2012

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10:58 am - Friday, March 8, 2013

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, 1080p, 720p, canon, DSLR, digital SLR, 18 megapixel, t2i, digital rebel t2i, 550d, eos 550d, Canon EOS 550D Review