Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Canon EOS 500D

Canon has unveiled its latest model, the Rebel T1i (500D). It's the fifth generation of Rebel and enters the market at a difficult time - in the midst of a global economic downturn and against the fiercest competition we've ever seen in the entry-level DSLR sector. So what has Canon done to make this latest model in the longest-established family in the sector live up to the edgy and exciting image implied by its US naming?

The 500D/T1i doesn't quite have to be the everyman camera that its predecessors were. The introduction of the Rebel XS (1000D) in June 2008 means the T1i no longer has to appeal to everybody who doesn't want to stretch to buying into the 50D class. As a result, the 450D was able to bulk up its feature set to include a selection of features that price-conscious shoppers don't necessarily realize they want, such as a larger viewfinder and spot metering. The result was probably the most complete Rebel we'd seen.

  • Higher resolution sensor (15.1 vs 12.2 effective megapixels)
  • Extended ISO range up to ISO 12800
  • HD video capability
  • New 3.0 inch 920K pixels screen
  • Adjustable noise reduction and highlight tone priority
  • Face Detection in Live View
  • Peripheral Illumination Correction
  • HDMI output
  • Larger buffer in continuous shooting
  • Digic 4 style menu design

There's a full explanation of the differences between the 500D/T1i and it predecessor on the coming pages but, in general terms, it's a gentle re-working of the 450D. So you get the 15MP sensor much like the one that appears in the 50D, helping this to become the first entry-level DSLR to feature video (and 1080p HD video at that). You also get the lovely 920,000 dot VGA monitor that has been slowly working its way down most manufacturer's DSLR line-ups. There are a handful of other specification tweaks that come from the use of the latest Digic 4 processor but essentially this is most of a 50D stuffed into the familiar 450D body.


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