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Canon have expanded their number of DSLRs to eight with the introduction of the Canon EOS 500D.
Holding the Canon EOS 500D.
Canon EOS 500D: Specifications
- Resolution: 15.1Mp
- Sensor size:22.3 x 14.9mm
- Sensor type: CMOS
- Image size:4752x3168
- Aspect ratio:3:2
- Focus system: TTL-CT-SIR with a CMOS sensor
- Focus points: 9
- Crop factor: 1.6x
- Lens mount: Canon EF/EF-S
- File type: JPEG, RAW
- Sensitivity: ISO100-3200 (expandable to ISO12,800)
- Storage: SDHC
- Focus types: AI Focus, One Shot, AI Servo
- Metering system: TTL full aperture metering with 35-zone SPC
- Metering types: Evaluative, partial, spot, center weighted
- Exposure compensation: +/- 2EV in 1/3 or 1/2 step increments
- Shutter speed: 30-1/4000sec & bulb
- Frames per second: 3.4
- Flash: Built-in (Guide no. 13), external hotshoe
- Flash metering: TTL
- Flash sync speed: 1/200sec
- Image stabilisation: Lens based
- Integrated cleaning: EOS integrated cleaning system
- Live view: Electronic viewfinder with image sensor (approx. 100%)
- Viewfinder: Optical pentamirror type (approx. 95%)
- Monitor: 3in. TFT LCD (920,000dot)
- Interface: USB 2.0
- Power: Li-Ion battery
- Size: 128.8x97.5x61.9mm
- Weight: 480g
After the relative success of the Canon EOS 5D MkII and the 50D it's unsurprising that Canon have released another DSLR to back the range up. The specification is pretty much what was reported on the rumour sites with a 15.1Mp CMOS sensor, although Canon say that the sensor is entirely new despite being the same size and resolution as the 50D.
It also boasts the newest DiG!C IV processor which can run images through onto the memory card at 3.4fps (frames per second). This is the precise number now that CIPA have changed the ruling and allow exact numbering instead of rounding up or down. In the past it meant that 3.9fps was rounded up to four and 3.4fps was rounded down to three.
However, the 500D only runs at 20fps instead of 30fps normally seen in video recording. It means that more information can be recorded onto the SDHC memory card but after using the mode, it doesn't show any of the jerkiness usually associated with less frames per second in video recording.
SD and SDHC cards are accepted by the EOS 500D.
Of course this was before the heady days of live view so it's no surprise that they've changed their mind to keep ahead of the game. I think it shows the attitude of a forward thinking company that is happy to change its mind whenever it needs to.
Canon EOS 500D: Build and handling
This opens up more possibilities as partially sighted photographers can adjust to white on black if it's easier to see. Night photographers can use the green based option so that after an hour in pitch black, the screen isn't too bright spoiling your nicely adjusted eyes.
Sensors have also been placed under the viewfinder to cut out the screen when the camera is raised to the eye. Of course the advent of live-view in DSLRs could remove the need for an optical viewfinder altogether so it's nice to see little bits of technology that still support its existence.
Canon EOS 500D: Performance
Metering has worked well with the backlit Daffodils bringing detail out in the stamen and keeping the translucency of the petals.
The image is sharp going into the distance until the mist works it's evil and blurs out the background.
Using flash has only added a slight amount of light filling in the shadowy areas from the previous image and creating catchlights for the eyes.
This Robin was difficult to shoot and this was a lucky shot.
Canon EOS 500D detail RAW image
I took the opportunity on one of our nicer days this year to visit Shire Brook Valley wildlife sanctuary on the outskirts of Sheffield. There were minimal creatures flitting about so I had to concentrate on the Ducks and a Robin.
A Coot and Little Grebe kept making brief appearances but were too shy to come close enough for me to get a decent shot despite using a 400mm lens.
I wanted to include this calmer shot as I think it looks like the Duck in front is getting an earful.
This female was getting harassed by the males, it is spring after all, and when it took off I got this great action shot.
Canon EOS 500D: Noise test
With an expandable sensitivity of up to ISO12800, the Canon EOS 500D starts off very well with no noise showing at all in any area of the image. I'm a stickler for good noise control and I think the camera controls it very well all the way to ISO6400. It is noticeable from around ISO1600 but it's easily tolerable until the final true setting and artefacts start to creep in with some purple blotches.
The RAW versions of ISO100 and ISO12800 can be downloaded from our download area by clicking on the appropriate link.
Canon EOS 500D ISO100 RAW file
Canon EOS 500D ISO12800 RAW file
The ISO100 test.
The ISO200 test.
The ISO400 test.
The ISO800 test.
The ISO1600 test.
The ISO3200 test.
The ISO6400 test.
The ISO12800 test.
In a more realistic situation, I took an image of this beautiful Rottweiler out for her morning stroll. It was shot at ISO400 and shows artefacts in low key areas. Metering has coped nicely with the harsh contrast between the dog and surroundings as it was a lovely sunny day.
If you're wondering about the white stripe on her head, it was slobber.
I would like to express my thanks to the owner of the dog who allowed me permission to publish this image.
||DxOMark provides objective, independent, RAW-based image quality performance data for lenses and digital cameras to help you select the best equipment to meet your photographic needs.
Visit the DxOMark website for tests performed on the Canon EOS 500D.
Canon EOS 500D: Verdict
With the incredible advancements Canon made with the EOS 5D MkII, they've certainly given themselves a head start when it comes to the future technology. Noise control is excellent on the EOS 500D as is colour rendition and its ability to cope with different styles of photography.
That latter point is important in a lower end camera as it's likely to be bought by all sorts of photographers who may or may not have developed a style or favourite genre.
Canon EOS 500D: Plus points
Easy to use
Full HD video
Good noise performance
Nice colour rendition
Canon EOS 500D: Minus points
Price is high pre-release
Live-view focusing is slow
See the video review of the Canon EOS 500D here:
Canon EOS 500D video review
The Canon EOS 500D will be available with an RRP of £869.99 body only, £969.99 with the 18-55mm lens and £1399.99 with the 18-200mm lens.
Take a look at Warehouse express here:
Canon EOS 500D
Read the Canon EOS 500D news release: Canon EOS 500D