The Canons of Navarone

A very tasty camera indeed.

Something interesting has happened in the world of photography: Canon currently have two cameras on the market, at basically exactly the same price point. The Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i) costs £705 in the UK and $799 in the US, whilst the Canon EOS 50D costs £726 / $850.

Shop around further afield than Amazon, and the prices are so similar that they are practically identically priced. Which is a curious and interesting situation. The question, then, is as follows: You will buy one of them, but which one would you choose?  


Comparing the specs

When you compare the specifications side by side (made a lot easier by using dpreview’s fantastic side-by-side comparison tool of the two cameras), there ain’t much between them. The 50D is slightly faster, the 550D has a slightly better screen and higher resolution.

Some would argue that the 550D makes more sense because I have the memory cards already (HD/SD), but the 550D generates massive files, and I probably have to buy new, bigger memory cards anyway, so that point is moot.

In favour of the 550D

A very tasty camera indeed.

The 550D has a full-HD movie mode, which isn’t something I generally look for in a stills camera, but I have seen some beautiful results, and I’m tempted to give it a go.

The 50D doesn’t have particularly good high-ISO results in some tests, which is a downer, while the 550D appears to have inherited the absolutely epic low-light skills from the 7D camera.

Resolution means nothing, and the difference between 15 or 18 megapixels is practically non-existent. Having said that, having a little bit higher resolution can’t harm, but the key thing is that imaging chips in general are slowly getting better – seeing what the 7D has been able to do with a ‘very similar’ imaging chip, I’m leaning towards the 550D based on its innards

In favour of the 50D

A very tasty camera indeed.

I’ve owned many cameras in the xxD series in the past – the 60D, 10D, 20D, 30D, and 40D have all been in my possession at some point, and I trust Canon to do a good job on it. They’re a lot more solidly built than the xxxD series, so that’s a huge advantage if you mistreat your camera (which I generally don’t).

The 50D is also faster in general: It starts faster, it takes photos in continuous mode faster, etc.

What would you do?


So, the 550D and the 50D cost practically the same, and have different advantages. Which one would you buy?

View Results

It’s an interesting (and fiercely difficult) choice to have to make; choosing between these two, very similar-yet-different cameras. I know which one I am leaning towards, but I’m very curious to hear what you would choose – and why. Vote above, comment below, make it good!

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