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
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
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?
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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