Canon EOS 550D at a glance:

  • 18 million effective pixels
  • Live View on 3in, 1,040,000-dot LCD screen
  • 1920x1080pixel (Full HD) video recording
  • Sensitivity range expandable to ISO 100-12,800
  • Street price approximately £750

I was very impressed with the Canon EOS 7D when I tested it in AP 7 November 2009, and it seems I wasn’t alone in this view as AP forum members voted it their Product of the Year at the 2010 AP Awards. Subsequent investigations have also confirmed that even though it has a smaller APS-C-format sensor, it can really give the full-frame EOS 5D Mark II a run for its money.

So when Mike Owen, Canon Europe’s photo products planning manager, came to the AP offices to give us an exclusive preview of the Canon EOS 550D, a camera billed as a ‘baby EOS 7D’, he had my full attention. A camera that has the same 18-million pixel count and much of the same technology as the EOS 7D for almost £500 less could be as attractive to enthusiast photographers as it is to the novices at which it is primarily aimed.

In this test, as well as putting the Canon EOS 550D through its paces, I’ll look at how it compares with Canon’s top-of-the-range APS-C-format EOS 7D, which is pitched squarely at enthusiast photographers.

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