Canon EOS 500D

EOS 500D is the latest addition to Canon’s entry-level SLR lineup and sits on top of the 450D but below the mid-range 50D SLR

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Canon EOS 500D
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By  Jason Saundalkar Published  August 17, 2009

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Key Specs

Display: 3-inch
Lens included: 18 - 55mm
Live View compatible: Y
Memory type: SD / SDHC
Price: $1,116

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The EOS 500D is the latest addition to Canon’s entry-level SLR lineup and sits on top of the 450D but below the mid-range 50D SLR. The camera is also designed to compete against Nikon’s D5000.

In terms of look and design the 500D is similar to the 450D and as a result the camera is very easy to grip and shoot with, regardless of how big or small your hands are. The buttons and controls are spread across the body intuitively and are labeled well too, so you’ll never find yourself hunting for a particular button. In this respect the 500D differs from its predecessors because Canon has moved some of the buttons slightly but, thankfully, these changes have helped make the camera easier to work with. The camera isn’t too heavy either, so shooting even with long, heavier lenses won’t prove too tiring if you don’t have a tripod (we recommend a tripod if you intend to shoot distant subjects or opt for long shutter timings).

This Canon features a 3-inch LCD screen and it supports ‘Live View mode’, which means you can shoot by using the LCD screen or, more traditionally for a SLR, using the viewfinder. The LCD screen is bright and offer great colour accuracy so you can shoot using the screen even if it’s mid-day. That said the screen did get slightly washed out but thankfully you can easily switch to the viewfinder to have an unobstructed view of your subject. As far as viewing is concerned the 500D’s LCD accurately represents captures, so you can rest assured the images you see will be almost the same as when you download them onto your PC.

This SLR features a 15.1-megapixel CMOS sensor and this coupled with the DIGIC 4 processor gives it a variety of features. The first of course is the camera’s stratospheric maximum image resolution of 4752 x 3168 pixels; with such a high resolution you can easily print to A3 or larger size paper without worry. The new processor and its image correction abilities also help to make this EOS quite competent when shooting with high ISO sensitivities.

The camera’s ISO range goes up to 3200 though it can be expanded to 12800 for extreme low-light captures. Testing the camera’s ISO capabilities we found that the upper limit for this was the 1600 setting. At this setting we noticed slight noise though the picture was still useable. Opting for the higher 3200 setting we noticed a lot of noise that made the picture unsuitable for small or large scale prints or crops.

Over our testing period we found the camera quite responsive to work with, though it isn’t as fast as the slightly higher-end but cheaper 40D. Still, unless you’re performing extremely quick photography work where every second counts we think the 500D is more that capable.

In terms of video captures the camera is fully-featured as you can shoot at three different resolutions; 1920 x 1280, 1280 x 720 or 640 x 480 pixels. The quality of our captures was reasonable with the supplied kit lens and, with a better lens in place, we’re sure quality will improve. One issue we noticed was that the camera’s captures at 1920 x 1280 pixels had visible jitter and the only way to get rid of it was to lower the capture resolution to 1280 x 720p (HD). The 500D could also do with a microphone input port for situations when the built-in mic isn’t enough for audio capture.

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