Canon EOS 550D Digital SLR Camera - Advice Please.

Started by D306Whistler, May 20, 2011, 04:10:39 PM

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Hello everyone,

I am planning to get a Canon EOS 550D Digital SLR camera next month as my birthday is in the first week of June. I have never owned a Canon DSLR before, so I am asking how good is this camera and does anyone here own this camera? If so, can you please share your experience of it as this will be a big investment for me and I am planning to use it to photograph trains and planes mainly. I also want to get some high-res shots of the Airbus A380's when they are coming into land :).

I look forward to your replies on this camera and any advice is appreciated thank you! :thumbsup:.

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My Flickr Transport & Model Railway Gallery!

If you say "pls" because its shorter than "please", I will say "no" because its shorter than "yes" :P.


I've heard that it's the best in it's class, and is a good entry level DSLR.  If you want hi-res shots of planes, then you will need to learn how to use RAW instead of JPEG (as this is where this camera loses quality), and make sure you get a good lens for it.  To be honest though, I should think it's perfect.  And the HD movie function is great.


Like Tank I've heard its a very good entry level DSLR.  I got a Canon EOS 50D a few years ago which was my first DSLR and I adore it (its full body rather than compact like the 550D) You'll have a blast I'm sure.  I think its an 18Mp camera which is more than you'll ever need, and the HD video seems to be great (and better than the older 50D)

Can't wait to see any pictures you take with it!



you can trust Canon !!!

but the Panasonic TZ 6/7/8 has a superb zoom and fits in yer pocket...

and is ££££ cheaper!!


Thanks for the info folks, I am now looking forward to getting this camera. When it arrives, I shall do a unboxing video of it ;).
Check out my YouTube channel here
My Flickr Transport & Model Railway Gallery!

If you say "pls" because its shorter than "please", I will say "no" because its shorter than "yes" :P.


ZUNNAN -I would recommend buying an extra SD card and spare battery when you get the camera. I've been caught out a couple of times with full SD cards and a flat battery before, usually because I've left the spare on charge and not checked the battery I've taken out with me, and its annoying when it happens!

That got me thinkling coz I also have a 400d and have never had to worry about filling it up, So I checked the card and remembered that it is an 8gb card I got from ebay really cheap when I first had the camera. As I always use direct download from the camera, I never have to take the card out so forgot what was in it. I know that I can get an enormous amout of pics on it even at highest res.
I also will not replace until it dies, and considering the abuse it gets, that may be a long way off yet. Canon make great cameras and IMO the best value for money available. But who cares what I thionk anyway ? :NGAUGE:


Go for it! I recently upgraded to the 550D from a 350D and am really pleased with the results. Picture file size is on average around 6MB so you can fit a lot onto an 8GB card - do make sure though it is a "heavy duty" type card rather than just a basic sort (will be more expensive, but if you are chasing planes or trains it will pay off as the images are less likely to become corrupted.
As far as use goes, it is fairly intuitive. I am used to a Canon layout, but I think you will find your way around in a fairly short time. The joy is that there is a fully automatic setting (shown by a green rectangle on the selector dial), as well as several pre-set modes which is handy. However, there is another automatic setting, (A) which gives a little more flexibility as far as the settings go so that you can, for example, tailor the shutter speed or the aperture to the situation you are in. Using some of the pther settings enables you to go even further.
I am very impressed by the capability to shoot in low light situations, it can automatically compensate for such a situation. As far as JPEG v RAW goes, I am very happy with the quality of the JPEG images from it, they would be fine printed out at A4 size, and you would probably be OK printing them out to A3 size, if that is what you wanted to do, so I don't think the print resolution will be an issue.
I agree about getting a spare battery - although mine has lasted me for a 3 day visit taking in excess of 300 photos and very little wear on the battery. However, it is always useful to have a spare, just in case, as they say. I think it is wise to also get a spare card too, if you can stretch to it. However, I think that the lens is the most important  tool. Try to get the best you can. I know from my research that it comes, in some kits at least, with an 18-55 mm lens as standard. This will probably do for the close up work, but may not have enough magnification for distance work, especially the plane spotting. If budget allows, I would recommend just getting the 550 body and then buying a good wideangle/zoom lens, I use an 18mm-200mm lens which covers most eventualities without having to change it. I would also strongly recommend getting a lens with image stabilisation - it is amazing what it can cope with and still produce a sharp image.
All in all, I think it is a great DSLR, I am sure you will enjoy using it!

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