I have the EOS 500D with me for quite a while already but just before I decided to publish the review, news came about of the EOS 550D – so instead of an EOS 500D review, I thought I’d do a review of both of them with some comparison done. 😀
For product details, do visit the official product page.
I’ll just skip the front view part since we all know they actually looked similar. We’ll jump to the finer details over their differences.
This is the body for the EOS series, it’s been like that for many years. Even my 350D looks like that. EOS on top, 500D at the bottom.
With the 550D, the words EOS 550D are placed together at the upper area. The body is sculpted in a way that it has a smooth curve leading to the lens. It’s a subtle change but I like it a lot. If you’re using the battery grip, the curved nature of the mount reduces the area around the tightening dials..
Now for the back view – nice eh? The 550D is on the one on top. The blue-ish reflection is the coating on LCD, I faced the same on the Legria HF S11 as well. For the 500D, I’m pretty sure it’s the same. It’s not bluish here because there’s a GGS screen protector on it already.
The 550D uses a 3:2 ratio LCD while the 500D uses a 4:3 ratio LCD. At maximum brightness, the 550D seems to be a lot brighter.
The 500D has glossy, rounded and protruding buttons with labels indicating the function, the Live View / Record Video button is under the AV button. The camera’s Quick Control menu is accessible via the SET button. The buttons for the 550D are much better, they’re now flat and are made of the same material as the body. As you can see the placement is still the same, just that the shape is different. Note how the PLAY button and Q buttons are curved to match the interface / quick access buttons.
Q button? Yes, the Quick Control button is where 550D users access the quick menu, a dedicated button for that now. I was using the 500D prior to the 550D and I was a lost on how to access the quick menu since pressing SET doesn’t do anything. I didn’t try the Q button because I thought it might explode……….. haha, no la, it’s more like I never thought of it, furthermore I was in the dark and didn’t notice it. Referred to the manual and “oohhhh I seeeeee”.
On the Quick Control, there’s now the ALO (Auto Lighting Optimizer) indicator as well.
With the Q button now placed at the area under AV button, Live View / Record Movie button is now placed just next to the viewfinder – AWESOME move. If you’re a 500D user, you’ll know how you need to move your thumb around 70 degrees to access that button. With 550D, it’s at pretty much the natural location of your right thumb would be when holding the camera.
The mode dial has improved too. On the EOS 500D the mode dial has tiny groves and a squarish edge that’s not that comfortable to turn. On the 550D, the dial is now of a softer feel (somewhat rubber like) with bigger single grooves and the dial itself now has a more friendly angle. Lovely!
Top view, you’ll see that the mode dial is silver for the 500D but it is now back to black color in the 550D. Slight difference in the ON / OFF switch location and the lines on the pop-up flash.