This is probably what everyone’s most interested in.
Just mouse over to see the difference, the images from 550D seems to have better contrast, despite same settings for all …..
ISO1600 | f/5.6 | 1/25
ISO3200 | f/5.6 | 1/50
ISO6400 | f/5.6 | 1/100
ISO12800 | f/5.6 | 1/200
430EX II in E-TTL mode. 550D images resized to 500D’s resolution for easier comparison.
Lovely isn’t it? Both have great ISO control on ISO1600 and ISO3200 but the 550D outshines the 500D in ISO6400 and ISO12800 by far and it looks pretty usable too. Notice how the 550D doesn’t have the random white specs on the darker area at higher ISO range.
There’s no reason to shy away from pumping ISO. 🙂 Even at ISO6400, the 500D’s image is usually usable when resized.
Burst Mode Tests
I thought it’ll be fun to know how these 2 compare in terms of burst mode, and also viewing their writing speed over a Class 4 SDHC card.
For this test, I set the ISO to 12800 – that makes the file size really big. 😀 The shooting mode was set to and burst up to 10 frames.
Don’t get the video wrong people, in actual usage of lower ISO – both cameras do bursts of 10 easily. The 550D is slightly behind the 500D, not surprising since the 18MP RAW file would surely take longer time to write compared to 500D’s 15MP.
Next up, Large JPG. That’s 18MP vs 15MP.
The 550D seems to settle the task faster.
We try Medium JPG next, that’s 8MP for both.
Again, the 550D was faster. A LOT faster in fact.
Besides the 3.7 FPS burst on 550D against the 3.4 FPS burst on 500D, I believe something was improved on the 550D that it performed fast despite the increased megapixel.
SDHC Card Issues
Someone on Facebook approached me about the 550D video recording issue, he was using a Sandisk 4GB Class 2 card and he couldn’t even record 1920×1080 25fps video for more than 4 seconds.
I thought it odd so I gave my Kingston 4GB Class 2 card a try, in this case it’s a MicroSD with adapter.
And here’s the video recorded.
Looks fine. 😀 Well not exactly, there is some slight flaw in the video which I suspect due to the nature the Class 2 medium.
What about Class 4? Here’s a video recorded with Class 4 card.
Subtle jerking frames here and there. In the end, while both Class 2 and Class 4 cards are usable – they’re not for you if you want jerk-free 1080p videos.
From my experience, 720p (1280×720) works fine as the 1080p videos are the one pushing the limit.
So from what I gathered from my own tests and a bit of research over the Internet, the video recording issue (eg, record for a few seconds and coming to a halt) is not due the camera but due to the card.
There are people with Class 4 or higher cards with brands like Sandisk and Transcend that couldn’t record more than a few seconds while my Sandisk Class 2 recorded for a really long time. I currently have the Sandisk 4GB Class 2 MicroSD as seen on the video, and also a Kingston 4GB Class 4 SDHC and Toshiba 16GB Class 10 SDHC that works just fine.