Canon have announced a new entry-level camera, the 550D, sporting a 18MP 1.6 crop sensor very similar to the mid-range 7D but in a smaller, less robust package.
Key features include:
- 18 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
- DIGIC 4 processor with ISO 100-6400 (Expansion to 12800)
- Continuous shooting at 3.7fps
- Full HD movie recording with manual control and selectable frame rates
- 7.7cm (3.0”) 3:2 Clear View LCD with 1,040k dots
- iFCL metering System with 63-zone Dual-layer Metering Sensor
- Quick Control screen to change shooting settings
- Exposure compensation +/-5 stops.
- Select maximum value for Auto ISO
- External Microphone socket
- Movie crop function
Key differences from the 7D appear to be:
- Entry level plastic body - no rear control dial and not weather sealed
- Frame rate of 3.7 fps instead of 7 fps
- Built-in pop up flash cannot act as a master controller for off-camera speedlites
- 9-point autofocus system borrowed from the 30D, rather than the new system from the 7D.
However, for those looking to get into DSLR movie making on a budget, this would look like an excellent choice, featuring the same full 1080 video in 30/25/24 FPS as the much more expensive 7D. More info at Canon with opinion over at Rob Galbraith and DP Review. For the video perspective see Phillip Bloom.