Canon EOS 500D – 15.1 MP plus HD video

Received from Canon press office today: United Kingdom / Republic of Ireland, 25 March 2009: Canon announces the new 15.1MP EOS 500D which offers photographers an outstanding combination of features. Following the launch of the first Canon EOS camera to shoot movies – the EOS 5D Mark II in September 2008 – Canon now brings Full High Definition (HD) video capability to consumers in a compact and lightweight DSLR.

The new EOS 500D features a 15.1 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor – ideal for large detailed prints or enormous cropping possibilities. For shooting in near-dark conditions, the EOS 500D offers a high ISO sensitivity up to 3200 which is expandable to 12800, giving photographers the power to shoot in the dimmest light conditions. Outstanding noise reduction is made possible by Canon’s DIGIC 4 processor.

The EOS 500D heralds a new way for photography enthusiasts to capture their world. It pairs outstanding still image capture with Full HD 1080P video recording. For longer video shoots, users can also choose lower shooting resolutions of 720P or VGA. A built-in HDMI connection allows easy and instant review of images and movie clips on any compatible HDTV.

Download the EOS 500D Specification Sheet PDF

Download EOS 500D Technologies Explained PDF

Every detail revealed
Exacting image preview and review is provided by a 3.0” Clear View LCD screen.The same screen as used on the acclaimed 5D Mark II, it features a 920,000 dot count – for ultra-detailed image review, accurate focus checks, and clear access to the EOS menu system. As well as aiding shooting from awkward angles, Live View mode includes contrast based and Face Detection AF options. Ideal for newcomers to digital SLR photography, these allow compact-camera style auto focus, with a real-time image displayed on the LCD.

Fast processing, fast focusing
Canon’s DIGIC 4 processor drives continuous shooting speeds of up to 3.4 fps in bursts of up to 170 JPEGs (Figure may vary depending on capacity of SD card used). Using Canon’s wide area AF system – which features 9 individual sensors, including a central cross type point with a high precision sensor for f/2.8 or faster lenses– makes capturing split-second action sequences possible.

DIGIC 4 works in conjunction with the CMOS sensor to deliver exceptional noise reduction and 14-bit image processing for smooth gradation of tones and natural-looking colours. In addition, DIGIC 4 enables the ultra-fast start-up times and near-instant image review after shooting that photographers demand.

Distinctive EOS quality
Despite its compact, lightweight body, the EOS 500D includes all the hallmarks of the EOS system. Every detail of the EOS 500D – from the large, bright viewfinder to the famously intuitive EOS menu system – is designed to provide users with a world-class shooting experience.

Image quality is protected by the EOS Integrated Cleaning System, which reduces, repels and removes unwanted dust from the sensor. Stubborn particles can be easily removed in post-production by using Dust Delete Data – which can be added to the image in-camera – and Canon’s included Digital Photo Professional software.

Digital Photo Professional software offers a comprehensive RAW editing package, with functions such as a quick check tool, a cropping tool, and a stamp tool – plus the ability to change brightness, White Balance and Picture Styles in RAW images. The software suite is included with EOS Utility and Picture Style Editor for unrivalled versatility.

Compatibility with the full range of Canon’s EF and EF-S lenses and EX-series Speedlites – including the exceptionally compact, powerful new Speedlite 270EX, which features a bounce and zoom head, plus fast recharging from just 2 AA sized batteries – allows the creation of a shooting system as unique as the photographer using it.

“The EOS 500D pushes the boundaries of what photographers can demand from their cameras, combining exceptional images with full HD video,” said Rainer Fuehres, Head of Canon Consumer Imaging, Europe. “Photography enthusiasts can now capture their most significant moments in a manner that matches their creativity.”

Any Canon photographer can register for the CANON iMAGE GATEWAY service, which allows access to the latest EOS information, useful updates and exclusive EOS content – plus tools that allow users to create their own video podcasts and store images online.

Pricing and availability:

The EOS 500D (body only) is available from early May 2009 priced at £869.99 / €999.99 RRP inc. VAT.

The EOS 500D EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Kit is available from early May 2009 priced at £969.99 / €1139.99 RRP inc. VAT.

The EOS 500D EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Kit is available from early May 2009 priced at £1399.99 / €1639.99 RRP inc. VAT.

Features at a glance:

* 15.1 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
* Full HD movie recording with HDMI connection for viewing and playback on an HDTV
* ISO 100-3200 (expandable to 12800)
* 3.4 frames per second continuous shooting
* Max. 170 large JPEG images in a single burst
* 3.0” ClearView LCD with Live View mode
* 9-point wide area AF with cross type centre point
* High speed DIGIC 4 performance and superb image quality
* EOS Integrated Cleaning System
* Full compatibility with Canon EF and EF-S lenses and EX-series Speedlites, including new Speedlite 270EX, TS-E 17mm f/4L and the TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II.

Editor’s note: in the technical spec sheet, it is revealed that the HD movie function at full 1080p is limited to 20 frames per second. The standard rates for HDTV are 24fps (US) or 25fps (Europe) with a common standard of shooting at 30fps (EOS 5D MkII) supported for the highest quality motion. Since the 500D does not support 30fps unless reduced to 720p (which Canon refers to as ‘HD Ready’), this aspect of the camera will fall short of some expectations. The reduction in frame rate for sequences to a little better than half the rate of the 50D will also disappoint some. However, these limitations leave the way clear for a 60D with all the features of the 50D – glass prism finder, 6.3fps shooting, etc – and a true 1080p 24fps or better video mode.


4 thoughts on “Canon EOS 500D – 15.1 MP plus HD video

  1. I believe HD video is a fun thing to have, however, if I wanted video, I would purchase a video camera. I enjoy taking still photos. I would not want video as partof my camera equipment for it is just one more item to go wrong. It would provide no useful purpose. I hope Sony does not incorperate this item into their DSLRs. I, for one, would not want to see this happen.

    Bob Waters

  2. Sorry but you are wrong – Video in a stills camera is an amazing concept simply because of the lenses available (and the quality and style they will yield) – I am in broadcast video and the possibilities are awesome – Not sure about the 500D I think I may have to go for the 5D mkii – From a professional who knows – video on DSLR YES YES YES! It is early days but this is definitely a good thing!

  3. “f I wanted video, I would purchase a video camera”

    Heh. Concept: Depth of Field
    Because of the great lenses on an SLR, you can get better video from this camera than from your average video camera at the same price range.

    for example, or