Canon 500D

So practically the next day after my previous post about Canon’s questionable “pixels before sensitivity” strategy they anounced the EOS 500D. This puppy replaces the current 450D as the decent amateur camera in the Canon line-up. The 450 had 12 MP and had decent reviews, but none of them raved about it’s low noise performance, generally describing that aspect as “more than acceptable” or “decent” unlike the introductory model the 1000D which has gained good reviews about it’s noise performance at 1600 ISO. The key difference between these cameras is that the 450D has 12 MP while the 1000D has only 10 MP. There aren’t any reviews out yet, but the new 500D has 15 MP! The sensor is the same APS-C size (too small) that Canon stupidly persist with so what are the chances of people saying that its noise performance is outstanding in a market dominated by excellent Nikon noise figures? This is probably the same (or similar) sensor that they have put in the recent 50D which  has underwhelmed the reviewers in terms of noise performance; my guess is that the noise performance will be similar, but probably not an iprovement on the 450D that it replaces. It might be that the headline MP rating will tempt people more than the Nikon reviews of the D90 which would be the obvious rival, but people buying DSLR’s are wiser than the “herd” who choose one compact over another because of its higher megapixel number, most will not be shooting for billboards, and will want flashless indoor photography unspoiled by noise or aggressive noise reduction. I don’t dislike the higher MP count per se, but only if it comes with improved noise as well. Since Canon won’t turn back its headline MP strategy, our only hope this side of Black Silicon maturing into a usable technology is a BIGGER SENSOR. Are you listening Canon? No, I thought not:-)

Oh, it has video too, that will help it to win market share, but It wouldn’t swing the choice for me.


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  • Sachin

    Hi Matthew,

    Love the website, it really has a great design but honestly it is really hard reading the writing on it because you have black writing on a dark gray background.



  • “Oh, it has video too, that will help it to win market share, but It wouldn’t swing the choice for me.”

    So what would you go for?

    I’ve been using a 30D and fancy an upgrade but not keen on the size of the 500d if it’s the same as the 450.

  • Hi James,
    it’s a real dilemma isn’t it. My feeling is that the 40D and 50D would be the only cameras that will give you the quality feel that you are used to in the 30D. (The bodies are almost the same). The 450D is a good compromise if you don’t mind a plastic body with a smaller handgrip. The 500D sounds OK but it always seems to take Canon bodies a while to stabilise to a sensible price point.

    The 40D is a good solid camera and you can get bargains galore with it since the 50D came out, but the 50D is basically the choice I would make since it has so many little features like the excellent screen and the back/front focus adjustments.

    The camera I would like next doesn’t exist yet; I want a 40/50D sized and styled body, 12 MP or 15MP with a slightly larger sensor. The 50D is the closest they do I suppose.