There are a few 550D (aka Rebel T2i) reviews out there, notably Nino Leitner’s article, but as a professional user in video production I might be able to add some points that are valid for the EVERYDAY business.
FYI: I do not have any vested interest in any of the products mentioned.
For all of you out there who know the 5D or the 7D, yes it does feel flimsy. It doesn’t have the heavy reassurance of its bigger relatives. The buttons are where you’d expect them. There is no LCD display on top and so far I haven’t missed it.
If you mount it onto any box (like the Shape Chameleon) in order to raise it comfortably to your eyes even for tripod use, keep in mind that the batterie door opens to the bottom.
I cut out the necessary gap in my Shape box, which doesn’t seem to present any issues for the stability since the camera doesn’t weigh much even with a bigger lens.
Now I can leave it mounted and can change batteries.
Batterie life greatly improves when you turn the image stabilizer that your lens might have to OFF.
The manual states batterie life at room temperature to be around 1.5 hours, so far I’ve gotten at least that. A bonus is of course that those batteries used for the 550D are not incredibly expensive, so there aren’t too many excuses for not having enough.
What’s with the recording limit? The limit is 4GB or 12 min of HD footage. It seems to be solely a software issue stemming from the Fat32 file format and Canon’s de-interest in solving the issue. It requires linking of the chunks to create one file. Practically that means after 12 min there will be a 10 second break and then you hit the button again.
Zacuto Z Finder
The Z Finder makes life way easier. Better focussing, no light distractions. I find that I have to move around in the eyepiece a bit to actually see the whole screen – the recording marker in the top right corner is peripheral vision if you’re focused on the centre. It just takes some getting used to.
Never, ever try to record quality audio with this camera. There are no firmware upgrades or third party improvements on the horizon yet to manually control the audio. At the moment, it is auto gain control and no levels.
I’ve bought the new Zoom H4n field recorder with XLR inputs to get good audio.
The Bottom Line
It’s amazing what you can get with this C$ 850 body. Put some decent glass in front and you’re styling.
What’s To Come
Review of the Shape Chameleon for DSLRs and video cameras. Stay tuned!
Thank you for your time and I hope that you’ve found this helpful. Fell free to leave comments!