Canon has unveiled its latest edition of its popular consumer DSLR line: the EOS 500D, with high definition video recording.
The new model delivers many features which were previously
available only in high-end Canon models, including a 15.1 megapixel CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 4 Imaging Processor which introduces high definition video recording up to 1920x1080px at 20fps, recorded directly into Quicktime H.264 format.
Unlike the Nikon D90, which caused a stir by being the first DSLR to take video footage, the 500D will be able to autofocus while shooting a video -- however, the autofocus is still inferior to a camcorder, because the camera increases the contrast in the shot for a second to get a focus lock, and this is recorded as part of the video stream.
The new DSLR is equipped with a nine-point Autofocus system and a whopping 3-inch Clear View LCD with 920,000 pixels, which makes previewing shots much easier than on the grainy old 230,000 pixel screens.
The DIGIC 4 Imaging Processor features 14-bit analog-to-digital conversion and is able to process and produce HD video. When capturing HD the camera captures 1080p at 20 frames pre second, or if you want a full 30fps frame rate, you can step down to 720p.
The HD video capture is part of the camera’s Live View feature. You can capture an entire 12 minutes in full HD in .mov format -- which is when the camera reaches the 4GB video file size limit. With an HDMI output you can quickly and easily display HD movies on your television. The camera is capable of shooting 3.4 frames per second up to 170 JPEG images in a single click. Also offered are ISO speeds ranging from 100 to 3,200 in whole-stop increments.
The camera will begin shipping in two configurations in early May. Australian pricing hasn't yet been announced, but in the US, a body only kit will retail for $US799 ($1164 -- though experience tells us that's more likely to translate to about $1396). A body plus 18-55mm lens kit two will cost $US899 ($1310, or $1572 at our best guess pricing).
Pics below are of the "Rebel t1i" which is the US name for the EOS 500D.