I’ve had my 500D for 3 months now and I have to admit, I have been very impressed with this camera!
I bought the 500D to be a temporary “Gap camera” while switching back to Canon after a brief switch over to Nikon after my bad experience with the 50D and 5DMkII which both didn’t impress me all that much (Especially the 50D which still leaves me with bitter memories) I decided I would get a 500D to keep me busy until the 50D’s replacement was announced, or something better came along.
Most people associate the 500D to be a cheap entry level camera that’s really capable of anything beyond being a beginners camera, this isn’t true! I’ve found the 500D to be a pleasure to work with over the last 3 months and it is definitely capable of taking fantastic photos (You can see allot of examples throughout my folio).
The camera is very light weight, and paired up with the 18-55 IS or a small prime, makes a great travel/day trip camera when you don’t want to carry around big heavy lenses. The kit lenses (Both 18-55 IS and 55-250 IS) perform well on the 500D, but the sensor really shines when a prime or a L lens is used!
Picture quality is good, nice colours and lots of detail. The high ISO performance from the 500D’s sensor is much better then what I was getting from my 50D, and my lenses don’t turn to mush with the 500D’s sensor (Even the kit lenses perform well). My good sharp L lenses were very soft and out resolved when used on my 50D. I have been very impressed at how good the picture quality is from the 500D, it’s a shame Canon didn’t use this sensor in the 50D.
The rear LCD screen has been a joy to work with. The 500D doesn’t have a top LCD found in the models above the 500D, but all your settings are displayed on the rear screen, and can be turned off to save battery power when not needed. One feature I like from the 500D that the other cameras I’ve owned didn’t have is a timer on the rear LCD when shooting bulb exposures (Can be turned off to save battery power though). On the Canon top LCD screen, it was hard to read the timer at night (The light goes out after a few seconds, unlike on a Nikon body where you can turn the top screen light on permanently). I like the timer on the rear of the camera, so I can see the exposure time while shooting in Bulb mode and have found it handy.
The autofocus has been reliable, even in low light conditions and I haven’t really had to many issues with it’s performance.
The video quality is good, but not really a big fan on how Canon have put the video mode into the “Basic zone” and since I shoot in Manual mode, I have to turn the mode wheel right around to switch to video (Why couldn’t Canon made the mode wheel turn 360 degrees?) the lack of manual video controls is a bit of a let down for me (I like to shoot in manual and make my own adjustment to shutter speed and aperture) so I haven’t really used the video mode that much.
The only real negative thing I could say about the 500D would be the dimmer viewfinder then I’ve been use to. It is still better then the earlier Canon’s I’ve used though!
Overall, It’s a great camera for anyone that is just starting out, or looking at upgrading from a older model.
I am now having a tough time deciding if I will sell the 500D to upgrade to the new EOS 7D which is the camera I’ve been looking for! All the things I liked from my Nikon’s, in a Canon body! LOL
You can read My Canon EOS 500D Mini Review Part I Here