Canon 550D

Canon EOS 550D front
  • 18MP - APS-C Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 100 - 6400 (Increase to 12800)
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • Canon EF/EF-S Mount
  • 530g - 129 x 98 x 62mm
  • Introduced April 2010
  • Also Known as EOS Rebel T2i / EOS Kiss X4
  • Earlier Model is Canon 500D
  • Updated by Canon 600D
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Lenses
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Canon 550D summary

Canon 550D is Canon's Entry-Level DSLR digital camera first introduced on April of 2010. The camera includes a 18MP, CMOS APS-C size sensor with a full resolution of 5184 x 3456. The camera is known as "EOS Rebel T2i / EOS Kiss X4" in other regions.

Canon launched this model in an effort to replace the earlier Canon 500D (Read Full Comparison) and then launched the more recent Canon 600D (Read Full Comparison) to update this camera.

The 550D places at #40 out of 80 in Entry-Level DSLR cameras and over all #319 out of 1465 for digital cameras in our list. Please try out our Smart camera search to see camera listings based on your personalized requirements.

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The following is a graph of multiple factors used in the rating system.

Canon 550D history

The Canon 550D is part of a family of cameras. You can view the detailed list below.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Canon-EOS-750d front thumbnailCanon 750D
550D vs 750D
24MPAPS-C5.0 fps2015
Canon-EOS-700D front thumbnailCanon 700D
550D vs 700D
18MPAPS-C5.0 fps2013
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Canon-EOS-650D front thumbnailCanon 650D
550D vs 650D
18MPAPS-C5.0 fps2012
Canon-EOS-600D front thumbnailCanon 600D
550D vs 600D
18MPAPS-C4.0 fps2011
Canon-EOS-550D front thumbnailCanon 550D18MPAPS-C4.0 fps2010
Canon-EOS-500D front thumbnailCanon 500D
550D vs 500D
15MPAPS-C3.0 fps2009
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Canon-EOS-450D front thumbnailCanon 450D
550D vs 450D
12MPAPS-C4.0 fps2008
Canon-EOS-400D front thumbnailCanon 400D
550D vs 400D
10MPAPS-C3.0 fps2006
Canon-EOS-350D front thumbnailCanon 350D
550D vs 350D
8MPAPS-C3.0 fps2005
Canon-EOS-300D front thumbnailCanon 300D
550D vs 300D
6MPAPS-C3.0 fps2003

Canon 550D Pros and Cons

Here is a collection of pros and cons of the Canon 550D based on aspects that are typically regarded as important in a digital camera.

comes with HDMI port
comes with mic port
decent sensor resolution (18MP)
delivers RAW formats
flash built-in
focusing manually
good sensor size (APS-C)
high res video (1920 x 1080 resolution)
pretty good screen size (3 inches)
screen has good resolution (1,040 k dot)
supports face detect focusing
supports phase detect AF
swap lenses (Canon EF/EF-S mount)
very good minimum ISO (100)
bad battery life (470 shots)
does not contain selfie friendly screen
does not have headphone port
does not have Time Lapse recording
no image stabilization
screen is fixed
slow continuous shooting (4.0 frames/s)
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Canon 550D Sensor information

The Canon 550D features the Digic 4 processor. The specification of the sensor in the Canon 550D is 22.3mm x 14.9mm (APS-C). The 332 mm² sensor can capture 5184 x 3456 pixels using aspect ratios of 3:2.

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The CMOS sensor boasts 18MP and features a standard ISO range of 100 - 6400. The ISO can also be extended electronically to a maximum of 12800. RAW format is saved which means that you have more margin for error.

The graphic below shows the 550D's sensor size when compared to other popular sizes. The 550D sensor comes with a crop factor of 1.6 and is pointed out in green.

Canon EOS 550D sensor size Photobucket discusses licensing 13 billion images with AI firms

To get a sense of various aspect ratios, you should refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Canon 550D dimensions

Canon 550D weighs 1.17 lb (530g or 18.70 ounces) and the dimensions of the camera is 129mm x 98mm x 62mm (5.1" x 3.9" x 2.4"). The weight of average Entry-Level DSLR camera is 540g so the Canon 550D is similar as compared with other competitors.

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The following is a pic of the Canon 550D beside a softdrink to help you to have a feel for its size.

Canon EOS 550D dimensions scale

The top view below will provide the button arrangement on the 550D.

Canon EOS 550D topview buttons dials

Canon 550D Lens information

The 550D fits the Canon EF/EF-S mount and has 331 lenses to choose from. Here is a small number of the lenses we have in our database that will fit the 550D.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Schneider-PC-Super-Angulon-28mm-f2.8-Canon-EF lensSchneider PC-Super-Angulon 28mm f2.828mmf/2.8 565g
Samyang-16mm-f2.0-ED-AS-UMC-CS-Canon-EF lensSamyang 16mm f2.0 ED AS UMC CS16mmf/2.0 583g
Photography Glossary
Sigma-12-24mm-F4.5-5.6-II-DG-HSM-Canon-EF lensSigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 II DG HSM12-24mmf/4.5-5.6 670g
Zeiss-Milvus-35mm-F1.4-Canon-EF lensZeiss Milvus 35mm F1.435mmf/1.41174g
Tokina-AT-X-Pro-12-24mm-f4-DX-II-Canon-EF lensTokina AT-X Pro 12-24mm f4 DX II12-24mmf/4.0 540g
Canon-TS-E-90mm-f2.8 lensCanon TS-E 90mm f2.890mmf/2.8 565g
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Carl-Zeiss-Planar-T1.4-50-Canon-EF lensCarl Zeiss Planar T 1,45050mmf/1.4 350g
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Canon 550D Connectivity

The 550D has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Digital cameras with NFC and Bluetooth support can be controlled wirelessly with smartphones. You are able to send files and in some cases alter settings without the hassle of connecting physically with the camera.

Many apps also allow a Liveview and release the shutter in case you are not close to the camera. If the camera provides a HDMI out, it can be connected to an external screen. Virtually all cameras will allow you to charge the battery pack through the USB port.

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Canon 550D Video information

The highest possible video quality in the Canon 550D is 1920 x 1080 and it can record in H.264 file format. 1080p quality gives a great balance for video quality versus file size but 1080p won't leave you with much room to crop. While the body features a mic port, it is sadly missing a headphone port which means that you will not have the capability to monitor your sound levels.

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Canon 550D Weather Sealing

There is no environment proofing for the Canon 550D so you have to be careful in rainy or dusty conditions.

Canon 550D Screen and Viewfinder

The Canon 550D includes a 3" fixed screen having a resolution of 1,040k dots.

Unfortunately the screen isn't a touch screen.

Canon EOS 550D screen and viewfinder Body cameras now worn by bakery staff to deter stealing

The ViewFinder specs regarding Canon 550D are as follows:

  • ViewFinder Optical (pentamirror)
  • Coverage 95 percent
  • Magnification 0.55x

Viewfinders can be quite helpful for bright outdoor conditions which might make the camera screen washed out and very difficult to view.

Canon 550D Shutter information

Canon 550D can shoot continuously at 4.0 frames/s. The maximum shutter speed is 1/4000 seconds.

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Canon 550D Flash and Hot shoe information

Canon 550D boasts both built in flash plus external flash support. The maximum flash sync speed is 1/200 seconds.

Canon 550D Autofocus information

Canon 550D boasts both Phase Detect AF along with Contrast Based AF. Phase Detection autofocusing is a lot more quicker and exact as compared to Contrast Based autofocusing. The camera includes Face detection which can be handy for people photography.

It includes 9 focus points to pick from. Canon 550D can use manual focusing if needed for low light scenarios or you want to have more exact focusing control.

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Canon 550D Battery life

The battery life (LP-E8) for the Canon 550D is fashioned to last for 470 shutters as per the CIPA specifications which is lower in comparison with its competition. The average Entry-Level DSLR camera battery life is 589. Pentax K-x has got the best (1900) battery life for this kind of cameras.

Underneath is a list of Entry-Level DSLR cameras which have the best battery life:

Canon 550D for specific styles of photography

The following chart shows a rundown of the Canon 550D for specific styles of photography. To understand more, have a look at the specific section below.

Canon 550D Portrait photography features

The Canon 550D receives a score of 74 which is above average, and means the camera is a very decent pick for portrait photography. Photographing portrait images favors greatly towards sensor dimensions, RAW support together with the capability to use off-camera lighting.

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has manual focus
megapixel count decent (18 megapixels)
sensor size is decent (APS-C)
supports face detection autofocus
delivers RAW files

Canon 550D as a Street photography camera

Coming in at a moderate points tally of 60, the Canon 550D is fairly suited to use in street photography. A good street photography camera has a good balance of picture quality plus portability.

Photography Glossary
sensor size is decent (APS-C)
exports RAW formats
screen is fixed
no image stabilization

Canon 550D Sports photography advice

A average sports photography rating of 54 indicates the Canon 550D is relatively suited for taking photos of sports. A camera needs to have very good tracking and shutter speeds for sports photography.

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good resolution (18MP)
nice sensor size (APS-C)
supports phase detect AF
very slow continuous shooting (4.0 frames per second)
lack of image stabilization
not so great battery (470 per charge)

Canon 550D Travel photography factors

Weight is really crucial when picking a travel camera. Overall, the Canon 550D gets a modest 55 as a travelling camera which is relatively appropriate to take with you on your holidays.

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decent MP (18MP)
has built in flash
does not have Timelapse mode
low battery pack (470 per charge)
does not posses selfie friendly screen

Canon 550D Landscape photography factors

For anyone planning to pick a camera for landscape pictures, the biggest aspect is going to be image quality. The Canon 550D with it's nice grade of 63 as a landscape camera is a good option in the current market.

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you can focus manually
interchangeable lenses (Canon EF/EF-S mount)
nice screen size (3")
MP count good (18 megapixels)
good sensor size (APS-C)
saves RAW files
no image stabilization
bad battery (470 shots)
no Timelapse mode

Canon 550D Vlogging features

A vlogging camera really should have a moving display, mic port and preferably image stabilization. Taking everything into account, the Canon 550D is not really very good for vlogging as it receives a awful rating of 31.

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supports face detection focusing
high quality video (1920 x 1080 pixels)
includes external mic port
doesn't feature selfie friendly screen
no image stabilization

Canon 550D Alternatives

If you are in the market for alternatives to the 550D, here is a collection of the highest scored cameras which fall into the class of Entry-Level DSLR.

The diagram listed below shows you an overview of the 550D vs it's highest ranked rivals suggested above.

There are a bunch of cameras you might take into account as alternatives. To browse through a extensive comparison, go to the "compare" link.

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General Information
Model type
Canon EOS 550D
Alternative name
EOS Rebel T2i / EOS Kiss X4
Entry-Level DSLR
Body design
Compact SLR
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Processor Chip
Digic 4
Sensor size
Sensor dimensions
22.3 x 14.9mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
Max resolution
5184 x 3456
RAW format
Max native ISO
Max enhanced ISO
Minimum native ISO
Manual focusing
Autofocus touch
Continuous autofocus
Single autofocus
Tracking autofocus
Autofocus selectice
Center weighted autofocus
Autofocus multi area
Live view autofocus
Face detection autofocus
Contract detection autofocus
Phase detection autofocus
Total focus points
Lens mount type
Canon EF/EF-S
Total lenses
Focal length multiplier
Range of screen
Fixed Type
Screen size
3 inches
Resolution of screen
1,040k dot
Selfie friendly
Touch capability
Screen technology
TFT color liquid-crystal LCD
Viewfinder Information
Optical (pentamirror)
Viewfinder coverage
95 percent
Viewfinder magnification
DXO scores
DXO Overall rating
DXO Color Depth rating
DXO Dynamic range rating
DXO Low light rating
Minimum shutter speed
30 secs
Fastest shutter speed
1/4000 secs
Continuous shutter speed
4.0 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Exposure compensation
Change white balance
Image stabilization
Inbuilt flash
Flash distance
13.00 m
Flash modes
Auto, On, Off, Red-eye
Hot shoe
Auto exposure bracketing
White balance bracketing
Fastest flash sync
1/200 secs
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Supported video resolutions
1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50 fps), 640 x 480 (60, 50 fps)
Max video resolution
Video file format
Mic jack
Headphone jack
Eye-Fi Connected
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental seal
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
530g (1.17 lb)
Physical dimensions
129 x 98 x 62mm (5.1" x 3.9" x 2.4")
Battery life
470 photographs
Battery form
Battery Pack
Battery ID
Self timer
Yes (2 sec or 10 sec)
Time lapse feature
Storage media
Storage slots
Cost at release