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Digital Photography: Canon DSLR 500D Camera Review

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Although not a professional, Peter is a very keen photographer who mainly takes wildlife and landscape images.

The Canon EOS 500D and two kit lenses

The Canon EOS 500D and two kit lenses

Canon DSLR 500D Rebel Camera

Looking for a great entry-level camera? Look no further. The Canon EOS 500D DSLR camera (sometimes referred to as the "Rebel") is one of the best entry-level digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras available on the market today.

I am a serious amateur photographer, and this is my honest and unbiased review of the Canon EOS 500D Twin Lens Kit. I was given the kit to try out, and I am sure a lot of people want to know as much as they can about it. If you have one of these cameras, let me know what you think, and if you have questions please ask in the comments below.

This camera was sold as a kit from Canon. The camera and twin lens package came nicely packed in one carton and looked very impressive.

Canon EOS 500D Specifications

For those of you interested in the technical side of the Canon Camera, here are some of the features of the Canon EOS Rebel T1i EOS 500D (Canon 500D):

  • Digital single-lens reflex
  • CMOS sensor with a very impressive 15.10 effective megapixels
  • DIGIC 4 - a high precision and high speed 9-point Auto Focus
  • Close on 3.4 frames per second continuous shooting (in my book that is impressive)
  • Full "manual" control for those hard-to-judge lighting photographs.
  • Image stabilizer on both lenses.
  • Live View shooting (you get to see what you are shooting with the screen, not the viewfinder)
  • Full! High-Definition movie shooting. Depending on the size of the SD Card your expected recording time may range from 12mins to 1.5 hours. And the battery life may be approximately I hour with the battery fully charged! (now that is impressive)
  • There are too many functions to list separately here but just check out the Impressive array situated conveniently on the top of the camera. With clunky fingers like mine, this comes in very handy indeed!
Check out the impressive list of functions on the Mode Switch!

Check out the impressive list of functions on the Mode Switch!

Unboxing Checklist

The kit I was able to get my hands on was actually a Canon EOS 500D Twin Lens Kit which comes with:

  • Canon DS126231 camera body
  • EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5 - 5.6 IS Lens (image stabilizer built-in)
  • EF-S 55-250mm f4 - 5.6 IS Lens (image stabilizer also built-in)
  • Battery pack and charger
  • Strap
  • Interface cable for downloading images to a computer
  • Cable, AV (Audio Video for direct connection to television; they thought of nearly everything!)
  • Software for downloading and editing images
  • Instruction manual (unusual these days)
Standard in the kit is the zoom lens 18-55mm

Standard in the kit is the zoom lens 18-55mm

Standard in the kit is the zoom lens 55-250mm

Standard in the kit is the zoom lens 55-250mm

18-55mm Zoom Lens

The 18-55 mm lens provides a zoom capable of giving you a great close-up image without getting too close to the subject.

The image below was taken with the 18-55mm lens at the minimum setting of 18mm.

For your comparison, the image was taken from exactly the same place as the next image.

Image taken with the 18-55mm lens set at 18mm (min), from the same place as the tree image below.

Image taken with the 18-55mm lens set at 18mm (min), from the same place as the tree image below.

55-250mm Zoom Lens

This 55-250mm zoom lens comes as a standard part of the Canon DSLR 500D kit that was supplied and this is a beautiful lens. The operation and zoom mechanisms are smooth and allow you to zoom in real close when you can't be physically close. Built into the lens is the '"mage stabilizer," which is very handy with larger zoom lenses.

The photograph below was taken from the same position as the photograph above and with the 55-250mm lens fitted to the Canon 500D body. It was set at the maximum zoom of 250mm to give you some idea of the zoom effect compared to the smaller 18-55mm lens.

Image taken using zoom lens 55-250mm at 250mm (max) from the same place as the image above.

Image taken using zoom lens 55-250mm at 250mm (max) from the same place as the image above.

Pros for the Canon 500D DSLR

  • Grips and feels like a real camera
  • Balance is great even with the longer lens attached
  • I love the image stabilizer feature
  • Great video mode

Cons for the Canon 500D DSLR

  • No SD card was supplied with the camera. You would think that they could throw a small card in to at least get you going?
  • No offer of a spare battery, which many camera manufacturers do these days.

Suggested Optional Extras

Extras you may consider buying may include:

  • Good quality padded bag for transportation. Especially with the two lenses, it gets awkward.
  • Extra battery for those long shoots
  • Extra cards if you feel the urge to shoot lots of video
  • Good quality tripod
  • Monopod for ease of setting up on a field trip

My Final Review

Although at this time I have not had time to test out all of the functions of this camera I must say I am very impressed with the quality and the ease of handling provided by Canon in the unit.

In my opinion, you cannot go wrong with this Canon EOS 500D camera as an entry-level DSLR especially if you purchase it in the kit form.

Canon EOS 500D DSLR Camera

Canon EOS 500D DSLR Camera

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2010 Peter


Peter (author) from Australia on March 01, 2013:

Hi John thanks for your thoughts on the Canon DSLR.

Canon do make good quality products:)

Ravi Wahi from 3045 South Creek Rd on February 28, 2013:

The picture quality of Canon DLSR D90 is high quality and clear. Thanks for sharing this reviews. Great hub!

Peter (author) from Australia on February 25, 2013:

@George, The card in my Canon DSLR has a little sliding switch on the side. Move that switch to the other way and try again. You may also try moving it backward and forward a few times, sometimes the contacts get a bit dirty.

GEORGE LEKULE on February 25, 2013:


Peter (author) from Australia on June 21, 2012:

G'day Darryl and thanks for taking the time to add to the conversation. You make some valid points.

The main thrust of this Hub was to find an 'entry level' camera that would cover the widest needs of a photography buff like myself at the best possible price.

I agree that the 550D specs come up to a higher standard than the 500D but in my book the 135mm lens would limit some of the photos I take. So much so that I now have a Nikon kit with a 200mm lens which is only just coping. (I hardly ever take it off the camera but at times that can be a pain in the you know were)

Here in Australia after shopping around the price of the 550D is quite a bit more than the Canon DSLR 500D especially if you have to add on another Zoom lens!

Thanks again for the great comment:-)

Darrylmdavis from Brussels, Belgium on June 21, 2012:

While I like the 500D, for a little more money, the 550D is really a superior camera. One of the 550D's package options is with the 18-135 lens. This is flexible enough for most common situations and reduces the need to swap lenses constantly.

Nice hub :-)

Peter (author) from Australia on March 14, 2012:

G'day Wood Sprite I have not had the use of the D500 camera now for a number of months. (I have moved on to the Nikon D5100) However after checking the online manual I have found that the D500 DSLR has a Depth of Field Preview button located just below the Lens release button! It can only be used in certain modes!

I also believe that there is a Hot shoe located at the top of the camera and can accept Canon flash units.

But remember this is an entry level camera and like most entry levels they all have their limitations!

Wood Sprite on March 09, 2012:

The only things I miss on this camera are: Depth of Field Preview and a hotshoe.

Peter (author) from Australia on December 14, 2011:

Price is something that I can't give you! Prices for the Canon DSLR 500D in fact for any camera are different from country to country and even state by state.

I can only say that when I bought the Canon 500D that I've been using it was around A$1300 for the kit. I hope that helps you :-)

ahmed on December 13, 2011:

what is the price

Peter (author) from Australia on August 23, 2011:

I agree with your comments and manufacturers constantly updating models sure makes it hard for the serious amateur photographer with a limited budget. I'm now looking at up dating my Canon DSLR 500D camera for a new Nikon. I feel that Canon may be dropping behind just a bit?

Spy cameras on August 22, 2011:

Most people have or want a digital camera and so there is a lot of competition from manufacturers which means lots of choice. Choice is good but when the market place becomes really crowded it can be difficult to know what to buy. On top of this the camera models are constantly updated by manufacturers meaning new and improved models every 6 months.

Peter (author) from Australia on May 14, 2011:

Thanks for taking the time to read my review of the Canon DSLR 500D Digital Camera :-)

Victor Mavedzenge from Oakland, California on May 14, 2011:

A very good review.

Peter (author) from Australia on May 12, 2011:

@Soulinsearch, you may as well have asked 'How long is a piece of string':-)

There are many Canon cameras, none better than the Canon DSLR 500D that I reviewed on this page!

If you are looking for a Point and Shoot camera the range of Canon PowerShot are sure to have one to fit your budget. At the time of writing for under $100 you can get a Powershot A490 that comes with a 10.0 Megapixel resolution and 3.3x Optical Zoom. These specs will give you good quality images for the Internet.

Good luck with your search :-)

Peter (author) from Australia on May 12, 2011:

@noahggavin, Thanks for dropping by and leaving a nice comment. The Canon 400D sure was a good camera, in fact I think it is still a good camera but with the way technology is changing Cameras are just like computers they are obsolete before they hit the shelves.

The Canon DSLR 500D with it's huge CMOS sensor and it's capability to take HD Video will take some beating!

Soulinsearch from Tucson on May 07, 2011:

What's the best cannon for money?

noahggavin from UK on April 06, 2011:

Very good evaluation - perhaps I will must trade in my 400D! Cameras, like a lot other technologies, just seem to be to imporve so quick. When I acquired my 400D it had been quite awesome, but now it currently looks somewhat dated!

Many thanks for sharing

Peter (author) from Australia on March 11, 2011:

G'day Shaun, I am not familiar with the Canon D90 (possibly under another name here in Australia) I'm sure though that the quality would be good because I am impressed with Canon quality even at Entry Level equipment.

Lens quality is also important and I'm looking at getting more as soon as I can afford the layout!

Thanks for dropping by:-)

Shaun75 from Edison on March 11, 2011:

Great review on Canon T1. I have use Canon DSLR D90 has 15 megapixals as compared to other canon DSLR digital camera. The picture quality of Canon DLSR D90 is high quality and clear. Thanks for sharing this reviews.

Peter (author) from Australia on December 16, 2010:

I have not had the pleasure to check out the T2i as yet but after looking at the specs I would say especially being 18 megapixals as compared to the Canon DSLR 500D having 15 megapixals you may be better off looking at the T2i!. To me it would depend on the price :-)

The Best Digital SLR on December 16, 2010:

This is a great review of the Canon T1.

I had the honor of playing with a T2i, and I quickly fell in love with it.

After reading your review I think that I may just get the T1 and save some money for lenses.

Peter (author) from Australia on November 27, 2010:

i4u, thanks for dropping by :-)

Unfortunately this DSLR Canon 500D Camera and other DSLR cameras like it are not cheap. However after you have purchased one it's not like the old 'film' days where the costs continue with processing etc.,

You really don't have a lot of costs if you use the free image editing programs and photosharing services available on the Internet.

And yes Photography is very 'cool' indeed :-)

i4u on November 27, 2010:

A good sorting of the product. Need to save more to get it some day.

Photography is a cool act anyway.

Peter (author) from Australia on November 25, 2010:

Hi bill and thanks for the comment. You are correct about the good quality images. They are much better to view than some of the pixalated images that you see around the Hubs.

You get the good images by using a camera such as the DSLR 500D that has a large sensor which allows the user to crop down to a good size. You cannot crop up and get a good image.

Bill thanks for the nice comment:-)

billrobinson from CA, USA on November 25, 2010:

This is very useful to photo enthusiasts. I like its specs though am not a photographer, I still enjoy good quality images. Thanks for this post.

Peter (author) from Australia on July 29, 2010:

We don't get the Rebel name camera in Australia (at least I have not seen it in the shops) They are known as the EOS range and I agree they have all been good. Also I think it would be nice to afford to buy a more upmarket lens.

On the other hand I have no complaints as yet. There is one thing that I have noticed is the distortion out towards the outer edges of the lenses. Thank goodness for the crop tool :-)

btw I just tried to read your Hub and the links not working ?

Thanks for the comment and I will check out the 550!

thewayeyeseeit from Woodstock, GA on July 29, 2010:

I owned the original Canon Rebel - the Rebel 300D. It was a great camera, too. In fact the whole Rebel line has been highly regarded as entry level Digital SLRs.

As far as the kit lenses, I actually decided to go with a better built starter lens. The kit lenses are plastic, and, even though they do an adequate job, there are some things to think about before buying a lens. I just wrote about that here:

However, I don't think you can go wrong with a Rebel. The newest one, Rebel T2i (aka 550D) has gotten awesome reviews.

Peter (author) from Australia on July 14, 2010:

Looking at the specs the Canon 400D is certainly no slouch in performance. The extra megapixels of the Canon 500D will come in handy (almost gives another level of Zoom).

The Video feature shooting in HD is very good but I have not used it a lot as it requires a larger and faster SD card to get the best results.

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a nice comment!

SilverGenes on July 14, 2010:

I have a Canon 400D and love it. It's gone all over the place with me in all kinds of weather and has stood up well. Luckily for me, it was the model with the automatic sensor cleaning :) This one sounds like it would do as well but with the added bonus of video.Very nice!

Peter (author) from Australia on June 30, 2010:

Dardie, as with most things there will be a learning curve going from a 'point and shoot' to DSLR but in the long run I feel it is well worth the effort with the results you will be able to achieve!

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a kind comment!

Darlene Yager from Michigan on June 29, 2010:

Great in low light!!! That is wonderful. This may just be the camera I need. Thanks for writing this hub and sharing it with us.

Peter (author) from Australia on June 23, 2010:

Darlene thanks ever so much for dropping in and leaving a comment:-

I'm glad the Hub was a help but you should know that there is a lot more to this camera than what I have explained. I am finding out things about this camera every time I use it. One point is that it is great in low light!

Thanks again for your kind comment :-)

Darlene Sabella from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ... on June 22, 2010:

I enjoyed reading your hub with pure delight, cameras are awesome and I need one, so this hub helped understand, thank you for your fantastic hub

Peter (author) from Australia on June 22, 2010:

Ann Lee, I know how you feel, it seems like every day there is something new coming up to whet our appetite lol

If we just wait that 'one more month' some store will have a sale! Sony, Canon, Pentax etc. will release a new model bigger better cheaper and so on! LOL

Although I must say that 24 megapixels does sound pretty good. It's sound like a good reason for 'renting'. LOL

Thanks heaps for dropping by and leaving a comment!

Ann Lee on June 22, 2010:

Thanks for the review. I have been looking at this camera as a possible purchase, but thought I would wait until the $8,000 24 megapixel camera by Sony came down to my price range. LOL

Peter (author) from Australia on June 21, 2010:

G'day Ted and thanks for leaving a great comment:-)

Looks like you have some great Trade-in cameras.

I wonder why Canon does not put the Video capability on to each of their cameras, surely it is almost compulsory these days?

That's amusing about being called the Canon Kiss, why must they give them 'cute' names, does it sell more cameras for them?

The more I use this camera it feels more of a 'Kiss' than a 'Rebel' lol

I shot some video with the Canon DSLR 500D Camera yesterday and played it on the TV, I'm very impressed with the result, although to take long shoots I would need a larger capacity card!

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment!

Ted Gerner on June 21, 2010:

Thanks for sharing this information. You reminded me that I actually have 2 cameras to trade in - 300D and 400D. And 400D does not shoot video. I think 450D was the first xxxD series camera capable of shooting video.

These Canon model names always make me smile. Do you know how Canon Rebels are called in Japan? Canon Kiss. LOL.

Peter (author) from Australia on June 21, 2010:

Although the Canon Powershot range of cameras are nice cameras and the A2000 will take a very fine picture it is still limited in comparison, and if you are serious about taking really good picture you definitely need a SLR camera similar at least to the Canon DSLR 500D. For technical reasons it will allow you to get a much better image!

Having said that the operator must still know what he/she is doing!

Thanks for dropping by!

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on June 21, 2010:

For me it looks like something to move up to.I currently have a Canon powershot A2000

Peter (author) from Australia on June 21, 2010:

earnest thanks for dropping in and I am sure that you as a man that appreciates fine machinery would love the feel and fit of this Canon DSLR 500D Camera it does feel great!

Peter (author) from Australia on June 21, 2010:

Tonymac, thanks for your kind words :-) Cameras I believe are advancing at a faster pace than Computers.

From memory the 400 only had 10megapixels and would not have the manual controls of the 500D. I'm not sure either but does the 400 shoot in HD video?

Tony thanks for the great contribution to the subject:-)

earnestshub from Melbourne Australia on June 21, 2010:

Hi ag, as you know, I am no photographer, but this Canon DSLR 500D Camera looks real good to me.

Peter (author) from Australia on June 21, 2010:

Paraglider, greetings to you my friend, you are of course correct in what you say, it is a bit slow but also being a fully manual camera as well you could, on the occasions that it was a problem, play around with the ISO and shutter speeds to get the required result?

And isn't that the beautiful thing about Digital? You get to see the result instantly not after a film is processed!

Tony McGregor from South Africa on June 21, 2010:

Good review - maybe I'll have to trade in my 400D! Cameras, like so much other technology, just seem to imporve so fast. When I got my 400D it was very cool, but now it already seems a bit dated!

Agree with Para's comment about the lens also.

Thanks for sharing

Love and peace


Dave McClure from Worcester, UK on June 21, 2010:

Greetings - nice review. It looks a very good deal and a well thought out package. The only thing I would like would be for the wide angle zoom to be a bit faster, maybe f2.8-f4, because f5.6 at 55mm is a bit limiting. But that would push the price up of course, and as I said, it's a good package for most purposes. I'm tempted :)