First pictures taken with my Canon 550D

This weekend I bought the Canon 550D I had decided to get, so of course I needed to try it out. There’s a nice old cemetery near me, which is ideal for this kind of thing. I spent a few hours there wandering around listening to photography podcasts and generally being in my own world. I came pretty close to filling my 8GB card.

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I’m really pleased with the results, especially the mono shots.

Some of the pictures I thought were in focus were actually quite badly out of focus. I think the kit 18-55mm lens has a bit of ‘wobble’, and can easily be nudged out of alignment (or I may just need to be a bit more precise). The lens is actually my biggest regret, enough that I may try and return it for something else – not because it’s so terrible, but because I often found myself at the 55mm end, wanting to go further. There’s a 18-200mm Canon lens that may be a much better fit for me.

The low light stuff came out really well. Despite today being pretty overcast today, the pictures look great. It’s nice finally having a camera that shoots RAW. I’m looking forward to giving HDR a shot. Video too, but I think I’m definitely going to need a tripod or some kind of grip as it’s really hard to hold the camera steady.

Basically though, I’m really happy.

15 thoughts on “First pictures taken with my Canon 550D

  1. I thought you would be. This week I noticed that @Claire_S bought a Sigma 28mm-138mm which looks pretty good, at only 79 quid it is a steal, if mine wasn’t an all rounder I would go for that one.Don’t forget a nifty fifty ;)

  2. I was thinking about your 50 today. I can see how that would be a good one to have now.

  3. Some very beautiful shots here. The b/w ones are really nice.I can’t recommend the 50mm f1.8 highly enough (fast and absurdly cheap), and also the 85mm f1.8 which is reasonably priced for a fast high quality lens. The zoom of course is nice too, but those two fast prime lenses will serve you well for shallow depth of field and low light situations. I believe the 85mm will act like a 136 on your 550D as it does on my 7D.

  4. Thanks for the suggestions Richard. I’m certainly interested in the 50, and I like the sound of the 28-138 mentioned above also. I hardly used the wide end of my lens at all today, but I do like my landscapes.Primes scare me a bit though – I use the zoom a lot, and hate the thought of not having that ability. I’ll pay attention to how I use my zoom and then buy the region I use most, I guess. Based on today, 50 feels pretty good.Food for thought.

  5. been thinking of getting one of these to upgrade from my much used 400D . whats the video like?BTW I swear by my Canon – 50 mm – F/1.4 its always on…

  6. unclewilco: The only video I took was shaky as hell, but theoretically it’s supposed to be one of the big strengths of this camera. It can do proper HD and you can easily connect a good mic. The Milgi painting video was shot on a 550D. Two actually.

  7. I also have found that a lot of the photos I thought were in focus, aren’t. They look great on the small screen but not when enlarged. Do you know how I can combat this?

  8. Hi Genevieve. Sadly, I don’t know of a good fix. I now try and rely on autofocus where possible, and I use the screen zoom to check focus on important pictures. The controls for this are quite handy, at least. I’m also going to get a shade for my screen for when I use video, and also for this problem. Sent from my xylophone

  9. That sucks. Its really frustrating when I’m taking a lot of shots at a gig and they look great in the screen and I come home and they look crap!

  10. I’ve been thinking about getting something like the Hoodman Loupe/Zacuto Z-finder/LCDVF sort of thing. See: http://www.cameratown.com/reviews/lcdvf/#axzz0w6qL1JzHThe Hoodman system is probably the cheapest, but it doesn’t have the greatest reviews :(. I use the viewfinder for all my stills, but I am remarkably good at getting my video way out of focus in the viewfinder. :| I use reading glasses and I always forget to bring them along when I shoot video for checking focus. Even with them though it’s a bit of a crap shoot.

  11. What you should do to fix the focusing problem is use live view to magnify the image, letting you get a lot sharper focus using the manual focus ring, and once you’ve focused just go back to the mode you were originally using and shoot the picture.

  12. What you should do to fix the focusing problem is use live view to magnify the image, letting you get a lot sharper focus using the manual focus ring, and once you’ve focused just go back to the mode you were originally using and shoot the picture.

  13. << Some of the pictures I thought were in focus were actually quite badly out of focus. I think the kit 18-55mm lens has a bit of ‘wobble’, and can easily be nudged out of alignment (or I may just need to be a bit more precise). >>I’m using the Canon 18-135mm lens with Canon 550D. And akin to your experience, the still images that I thought are in focus (auto & manual mode) actually turned out to be way off focus when viewed onscreen in a PC. Right from the start, the out-of-focus rate is typically at least 50%, or sometimes as high as 75%. I did not experience such a problem when using Canon 350D with its 18-55mm lens during the past 4 years. As such, I am also wondering if I am wobbling too much (since the longer lens is heavier), OR if there is something wrong with the brand-new Canon 550D, OR if this model naturally produces “soft-focus” images, OR if there is something amiss with my eyesight. Rather frustrating actually …

  14. Hi, I really like your pics. So i decided to write to you. My hubby bouught me Canon 550D yesterday and that was great surprise. Still learing to use it and I find it quite tricky to make best of my pics. I normally do food photography and so i want my pics to be sharp and crisp but dont know how to do it. would you give me some tips? Many thanks Agnes

  15. Hi Agnes,What you really need to read up on is depth of field. It can seem quite complicated, but all it really means is ‘how much is in focus’. If you set a low f-stop number, like f1.8, then only a small area of what is in front of you will be in focus. Higher numbers (f8 – f22) will mean more is in focus, and nice and sharp.However, bigger f-stops require more light, so shoot near a window or other light source. In fact, lighting is going to be key in making your food look appetising, so you might want to invest in a softbox (or make one). A tripod will be helpful too. If you’re going to do mostly tabletop photography, look at a Gorillapod. Surprisingly, Wikipedia seems to have some good tips on food photography!Stick with it. Photography can be fairly technical, but you’ll soon get to grips with the basics, and it’s all fun from then. :)

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