back to article This year's DSLR stars

2010: it's a wrap This year, HD video on a DSLR wasn’t just something that would be nice to have, it was pretty much de rigeur. Shop around and it seems high definition video features on just about anything with a lens on it. However, there’s HD video and there’s HD video, or to put it another way, there’s full HD video 1080p …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not much of a review

    "The purists were undoubtedly irked at video dominating discussion on the features"

    Not just the pursists, you don't buy a camcorder because it takes nice photos.

    These reviews are based on how many features, Mp and ISO count, ignoring the end result - the photo. We are constantly being advertised 10Mp+ and gimmicks when what DSLRs are about is control and quality.

    1. DaveyP


      Although with proper movies (Monsters) being shot on DSLRs now, the video aspect is a serious one. Admittedly, the amateur videoer just needs a £200 camcorder, but after 20 years of not quite being able to get the shots I want, it's SO nice to be able to use proper glass and pull focus like a pro!

      It's still niche, but I hope that this will open up film making in the way that digital multi track recording opened up music..

      1. AlistairJ
        Thumb Down


        I've seen the film. While I applaud the indie approach and in fact quite liked the film, I was continuously irked by the poor image quality and especially the fuzzy focussing. Could try harder.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not much of a review

      Completely agree. I'm no purist but when I read a camera review I expect just that and not a review exclusively of its video capabilities.

      I also understand that many DSLRs, mine included, limit the time of videos to prevent the sensor overheating so emphasis on the video side is rather pointless. It's no use knowing that you can get decent quality video if you can only do so for five minutes then have to wait half hour before you can take the next clip. One can only assume that Monsters had a host of DSLRs to overcome this.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Video limit

        As I understand it Video cameras pay a greater tax in the EU whilst still cameras don't. Video clips are permissible, but continuous recording incurs the higher tax. Hence cameras not intended as Video cameras opt for the cheaper route and put up with the limitations.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        No basis for this review

        The Pentax K5 was completely missed. The K-x was compared against a D3. What? I mean ... what!?!?!?!

        This review has no foundation for comparison.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Canon EOS 60D

    Will be in next years round up?

    perhaps its not a DSLR? what with its fold out LCD VF.

    Perhaps El Reg just missed it. or are too slow for something released as recently as two months ago.

    One things for sure there will be more 60D's this christmas than 550D's.

  3. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    550D is great camera

    I "upgraded" from a Canon 450D to the 550D about 2 weeks after it came out, not a massive difference but there are some nice toys like video and higher ISO. I tend to shoot landscapes, long exposures in early morning light so high ISOs are not really that much use to me. The auto-focus is much better and far more responsive than the 450D. It is superb camera for the money and has been all over the Lake District for 3 weeks, rain and shine, and the South East of England in all sorts of weather conditions.

    The battery life on the 550D is much better than the 450D. I use the LiveView a hell of a lot, it's very useful for getting the manual focus right rather than trying to squint through the usual view-finder. ( Urgh! That admission will annoy the traditionalists! )

    The spares are not that badly priced 6 months on, genuine Canon batteries are down to around £25-£30 and the BG-E8 battery grip is down from £220 to around £110 now, so you can stock the camera with two batteries for long days out.

    Very pleased with it, it cost me a bit a the time and took me a month or two to pay it off, but it was worth the expense, it definately has an edge over the 450D I used to use.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      I'm still farting around with a 350D (yeah, the original) and had been looking at this camera (known as the T2i in the states) to (finally!) upgrade my back and start doing a little video.

      I always find 1st hand info to be more useful than reviews, so TY :)

  4. hexx

    what's this???

    where are nikon d3100, nikon d7000, canon 60D?? those are 2010 cameras

    1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

      RE: what's this???

      .... and where is Pentax K-5 ?

  5. Tim #3


    Good article. Any chance of further "best of 2010s" in the following categories- (1) cameras incorporating voice phones (!), (2) LCD monitors

  6. Pahhh


    @fuzzy wotnot - I've got both a Canon 450D and 5DMKI., I can profess I can focus jack all on LiveView on manual on either cameras. In fact the only time I use LiveView is if I'm trying to take a picture over someones head. Can the 550D be different?

    @HarryTheSnotGobbler - more megapixels isnt a gimmick. If you can perform a pretty large crop but still retain good amount of resolution, thats worth its weight in gold. ISO count isnt a gimmick either - if you can take pictures in low light condition without a flash and without a crazy amount of noise, thats of immense value. But I agree, the review was a bit naff - mind you I'm biased as I never use the video feature in my 5D.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      live view?

    2. dodge

      Nahhh bollocks. It's not all about MP

      Pahhh, you're talking bollocks. Just because you have 12,000,000 pixels instead of 6,000,000 pixels doens't mean all those extra pixels are any good. You can't do a huge crop of a an image if it is not sharp, undistorted, unfringed, un-noisy and otherwise unmolested by poor glass, or poor CCD quality, or poor image processing. Start with good glass, always. Then a good body with proper AF, AE, etc and usable handling.

      An old 6MP Nikon D40 can almost certainly and almost always take vastly better images that you can blow up much bigger than a 10MP compact.

      It really, really, really isn't about megapixels.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Good glass is one thing...

        but whats the difference between a full frame and a crop sensor? clue its cropped. So if your full frame has the same MP in the center 60% of the sensor, then a cropped picture (also 60%) is the same as using a cropped sensor!! and when I say the same I mean the same glass too! as a crop sensor looks through only the center of a fullframe window. what you get with a full frame is a shed load more pixels around the outside that you could use if you needed or wanted to.. Fact is that in todays journalism where you get one shot and it might be at full arm reach cropping is a necessity, and MP helps. More MP the Better! but sensor size is good too!

    3. The Fuzzy Wotnot

      Purely personal

      Personally I found the LiveView on 450D was absolutely diabolical, the focusing on the 450D in general was always a little ropey, I only started using LiveView on the 550D when it actually worked properly. I must confess that I preferred the quality on my old 300D compared to some of the stuff that come out of the 450D, when I moved up to the 550D, for me it was noticeable, it was a genuine surprise to see the improvement.

    4. OldBiddie

      Crop crop crop

      If you're having to crop all the time, you're not close enough to your intended subject ;)

  7. Pahhh
    Thumb Up

    @Tim #3


  8. Death_Ninja

    So the best DSLR of the year was...

    ...the most expensive one.

    Well, that's incisive analysis.

  9. Pahhh

    @5DMKI #

    I missed one of the "I", its a mark 2. Hence the movie mode.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      thought so..

      hence just a flag up, not a massive your talking bollox post.

  10. Steve 6
    Paris Hilton

    So much talk about HD....

    ... yet so little said about the quality of it.

    I own the 5DII. I'm really not impressed by the 4.2.0 quality of the 1080P. Indeed the great majority of the imager is not used when recoding 24/30fps video - all those pixels can't be clocked off the imager fast enough. The camera’s 4FPS limit is a big clue!

    Talking of pixels: the number of them isn’t critically important. What is indisputably crucial is the size of the imager - the bigger the better (more light, shorter exposure, less noise, shallower DOF, wider angles); the only downside is the cost (and the larger slower mirror).

    The options beyond “full frame” DLSRs are sparse, so where else do you go from there?

    In some ways more pixels would be nice (greater detail but only where lens diffraction and pixel density allow), but there are tradeoffs in terms of active area (the inherent gaps between pixels that waste light) and frame speed (reduced full-resolution shots per second, and poorer quality HD video), as well as pixel noise. However, the noise issue can be largely overcome (but not the gap problem) by binning pixels together during post-processing where desired, so replicating the noise performance of a low pixel count camera – the reverse can’t be applied!

    To summarise the pixel count issue: right now there is no straightforward answer as there are too many tradeoffs.

    Paris? She likes exposure, or to expose.....

  11. Pahhh


    No I'm not talking bollocks. You've chosen not only to be offensive but also interpret my post for something it wasnt.

    I said that good MP and ISO arent gimmicks. I explained why too. I didnt say it was the end all and be all of a good camera.

    I didnt get my 5D MK II until I could afford some corresponding quality glass to go with it ( L lens and some good primes).

    Go back to your cave.....

  12. Kev99

    Whatever happened to...

    SLRs that took high quality photographs instead of pretty pictures? My old Nikon E2020 out shot and out performed my brother-in-laws two Minoltas and made my wife's Kodak look like a camera obscura. Who really cares about 1080p HD video on a still camera? There's a reason pro's use dedicated cameras not mixed-up mash-ups some marketing twit pushed thru.

  13. Tim Toh

    Where is the COLOR reviewed?

    There is one aspect always overlooked: the color fidelity. There is a staggering amount of information about every single technical aspect of the cameras, but no one bother to include a proper analysis of the level of accuracy in reproduction of colors. I want to buy (not that I don't have sevaral already) a camera wth which I can be sure that if I take a shoot of a blue/pink sky I'll get it exactly as I saw it, without artificially seasoning it with Photoshop.

    So what camera sensors are most accurate? Waiting...

  14. Thorfkin

    DSLR Design

    Ya know I really miss the side of body lense design Sony used in the DSC-FXXX line of cameras. I own an F828 and I continue to love the thing. I was really hoping they would proceed to a DSLR version but sadly Sony discontinued this line of cameras.

    I really wish someone would make a decent side of body DSLR to fill the gap left by Sony with this line because the center body lense style just feels uncomfortable to me.

  15. Dave B 1

    End this madness

    It's FSLR for a film SLR, and just SLR for the digital variants. Who uses film cameras these days? Three, four people? Give them the ugly superflous prefix, we'll have the slender TLA now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Extended Three Letter Acronym

      Give them the ugly superflous prefix, (did you mean ETLA?) we'll have the slender TLA now.

  16. Michael Langner


    Why no mention of the A55, the new Sony camera that was the only camera in Time's 50 best inventions of 2010?

    Not to mention all it's advantages....

  17. J 3

    Pentax K-5?

    Released in September, maybe too close to count for such reviews? Why call it 2010 cameras, then?

    In many sensor tests (look up "DxOMark review for the Pentax K5"), its APS-C sensor matches and in some cases beats full frame sensors like the one for the D3x, and wipes the floor with the Sony Alpha 55 and Canon D7 ones. But not good enough to keep up with a D700 or a 5D MkII, though. But for a small fraction of the price, I guess very few non-pros would see too much of a difference in the final results.

    Of course the sensor is only one of the factors. But the K-5 has been getting rave reviews for its performance matching that of much more expensive cameras. I really want to see a full fledged DPreview review of that camera...

    1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

      RE: Pentax K-5?

      I've checked these tests and was very impressed, too. I recon that in cropped frame category, Pentax K-5 is clear winner. When compared to modern full frame cameras, you have to acknowledge that bigger sensor buys better picture. Or simply give up 1ev step in ISO (just like one did in times of film) and enjoy the great picture quality :)

  18. Matthew Malthouse

    Less noise please

    I've sort of got over the megapixels excitement. (And never was about video.)

    What I wish for would be much less noise at higher ISO's So far while there are improvements nothing I've seen makes me want to rush out and spend lots of money of a replacement camera.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Less noise.

      Generally a direct relationship to the sensor size, so I'd suggest the best for you would be the fullframe Eos 5D MKii - try renting one from somewhere (calmet?)

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