Canon Australia today launched a new entry-level digital SLR (DSLR) camera, the EOS 500D. The EOS 500D is positioned in the range between the highly acclaimed EOS 450D and 40D.

Photographers will not only experience Canon’s superior image quality and advanced technologies when shooting with the EOS 500D, but they will be both surprised and excited that Canon has managed to incorporate Full High Definition recording into such an accessible DSLR camera.

Stills and video

Users can capture still photos and movies in Full HD quality or standard TV quality (VGA), making this the ideal camera for users who want to capture stunning stills and movies without compromising on quality. Movies and stills can be viewed easily on the camera’s large LCD screen, which incorporates an anti-reflection and anti-smudging coating to ensure reviewing photos is both clear and accurate.

Ease of use

The EOS 500D boasts easy to understand, simple and intuitive functions, perfect for any skill-level.

Like other Canon DSLR models, the EOS 500D features Live View shooting for greater flexibility and creative composition. This technology makes it easy to compose and shoot images on the 3.0-inch LCD screen, without ever having to bring the camera to your eye.

In another first for Canon entry-level EOS cameras, the 500D features live Face Detection mode in Live View shooting. By distinguishing human faces in each shot and adjusting the focus and exposure accordingly, Live Face Detection allows photographers to ensure their subjects are captured clearly and accurately.

To further add to the 500D’s intuitive shooting capability, the camera incorporates automatic image correction tools (Auto Lighting Optimiser and Peripheral Illumination Correction) to ensure even first-time users can take professional-quality shots the first time round.

Image sensor

The EOS 500D incorporates a 15.1 megapixel sensor (highest resolution in class) and combined with the imaging performance and super-fast speed of the DiG!C 4 image processor, makes this the perfect camera for creative photography fun.

Accessories

Canon has also launched a new compact and lightweight speedlite for entry-level users who want to get more creative with their photography. Replacing the 220EX, the 270EX speedlite features a new bounce-flash capability to enable natural flash photography and can be used on all EOS DSLR cameras as well as some high-end compact cameras.

The 270EX speedlite will be available from May through Canon dealers nationally, with the price to be conformed closer to the release date.

EOS 500D pricing and availability

The EOS 500D body will be available in Body Only, Single IS Kit (with EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS), Twin IS kit (with EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS and EF-S55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS), Enthusiast Kit (with EF-17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM) and Premium kit (with EF-S18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS). All RRPs TBC. These kits will all be available from May 2009 through Canon dealers nationally.

Again, there is no price on the cameras body and lenses at the time of writing – prices are not expected to be announced until late April.

UPDATE – 22 APRIL, 2009: Pricing has just been announced. The RRP for the 500D is $1,649 for the Single IS Lens kit.