It's been rumoured for a while across photography blogs and forums, and now it's the real deal - yep, that's right, the Canon EOS 600D is now officially alive and kicking.

Canon states that the 600D sits at the top of its entry-level EOS line-up, and is the natural successor to a Pocket-lint favourite - the 550D.

It packs an 18-megapixel CMOS sensor, has scene intelligent auto mode, has 3.7fps continuous shooting, and a wide-area 9-point AF

It can shoot 1080p Full HD movies, and you can also shoot distant subjects using the new "Movie Digital Zoom" function, "which crops the centre of the sensor from 3x to 10x while still maintaining Full HD quality".

And, perhaps, it's biggest upgrade from the 550D is that you can watch back the action on the 1,040k-dot vari-angle 3-inch screen, which flips out from the main body and swivels.

The 600D will be available as body only (£679), or with an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II kit lens (£769) or 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS kit lens (£949) from April 2011.

EOS 600D – key features:

- 18-megapixel CMOS sensor

- Scene Intelligent Auto mode

- Full-HD EOS Movie 

- On-screen Feature Guide

- 3.7fps continuous shooting

- Wide-area 9-point AF 

- 1,040k-dot vari-angle 7.7cm (3.0”) screen 

- Basic+ and Creative Filters  

- Built-in wireless flash control

Two new Speedlight flashguns will be available from March too, the 320EX and 270EX with guide numbers of 32 and 27 respectively. They both utilise the camera's E-TTL II system, with the 320 also offering a constant video light function.

The 320EX will be £249, while the 270EX will come in at £179.