Updated (April, 2011): Compare the Canon EOS 1100D vs Nikon D5100

Canon EOS 500D

Winner
Canon EOS 500D

53

vs

Nikon D5000

50

Nikon D5000

Runner-up
     

Reasons to buy the Canon EOS 500D

Full HD
Movie format
1080p @ 20fps
High resolution screen
Screen resolution
920k dots
Barely any delay taking photos
Shutter lag
159 ms shutter lag
Really small
Size
Prosumer size 129x98x62 mm
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5000

Dynamic range
Wide dynamic range
12.5 EV
Supports 24p
24p movies
For that film look
Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies
Sensor size
Large sensor
APS-C 23.6x15.8mm
 

differences

Advantages of the Canon 500D

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Movie format
Higher resolution movies
1080p @ 20fps vs 720p @ 24fps
Help
Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video but at a lower frame rate
Screen resolution
Much higher resolution screen
920k dots vs 230k dots
Help
4x higher resolution screen
Screen size
Significantly larger screen
3.0" vs 2.7"
Help
More than 10% larger screen
Shutter lag
Significantly less shutter lag
159 ms vs 276 ms
Help
More than 40% less delay when taking photos
Size
Much smaller
129x98x62 mm vs 127x104x80 mm
Help
Around 30% smaller
True resolution
Higher true resolution
15.1 MP vs 12.2 MP
Help
Capture more than 20% more detail in your photos
Thickness
Much thinner
2.4" vs 3.1"
Help
More than 20% thinner
Viewfinder size
Larger viewfinder
0.54x vs 0.51x
Help
More than 10% larger viewfinder
Light sensitivity (boost)
Better boost ISO
12,800 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
Help
The 500D's boost ISO is 1 f-stop better
Startup delay
Slightly less startup delay
300 ms vs 400 ms
Help
Around 30% less delay when turning on
Lowest price
Cheaper
$683.52 vs $811.54
Help
The best price we've seen is $128 cheaper (around 20% less)
Weight
Lighter
520 g vs 590 g
Help
More than 10% lighter
Canon EOS 500D Learn more about
the Canon 500D

Advantages of the Nikon D5000

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Color depth
Better color depth
22.7 bits vs 21.7 bits
Help
Distinguishes 1 more bits of color
Overall image quality
Better image quality
72.0 vs 63.0
Help
More than 10% better image quality
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
868 ISO vs 663 ISO
Help
The D5000 has a slight edge (0.4 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
12.5 EV vs 11.5 EV
Help
1 f-stop more dynamic range
Supports 24p
Supports 24p
Yes vs No
Help
Get that real film feel
Sensor size
Much larger sensor
APS-C 23.6x15.8mm vs APS-C 22.3x14.9mm
Help
More than 10% larger sensor
Screen flips out
Has a flip-out screen
Yes vs No
Help
Flip-out screens can be helpful when composing tricky shots or taking movies
Battery life
Longer battery life
510 shots vs 400 shots
Help
Around 30% more shots per battery charge
Continuous shooting
Shoots faster
4 fps vs 3.4 fps
Help
Around 20% faster continuous shooting
Lens availability
Slightly more lenses available
205 lenses vs 197 lenses
Help
Almost the same
Focus points
Slightly more focus points
11 vs 9
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Nikon D5000 Learn more about
the Nikon D5000
vs

recommendations

Which camera do we recommend? Relative to the best recent entry-level DSLRs, and ignoring price

Snapsort Recommends
Canon EOS 500D Canon EOS 500D 53
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save

        vs

        50 Nikon D5000 Nikon D5000
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
              500D:300 ms
              D5000:400 ms
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              500D:197 lenses
              D5000:205 lenses
              Common Weaknesses
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Lowest price Very expensive Help
              500D:$683.52
              D5000:$811.54
              Light sensitivity (boost) Poor boost ISO Help
              500D:12,800 ISO
              D5000:6,400 ISO
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help
              95%
              External mic jack Neither has an external mic jack Help
              Limited to the in-camera mic
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              1
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              500D:3.4 fps
              D5000:4 fps
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              500D:15.1 MP
              D5000:12.2 MP
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              3,200 ISO
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Viewfinder size Below average viewfinder size Help
              500D:0.54x
              D5000:0.51x
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              500D:9
              D5000:11
              Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
              You could stitch photos in post
              Movie format Poor movies Help
              500D:1080p @ 20fps
              D5000:720p @ 24fps
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              500D:663 ISO
              D5000:868 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $319 - $527 body only

              $389 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is significantly larger
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $272 body only

              $390 - $409 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie continuous focus Can focus continuously while recording movies
              Autofocus Focuses automatically while shootting video
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is slightly larger
              Canon EOS 600D

              Canon EOS 600D

              Entry-level DSLR

              $491 body only

              $578 with 18-135mm lens

              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is much larger
              Canon EOS 1100D

              Canon EOS 1100D

              Entry-level DSLR

              $450 with 18-55mm lens

              Shutter lag Has slightly less shutter lag
              Battery life Has a slightly longer battery life
              Thickness Is thicker
              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
              Canon EOS 550D

              Canon EOS 550D

              Entry-level DSLR

              $913 with 18-135mm lens

              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag
              Canon EOS 700D

              Canon EOS 700D

              Entry-level DSLR

              $700 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Nikon D5100

              Nikon D5100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $360 - $378 body only

              $429 - $499 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is significantly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is significantly larger

              Canon EOS 500D Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS 1200D

              Canon EOS 1200D

              Entry-level DSLR

              $429 body only

              $500 with 18-55mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Autofocus Video autofocus
              Screen resolution Significantly lower resolution screen
              Size Much larger

              Nikon D5000 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D5300

              Nikon D5300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $697 body only

              $599 - $797 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Higher resolution movies
              Low light performance Significantly lower noise at high ISO
              Sensor size Smaller sensor
              Startup delay Slightly more startup delay

              appearance

              Canon EOS 500D Nikon D5000
              Canon EOS 500D Nikon D5000
              Canon EOS 500D Nikon D5000

              discussion

              Canon EOS 500D
              EOS 500D
              Canon

              Report a correction
              Nikon D5000
              D5000
              Nikon

              Report a correction

              Showing 6 comments

              Jazzlynkmnl2000 (1:17 AM, September 23, 2011)
              i wanna try the canon 500d.. i have my canon 1100 already.. and i gave my x-bf a nikon d5000...which i don't want to remember him anymore not a good experience with him.. thats why even the nikon d5000 i don't want to remember as well...thx im fr mkt city phl
               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (5:00 PM, February 13, 2011)
              Hi Sathiyah, they're very close, you should try each out in a store and see how you like them. The Canon 500D seems to have the advantage though.
               
              Sathiyah_999 (1:06 PM, February 13, 2011)
              which isactually the better camera
               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (3:36 PM, January 20, 2011)
              Thanks for pointing that out Williamz. We've made a mistake there. What we really mean is that the 550D will autofocus with basically all Canon autofocus lenses (since they all have built in focus motors), where as the D5000 won't autofocus with all Nikon autofocus lenses, since some of them lack a focus motor.
               
              WILLIAMZ (6:08 AM, January 20, 2011)
              The Canon 500D does not have a Built-in Motor, in fact All Canon DSLR Camera does not have a Built-in Motor.

              Williamz from The Philippines.
               
              Avatar for Alex Black Alex Black (5:46 PM, May 01, 2010)
              You really can't go wrong with either of those, Nikon and Canon both make great cameras, and both have tons of lenses and other accessories available. The 500D has a higher resolution lcd, better for previewing photos, but the D5000 has a flip out LCD, better for movies probably.

              The 500D has now been replaced by the 550D, but that might likely means the 500D is now selling for great prices. Check out whats changed between the 500D and 550D.