Nikon D90 vs Canon EOS 50D

Winner
Nikon D90

68

Canon EOS 50D

60

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Nikon D90

Large viewfinder
Viewfinder size
0.63x
Built-in focus motor
Badge
Autofocuses with more lenses
 

Reasons to buy the Canon EOS 50D

Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Shoot in extreme weather
Continuous shooting
Rapid fire
6.3 fps
Shutter lag
Barely any delay taking photos
131 ms shutter lag
Fastest shutter speed
Fast shutter speed
1/8000 of a second

Items often bought with the Nikon D90 or Canon 50D

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Canon EOS 50D.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D90.

differences

Advantages of the Canon 50D

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Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Yes vs No
Help
Sealed to shoot in the rain
Shutter lag
Less shutter lag
131 ms vs 208 ms
Help
Around 40% less delay when taking photos
Continuous shooting
Shoots faster
6.3 fps vs 4.5 fps
Help
40% faster continuous shooting
Cross type focus points
More cross-type focus points
9 vs 1
Help
Grab focus in difficult situations
True resolution
Higher true resolution
15.1 MP vs 12.2 MP
Help
Capture more than 20% more detail in your photos
Fastest shutter speed
Much faster max shutter speed
1/8000s vs 1/4000s
Help
2x faster max shutter speed
Thickness
Thinner
2.9" vs 3"
Help
Almost the same
Canon EOS 50D Learn more about
the Canon 50D

Advantages of the Nikon D90

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Movie format
Shoots movies
720p @ 24fps vs None
Help
Shoots HD (720p) video as well as still pictures
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
12.5 EV vs 11.4 EV
Help
1.4 f-stops more dynamic range
Color depth
Better color depth
22.7 bits vs 21.8 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.9 more bits of color
Overall image quality
Better image quality
73.0 vs 63.0
Help
Around 20% better image quality
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
977 ISO vs 696 ISO
Help
The D90 has a slight edge (0.5 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
Viewfinder size
Larger viewfinder
0.63x vs 0.59x
Help
More than 10% larger viewfinder
Built-in focus motor
Has a built-in focus motor
Yes vs No
Help
Autofocuses with all autofocus lenses
Battery life
Longer battery life
850 shots vs 640 shots
Help
More than 30% more shots per battery charge
Lens availability
Slightly more lenses available
230 lenses vs 220 lenses
Help
Almost the same
Viewfinder coverage
Better viewfinder coverage
96% vs 95%
Help
Almost the same
Size
Smaller
132×103×77 mm vs 146×108×74 mm
Help
More than 10% smaller
Lowest price
Cheaper
$559.00 vs $1,499.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $940 cheaper (2.7x less)
Weight
Lighter
703 g vs 822 g
Help
More than 10% lighter
Nikon D90 Learn more about
the Nikon D90
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Canon EOS 50D Canon EOS 50D 60
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    Style
      Color
        You save
        vs
        68 Nikon D90 Nikon D90
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
              300 ms startup delay
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              50D220 lenses
              D90230 lenses
              Viewfinder Both have pentaprism viewfinders Help
              Pentaprism
              Common Weaknesses
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Storage slots Fewer storage slots Help
              1
              Autofocus No video autofocus Help
              Manual focus only
              Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help
              50D95%
              D9096%
              Light sensitivity (boost) Poor boost ISO Help
              50D12,800 ISO
              D906,400 ISO
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              3,200 ISO
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              50D9
              D9011
              Movie format One shoots movies Help
              50DNone
              D90720p @ 24fps
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              50D15.1 MP
              D9012.2 MP
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Screen size Very small screens Help
              3"
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              50D63.0
              D9073.0
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              50D696 ISO
              D90977 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $289 body only

              $349 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Viewfinder Has a lower quality type of viewfinder
              Nikon D7000

              Nikon D7000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $479 body only

              $720 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Thickness Is thicker
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag
              Canon EOS 60D

              Canon EOS 60D

              Pro DSLR

              $819 body only

              $960 with 18-135mm lens

              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is slightly larger
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $430 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Viewfinder Has a lower quality type of viewfinder
              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $405 - $497 body only

              $479 - $500 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D5100

              Nikon D5100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $368 body only

              $640 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon EOS 70D

              Canon EOS 70D

              Pro DSLR

              $799 - $999 body only

              $900 - $1,099 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is slightly larger

              Canon EOS 50D Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS 40D

              Canon EOS 40D

              Pro DSLR

              $700 body only

              $1,670 with 28-135mm lens

              Color depth Better color depth
              Battery life Longer battery life
              Screen resolution Much lower resolution screen
              Weather sealed No weather sealing

              Nikon D90 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D7200

              Nikon D7200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $968 - $1,097 body only

              $1,397 with 18-140mm lens

              Movie format Higher resolution movies
              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Viewfinder size Slightly smaller viewfinder
              Startup delay Slightly more startup delay
              Nikon D7100

              Nikon D7100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $713 - $797 body only

              $948 - $1,097 with 18-140mm lens

              Movie format Higher resolution movies
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Shutter lag More shutter lag
              Viewfinder size Slightly smaller viewfinder
              Nikon D5500

              Nikon D5500

              Entry-level DSLR

              $559 - $747 body only

              $649 - $847 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Higher resolution movies
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Viewfinder size Significantly smaller viewfinder
              Viewfinder Doesn't have a pentaprism viewfinder
              Nikon D5300

              Nikon D5300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $465 - $647 body only

              $545 - $747 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Higher resolution movies
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Viewfinder size Significantly smaller viewfinder
              Viewfinder Doesn't have a pentaprism viewfinder

              appearance

              Canon EOS 50D Nikon D90
              Canon EOS 50D Nikon D90
              Canon EOS 50D Nikon D90

              discussion

              Canon EOS 50D
              EOS 50D
              Canon

              Report a correction
              Nikon D90
              D90
              Nikon

              Report a correction

              Showing 7 comments

              Alwynjsmi (6:48 AM, May 14, 2012)
              Look, handling, ergonomics and so forth are all things that various ppl will have a different opinion on. Some will like the Canon feel and look, others will like the Nikon. Some will like that horrible cactus plant from whence tequila comes, others will like sucking on Spongebob. Each to their own in other words. I have the D90 and have had the 60d which I returned because of build quality issues. Now, had the 50d been available when I got the D90, I may have gone for the 50d instead. Magnesium alloy body, 1/8000, 6.3fps. But then I would still have had to deal with Canon's couldn't care less attitude so this is a tough one. Product wise (for me) I'd say 50d, but no one would go wrong with either 50d or D90. After sales service though; I prefer the 'we value you spending your hard earned cash on us' as opposed to the 'whatever' approach
               
              Masih Akbarzadeh (8:50 AM, May 04, 2012)
              dislike...
               
              Avatar for Jay-van Geli Jay-van Geli (3:12 AM, January 15, 2012)
              of course you would say that. you own the 50d
               
              Krampfader_2005 (7:44 AM, October 09, 2011)
              Bought a D90 for a colleague (had some old nikkor lenses) I tested it and compared to 50D, which is mine, 50d is slightly better.
              Better user interface, higher resolution. No video.
               
              Sunny Gill (7:59 AM, September 06, 2011)
              50d is better in many ways ,sport photography,nature,wild life and it is mag alloy body which is very good and in look also it seems better then d90  i used d90 i like it very much but canon has true colors ill prefer d50
               
              Eneleh99 (6:10 PM, June 02, 2011)
              i looove my d90... it's built like like a tank, it fell yesterday and nothing happened to it!! its amazing! im still shooting away... im glad i bought nikon d90 instead of canon 60d...it would have been a wreck right now..and i would be drowning in tears...
               
              Russell (9:05 AM, March 16, 2011)
              Canon 50D is the smarter one.