Updated (February, 2012): Compare the Canon EOS 600D vs Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Winner
Canon EOS 5D Mark II

83

vs

Canon EOS 550D

58

Canon EOS 550D

Runner-up
     

Reasons to buy the Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Low noise at high ISO
Low light performance
1,815 ISO
Great image quality
Overall image quality
79.0
Great color depth
Color depth
23.7 bits
Wide dynamic range
Dynamic range
11.9 EV
 

Reasons to buy the Canon EOS 550D

Screen resolution
High resolution screen
1,040k dots
Size
Really small
Prosumer size 129x98x62 mm
Sensor cleaning
Self cleaning sensor
Avoids dust in your photos
Thickness
Thin
2.4"
 

differences

Advantages of the Canon 550D

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Lens availability
More lenses available
197 lenses vs 156 lenses
Help
Around 30% more lenses available
Screen resolution
Higher resolution screen
1,040k dots vs 920k dots
Help
More than 10% higher resolution screen
Size
Significantly smaller
129x98x62 mm vs 152x114x75 mm
Help
Around 40% smaller
Thickness
Much thinner
2.4" vs 3"
Help
Around 20% thinner
Weight
Significantly lighter
530 g vs 850 g
Help
Around 40% lighter
Lowest price
Significantly cheaper
$588.36 vs $2,494.73
Help
The best price we've seen is $1,906 cheaper (4.2x less)
Built-in flash
Built-in flash
Yes vs No
Help
A built-in flash is useful for taking indoor shots where there is little light
Canon EOS 550D Learn more about
the Canon 550D

Advantages of the Canon 5D Mark II

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Low light performance
Significantly lower noise at high ISO
1,815 ISO vs 784 ISO
Help
The 5D Mark II has excellent image quality 1.2 f-stops higher ISO than the 550D
Overall image quality
Significantly better image quality
79.0 vs 66.0
Help
Around 20% better image quality
Viewfinder size
Much larger viewfinder
0.71x vs 0.54x
Help
More than 70% larger viewfinder
Color depth
Better color depth
23.7 bits vs 22.1 bits
Help
Distinguishes 1.6 more bits of color
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
11.9 EV vs 11.5 EV
Help
0.4 f-stops more dynamic range
Sensor size
Much larger sensor
Full frame 36.0x24.0mm vs APS-C 22.3x14.9mm
Help
More than 2.5x larger sensor
Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Yes vs No
Help
Sealed to shoot in the rain
Battery life
Longer battery life
850 shots vs 440 shots
Help
More than 90% more shots per battery charge
True resolution
Higher true resolution
21 MP vs 17.9 MP
Help
Capture around 20% more detail in your photos
Viewfinder
Has a pentaprism viewfinder
Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
Help
Pentaprism viewfinders are typically brighter
Viewfinder coverage
Significantly better viewfinder coverage
98% vs 95%
Help
Almost the same
Shutter lag
Less shutter lag
206 ms vs 252 ms
Help
Around 20% less delay when taking photos
Fastest shutter speed
Much faster max shutter speed
1/8000s vs 1/4000s
Help
2x faster max shutter speed
Continuous shooting
Shoots slightly faster
3.9 fps vs 3.7 fps
Help
Around 10% faster continuous shooting
Light sensitivity (boost)
Better boost ISO
25,600 ISO vs 12,800 ISO
Help
The 5D Mark II's boost ISO is 1 f-stop better
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Learn more about
the Canon 5D Mark II
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Canon EOS 550D Canon EOS 550D 58
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    Style
      Color
        You save

        vs

        83 Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS 5D Mark II
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
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              similarities

              Compared to recent DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
              400 ms startup delay
              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
              Built-in focus motor No focus motor Help
              Won't autofocus with all lenses
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              550D:3.7 fps
              5D Mark II:3.9 fps
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              9
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              1
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              6,400 ISO
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              550D:11.5 EV
              5D Mark II:11.9 EV

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS 6D

              Canon EOS 6D

              Pro DSLR

              $1,519 - $1,899 body only

              $2,299 - $2,499 with 24-105mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Light sensitivity Significantly higher maximum light sensitivity
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Canon EOS 600D

              Canon EOS 600D

              Entry-level DSLR

              $491 body only

              $578 with 18-135mm lens

              Screen flips out Has a screen which flips out
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon EOS 7D

              Canon EOS 7D

              Pro DSLR

              $999 - $1,499 body only

              $1,099 - $1,978 with 28-135mm lens

              Continuous shooting Shoots faster continuously
              Shutter lag Has slightly less shutter lag
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is significantly heavier
              Canon EOS 70D

              Canon EOS 70D

              Pro DSLR

              $999 body only

              $1,129 - $1,149 with 18-55mm lens

              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Continuous shooting Shoots faster continuously
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Canon EOS 700D

              Canon EOS 700D

              Entry-level DSLR

              $700 with 18-55mm lens

              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Continuous shooting Shoots faster continuously
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon EOS 60D

              Canon EOS 60D

              Pro DSLR

              $699 - $1,000 body only

              $959 - $1,182 with 18-135mm lens

              Continuous shooting Shoots faster continuously
              Screen flips out Has a screen which flips out
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $319 - $527 body only

              $389 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

              Dynamic range Has slightly wider dynamic range
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker

              Canon EOS 550D Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS 1200D

              Canon EOS 1200D

              Entry-level DSLR

              $429 body only

              $500 with 18-55mm lens

              Autofocus Video autofocus
              Battery life Slightly longer battery life
              Screen resolution Much lower resolution screen
              External mic jack Lacks an external mic jack
              Canon EOS 1100D

              Canon EOS 1100D

              Entry-level DSLR

              $450 with 18-55mm lens

              Shutter lag Significantly less shutter lag
              Startup delay Less startup delay
              Movie format Lower resolution movies
              Screen resolution Much lower resolution screen
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $272 body only

              $390 - $409 with 18-55mm lens

              Autofocus Video autofocus
              Color depth Better color depth
              Screen resolution Much lower resolution screen
              External mic jack Lacks an external mic jack

              Canon EOS 5D Mark II Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS 5D Mark III

              Canon EOS 5D Mark III

              Pro DSLR

              $3,099 - $3,399 body only

              $3,699 - $3,999 with 24-105mm lens

              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Cross type focus points Many more cross-type focus points
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Startup delay Slightly more startup delay
              Nikon D700

              Nikon D700

              Pro DSLR

              $4,337 body only

              Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
              Focus points Many more focus points
              Movie format Does not take movies
              True resolution Significantly lower true resolution
              Nikon D7100

              Nikon D7100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $897 - $1,097 body only

              $1,197 - $1,240 with 18-140mm lens

              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Low light performance More noise at high ISO
              Viewfinder size Significantly smaller viewfinder

              appearance

              Canon EOS 550D Canon EOS 5D Mark II
              Canon EOS 550D Canon EOS 5D Mark II
              Canon EOS 550D Canon EOS 5D Mark II

              discussion

              Canon EOS 550D
              EOS 550D
              Canon

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              Canon EOS 5D Mark II
              EOS 5D Mark II
              Canon

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