Updated (October, 2012): Compare the Canon EOS 600D vs Nikon D5200

Nikon D5100

Winner
Nikon D5100

71

vs

Canon EOS 550D

55

Canon EOS 550D

Runner-up
     
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5100

Low light performance
Low noise at high ISO
1,183 ISO
Overall image quality
Great image quality
80.0
Movie format
Full HD
1080p @ 30fps
Color depth
Great color depth
23.5 bits
 

Reasons to buy the Canon EOS 550D

Movie format
Full HD
1080p @ 30fps
Screen resolution
High resolution screen
1,040k dots
External mic jack
External mic jack
Record higher quality audio with a microphone
Size
Really small
Prosumer size 129x98x62 mm
 
Differences | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Canon 550D

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Size Much smaller 129x98x62 mm vs 127x96x78 mm
Help
Around 20% smaller
Screen resolution Higher resolution screen 1,040k dots vs 920k dots
Help
More than 10% higher resolution screen
Thickness Much thinner 2.4" vs 3.1"
Help
More than 20% thinner
True resolution Higher true resolution 17.9 MP vs 16.1 MP
Help
Capture more than 10% more detail in your photos
Viewfinder size Larger viewfinder 0.54x vs 0.51x
Help
More than 10% larger viewfinder
Shutter lag Less shutter lag 252 ms vs 273 ms
Help
Around 10% less delay when taking photos
Startup delay Slightly less startup delay 400 ms vs 500 ms
Help
20% less delay when turning on
Weight Slightly lighter 530 g vs 560 g
Help
Around 10% lighter
Canon EOS 550D Learn more about
the Canon 550D

Advantages of the Nikon D5100

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Low light performance Significantly lower noise at high ISO 1,183 ISO vs 784 ISO
Help
The D5100 has a slight edge (0.6 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Overall image quality Significantly better image quality 80.0 vs 66.0
Help
More than 20% better image quality
Dynamic range More dynamic range 13 EV vs 11.5 EV
Help
1.5 f-stops more dynamic range
Color depth Better color depth 23.5 bits vs 22.1 bits
Help
Distinguishes 1.4 more bits of color
HDR Has in-camera HDR Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
Autofocus Video autofocus Contrast detection vs None
Help
Automatically focuses shooting video
Sensor size Much larger sensor APS-C 23.6x15.6mm 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 660 shots vs 440 shots
Help
50% more shots per battery charge
Lowest price Much cheaper $352.00 vs $1,151.89
Help
The best price we've seen is $800 cheaper (3.3x less)
Light sensitivity (boost) Better boost ISO 25,600 ISO vs 12,800 ISO
Help
The D5100's boost ISO is 1 f-stop better
Lens availability Slightly more lenses available 205 lenses vs 197 lenses
Help
Almost the same
Continuous shooting Shoots slightly faster 4 fps vs 3.7 fps
Help
Around 10% faster continuous shooting
Focus points Slightly more focus points 11 vs 9
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Nikon D5100 Learn more about
the Nikon D5100
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Canon EOS 550D Canon EOS 550D 55
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save

        vs

        71 Nikon D5100 Nikon D5100
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

              Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              550D:197 lenses
              D5100:205 lenses
              Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
              550D:400 ms
              D5100:500 ms
              External mic jack Have external mic jacks Help
              Record higher quality audio with a microphone
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help
              95%
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              1
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              550D:3.7 fps
              D5100:4 fps
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              6,400 ISO
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
              You could stitch photos in post
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              550D:9
              D5100:11
              Autofocus Lacks video autofocus Help
              550D:None
              D5100:Contrast detection
              Viewfinder size Below average viewfinder size Help
              550D:0.54x
              D5100:0.51x
              Movie format Both shoot high resolution HD movies Help
              1080p @ 30fps

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $329 - $567 body only

              $477 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes significantly higher resolution photos
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is significantly larger
              Canon EOS 600D

              Canon EOS 600D

              Entry-level DSLR

              $550 with 18-55mm lens

              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $597 body only

              $500 - $697 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              True resolution Takes significantly higher resolution photos
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $278 body only

              $375 - $427 with 18-55mm lens

              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is slightly larger
              Canon EOS 700D

              Canon EOS 700D

              Entry-level DSLR

              $1,042 body only

              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Cross type focus points Has significantly more cross-type focus points
              Lowest price Is much more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon EOS 60D

              Canon EOS 60D

              Pro DSLR

              $699 - $871 body only

              $450 - $1,199 with 18-135mm lens

              Viewfinder size Slightly larger viewfinder
              Weather sealed Has a weather sealed body
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is significantly heavier
              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $689 - $929 body only

              $775 - $940 with 18-105mm lens

              Viewfinder size Significantly larger viewfinder
              Viewfinder Has higher quality type of viewfinder
              Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker

              Canon EOS 550D Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              No significant competitors found that are specific to the Canon EOS 550D.

              Nikon D5100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $597 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Higher frame rate movies
              Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
              Startup delay Much more startup delay
              HDR Lacks in-camera HDR

              appearance

              Canon EOS 550D Nikon D5100
              Canon EOS 550D Nikon D5100
              Canon EOS 550D Nikon D5100

              discussion

              Canon EOS 550D
              EOS 550D
              Canon

              Report a correction
              Nikon D5100
              D5100
              Nikon

              Report a correction

              Showing 25 comments

              Avatar for Smartphone World Smartphone World (9:12 AM, July 22, 2014)
              Great one ! http://www.note4o.com and http://www.nexus6now.com
               
              ann (9:34 AM, February 25, 2013)
              i would like to buy my new dslr...which one is the better option...my options are canon 550d, 600d & nikon d 5100, 3200..which is best canon or nikon.... i want good pictures with good zooming also..which dslr gives me the right option canon or nikon....
               
              Avatar for Ranjan Kumar Mandal Ranjan Kumar Mandal (4:48 AM, November 04, 2012)
              Hi,Joe..for your information,Canon 550D does not have CONTRAST DETECTION in Video mode..(D 5100 has) so it will not Auto Focus all the time of shooting,hence you will find real difficulty when your subject is moving..got it!
               
              Avatar for Ranjan Kumar Mandal Ranjan Kumar Mandal (4:34 AM, November 04, 2012)
              Hi,study the details in depth review of D 5100 in dpreviews.com you will note that although D5100 have less key,the ISO etc can be controlled without going into menu also..need to know guy!!
               
              Avatar for satyam satyam (6:53 PM, October 01, 2012)
              if you know how to play with ISO,Shutter speed and aperture in manual mode any DSLR can do best for you..don't go after brand loyalists..go with your own intuition ! compare and decide !
               
              Avatar for satyam satyam (6:47 PM, October 01, 2012)
              both are great!
               
              Avatar for satyam satyam (6:46 PM, October 01, 2012)
              please,reasons !i like to know your view.
               
              Avatar for satyam satyam (6:43 PM, October 01, 2012)
              hi,i don't agree.I have canon but my images are fine..not over sharpened.nikon is also a great dslr.You can adjust the sharpness in camera settings or at post editing. :) !..I give points to Nikon on its color depth.yes !
               
              Avatar for satyam satyam (6:37 PM, October 01, 2012)
              hi markiv, all dslr machines are great not just canon or nikon..even pentax or leica are great..but it depends on how much you care , how much u are passionate about it9photography)and about all those luring features...like great image quality,color depth,low light capabilities...first of all...I always see these things in DSLR :
              1.size of image sensor
              2.color depth
              3.low light capability(max ISO)
              4.low number aperture(eg f2.8 f1.8 or f3)
              5.focus points(cross points)
              6.lastly, mega pixels.
              compare these among any camera ...the camera with higher numbers or maximum good limit is the best !
              I have Canon 550D with 18-55mm lens and I'm happy and I'll love Nikon too !
              ..... If you ask "what next".... I definitely say Nikon d7000 or d5100 !
               
              Avatar for Rishi Ramesh Rishi Ramesh (5:39 AM, May 17, 2012)
              This is where evevrything gets confusing. Here you guys tell that image qaulity is better in Nikon than Canon but, go here http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos550d/29 and check it out yourself. The image quality in RAW is a slight edge in Nikon, but the jpeg quality is the same. So which one should I go for, both feels good in my hands and around 45K($900) budget which should I buy.!?
               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (2:42 PM, April 16, 2012)
              The Nikon D5100 doesn't have a built in focus motor, so it will not work with Nikon lenses that are from the early 90's and before. You just need to make sure that the lens you buy has a focus motor built in, which a fare number have.
               
              Acdawn08 (11:39 PM, April 15, 2012)
              hi is it true nikon 5100 auto focus does not work? what are the common problem? 
               
              Aabdullah1606 (9:01 AM, April 05, 2012)
              canon 550d is a good camera but if your comparing to nikon D5100 so better to go with D5100 that one is more batter then 550D
               
              Joe.D (4:25 PM, March 31, 2012)
              550d can record 60fps video whereas D5100 cannot, very important for people looking to record videos on it. The live view is also smoother on the 550d.
               
              Avatar for deadmau5 deadmau5 (1:21 PM, March 07, 2012)
              which area is it in which you think the canon beats the nikon ? 
               
              Sunny (4:26 AM, February 18, 2012)
              I want to buy my first DSLR. Now i am confused in Nikon D5100 and Canon 550D. I am a very first user so i need something smooth and can shoot a pretty sharp image. And what are the basic deference between EF 18-55 IS II and AF-S 18-55mm VR Kit lens?  
               
              iss (10:57 AM, February 17, 2012)
              hey! i've found something interesting. now you can see the real differences
              Canon 550D : http://www.pixel-peeper.com/cameras/?camera=1451
              nikon D5100 : http://www.pixel-peeper.com/cameras/?camera=1539


              i chose the 550d btw
               
               
              Hemanth Rao (6:01 PM, February 10, 2012)
              Nikon d5100 should be better, But you need to buy a good lens for the same. There are different lenses by nikon for better zoom. It ranges from $ 1000 to $ 2500 for each lens. 
               
              insect man (0:07 PM, February 09, 2012)
              i am waiting for reply..................................
               
              insect man (4:56 PM, February 07, 2012)
              i am willing to purchase a camera which takes good wildlife photos, good
              images at night, portrait, wedding pics, close up shots and has high
              resolution images. which camera should i buy canon eos 550d or
              nikond5100?
               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (4:06 PM, February 07, 2012)
              Hey Markiv

              I am sorry we did not respond to your question right away, but we are busy building new features to make Snapsort better, so we do not always have time to respond to every question. 
              If you check out the above comparison you will see that Snapsort recommends the D5100 over the Canon 550D. You can also see advantages for each camera. You can also check out the 
              specs page to see how we score each comparison.
              You can also read the comments here (or here) to see what other people have said about both cameras.
               
              markiv (3:54 PM, February 07, 2012)
              for answer
               
              markiv (3:52 PM, February 07, 2012)
              waiting 
               
              markiv (3:28 PM, February 07, 2012)
              I AM NOT GETTING ANY RESULT FROM ANY SITE TO CHOOSE THE CAMERA. NOW MY POINT IS I AM GETTING A NIKON D550 FROM FLIPKART WITH
              Canon EOS 550D SLR with Kit (EF S18-55 IS II)...

              (Free : Benro Tripod T-660EX + 1 Hoya 58 mm UV filter + 4 GB SD Card (inside the box) + DSLR Camera Bag ) IN APPROX. RS 39000 INDIAN CURRECY AND NIKON D5100 WITH 4GB CARD AND A CARRY BAG IN RS 40000 INDIAN CURRENCY. NOW SUGGEST ME WHICH SHOULD I BUY. PLEASE ASAP. AS I AM PLANNING IT TO BUY WITHIN NEXT 3 DAYS.  SNAPSORT
               
              insect man (8:37 AM, February 07, 2012)
              i am willing to purchase a camera which takes good wildlife photos, good images at night, portrait, wedding pics, close up shots and has high resolution images. which camera should i buy canon eos 550d or nikond5100?