Updated (April 2011): Compare the Canon EOS 550D vs Nikon D5100

Nikon D5100 vs Canon EOS 550D

Winner
Nikon D5100

71

Canon EOS 550D

57

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5100

Low noise at high ISO
Low light performance
1,183 ISO
Great image quality
Overall image quality
80.0
Great color depth
Color depth
23.5 bits
Wide dynamic range
Dynamic range
13.6 EV
 

Reasons to buy the Canon EOS 550D

Screen resolution
High resolution screen
1,040k dots
Startup delay
Almost no delay when powering up
400 ms startup delay
Size
Really small
Prosumer size (129×98×62 mm)
Thickness
Thin
2.4"

galleries

Explore our gallery of 49 sample photos taken by the Canon EOS 550D.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D5100.

competitors

Nikon D5100 Competitors

Nikon D3300

Nikon D3300

Entry-level DSLR

$279 body only

$369 - $397 with 18-55mm lens

Movie format Lower frame rate movies
Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
HDR Lacks in-camera HDR
Nikon D3200

Nikon D3200

Entry-level DSLR

$249 body only

$309 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

True resolution Much higher true resolution
Color depth Better color depth
HDR Lacks in-camera HDR
Nikon D5200

Nikon D5200

Entry-level DSLR

$325 body only

$399 - $500 with 18-55mm lens

Movie format Lower frame rate movies
True resolution Much higher true resolution
Shutter lag More shutter lag

Canon EOS 550D Competitors

Canon EOS 1200D

Canon EOS 1200D

Entry-level DSLR

$367 - $440 body only

$308 - $572 with 18-55mm lens

Autofocus Video autofocus
Lowest price Significantly cheaper
Screen resolution Much lower resolution screen
Canon EOS 600D

Canon EOS 600D

Entry-level DSLR

$1,160 body only

Screen flips out Has a flip-out screen
Startup delay Much more startup delay
Canon EOS 700D

Canon EOS 700D

Entry-level DSLR

$480 with 18-55mm lens

Autofocus Video autofocus
Touch screen Has a touch screen
Color depth Worse color depth

discussion

Nikon D5100
D5100
Nikon

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Canon EOS 550D
EOS 550D
Canon

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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?