Updated (February 2011): Compare the Canon EOS 600D vs Nikon D3100

Canon EOS 550D vs Nikon D3000

Winner
Canon EOS 550D

57

Nikon D3000

35

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Canon EOS 550D

Full HD
Movie format
1080p @ 30fps
High resolution screen
Screen resolution
1,040k dots
Has live view
Live view
Preview your photos
24p movies
Supports 24p
For that film look
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3000

Size
Really small
Prosumer size (126×97×64 mm)
Sensor cleaning
Self cleaning sensor
Avoids dust in your photos
Thickness
Thin
2.5"

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 D3000.

differences

Advantages of the Canon 550D

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Movie format
Shoots movies
1080p @ 30fps vs None
Help
Shoots Full HD (1080p) video as well as still pictures
Screen resolution
Much higher resolution screen
1,040k dots vs 230k dots
Help
More than 4.5x higher resolution screen
Live view
Has live view
Yes vs No
Help
Preview your photos on the camera's screen before taking them
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
784 ISO vs 563 ISO
Help
The 550D has a slight edge (0.5 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
True resolution
Much higher true resolution
17.9 MP vs 10 MP
Help
Capture around 80% more detail in your photos
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
11.5 EV vs 11.1 EV
Help
0.8 f-stops more dynamic range
Overall image quality
Better image quality
66.0 vs 62.0
Help
Around 10% better image quality
Sensor type
Has a CMOS-family sensor
CMOS vs CCD
Help
CMOS-family sensors often produce better quality images
Startup delay
Less startup delay
400 ms vs 700 ms
Help
More than 40% less delay when turning on
Continuous shooting
Shoots faster
3.7 fps vs 3 fps
Help
More than 20% faster continuous shooting
Viewfinder size
Slightly larger viewfinder
0.54x vs 0.52x
Help
Around 10% larger viewfinder
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
6,400 ISO vs 1,600 ISO
Help
The 550D's maximum light sensitivity is 4 f-stops better
Light sensitivity (boost)
Better boost ISO
12,800 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
Help
The 550D's boost ISO is 4 f-stops better
Shutter lag
Slightly less shutter lag
252 ms vs 262 ms
Help
Almost the same
Thickness
Thinner
2.4" vs 2.5"
Help
Almost the same
Canon EOS 550D Learn more about
the Canon 550D

Advantages of the Nikon D3000

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Color depth
Better color depth
22.3 bits vs 22.1 bits
Help
Almost the same
Battery life
Longer battery life
550 shots vs 440 shots
Help
Around 30% more shots per battery charge
Lowest price
Cheaper
$367.99 vs $575.28
Help
The best price we've seen is $207 cheaper (around 40% less)
Lens availability
Slightly more lenses available
230 lenses vs 220 lenses
Help
Almost the same
Focus points
Slightly more focus points
11 vs 9
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Weight
Lighter
485 g vs 530 g
Help
Around 10% lighter
Nikon D3000 Learn more about
the Nikon D3000
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 57
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    Style
      Color
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        vs
        35 Nikon D3000 Nikon D3000
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Size Fairly small Help
              550D129×98×62 mm
              D3000126×97×64 mm
              Thickness Very thin Help
              550D2.4"
              D30002.5"
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              550D220 lenses
              D3000230 lenses
              Common Weaknesses
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Autofocus No video autofocus Help
              Manual focus only
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help
              95%
              Light sensitivity (boost) Poor boost ISO Help
              550D12,800 ISO
              D30003,200 ISO
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              1
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              550D3.7 fps
              D30003 fps
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              550D6,400 ISO
              D30001,600 ISO
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              550D17.9 MP
              D300010 MP
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              550D9
              D300011
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Shutter lag Significant shutter lag Help
              550D252 ms
              D3000262 ms
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              550D11.5 EV
              D300011.1 EV
              Viewfinder size Below average viewfinder size Help
              550D0.54x
              D30000.52x
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              550D66.0
              D300062.0
              Movie format One shoots movies Help
              550D1080p @ 30fps
              D3000None
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              550D784 ISO
              D3000563 ISO
              Color depth Poor color depth Help
              550D22.1 bits
              D300022.3 bits

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS 600D

              Canon EOS 600D

              Entry-level DSLR

              $534 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen flips out Has a screen which flips out
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon EOS 1200D

              Canon EOS 1200D

              Entry-level DSLR

              $339 body only

              Movie continuous focus Can focus continuously while recording movies
              Autofocus Focuses automatically while shootting video
              Thickness Is thicker
              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $289 body only

              $400 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

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

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $263 body only

              $484 with 18-55mm, 55-200mm lenses

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Movie continuous focus Can focus continuously while recording movies
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is slightly larger
              Canon EOS 1100D

              Canon EOS 1100D

              Entry-level DSLR

              $417 body only

              Startup delay Has slightly less startup delay
              Shutter lag Has much less shutter lag
              Thickness Is thicker
              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
              Nikon D5100

              Nikon D5100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $368 body only

              $640 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is significantly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Canon EOS 500D

              Canon EOS 500D

              Entry-level DSLR

              Shutter lag Has significantly less shutter lag
              External mic jack Lacks and external mic jack
              Supports 24p Doesn't record movies in 24p

              Canon EOS 550D Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS 700D

              Canon EOS 700D

              Entry-level DSLR

              $726 with 18-55mm, 55-250mm lenses

              Autofocus Video autofocus
              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Overall image quality Worse image quality
              Canon EOS 100D

              Canon EOS 100D

              Entry-level DSLR

              $596 with 18-55mm lens

              Autofocus Video autofocus
              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Autofocus Slower autofocus
              Color depth Worse color depth

              Nikon D3000 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D80

              Nikon D80

              Entry-level DSLR

              $1,599 body only

              $1,429 with 18-135mm lens

              Viewfinder size Significantly larger viewfinder
              Viewfinder Has a pentaprism viewfinder
              Screen size Much smaller screen
              Lowest price Much more expensive
              Nikon D60

              Nikon D60

              Entry-level DSLR

              $589 with 18-55mm lens

              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Screen size Much smaller screen
              Focus points Fewer focus points

              appearance

              Canon EOS 550D Nikon D3000
              Canon EOS 550D Nikon D3000
              Canon EOS 550D Nikon D3000

              discussion

              Canon EOS 550D
              EOS 550D
              Canon

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              Nikon D3000
              D3000
              Nikon

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