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

Canon EOS 550D vs Nikon D5000

Winner
Canon EOS 550D

56

Nikon D5000

49

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Canon EOS 550D

Full HD
Movie format
1080p @ 30fps
High resolution screen
Screen resolution
1,040k dots
External mic jack
External mic jack
Record higher quality audio with a microphone
Really small
Size
Prosumer size (129×98×62 mm)
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5000

Dynamic range
Wide dynamic range
12.5 EV
Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies
Supports 24p
24p movies
For that film look
Sensor cleaning
Self cleaning sensor
Avoids dust in your photos

Items often bought with the Canon 550D or Nikon D5000

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 D5000.

differences

Advantages of the Canon 550D

Report a correction
Movie format
Higher resolution movies
1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 24fps
Help
Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video at a higher frame rate
Screen resolution
Much higher resolution screen
1,040k dots vs 230k dots
Help
More than 4.5x higher resolution screen
Screen size
Much larger screen
3" vs 2.7"
Help
More than 10% larger screen
External mic jack
Has an external mic jack
Yes vs No
Help
Record high quality audio with an external microphone
True resolution
Significantly higher true resolution
17.9 MP vs 12.2 MP
Help
Capture around 50% more detail in your photos
Size
Much smaller
129×98×62 mm vs 127×104×80 mm
Help
Around 30% smaller
Thickness
Much thinner
2.4" vs 3.1"
Help
More than 20% thinner
Viewfinder size
Larger viewfinder
0.54x vs 0.51x
Help
More than 10% larger viewfinder
Shutter lag
Less shutter lag
252 ms vs 276 ms
Help
Around 10% less delay when taking photos
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
6,400 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
Help
The 550D's maximum light sensitivity is 2 f-stops better
Light sensitivity (boost)
Better boost ISO
12,800 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
Help
The 550D's boost ISO is 2 f-stops better
Weight
Lighter
530 g vs 590 g
Help
More than 10% lighter
Canon EOS 550D Learn more about
the Canon 550D

Advantages of the Nikon D5000

Report a correction
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
12.5 EV vs 11.5 EV
Help
1.2 f-stops more dynamic range
Overall image quality
Better image quality
72.0 vs 66.0
Help
Around 10% better image quality
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
Color depth
Better color depth
22.7 bits vs 22.1 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.6 more bits of color
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
868 ISO vs 784 ISO
Help
The D5000 has a slight edge (0.1 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
Battery life
Longer battery life
510 shots vs 440 shots
Help
Around 20% more shots per battery charge
Continuous shooting
Shoots slightly faster
4 fps vs 3.7 fps
Help
Around 10% faster continuous shooting
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
Lowest price
Cheaper
$649.95 vs $765.48
Help
The best price we've seen is $116 cheaper (around 20% less)
Nikon D5000 Learn more about
the Nikon D5000
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 56
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save
        vs
        49 Nikon D5000 Nikon D5000
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
              400 ms startup delay
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              550D220 lenses
              D5000230 lenses
              Common Weaknesses
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Lowest price Very expensive Help
              550D$765.48
              D5000$649.95
              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
              D50006,400 ISO
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              1
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              550D6,400 ISO
              D50003,200 ISO
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              550D3.7 fps
              D50004 fps
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              550D17.9 MP
              D500012.2 MP
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              550D9
              D500011
              Shutter lag Significant shutter lag Help
              550D252 ms
              D5000276 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
              Viewfinder size Below average viewfinder size Help
              550D0.54x
              D50000.51x
              Movie format Poor movies Help
              550D1080p @ 30fps
              D5000720p @ 24fps
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              550D784 ISO
              D5000868 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $312 body only

              $360 - $399 with 18-55mm lens

              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
              Canon Kiss X5

              Canon Kiss X5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $1,299 body only

              Lowest price Is much more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $289 body only

              $349 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is slightly larger
              Canon Rebel T5i

              Canon Rebel T5i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $495 - $649 body only

              $581 - $649 with 18-55mm lens

              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Continuous shooting Shoots faster continuously
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is much larger
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $263 body only

              $358 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie continuous focus Can focus continuously while recording movies
              Autofocus Focuses automatically while shootting video
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is slightly larger
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $439 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is significantly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is slightly larger
              Canon Rebel T3

              Canon Rebel T3

              Entry-level DSLR

              $339 body only

              $399 with 18-55mm lens

              Battery life Has a slightly longer battery life
              Lowest price Is significantly less expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor

              Canon EOS 550D Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS Rebel T6i

              Canon EOS Rebel T6i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $749 body only

              $799 with 18-55mm lens

              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Cross type focus points Many more cross-type focus points
              Size Much larger
              Thickness Much thicker
              Canon Rebel SL1

              Canon Rebel SL1

              Entry-level DSLR

              $399 - $509 body only

              $499 with 18-55mm lens

              Autofocus Video autofocus
              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Overall image quality Worse image quality

              Nikon D5000 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              No significant competitors found that are specific to the Nikon D5000.

              appearance

              Canon EOS 550D Nikon D5000
              Canon EOS 550D Nikon D5000
              Canon EOS 550D Nikon D5000

              discussion

              Canon EOS 550D
              EOS 550D
              Canon

              Report a correction
              Nikon D5000
              D5000
              Nikon

              Report a correction

              Showing 8 comments

              Photographer. YEAH! (5:56 AM, October 01, 2011)
              what is referred to the image quality ? in JPEG type  or in RAW files ? Which is better when it comes in JPEG shooting quality ? 
               
              7300 (6:30 AM, September 04, 2011)
              i am a user of nikon d5000 n its an amazin camera.  and it really doesnt matter that what camera u r using its ur vision that creates a beautiful pictue
               
              Denfred (9:36 AM, June 11, 2011)
              by all means? in many reviews Nikon D5000 has way better image quality than Canon 550D...
               
              Denfred (9:35 AM, June 11, 2011)
              Nikon has better image quality than Canon, it's obvious!
               
              ETCH (2:03 PM, May 23, 2011)
              i own the d5000 Nikon and its pretty good but the 550d canon is way much better by all means but if u want the best of the best go for the powerful Nikon D7000 :)
               
              Sep (5:50 AM, October 04, 2010)
              Haha! I've been searching sites comparing Canon EOS 550D and Nikon D5000. But, I'm still undecided. On some posts, I read some people who claims that they got help with such posts, but as for me... I'm more confused. Haha. Perhaps, it's because it will be my first DSLR. Some say I could get Nikon D5000 since it is easy to use but very slow for professionals. I would like a camera that will grow with me and not outgrow it. :( Please give me an advice. Thanks a lot.
               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (2:52 AM, August 12, 2010)
              Hi Nat, in what way do you think Nikon is way ahead?
               
              Natphotos (3:43 PM, August 10, 2010)
              I have been shooting with Canon for sometime but clearly Nikon is way ahead. That is my opinion.