Updated (April, 2011): Compare the Canon EOS 600D vs Nikon D5100

Canon EOS 550D

Winner
Canon EOS 550D

55

vs

Nikon D5000

49

Nikon D5000

Runner-up
     
 

Reasons to buy the Canon EOS 550D

Movie format
Full HD
1080p @ 30fps
Screen resolution
High resolution screen
1,040k dots
Supports 24p
24p movies
For that film look
External mic jack
External mic jack
Record higher quality audio with a microphone
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5000

Color depth
Great color depth
22.7 bits
Dynamic range
Wide dynamic range
12.5 EV
Supports 24p
24p movies
For that film look
Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies
 
Differences | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

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 Significantly larger screen 3.0" 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 129x98x62 mm vs 127x104x80 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 (boost) Better boost ISO 12,800 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
Help
The 550D's boost ISO is 1 f-stop better
Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity 6,400 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
Help
The 550D's maximum light sensitivity is 1 f-stop 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 f-stop more dynamic range
Overall image quality Better image quality 72.0 vs 66.0
Help
Around 10% better image quality
Sensor size Much larger sensor APS-C 23.6x15.8mm 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
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
Color depth Better color depth 22.7 bits vs 22.1 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.6 more bits of color
Battery life Longer battery life 510 shots vs 440 shots
Help
Around 20% more shots per battery charge
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 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 55
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save

        vs

        49 Nikon D5000 Nikon D5000

        similarities

        Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

        Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
        Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
        400 ms startup delay
        Lens availability Many lenses available Help
        550D:197 lenses
        D5000:205 lenses
        Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
        1/4000 of a second
        Light sensitivity (boost) Poor boost ISO Help
        550D:12,800 ISO
        D5000:6,400 ISO
        Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help
        95%
        HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
        You could do HDR manually
        Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
        1
        Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
        550D:3.7 fps
        D5000:4 fps
        Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
        550D:6,400 ISO
        D5000:3,200 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
        D5000:11
        Viewfinder size Below average viewfinder size Help
        550D:0.54x
        D5000:0.51x
        Movie format Poor movies Help
        550D:1080p @ 30fps
        D5000:720p @ 24fps
        Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
        550D:784 ISO
        D5000:868 ISO

        dxomark

        DXOMark

        competitors

        Shared Competitors

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Canon EOS 600D

        Canon EOS 600D

        Entry-level DSLR

        $626 with 18-55mm lens

        Lowest price Is much less expensive
        Thickness Is thicker
        Size Is much larger
        Nikon D3200

        Nikon D3200

        Entry-level DSLR

        $319 body only

        $449 - $477 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 significantly larger
        Nikon D3100

        Nikon D3100

        Entry-level DSLR

        $275 body only

        Movie continuous focus Can focus continuously while recording movies
        Autofocus Focuses automatically while shootting video
        Thickness Is thicker
        Size Is slightly larger
        Nikon D5100

        Nikon D5100

        Entry-level DSLR

        $378 body only

        $564 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 much larger
        Canon EOS 1100D

        Canon EOS 1100D

        Entry-level DSLR

        $450 with 18-55mm lens

        Startup delay Has slightly less startup delay
        Shutter lag Has much less shutter lag
        Thickness Is thicker
        Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
        Canon EOS 700D

        Canon EOS 700D

        Entry-level DSLR

        $648 body only

        $709 with 18-55mm lens

        Touch screen Has a touch screen
        HDR Has in-camera HDR
        Thickness Is thicker
        Size Is much larger
        Canon EOS 60D

        Canon EOS 60D

        Pro DSLR

        $699 body only

        $999 - $1,182 with 18-135mm lens

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

        Canon EOS 550D Competitors

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Canon EOS 1200D

        Canon EOS 1200D

        Entry-level DSLR

        $419 body only

        Autofocus Video autofocus
        Lowest price Much cheaper
        Screen resolution Much lower resolution screen
        External mic jack Lacks an external mic jack

        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.