Updated (February 2010): Compare the Canon EOS 550D vs Nikon D5000

Canon EOS 550D vs Nikon D5000

Canon EOS 550D


Nikon D5000



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
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


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.


Canon EOS 550D Competitors

Canon EOS 1200D

Canon EOS 1200D

Entry-level DSLR

$366 body only

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

Canon EOS 600D

Entry-level DSLR

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

Canon EOS 700D

Entry-level DSLR

$540 with 18-55mm lens

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

Nikon D5000 Competitors

Nikon D3200

Nikon D3200

Entry-level DSLR

$289 body only

$379 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

Movie format Higher resolution movies
Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
Screen flips out Screen does not flip out
Nikon D3100

Nikon D3100

Entry-level DSLR

$275 body only

$358 with 18-55mm lens

Movie format Higher resolution movies
Screen size Much larger screen
Dynamic range Less dynamic range
Nikon D3300

Nikon D3300

Entry-level DSLR

$400 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

Movie format Higher resolution movies
Low light performance Much lower noise at high ISO
Screen flips out Screen does not flip out


Advantages of the Canon 550D

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

Advantages of the Nikon D5000

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Dynamic range
More dynamic range
12.5 EV vs 11.5 EV
1.2 f-stops more dynamic range
Overall image quality
Better image quality
72.0 vs 66.0
Around 10% better image quality
Screen flips out
Has a flip-out screen
Yes vs No
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
Distinguishes 0.6 more bits of color
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
868 ISO vs 784 ISO
The D5000 has a slight edge (0.1 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
Lowest price
Significantly cheaper
$412.99 vs $758.86
The best price we've seen is $346 cheaper (around 50% less)
Battery life
Longer battery life
510 shots vs 440 shots
Around 20% more shots per battery charge
Continuous shooting
Shoots slightly faster
4 fps vs 3.7 fps
Around 10% faster continuous shooting
Lens availability
Slightly more lenses available
230 lenses vs 220 lenses
Almost the same
Focus points
Slightly more focus points
11 vs 9
Set focus accurately within the frame
Nikon D5000 Learn more about
the Nikon D5000


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
        You save
        49 Nikon D5000 Nikon D5000
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              Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              550D220 lenses
              D5000230 lenses
              Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
              400 ms startup delay
              Common Weaknesses
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Built-in focus motor No focus motor Help
              Won't autofocus with all lenses
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help
              Light sensitivity (boost) Poor boost ISO Help
              550D12,800 ISO
              D50006,400 ISO
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              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
              Shutter lag Significant shutter lag Help
              550D252 ms
              D5000276 ms
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Viewfinder size Below average viewfinder size Help
              Movie format Poor movies Help
              550D1080p @ 30fps
              D5000720p @ 24fps
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              550D784 ISO
              D5000868 ISO




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


              Canon EOS 550D
              EOS 550D

              Report a correction
              Nikon D5000

              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.