Canon 100D vs 550D
The Canon EOS 100D (called Canon SL1 in some regions) and the Canon EOS 550D (labelled Canon T2i in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in March 2013 and February 2010. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 17.9 megapixels.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Canon 100D||Canon 550D|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor||17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|1080/30p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO 100-12800 (100-25600)||ISO 100-6400 (100-12800)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0" LCD, 1040k dots||3.0" LCD, 1040k dots|
|Fixed touchscreen||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|4.9 shutter flaps per second||3.7 shutter flaps per second|
|380 shots per battery charge||440 shots per battery charge|
|117 x 91 x 69 mm, 407 g||129 x 98 x 62 mm, 530 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 100D and the Canon EOS 550D? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The physical size and weight of the Canon 100D and the Canon 550D are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The 100D can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the 550D is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 550D is notably larger (19 percent) than the Canon 100D. Moreover, the 550D is markedly heavier (30 percent) than the 100D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 100D nor the 550D are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Canon 100D»||4.6 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||14.4 oz||380||n||Mar 2013||549||-||Canon 100D|
|Canon 550D«||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.7 oz||440||n||Feb 2010||699||-||Canon 550D|
|Canon 4000D« »||5.1 in||4.0 in||3.0 in||15.4 oz||500||n||Feb 2018||399||Canon 4000D|
|Canon 200D« »||4.8 in||3.7 in||2.8 in||16.0 oz||650||n||Jun 2017||549||-||Canon 200D|
|Canon 750D« »||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||19.6 oz||440||n||Feb 2015||749||-||Canon 750D|
|Canon 7D II« »||5.9 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||32.1 oz||670||Y||Sep 2014||1,799||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 1200D« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||16.9 oz||500||n||Feb 2014||449||-||Canon 1200D|
|Canon 700D« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.5 oz||440||n||Mar 2013||649||-||Canon 700D|
|Canon G16« »||4.3 in||3.0 in||1.6 in||12.6 oz||360||n||Aug 2013||549||Canon G16|
|Canon 650D« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.3 oz||440||n||Jun 2012||849||-||Canon 650D|
|Canon M« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.3 in||10.5 oz||230||n||Jul 2012||599||-||Canon M|
|Canon 600D« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.1 oz||440||n||Feb 2011||599||-||Canon 600D|
|Canon 500D« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.3 oz||400||n||Mar 2009||799||-||Canon 500D|
|Panasonic G6« »||4.8 in||3.3 in||2.8 in||13.8 oz||340||n||Apr 2013||599||-||Panasonic G6|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 100D was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 21 percent) than the 550D, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
In terms of chip-set technology, the 100D uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 5) than the 550D (DIGIC 4), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 17.9 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the 100D and the 550D have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the 100D is much more recent (by 3 years and 1 month) than the 550D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time.
The 100D has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Canon EOS 100D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS 550D are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-12800.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Canon 100D»||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.8||11.3||843||63||Canon 100D|
|Canon 550D«||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.5||784||66||Canon 550D|
|Canon 4000D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.9||11.4||695||63||Canon 4000D|
|Canon 200D« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.4||1041||79||Canon 200D|
|Canon 750D« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||22.7||12.0||919||71||Canon 750D|
|Canon 7D II« »||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||11.8||1082||70||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 1200D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.9||11.3||724||63||Canon 1200D|
|Canon 700D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||681||61||Canon 700D|
|Canon G16« »||1/1.7||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||21.0||11.7||230||54||Canon G16|
|Canon 650D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||722||62||Canon 650D|
|Canon M« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.2||827||65||Canon M|
|Canon 600D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.5||793||65||Canon 600D|
|Canon 500D« »||APS-C||15.1||4752||3168||1080/20p||21.7||11.5||663||63||Canon 500D|
|Panasonic G6« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||21.3||11.5||639||61||Panasonic G6|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/30p).
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 100D and the 550D are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), as well as the same magnification (0.54x). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 100D and Canon 550D along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Canon 100D»||optical||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.9||Y||n||Canon 100D|
|Canon 550D«||optical||n||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.7||Y||n||Canon 550D|
|Canon 4000D« »||optical||n||2.7||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon 4000D|
|Canon 200D« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 200D|
|Canon 750D« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 750D|
|Canon 7D II« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||Y||n||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 1200D« »||optical||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon 1200D|
|Canon 700D« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 700D|
|Canon G16« »||optical||n||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.2||Y||Y||Canon G16|
|Canon 650D« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 650D|
|Canon M« »||-||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.3||n||n||Canon M|
|Canon 600D« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.7||Y||n||Canon 600D|
|Canon 500D« »||optical||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.4||Y||n||Canon 500D|
|Panasonic G6« »||1440||n||3.0||1036||swivel||Y||1/4000s||7.0||Y||n||Panasonic G6|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The 100D has a touchscreen, while the 550D has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 100D and the 550D write their files to SDXC cards. The 100D supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the 550D cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 100D and Canon EOS 550D and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon 100D»||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 100D|
|Canon 550D«||Y||stereo||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 550D|
|Canon 4000D« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 4000D|
|Canon 200D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon 200D|
|Canon 750D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 750D|
|Canon 7D II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 1200D« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1200D|
|Canon 700D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 700D|
|Canon G16« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon G16|
|Canon 650D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 650D|
|Canon M« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon M|
|Canon 600D« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 600D|
|Canon 500D« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 500D|
|Panasonic G6« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic G6|
Both the 100D and the 550D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 550D was replaced by the Canon 600D, while the 100D was followed by the Canon 200D. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon 100D better than the Canon 550D or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Canon EOS 100D:
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 5 vs DIGIC 4).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4.9 vs 3.7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (117x91mm vs 129x98mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 123g or 23 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (21 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 3 years and 1 month of technical progress since the 550D launch.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 550D:
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (440 versus 380) out of a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2010).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 100D is the clear winner of the match-up (9 : 2 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 100D and the Canon 550D place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 100D or the 550D perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|Canon 100D»||+||78/100||4/5||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549||-||Canon 100D|
|Canon 550D«||+ +||77/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||699||-||Canon 550D|
|Canon 4000D« »||o||-||3.5/5||-||3.5/5||Feb 2018||399||Canon 4000D|
|Canon 200D« »||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549||-||Canon 200D|
|Canon 750D« »||-||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749||-||Canon 750D|
|Canon 7D II« »||+||84/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||1,799||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 1200D« »||+||-||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449||-||Canon 1200D|
|Canon 700D« »||-||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649||-||Canon 700D|
|Canon G16« »||+||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549||Canon G16|
|Canon 650D« »||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849||-||Canon 650D|
|Canon M« »||+||-||4/5||3.5/5||4/5||Jul 2012||599||-||Canon M|
|Canon 600D« »||o||77/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||599||-||Canon 600D|
|Canon 500D« »||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799||-||Canon 500D|
|Panasonic G6« »||+ +||-||5/5||-||4.5/5||Apr 2013||599||-||Panasonic G6|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 100D vs Canon 400D
- Canon 100D vs Canon G1 X Mark III
- Canon 100D vs Leica T
- Canon 100D vs Olympus E-M1
- Canon 100D vs Olympus E-PL5
- Canon 100D vs Ricoh GR
- Canon 100D vs Sony A9 II
- Canon 100D vs Sony RX1R II
- Canon 1D Mark III vs Canon 550D
- Canon 550D vs Canon SL3
- Canon 550D vs Olympus E-400
- Canon 550D vs Sony WX800
Specifications: Canon 100D vs Canon 550D
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Canon 100D||Canon 550D|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||March 2013||February 2010|
|Launch Price||USD 549||USD 699|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 100D||Canon 550D|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||22.3 x 14.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||332.27 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||26.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||17.9 Megapixels||17.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3456 pixels||5184 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.31 μm||4.31 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.39 MP/cm2||5.39 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-12800 ISO||100-6400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-25600 ISO||100-12800 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 5||DIGIC 4|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||63||66|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.8||22.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.3||11.5|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||843||784|
|Screen Specs||Canon 100D||Canon 550D|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 100D||Canon 550D|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||4.9 shutter flaps/s||3.7 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 100D||Canon 550D|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon 100D||Canon 550D|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||380 shots per charge||440 shots per charge|
117 x 91 x 69 mm
(4.6 x 3.6 x 2.7 in)
129 x 98 x 62 mm
(5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
|Camera Weight||407 g (14.4 oz)||530 g (18.7 oz)|
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