Canon 1100D versus Canon 550D
The Canon EOS 1100D (called Canon T3 in some regions) and the Canon EOS 550D (labelled Canon XS in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2011 and February 2010. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The 1100D has a resolution of 12.2 megapixel, whereas the 550D provides 17.9 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.
Body comparison: Canon 1100D vs Canon 550D
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 1100D and the Canon 550D. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the 1100D – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 550D is somewhat smaller (3 percent) than the Canon 1100D. However, the 550D is markedly heavier (7 percent) than the 1100D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 1100D 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 find an overview of suitable optics 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 want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Camera Body Specifications
|Canon 1100D (⇒ rgt)||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||no||2011||449||discont.||check|
|Canon 550D (⇒ lft)||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||530 g||440||no||2010||699||discont.||check|
|Canon 750D (⇒ lft | rgt)||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||555 g||440||no||2015||749||discont.||check|
|Canon 1200D (⇒ lft | rgt)||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||no||2014||449||discont.||check|
|Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt)||116 mm||74 mm||66 mm||553 g||240||no||2014||799||latest||check|
|Canon 700D (⇒ lft | rgt)||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||580 g||440||no||2013||649||discont.||check|
|Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||no||2012||799||discont.||check|
|Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt)||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||no||2012||849||discont.||check|
|Canon SX50 (⇒ lft | rgt)||123 mm||87 mm||106 mm||595 g||315||no||2012||429||discont.||check|
|Canon 600D (⇒ lft | rgt)||133 mm||100 mm||80 mm||570 g||440||no||2011||599||discont.||check|
|Canon 500D (⇒ lft | rgt)||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||no||2009||799||discont.||check|
|Canon 1000D (⇒ lft | rgt)||126 mm||98 mm||65 mm||502 g||500||no||2008||449||discont.||check|
|Canon 450D (⇒ lft | rgt)||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||no||2008||799||discont.||check|
|Canon 400D (⇒ lft | rgt)||127 mm||84 mm||65 mm||556 g||370||no||2006||799||discont.||check|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 1100D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 36 percent) than the 550D, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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.
Sensor comparison: Canon 1100D vs Canon 550D
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better 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, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the 550D is 3 percent bigger. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 17.9MP, the 550D offers a higher resolution than the 1100D (12.2MP), but the 550D has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 5.15μm for the 1100D). It is noteworthy in this context that the 1100D is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 months) than the 550D, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the 550D has a markedly higher DXO score than the 1100D (overall score 4 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.2 bits higher color depth, 0.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.1 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Canon 1100D (⇒ rgt)||APS-C||12.2||4272||2848||720/30p||21.9||11.0||755||62|
|Canon 550D (⇒ lft)||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.5||784||66|
|Canon 750D (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||22.7||12.0||919||71|
|Canon 1200D (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.9||11.3||724||63|
|Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt)||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|Canon 700D (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||681||61|
|Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||722||62|
|Canon SX50 (⇒ lft | rgt)||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/24p||20.3||11.2||179||47|
|Canon 600D (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.5||793||65|
|Canon 500D (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||15.1||4752||3168||1080/20p||21.7||11.5||663||63|
|Canon 1000D (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||10.1||3888||2592||no||-||-||-||-|
|Canon 450D (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||12.2||4272||2848||no||21.9||10.8||692||61|
|Canon 400D (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||10.1||3888||2592||no||22.1||11.0||664||62|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the 550D provides a better video resolution than the 1100D. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/30p, while the 1100D is limited to 720/30p.
Feature comparison: Canon 1100D vs Canon 550D
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 1100D 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 1100D, the Canon 550D, and comparable cameras. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.
|Canon 1100D (⇒ rgt)||optical||no||2.7||230||fixed||no||4000||3.0||9.2||no|
|Canon 550D (⇒ lft)||optical||no||3.0||1040||fixed||no||4000||3.7||YES||no|
|Canon 750D (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||1040||swivel||YES||4000||5.0||12||no|
|Canon 1200D (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||460||fixed||no||4000||3.0||9.2||no|
|Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||1040||tilting||YES||4000||5.2||6.8||YES|
|Canon 700D (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||1040||swivel||YES||4000||5.0||13||no|
|Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||922||Swivel||no||4000||1.9||7||YES|
|Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||1040||swivel||YES||4000||5.0||YES||no|
|Canon SX50 (⇒ lft | rgt)||202||no||3.0||461||swivel||no||2000||2.2||5.5||YES|
|Canon 600D (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||1040||swivel||no||4000||3.7||YES||no|
|Canon 500D (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||920||fixed||no||4000||3.4||YES||no|
|Canon 1000D (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||2.5||230||fixed||no||4000||3.0||13||no|
|Canon 450D (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||230||fixed||no||4000||3.5||YES||no|
|Canon 400D (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||2.5||230||fixed||no||4000||3.0||YES||no|
Both the 1100D and the 550D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 550D was replaced by the Canon 600D, while the 1100D was followed by the Canon 1200D.
Review summary: Canon 1100D vs Canon 550D
So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon 1100D better than the Canon 550D or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 1100D:
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (700 versus 440) on a single battery charge.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (36 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 11 months after the 550D).
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 550D:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (17.9 vs 12.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 21%.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (4 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/30p vs 720/30p).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 230k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.7 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2010).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 550D is the clear winner of the contest (7 : 3 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.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 1100D or the 550D handle or perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites. The full reviews are available, respectively, at cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.
|Canon 1100D (⇒ rgt)||80/100||69/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||2011||449||discont.||check|
|Canon 550D (⇒ lft)||88/100 HiRec||77/100 Gold||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||2010||699||discont.||check|
|Canon 750D (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2015||749||discont.||check|
|Canon 1200D (⇒ lft | rgt)||4/5||-||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||2014||449||discont.||check|
|Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt)||Rec||77/100 Silver||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||2014||799||latest||check|
|Canon 700D (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||76/100 Silver||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2013||649||discont.||check|
|Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||79/100 Rec||76/100 Silver||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||2012||799||discont.||check|
|Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||77/100 Silver||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2012||849||discont.||check|
|Canon SX50 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||72/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||2012||429||discont.||check|
|Canon 600D (⇒ lft | rgt)||reviewed||77/100 Silver||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||2011||599||discont.||check|
|Canon 500D (⇒ lft | rgt)||88/100 HiRec||74/100 HiRec||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||2009||799||discont.||check|
|Canon 1000D (⇒ lft | rgt)||82/100||HiRec||3.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||2008||449||discont.||check|
|Canon 450D (⇒ lft | rgt)||88/100 HiRec||HiRec||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||2008||799||discont.||check|
|Canon 400D (⇒ lft | rgt)||85/100 HiRec||HiRec||reviewed||4.5/5||4/5||2006||799||discont.||check|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
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