Canon 400D versus Canon 550D
The Canon 400D (called Canon XTi in some regions) and the Canon EOS 550D (labelled Canon XS in some countries) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2006 and February 2010. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The 400D has a resolution of 10.1 megapixel, whereas the 550D provides 17.9 MP.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 400D and the Canon 550D is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button 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 400D – 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 considerably larger (117 percent) than the Canon 400D. However, the 550D is markedly lighter (5 percent) than the 400D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 400D 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 comparisons there.
|Camera Body Specifications
|Canon 400D (⇒ rgt)||127 mm||84 mm||65 mm||556 g||370||no||2006||799||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 760D (⇒ lft | rgt)||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||no||2015||849||discont.||check|
|Canon 700D (⇒ lft | rgt)||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||580 g||440||no||2013||649||discont.||check|
|Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt)||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||no||2012||849||discont.||check|
|Canon 600D (⇒ lft | rgt)||133 mm||100 mm||80 mm||570 g||440||no||2011||599||discont.||check|
|Canon 1100D (⇒ lft | rgt)||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||no||2011||449||discont.||check|
|Canon 500D (⇒ lft | rgt)||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||no||2009||799||discont.||check|
|Canon 450D (⇒ lft | rgt)||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||no||2008||799||discont.||check|
|Canon 40D (⇒ lft | rgt)||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||750||no||2007||1,299||discont.||check|
|Canon 350D (⇒ lft | rgt)||127 mm||94 mm||64 mm||540 g||400||no||2005||899||discont.||check|
|Canon 300D (⇒ lft | rgt)||142 mm||99 mm||72 mm||649 g||400||no||2003||899||discont.||check|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 550D was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 13 percent) than the 400D, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras 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 1 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 400D (10.1MP), but the 550D has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 5.71μm for the 400D). Yet, the 550D is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 5 months) than the 400D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the 550D has a markedly higher DXO score than the 400D (overall score 4 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. 0.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.2 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 400D (⇒ rgt)||APS-C||10.1||3888||2592||no||22.1||11.0||664||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 760D (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.6||12.0||915||70|
|Canon 700D (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||681||61|
|Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||722||62|
|Canon 600D (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.5||793||65|
|Canon 1100D (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||12.2||4272||2848||720/30p||21.9||11.0||755||62|
|Canon 500D (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||15.1||4752||3168||1080/20p||21.7||11.5||663||63|
|Canon 450D (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||12.2||4272||2848||no||21.9||10.8||692||61|
|Canon 40D (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||10.1||3888||2592||no||22.1||11.3||703||64|
|Canon 350D (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||8.0||3456||2304||no||21.8||10.8||637||60|
|Canon 300D (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||6.3||3072||2048||no||21.0||10.8||544||55|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The 550D indeed provides for movie recording, while the 400D does not. The highest resolution format that the 550D can use is 1080/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 400D 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 400D and Canon 550D along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.
|Canon 400D (⇒ rgt)||optical||no||2.5||230||fixed||no||4000||3.0||YES||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 760D (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||YES||3.0||1040||swivel||YES||4000||5.0||12||no|
|Canon 700D (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||1040||swivel||YES||4000||5.0||13||no|
|Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3||1040||swivel||YES||4000||5.0||YES||no|
|Canon 600D (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3||1040||swivel||no||4000||3.7||YES||no|
|Canon 1100D (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||2.7||230||fixed||no||4000||3.0||9.2||no|
|Canon 500D (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||920||fixed||no||4000||3.4||YES||no|
|Canon 450D (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||230||fixed||no||4000||3.5||YES||no|
|Canon 40D (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||YES||3.0||230||fixed||no||8000||6.5||12||no|
|Canon 350D (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||1.8||115||fixed||no||4000||3.0||YES||no|
|Canon 300D (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||1.8||118||fixed||no||4000||2.5||YES||no|
Both the 400D and the 550D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The 400D was replaced by the Canon 450D, while the 550D was followed by the Canon 600D.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 400D or the Canon 550D – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Canon 400D:
- More compact: Is smaller (127x84mm vs 129x98mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2006).
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 550D:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (17.9 vs 10.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 33%.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (4 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p video.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") 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.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (440 versus 370) out of a single battery charge.
- More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (13 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 3 years and 5 months of technical progress since the 400D launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 550D is the clear winner of the contest (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.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 400D 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 where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites. The full reviews are available, respectively, at cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.
|Canon 400D (⇒ rgt)||85/100 HiRec||HiRec||reviewed||4.5/5||4/5||2006||799||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 760D (⇒ lft | rgt)||Rec||77/100 Silver||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2015||849||discont.||check|
|Canon 700D (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||76/100 Silver||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2013||649||discont.||check|
|Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||77/100 Silver||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2012||849||discont.||check|
|Canon 600D (⇒ lft | rgt)||reviewed||77/100 Silver||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||2011||599||discont.||check|
|Canon 1100D (⇒ lft | rgt)||80/100||69/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||2011||449||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 450D (⇒ lft | rgt)||88/100 HiRec||HiRec||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||2008||799||discont.||check|
|Canon 40D (⇒ lft | rgt)||90/100 HiRec||HiRec||4.5/5||reviewed||4.5/5||2007||1,299||discont.||check|
|Canon 350D (⇒ lft | rgt)||80/100||HiRec||reviewed||reviewed||-||2005||899||discont.||check|
|Canon 300D (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||HiRec||-||reviewed||-||2003||899||discont.||check|
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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please send me an email, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.
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