Canon 550D Comparison Review
The Canon EOS 550D (called Canon T2i in some regions) is a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera that was revealed to the public in February 2010 and is equipped with an APS-C sensor. It offers a resolution of 17.9 megapixel.
Is the Canon 550D a good camera? The 550D has a Camera Elo of 1637. This rating puts the 550D below average of all digital single lens reflex cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (APS cameras), the 550D also ranks below average. – Well, the Canon 550D is more than 10 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2010.
|Digital single lens reflex|
|Canon EF mount lenses|
|17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|ISO 100 - 6 400 (100 - 12 800)|
|3.0 LCD, 1040k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|3.7 shutter flaps per second|
|440 shots per battery charge|
|129 x 98 x 62 mm, 530 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
The physical dimensions of the Canon 550D relative to a credit card are illustrated 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Canon 550D alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side 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.
|Canon 550D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||530 g||440||n||Feb 2010||699|
|Canon 4000D||129 mm||102 mm||77 mm||436 g||500||n||Feb 2018||399|
|Canon 750D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||555 g||440||n||Feb 2015||749|
|Canon 760D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|Canon 1200D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449|
|Canon 700D||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||580 g||440||n||Mar 2013||649|
|Canon 650D||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|Canon 600D||133 mm||100 mm||80 mm||570 g||440||n||Feb 2011||599|
|Canon 1100D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||n||Feb 2011||449|
|Canon 500D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799|
|Nikon D5100||128 mm||97 mm||79 mm||560 g||660||n||Apr 2011||749|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Canon 550D was launched in the US market at a price of $699. 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 with a 35mm slide
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 tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
The Canon 550D features an APS-C sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Canon 550D among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.
For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The 550D indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the 550D can use is 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 550D has an optical viewfinder that provides a field of view of 95% and a magnification of 0.54x. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Canon 550D along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
One convenient feature of the 550D is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.
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 550D and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
It is notable that the 550D has a microphone port. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
While the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the 550D in practical situations. 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 expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).
|Canon 550D||+ +||77/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||699|
|Canon 4000D||o||..||3.5/5||..||3.5/5||Feb 2018||399|
|Canon 750D||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749|
|Canon 760D||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|Canon 1200D||+||..||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449|
|Canon 700D||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649|
|Canon 650D||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|Canon 600D||o||77/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||599|
|Canon 1100D||80/100||69/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449|
|Canon 500D||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799|
|Nikon D5100||+ +||76/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2011||749|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Canon 550D FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the 550D.
What type of imaging sensor is used in the 550D?
The camera features a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.
Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?
Canon equipped the 550D with the DIGIC 4 image processor.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the 550D?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400.
What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Canon EOS 550D?
Canon mentions a shutter rating of 100 000 actuations for the 550D. This number represents a Mean Time before Failure, that is an average value. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust the expected shutter life of the 550D over, say, three years, one would have to take about 100 pictures each and every day.
Does the Canon 550D feature an autofocus assist light?
Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.
What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?
The 550D's flash sync speed is 1/200 sec.
Which battery does the 550D use?
The camera gets its power from the LP-E8 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.
Is there a vertical grip available for the 550D?
Yes, Canon offers the BG-E8 as an optional accessory to facilitate shooting in portrait orientation and to provide additional battery power.
Camera to camera comparisons
In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities with other camera models, just use the search menu below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 1D Mark III vs Canon 550D
- Canon 550D vs Canon 60D
- Canon 550D vs Canon G12
- Canon 550D vs Canon S120
- Canon 550D vs Fujifilm XP140
- Canon 550D vs Kodak S-1
- Canon 550D vs Leica S2
- Canon 550D vs Leica V-LUX 1
- Canon 550D vs Leica X2
- Canon 550D vs Nikon B600
- Canon 550D vs Olympus E-PL9
- Canon 550D vs Ricoh GR III
|Camera Model||Canon 550D|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2010|
|Launch Price||USD 699|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||332 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||17.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5 184 x 3 456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.31 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.39 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 6 400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 12 800 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||66|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.5|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||784|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|LCD Size||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||3.7 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi|
|Battery Type||LP-E8 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||440 shots per charge|
129 x 98 x 62 mm
(5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
|Camera Weight||530 g (18.7 oz)|
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