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Canon 550D vs 600D

The Canon EOS 550D (called Canon T2i in some regions) and the Canon EOS 600D (labelled Canon T3i in some countries) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2010 and February 2011. 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.

Headline Specifications
Canon 550D
versus
Canon 600D
Canon 550D   Canon 600D
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 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800) ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 3.0 LCD, 1040k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.7 shutter flaps per second 3.7 shutter flaps per second
440 shots per battery charge440 shots per battery charge
129 x 98 x 62 mm, 530 g 133 x 100 x 80 mm, 570 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 550D and the Canon EOS 600D? 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.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 550D and the Canon 600D is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. 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.

Size Canon 550D vs Canon 600D
Compare 550D versus 600D top
Comparison 550D or 600D rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 600D is notably larger (5 percent) than the Canon 550D. Moreover, the 600D is markedly heavier (8 percent) than the 550D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 550D nor the 600D 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 following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 550D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699 i
2.
 
Canon 600D 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599 i
3.
 
Canon 4000D 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon 750D 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749 i
5.
 
Canon 760D 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649 i
6.
 
Canon 1200D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449 i
7.
 
Canon 100D 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549 i
8.
 
Canon 700D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649 i
9.
 
Canon 650D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849 i
10.
 
Canon 1100D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449 i
11.
 
Canon 500D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799 i
12.
 
Nikon D5100 128 mm 97 mm 79 mm 560 g 660 n Apr 2011 749 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The 600D was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 14 percent) than the 550D, 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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.

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.

Canon 550D and Canon 600D sensor measures

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 550D and the 600D have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the 600D is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 months) than the 550D, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The Canon EOS 550D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The Canon EOS 600D offers exactly the same ISO settings.

550D versus 600D MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. 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.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon 550D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.5784 66
2.
 
Canon 600D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.5793 65
3.
 
Canon 4000D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.4695 63
4.
 
Canon 750D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.0919 71
5.
 
Canon 760D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.0915 70
6.
 
Canon 1200D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.3724 63
7.
 
Canon 100D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.3843 63
8.
 
Canon 700D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.2681 61
9.
 
Canon 650D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.2722 62
10.
 
Canon 1100D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.0755 62
11.
 
Canon 500D APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.5663 63
12.
 
Nikon D5100 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.513.61183 80

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).

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 550D and the 600D 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%), but the viewfinder of the 550D has a higher magnification than the one of the 600D (0.54x vs 0.53x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 550D and Canon 600D along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon 550Doptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
2.
 
Canon 600Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
3.
 
Canon 4000Doptical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon 750Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon 760Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon 1200Doptical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon 100Doptical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9 Y n
8.
 
Canon 700Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon 650Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon 1100Doptical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon 500Doptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
12.
 
Nikon D5100optical n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
The 600D has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the 550D does not have a selfie-screen.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 550D and the 600D write their files to SDXC cards.

Connectivity comparison

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 Canon EOS 600D and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon 550DYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
2.
 
Canon 600DYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon 4000DYmonomono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon 750DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon 760DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon 1200DYmonomono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon 100DYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon 700DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon 650DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon 1100DYstereomono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon 500DYmonomono--mini2.0---
12.
 
Nikon D5100YmonomonoY-mini2.0---

Both the 550D and the 600D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 550D was replaced by the Canon 600D, while the 600D was followed by the Canon 650D. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 550D or the Canon 600D – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Advantages of the Canon EOS 550D:

  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.54x vs 0.53x).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2010).


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 600D:

  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (14 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (11 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 600D emerges as the winner of the match-up (4 : 2 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

550D 02:04 600D

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 550D and the Canon 600D 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 550D or the 600D 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.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 550D..+ +77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699 i
2.
 
Canon 600D3/5o77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599 i
3.
 
Canon 4000D..o..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon 750D5/5..75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749 i
5.
 
Canon 760D5/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649 i
6.
 
Canon 1200D3/5+..4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449 i
7.
 
Canon 100D4/5+78/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 549 i
8.
 
Canon 700D....76/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649 i
9.
 
Canon 650D4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849 i
10.
 
Canon 1100D..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449 i
11.
 
Canon 500D..+ +74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799 i
12.
 
Nikon D51005/5+ +76/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2011 749 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring 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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon 550D:
Check Ebay offers
Canon 600D:
Check Ebay offers

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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon 550D vs Canon 600D

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 550D Canon 600D
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2010 February 2011
    Launch Price USD 699 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Canon 550D Canon 600D
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    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
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.6x
    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 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 12,800 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 DIGIC 4
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 66 65
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 22.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5 11.5
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 784 793
    Screen Specs Canon 550D Canon 600D
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x 0.53x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 550D Canon 600D
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3.7 shutter flaps/s 3.7 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations100 000 actuations
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon 550D Canon 600D
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    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 550D Canon 600D
    Battery Type LP-E8 LP-E8
    Battery Life (CIPA)440 shots per charge440 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    133 x 100 x 80 mm
    (5.2 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 530 g (18.7 oz) 570 g (20.1 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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