Canon 550D vs M100
The Canon EOS 550D (called Canon T2i in some regions) and the Canon EOS M100 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2010 and August 2017. The 550D is a DSLR, while the M100 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The 550D has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the M100 provides 24 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 550D and the Canon EOS M100? 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 550D and the Canon M100. 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The M100 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 M100 is considerably smaller (43 percent) than the Canon 550D. Moreover, the M100 is substantially lighter (43 percent) than the 550D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 550D nor the M100 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. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
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, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Canon 550D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||530 g||440||n||Feb 2010||699|
|2.||Canon M100||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||302 g||295||n||Aug 2017||499|
|3.||Canon M200||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||299 g||315||n||Sep 2019||549|
|4.||Canon 4000D||129 mm||102 mm||77 mm||436 g||500||n||Feb 2018||399|
|5.||Canon M6||112 mm||68 mm||45 mm||390 g||295||n||Feb 2017||779|
|6.||Canon M5||116 mm||89 mm||61 mm||427 g||295||n||Sep 2016||979|
|7.||Canon 750D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||555 g||440||n||Feb 2015||749|
|8.||Canon 760D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|9.||Canon M3||111 mm||68 mm||44 mm||366 g||250||n||Feb 2015||679|
|10.||Canon M10||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||301 g||255||n||Oct 2015||499|
|11.||Canon 1200D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449|
|12.||Canon 700D||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||580 g||440||n||Mar 2013||649|
|13.||Canon 650D||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|14.||Canon 600D||133 mm||100 mm||80 mm||570 g||440||n||Feb 2011||599|
|15.||Canon 1100D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||n||Feb 2011||449|
|16.||Canon 500D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799|
|17.||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.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 M100 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 29 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.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 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.
Technology-wise, the M100 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 7) than the 550D (DIGIC 4), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the M100 offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixels, compared with 17.9 MP of the 550D. This megapixels advantage translates into a 16 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the M100 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 4.31μm for the 550D). However, it should be noted that the M100 is much more recent (by 7 years and 6 months) than the 550D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size.
The resolution advantage of the Canon M100 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the M100 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 550D are 25.9 x 17.3 inches or 65.8 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 20.7 x 13.8 inches or 52.7 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.
The M100 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Canon EOS 550D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS M100 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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. Of the two cameras under consideration, the M100 offers substantially better image quality than the 550D (overall score 12 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.4 bits higher color depth, 1.4 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.7 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
| DXO |
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the M100 provides a faster frame rate than the 550D. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the 550D is limited to 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the 550D has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the M100 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 550D, the Canon M100, and comparable cameras.
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The M100 has a touchscreen, while the 550D has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The M100 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 M100 write their files to SDXC cards. The M100 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 550D and Canon EOS M100 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
It is notable that the 550D has a hotshoe, while the M100 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Both the 550D and the M100 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 550D was replaced by the Canon 600D, while the M100 was followed by the Canon M200. 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 how do things add up? Is the Canon 550D better than the Canon M100 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 550D:
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (440 versus 295) on a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2010).
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS M100:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 17.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 16%.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (12 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.4 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.4 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.7 stops ISO advantage).
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 7 vs DIGIC 4).
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6.1 vs 3.7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (108x67mm vs 129x98mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 228g or 43 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (29 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 7 years and 6 months of technical progress since the 550D launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the M100 is the clear winner of the contest (21 : 5 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 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 550D and the Canon M100 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings 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 M100 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.
|1.||Canon 550D||..||+ +||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||699|
|2.||Canon M100||3/5||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||Aug 2017||499|
|3.||Canon M200||..||+||79/100||4/5||4/5||Sep 2019||549|
|4.||Canon 4000D||..||o||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||399|
|5.||Canon M6||..||..||80/100||4/5||4/5||Feb 2017||779|
|6.||Canon M5||4/5||+||82/100||4/5||4/5||Sep 2016||979|
|7.||Canon 750D||5/5||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749|
|8.||Canon 760D||5/5||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|9.||Canon M3||4/5||o||75/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||679|
|10.||Canon M10||..||..||..||..||4/5||Oct 2015||499|
|11.||Canon 1200D||3/5||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449|
|12.||Canon 700D||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649|
|13.||Canon 650D||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|14.||Canon 600D||3/5||o||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||599|
|15.||Canon 1100D||..||80/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449|
|16.||Canon 500D||..||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799|
|17.||Nikon D5100||5/5||+ +||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2011||749|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time 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.
Other camera comparisons
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Specifications: Canon 550D vs Canon M100
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 550D||Canon M100|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF-M mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2010||August 2017|
|Launch Price||USD 699||USD 499|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 550D||Canon M100|
|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||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3456 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.31 μm||3.72 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.39 MP/cm2||7.22 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 6,400 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 12,800 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4||DIGIC 7|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||66||78|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.1||23.5|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.5||12.9|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||784||1272|
|Screen Specs||Canon 550D||Canon M100|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 550D||Canon M100|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||3.7 shutter flaps/s||6.1 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations||100 000 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||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 550D||Canon M100|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon 550D||Canon M100|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||440 shots per charge||295 shots per charge|
129 x 98 x 62 mm
(5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
108 x 67 x 35 mm
(4.3 x 2.6 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||530 g (18.7 oz)||302 g (10.7 oz)|
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