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Canon 550D versus Canon M100

The Canon EOS 550D (called Canon XS 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 megapixel, whereas the M100 provides 24 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 550D vs Canon M100

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. 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 side – the 550D – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon 550D vs Canon M100
Compare 550D versus M100 top
Compare 550D and M100 rear

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 the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

Concerning battery life, the 550D gets 440 shots out of its LP-E8 battery, while the M100 can take 295 images on a single charge of its LP-E12 power pack.

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, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon 550D» 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699- i Canon 550D
Canon M100« 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 302 g 295 n Aug 2017 499 i i Canon M100
Canon 4000D« » 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 i i Canon 4000D
Canon 200D« » 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549 i i Canon 200D
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 206 g 235 n Jan 2017 529 i i Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon M5« » 116 mm 89 mm 61 mm 427 g 295 n Sep 2016 979 i i Canon M5
Canon 750D« » 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749- i Canon 750D
Canon 760D« » 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 849- i Canon 760D
Canon M3« » 111 mm 68 mm 44 mm 366 g 250 n Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Canon M10« » 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 301 g 255 n Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
Canon 1200D« » 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449- i Canon 1200D
Canon 700D« » 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649- i Canon 700D
Canon 650D« » 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
Canon 600D« » 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599- i Canon 600D
Canon 1100D« » 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
Canon 500D« » 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799- i Canon 500D
Nikon D5100« » 128 mm 97 mm 79 mm 560 g 660 n Apr 2011 749- i Nikon D5100

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.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon 550D vs Canon M100

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.

Canon 550D and Canon M100 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the M100 offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixel, compared with 17.9 MP of the 550D. This megapixel 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.

550D versus M100 MP

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.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Canon 550D» APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466Canon 550D
Canon M100« APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278Canon M100
Canon 4000D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563Canon 4000D
Canon 200D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179Canon 200D
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon M5« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.4126277Canon M5
Canon 750D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971Canon 750D
Canon 760D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570Canon 760D
Canon M3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972Canon M3
Canon M10« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365Canon M10
Canon 1200D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463Canon 1200D
Canon 700D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161Canon 700D
Canon 650D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon 650D
Canon 600D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365Canon 600D
Canon 1100D« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon 1100D
Canon 500D« » APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363Canon 500D
Nikon D5100« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.513.6118380Nikon D5100

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.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 550D vs Canon M100

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. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or in the dpreview camera hub.

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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Canon 550D»optical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 3.7 Y n Canon 550D
Canon M100«- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 6.1 Y n Canon M100
Canon 4000D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 4000D
Canon 200D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 200D
Canon G9 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 8.2 Y Y Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon M5« »2360 n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n Canon M5
Canon 750D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 750D
Canon 760D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 760D
Canon M3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n Canon M3
Canon M10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.6 Y n Canon M10
Canon 1200D« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 1200D
Canon 700D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 700D
Canon 650D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 650D
Canon 600D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 4000 3.7 Y n Canon 600D
Canon 1100D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 1100D
Canon 500D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.4 Y n Canon 500D
Nikon D5100« »optical n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 4.0 Y n Nikon D5100

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.

Both the 550D and the M100 write their imaging data to SDXC cards.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Canon 550D»Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---Canon 550D
Canon M100«-stereomono--mini2.0YYYCanon M100
Canon 4000D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon 4000D
Canon 200D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon 200D
Canon G9 X Mark II« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon G9 X Mark II
Canon M5« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon M5
Canon 750D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon 750D
Canon 760D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon 760D
Canon M3« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon M3
Canon M10« »-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon M10
Canon 1200D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon 1200D
Canon 700D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 700D
Canon 650D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 650D
Canon 600D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 600D
Canon 1100D« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon 1100D
Canon 500D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon 500D
Nikon D5100« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D5100

The M100 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the 550D has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 550D was succeeded by the Canon 600D.

Review summary: Canon 550D vs Canon M100

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 framing 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).
  • 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.
  • 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 build 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.
  • 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 (18 : 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.

550D 05:18 M100

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 550D or the M100 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon 550D»HiRec77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699- i Canon 550D
Canon M100«Rec-4/5-3.5/5 Aug 2017 499 i i Canon M100
Canon 4000D« »rev-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i i Canon 4000D
Canon 200D« »HiRec78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i i Canon 200D
Canon G9 X Mark II« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i i Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon M5« »Rec82/1004/54.5/54/5 Sep 2016 979 i i Canon M5
Canon 750D« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i Canon 750D
Canon 760D« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 849- i Canon 760D
Canon M3« »rev75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Canon M10« »---rev4/5 Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
Canon 1200D« »Rec-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i Canon 1200D
Canon 700D« »-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i Canon 700D
Canon 650D« »HiRec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
Canon 600D« »rev77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599- i Canon 600D
Canon 1100D« »80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
Canon 500D« »HiRec74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799- i Canon 500D
Nikon D5100« »HiRec76/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Apr 2011 749- i Nikon D5100

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

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please contact me, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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