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Canon 550D vs Olympus E-M1 II

The Canon EOS 550D (called Canon T2i in some regions) and the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2010 and September 2016. The 550D is a DSLR, while the E-M1 II is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (550D) and a Four Thirds (E-M1 II) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 20.2 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 550D
versus
Olympus E-M1 II
Canon 550D   Olympus E-M1 II
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
17.9 MP – APS-C sensor 20.2 MP – Four Thirds sensor
1080/30p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800) ISO 200-25,600
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)
3.0" LCD – 1040k dots 3.0" LCD – 1037k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel touchscreen
3.7 shutter flaps per second 18 shutter flaps per second
Lens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
not weather sealedWeathersealed body
440 shots per battery charge440 shots per battery charge
129 x 98 x 62 mm, 530 g 134 x 91 x 67 mm, 574 g
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Check 550D offers at
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Check E-M1 II offers at
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 550D and the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II? 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

The physical size and weight of the Canon 550D and the Olympus E-M1 II are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 550D vs Olympus E-M1 II
Compare 550D versus E-M1 II top
Comparison 550D or E-M1 II rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-M1 II is somewhat smaller (4 percent) than the Canon 550D. However, the E-M1 II is markedly heavier (8 percent) than the 550D. It is noteworthy in this context that the E-M1 II is splash and dust-proof, while the 550D does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

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. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (550D) and the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-M1 II). Mirrorless cameras, such as the E-M1 II, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.

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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 699ebay.com
2.
 
Olympus E-M1 II 134 mm 91 mm 67 mm 574 g 440 Y Sep 2016 1,999ebay.com
3.
 
Canon 4000D 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 amazon.com
4.
 
Canon 750D 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749ebay.com
5.
 
Canon 760D 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649ebay.com
6.
 
Canon 1200D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449ebay.com
7.
 
Canon 700D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649ebay.com
8.
 
Canon 650D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849ebay.com
9.
 
Canon 600D 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599ebay.com
10.
 
Canon 1100D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449ebay.com
11.
 
Canon 500D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799ebay.com
12.
 
Nikon D5100 128 mm 97 mm 79 mm 560 g 660 n Apr 2011 749ebay.com
13.
 
Olympus E-M1 III 134 mm 91 mm 69 mm 580 g 420 Y Feb 2020 1,799 amazon.com
14.
 
Olympus E-M1 130 mm 94 mm 63 mm 497 g 350 Y Sep 2013 1,399ebay.com
15.
 
Panasonic G9 137 mm 97 mm 92 mm 658 g 400 Y Nov 2017 1,699 amazon.com
16.
 
Panasonic GH5 139 mm 98 mm 87 mm 725 g 410 Y Jan 2017 1,999ebay.com
17.
 
Panasonic GX8 133 mm 78 mm 63 mm 487 g 330 Y Jul 2015 1,199ebay.com
Note: 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 retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The 550D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 65 percent) than the E-M1 II, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 550D features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-M1 II a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-M1 II is 32 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 2.0. The sensor in the 550D has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-M1 II offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon 550D and Olympus E-M1 II sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the E-M1 II offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 17.9 MP of the 550D. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.34μm versus 4.31μm for the 550D). However, it should be noted that the E-M1 II is much more recent (by 6 years and 7 months) than the 550D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the E-M1 II has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The E-M1 II has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

Unlike the 550D, the E-M1 II has the capacity to capture high quality composite images (50MP) by combining multiple shots after shifting its sensor by miniscule distances. This multi-shot, pixel-shift mode is most suitable for photography of stationary objects (landscapes, studio scenes).

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 Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II are ISO 200 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 64-25600.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

550D versus E-M1 II MP

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 E-M1 II offers substantially better image quality than the 550D (overall score 14 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.6 bits higher color depth, 1.3 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.

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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 34561080/30p22.111.578466
2.
 
Olympus E-M1 II Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.712.8131280
3.
 
Canon 4000D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
4.
 
Canon 750D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
5.
 
Canon 760D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
6.
 
Canon 1200D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
7.
 
Canon 700D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
8.
 
Canon 650D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
9.
 
Canon 600D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
10.
 
Canon 1100D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
11.
 
Canon 500D APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
12.
 
Nikon D5100 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.513.6118380
13.
 
Olympus E-M1 III Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.313.1135676
14.
 
Olympus E-M1 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p23.012.775773
15.
 
Panasonic G9 Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p23.112.8113874
16.
 
Panasonic GH5 Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p23.913.080777
17.
 
Panasonic GX8 Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.512.680675
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the E-M1 II provides a better video resolution than the 550D. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the E-M1 II has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the 550D has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The viewfinder in the E-M1 II offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the 550D (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the E-M1 II has a higher magnification (0.74x vs 0.54x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 550D and Olympus E-M1 II in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon 550Doptical n3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7/s Y n
2.
 
Olympus E-M1 II2360 n3.0 / 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 18.0/s n Y
3.
 
Canon 4000Doptical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
4.
 
Canon 750Doptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
5.
 
Canon 760Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
6.
 
Canon 1200Doptical n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
7.
 
Canon 700Doptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
8.
 
Canon 650Doptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
9.
 
Canon 600Doptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7/s Y n
10.
 
Canon 1100Doptical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
11.
 
Canon 500Doptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4/s Y n
12.
 
Nikon D5100optical n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
13.
 
Olympus E-M1 III2360 n3.0 / 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 18.0/s n Y
14.
 
Olympus E-M12360 n3.0 / 1037 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0/s n Y
15.
 
Panasonic G93680 Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 20.0/s n Y
16.
 
Panasonic GH53680 n3.2 / 1620 swivel Y 1/8000s 12.0/s n Y
17.
 
Panasonic GX82360 n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0/s n Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The 550D has one, while the E-M1 II does not. While the built-in flash of the 550D is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The E-M1 II 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.

The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the E-M1 II is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).

The Olympus E-M1 II has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 550D and the E-M1 II write their files to SDXC cards. The E-M1 II features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the 550D only has one slot. The E-M1 II supports UHS-II cards on its first slot and UHS-I on its second one, while the 550D cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon 550DYstereo / -Y-mini2.0---
2.
 
Olympus E-M1 IIYstereo / monoYYmicro3.0Y--
3.
 
Canon 4000DYmono / mono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon 750DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon 760DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon 1200DYmono / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon 700DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon 650DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon 600DYmono / monoY-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon 1100DYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon 500DYmono / mono--mini2.0---
12.
 
Nikon D5100Ymono / monoY-mini2.0---
13.
 
Olympus E-M1 IIIYstereo / monoYYmicro3.1Y-Y
14.
 
Olympus E-M1Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0Y--
15.
 
Panasonic G9Ystereo / monoYYfull3.0Y-Y
16.
 
Panasonic GH5Ystereo / monoYYfull3.1Y-Y
17.
 
Panasonic GX8Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the E-M1 II offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the 550D does not provide wifi capability.

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Olympus E-M1 II (unlike the 550D) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the 550D and the E-M1 II have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The 550D was replaced by the Canon 600D, while the E-M1 II was followed by the Olympus E-M1 III. Further information on the features and operation of the 550D and E-M1 II can be found, respectively, in the Canon 550D Manual (free pdf) or the online Olympus E-M1 II Manual.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 550D and the Olympus E-M1 II? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS 550D:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (65 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2010).

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Reasons to prefer the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • High quality composites: Can combine several shots after pixel-shifting its sensor.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (14 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.6 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.3 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.7 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.74x vs 0.54x).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or 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 shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (18 vs 3.7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Supports Ultra High Speed (UHS-II and UHS-I) SDXC cards.
  • More modern: Reflects 6 years and 7 months of technical progress since the 550D launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the E-M1 II is the clear winner of the contest (28 : 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 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 05:28 E-M1 II

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 550D and the Olympus E-M1 II 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 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 550D or the E-M1 II 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.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 550D..+ +..77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699ebay.com
2.
 
Olympus E-M1 II5/5+ +5/585/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 1,999ebay.com
3.
 
Canon 4000D2.5/5o3/5..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 399 amazon.com
4.
 
Canon 750D5/5....75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749ebay.com
5.
 
Canon 760D5/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649ebay.com
6.
 
Canon 1200D3/5+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449ebay.com
7.
 
Canon 700D......76/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649ebay.com
8.
 
Canon 650D4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849ebay.com
9.
 
Canon 600D3/5o..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599ebay.com
10.
 
Canon 1100D..80/100..69/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449ebay.com
11.
 
Canon 500D..+ +..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799ebay.com
12.
 
Nikon D51005/5+ +..76/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2011 749ebay.com
13.
 
Olympus E-M1 III5/5..5/583/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2020 1,799 amazon.com
14.
 
Olympus E-M15/5+ +..84/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 1,399ebay.com
15.
 
Panasonic G9..+ +5/585/1005/55/5 Nov 2017 1,699 amazon.com
16.
 
Panasonic GH54.5/5+ +..85/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2017 1,999ebay.com
17.
 
Panasonic GX85/5+..82/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2015 1,199ebay.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

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Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon 550D vs Olympus E-M1 II

    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 Olympus E-M1 II
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date February 2010 September 2016
    Launch Price USD 699 USD 1,999
    Sensor Specs Canon 550D Olympus E-M1 II
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 20.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 5184 x 3888 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 3.34 μm
    Pixel Density 5.39 MP/cm2 8.96 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 200 - 25,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12,800 ISO 64 - 25,600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 TruePic VIII
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 66 80
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 23.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5 12.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 784 1312
    Screen Specs Canon 550D Olympus E-M1 II
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x 0.74x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2360k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 1037k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Swivel screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon 550D Olympus E-M1 II
    Focus System Phase-detect AF On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 3.7 shutter flaps/s 18 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations200 000 actuations
    Electronic Shutterno E-Shutterup to 1/32000s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Image StabilizationLens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Single or Dual Card Slots Single card slot Dual card slots
    UHS card support no Single UHS-II
    Connectivity Specs Canon 550D Olympus E-M1 II
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash no PC Sync PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 3.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket no Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Canon 550D Olympus E-M1 II
    Environmental Sealingnot weather sealedWeathersealed body
    Battery Type LP-E8 BLH-1
    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)
    134 x 91 x 67 mm
    (5.3 x 3.6 x 2.6 in)
    Camera Weight 530 g (18.7 oz) 574 g (20.2 oz)
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