Nikon D3 vs Canon EOS 550D

This is a full comparison between the cameras Nikon D3 and Canon EOS 550D. We compare them by looking at the categories you see below.


Nikon D3 is manufacturered by Nikon but Canon EOS 550D is from Canon. Both Nikon and Canon are well known brands though.

Nikon D3 were released 2007 and Canon EOS 550D was released 2010. That is a 3 years difference. In tech, this period can be of interest since technology is always improving, etc.

Camera Released
Nikon D3 2007
Canon EOS 550D 2010

Type of camera

Both these cameras are DSLR cameras. No difference there.

Sensors / crop factor

These cameras have different sensors. Nikon D3 has a "FX"-sensor while Canon EOS 550D has a "APSC"-sensor, and their difference in sensors will also affect the crop factor and experience focal length. See the table below.

Camera Focal length, 50mm f/1.8 **
Nikon D3 50 mm
Full-frame sensor
No crop factor/focal length multiplier
Canon EOS 550D 80 mm
Canon APS-C sensor
Crop factor/focal length multiplier by * 1.6

** Experienced focal length when using a lens such as a common "50mm f/1.8"

Learn more about crop factor and focal length multiplier here:
Camera selection can affect the focal length (Nikon)
Camera selection can affect the focal length (Canon)


Nikon D3 has a 12,1 MP (Megapixels) resolution while Canon EOS 550D has 18,7 MP. If we break down this in more detail this is the data behind the numbers:

Camera Megapixels
Nikon D3 12,1 MP
12052992 pixels
4256 x 2832
Canon EOS 550D 18,7 MP
17915904 pixels
5184 x 3456

Canon EOS 550D has a 49 % larger resolution than Nikon D3. This could give you more details in the picture but also a possibility to crop more in the pictures, afterward while editing the pictures, if needed that is.

ISO range

Nikon D3 has a larger ISO-range than Canon EOS 550D. Nikon D3 has an ISO range that stretches from 200 to 25600 while Canon EOS 550D has 100 to 12800.

Camera ISO Range
Nikon D3 200-25600
Canon EOS 550D 100-12800

Autofocus and lens compatibility

Both of these cameras have a built-in autofocus motor. Some lenses, that support autofocus, do not have an autofocus motor of their own but this won't cause any problems with these two cameras.

Here is a complete overview of which lenses work with each camera:
Lens compatibility chart for Nikon D3
Lens compatibility chart for Canon EOS 550D

Pictures per second

Depending on what you are shooting the FPS, or frames/pictures per second, can definitely be of interest. Nikon D3 can shoot up to 9 pictures per seconds and Canon EOS 550D can shoot up to 3,7 pictures per seconds.

Camera FPS (Frames per second)
Nikon D3 9
Canon EOS 550D 3,7

Ability to record movies

It is becoming more and more popular to record movies with digital cameras.

It is only one of these two cameras that support recording movies and movie clips and that is Canon EOS 550D. Sadly, the Nikon D3 does not support this.


The weight of the camera can be an extremely important factor, especially if the camera is about to be used, or carried around, for several hours at a time.

Nikon D3 weighs 1300 gr (equal to 2,87 lb) which is 155% heavier than Canon EOS 550D and its 510 gr (or 1,12 lb).

Camera Weight
Nikon D3 1300 gr
2,87 lb
Canon EOS 550D 510 gr
1,12 lb