Nikon D5000 vs Canon EOS 550D

This is a full comparison between the cameras Nikon D5000 and Canon EOS 550D. We compare them by looking at the categories you see below.

Manufacturing

Nikon D5000 is manufacturered by Nikon but Canon EOS 550D is from Canon. Both Nikon and Canon are well known brands though.

Nikon D5000 were released 2009 and Canon EOS 550D was released 2010. That is a 1 years difference. In tech, this period can be of interest since technology is always improving, etc.

Camera Released
Nikon D5000 2009
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 D5000 has a "Nikon DX"-sensor while Canon EOS 550D has a "Canon APS-C"-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 D5000 75 mm
Nikon DX sensor
Crop factor/focal length multiplier by * 1.5
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)

Resolution

Nikon D5000 has a 12,3 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 D5000 12,3 MP
12212224 pixels
4288 x 2848
Canon EOS 550D 18,7 MP
17915904 pixels
5184 x 3456

Canon EOS 550D has a 47 % larger resolution than Nikon D5000. 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

Canon EOS 550D has a larger ISO-range than Nikon D5000. Canon EOS 550D has an ISO range that stretches from 100 to 12800 while Nikon D5000 has 200 to 6400.

Camera ISO Range
Nikon D5000 200-6400
Canon EOS 550D 100-12800

Autofocus and lens compatibility

There is a big difference between these two cameras. Canon EOS 550D has a built-in autofocus motor but Nikon D5000 does not. If you want to be able to use autofocus on Nikon D5000 there is a need for having an autofocus motor inside the lens. We really encourage you to look closely at our lens compatibility charts at the links below.

Here is a complete overview of which lenses work with each camera:
Lens compatibility chart for Nikon D5000
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 D5000 can shoot up to 4 pictures per seconds and Canon EOS 550D can shoot up to 3,7 pictures per seconds.

Camera FPS (Frames per second)
Nikon D5000 4
Canon EOS 550D 3,7

Ability to record movies

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

In this case, both Nikon D5000 and Canon EOS 550D can shoot movies.

Weight

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 D5000 weighs 590 gr (equal to 1.3 lb) which is 16% heavier than Canon EOS 550D and its 510 gr (or 1.12 lb).

Camera Weight
Nikon D5000 590 gr
1.3 lb
Canon EOS 550D 510 gr
1.12 lb

Nikon D5000 vs Canon EOS 550D Specs

Below you will find the complete and detailed technical specs for both Nikon D5000 and Canon EOS 550D, next to each other. Each category of data is a link to an article covering the subject, giving you a deeper understanding so you can better understand the strengths and weaknesses of the two camera models.

Product
Nikon D5000
Canon EOS 550D
Name Nikon D5000 Canon EOS 550D
Manufacturer Nikon Canon
Release Date and Price
Nikon D5000
Canon EOS 550D
Release Year 2009 2010
Release Date 2009-04-14 2010-02-08
MSRP 849 USD 899 USD
Buy it today
Camera Type
Nikon D5000
Canon EOS 550D
Camera Type DSLR DSLR
Sensor
Nikon D5000
Canon EOS 550D
Sensor Size APS-C (approx 23.7 x 15.5 mm)
Also known as "DX"
APS-C (approx 22.3 x 14.9 mm)
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS
Resolution 4288 x 2848 pixels 5184 x 3456 pixels
Megapixels 12,3 MP 18,7 MP
Image Processor EXPEED DIGIC 4
Image
Nikon D5000
Canon EOS 550D
ISO Range 200 - 6400 100 - 12800
White Balance Presets 12 6
Custom White Balance Yes Yes
Image Stabilization No No
Image Stabilization CIPA Rating 0 stops 0 stops
Uncompressed format RAW RAW
Optics & Focus
Nikon D5000
Canon EOS 550D
Autofocus Motor No Yes
Autofocus Contract Detect (sensor)
Phase Detect
Multi Area
Selective Single Point
Single
Continuous
Face Detection
LiveView
Contract Detect (sensor)
Phase Detect
Multi Area
Selective Single Point
Single
Continuous
Face Detection
LiveView
Focus Points 11 9
Lens Mount Nikon F

See Compatible Lenses
Canon EF
Canon EF-S

See Compatible Lenses
Focal Length Multiplier DX / APS-C (1.5x)
1.5x multiplier
Example:
24 mm becomes 36 mm
50 mm becomes 75 mm
100 mm becomes 150 mm
200 mm becomes 300 mm
APS-C Sensor
1.6x multiplier
Example:
24 mm becomes 38 mm
50 mm becomes 80 mm
100 mm becomes 160 mm
200 mm becomes 320 mm
Screen & Viewfinder
Nikon D5000
Canon EOS 550D
Articulated LCD Fully articulated Fixed
Screen size 2,7 3
Screen dots 230000 1040000
Touch screen No No
Screen type N/A TFT color liquid-crystal LCD
Live view Yes Yes
Viewfinder Type Optical (pentamirror) Optical (pentamirror)
Viewfinder Coverage 95% 95%
Viewfinder Magnification 0.78 (0.52 35mm equiv.) 0.87 (0.54 35mm equiv.)
Viewfinder Resolution N/A N/A
Photography features
Nikon D5000
Canon EOS 550D
Frames per second 4 fps 3,7 fps
Minimum Shutter Speed 30 seconds 30 seconds
Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000 seconds 1/4000 seconds
Built-in Flash Yes Yes
Built-in Flash Range 17 meters 13 meters
External Flash Yes Yes
Self-Timer Yes Yes
Time-lapse Yes Yes
Metering modes Multi
Center Weighted
Spot
Multi
Center Weighted
Spot
Partial
Exposure Compensation +/- 5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps) +/- 5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
Videography features
Nikon D5000
Canon EOS 550D
Video recording Yes Yes
Video format MPEG4
H.264
Video resolution 1280 x 720
1280 x 720
1920 x 1080
Built-in Microphone Yes Yes
Built-in Speakers Yes No
Storage
Nikon D5000
Canon EOS 550D
Memory Card SD/SDHC
SD/SDHC
Connectivity
Nikon D5000
Canon EOS 550D
HDMI Output Yes Yes
Microphone Port No No
Headphone Port No No
Wireless Yes
Eye-Fi Connected
Yes
Eye-Fi Connected
Remote Control Yes (Optional (ML-L3))
Yes (E3 connector, InfraRed)
GPS Yes
Optional
No
Body & Dimensions
Nikon D5000
Canon EOS 550D
Enviromentally sealed No No
Battery Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery Details Nikon EN-EL9a Lithium-Ion battery
Lithium-Ion LP-E8 rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 510 shots N/A
Width 127 mm 129 mm
Height 104 mm 98 mm
Depth 80 mm 62 mm
Weight 590 gram 510 gram