• APS-C 369.7mm2
  • 15.1 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 3200
  • APS-C 366.6mm2
  • 24.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 25,600

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Differences

Canon 50D advantages over Nikon D5500

  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 4.99 vs 3.92 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Fast startup
    ~0.30 vs 0.4 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • More telephoto lens reach
    216 mm vs 83 mm
    Capture objects farther away with the kit lens
  • Top deck display
    Yes vs No
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • Less shutter lag
    0.13 vs 0.20 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • Has anti-aliasing filter
    Filter vs No Filter
    Reduces unsightly moiré in photos
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    6.3 fps vs 4.9 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Faster shutter
    1/8000 vs 1/4000 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light

Nikon D5500 advantages over Canon 50D

  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Tilt-swivel vs none
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • Touchscreen
    Touch vs No touch
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Wi-Fi vs None
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • Better color depth
    24.1 vs 21.8 bits
    Capture richer, more accurate colors
  • Higher effective ISO
    1,438 vs 696 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • More dynamic range
    14.0 vs 11.4 evs
    Retain detail in highlight and shadows
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 820 vs 640 shots
    Capture more photos
  • External Mic Jack
    Jack vs No jack
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • Newer
    3 years vs 9 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • Shoots 24p video
    Yes vs No
    Gives your movies a big-screen feel
  • Shoots 1080p video
    Yes vs No
    You'll want this if you shoot video
  • More pixels
    24.2 vs 15.1 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Shoots 60p video
    Yes vs No
    A faster framerate can give you more editing options
  • More AF points
    39 vs 9
    More AF points improve autofocus
  • Lacks anti-aliasing filter
    No Filter vs Filter
    Enjoy sharper photos
  • Wider angle kit lens
    27 mm vs 45 mm
    Capture more of the scene with the included lens
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    100 vs 43 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)
  • Higher extended ISO
    25600 vs 12800 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • Internal flash
    Both provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use an external screen to monitor or review video
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Bulb shutter
    Both provide
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures

Common Weaknesses

  • Focus peaking
    Neither provide
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Neither provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • NFC
    Neither provide
    Simplifies pairing your camera with supported phones
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Neither provide
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • Built-in GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Neither provide
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • Dual card slots
    Neither provide
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • Headphone jack
    Neither provide
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

User reviews

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Your purchases support this site

Your purchases support this site

Buy the Nikon D5500

Review Excerpt

  • Amazingly small for a DSLR; Great image quality for its class, including superb low light and high ISO performance; Generous JPEG buffer depth; High resolution.

  • Buffer depths are shallow when shooting RAW; Lacks GPS from the predecessor; No AA filter means it's susceptible to aliasing artifacts.

The Competition

Compared to Samsung GX-20

Canon 50D
Samsung GX-20
  • $1000
  • APS-C
  • HDMI out
  • More dots on screen
  • $1400
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Nikon D5500
Samsung GX-20
  • $597
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Touchscreen
  • $1400
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Pentax K-7

Canon 50D
Pentax K-7
  • $1000
  • APS-C
  • Fast startup
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $1300
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Nikon D5500
Pentax K-7
  • $597
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Touchscreen
  • $1300
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Sony DSLR-A550

Canon 50D
Sony DSLR-A550
  • $1000
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Nikon D5500
Sony DSLR-A550
  • $597
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Nikon D3300

Canon 50D
Nikon D3300
  • $1000
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels
  • Fast startup
  • $447
  • APS-C
  • In-camera panoramas
  • Better color depth
Nikon D5500
Nikon D3300
  • $597
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Touchscreen
  • $447
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • In-camera panoramas

Compared to Canon T6i

Canon 50D
Canon T6i
  • $1000
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Touchscreen
Nikon D5500
Canon T6i
  • $597
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Fast startup
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • NFC
  • On-sensor phase detect
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