Canon EOS 550D vs Nikon D90 at a glance
|Canon EOS 550D:||Nikon D90:|
|18 million effective pixels||12.3 million effective pixels|
|APS-C-sized CMOS sensor||APS-C-sized CMOS sensor|
|1080p (1920×1080 pixels) video at 25fps or 24fps||720p (1280×720 pixels) video recording at 24fps|
|3in, 1.04-million-dot LCD screen||3in, 920,000-dot LCD screen|
|Street price £736 (body only)||Street price £622 (body only)|
Canon EOS 550D vs Nikon D90
Canon’s EOS 550D offers a more affordable alternative to the top-of-the-range APS-C-format EOS 7D, but can it compete against the slightly more mature Nikon D90? We find out.
At its launch in August 2008, the Nikon D90 caused quite a stir because it was the first DSLR to feature video-recording technology. More important for many stills enthusiasts, however, was the fact that it also had much of the same technology as the very successful full-frame D3 and APS-C-format D300 at a more affordable price.
Today, the ability to record HD video with a DSLR is fast becoming commonplace, and several cameras, including the Canon EOS 550D, offer higher resolution video recording.
In addition, Nikon’s assertion that 12 million pixels is enough in a DSLR, provided that noise is well controlled and the images are of a high-enough quality, is starting to look a little out of step with the offerings from other manufacturers. Canon, for example, has been bold enough to push the effective pixel count of two of its APS-C-format cameras, the EOS 7D and EOS 550D, to 18 million, and both have a sensitivity range that can be expanded from its native ISO 6400 maximum sensitivity setting to ISO 12,800.
It’s hardly surprising, then, that the Nikon D90, which is billed as an enthusiast-level camera, now costs around £100 less than the EOS 550D, which sits at the top of Canon’s entry-level DSLR range. However, a good camera is, of course, more than just a sum of numbers, so in this test I’ll compare these two models to find out which is the best option for an enthusiast photographer on a budget.