Camera Rocket Review Our evaluation of 5D Mark II vs 550D

Image Quality

RAW image quality independent of lens

DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth and DxOMark Dynamic range

Focusing

How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

Focus lag, cross type focus points and focus points

Responsiveness

How much delay is there between you and your photo?

Focus lag, continuous shooting and Startup delay

Reviews

What do the experts think?

Reviews from 1001noisycameras.com, canonwatch.com, imaging-resource.com, techradar.com and 5 more

Camera Rocket Score

Image Quality, Focusing, Responsiveness and Reviews

Winner
Canon EOS 5D Mark II 

Camera Rocket recommends the Canon EOS 5D Mark II  based on its image quality, focusing, responsiveness and reviews.

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Benchmarks Real world tests of EOS 5D Mark II vs 550D

Low light image quality Highest ISO setting that still achieves great image quality

EOS 5D Mark II
1,815 ISO
EOS 550D
784 ISO

Resolution Results from photos of standard resolution charts

EOS 5D Mark II
2,600 LPH
EOS 550D
2,100 LPH

Focus lag Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

EOS 550D
252 ms

Shutter lag Delay to take a photo when prefocused

EOS 550D
96 ms

Startup delay Delay from power on to first photo

EOS 550D
400 ms

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

EOS 5D Mark II
3.9 fps
EOS 550D
3.7 fps

Features Key features of the EOS 5D Mark II  vs 550D 

Megapixels Maximum resolution images are captured at

EOS 550D
17.9 MP

Max ISO Maximum light sensitivity of the sensor

EOS 5D Mark II
25,600 ISO
EOS 550D
12,800 ISO

Focus points How many different points the camera can focus on

Screen size Larger screens make it easier to preview and review photos

Viewfinder size Large viewfinders are brighter and more comfortable to use

EOS 550D
0.54x

Pixel size How much area of the sensor is dedicated to each pixel

EOS 5D Mark II
41.1 microns
EOS 550D
18.5 microns

Reviews Word on the street

EOS 5D Mark II  vs 550D 

7.9
7.7
It is essentially a simplified Aperture Priority mode, giving you the options to choose between a blurred and sharp background and a darker or brighter image.
EOS 5D Mark II

10.0
8.0
It has a 24.6-megapixel CMOS sensor, built-in sensor-shift image stabilisation and sensor cleaning, 5fps shooting in Raw+JPEG mode, a tough weatherproof body and what is widely acclaimed as the best viewfinder on the market.
EOS 5D Mark II

8.2
7.8
Many of the new capabilities definitely target pros: a pair of low-resolution raw formats (10 and 5.2 megapixels), more interchangeable focusing-screen options, in-camera peripheral-illumination correction to compensate for brightness nonuniformity across the image, and a silent Live View mode.
EOS 5D Mark II

Overall

8.7 Out of 10
8.4 Out of 10

Specifications Full list of technical specs

sensor

EOS 5D Mark II  vs
550D 
Type CMOS CMOS
Megapixels 21 MP 17.9 MP
Resolution 5616 x 3744 5184 x 3456
Size Full frame APS-C
Area 36 x 24 mm 22.3 x 14.9 mm
Crop factor 1.0x 1.6x
Pixel size 41.1 microns 18.5 microns
Light sensitivity 100 ISO to 6,400 ISO 100 ISO to 6,400 ISO
Light sensitivity (Boost) 50 ISO to 25,600 ISO 6,400 ISO to 12,800 ISO
Codecs
RAW
JPEG
Self cleaning sensor Yes Yes
Tested vertical resolution 2,600 LPH 2,100 LPH
Tested horizontal resolution 2,600 LPH 2,100 LPH

focus system

Type Phase detection Phase detection
Focus points 9 9
Cross type focus points 1 1
Supports continuous No No

shutter

Min 30 s 30 s
Max 1/8000 s 1/4000 s

form factor

Size 152 x 114 x 75 mm 129 x 98 x 62 mm
Thickness 75 mm 62 mm
Weight 850 g 530 g
Is weather sealed Yes No

features

Is a smart camera No No
Includes a GPS No No
Supports HDR No No
Automatic panorama No No
Create realistic 3D images No No
Image stabilization

video

EOS 5D Mark II  vs
550D 
Video 1920 x 1080 @ 30 fps 1920 x 1080 @ 30 fps
Shoots video in 24p Yes Yes
Shoots high speed video No No
External mic jack 3.5mm 3.5mm
Autofocus while shooting video Manual Manual
Autofocus type N/A N/A
Autofocus supports continuous N/A N/A

display

Type LCD LCD
Size 3" 3"
Resolution 920 k dots 1,040 k dots
Has a touch screen No No
Has a flip out screen No No
Supports live view Yes Yes

viewfinder

Viewfinder mirror Opaque Opaque
Viewfinder Yes Yes
Type Pentaprism Pentamirror
Coverage 98% 95%
Magnification 0.71x 0.87x
Viewfinder size 0.71x 0.54x

performance

Max continuous shooting 3.9 fps 3.7 fps
Battery life 850 440
Continuous shooting
3.9 fps, JPEG
3.7 fps, JPEG
Focus lag 206 ms 252 ms
Shutter lag 82 ms 96 ms
Startup delay 400 ms 400 ms
Canon EOS 5D Mark II
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Canon EOS 550D
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