Camera Rocket Review Our evaluation of D3200 vs 550D

Image Quality

RAW image quality independent of lens

D3200
10.0
EOS 550D
9.5
DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth and DxOMark Dynamic range

Focusing

How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

D3200
6.5
EOS 550D
6.6
Focus lag, cross type focus points and focus points

Responsiveness

How much delay is there between you and your photo?

D3200
8.3
EOS 550D
8.4
Focus lag, continuous shooting and Startup delay

Reviews

What do the experts think?

D3200
9.0
EOS 550D
9.2
Reviews from nikonrumors.com, 1001noisycameras.com, sonyalpharumors.com and 6 more

Camera Rocket Score

Image Quality, Focusing, Responsiveness and Reviews

D3200
8.9
EOS 550D
8.9

Winner
Nikon D3200 

Camera Rocket recommends the Nikon D3200  based on its image quality.

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Benchmarks Real world tests of D3200 vs EOS 550D

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

D3200
1,131 ISO
EOS 550D
784 ISO

Resolution Results from photos of standard resolution charts

D3200
3,000 LPH
EOS 550D
2,100 LPH

Focus lag Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

D3200
276 ms
EOS 550D
252 ms

Shutter lag Delay to take a photo when prefocused

D3200
114 ms
EOS 550D
96 ms

Startup delay Delay from power on to first photo

D3200
400 ms
EOS 550D
400 ms

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

D3200
4 fps
EOS 550D
3.7 fps

Features Key features of the D3200  vs EOS 550D 

Megapixels Maximum resolution images are captured at

D3200
24.1 MP
EOS 550D
17.9 MP

Max ISO Maximum light sensitivity of the sensor

D3200
12,800 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

D3200
3"

Viewfinder size Large viewfinders are brighter and more comfortable to use

D3200
0.52x
EOS 550D
0.54x

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

D3200
14.8 microns
EOS 550D
18.5 microns

Reviews Word on the street

D3200  vs EOS 550D 

7.3
7.7
It's an obvious point - higher resolution sensors make higher demands on lenses - but it is one which is easily overlooked in the race to put higher and higher pixel counts into low-end and enthusiast DSLRs.
EOS 550D

9.0
9.0
An improved movie mode with greater control over exposure and sound, an expanded Guide mode and simpler controls for beginners, more connectivity options and a better LCD screen all add up to the best entry-level Nikon DSLR that we've ever reviewed.
D3200

8.0
8.0
Processing speed also impresses, especially given how the D3200's high-resolution sensor results in relatively large file sizes (around 8-12MB per full-resolution fine-quality JPEG and around 25MB for Raw files).
D3200

8.0
9.0
Just remember that to make the most of all that extra sensor resolution you'll need to shoot in RAW, and get some extra lenses.
EOS 550D

7.0
7.8
The camera also delivers the best video capture quality I've seen in a sub-$1,000 dSLR-subject to the inescapable limitations the technology, like unusable autofocus-with good exposure, sharpness, minimal artifacts, and excellent audio.
EOS 550D

Overall

8.1 Out of 10
8.4 Out of 10

Specifications Full list of technical specs

sensor

D3200  vs
EOS 550D 
Type CMOS CMOS
Megapixels 24.1 MP 17.9 MP
Resolution 6016 x 4000 5184 x 3456
Size APS-C APS-C
Area 23.2 x 15.4 mm 22.3 x 14.9 mm
Crop factor 1.6x 1.6x
Pixel size 14.8 microns 18.5 microns
Light sensitivity 100 ISO to 6,400 ISO 100 ISO to 6,400 ISO
Light sensitivity (Boost) 6,400 ISO to 12,800 ISO 6,400 ISO to 12,800 ISO
Codecs
RAW
JPEG
Self cleaning sensor Yes Yes
Tested vertical resolution 3,000 LPH 2,100 LPH
Tested horizontal resolution 3,000 LPH 2,100 LPH

focus system

Type Phase detection Phase detection
Focus points 11 9
Cross type focus points 1 1
Supports continuous No No

shutter

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

form factor

Size 125 x 96 x 76.5 mm 129 x 98 x 62 mm
Thickness 76.5 mm 62 mm
Weight 505 g 530 g
Is weather sealed No No

features

Is a smart camera No No
Includes a GPS No No
Supports HDR No No
WiFi None None
Automatic panorama No No
Create realistic 3D images No No
Image stabilization

video

D3200  vs
EOS 550D 
Video 1920 x 1080 @ 30 fps (MPEG-4) 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 Contrast detection Manual
Autofocus type Contrast detection N/A
Autofocus supports continuous Yes N/A

display

Type LCD LCD
Size 3" 3"
Resolution 921 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 Pentamirror Pentamirror
Coverage 95% 95%
Magnification 0.8x 0.87x
Viewfinder size 0.52x 0.54x

performance

Max continuous shooting 4 fps 3.7 fps
Battery life 540 440
Continuous shooting
3.7 fps, JPEG
4 fps
Focus lag 276 ms 252 ms
Shutter lag 114 ms 96 ms
Startup delay 400 ms 400 ms
Nikon D3200
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Canon EOS 550D
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