Camera Rocket Review Our evaluation of 5N vs 550D

Image Quality

RAW image quality independent of lens

NEX 5N
9.3
EOS 550D
8.6
DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth and DxOMark Dynamic range

Focusing

How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

NEX 5N
7.0
EOS 550D
6.8
Focus lag and focus points

Responsiveness

How much delay is there between you and your photo?

NEX 5N
8.0
EOS 550D
8.4
Focus lag, continuous shooting and Startup delay

Reviews

What do the experts think?

NEX 5N
9.1
EOS 550D
9.2
Reviews from sonyalpharumors.com, 1001noisycameras.com, techradar.com and 6 more

No winner declared

Too close to call

Benchmarks Real world tests of NEX 5N vs EOS 550D

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

NEX 5N
1,079 ISO
EOS 550D
784 ISO

Resolution Results from photos of standard resolution charts

NEX 5N
2,800 LPH
EOS 550D
2,100 LPH

Focus lag Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

NEX 5N
235 ms
EOS 550D
252 ms

Shutter lag Delay to take a photo when prefocused

NEX 5N
115 ms
EOS 550D
96 ms

Startup delay Delay from power on to first photo

NEX 5N
1,900 ms
EOS 550D
400 ms

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

NEX 5N
10 fps
EOS 550D
3.7 fps

Features Key features of the NEX 5N  vs EOS 550D 

Megapixels Maximum resolution images are captured at

NEX 5N
16 MP
EOS 550D
17.9 MP

Max ISO Maximum light sensitivity of the sensor

NEX 5N
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

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

NEX 5N
22.8 microns
EOS 550D
18.5 microns

Reviews Word on the street

NEX 5N  vs EOS 550D 

7.9
7.7
The debate of EVF vs OVF is a complicated one but these new EVF offerings from Sony present possibly the first example that we've seen that may be 'good-enough' to actually compete with the visual clarity of a true OVF.
NEX 5N

8.5
9.0
The Canon EOS 550D's maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds and there's a Bulb mode for even longer exposures, which is excellent news if you're seriously interested in night photography.
EOS 550D

9.0
8.0
The control layout is much more akin to that of a compact camera than a digital SLR, with the main camera controls consisting of just two multi-function buttons, with a rotary-bezel D-pad for menu navigation and exposure adjustment.
NEX 5N

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

7.7
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

8.3 Out of 10
8.4 Out of 10

Specifications Full list of technical specs

sensor

NEX 5N  vs
EOS 550D 
Type CMOS CMOS
Megapixels 16 MP 17.9 MP
Resolution 4912 x 3264 5184 x 3456
Size APS-C APS-C
Area 23.4 x 15.6 mm 22.3 x 14.9 mm
Crop factor 1.5x 1.6x
Pixel size 22.8 microns 18.5 microns
Light sensitivity 100 ISO to 25,600 ISO 100 ISO to 6,400 ISO
Codecs
RAW
JPEG
Self cleaning sensor Yes Yes
Tested vertical resolution 2,800 LPH 2,100 LPH
Tested horizontal resolution 2,800 LPH 2,100 LPH

focus system

Type Contrast detection Phase detection
Focus points 25 9
Supports continuous No No

viewfinder

Viewfinder mirror None Opaque
Viewfinder No Yes
Type N/A Pentamirror
Coverage N/A 95%
Magnification N/A 0.87x

performance

Max continuous shooting 10 fps 3.7 fps
Battery life 460 440
Continuous shooting
10 fps, JPEG
3.7 fps, JPEG
Focus lag 235 ms 252 ms
Shutter lag 115 ms 96 ms
Startup delay 1,900 ms 400 ms

video

NEX 5N  vs
EOS 550D 
Video 1920 x 1080 @ 60 fps 1920 x 1080 @ 30 fps
Shoots video in 24p Yes Yes
Shoots high speed video No No
External mic jack None 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 920 k dots 1,040 k dots
Has a touch screen Yes No
Has a flip out screen Yes No
Supports live view Yes Yes

shutter

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

form factor

Size 111 x 59 x 38 mm 129 x 98 x 62 mm
Thickness 38 mm 62 mm
Weight 269 g 530 g
Is weather sealed No No

features

Is a smart camera No No
Includes a GPS No No
Supports HDR Yes No
Automatic panorama Yes No
Create realistic 3D images Yes No
Image stabilization
Sony NEX 5N
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Canon EOS 550D
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