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I'm just wondering whether there are any big(ish) reasons I should get the Canon 600d and not the Canon 550d. I'm interested in the difference in video quality and low light performance (if there is any) and obviously interested in differences in all-round image quality.

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I have bought a 550d and I have invested the price difference in the canon 15-85 lens. The combination is amazing. –  user6017 Jul 20 '11 at 10:25
    
whats the difference when it comes to the aspect ratio? does it mean that u cant shoot pics in 16:9 mode in 550d? or its just the case in live view mode? can somebody help Me.. –  user9933 May 26 '12 at 4:24

9 Answers 9

up vote 18 down vote accepted

The performance of these two is expected to be pretty much identical since they share the same sensor.

If you get the cheaper one (550D) then you should invest the difference towards a better lens. This will have much more impact on your photography than anything else.

EDIT To answer comment. Compared to the 550D, the 600D:

  • Lacks an Eye-Start sensor, you have to manually turn on or off the status display.
  • New 'intelligent' mode added to Auto & Scene modes. More 'artsy' filters.
  • Live-View can shoot at different aspect ratios, basically an automatic crop.
  • LCD can be rotated outwards and tilted.
  • Can control flashes wirelessly.
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if they share the same sensor... what are the "Features" of the 600d vs 550d? –  errorhandler Mar 28 '11 at 19:49
    
@errorhandler - Since it's a little long, added the differences to the reply. None of those affect quality. The loss of the Eye-Start sensor is sad. –  Itai Mar 28 '11 at 20:01
    
thanks for your help! –  errorhandler Mar 28 '11 at 20:02
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Unless you really want the tiltable LCD (looks like an accident waiting to happen to me) the only big ticket item here is the wireless flash control that may be very useful if considering studio photography. –  fmark Mar 29 '11 at 8:17
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If there is any feature worth having if you're looking ahead is the flash commander. Assuming sooner or later you will develop your style to incorporate off-camera flash, this is a great feature that will save you purchasing a dedicated commander. –  ysap Jul 20 '11 at 22:50

You might want to check DPReview.com for a detailed hands-on preview and comparison with the 550D: http://www.dpreview.com/previews/canoneos600d/

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I really think there is no significant change in image or video quality. Physical changes have occurred, but I wholeheartedly agree with Itai on this one. It is such a good idea to invest in that better lens than deal with a mediocre kit lens. I like Canon's quick upgrade, but I really think the changes are minuscule. Plus, it's the glass (lens) that matters.

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I have recently purchased the 600D, upgrading from 350D which I owned for 4 years. The 600D is a great shape and very user friendly, easy to handle. The batteries and cards for the 550D and 600D are the same which shows the similarity between the two bodies and differences with the earlier bodies. The flip LCD protects the screen and makes it better to see the controls as you change them; it also helps when using live view as you can take shots at different angles without the need to look through the view finder. The quality and ISO are great on both of the bodies making them similar and possibly difficult to chose between them.

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I recently reviewed the changes between the Canon t1i, t2i, and t3i on my blog. There are a few substantial differences between the first entry in this line (the t1i/500D), but there are minor differences between the t2i/550D and the t3i/600D.

The biggest reason, which should encourage some people to choose the t3i is the wireless flash control. The pop-up flash on the Canon t3i/600D can act as a master in a Canon wireless flash set-up. Without the Canon t3i, you'll need to either use a Canon 580 EX speedlite or a Canon ST-E2 wireless transmitter to control your other Canon flashes. That's a hefty investment ($200+ for the transmitter, $400+ for a 580 EX).

It's less than $100 to choose (for a body only) the Canon t3i over the Canon t2i, so anyone that plans on using Canon e-TTL flashes wirelessly should definitely choose the t3i.

A slightly smaller reason is the articulated screen on the Canon t3i. This might be useful for amateur photographers who use the LCD screen to compose photographers. It's more likely to be useful for videographers who would like to film from an awkward position and can't see the back of the camera. I never use the LCD to compose photographs; however, I would definitely like being able to use an articulated screen if I used the video mode on my Canon t1i more often.

If you don't use wireless flash, you don't have a great reason to choose the Canon t3i. And if you don't do video either? Save yourself the money and take the Canon t2i. It's not a huge upgrade, though, so don't expect to save a lot of money.

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I know the answers are quite complete, but I still have something to add.

The main reason I went for the 600D was the flip LCD, because I'm quite small and it makes it easier to take shots of things higher up, I otherwise wouldn't reach (and a wannabe-periscope on urban explorations). It's although useful for taking close ups of things close to the ground without lying on wet grass.

(I don't have enough reputation to post the picture here yet. http://riapi.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d41xs33)

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Thanks for the addition and nice shot! –  dpollitt Jan 20 '12 at 18:06

Yes, and I agree with the above points.

I am a new photographer and do not want to invest so much money. If you want to be like a professional photographer then buy 600D. If you want good pictures for special events then buy 55OD.

There is not that much difference between the 550D and 600D.

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I'm not sure I agree with this, particularly the line about wanting to be "like a pro photographer". Most professionals will want a better-spec'd camera with more features and a more rugged body than either the 550D or the 600D. –  Edd Mar 6 '12 at 14:00

They are almost the same. If you are tall enough buy the 550d, but if you are short in crowds, buy the 600d because of its variangle LCD.

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As an astrophotographer I prefer the 550d because the video crop mode is 7x, in fact the 600d is currently cheaper here in the uk. The flip out screen of the 600d would be useful shame they couldnt combine the 2.

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What does it mean for the video crop mode to be 7x? Does that matter if I'm not an astrophotographer? –  mattdm Dec 1 '12 at 15:35
    
I'm with Matt, I don't get what you mean by 7x crop for video or how that would be useful for an astrophotographer. –  John Cavan Dec 1 '12 at 16:15

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