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Canon 1000D vs Olympus E-520

The Canon EOS 1000D (called Canon XS in some regions) and the Olympus E-520 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in June 2008 and May 2008. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (1000D) and a Four Thirds (E-520) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 10.1 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 10 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 1000D   Olympus E-520
Canon 1000D Olympus E-520
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
10.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 10 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-800 (100-1600) ISO 100-1600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.5" LCD, 230k dots 2.7" LCD, 215k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 3.5 shutter flaps per second
Lens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
500 shots per battery charge750 shots per battery charge
126 x 98 x 65 mm, 502 g 136 x 92 x 68 mm, 535 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 1000D and the Olympus E-520? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 1000D and the Olympus E-520. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 1000D vs Olympus E-520
Compare 1000D versus E-520 top
Comparison 1000D or E-520 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-520 is somewhat larger (1 percent) than the Canon 1000D. Moreover, the E-520 is markedly heavier (7 percent) than the 1000D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 1000D nor the E-520 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (1000D) and the Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-520).

Concerning battery life, the 1000D gets 500 shots out of its LP-E5 battery, while the E-520 can take 750 images on a single charge of its BLM-1 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon 1000D» 5.0 in 3.9 in 2.6 in 17.7 oz 500 n Jun 2008 449- i Canon 1000D
 
Olympus E-520« 5.4 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 18.9 oz 750 n May 2008 699- i Olympus E-520
 
Canon 2000D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 16.8 oz 500 n Feb 2018 449 i i Canon 2000D
 
Canon 4000D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 15.4 oz 500 n Feb 2018 399 i i Canon 4000D
 
Canon 1300D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 500 n Mar 2016 449- i Canon 1300D
 
Canon 1200D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449- i Canon 1200D
 
Canon SX50« » 4.8 in 3.4 in 4.2 in 21.0 oz 315 n Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
 
Canon 1100D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
 
Canon 500D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799- i Canon 500D
 
Canon 450D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799- i Canon 450D
 
Canon 40D« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 750 n Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
 
Olympus E-450« » 5.1 in 3.6 in 2.1 in 15.5 oz 500 n Mar 2009 499- i Olympus E-450
 
Olympus E-600« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 2.4 in 18.9 oz 500 n Aug 2009 449- i Olympus E-600
 
Olympus E-620« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 2.4 in 18.4 oz 500 n Feb 2009 699- i Olympus E-620
 
Olympus E-420« » 5.1 in 3.6 in 2.1 in 15.5 oz 500 n Mar 2008 599- i Olympus E-420
 
Olympus E-410« » 5.1 in 3.6 in 2.1 in 15.3 oz 500 n Mar 2007 699- i Olympus E-410
 
Olympus E-510« » 5.4 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 19.0 oz 750 n Mar 2007 799- i Olympus E-510
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The 1000D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 36 percent) than the E-520, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 1000D features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-520 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-520 is 32 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 2.0. The sensor in the 1000D has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-520 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon 1000D and Olympus E-520 sensor measures

With 10.1MP, the 1000D offers a slightly higher resolution than the E-520 (10MP), but the 1000D nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.71μm versus 4.74μm for the E-520) due to its larger sensor. It is noteworthy in this context that the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation.

The Canon EOS 1000D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 800, which can be extended to ISO 100-1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus E-520 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

1000D versus E-520 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Canon 1000D» APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-----Canon 1000D
 
Olympus E-520« Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.410.454855Olympus E-520
 
Canon 2000D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.611.9100971Canon 2000D
 
Canon 4000D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563Canon 4000D
 
Canon 1300D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p----Canon 1300D
 
Canon 1200D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463Canon 1200D
 
Canon SX50« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947Canon SX50
 
Canon 1100D« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon 1100D
 
Canon 500D« » APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363Canon 500D
 
Canon 450D« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848-21.910.869261Canon 450D
 
Canon 40D« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.370364Canon 40D
 
Olympus E-450« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.510.551256Olympus E-450
 
Olympus E-600« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024-21.510.354155Olympus E-600
 
Olympus E-620« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024-21.310.353655Olympus E-620
 
Olympus E-420« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.510.452756Olympus E-420
 
Olympus E-410« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.110.049451Olympus E-410
 
Olympus E-510« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.210.044252Olympus E-510
Both the 1000D and the E-520 offer Live View, so that they make it possible to use the rear screen for framing. Both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.
 

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 1000D and the E-520 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the 1000D has a higher magnification than the one of the E-520 (0.51x vs 0.46x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 1000D and Olympus E-520 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Canon 1000D»optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 1000D
 
Olympus E-520«optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y Y Olympus E-520
 
Canon 2000D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 2000D
 
Canon 4000D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 4000D
 
Canon 1300D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 1300D
 
Canon 1200D« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 1200D
 
Canon SX50« »202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y Canon SX50
 
Canon 1100D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 1100D
 
Canon 500D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n Canon 500D
 
Canon 450D« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n Canon 450D
 
Canon 40D« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n Canon 40D
 
Olympus E-450« »optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n Olympus E-450
 
Olympus E-600« »optical n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0 Y Y Olympus E-600
 
Olympus E-620« »optical n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0 Y Y Olympus E-620
 
Olympus E-420« »optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n Olympus E-420
 
Olympus E-410« »optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Olympus E-410
 
Olympus E-510« »optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y Y Olympus E-510

One feature that differentiates the E-520 and the 1000D is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The E-520 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the 1000D has to rely on optical image stabilization in OIS-equipped lenses to achieve the same effect.

The 1000D writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the E-520 uses Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. The E-520 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the 1000D only has one slot.

 

Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 1000D and Olympus E-520 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Canon 1000D»Y-----2.0---Canon 1000D
 
Olympus E-520«Y-----2.0---Olympus E-520
 
Canon 2000D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon 2000D
 
Canon 4000D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon 4000D
 
Canon 1300D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon 1300D
 
Canon 1200D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon 1200D
 
Canon SX50« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon SX50
 
Canon 1100D« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon 1100D
 
Canon 500D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon 500D
 
Canon 450D« »Y----mini2.0---Canon 450D
 
Canon 40D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 40D
 
Olympus E-450« »Y-----2.0---Olympus E-450
 
Olympus E-600« »Y-----2.0---Olympus E-600
 
Olympus E-620« »Y-----2.0---Olympus E-620
 
Olympus E-420« »Y-----2.0---Olympus E-420
 
Olympus E-410« »Y-----2.0---Olympus E-410
 
Olympus E-510« »Y-----2.0---Olympus E-510

Both the 1000D and the E-520 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 1000D was replaced by the Canon 1100D, while the E-520 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Olympus websites.


Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 1000D and the Olympus E-520? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 1000D:

  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.51x vs 0.46x).
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (36 percent cheaper at launch).

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Advantages of the Olympus E-520:

  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.7" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (750 versus 500) out of a single battery charge.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 1000D comes out slightly ahead of the E-520 (6 : 5 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

1000D 06:05 E-520

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 1000D and the Olympus E-520 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 1000D and the E-520 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon 1000D»82/100+ +3.5/54/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449- i Canon 1000D
 
Olympus E-520«87/100+ +4.5/54/54.5/5 May 2008 699- i Olympus E-520
 
Canon 2000D« »o-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i i Canon 2000D
 
Canon 4000D« »o-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i i Canon 4000D
 
Canon 1300D« »o73/1004/53.5/54/5 Mar 2016 449- i Canon 1300D
 
Canon 1200D« »+-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i Canon 1200D
 
Canon SX50« »+ +72/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
 
Canon 1100D« »80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
 
Canon 500D« »+ +74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799- i Canon 500D
 
Canon 450D« »+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799- i Canon 450D
 
Canon 40D« »+ ++ +4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
 
Olympus E-450« »--4/5-4/5 Mar 2009 499- i Olympus E-450
 
Olympus E-600« »----4.5/5 Aug 2009 449- i Olympus E-600
 
Olympus E-620« »88/10072/1004.5/5o5/5 Feb 2009 699- i Olympus E-620
 
Olympus E-420« »85/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Mar 2008 599- i Olympus E-420
 
Olympus E-410« »86/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Mar 2007 699- i Olympus E-410
 
Olympus E-510« »89/100+ +3.5/5o4.5/5 Mar 2007 799- i Olympus E-510
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon 1000D:
Check Ebay offers
Olympus E-520:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon 1000D vs Olympus E-520

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 1000D Olympus E-520
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date June 2008 May 2008
    Launch Price USD 449 USD 699
    Sensor Specs Canon 1000D Olympus E-520
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.2 x 14.8 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 328.56 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.7 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 10.1 Megapixels 10 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3888 x 2592 pixels 3648 x 2736 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.71 μm 4.74 μm
    Pixel Density 3.07 MP/cm2 4.44 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100-800 ISO 100-1600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-1600 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor DIGIC 3 TruePic III
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 55
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 21.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 10.4
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 548
    Screen Specs Canon 1000D Olympus E-520
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.51x 0.46x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.5 inch 2.7 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 215k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 1000D Olympus E-520
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 3.5 shutter flaps/s
    Image StabilizationLens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards CF or XD cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Dual card slots
    Connectivity Specs Canon 1000D Olympus E-520
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 1000D Olympus E-520
    Battery Type LP-E5 BLM-1
    Battery Life (CIPA)500 shots per charge750 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 126 x 98 x 65 mm
    (5.0 x 3.9 x 2.6 in)
    136 x 92 x 68 mm
    (5.4 x 3.6 x 2.7 in)
    Camera Weight 502 g (17.7 oz) 535 g (18.9 oz)

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