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Canon 1000D versus Olympus E-P2

The Canon EOS 1000D (called Canon XS in some regions) and the Olympus PEN E-P2 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in June 2008 and November 2009. The 1000D is a DSLR, while the E-P2 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (1000D) and a Four Thirds (E-P2) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 10.1 megapixel, whereas the Olympus provides 12.2 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon 1000D vs Olympus E-P2

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 1000D and the Olympus E-P2 is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the 1000D – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Canon 1000D vs Olympus E-P2
Compare 1000D versus E-P2 top
Compare 1000D and E-P2 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-P2 is considerably smaller (31 percent) than the Canon 1000D. Moreover, the E-P2 is markedly lighter (29 percent) than the 1000D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 1000D nor the E-P2 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 find an overview of optics for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (1000D) and the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-P2). Mirrorless cameras, such as the E-P2, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.

Concerning battery life, the 1000D gets 500 shots out of its LP-E5 battery, while the E-P2 can take 300 images on a single charge of its BLS-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)
Canon 1000D» 5.0 in 3.9 in 2.6 in 17.7 oz 500 n Jun 2008 449- i
Olympus E-P2« 4.8 in 2.8 in 1.4 in 12.5 oz 300 n Nov 2009 799- i
Canon 2000D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 16.8 oz 500 n Feb 2018 449 i i
Canon 1300D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 500 n Mar 2016 449- i
Canon 1200D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449- i
Canon SX50« » 4.8 in 3.4 in 4.2 in 21.0 oz 315 n Sep 2012 429- i
Canon 1100D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449- i
Canon 500D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799- i
Canon 450D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799- i
Canon 40D« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 750 n Aug 2007 1,299- i
Canon 400D« » 5.0 in 3.3 in 2.6 in 19.6 oz 370 n Aug 2006 799- i
Olympus E-P3« » 4.8 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 13.0 oz 330 n Jun 2011 799- i
Olympus E-PL1« » 4.5 in 2.8 in 1.7 in 11.8 oz 290 n Feb 2010 599- i
Olympus E-P1« » 4.8 in 2.8 in 1.4 in 12.5 oz 300 n Jun 2009 799- i
Olympus E-620« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 2.4 in 18.4 oz 500 n Feb 2009 699- i
Olympus E-450« » 5.1 in 3.6 in 2.1 in 15.5 oz 500 n Mar 2009 499- i
Olympus E-520« » 5.4 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 18.9 oz 750 n May 2008 699- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 1000D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 44 percent) than the E-P2, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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: Canon 1000D vs Olympus E-P2

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 1000D features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-P2 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-P2 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-P2 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon 1000D and Olympus E-P2 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the E-P2 offers a higher resolution of 12.2 megapixel, compared with 10.1 MP of the 1000D. This megapixel advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.29μm versus 5.71μm for the 1000D). However, it should be noted that the E-P2 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 4 months) than the 1000D, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage.

1000D versus E-P2 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon 1000D» APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-----
Olympus E-P2« Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.510.450556
Canon 2000D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.611.9100971
Canon 1300D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p----
Canon 1200D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
Canon SX50« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
Canon 1100D« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
Canon 500D« » APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
Canon 450D« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848-21.910.869261
Canon 40D« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.370364
Canon 400D« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.066462
Olympus E-P3« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i20.810.153651
Olympus E-PL1« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.510.148754
Olympus E-P1« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.410.453655
Olympus E-620« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024-21.310.353655
Olympus E-450« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.510.551256
Olympus E-520« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.410.454855

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The E-P2 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 1000D does not. The highest resolution format that the E-P2 can use is 720/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 1000D vs Olympus E-P2

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 1000D has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the E-P2 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 1000D, the Olympus E-P2, and comparable cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Canon 1000D»optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Olympus E-P2«- n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 n Y
Canon 2000D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon 1300D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon 1200D« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon SX50« »202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 2000 2.2 Y Y
Canon 1100D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon 500D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.4 Y n
Canon 450D« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n
Canon 40D« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 8000 6.5 Y n
Canon 400D« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Olympus E-P3« »- n 3.0 614 fixed Y 4000 3.0 Y Y
Olympus E-PL1« »- n 2.7 230 fixed n 2000 3.0 Y Y
Olympus E-P1« »- n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 n Y
Olympus E-620« »optical n 2.7 230 swivel n 4000 4.0 Y Y
Olympus E-450« »optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n
Olympus E-520« »optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y Y

Both the 1000D and the E-P2 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 1000D was replaced by the Canon 1100D, while the E-P2 was followed by the Olympus E-P3.

Review summary: Canon 1000D vs Olympus E-P2

So how do things add up? Is the Canon 1000D better than the Olympus E-P2 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 1000D:

  • Better low-light imaging: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for better high-ISO images.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (500 versus 300) on a single battery charge.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (44 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in June 2008).

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Arguments in favor of the Olympus PEN E-P2:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (12.2 vs 10.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 8%.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 720/30p video.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More compact: Is smaller (121x70mm vs 126x98mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 147g or 29 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 4 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the E-P2 emerges as the winner of the match-up (8 : 6 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.

1000D 06:08 E-P2

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the 1000D and the E-P2 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon 1000D»82/100HiRec3.5/54/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449- i
Olympus E-P2«Rec69/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2009 799- i
Canon 2000D« »rev-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i i
Canon 1300D« »rev73/1004/53.5/54/5 Mar 2016 449- i
Canon 1200D« »Rec-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i
Canon SX50« »HiRec72/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Sep 2012 429- i
Canon 1100D« »80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i
Canon 500D« »HiRec74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799- i
Canon 450D« »HiRecHiRec4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799- i
Canon 40D« »HiRecHiRec4.5/5rev4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299- i
Canon 400D« »HiRecHiRecrev4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799- i
Olympus E-P3« »83/10074/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2011 799- i
Olympus E-PL1« »86/10069/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2010 599- i
Olympus E-P1« »Rec66/1004/54/54.5/5 Jun 2009 799- i
Olympus E-620« »88/10072/1004.5/5rev5/5 Feb 2009 699- i
Olympus E-450« »--4/5-4/5 Mar 2009 499- i
Olympus E-520« »87/100HiRec4.5/54/54.5/5 May 2008 699- i

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please send me an email, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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