Canon 1000D vs Olympus E-PL2
The Canon EOS 1000D (called Canon XS in some regions) and the Olympus PEN E-PL2 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in June 2008 and January 2011. The 1000D is a DSLR, while the E-PL2 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (1000D) and a Four Thirds (E-PL2) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 10.1 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 12.2 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 1000D and the Olympus PEN E-PL2? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 1000D and the Olympus E-PL2 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. 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.
The E-PL2 can be obtained in four different colors (black, silver, red, white), while the 1000D is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-PL2 is considerably smaller (34 percent) than the Canon 1000D. Moreover, the E-PL2 is markedly lighter (28 percent) than the 1000D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 1000D nor the E-PL2 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 Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-PL2). Mirrorless cameras, such as the E-PL2, 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.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Canon 1000D||126 mm||98 mm||65 mm||502 g||500||n||Jun 2008||449||ebay.com|
|2.||Olympus E-PL2||114 mm||72 mm||42 mm||362 g||280||n||Jan 2011||599||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon 2000D||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||475 g||500||n||Feb 2018||449||amazon.com|
|4.||Canon 4000D||129 mm||102 mm||77 mm||436 g||500||n||Feb 2018||399||amazon.com|
|5.||Canon 1100D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||n||Feb 2011||449||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon SX20||123 mm||88 mm||87 mm||600 g||..||n||Aug 2009||399||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon 500D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799||ebay.com|
|8.||Canon SX10||123 mm||88 mm||87 mm||600 g||..||n||Sep 2008||399||ebay.com|
|9.||Canon 450D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||n||Jan 2008||799||ebay.com|
|10.||Canon 40D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299||ebay.com|
|11.||Canon 400D||127 mm||84 mm||65 mm||556 g||370||n||Aug 2006||799||ebay.com|
|12.||Olympus XZ-2||113 mm||65 mm||48 mm||346 g||340||n||Sep 2012||599||ebay.com|
|13.||Olympus E-P3||122 mm||69 mm||34 mm||369 g||330||n||Jun 2011||799||ebay.com|
|14.||Olympus E-PL3||110 mm||64 mm||37 mm||313 g||300||n||Jun 2011||599||ebay.com|
|15.||Olympus E-PM1||110 mm||64 mm||34 mm||265 g||330||n||Jun 2011||499||ebay.com|
|16.||Olympus E-PL1||115 mm||72 mm||42 mm||334 g||290||n||Feb 2010||599||ebay.com|
|17.||Olympus E-450||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||440 g||500||n||Mar 2009||499||ebay.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
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 somewhat lower price (by 25 percent) than the E-PL2, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its 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-PL2 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-PL2 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-PL2 offers a 4:3 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the E-PL2 offers a higher resolution of 12.2 megapixels, compared with 10.1 MP of the 1000D. This megapixels 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-PL2 is much more recent (by 2 years and 6 months) than the 1000D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
The resolution advantage of the Olympus E-PL2 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the E-PL2 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20.2 x 15.1 inches or 51.2 x 38.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16.1 x 12.1 inches or 41 x 30.7 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.4 x 10.1 inches or 34.1 x 25.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 1000D are 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.4 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.6 x 10.4 inches or 39.5 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 13 x 8.6 inches or 32.9 x 21.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
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 PEN E-PL2 are ISO 200 to ISO 6400 (no boost).
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many 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. Of the two cameras under review, the 1000D has a notably higher overall DXO score than the E-PL2 (overall score 7 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.6 bits higher color depth, 0.7 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.3 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|2.||Olympus E-PL2||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.4||10.2||573||55|
|13.||Olympus E-P3||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||20.8||10.1||536||51|
|14.||Olympus E-PL3||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||20.9||10.3||499||52|
|15.||Olympus E-PM1||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||21.0||10.3||499||52|
|16.||Olympus E-PL1||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.5||10.1||487||54|
|17.||Olympus E-450||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.5||10.5||512||56|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The E-PL2 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 1000D does not. The highest resolution format that the E-PL2 can use is 720/30p.
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-PL2 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the E-PL2 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the VF-2. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 1000D, the Olympus E-PL2, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Canon 1000D||optical||n||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|2.||Olympus E-PL2||optional||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon 2000D||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|4.||Canon 4000D||optical||n||2.7 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|5.||Canon 1100D||optical||n||2.7 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|6.||Canon SX20||202||n||2.5 / 230||swivel||n||1/3200s||0.7/s||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon 500D||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.4/s||Y||n|
|8.||Canon SX10||202||n||2.5 / 230||swivel||n||1/3200s||0.7/s||Y||Y|
|9.||Canon 450D||optical||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5/s||Y||n|
|10.||Canon 40D||optical||Y||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.5/s||Y||n|
|11.||Canon 400D||optical||n||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|12.||Olympus XZ-2||optional||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||Y||1/2000s||5.0/s||Y||Y|
|13.||Olympus E-P3||optional||n||3.0 / 614||fixed||Y||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||Y|
|14.||Olympus E-PL3||optional||n||3.0 / 460||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.5/s||n||Y|
|15.||Olympus E-PM1||optional||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.5/s||n||Y|
|16.||Olympus E-PL1||optional||n||2.7 / 230||fixed||n||1/2000s||3.0/s||Y||Y|
|17.||Olympus E-450||optical||n||2.7 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5/s||Y||n|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One feature that differentiates the E-PL2 and the 1000D is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The E-PL2 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the 1000D offers no blur reduction with lenses that themselves do not provide optical image stabilization.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 1000D and the E-PL2 write their files to SDHC cards.
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 PEN E-PL2 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon 1000D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Olympus E-PL2||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon 2000D||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon 4000D||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon 1100D||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Canon SX20||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||YES||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Canon 500D||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Canon SX10||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Canon 450D||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Canon 40D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Canon 400D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Olympus XZ-2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Olympus E-P3||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Olympus E-PL3||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Olympus E-PM1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Olympus E-PL1||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Olympus E-450||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
Both the 1000D and the E-PL2 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The 1000D was replaced by the Canon 1100D, while the E-PL2 was followed by the Olympus E-PL3. Further information on the features and operation of the 1000D and E-PL2 can be found, respectively, in the Canon 1000D Manual (free pdf) or the online Olympus E-PL2 Manual.
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 1000D and the Olympus E-PL2? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 1000D:
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (7 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.7 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.3 stops ISO advantage).
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (500 versus 280) on a single battery charge.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (25 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in June 2008).
Reasons to prefer the Olympus PEN E-PL2:
- 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 detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (460k vs 230k dots).
- More compact: Is smaller (114x72mm vs 126x98mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 140g or 28 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 6 months of technical progress since the 1000D launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the E-PL2 emerges as the winner of the match-up (9 : 7 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 1000D and the Olympus E-PL2 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 1000D or the E-PL2 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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.
|1.||Canon 1000D||..||82/100||..||+ +||3.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2008||449||ebay.com|
|2.||Olympus E-PL2||3/5||83/100||..||71/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2011||599||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon 2000D||3/5||o||3.5/5||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||449||amazon.com|
|4.||Canon 4000D||2.5/5||o||3/5||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||399||amazon.com|
|5.||Canon 1100D||..||80/100||..||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon SX20||..||+ +||..||73/100||..||4/5||Aug 2009||399||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon 500D||..||+ +||..||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799||ebay.com|
|8.||Canon SX10||..||+ +||..||..||..||4/5||Sep 2008||399||ebay.com|
|9.||Canon 450D||..||+ +||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799||ebay.com|
|10.||Canon 40D||..||+ +||..||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299||ebay.com|
|11.||Canon 400D||..||+ +||..||+ +||o||4/5||Aug 2006||799||ebay.com|
|12.||Olympus XZ-2||4/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||599||ebay.com|
|13.||Olympus E-P3||..||83/100||..||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2011||799||ebay.com|
|14.||Olympus E-PL3||3/5||+ +||..||72/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2011||599||ebay.com|
|15.||Olympus E-PM1||..||86/100||..||71/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2011||499||ebay.com|
|16.||Olympus E-PL1||..||86/100||..||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||599||ebay.com|
|17.||Olympus E-450||..||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Mar 2009||499||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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.
- Canon 1000D vs Canon 1300D
- Canon 1000D vs Canon 1D Mark II
- Canon 1000D vs Leica Digilux 3
- Canon 1000D vs Panasonic GF1
- Canon 1000D vs Sony A900
- Canon 1000D vs Sony NEX-6
- Canon D30 vs Olympus E-PL2
- Canon T6 vs Olympus E-PL2
- Fujifilm X-M1 vs Olympus E-PL2
- Olympus E-PL2 vs Pentax K-3
- Olympus E-PL2 vs Samsung NX500
- Olympus E-PL2 vs Sony RX100
Specifications: Canon 1000D vs Olympus E-PL2
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 Model||Canon 1000D||Olympus E-PL2|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||June 2008||January 2011|
|Launch Price||USD 449||USD 599|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 1000D||Olympus E-PL2|
|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|
|Sensor Resolution||10.1 Megapixels||12.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3888 x 2592 pixels||4032 x 3024 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.71 μm||4.29 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.07 MP/cm2||5.42 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||720/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 800 ISO||200 - 6,400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 1,600 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 3||Truepic V|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||62||55|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22||21.4|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.9||10.2|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||719||573|
|Screen Specs||Canon 1000D||Olympus E-PL2|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.5inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 1000D||Olympus E-PL2|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards||SDHC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 1000D||Olympus E-PL2|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon 1000D||Olympus E-PL2|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||500 shots per charge||280 shots per charge|
126 x 98 x 65 mm
(5.0 x 3.9 x 2.6 in)
114 x 72 x 42 mm
(4.5 x 2.8 x 1.7 in)
|Camera Weight||502 g (17.7 oz)||362 g (12.8 oz)|
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