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Canon 10D versus Canon 500D

The Canon EOS 10D and the Canon EOS 500D (labelled Canon T1i in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2003 and March 2009. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The 10D has a resolution of 6.3 megapixel, whereas the 500D provides 15.1 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 10D vs Canon 500D

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 10D and the Canon 500D. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the 10D – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon 10D vs Canon 500D
Compare 10D versus 500D top
Compare 10D and 500D rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 500D is notably smaller (21 percent) than the Canon 10D. Moreover, the 500D is substantially lighter (39 percent) than the 10D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 10D nor the 500D 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. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can find an overview of suitable optics in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the 10D gets 500 shots out of its BP-511 battery, while the 500D can take 400 images on a single charge of its LP-E5 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras 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 10D» 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 30.0 oz 500 n Feb 2003 1,999- i Canon 10D
Canon 500D« 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799- i Canon 500D
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799 i i Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon T5« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449- i Canon T5
Canon SL1« » 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549- i Canon SL1
Canon 650D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
Canon G1 X« » 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
Canon T4i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon T4i
Canon 550D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.7 oz 440 n Feb 2010 699- i Canon 550D
Canon 7D« » 5.8 in 4.4 in 2.9 in 30.3 oz 800 Y Sep 2009 1,699- i Canon 7D
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
Canon 30D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.9 in 27.7 oz 750 n Feb 2006 1,399- i Canon 30D
Canon 20D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 700 n Aug 2004 1,499- i Canon 20D
Canon Rebel« » 5.6 in 3.9 in 2.8 in 22.9 oz 400 n Aug 2003 899- i Canon Rebel
Canon D60« » 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 30.2 oz 620 n Feb 2002 2,999- i Canon D60
Nikon D100« » 5.7 in 4.6 in 3.2 in 27.5 oz 370 n Feb 2002 1,999- i Nikon D100

The camera’s price is obviously a critical decision-making factor. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 500D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 60 percent) than the 10D, 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 10D vs Canon 500D

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the 500D is 3 percent smaller. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Technology-wise, the 500D uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 4) than the 10D (DIGIC), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon 10D and Canon 500D sensor measures

Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the 500D offers a higher resolution of 15.1 megapixel, compared with 6.3 MP of the 10D. 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 4.69μm versus 7.38μm for the 10D). However, it should be noted that the 500D is much more recent (by 6 years) than the 10D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

10D versus 500D MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the 500D has a markedly higher DXO score than the 10D (overall score 6 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.6 bits higher color depth, 0.6 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.2 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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 10D» APS-C 6.3 3072 2048-21.110.957157Canon 10D
Canon 500D« APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363Canon 500D
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon T5« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463Canon T5
Canon SL1« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363Canon SL1
Canon 650D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon 650D
Canon G1 X« » 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460Canon G1 X
Canon T4i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon T4i
Canon 550D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466Canon 550D
Canon 7D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.011.785466Canon 7D
Canon 450D« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848-21.910.869261Canon 450D
Canon 40D« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.370364Canon 40D
Canon 30D« » APS-C 8.2 3504 2336-21.510.873659Canon 30D
Canon 20D« » APS-C 8.2 3504 2336-21.911.072162Canon 20D
Canon Rebel« » APS-C 6.3 3072 2048-21.010.854455Canon Rebel
Canon D60« » APS-C 6.3 3072 2048-----Canon D60
Nikon D100« » APS-C 6.0 3008 2000-----Nikon D100

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The 500D indeed provides for movie recording, while the 10D does not. The highest resolution format that the 500D can use is 1080/20p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 10D vs Canon 500D

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 10D and the 500D 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 10D and Canon 500D along with similar information for a selection of comparators. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or in the dpreview camera hub.

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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Canon 10D»optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 10D
Canon 500D«optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.4 Y n Canon 500D
Canon G1 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 5.2 Y Y Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon T5« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T5
Canon SL1« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.9 Y n Canon SL1
Canon 650D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 650D
Canon G1 X« »optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 4000 1.9 Y Y Canon G1 X
Canon T4i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T4i
Canon 550D« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 3.7 Y n Canon 550D
Canon 7D« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 8.0 Y n Canon 7D
Canon 450D« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n Canon 450D
Canon 40D« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 8000 6.5 Y n Canon 40D
Canon 30D« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n Canon 30D
Canon 20D« »optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n Canon 20D
Canon Rebel« »optical n 1.8 118 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y n Canon Rebel
Canon D60« »optical Y 1.8 114 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon D60
Nikon D100« »optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Nikon D100

One feature that is present on the 10D, but is missing on the 500D is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The 10D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the 500D uses SDHC cards.

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 10D»Y-----1.1---Canon 10D
Canon 500D«Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon 500D
Canon G1 X Mark II« »Ystereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon T5« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon T5
Canon SL1« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon SL1
Canon 650D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 650D
Canon G1 X« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon G1 X
Canon T4i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon T4i
Canon 550D« »Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---Canon 550D
Canon 7D« »Ymono-Y-mini2.0---Canon 7D
Canon 450D« »Y----mini2.0---Canon 450D
Canon 40D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 40D
Canon 30D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 30D
Canon 20D« »Y-----1.1---Canon 20D
Canon Rebel« »Y-----1.1---Canon Rebel
Canon D60« »Y-----1.1---Canon D60
Nikon D100« »Y-----1.1---Nikon D100

Both the 10D and the 500D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 10D was replaced by the Canon 20D, while the 500D was followed by the Canon 550D.

Review summary: Canon 10D vs Canon 500D

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 10D and the Canon 500D? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Advantages of the Canon EOS 10D:

  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (500 versus 400) on a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2003).


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 500D:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (15.1 vs 6.3MP), which boosts linear resolution by 55%.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (6 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.6 EV of extra DR).
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 4 vs DIGIC).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/20p video.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 118k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.4 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (129x98mm vs 150x107mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 330g or 39 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.1).
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (60 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 6 years of technical progress since the 10D launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 500D is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 3 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.

10D 03:13 500D

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 10D or the 500D. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

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 10D»-HiRec-rev- Feb 2003 1,999- i Canon 10D
Canon 500D«HiRec74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799- i Canon 500D
Canon G1 X Mark II« »Rec77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i i Canon G1 X Mark II
Canon T5« »Rec-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i Canon T5
Canon SL1« »Rec78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i Canon SL1
Canon 650D« »HiRec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
Canon G1 X« »Rec76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
Canon T4i« »HiRec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon T4i
Canon 550D« »HiRec77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699- i Canon 550D
Canon 7D« »HiRec84/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2009 1,699- i Canon 7D
Canon 450D« »HiRecHiRec4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799- i Canon 450D
Canon 40D« »HiRecHiRec4.5/5rev4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
Canon 30D« »HiRecHiRecrevrev- Feb 2006 1,399- i Canon 30D
Canon 20D« »-HiRec-rev- Aug 2004 1,499- i Canon 20D
Canon Rebel« »-HiRec-rev- Aug 2003 899- i Canon Rebel
Canon D60« »-HiRecrev-- Feb 2002 2,999- i Canon D60
Nikon D100« »-HiRecrevrev- Feb 2002 1,999- i Nikon D100

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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.

 

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 make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please contact me, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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