Canon 250D vs 500D
The Canon EOS 250D (called Canon SL3 in some regions) and the Canon EOS 500D (labelled Canon T1i in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in April 2019 and March 2009. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The 250D has a resolution of 24 megapixels, whereas the 500D provides 15.1 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Canon 250D||Canon 500D|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|24 MP, APS-C Sensor||15.1 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|4K/25p Video||1080/20p Video|
|ISO 100-25600 (100-51200)||ISO 100-6400 (100-12800)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0" LCD, 1040k dots||3.0" LCD, 920k dots|
|Swivel touchscreen||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|5 shutter flaps per second||3.4 shutter flaps per second|
|1070 shots per battery charge||400 shots per battery charge|
|122 x 93 x 70 mm, 449 g||129 x 98 x 62 mm, 520 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 250D and the Canon EOS 500D? 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 250D and the Canon 500D. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The 250D can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the 500D 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 Canon 500D is notably larger (11 percent) than the Canon 250D. Moreover, the 500D is markedly heavier (16 percent) than the 250D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 250D 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 compare the optics available in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.
|Canon 250D»||4.8 in||3.7 in||2.8 in||15.8 oz||1070||n||Apr 2019||599||Canon 250D|
|Canon 500D«||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.3 oz||400||n||Mar 2009||799||Canon 500D|
|Canon 850D« »||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||18.2 oz||800||n||Feb 2020||749||Canon 850D|
|Canon 2000D« »||5.1 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||16.8 oz||500||n||Feb 2018||449||Canon 2000D|
|Canon 4000D« »||5.1 in||4.0 in||3.0 in||15.4 oz||500||n||Feb 2018||399||Canon 4000D|
|Canon M50« »||4.6 in||3.5 in||2.3 in||13.8 oz||235||n||Feb 2018||779||Canon M50|
|Canon SX70« »||5.0 in||3.6 in||4.6 in||21.4 oz||325||n||Sep 2018||549||Canon SX70|
|Canon 77D« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||19.0 oz||600||n||Feb 2017||899||Canon 77D|
|Canon 200D« »||4.8 in||3.7 in||2.8 in||16.0 oz||650||n||Jun 2017||549||Canon 200D|
|Canon 800D« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||18.8 oz||600||n||Feb 2017||749||Canon 800D|
|Canon 760D« »||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||19.9 oz||440||n||Feb 2015||649||Canon 760D|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||4.6 in||2.9 in||2.6 in||19.5 oz||240||n||Feb 2014||799||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon 650D« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.3 oz||440||n||Jun 2012||849||Canon 650D|
|Canon G1 X« »||4.6 in||3.2 in||2.6 in||18.8 oz||250||n||Jan 2012||799||Canon G1 X|
|Canon 550D« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.7 oz||440||n||Feb 2010||699||Canon 550D|
|Canon 450D« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.5 oz||500||n||Jan 2008||799||Canon 450D|
|Fujifilm X-T100« »||4.8 in||3.3 in||1.9 in||15.8 oz||430||n||May 2018||599||Fujifilm X-T100|
|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 250D was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 25 percent) than the 500D, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
In terms of chip-set technology, the 250D uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 8) than the 500D (DIGIC 4), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the 250D offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixels, compared with 15.1 MP of the 500D. This megapixels advantage translates into a 26 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the 250D has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 4.69μm for the 500D). In this context, it should be noted, however, that the 250D is much more recent (by 10 years) than the 500D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size.
The resolution advantage of the Canon 250D implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 250D for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inch or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inch or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inch or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 500D are 23.8 x 15.8 inch or 60.4 x 40.2 cm for good quality, 19 x 12.7 inch or 48.3 x 32.2 cm for very good quality, and 15.8 x 10.6 inch or 40.2 x 26.8 cm for excellent quality prints.
The 250D has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Canon EOS 250D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS 500D are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-12800.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Canon 250D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/25p||..||..||..||..||Canon 250D|
|Canon 500D||APS-C||15.1||4752||3168||1080/20p||21.7||11.5||663||63||Canon 500D|
|Canon 850D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/24p||..||..||..||..||Canon 850D|
|Canon 2000D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.6||11.9||1009||71||Canon 2000D|
|Canon 4000D||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.9||11.4||695||63||Canon 4000D|
|Canon M50||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/24p||..||..||..||..||Canon M50|
|Canon SX70||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX70|
|Canon 77D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.3||971||78||Canon 77D|
|Canon 200D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.4||1041||79||Canon 200D|
|Canon 800D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Canon 800D|
|Canon 760D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.6||12.0||915||70||Canon 760D|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon 650D||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||722||62||Canon 650D|
|Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60||Canon G1 X|
|Canon 550D||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.5||784||66||Canon 550D|
|Canon 450D||APS-C||12.2||4272||2848||none||21.9||10.8||692||61||Canon 450D|
|Fujifilm X-T100||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/15p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-T100|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the 250D provides a higher video resolution than the 500D. It can shoot video footage at 4K/25p, while the 500D is limited to 1080/20p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 250D 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 viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), as well as the same magnification (0.54x). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 250D, the Canon 500D, and comparable cameras.
|Canon 250D||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 250D|
|Canon 500D||optical||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.4||Y||n||Canon 500D|
|Canon 850D||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||7.5||Y||n||Canon 850D|
|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 M50||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||10.0||Y||n||Canon M50|
|Canon SX70||2360||n||3.0||922||swivel||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Canon SX70|
|Canon 77D||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Canon 77D|
|Canon 200D||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 200D|
|Canon 800D||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Canon 800D|
|Canon 760D||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 760D|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon 650D||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 650D|
|Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y||Canon G1 X|
|Canon 550D||optical||n||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.7||Y||n||Canon 550D|
|Canon 450D||optical||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n||Canon 450D|
|Fujifilm X-T100||2360||n||3.0||1040||full-flex||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X-T100|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The 250D has a touchscreen, while the 500D has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The 250D has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the 500D does not have a selfie-screen.
The Canon 250D has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The 250D writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the 500D uses SDHC cards. The 250D supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the 500D cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 250D and Canon EOS 500D and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon 250D||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y||Canon 250D|
|Canon 500D||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 500D|
|Canon 850D||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y||Canon 850D|
|Canon 2000D||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 2000D|
|Canon 4000D||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 4000D|
|Canon M50||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M50|
|Canon SX70||-||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Canon SX70|
|Canon 77D||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon 77D|
|Canon 200D||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon 200D|
|Canon 800D||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon 800D|
|Canon 760D||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 760D|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon 650D||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 650D|
|Canon G1 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon G1 X|
|Canon 550D||Y||stereo||none||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 550D|
|Canon 450D||Y||none||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 450D|
|Fujifilm X-T100||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Fujifilm X-T100|
It is notable that the 250D has a microphone port, which is missing on the 500D. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
The 250D is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the 500D has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 500D was succeeded by the Canon 550D. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 250D or the Canon 500D – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 250D:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 15.1MP) with a 26% higher linear resolution.
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 8 vs DIGIC 4).
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/25p vs 1080/20p).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 920k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3.4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 71g or 14 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (1070 versus 400) on a single battery charge.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (25 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 10 years of technical progress since the 500D launch.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 500D:
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in March 2009).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 250D is the clear winner of the match-up (18 : 1 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision 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 250D and the Canon 500D 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 250D 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 expert reviews 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.
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods 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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 1Ds Mark II vs Canon 250D
- Canon 250D vs Fujifilm X100
- Canon 250D vs Nikon D80
- Canon 250D vs Panasonic FT7
- Canon 250D vs Panasonic TZ100
- Canon 500D vs Fujifilm X-A2
- Canon 500D vs Nikon Z7
- Canon 500D vs Olympus E-PL8
- Canon 500D vs Pentax 645D
- Canon 500D vs Samsung NX500
- Canon 500D vs Sony HX80
- Canon 500D vs Sony NEX-5T
Specifications: Canon 250D vs Canon 500D
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 250D||Canon 500D|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||April 2019||March 2009|
|Launch Price||USD 599||USD 799|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 250D||Canon 500D|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||22.3 x 14.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||332.27 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||26.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||15.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||4752 x 3168 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.72 μm||4.69 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.22 MP/cm2||4.53 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/25p Video||1080/20p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-25600 ISO||100-6400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-51200 ISO||100-12800 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 8||DIGIC 4|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||63|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||21.7|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||11.5|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||663|
|Screen Specs||Canon 250D||Canon 500D|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||920k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 250D||Canon 500D|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||3.4 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations||100 000 actuations|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDHC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 250D||Canon 500D|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Canon 250D||Canon 500D|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||1070 shots per charge||400 shots per charge|
122 x 93 x 70 mm
(4.8 x 3.7 x 2.8 in)
129 x 98 x 62 mm
(5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
|Camera Weight||449 g (15.8 oz)||520 g (18.3 oz)|
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