Canon 300D vs 5D
The Canon EOS 300D (called Canon Rebel in some regions) and the Canon EOS 5D are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2003 and August 2005. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (300D) and a full frame (5D) sensor. The 300D has a resolution of 6.3 megapixels, whereas the 5D provides 12.7 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 300D and the Canon EOS 5D? 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 physical size and weight of the Canon 300D and the Canon 5D are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 5D is notably larger (22 percent) than the Canon 300D. Moreover, the 5D is substantially heavier (38 percent) than the 300D. It is noteworthy in this context that the 5D is splash and dust-proof, while the 300D does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
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 (as in the 5D) will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, while more compact options are available for the smaller-sensor camera (300D). You can compare the optics available in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
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 300D||142 mm||99 mm||72 mm||649 g||400||n||Aug 2003||899|
|2.||Canon 5D||152 mm||113 mm||75 mm||895 g||400||Y||Aug 2005||3,299|
|3.||Canon 6D Mark II||144 mm||111 mm||75 mm||765 g||1200||Y||Jun 2017||1,999|
|4.||Canon 77D||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||540 g||600||n||Feb 2017||899|
|5.||Canon 5DS||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||930 g||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699|
|6.||Canon 5DS R||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||930 g||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699|
|7.||Canon G1 X Mark II||116 mm||74 mm||66 mm||553 g||240||n||Feb 2014||799|
|8.||Canon 700D||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||580 g||440||n||Mar 2013||649|
|9.||Canon 6D||145 mm||111 mm||71 mm||770 g||1090||Y||Sep 2012||2,099|
|10.||Canon 650D||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|11.||Canon G1 X||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|12.||Canon 5D Mark II||152 mm||114 mm||75 mm||850 g||850||Y||Sep 2008||3,499|
|13.||Canon 400D||127 mm||84 mm||65 mm||556 g||370||n||Aug 2006||799|
|14.||Canon 350D||127 mm||94 mm||64 mm||540 g||400||n||Feb 2005||899|
|15.||Canon 20D||144 mm||106 mm||72 mm||770 g||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499|
|16.||Canon 10D||150 mm||107 mm||75 mm||850 g||500||n||Feb 2003||1,999|
|17.||Nikon D70||140 mm||111 mm||78 mm||679 g||400||n||Jan 2004||999|
|Notes: 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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The 300D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 73 percent) than the 5D, 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.
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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 300D features an APS-C sensor and the Canon 5D a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the 5D is 152 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Technology-wise, the 5D uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 2) than the 300D (DIGIC), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
With 12.7MP, the 5D offers a higher resolution than the 300D (6.3MP), but the 5D nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 8.25μm versus 7.38μm for the 300D) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the 5D is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 11 months) than the 300D, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The resolution advantage of the Canon 5D implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 5D for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 21.8 x 14.6 inches or 55.5 x 37 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 17.5 x 11.6 inches or 44.4 x 29.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 14.6 x 9.7 inches or 37 x 24.7 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 300D are 15.4 x 10.2 inches or 39 x 26 cm for good quality, 12.3 x 8.2 inches or 31.2 x 20.8 cm for very good quality, and 10.2 x 6.8 inches or 26 x 17.3 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon EOS 300D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS 5D are ISO 100 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-3200.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 consideration, the 5D offers substantially better image quality than the 300D (overall score 16 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.9 bits higher color depth, 0.3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.3 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.
| DXO |
|2.||Canon 5D||Full Frame||12.7||4368||2912||none||22.9||11.1||1368||71|
|3.||Canon 6D Mark II||Full Frame||26.0||6240||4160||1080/60p||24.4||11.9||2862||85|
|5.||Canon 5DS||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/30p||24.7||12.4||2381||87|
|6.||Canon 5DS R||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/30p||24.6||12.4||2308||86|
|7.||Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|9.||Canon 6D||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||1080/30p||23.8||12.1||2340||82|
|11.||Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|12.||Canon 5D Mark II||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||1080/30p||23.7||11.9||1815||79|
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 300D and the 5D 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 viewfinder in the 5D offers a wider field of view (96%) than the one in the 300D (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the 5D has a higher magnification (0.71x vs 0.55x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 300D and Canon 5D along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|3.||Canon 6D Mark II||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.5||n||n|
|6.||Canon 5DS R||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n|
|7.||Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y|
|11.||Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
|12.||Canon 5D Mark II||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.9||n||n|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The 300D has one, while the 5D does not. While the built-in flash of the 300D is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 300D and the 5D write their files to Compact Flash 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 300D and Canon EOS 5D and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|3.||Canon 6D Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon 5DS R||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Canon G1 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Canon 5D Mark II||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 5D (unlike the 300D) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the 300D and the 5D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 300D was replaced by the Canon 350D, while the 5D was followed by the Canon 5D Mark II. 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 how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 300D and the Canon 5D? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Canon EOS 300D:
- More compact: Is smaller (142x99mm vs 152x113mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 246g or 27 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (73 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in August 2003).
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 5D:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (12.7 vs 6.3MP), which boosts linear resolution by 42%.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (16 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.9 bits more color depth).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.3 stops ISO advantage).
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 2 vs DIGIC).
- More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (96% vs 95%).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.71x vs 0.55x).
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.5" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (230k vs 118k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.1).
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 11 months) more recently.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 5D is the clear winner of the contest (16 : 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 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 300D and the Canon 5D 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 300D or the 5D. 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], 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 300D||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2003||899|
|2.||Canon 5D||..||88/100||+ +||o||..||Aug 2005||3,299|
|3.||Canon 6D Mark II||4/5||+||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2017||1,999|
|4.||Canon 77D||4.5/5||..||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899|
|5.||Canon 5DS||..||+||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699|
|6.||Canon 5DS R||5/5||+||83/100||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699|
|7.||Canon G1 X Mark II||3/5||+||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799|
|8.||Canon 700D||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649|
|9.||Canon 6D||5/5||+ +||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,099|
|10.||Canon 650D||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|11.||Canon G1 X||5/5||+||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799|
|12.||Canon 5D Mark II||4/5||91/100||79/100||4/5||..||Sep 2008||3,499|
|13.||Canon 400D||..||+ +||+ +||o||4/5||Aug 2006||799|
|14.||Canon 350D||..||80/100||+ +||o||..||Feb 2005||899|
|15.||Canon 20D||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2004||1,499|
|16.||Canon 10D||..||..||+ +||..||..||Feb 2003||1,999|
|17.||Nikon D70||..||..||+ +||..||..||Jan 2004||999|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
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 your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Canon 300D vs Canon 5D
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 300D||Canon 5D|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2003||August 2005|
|Launch Price||USD 899||USD 3,299|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 300D||Canon 5D|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.7 x 15.1 mm||36.0 x 24.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||342.77 mm2||864 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||27.3 mm||43.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||6.3 Megapixels||12.7 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3072 x 2048 pixels||4368 x 2912 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||7.38 μm||8.25 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.84 MP/cm2||1.47 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||50 - 3,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC||DIGIC 2|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||55||71|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.0||22.9|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.8||11.1|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||544||1368|
|Screen Specs||Canon 300D||Canon 5D|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||96%|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|Rear LCD Size||1.8inch||2.5inch|
|LCD Resolution||118k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 300D||Canon 5D|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||2.5 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||50 000 actuations||100 000 actuations|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||CF cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 300D||Canon 5D|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 1.1||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon 300D||Canon 5D|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge||400 shots per charge|
142 x 99 x 72 mm
(5.6 x 3.9 x 2.8 in)
152 x 113 x 75 mm
(6.0 x 4.4 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||649 g (22.9 oz)||895 g (31.6 oz)|
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