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Canon 300D versus Nikon D50

The Canon EOS 300D (called Canon Rebel in some regions) and the Nikon D50 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2003 and April 2005. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 6.3 megapixel, whereas the Nikon provides 6 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 300D vs Nikon D50

The physical size and weight of the Canon 300D and the Nikon D50 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size 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 300D – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon 300D vs Nikon D50
300D versus D50 top view
300D and D50 rear side

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D50 is somewhat smaller (3 percent) than the Canon 300D. Moreover, the D50 is slightly lighter (4 percent) than the 300D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 300D nor the D50 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. Yet, since both cameras are based around an APS-C sensor, their respective lenses will tend to have similar dimensions and heft. You can find an overview of optics for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (300D) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D50).

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 Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Canon 300D (⇒ rgt) 5.6 in 3.9 in 2.8 in 22.9 oz 400 no 2003 899discont. check
Nikon D50 (⇒ lft) 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 21.9 oz 400 no 2005 749discont. check
Canon 77D (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 19.0 oz 600 no 2017 899 latest check
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 no 2014 799 latest check
Canon 700D (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 no 2013 649discont. check
Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 no 2012 799discont. check
Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 no 2012 849discont. check
Canon 400D (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.0 in 3.3 in 2.6 in 19.6 oz 370 no 2006 799discont. check
Canon 350D (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 19.0 oz 400 no 2005 899discont. check
Canon 20D (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 700 no 2004 1,499discont. check
Canon 10D (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 30.0 oz 500 no 2003 1,999discont. check
Nikon D60 (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 18.4 oz 500 no 2008 629discont. check
Nikon D80 (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 23.6 oz 600 no 2006 999discont. check
Nikon D40 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.9 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 18.4 oz 470 no 2006 499discont. check
Nikon D70s (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.5 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 24.0 oz 500 no 2005 899discont. check
Nikon D70 (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.5 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 24.0 oz 400 no 2004 999discont. check

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 D50 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 17 percent) than the 300D, 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.

Sensor comparison: Canon 300D vs Nikon D50

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the D50 is 8 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (300D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 300D and Nikon D50 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon 300D offers a higher resolution of 6.3 megapixel, compared with 6 MP of the Nikon D50. 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 7.38μm versus 7.85μm for the D50). Moreover, it should be noted that the D50 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 8 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.

300D versus D50 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar image quality. 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
(Megapixel)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon 300D (⇒ rgt) APS-C 6.3 3072 2048 no 21.0 10.8 544 55
Nikon D50 (⇒ lft) APS-C 6.0 3008 2000 no 20.9 10.8 560 55
Canon 77D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/60p 23.6 13.3 971 78
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 3120 1080/30p 21.5 10.8 581 58
Canon 700D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 21.7 11.2 681 61
Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 3264 1080/24p 21.7 10.8 644 60
Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 21.7 11.2 722 62
Canon 400D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 10.1 3888 2592 no 22.1 11.0 664 62
Canon 350D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 8.0 3456 2304 no 21.8 10.8 637 60
Canon 20D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 8.2 3504 2336 no 21.9 11.0 721 62
Canon 10D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 6.3 3072 2048 no 21.1 10.9 571 57
Nikon D60 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 10.0 3872 2592 no 22.5 11.4 562 65
Nikon D80 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 10.0 3872 2592 no 22.1 11.2 524 61
Nikon D40 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 6.0 3008 2000 no 21 11.0 561 56
Nikon D70s (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 6.0 3008 2000 no 20.4 10.3 529 50
Nikon D70 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 6.0 3008 2000 no 20.4 10.3 529 50
Neither the 300D nor the D50 offer Live View, so that they cannot project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen. Moreover, both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.

Feature comparison: Canon 300D vs Nikon D50

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 300D and the D50 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 300D and Nikon D50 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(Y/n)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(Y/n)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(GN)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Canon 300D (⇒ rgt) optical no 1.8 118 fixed no 4000 2.5 YES no
Nikon D50 (⇒ lft) optical no 2.0 130 fixed no 4000 2.5 11 no
Canon 77D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical YES 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 6.0 12 no
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 5.2 6.8 YES
Canon 700D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 13 no
Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 922 Swivel no 4000 1.9 7 YES
Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 YES no
Canon 400D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 2.5 230 fixed no 4000 3.0 YES no
Canon 350D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 1.8 115 fixed no 4000 3.0 YES no
Canon 20D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical YES 1.8 118 fixed no 8000 5.0 13 no
Canon 10D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical YES 1.8 118 fixed no 4000 3.0 13 no
Nikon D60 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 2.5 230 fixed no 4000 3.0 12 no
Nikon D80 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 2.5 230 fixed no 4000 3.0 13 no
Nikon D40 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 2.5 230 fixed no 4000 2.5 17 no
Nikon D70s (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 2.0 130 fixed no 8000 3.0 12 no
Nikon D70 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 1.8 130 fixed no 8000 3.0 11 no

Both the 300D and the D50 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 300D was replaced by the Canon 350D, while the D50 was followed by the Nikon D40.

Review summary: Canon 300D vs Nikon D50

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon 300D better than the Nikon D50 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Advantages of the Canon EOS 300D:

  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in August 2003).

Arguments in favor of the Nikon D50:

  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (17 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 8 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D50 emerges as the winner of the match-up (3 : 1 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.

300D 01:03 D50

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the 300D and the D50 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
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Canon 300D (⇒ rgt) - HiRec - reviewed - 2003 899discont. check
Nikon D50 (⇒ lft) 78/100 HiRec 4/5 reviewed 4.5/5 2005 749discont. check
Canon 77D (⇒ lft | rgt) .. 82/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4/5 2017 899 latest check
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 77/100 Silver 4/5 4/5 4.5/5 2014 799 latest check
Canon 700D (⇒ lft | rgt) - 76/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2013 649discont. check
Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 79/100 Rec 76/100 Silver 4/5 4/5 4.5/5 2012 799discont. check
Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 77/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2012 849discont. check
Canon 400D (⇒ lft | rgt) 85/100 HiRec HiRec reviewed 4.5/5 4/5 2006 799discont. check
Canon 350D (⇒ lft | rgt) 80/100 HiRec reviewed reviewed - 2005 899discont. check
Canon 20D (⇒ lft | rgt) - HiRec - reviewed - 2004 1,499discont. check
Canon 10D (⇒ lft | rgt) - HiRec - reviewed - 2003 1,999discont. check
Nikon D60 (⇒ lft | rgt) 80/100 HiRec 4/5 reviewed 4.5/5 2008 629discont. check
Nikon D80 (⇒ lft | rgt) 86/100 Rec HiRec reviewed 4.5/5 4.5/5 2006 999discont. check
Nikon D40 (⇒ lft | rgt) 81/100 HiRec reviewed 5/5 4.5/5 2006 499discont. check
Nikon D70s (⇒ lft | rgt) - - - reviewed 5/5 2005 899discont. check
Nikon D70 (⇒ lft | rgt) - HiRec - reviewed - 2004 999discont. check

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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, 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 would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please contact me, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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