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Canon 30D vs XTi

The Canon EOS 30D and the Canon EOS Rebel XTi (labelled Canon 400D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2006 and August 2006. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The 30D has a resolution of 8.2 megapixels, whereas the XTi provides 10.1 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 30D versus Canon XTi
Canon 30D Canon XTi
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
8.2 MP, APS-C Sensor 10.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200) ISO 100-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.5 LCD, 230k dots 2.5 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
750 shots per battery charge370 shots per battery charge
144 x 106 x 74 mm, 785 g 127 x 84 x 65 mm, 556 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 30D and the Canon EOS Rebel XTi? 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.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 30D and the Canon XTi 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.

Size Canon 30D vs Canon XTi
Compare 30D versus XTi top
Comparison 30D or XTi rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon XTi is considerably smaller (30 percent) than the Canon 30D. Moreover, the XTi is markedly lighter (29 percent) than the 30D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 30D nor the XTi 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.

Concerning battery life, the 30D gets 750 shots out of its BP-511A battery, while the XTi can take 370 images on a single charge of its NB-2LH power pack.

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, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 30D 144 mm 106 mm 74 mm 785 g 750 n Feb 2006 1,399i
2.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
3.
 
Canon T6i 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749i
4.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
5.
 
Canon 70D 139 mm 104 mm 79 mm 755 g 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199i
6.
 
Canon 60D 145 mm 106 mm 79 mm 755 g 1100 Y Aug 2010 1,399i
7.
 
Canon 7D 148 mm 111 mm 74 mm 860 g 800 Y Sep 2009 1,699i
8.
 
Canon 50D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 800 Y Aug 2008 1,299i
9.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
10.
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299i
11.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899i
12.
 
Canon 20D 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 n Aug 2004 1,499i
13.
 
Canon 10D 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 850 g 500 n Feb 2003 1,999i
14.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 XTi was launched at a markedly lower price (by 43 percent) than the 30D, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.

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Sensor comparison

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. 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.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the XTi 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.

Canon 30D and Canon XTi sensor measures

Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the XTi offers a higher resolution of 10.1 megapixels, compared with 8.2 MP of the 30D. 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 5.71μm versus 6.42μm for the 30D). However, it should be noted that the XTi is a somewhat more recent model (by 6 months) than the 30D, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage.

The resolution advantage of the Canon XTi implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the XTi for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.4 x 32.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 15.6 x 10.4 inches or 39.5 x 26.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13 x 8.6 inches or 32.9 x 21.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 30D are 17.5 x 11.7 inches or 44.5 x 29.7 cm for good quality, 14 x 9.3 inches or 35.6 x 23.7 cm for very good quality, and 11.7 x 7.8 inches or 29.7 x 19.8 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS 30D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS Rebel XTi are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

30D versus XTi 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 imaging performance. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon 30D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.510.873659
2.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
3.
 
Canon T6i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
4.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
5.
 
Canon 70D APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668
6.
 
Canon 60D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.581366
7.
 
Canon 7D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.011.785466
8.
 
Canon 50D APS-C 15.1 4752 3168none21.811.469663
9.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
10.
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
11.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
12.
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162
13.
 
Canon 10D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.110.957157
14.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
Neither the 30D nor the XTi 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.
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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 30D and the XTi 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%), but the viewfinder of the 30D has a higher magnification than the one of the XTi (0.56x vs 0.49x), 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 30D and Canon XTi along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon 30Doptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
2.
 
Canon XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon T6ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon T6soptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon 70Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon 60Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/8000s 5.3 Y n
7.
 
Canon 7Doptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon 50Doptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 6.3 Y n
9.
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
10.
 
Canon 40Doptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
11.
 
Canon XToptical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
12.
 
Canon 20Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
13.
 
Canon 10Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
14.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n

One feature that is present on the 30D, but is missing on the XTi 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.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 30D and the XTi write their files to Compact Flash cards.

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Connectivity comparison

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 30D and Canon EOS Rebel XTi and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon 30DY-----2.0---
2.
 
Canon XTiY-----2.0---
3.
 
Canon T6iYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon T6sYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon 70DYstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
6.
 
Canon 60DYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon 7DYmono-Y-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon 50DY----mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon 40DY-----2.0---
11.
 
Canon XTY-----2.0---
12.
 
Canon 20DY-----1.1---
13.
 
Canon 10DY-----1.1---
14.
 
Canon RebelY-----1.1---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 30D (unlike the XTi) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the 30D and the XTi have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 30D was replaced by the Canon 40D, while the XTi was followed by the Canon Xsi. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 30D or the Canon XTi – 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.


Advantages of the Canon EOS 30D:

  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.56x vs 0.49x).
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (750 versus 370) on a single battery charge.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2006).


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel XTi:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (10.1 vs 8.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 11%.
  • More compact: Is smaller (127x84mm vs 144x106mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 229g or 29 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (43 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (6 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 30D emerges as the winner of the contest (7 : 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

30D 07:05 XTi

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 30D and the Canon XTi 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 comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 30D or the XTi. 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.

Expert reviews

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 (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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 30D..+ ++ +o.. Feb 2006 1,399i
2.
 
Canon XTi..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
3.
 
Canon T6i5/5..75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749i
4.
 
Canon T6s5/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
5.
 
Canon 70D5/5+ +83/1004.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199i
6.
 
Canon 60D5/5+79/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2010 1,399i
7.
 
Canon 7D5/5+ +84/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2009 1,699i
8.
 
Canon 50D..+ ++ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299i
9.
 
Canon XSi..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
10.
 
Canon 40D..+ ++ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299i
11.
 
Canon XT..80/100+ +o.. Feb 2005 899i
12.
 
Canon 20D....+ +.... Aug 2004 1,499i
13.
 
Canon 10D....+ +.... Feb 2003 1,999i
14.
 
Canon Rebel....+ +.... Aug 2003 899i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon 30D:
Check Ebay offers
Canon XTi:
Check Ebay offers

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.

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    Specifications: Canon 30D vs Canon XTi

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 30D Canon XTi
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2006 August 2006
    Launch Price USD 1,399 USD 799
    Sensor Specs Canon 30D Canon XTi
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.5 x 15.0 mm 22.2 x 14.8 mm
    Sensor Area 337.5 mm2 328.56 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 27 mm 26.7 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 8.2 Megapixels 10.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3504 x 2336 pixels 3888 x 2592 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.42 μm 5.71 μm
    Pixel Density 2.43 MP/cm2 3.07 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 100 - 3,200 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor DIGIC 2 DIGIC II
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 59 62
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.5 22.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 11.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 736 664
    Screen Specs Canon 30D Canon XTi
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.56x 0.49x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    Rear LCD Size 2.5inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 30D Canon XTi
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations50 000 actuations
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 30D Canon XTi
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 30D Canon XTi
    Battery Type BP-511A NB-2LH
    Battery Life (CIPA)750 shots per charge370 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 144 x 106 x 74 mm
    (5.7 x 4.2 x 2.9 in)
    127 x 84 x 65 mm
    (5.0 x 3.3 x 2.6 in)
    Camera Weight 785 g (27.7 oz) 556 g (19.6 oz)

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