PW

Canon 400D vs 50D

The Canon EOS 400D (called Canon XTi in some regions) and the Canon EOS 50D are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2006 and August 2008. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The 400D has a resolution of 10.1 megapixels, whereas the 50D provides 15.1 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon 400D   Canon 50D
Canon 400D Canon 50D
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
10.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 15.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1600 ISO 100-3200 (100-12800)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.5" LCD, 230k dots 3.0" LCD, 920k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 6.3 shutter flaps per second
Not weather sealedWeathersealed body
370 shots per battery charge800 shots per battery charge
127 x 84 x 65 mm, 556 g 146 x 108 x 74 mm, 822 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 400D and the Canon EOS 50D? 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 400D and the Canon 50D is provided 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 400D vs Canon 50D
Compare 400D versus 50D top
Comparison 400D or 50D rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 50D is considerably larger (48 percent) than the Canon 400D. Moreover, the 50D is substantially heavier (48 percent) than the 400D. It is noteworthy in this context that the 50D is splash and dust-proof, while the 400D 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. 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 400D gets 370 shots out of its NB-2LH battery, while the 50D can take 800 images on a single charge of its BP-511A 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 400D» 5.0 in 3.3 in 2.6 in 19.6 oz 370 n Aug 2006 799- i Canon 400D
 
Canon 50D« 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 800 Y Aug 2008 1,299- i Canon 50D
 
Canon 750D« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 649- i Canon 760D
 
Canon 70D« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
 
Canon 650D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
 
Canon 1100D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
 
Canon 60D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 1100 Y Aug 2010 1,399- i Canon 60D
 
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 500D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799- i Canon 500D
 
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 350D« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 19.0 oz 400 n Feb 2005 899- i Canon 350D
 
Nikon D40X« » 4.9 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 18.4 oz 520 n Mar 2007 729- i Nikon D40X
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as 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 400D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 38 percent) than the 50D, 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

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels 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 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 50D is 1 percent bigger. 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 50D uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 4) than the 400D (DIGIC II), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon 400D and Canon 50D sensor measures

With 15.1MP, the 50D offers a higher resolution than the 400D (10.1MP), but the 50D has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.69μm versus 5.71μm for the 400D). Yet, the 50D is a much more recent model (by 2 years) than the 400D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The resolution advantage of the Canon 50D implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 50D for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23.8 x 15.8 inch or 60.4 x 40.2 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19 x 12.7 inch or 48.3 x 32.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.8 x 10.6 inch or 40.2 x 26.8 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 400D are 19.4 x 13 inch or 49.4 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.6 x 10.4 inch or 39.5 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 13 x 8.6 inch or 32.9 x 21.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS 400D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS 50D are ISO 100 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-12800.

400D versus 50D 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"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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 400D» APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.066462Canon 400D
 
Canon 50D« APS-C 15.1 4752 3168-21.811.469663Canon 50D
 
Canon 750D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570Canon 760D
 
Canon 70D« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668Canon 70D
 
Canon 650D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon 650D
 
Canon 1100D« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon 1100D
 
Canon 60D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.581366Canon 60D
 
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 500D« » APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363Canon 500D
 
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 350D« » APS-C 8.0 3456 2304-21.810.863760Canon 350D
 
Nikon D40X« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.411.451663Nikon D40X
The 50D offers Live View, so that it can project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen for framing. The 400D lacks this capability. Both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.
 

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 400D and the 50D 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 50D has a higher magnification than the one of the 400D (0.59x 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 400D and Canon 50D along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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
Camera
Model
 
Canon 400D»optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 400D
 
Canon 50D«optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 6.3 Y n Canon 50D
 
Canon 750D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 760D
 
Canon 70D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n Canon 70D
 
Canon 650D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 650D
 
Canon 1100D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 1100D
 
Canon 60D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/8000s 5.3 Y n Canon 60D
 
Canon 550D« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n Canon 550D
 
Canon 7D« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 Y n Canon 7D
 
Canon 500D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n Canon 500D
 
Canon 450D« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n Canon 450D
 
Canon 40D« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n Canon 40D
 
Canon 30D« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n Canon 30D
 
Canon 350D« »optical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 350D
 
Nikon D40X« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D40X

One feature that is present on the 50D, but is missing on the 400D 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 400D and the 50D write their files to Compact Flash cards.

 

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 400D and Canon EOS 50D and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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 400D»Y-----2.0---Canon 400D
 
Canon 50D«Y----mini2.0---Canon 50D
 
Canon 750D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon 760D
 
Canon 70D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Canon 70D
 
Canon 650D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 650D
 
Canon 1100D« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon 1100D
 
Canon 60D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 60D
 
Canon 550D« »Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---Canon 550D
 
Canon 7D« »Ymono-Y-mini2.0---Canon 7D
 
Canon 500D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon 500D
 
Canon 450D« »Y----mini2.0---Canon 450D
 
Canon 40D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 40D
 
Canon 30D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 30D
 
Canon 350D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 350D
 
Nikon D40X« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D40X

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 50D (unlike the 400D) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the 400D and the 50D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 400D was replaced by the Canon 450D, while the 50D was followed by the Canon 60D. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.


Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 400D or the Canon 50D – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Canon EOS 400D:

  • More compact: Is smaller (127x84mm vs 146x108mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 266g or 32 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (38 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2006).


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 50D:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (15.1 vs 10.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 22%.
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 4 vs DIGIC II).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.59x vs 0.49x).
  • Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 230k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6.3 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (800 versus 370) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years of technical progress since the 400D launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 50D is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 4 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. 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.

400D 04:12 50D

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 400D and the Canon 50D 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 incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 400D or the 50D perform in practice. 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 adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera 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.

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 400D»+ ++ +o4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799- i Canon 400D
 
Canon 50D«+ ++ +4.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299- i Canon 50D
 
Canon 750D« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D« »+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649- i Canon 760D
 
Canon 70D« »+ +83/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
 
Canon 650D« »+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
 
Canon 1100D« »80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
 
Canon 60D« »+79/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 1,399- i Canon 60D
 
Canon 550D« »+ +77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699- i Canon 550D
 
Canon 7D« »+ +84/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2009 1,699- i Canon 7D
 
Canon 500D« »+ +74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799- i Canon 500D
 
Canon 450D« »+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799- i Canon 450D
 
Canon 40D« »+ ++ +4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
 
Canon 30D« »+ ++ +oo- Feb 2006 1,399- i Canon 30D
 
Canon 350D« »80/100+ +oo- Feb 2005 899- i Canon 350D
 
Nikon D40X« »79/100+ +4/5o4/5 Mar 2007 729- i Nikon D40X
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, 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 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.

Canon 400D:
Check Ebay offers
Canon 50D:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. 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 400D vs Canon 50D

    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 400D Canon 50D
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2006 August 2008
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 1299
    Sensor Specs Canon 400D Canon 50D
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.2 x 14.8 mm 22.3 x 14.9 mm
    Sensor Area 328.56 mm2 332.27 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.7 mm 26.8 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 10.1 Megapixels 15.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3888 x 2592 pixels 4752 x 3168 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.71 μm 4.69 μm
    Pixel Density 3.07 MP/cm2 4.53 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100-1600 ISO 100-3200 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100-12800 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC II DIGIC 4
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 62 63
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 21.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 11.4
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 664 696
    Screen Specs Canon 400D Canon 50D
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.49x 0.59x
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.5 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 400D Canon 50D
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 6.3 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy50 000 actuations100 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 400D Canon 50D
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash no PC Sync PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 400D Canon 50D
    Environmental SealingNot weather sealedWeathersealed body
    Battery Type NB-2LH BP-511A
    Battery Life (CIPA)370 shots per charge800 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 127 x 84 x 65 mm
    (5.0 x 3.3 x 2.6 in)
    146 x 108 x 74 mm
    (5.7 x 4.3 x 2.9 in)
    Camera Weight 556 g (19.6 oz) 822 g (29.0 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

    You are here Home  »  CAM-parator  »  Canon 400D vs Canon 50D