Canon 400D vs Canon M
The Canon EOS 400D (called Canon XTi in some regions) and the Canon EOS M are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2006 and July 2012. The 400D is a DSLR, while the Canon M is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The 400D has a resolution of 10.1 megapixels, whereas the Canon M provides 17.9 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 400D and the Canon EOS M? 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 400D and the Canon M are illustrated 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.
The Canon M can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the 400D 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 M is considerably smaller (33 percent) than the Canon 400D. Moreover, the Canon M is substantially lighter (46 percent) than the 400D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 400D nor the Canon M 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. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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 400D||127 mm||84 mm||65 mm||556 g||370||n||Aug 2006||799|
|2.||Canon M||109 mm||66 mm||32 mm||298 g||230||n||Jul 2012||599|
|3.||Canon M100||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||302 g||295||n||Aug 2017||499|
|4.||Canon 750D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||555 g||440||n||Feb 2015||749|
|5.||Canon 760D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|6.||Canon M10||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||301 g||255||n||Oct 2015||499|
|7.||Canon SL1||117 mm||91 mm||69 mm||407 g||380||n||Mar 2013||549|
|8.||Canon T5i||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||580 g||440||n||Mar 2013||649|
|9.||Canon 650D||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|10.||Canon 1100D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||n||Feb 2011||449|
|11.||Canon T3i||133 mm||100 mm||80 mm||570 g||440||n||Feb 2011||599|
|12.||Canon 550D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||530 g||440||n||Feb 2010||699|
|13.||Canon 500D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799|
|14.||Canon 450D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||n||Jan 2008||799|
|15.||Canon 40D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299|
|16.||Canon 350D||127 mm||94 mm||64 mm||540 g||400||n||Feb 2005||899|
|17.||Nikon D40X||124 mm||94 mm||64 mm||522 g||520||n||Mar 2007||729|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 Canon M was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 25 percent) than the 400D, 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.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. 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 Canon M 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 Canon M uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC V) than the 400D (DIGIC II), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
With 17.9MP, the Canon M offers a higher resolution than the 400D (10.1MP), but the Canon M has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 5.71μm for the 400D). Yet, the Canon M is a much more recent model (by 5 years and 11 months) 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 M implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the Canon M for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 17.3 inches or 65.8 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 13.8 inches or 52.7 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 400D are 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.4 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.6 x 10.4 inches or 39.5 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 13 x 8.6 inches or 32.9 x 21.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon M has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Canon EOS 400D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS M are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.
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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The Canon M indeed provides for movie recording, while the 400D does not. The highest resolution format that the Canon M can use is 1080/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 400D has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the Canon M relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 400D and Canon M along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The 400D has one, while the Canon M does not. While the built-in flash of the 400D is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The 400D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the Canon M uses SDXC 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 400D and Canon EOS M and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
Both the 400D and the Canon M have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 400D was replaced by the Canon 450D, while the Canon M was followed by the Canon EOS M3. 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 is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 400D or the Canon M – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 400D:
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (370 versus 230) on a single battery charge.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2006).
Advantages of the Canon EOS M:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (17.9 vs 10.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 33%.
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC V vs DIGIC II).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p video.
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- 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 (1040k vs 230k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4.3 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (109x66mm vs 127x84mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 258g or 46 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
- More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (25 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 5 years and 11 months of technical progress since the 400D launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the Canon M is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 400D and the Canon M place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings 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 incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 400D or the Canon M perform in practice. 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 following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera 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 400D||..||+ +||+ +||o||4/5||Aug 2006||799|
|2.||Canon M||3/5||+||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2012||599|
|3.||Canon M100||3/5||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||Aug 2017||499|
|4.||Canon 750D||5/5||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749|
|5.||Canon 760D||5/5||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|6.||Canon M10||..||..||..||..||4/5||Oct 2015||499|
|7.||Canon SL1||4/5||+||78/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549|
|8.||Canon T5i||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649|
|9.||Canon 650D||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|10.||Canon 1100D||..||80/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449|
|11.||Canon T3i||3/5||o||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||599|
|12.||Canon 550D||..||+ +||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||699|
|13.||Canon 500D||..||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799|
|14.||Canon 450D||..||+ +||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799|
|15.||Canon 40D||..||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299|
|16.||Canon 350D||..||80/100||+ +||o||..||Feb 2005||899|
|17.||Nikon D40X||..||79/100||+ +||4/5||4/5||Mar 2007||729|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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. 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 make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Canon 400D vs Canon M
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 400D||Canon M|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF-M mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2006||July 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 799||USD 599|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 400D||Canon M|
|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|
|Sensor Resolution||10.1 Megapixels||17.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3888 x 2592 pixels||5184 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.71 μm||4.31 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.07 MP/cm2||5.39 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||100 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC II||DIGIC V|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||62||65|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.1||22.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.0||11.2|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||664||827|
|Screen Specs||Canon 400D||Canon M|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.5inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 400D||Canon M|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||4.3 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||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 400D||Canon M|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon 400D||Canon M|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||370 shots per charge||230 shots per charge|
127 x 84 x 65 mm
(5.0 x 3.3 x 2.6 in)
109 x 66 x 32 mm
(4.3 x 2.6 x 1.3 in)
|Camera Weight||556 g (19.6 oz)||298 g (10.5 oz)|
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