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Canon 400D vs XSi

The Canon EOS 400D (called Canon XTi in some regions) and the Canon EOS Rebel XSi (labelled Canon 450D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2006 and January 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 XSi provides 12.2 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon 400D versus Canon XSi
Canon 400D Canon XSi
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
10.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 100-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.5 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 3.5 shutter flaps per second
370 shots per battery charge500 shots per battery charge
127 x 84 x 65 mm, 556 g 129 x 98 x 62 mm, 524 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 400D and the Canon EOS Rebel XSi? 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

The physical size and weight of the Canon 400D and the Canon XSi 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

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

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon XSi is notably larger (19 percent) than the Canon 400D. However, the XSi is markedly lighter (6 percent) than the 400D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 400D nor the XSi 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 400D gets 370 shots out of its NB-2LH battery, while the XSi can take 500 images on a single charge of its LP-E5 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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 400D 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
2.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
3.
 
Canon 750D 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749i
4.
 
Canon 760D 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
5.
 
Canon 650D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
6.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
7.
 
Canon 1100D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
8.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
9.
 
Canon 550D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699i
10.
 
Canon 500D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
11.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
12.
 
Canon 450D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
13.
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299i
14.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
15.
 
Canon 350D 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899i
16.
 
Nikon D40X 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 520 n Mar 2007 729i
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 retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Technology-wise, the XSi uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 3) than the 400D (DIGIC II), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon 400D and Canon XSi sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the XSi offers a higher resolution of 12.2 megapixels, compared with 10.1 MP of the 400D. This megapixels advantage translates into a 10 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the XSi has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 5.19μm versus 5.71μm for the 400D). However, it should be noted that the XSi is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 5 months) than the 400D, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.

The resolution advantage of the Canon XSi implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the XSi for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 21.4 x 14.2 inches or 54.3 x 36.2 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 17.1 x 11.4 inches or 43.4 x 28.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 14.2 x 9.5 inches or 36.2 x 24.1 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 EOS 400D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The Canon EOS Rebel XSi offers exactly the same ISO settings.

400D versus XSi MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). 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 400D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
2.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
3.
 
Canon 750D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
4.
 
Canon 760D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
5.
 
Canon 650D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
6.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
7.
 
Canon 1100D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
8.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
9.
 
Canon 550D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
10.
 
Canon 500D APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
11.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
12.
 
Canon 450D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
13.
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
14.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
15.
 
Canon 350D APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
16.
 
Nikon D40X APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.411.451663
The XSi 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.
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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 400D and the XSi 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 XSi has a higher magnification than the one of the 400D (0.54x vs 0.49x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 400D and Canon XSi in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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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 400Doptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
2.
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
3.
 
Canon 750Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon 760Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon 650Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon 1100Doptical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon 550Doptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
10.
 
Canon 500Doptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
11.
 
Canon T1ioptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
12.
 
Canon 450Doptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
13.
 
Canon 40Doptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
14.
 
Canon XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
15.
 
Canon 350Doptical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
16.
 
Nikon D40Xoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n

The 400D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the XSi uses SDHC 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 400D and Canon EOS Rebel XSi 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 400DY-----2.0---
2.
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon 750DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon 760DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon 650DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon 1100DYstereomono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon 550DYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon 500DYmonomono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon T1iYmonomono--mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon 450DY----mini2.0---
13.
 
Canon 40DY-----2.0---
14.
 
Canon XTiY-----2.0---
15.
 
Canon 350DY-----2.0---
16.
 
Nikon D40XY-----2.0---

Both the 400D and the XSi have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 400D was replaced by the Canon 450D, while the XSi was followed by the Canon T1i. 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? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 400D and the Canon XSi? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Advantages of the Canon EOS 400D:

  • More compact: Is smaller (127x84mm vs 129x98mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in August 2006).


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel XSi:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (12.2 vs 10.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 10%.
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 3 vs DIGIC II).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.54x vs 0.49x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (500 versus 370) out of a single battery charge.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 5 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the XSi is the clear winner of the contest (7 : 2 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 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.

400D 02:07 XSi

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 400D and the Canon XSi 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 400D or the XSi. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts 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 400D..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
2.
 
Canon XSi..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
3.
 
Canon 750D5/5..75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749i
4.
 
Canon 760D5/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
5.
 
Canon 650D4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
6.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
7.
 
Canon 1100D..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
8.
 
Canon T3..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
9.
 
Canon 550D..+ +77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
10.
 
Canon 500D..+ +74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
11.
 
Canon T1i..+ +74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
12.
 
Canon 450D..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
13.
 
Canon 40D..+ ++ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299i
14.
 
Canon XTi..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
15.
 
Canon 350D..80/100+ +o.. Feb 2005 899i
16.
 
Nikon D40X..79/100+ +4/54/5 Mar 2007 729i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated 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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, 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.

Canon 400D:
Check Ebay offers
Canon XSi:
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.

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    Specifications: Canon 400D vs Canon XSi

    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 XSi
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2006 January 2008
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 799
    Sensor Specs Canon 400D Canon XSi
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.2 x 14.8 mm 22.2 x 14.8 mm
    Sensor Area 328.56 mm2 328.56 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.7 mm 26.7 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 10.1 Megapixels 12.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3888 x 2592 pixels 4272 x 2848 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.71 μm 5.19 μm
    Pixel Density 3.07 MP/cm2 3.70 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
    Image Processor DIGIC II DIGIC 3
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 62 61
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 21.9
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 10.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 664 692
    Screen Specs Canon 400D Canon XSi
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.49x 0.54x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.5inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 400D Canon XSi
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 3.5 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy50 000 actuations100 000 actuations
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 400D Canon XSi
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    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 XSi
    Battery Type NB-2LH LP-E5
    Battery Life (CIPA)370 shots per charge500 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 127 x 84 x 65 mm
    (5.0 x 3.3 x 2.6 in)
    129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    Camera Weight 556 g (19.6 oz) 524 g (18.5 oz)

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

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