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Canon 500D Comparison Review

The Canon EOS 500D (called Canon T1i in some regions) is a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera that was officially introduced in March 2009 and is equipped with an APS-C sensor. It offers a resolution of 15.1 megapixel.

Is the Canon 500D a good camera? The 500D has a Camera Elo of 1383. This rating puts the 500D below average of all digital single lens reflex cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (APS cameras), the 500D also ranks below average. – Well, the Canon 500D is more than 11 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2009.

Headline Specifications
Canon 500D
Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses
15.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/20p Video
ISO 100 - 6 400 (100 - 12 800)
Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 920k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.4 shutter flaps per second
400 shots per battery charge
129 x 98 x 62 mm, 520 g



Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Canon 500D vis-à-vis a credit card. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Canon 500D vs credit card front
500D versus credit card top view
500D and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Canon 500D alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side 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 comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon 500D 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon 750D 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749i
 
Canon 760D 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 649i
 
Canon 1200D 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon 700D 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649i
 
Canon 650D 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon G1 X 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799i
 
Canon 600D 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.1 oz 440 n Feb 2011 599i
 
Canon 550D 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.7 oz 440 n Feb 2010 699i
 
Canon 450D 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Canon 500D was launched in the US market at a price of $799. 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.

Canon 500D:
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Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Canon 500D features an APS-C sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Canon 500D among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.

Canon 500D sensor measures

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. 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
 
Canon 500D APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
 
Canon 750D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
 
Canon 760D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
 
Canon 1200D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
 
Canon 700D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
 
Canon 650D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
 
Canon 600D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
 
Canon 550D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
 
Canon 450D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The 500D indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the 500D can use is 1080/20p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the 500D has an optical viewfinder that provides a field of view of 95% and a magnification of 0.54x. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Canon 500D 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
 
Canon 500Doptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
 
Canon 750Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon 760Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon 1200Doptical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
 
Canon 700Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon 650Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
 
Canon 600Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
 
Canon 550Doptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
 
Canon 450Doptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n

One convenient feature of the 500D is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

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Connection 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 500D 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
 
Canon 500DYmonomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon 750DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon 760DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon 1200DYmonomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon 700DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon 650DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon 600DYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon 550DYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
 
Canon 450DY----mini2.0---
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Expert reviews

While the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the 500D 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 table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon 500D+ +74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon 750D..75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749i
 
Canon 760D+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
 
Canon 1200D+..4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II+77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon 700D..76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649i
 
Canon 650D+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon G1 X+76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
 
Canon 600Do77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
 
Canon 550D+ +77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
 
Canon 450D+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
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. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon 500D FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the 500D.

What type of imaging sensor is used in the 500D?

The camera features a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Canon equipped the 500D with the DIGIC 4 image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the 500D?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400.

What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Canon EOS 500D?

Canon mentions a shutter rating of 100 000 actuations for the 500D. This number represents a Mean Time before Failure, that is an average value. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust the expected shutter life of the 500D over, say, three years, one would have to take about 100 pictures each and every day.

Does the Canon 500D feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?

The 500D's flash sync speed is 1/200 sec.

Which battery does the 500D use?

The camera gets its power from the LP-E5 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Is there a vertical grip available for the 500D?

Yes, Canon offers the BG-E5 as an optional accessory to facilitate shooting in portrait orientation and to provide additional battery power.

Camera to camera comparisons

If you would like to see a side-by-side review of this and another camera, 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.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Canon 500D
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date March 2009
    Launch Price USD 799
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm
    Sensor Area 332 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 15.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4 752 x 3 168 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.69 μm
    Pixel Density 4.53 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/20p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6 400 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12 800 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 63
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 663
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x
    LCD Framing Live View
    LCD Size 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus System Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking Feature
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 3.4 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support no
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Battery Type LP-E5 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    Camera Weight 520 g (18.3 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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