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Canon 500D versus Canon 100D

The Canon EOS 500D (called Canon T1i in some regions) and the Canon EOS 100D (labelled Canon SL1 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in March 2009 and March 2013. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The 500D has a resolution of 15.1 megapixel, whereas the 100D provides 17.9 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon 500D vs Canon 100D

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 500D and the Canon 100D is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the 500D – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Canon 500D vs Canon 100D
Compare 500D versus 100D top
Compare 500D and 100D rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 100D is notably smaller (16 percent) than the Canon 500D. Moreover, the 100D is markedly lighter (22 percent) than the 500D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 500D nor the 100D 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 find an overview of suitable optics in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the 500D gets 400 shots out of its LP-E5 battery, while the 100D can take 380 images on a single charge of its LP-E12 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left 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 camera comparisons 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)
Canon 500D» 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799- i
Canon 100D« 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549- i
Canon 200D« » 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 16.0 oz 650 n Jun 2017 549 i i
Canon 750D« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i
Canon 760D« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 849- i
Canon 1200D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449- i
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799 i i
Canon 700D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649- i
Canon G16« » 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i i
Canon G1 X« » 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799- i
Canon 650D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i
Canon 600D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.1 oz 440 n Feb 2011 599- i
Canon 550D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.7 oz 440 n Feb 2010 699- i
Canon 450D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799- i
Panasonic G6« » 4.8 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 13.8 oz 340 n Apr 2013 599- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 100D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 31 percent) than the 500D, 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: Canon 500D vs Canon 100D

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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.

Canon 500D and Canon 100D sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the 100D offers a higher resolution of 17.9 megapixel, compared with 15.1 MP of the 500D. This megapixel advantage translates into a 9 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the 100D has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 4.69μm for the 500D). However, it should be noted that the 100D is much more recent (by 3 years and 11 months) than the 500D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size.

500D versus 100D MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. 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 image quality. 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 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 100D« APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
Canon 200D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
Canon 750D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971
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 G16« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
Canon G1 X« » 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
Canon 650D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
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 2848-21.910.869261
Panasonic G6« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the 100D provides a faster frame rate than the 500D. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/30p, while the 500D is limited to 1080/20p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 500D vs Canon 100D

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 500D and the 100D 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 500D and Canon 100D along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Canon 500D»optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.4 Y n
Canon 100D«optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.9 Y n
Canon 200D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon 750D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon 760D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon 1200D« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon G1 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 5.2 Y Y
Canon 700D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon G16« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.2 Y Y
Canon G1 X« »optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 4000 1.9 Y Y
Canon 650D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon 600D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 4000 3.7 Y n
Canon 550D« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 3.7 Y n
Canon 450D« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n
Panasonic G6« »1440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 4000 7.0 Y n

Both the 500D and the 100D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 500D was replaced by the Canon 550D, while the 100D was followed by the Canon 200D.

Review summary: Canon 500D vs Canon 100D

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 500D or the Canon 100D – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 500D:

  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in March 2009).


Advantages of the Canon EOS 100D:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (17.9 vs 15.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 9%.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.3 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/30p versus 1080/20p).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 920k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4.9 vs 3.4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (117x91mm vs 129x98mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 113g or 22 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (31 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 11 months of technical progress since the 500D launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 100D is the clear winner of the contest (10 : 1 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.

500D 01:10 100D

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 500D or the 100D. 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 where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon 500D»HiRec74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799- i
Canon 100D«Rec78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i
Canon 200D« »HiRec78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i i
Canon 750D« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i
Canon 760D« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 849- i
Canon 1200D« »Rec-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i
Canon G1 X Mark II« »Rec77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i i
Canon 700D« »-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i
Canon G16« »Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i i
Canon G1 X« »Rec76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i
Canon 650D« »HiRec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i
Canon 600D« »rev77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599- i
Canon 550D« »HiRec77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699- i
Canon 450D« »HiRecHiRec4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799- i
Panasonic G6« »HiRec-5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 599- i

The review scores listed above should be treated 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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date 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 are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please contact me, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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