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Canon 500D versus Canon 450D

The Canon EOS 500D (called Canon T1i in some regions) and the Canon EOS 450D (labelled Canon XSi in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in March 2009 and January 2008. 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 450D provides 12.2 MP.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 500D and the Canon 450D is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth 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 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Canon 500D vs Canon 450D front
500D versus 450D top view
500D and 450D rear side
Body view (500D on the left)

In this particular case, the Canon 500D and the Canon 450D have exactly the same width and height, and, thus, have identically-sized bodies. However, the 450D is slightly heavier (1 percent) than the 500D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 500D nor the 450D 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.

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 comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
Camera Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Canon 500D (⇒ rgt) 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 no 2009 799discont. check
Canon 450D (⇒ lft) 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 no 2008 799discont. check
Canon 750D (⇒ lft | rgt) 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 no 2015 749discont. check
Canon 760D (⇒ lft | rgt) 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 no 2015 849discont. check
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 no 2014 799 latest check
Canon 100D (⇒ lft | rgt) 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 no 2013 549discont. check
Canon 700D (⇒ lft | rgt) 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 no 2013 649discont. check
Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 no 2012 799discont. check
Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt) 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 no 2012 849discont. check
Canon 600D (⇒ lft | rgt) 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 no 2011 599discont. check
Canon 550D (⇒ lft | rgt) 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 no 2010 699discont. check
Canon 40D (⇒ lft | rgt) 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 no 2007 1,299discont. check
Canon 400D (⇒ lft | rgt) 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 no 2006 799discont. check

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. 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.

Sensor comparison

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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the 450D is 1 percent smaller. 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.

Canon 500D and Canon 450D sensor measures
Sensor size

With 15.1MP, the 500D offers a higher resolution than the 450D (12.2MP), but the 500D has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.69μm versus 5.19μm for the 450D). However, the 500D is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 2 months) than the 450D, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

500D versus 450D MP
Sensor resolution

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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(Megapixel)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon 500D (⇒ rgt) APS-C 15.1 4752 3168 1080/20p 21.7 11.5 663 63
Canon 450D (⇒ lft) APS-C 12.2 4272 2848 no 21.9 10.8 692 61
Canon 750D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/60p 22.7 12.0 919 71
Canon 760D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/30p 22.6 12.0 915 70
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 3120 1080/30p 21.5 10.8 581 58
Canon 100D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 21.8 11.3 843 63
Canon 700D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 21.7 11.2 681 61
Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 3264 1080/24p 21.7 10.8 644 60
Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 21.7 11.2 722 62
Canon 600D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 22.1 11.5 793 65
Canon 550D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 22.1 11.5 784 66
Canon 40D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 10.1 3888 2592 no 22.1 11.3 703 64
Canon 400D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 10.1 3888 2592 no 22.1 11.0 664 62

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The 500D indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the 450D does not. The highest resolution format that the 500D can use is 1080/20p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 500D and the 450D 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 500D, the Canon 450D, and comparable cameras. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(Y/n)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(Y/n)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(GN)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Canon 500D (⇒ rgt) optical no 3.0 920 fixed no 4000 3.4 YES no
Canon 450D (⇒ lft) optical no 3.0 230 fixed no 4000 3.5 YES no
Canon 750D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 12 no
Canon 760D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical YES 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 12 no
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 5.2 6.8 YES
Canon 100D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 fixed YES 4000 4.9 9.4 no
Canon 700D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 13 no
Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 922 Swivel no 4000 1.9 7 YES
Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 YES no
Canon 600D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3 1040 swivel no 4000 3.7 YES no
Canon 550D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 fixed no 4000 3.7 YES no
Canon 40D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical YES 3.0 230 fixed no 8000 6.5 12 no
Canon 400D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 2.5 230 fixed no 4000 3.0 YES no

Both the 500D and the 450D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The 450D was replaced by the Canon 500D, while the 500D was followed by the Canon 550D.

Summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 500D and the Canon 500D? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 500D:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (15.1 vs 12.2MP) with a 11% higher linear resolution.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.7 EV of extra DR).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/20p movies.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 230k dots).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 2 months after the 450D).

Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 450D:

  • More compact: Is smaller (129x98mm vs 129x98mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (500 versus 400) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2008).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 500D emerges as the winner of the contest (5 : 3 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features.

500D 05:03 450D

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 500D or the 450D. 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 following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites. The detailed reviews can be accessed, respectively, on the websites of cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.

Review scores
Camera camera
labs
dp
review
ephoto
zine
imaging
resource
photography
blog
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Canon 500D (⇒ rgt) 88/100 HiRec 74/100 HiRec 4.5/5 5/5 4.5/5 2009 799discont. check
Canon 450D (⇒ lft) 88/100 HiRec HiRec 4/5 5/5 4.5/5 2008 799discont. check
Canon 750D (⇒ lft | rgt) - 75/100 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2015 749discont. check
Canon 760D (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 77/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2015 849discont. check
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 77/100 Silver 4/5 4/5 4.5/5 2014 799 latest check
Canon 100D (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 78/100 Gold 4/5 4/5 4/5 2013 549discont. check
Canon 700D (⇒ lft | rgt) - 76/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2013 649discont. check
Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 79/100 Rec 76/100 Silver 4/5 4/5 4.5/5 2012 799discont. check
Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 77/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2012 849discont. check
Canon 600D (⇒ lft | rgt) reviewed 77/100 Silver 4.5/5 5/5 4.5/5 2011 599discont. check
Canon 550D (⇒ lft | rgt) 88/100 HiRec 77/100 Gold 4/5 5/5 4.5/5 2010 699discont. check
Canon 40D (⇒ lft | rgt) 90/100 HiRec HiRec 4.5/5 reviewed 4.5/5 2007 1,299discont. check
Canon 400D (⇒ lft | rgt) 85/100 HiRec HiRec reviewed 4.5/5 4/5 2006 799discont. check

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, 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.

Other comparisons

If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. 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, kindly get in touch, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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