Canon 500D vs Canon M
The Canon EOS 500D (called Canon T1i in some regions) and the Canon EOS M are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in March 2009 and July 2012. The 500D is a DSLR, while the Canon M is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The 500D has a resolution of 15.1 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.
|Canon 500D||Canon M|
|Digital single lens reflex||Mirrorless system camera|
|Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF-M mount lenses|
|15.1 MP, APS-C Sensor||17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|1080/20p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO 100-6400 (100-12800)||ISO 100-12800 (100-25600)|
|Optical viewfinder||No viewfinder, LCD framing|
|3.0" LCD, 920k dots||3.0" LCD, 1040k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed touchscreen|
|3.4 shutter flaps per second||4.3 shutter flaps per second|
|400 shots per battery charge||230 shots per battery charge|
|129 x 98 x 62 mm, 520 g||109 x 66 x 32 mm, 298 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 500D 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 500D and the Canon M are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The Canon M can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the 500D 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 (43 percent) than the Canon 500D. Moreover, the Canon M is substantially lighter (43 percent) than the 500D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 500D 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 would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Canon 500D»||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799||Canon 500D|
|Canon M«||109 mm||66 mm||32 mm||298 g||230||n||Jul 2012||599||Canon M|
|Canon M100« »||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||302 g||295||n||Aug 2017||499||Canon M100|
|Canon 750D« »||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||555 g||440||n||Feb 2015||749||Canon 750D|
|Canon 760D« »||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649||Canon 760D|
|Canon M10« »||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||301 g||255||n||Oct 2015||499||Canon M10|
|Canon 1200D« »||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449||Canon 1200D|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||116 mm||74 mm||66 mm||553 g||240||n||Feb 2014||799||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon G7 X« »||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699||Canon G7 X|
|Canon 700D« »||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||580 g||440||n||Mar 2013||649||Canon 700D|
|Canon G16« »||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549||Canon G16|
|Canon 650D« »||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849||Canon 650D|
|Canon G1 X« »||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799||Canon G1 X|
|Canon 600D« »||133 mm||100 mm||80 mm||570 g||440||n||Feb 2011||599||Canon 600D|
|Canon 550D« »||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||530 g||440||n||Feb 2010||699||Canon 550D|
|Canon 450D« »||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||n||Jan 2008||799||Canon 450D|
|Panasonic G3« »||115 mm||84 mm||47 mm||336 g||270||n||May 2011||599||Panasonic G3|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
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 Canon M was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 25 percent) than the 500D, 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 size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 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 Canon M uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC V) than the 500D (DIGIC 4), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the Canon M offers a higher resolution of 17.9 megapixels, compared with 15.1 MP of the 500D. This megapixels advantage translates into a 9 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the Canon M 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 Canon M is much more recent (by 3 years and 3 months) than the 500D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size.
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 inch or 65.8 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 13.8 inch or 52.7 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 11.5 inch or 43.9 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 500D are 23.8 x 15.8 inch or 60.4 x 40.2 cm for good quality, 19 x 12.7 inch or 48.3 x 32.2 cm for very good quality, and 15.8 x 10.6 inch or 40.2 x 26.8 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 500D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. 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.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 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.
|Canon 500D||APS-C||15.1||4752||3168||1080/20p||21.7||11.5||663||63||Canon 500D|
|Canon M||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.2||827||65||Canon M|
|Canon M100||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.5||12.9||1272||78||Canon M100|
|Canon 750D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.7||12.0||919||71||Canon 750D|
|Canon 760D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.6||12.0||915||70||Canon 760D|
|Canon M10||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.2||11.4||753||65||Canon M10|
|Canon 1200D||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.9||11.3||724||63||Canon 1200D|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71||Canon G7 X|
|Canon 700D||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||681||61||Canon 700D|
|Canon G16||1/1.7||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||21.0||11.7||230||54||Canon G16|
|Canon 650D||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||722||62||Canon 650D|
|Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60||Canon G1 X|
|Canon 600D||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.5||793||65||Canon 600D|
|Canon 550D||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.5||784||66||Canon 550D|
|Canon 450D||APS-C||12.2||4272||2848||none||21.9||10.8||692||61||Canon 450D|
|Panasonic G3||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||21.0||10.6||667||56||Panasonic G3|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the Canon M provides a faster frame rate than the 500D. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/30p, while the 500D is limited to 1080/20p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 500D 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 500D and Canon M along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Canon 500D||optical||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.4||Y||n||Canon 500D|
|Canon M||none||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.3||n||n||Canon M|
|Canon M100||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.1||Y||n||Canon M100|
|Canon 750D||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 750D|
|Canon 760D||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 760D|
|Canon M10||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.6||Y||n||Canon M10|
|Canon 1200D||optical||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon 1200D|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5||Y||Y||Canon G7 X|
|Canon 700D||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 700D|
|Canon G16||optical||n||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.2||Y||Y||Canon G16|
|Canon 650D||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 650D|
|Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y||Canon G1 X|
|Canon 600D||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.7||Y||n||Canon 600D|
|Canon 550D||optical||n||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.7||Y||n||Canon 550D|
|Canon 450D||optical||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n||Canon 450D|
|Panasonic G3||1440||n||3.0||460||swivel||Y||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Panasonic G3|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The 500D has one, while the Canon M does not. While the built-in flash of the 500D is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The 500D writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the Canon M uses SDXC cards. The Canon M supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the 500D cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 500D and Canon EOS M and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon 500D||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 500D|
|Canon M||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon M|
|Canon M100||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M100|
|Canon 750D||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 750D|
|Canon 760D||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 760D|
|Canon M10||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon M10|
|Canon 1200D||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1200D|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon G7 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G7 X|
|Canon 700D||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 700D|
|Canon G16||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon G16|
|Canon 650D||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 650D|
|Canon G1 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon G1 X|
|Canon 600D||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 600D|
|Canon 550D||Y||stereo||none||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 550D|
|Canon 450D||Y||none||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 450D|
|Panasonic G3||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic G3|
It is notable that the Canon M has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The 500D does not feature such a mic input.
Both the 500D and the Canon M have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 500D was replaced by the Canon 550D, 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? Is the Canon 500D better than the Canon M or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Canon EOS 500D:
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (400 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 March 2009).
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS M:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (17.9 vs 15.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 9%.
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC V vs DIGIC 4).
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/30p versus 1080/20p).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- 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 (4.3 vs 3.4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (109x66mm vs 129x98mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 222g or 43 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (25 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 3 years and 3 months of technical progress since the 500D launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the Canon M is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 4 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 before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro 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 500D 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 comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 500D and the Canon M 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 adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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 use the search menu 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.
Specifications: Canon 500D 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 500D||Canon M|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF-M mount lenses|
|Launch Date||March 2009||July 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 799||USD 599|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 500D||Canon M|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||22.3 x 14.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||332.27 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||26.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.1 Megapixels||17.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4752 x 3168 pixels||5184 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.69 μm||4.31 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.53 MP/cm2||5.39 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/20p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-6400 ISO||100-12800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-12800 ISO||100-25600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4||DIGIC V|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||63||65|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.7||22.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.5||11.2|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||663||827|
|Screen Specs||Canon 500D||Canon M|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||No viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 500D||Canon M|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Continuous Shooting||3.4 shutter flaps/s||4.3 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations||100 000 actuations|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 500D||Canon M|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon 500D||Canon M|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge||230 shots per charge|
129 x 98 x 62 mm
(5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
109 x 66 x 32 mm
(4.3 x 2.6 x 1.3 in)
|Camera Weight||520 g (18.3 oz)||298 g (10.5 oz)|
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