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Canon 500D vs Rebel

The Canon EOS 500D (called Canon T1i in some regions) and the Canon EOS Digital Rebel (labelled Canon 300D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in March 2009 and August 2003. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The 500D has a resolution of 15.1 megapixels, whereas the Rebel provides 6.3 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon 500D
versus
Canon Rebel
Canon 500D   Canon Rebel
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
15.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 6.3 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/20p Video no Video
ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800) ISO 100-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 920k dots 1.8 LCD, 118k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.4 shutter flaps per second 2.5 shutter flaps per second
400 shots per battery charge400 shots per battery charge
129 x 98 x 62 mm, 520 g 142 x 99 x 72 mm, 649 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 500D and the Canon EOS Digital Rebel? 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 500D and the Canon Rebel are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 500D vs Canon Rebel
Compare 500D versus Rebel top
Comparison 500D or Rebel rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon Rebel is notably larger (11 percent) than the Canon 500D. Moreover, the Rebel is markedly heavier (25 percent) than the 500D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 500D nor the Rebel 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.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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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 500D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
2.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899i
3.
 
Canon T7i 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 532 g 600 n Feb 2017 749i
4.
 
Canon 750D 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749i
5.
 
Canon 760D 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
6.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
7.
 
Canon 1200D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449i
8.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799i
9.
 
Canon 700D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649i
10.
 
Canon 650D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
11.
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799i
12.
 
Canon 600D 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599i
13.
 
Canon 550D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699i
14.
 
Canon 450D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
15.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899i
16.
 
Canon 20D 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 n Aug 2004 1,499i
17.
 
Canon 10D 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 850 g 500 n Feb 2003 1,999i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 500D was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 11 percent) than the Rebel, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.

Sensor comparison

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

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the Rebel is 3 percent bigger. 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.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.

Canon 500D and Canon Rebel sensor measures

Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the Canon 500D offers a higher resolution of 15.1 megapixels, compared with 6.3 MP of the Canon Rebel. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.69μm versus 7.38μm for the Rebel). However, it should be noted that the 500D is much more recent (by 5 years and 7 months) than the Rebel, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

The resolution advantage of the Canon 500D implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 500D for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23.8 x 15.8 inches or 60.4 x 40.2 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19 x 12.7 inches or 48.3 x 32.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.8 x 10.6 inches or 40.2 x 26.8 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon Rebel are 15.4 x 10.2 inches or 39 x 26 cm for good quality, 12.3 x 8.2 inches or 31.2 x 20.8 cm for very good quality, and 10.2 x 6.8 inches or 26 x 17.3 cm for excellent quality prints.

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 Digital Rebel are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

500D versus Rebel MP

For many 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. Of the two cameras under review, the 500D has a notably higher overall DXO score than the Rebel (overall score 8 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.7 bits higher color depth, 0.7 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.3 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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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 500D APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
2.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
3.
 
Canon T7i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
4.
 
Canon 750D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
5.
 
Canon 760D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
6.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
7.
 
Canon 1200D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
8.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
9.
 
Canon 700D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
10.
 
Canon 650D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
11.
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
12.
 
Canon 600D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
13.
 
Canon 550D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
14.
 
Canon 450D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
15.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
16.
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162
17.
 
Canon 10D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.110.957157

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The 500D indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the Rebel does not. 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. The 500D and the Rebel 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 Rebel has a higher magnification than the one of the 500D (0.55x vs 0.54x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 500D and Canon Rebel 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
Specifications
(inch/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 500Doptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
2.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
3.
 
Canon T7ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon 750Doptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon 760Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon T6soptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon 1200Doptical n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
9.
 
Canon 700Doptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon 650Doptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
12.
 
Canon 600Doptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
13.
 
Canon 550Doptical n3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
14.
 
Canon 450Doptical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
15.
 
Canon XToptical n1.8 / 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
16.
 
Canon 20Doptical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
17.
 
Canon 10Doptical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n

The 500D writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the Rebel uses Compact Flash cards.

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 500D and Canon EOS Digital Rebel 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon 500DYmono / mono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Canon RebelY- / ----1.1---
3.
 
Canon T7iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
4.
 
Canon 750DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon 760DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon T6sYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon 1200DYmono / mono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
9.
 
Canon 700DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon 650DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon G1 XYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon 600DYmono / monoY-mini2.0---
13.
 
Canon 550DYstereo / -Y-mini2.0---
14.
 
Canon 450DY- / ---mini2.0---
15.
 
Canon XTY- / ----2.0---
16.
 
Canon 20DY- / ----1.1---
17.
 
Canon 10DY- / ----1.1---

Both the 500D and the Rebel have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The Rebel was replaced by the Canon XT, while the 500D was followed by the Canon 550D. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 500D and the Canon Rebel? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 500D:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (15.1 vs 6.3MP) with a 55% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (8 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • 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.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 118k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.4 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 129g or 20 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.1).
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (11 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 5 years and 7 months of technical progress since the Rebel launch.


Advantages of the Canon EOS Digital Rebel:

  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.55x vs 0.54x).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2003).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 500D is the clear winner of the match-up (11 : 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.

500D 11:02 Rebel

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 500D and the Canon Rebel 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 comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 500D and the Rebel in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 500D..+ +..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
2.
 
Canon Rebel......+ +.... Aug 2003 899i
3.
 
Canon T7i4.5/5..3.5/580/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 749i
4.
 
Canon 750D5/5....75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749i
5.
 
Canon 760D5/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
6.
 
Canon T6s5/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
7.
 
Canon 1200D3/5+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
8.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II3/5+..77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
9.
 
Canon 700D......76/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649i
10.
 
Canon 650D4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
11.
 
Canon G1 X5/5+..76/1004/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
12.
 
Canon 600D3/5o..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
13.
 
Canon 550D..+ +..77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
14.
 
Canon 450D..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
15.
 
Canon XT..80/100..+ +o.. Feb 2005 899i
16.
 
Canon 20D......+ +.... Aug 2004 1,499i
17.
 
Canon 10D......+ +.... Feb 2003 1,999i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, 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.

Canon 500D:
Check Ebay offers
Canon Rebel:
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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon 500D vs Canon Rebel

    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 500D Canon Rebel
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date March 2009 August 2003
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 899
    Sensor Specs Canon 500D Canon Rebel
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 22.7 x 15.1 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 342.77 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 27.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 15.1 Megapixels 6.3 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4752 x 3168 pixels 3072 x 2048 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.69 μm 7.38 μm
    Pixel Density 4.53 MP/cm2 1.84 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/20p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12,800 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 63 55
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.7 21.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5 10.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 663 544
    Screen Specs Canon 500D Canon Rebel
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x 0.55x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 1.8inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots 118k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 500D Canon Rebel
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3.4 shutter flaps/s 2.5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 500D Canon Rebel
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 1.1
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 500D Canon Rebel
    Battery Type LP-E5 BP-511
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge400 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    142 x 99 x 72 mm
    (5.6 x 3.9 x 2.8 in)
    Camera Weight 520 g (18.3 oz) 649 g (22.9 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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