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.
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.
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.
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.
|1.||Canon 500D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799|
|2.||Canon Rebel||142 mm||99 mm||72 mm||649 g||400||n||Aug 2003||899|
|3.||Canon T7i||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||532 g||600||n||Feb 2017||749|
|4.||Canon 750D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||555 g||440||n||Feb 2015||749|
|5.||Canon 760D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|6.||Canon T6s||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|7.||Canon 1200D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449|
|8.||Canon G1 X Mark II||116 mm||74 mm||66 mm||553 g||240||n||Feb 2014||799|
|9.||Canon 700D||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||580 g||440||n||Mar 2013||649|
|10.||Canon 650D||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|11.||Canon G1 X||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|12.||Canon 600D||133 mm||100 mm||80 mm||570 g||440||n||Feb 2011||599|
|13.||Canon 550D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||530 g||440||n||Feb 2010||699|
|14.||Canon 450D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||n||Jan 2008||799|
|15.||Canon XT||127 mm||94 mm||64 mm||540 g||400||n||Feb 2005||899|
|16.||Canon 20D||144 mm||106 mm||72 mm||770 g||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499|
|17.||Canon 10D||150 mm||107 mm||75 mm||850 g||500||n||Feb 2003||1,999|
|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.
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.
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).
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.
|8.||Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|11.||Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
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.
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.
|1.||Canon 500D||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.4||Y||n|
|2.||Canon Rebel||optical||n||1.8 / 118||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n|
|3.||Canon T7i||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|4.||Canon 750D||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|5.||Canon 760D||optical||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|6.||Canon T6s||optical||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|7.||Canon 1200D||optical||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|8.||Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y|
|9.||Canon 700D||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|10.||Canon 650D||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|11.||Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
|12.||Canon 600D||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.7||Y||n|
|13.||Canon 550D||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.7||Y||n|
|14.||Canon 450D||optical||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n|
|15.||Canon XT||optical||n||1.8 / 115||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|16.||Canon 20D||optical||Y||1.8 / 118||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||Y||n|
|17.||Canon 10D||optical||Y||1.8 / 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.
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.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon 500D||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Canon Rebel||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon T7i||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon 750D||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon 760D||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Canon T6s||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Canon 1200D||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|9.||Canon 700D||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Canon 650D||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Canon G1 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Canon 600D||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Canon 550D||Y||stereo / -||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Canon 450D||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Canon XT||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Canon 20D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|17.||Canon 10D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||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.
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.
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.
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.
|1.||Canon 500D||..||+ +||..||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799|
|2.||Canon Rebel||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2003||899|
|3.||Canon T7i||4.5/5||..||3.5/5||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||749|
|4.||Canon 750D||5/5||..||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749|
|5.||Canon 760D||5/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|6.||Canon T6s||5/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|7.||Canon 1200D||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449|
|8.||Canon G1 X Mark II||3/5||+||..||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799|
|9.||Canon 700D||..||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649|
|10.||Canon 650D||4/5||+ +||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|11.||Canon G1 X||5/5||+||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799|
|12.||Canon 600D||3/5||o||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||599|
|13.||Canon 550D||..||+ +||..||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||699|
|14.||Canon 450D||..||+ +||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799|
|15.||Canon XT||..||80/100||..||+ +||o||..||Feb 2005||899|
|16.||Canon 20D||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2004||1,499|
|17.||Canon 10D||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Feb 2003||1,999|
|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.
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.
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 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 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|
|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%|
|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|
|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 Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge||400 shots per charge|
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)|
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