Canon 500D vs T3
The Canon EOS 500D (called Canon T1i in some regions) and the Canon EOS Rebel T3 (labelled Canon 1100D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in March 2009 and February 2011. 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 T3 provides 12.2 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 Rebel T3? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 500D and the Canon T3 is provided 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.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon T3 is somewhat larger (3 percent) than the Canon 500D. However, the T3 is markedly lighter (5 percent) than the 500D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 500D nor the T3 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 adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Canon 500D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799|
|2.||Canon T3||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||n||Feb 2011||449|
|3.||Canon T100||129 mm||102 mm||77 mm||436 g||500||n||Feb 2018||399|
|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 1200D||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449|
|7.||Canon G1 X Mark II||116 mm||74 mm||66 mm||553 g||240||n||Feb 2014||799|
|8.||Canon T5||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449|
|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 T4i||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|13.||Canon 600D||133 mm||100 mm||80 mm||570 g||440||n||Feb 2011||599|
|14.||Canon 550D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||530 g||440||n||Feb 2010||699|
|15.||Canon 450D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||n||Jan 2008||799|
|16.||Canon XS||126 mm||98 mm||65 mm||502 g||500||n||Jun 2008||449|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The T3 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 44 percent) than the 500D, which puts it into a different market segment. 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 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 generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better 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, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the T3 is 3 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.
With 15.1MP, the 500D offers a higher resolution than the T3 (12.2MP), but the 500D has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.69μm versus 5.15μm for the T3). Moreover, the T3 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 10 months) than the 500D, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
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 T3 are 21.4 x 14.2 inches or 54.3 x 36.2 cm for good quality, 17.1 x 11.4 inches or 43.4 x 28.9 cm for very good quality, and 14.2 x 9.5 inches or 36.2 x 24.1 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 Rebel T3 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (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. 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.
| DXO |
|7.||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. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the 500D provides a higher video resolution than the T3. It can shoot video footage at 1080/20p, while the T3 is limited to 720/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 500D and the T3 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 500D has a higher magnification than the one of the T3 (0.54x vs 0.50x), 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 T3 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|7.||Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y|
|11.||Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
The 500D writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the T3 uses SDXC 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 Rebel T3 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|7.||Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Canon G1 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
Both the 500D and the T3 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 500D was replaced by the Canon 550D, while the T3 was followed by the Canon T5. 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 how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 500D or the Canon T3 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Canon EOS 500D:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (15.1 vs 12.2MP) with a 11% higher linear resolution.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/20p vs 720/30p).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.54x vs 0.50x).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 230k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.4 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in March 2009).
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel T3:
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (700 versus 400) out of a single battery charge.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (44 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 10 months) more recently.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 500D is the clear winner of the match-up (7 : 3 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports 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 T3 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 500D and the T3 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 why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], 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 T3||..||80/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449|
|3.||Canon T100||..||o||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||399|
|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 1200D||3/5||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449|
|7.||Canon G1 X Mark II||3/5||+||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799|
|8.||Canon T5||3/5||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449|
|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 T4i||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|13.||Canon 600D||3/5||o||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||599|
|14.||Canon 550D||..||+ +||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||699|
|15.||Canon 450D||..||+ +||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799|
|16.||Canon XS||..||82/100||+ +||3.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2008||449|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, 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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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 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 T3
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 T3|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||March 2009||February 2011|
|Launch Price||USD 799||USD 449|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 500D||Canon T3|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||22.0 x 14.7 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||323.4 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||26.5 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.1 Megapixels||12.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4752 x 3168 pixels||4272 x 2848 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.69 μm||5.15 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.53 MP/cm2||3.76 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/20p Video||720/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 6,400 ISO||100 - 6,400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 12,800 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4||DIGIC 4|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||63||62|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.7||21.9|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.5||11.0|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||663||755|
|Screen Specs||Canon 500D||Canon T3|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||2.7inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 500D||Canon T3|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3.4 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations||100 000 actuations|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 500D||Canon T3|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon 500D||Canon T3|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge||700 shots per charge|
129 x 98 x 62 mm
(5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
130 x 100 x 78 mm
(5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
|Camera Weight||520 g (18.3 oz)||495 g (17.5 oz)|
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