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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.

Headline Specifications
Canon 500D versus Canon T3
Canon 500D Canon T3
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
15.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/20p Video 720/30p Video
ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800) ISO 100-6,400
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 920k dots 2.7 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.4 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
400 shots per battery charge700 shots per battery charge
129 x 98 x 62 mm, 520 g 130 x 100 x 78 mm, 495 g

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.

Body comparison

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.

Size Canon 500D vs Canon T3
Compare 500D versus T3 top
Comparison 500D or T3 rear

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.

Concerning battery life, the 500D gets 400 shots out of its LP-E5 battery, while the T3 can take 700 images on a single charge of its LP-E10 power pack.

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.

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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 T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
3.
 
Canon T100 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 i
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 1200D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449i
7.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799i
8.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449i
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 T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
13.
 
Canon 600D 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599i
14.
 
Canon 550D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699i
15.
 
Canon 450D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
16.
 
Canon XS 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449i
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.

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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 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.

Canon 500D and Canon T3 sensor measures

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).

500D versus T3 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. 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.

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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 T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
3.
 
Canon T100 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
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 1200D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
7.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
8.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
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 T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
13.
 
Canon 600D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
14.
 
Canon 550D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
15.
 
Canon 450D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
16.
 
Canon XS APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none........

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.

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Feature comparison

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.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(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 n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
2.
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon T100optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon 750Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon 760Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon 1200Doptical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
8.
 
Canon T5optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon 700Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon 650Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
12.
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
13.
 
Canon 600Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
14.
 
Canon 550Doptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
15.
 
Canon 450Doptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
16.
 
Canon XSoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n

The 500D writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the T3 uses SDXC cards.

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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 Rebel T3 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
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon 500DYmonomono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon T100Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon 750DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon 760DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon 1200DYmonomono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
8.
 
Canon T5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon 700DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon 650DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
13.
 
Canon 600DYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
14.
 
Canon 550DYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
15.
 
Canon 450DY----mini2.0---
16.
 
Canon XSY-----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.

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Review summary

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.

500D 07:03 T3

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.

Expert reviews

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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 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 T3..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
3.
 
Canon T100..o..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i
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 1200D3/5+..4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
7.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II3/5+77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
8.
 
Canon T53/5+..4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
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 T4i4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
13.
 
Canon 600D3/5o77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
14.
 
Canon 550D..+ +77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
15.
 
Canon 450D..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
16.
 
Canon XS..82/100+ +3.5/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449i
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.

Canon 500D:
Check Ebay offers
Canon T3:
Check Ebay offers

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.

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    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 Specifications
    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 Technology CMOS CMOS
    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
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.6x
    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%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x 0.50x
    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 Expectancy100 000 actuations100 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
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    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 Type LP-E5 LP-E10
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge700 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 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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