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Canon 50D vs XS

The Canon EOS 50D and the Canon EOS Rebel XS (labelled Canon 1000D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2008 and June 2008. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The 50D has a resolution of 15.1 megapixels, whereas the XS provides 10.1 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon 50D versus Canon XS
Canon 50D Canon XS
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
15.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 10.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-3,200 (100 - 12,800) ISO 100-800 (100 - 1,600)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 920k dots 2.5 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
6.3 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodynot weather sealed
800 shots per battery charge500 shots per battery charge
146 x 108 x 74 mm, 822 g 126 x 98 x 65 mm, 502 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 50D and the Canon EOS Rebel XS? 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 50D and the Canon XS 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.

Size Canon 50D vs Canon XS
Compare 50D versus XS top
Comparison 50D or XS rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon XS is notably smaller (22 percent) than the Canon 50D. Moreover, the XS is substantially lighter (39 percent) than the 50D. It is worth mentioning in this context that the 50D is splash and dust resistant, while the XS does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

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 50D gets 800 shots out of its BP-511A battery, while the XS can take 500 images on a single charge of its LP-E5 power pack.

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.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon 50D 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 800 Y Aug 2008 1,299i
 
Canon XS 5.0 in 3.9 in 2.6 in 17.7 oz 500 n Jun 2008 449i
 
Canon 90D 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 24.7 oz 1300 Y Aug 2019 1,199 i
 
Canon 80D 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 25.8 oz 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199i
 
Canon 7D II 5.9 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 32.1 oz 670 Y Sep 2014 1,799 i
 
Canon T5 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449i
 
Canon 70D 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199i
 
Canon T3 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449i
 
Canon 60D 5.7 in 4.2 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 1100 Y Aug 2010 1,399i
 
Canon 7D 5.8 in 4.4 in 2.9 in 30.3 oz 800 Y Sep 2009 1,699i
 
Canon T1i 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon XSi 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799i
 
Canon 40D 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 750 n Aug 2007 1,299i
 
Canon 30D 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.9 in 27.7 oz 750 n Feb 2006 1,399i
 
Canon 20D 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 700 n Aug 2004 1,499i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

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 XS was launched at a markedly lower price (by 65 percent) than the 50D, which puts it into a different market segment. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the XS is 1 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.

In terms of chip-set technology, the 50D uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 4) than the XS (DIGIC 3), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon 50D and Canon XS sensor measures

With 15.1MP, the 50D offers a higher resolution than the XS (10.1MP), but the 50D has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.69μm versus 5.71μm for the XS). It is noteworthy in this context that the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation.

The resolution advantage of the Canon 50D implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 50D 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 XS are 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.4 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.6 x 10.4 inches or 39.5 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 13 x 8.6 inches or 32.9 x 21.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS 50D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS Rebel XS are ISO 100 to ISO 800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-1600.

50D versus XS MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). 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
 
Canon 50D APS-C 15.1 4752 3168none21.811.469663
 
Canon XS APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none........
 
Canon 90D APS-C 32.3 6960 46404K/30p........
 
Canon 80D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579
 
Canon 7D II APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.411.8108270
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
 
Canon 70D APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
 
Canon 60D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.581366
 
Canon 7D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.011.785466
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
 
Canon 30D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.510.873659
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162
Both the 50D and the XS offer Live View, so that they make it possible to use the rear screen for framing. Both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 50D and the XS 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 50D has a higher magnification than the one of the XS (0.59x vs 0.51x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 50D and Canon XS in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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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
 
Canon 50Doptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 6.3 Y n
 
Canon XSoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon 90Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 11.0 Y n
 
Canon 80Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
 
Canon 7D IIoptical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0 Y n
 
Canon T5optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon 70Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon 60Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/8000s 5.3 Y n
 
Canon 7Doptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 Y n
 
Canon T1ioptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
 
Canon 40Doptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
 
Canon 30Doptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon 20Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n

One feature that is present on the 50D, but is missing on the XS is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The 50D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the XS uses SDHC 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 50D and Canon EOS Rebel XS 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
 
Canon 50DY----mini2.0---
 
Canon XSY-----2.0---
 
Canon 90DYstereomonoYYmini2.0Y-Y
 
Canon 80DYstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
 
Canon 7D IIYstereomonoYYmini3.0---
 
Canon T5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon 70DYstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon 60DYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon 7DYmono-Y-mini2.0---
 
Canon T1iYmonomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
 
Canon 40DY-----2.0---
 
Canon 30DY-----2.0---
 
Canon 20DY-----1.1---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 50D (unlike the XS) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the 50D and the XS have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XS was replaced by the Canon T3, while the 50D was followed by the Canon 60D. 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 how do things add up? Is the Canon 50D better than the Canon XS or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 50D:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (15.1 vs 10.1MP) with a 22% higher linear resolution.
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 4 vs DIGIC 3).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.59x vs 0.51x).
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 230k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6.3 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (800 versus 500) on a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.


Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel XS:

  • More compact: Is smaller (126x98mm vs 146x108mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 320g or 39 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (65 percent cheaper at launch).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 50D is the clear winner of the match-up (11 : 3 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 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.

50D 11:03 XS

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 50D and the Canon XS 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 50D or the XS perform in practice. 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.

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 (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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon 50D+ ++ +4.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299i
 
Canon XS82/100+ +3.5/54/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449i
 
Canon 90D+85/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2019 1,199 i
 
Canon 80D+ +84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199i
 
Canon 7D II+84/1004/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,799 i
 
Canon T5+..4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
 
Canon 70D+ +83/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199i
 
Canon T380/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
 
Canon 60D+79/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 1,399i
 
Canon 7D+ +84/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2009 1,699i
 
Canon T1i+ +74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon XSi+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
 
Canon 40D+ ++ +4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299i
 
Canon 30D+ ++ +oo.. Feb 2006 1,399i
 
Canon 20D..+ +..o.. Aug 2004 1,499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon 50D:
Check Ebay offers
Canon XS:
Check Ebay offers

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 50D vs Canon XS

    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 50D Canon XS
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2008 June 2008
    Launch Price USD 1,299 USD 449
    Sensor Specs Canon 50D Canon XS
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 22.2 x 14.8 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 328.56 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 26.7 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 15.1 Megapixels 10.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4752 x 3168 pixels 3888 x 2592 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.69 μm 5.71 μm
    Pixel Density 4.53 MP/cm2 3.07 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 800 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 DIGIC 3
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 63 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.8 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.4 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 696 ..
    Screen Specs Canon 50D Canon XS
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.59x 0.51x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 50D Canon XS
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 6.3 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations100 000 actuations
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 50D Canon XS
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 50D Canon XS
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodynot weather sealed
    Battery Type BP-511A LP-E5
    Battery Life (CIPA)800 shots per charge500 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 146 x 108 x 74 mm
    (5.7 x 4.3 x 2.9 in)
    126 x 98 x 65 mm
    (5.0 x 3.9 x 2.6 in)
    Camera Weight 822 g (29.0 oz) 502 g (17.7 oz)

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