Canon 50D vs XT
The Canon EOS 50D and the Canon EOS Rebel XT (labelled Canon 350D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2008 and February 2005. 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 XT provides 8 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Canon 50D||Canon XT|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|15.1 MP, APS-C Sensor||8 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|no Video||no Video|
|ISO 100-3,200 (100 - 12,800)||ISO 100-1,600|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0 LCD, 920k dots||1.8 LCD, 115k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|6.3 shutter flaps per second||3 shutter flaps per second|
|Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
|800 shots per battery charge||400 shots per battery charge|
|146 x 108 x 74 mm, 822 g||127 x 94 x 64 mm, 540 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 50D and the Canon EOS Rebel XT? 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 50D and the Canon XT. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The XT can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the 50D is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon XT is notably smaller (24 percent) than the Canon 50D. Moreover, the XT is markedly lighter (34 percent) than the 50D. It is worth mentioning in this context that the 50D is splash and dust resistant, while the XT 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.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Canon 50D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||800||Y||Aug 2008||1,299|
|Canon XT||127 mm||94 mm||64 mm||540 g||400||n||Feb 2005||899|
|Canon 90D||141 mm||105 mm||77 mm||701 g||1300||Y||Aug 2019||1,199|
|Canon 77D||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||540 g||600||n||Feb 2017||899|
|Canon 80D||139 mm||105 mm||79 mm||730 g||960||Y||Feb 2016||1,199|
|Canon T6i||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||555 g||440||n||Feb 2015||749|
|Canon T6s||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|Canon 7D II||149 mm||112 mm||78 mm||910 g||670||Y||Sep 2014||1,799|
|Canon 70D||139 mm||104 mm||79 mm||755 g||920||Y||Jul 2013||1,199|
|Canon 60D||145 mm||106 mm||79 mm||755 g||1100||Y||Aug 2010||1,399|
|Canon 7D||148 mm||111 mm||74 mm||860 g||800||Y||Sep 2009||1,699|
|Canon T1i||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799|
|Canon 40D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299|
|Canon 30D||144 mm||106 mm||74 mm||785 g||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399|
|Canon XTi||127 mm||84 mm||65 mm||556 g||370||n||Aug 2006||799|
|Canon 20D||144 mm||106 mm||72 mm||770 g||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499|
|Canon Rebel||142 mm||99 mm||72 mm||649 g||400||n||Aug 2003||899|
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 XT was launched at a markedly lower price (by 31 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.
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. 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 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 XT 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 XT (DIGIC II), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
With 15.1MP, the 50D offers a higher resolution than the XT (8MP), but the 50D has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.69μm versus 6.41μm for the XT). However, the 50D is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 6 months) than the XT, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
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 XT are 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm for good quality, 13.8 x 9.2 inches or 35.1 x 23.4 cm for very good quality, and 11.5 x 7.7 inches or 29.3 x 19.5 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 XT are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Canon 7D II||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||11.8||1082||70|
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 50D and the XT 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 XT (0.59x vs 0.49x), 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 50D and Canon XT along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Canon 7D II||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||Y||n|
One feature that is present on the 50D, but is missing on the XT 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.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 50D and the XT write their files to 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 50D and Canon EOS Rebel XT and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Canon 7D II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 50D (unlike the XT) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the 50D and the XT have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XT was replaced by the Canon Xti, 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.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon 50D better than the Canon XT or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 50D:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (15.1 vs 8MP) with a 37% higher linear resolution.
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.6 EV of extra DR).
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 4 vs DIGIC II).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.59x vs 0.49x).
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- 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 115k 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 400) 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.
- More modern: Reflects 3 years and 6 months of technical progress since the XT launch.
Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel XT:
- More compact: Is smaller (127x94mm vs 146x108mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 282g or 34 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (31 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2005).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 50D is the clear winner of the match-up (13 : 4 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 50D and the Canon XT 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 50D and the XT 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 (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.
|Canon 50D||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299|
|Canon XT||80/100||+ +||o||o||..||Feb 2005||899|
|Canon 90D||+||85/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2019||1,199|
|Canon 77D||..||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899|
|Canon 80D||+ +||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||1,199|
|Canon T6i||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749|
|Canon T6s||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|Canon 7D II||+||84/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||1,799|
|Canon 70D||+ +||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2013||1,199|
|Canon 60D||+||79/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||1,399|
|Canon 7D||+ +||84/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2009||1,699|
|Canon T1i||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799|
|Canon 40D||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||o||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299|
|Canon 30D||+ +||+ +||o||o||..||Feb 2006||1,399|
|Canon XTi||+ +||+ +||o||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2006||799|
|Canon 20D||..||+ +||..||o||..||Aug 2004||1,499|
|Canon Rebel||..||+ +||..||o||..||Aug 2003||899|
|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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. 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. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Canon 50D vs Canon XT
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 50D||Canon XT|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2008||February 2005|
|Launch Price||USD 1,299||USD 899|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 50D||Canon XT|
|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|
|Sensor Resolution||15.1 Megapixels||8 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4752 x 3168 pixels||3456 x 2304 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.69 μm||6.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.53 MP/cm2||2.42 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 12,800 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4||DIGIC II|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||63||60|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.8||21.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.4||10.8|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||696||637|
|Screen Specs||Canon 50D||Canon XT|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||95%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||1.8inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||115k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 50D||Canon XT|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||6.3 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations||50 000 actuations|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||CF cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 50D||Canon XT|
|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 XT|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||800 shots per charge||400 shots per charge|
146 x 108 x 74 mm
(5.7 x 4.3 x 2.9 in)
127 x 94 x 64 mm
(5.0 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
|Camera Weight||822 g (29.0 oz)||540 g (19.0 oz)|
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