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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.

Headline Specifications
Canon 50D versus Canon XT
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 bodynot weather sealed
800 shots per battery charge400 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.

Body comparison

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.

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

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.

Concerning battery life, the 50D gets 800 shots out of its BP-511A battery, while the XT can take 400 images on a single charge of its NB-2LH power pack.

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.

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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 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 800 Y Aug 2008 1,299i
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899i
 
Canon 90D 141 mm 105 mm 77 mm 701 g 1300 Y Aug 2019 1,199 i
 
Canon 77D 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899 i
 
Canon 80D 139 mm 105 mm 79 mm 730 g 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199i
 
Canon T6i 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749i
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
 
Canon 7D II 149 mm 112 mm 78 mm 910 g 670 Y Sep 2014 1,799 i
 
Canon 70D 139 mm 104 mm 79 mm 755 g 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199i
 
Canon 60D 145 mm 106 mm 79 mm 755 g 1100 Y Aug 2010 1,399i
 
Canon 7D 148 mm 111 mm 74 mm 860 g 800 Y Sep 2009 1,699i
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299i
 
Canon 30D 144 mm 106 mm 74 mm 785 g 750 n Feb 2006 1,399i
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
 
Canon 20D 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 n Aug 2004 1,499i
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899i
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.

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. 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.

Canon 50D and Canon XT sensor measures

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).

50D versus XT MP

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.

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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 XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
 
Canon 90D APS-C 32.3 6960 46404K/30p........
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178
 
Canon 80D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579
 
Canon T6i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
 
Canon 7D II APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.411.8108270
 
Canon 70D APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668
 
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 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
 
Canon 30D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.510.873659
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
The 50D offers Live View, so that it can project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen for framing. The XT lacks this capability. 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 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.

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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 XToptical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon 90Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 11.0 Y n
 
Canon 77Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Canon 80Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
 
Canon T6ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon T6soptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon 7D IIoptical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0 Y n
 
Canon 70Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 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 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 XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon 20Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon Rebeloptical n 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 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.

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 XT 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 XTY-----2.0---
 
Canon 90DYstereomonoYYmini2.0Y-Y
 
Canon 77DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon 80DYstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
 
Canon T6iYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon T6sYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon 7D IIYstereomonoYYmini3.0---
 
Canon 70DYstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Canon 60DYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon 7DYmono-Y-mini2.0---
 
Canon T1iYmonomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon 40DY-----2.0---
 
Canon 30DY-----2.0---
 
Canon XTiY-----2.0---
 
Canon 20DY-----1.1---
 
Canon RebelY-----1.1---

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.

Review summary

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.

50D 13:04 XT

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.

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 XT80/100+ +oo.. Feb 2005 899i
 
Canon 90D+85/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2019 1,199 i
 
Canon 77D..82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i
 
Canon 80D+ +84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199i
 
Canon T6i..75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749i
 
Canon T6s+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
 
Canon 7D II+84/1004/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,799 i
 
Canon 70D+ +83/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199i
 
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 40D+ ++ +4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299i
 
Canon 30D+ ++ +oo.. Feb 2006 1,399i
 
Canon XTi+ ++ +o4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799i
 
Canon 20D..+ +..o.. Aug 2004 1,499i
 
Canon Rebel..+ +..o.. Aug 2003 899i
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.

Canon 50D:
Check Ebay offers
Canon XT:
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. 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 Specifications
    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 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 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%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.59x 0.49x
    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 Expectancy100 000 actuations50 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
    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 XT
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodynot weather sealed
    Battery Type BP-511A NB-2LH
    Battery Life (CIPA)800 shots per charge400 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 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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