Canon 600D versus Canon 500D
The Canon EOS 600D (called Canon T3i in some regions) and the Canon EOS 500D (labelled Canon T1i in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2011 and March 2009. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The 600D has a resolution of 17.9 megapixel, whereas the 500D provides 15.1 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.
Body comparison: Canon 600D vs Canon 500D
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 600D and the Canon 500D. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the 600D – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 500D is notably smaller (5 percent) than the Canon 600D. Moreover, the 500D is markedly lighter (9 percent) than the 600D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 600D nor the 500D 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 find an overview of suitable optics 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.
|Camera Body Specifications
|Canon 600D (⇒ rgt)||133 mm||100 mm||80 mm||570 g||440||no||2011||599||discont.||check|
|Canon 500D (⇒ lft)||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||no||2009||799||discont.||check|
|Canon M10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||301 g||255||no||2015||499||discont.||check|
|Canon 1200D (⇒ lft | rgt)||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||no||2014||449||discont.||check|
|Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt)||116 mm||74 mm||66 mm||553 g||240||no||2014||799||latest||check|
|Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||no||2014||699||discont.||check|
|Canon 100D (⇒ lft | rgt)||117 mm||91 mm||69 mm||407 g||380||no||2013||549||discont.||check|
|Canon 700D (⇒ lft | rgt)||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||580 g||440||no||2013||649||discont.||check|
|Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||no||2012||799||discont.||check|
|Canon M (⇒ lft | rgt)||109 mm||66 mm||32 mm||298 g||230||no||2012||599||discont.||check|
|Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt)||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||no||2012||849||discont.||check|
|Canon 1100D (⇒ lft | rgt)||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||no||2011||449||discont.||check|
|Canon 550D (⇒ lft | rgt)||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||530 g||440||no||2010||699||discont.||check|
|Canon 450D (⇒ lft | rgt)||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||no||2008||799||discont.||check|
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 600D was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 25 percent) than the 500D, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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: Canon 600D vs Canon 500D
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the 600D offers a higher resolution of 17.9 megapixel, compared with 15.1 MP of the 500D. This megapixel advantage translates into a 9 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the 600D has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 4.69μm for the 500D). In this context, it should be noted, however, that the 600D 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 at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. 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 image quality. 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 600D (⇒ rgt)||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.5||793||65|
|Canon 500D (⇒ lft)||APS-C||15.1||4752||3168||1080/20p||21.7||11.5||663||63|
|Canon M10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.2||11.4||753||65|
|Canon 1200D (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.9||11.3||724||63|
|Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt)||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|Canon 100D (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.8||11.3||843||63|
|Canon 700D (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||681||61|
|Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|Canon M (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.2||827||65|
|Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||722||62|
|Canon 1100D (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||12.2||4272||2848||720/30p||21.9||11.0||755||62|
|Canon 550D (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.5||784||66|
|Canon 450D (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||12.2||4272||2848||no||21.9||10.8||692||61|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the 600D provides a higher frame rate than the 500D. It can shoot video footage at 1080/30p, while the 500D is limited to 1080/20p.
Feature comparison: Canon 600D vs Canon 500D
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 600D and the 500D 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 600D and Canon 500D along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.
|Canon 600D (⇒ rgt)||optical||no||3.0||1040||swivel||no||4000||3.7||YES||no|
|Canon 500D (⇒ lft)||optical||no||3.0||920||fixed||no||4000||3.4||YES||no|
|Canon M10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||1040||tilting||YES||4000||4.6||5||no|
|Canon 1200D (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||460||fixed||no||4000||3.0||9.2||no|
|Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||1040||tilting||YES||4000||5.2||6.8||YES|
|Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||1040||tilting||YES||2000||6.5||7||YES|
|Canon 100D (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||1040||fixed||YES||4000||4.9||9.4||no|
|Canon 700D (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||1040||swivel||YES||4000||5.0||13||no|
|Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||922||Swivel||no||4000||1.9||7||YES|
|Canon M (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||1040||fixed||YES||4000||4.3||no||no|
|Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||1040||swivel||YES||4000||5.0||YES||no|
|Canon 1100D (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||2.7||230||fixed||no||4000||3.0||9.2||no|
|Canon 550D (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||1040||fixed||no||4000||3.7||YES||no|
|Canon 450D (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||230||fixed||no||4000||3.5||YES||no|
Both the 600D and the 500D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 500D was replaced by the Canon 550D, while the 600D was followed by the Canon 650D.
Review summary: Canon 600D vs Canon 500D
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 600D or the Canon 500D – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 600D:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 15.1MP) with a 9% higher linear resolution.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/30p versus 1080/20p).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 920k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (25 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 10 months after the 500D).
Advantages of the Canon EOS 500D:
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in March 2009).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 600D is the clear winner of the match-up (6 : 1 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the 600D and the 500D 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 table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites. The detailed reviews can be accessed, respectively, on the websites of cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.
|Canon 600D (⇒ rgt)||reviewed||77/100 Silver||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||2011||599||discont.||check|
|Canon 500D (⇒ lft)||88/100 HiRec||74/100 HiRec||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||2009||799||discont.||check|
|Canon M10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||-||-||reviewed||4/5||2015||499||discont.||check|
|Canon 1200D (⇒ lft | rgt)||4/5||-||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||2014||449||discont.||check|
|Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt)||Rec||77/100 Silver||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||2014||799||latest||check|
|Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||77/100 Silver||4.5/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||2014||699||discont.||check|
|Canon 100D (⇒ lft | rgt)||Rec||78/100 Gold||4/5||4/5||4/5||2013||549||discont.||check|
|Canon 700D (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||76/100 Silver||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2013||649||discont.||check|
|Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt)||79/100 Rec||76/100 Silver||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||2012||799||discont.||check|
|Canon M (⇒ lft | rgt)||Rec||-||4/5||3.5/5||4/5||2012||599||discont.||check|
|Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||77/100 Silver||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2012||849||discont.||check|
|Canon 1100D (⇒ lft | rgt)||80/100||69/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||2011||449||discont.||check|
|Canon 550D (⇒ lft | rgt)||88/100 HiRec||77/100 Gold||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||2010||699||discont.||check|
|Canon 450D (⇒ lft | rgt)||88/100 HiRec||HiRec||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||2008||799||discont.||check|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering 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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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 your choice using the following search menu. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please contact me, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.
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