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Canon 600D vs Nikon D50

The Canon EOS 600D (called Canon T3i in some regions) and the Nikon D50 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2011 and April 2005. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 6 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon 600D versus Nikon D50
Canon 600D Nikon D50
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor 6 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800) ISO 200-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 2.0 LCD, 130k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.7 shutter flaps per second 2.5 shutter flaps per second
440 shots per battery charge400 shots per battery charge
133 x 100 x 80 mm, 570 g 133 x 102 x 76 mm, 620 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 600D and the Nikon D50? 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 600D and the Nikon D50 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 600D vs Nikon D50
Compare 600D versus D50 top
Comparison 600D or D50 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D50 is somewhat larger (2 percent) than the Canon 600D. Moreover, the D50 is markedly heavier (9 percent) than the 600D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 600D nor the D50 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. Yet, since both cameras are based around an APS-C sensor, their respective lenses will tend to have similar dimensions and heft. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (600D) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D50).

Concerning battery life, the 600D gets 440 shots out of its LP-E8 battery, while the D50 can take 400 images on a single charge of its EN-EL3 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 600D 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599i
 
Nikon D50 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749i
 
Canon 77D 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899 i
 
Canon 760D 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
 
Canon 1200D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449i
 
Canon 100D 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549i
 
Canon 700D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649i
 
Canon 650D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon M 109 mm 66 mm 32 mm 298 g 230 n Jul 2012 599i
 
Canon 1100D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
 
Canon 550D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699i
 
Canon 500D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
 
Nikon D60 126 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 500 n Jan 2008 629i
 
Nikon D40 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 470 n Nov 2006 499i
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999i
 
Nikon D70s 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899i
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999i
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 600D was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 20 percent) than the D50, 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.

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 D50 is 11 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (600D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 600D and Nikon D50 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon 600D offers a higher resolution of 17.9 megapixels, compared with 6 MP of the Nikon D50. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 7.85μm for the D50). However, it should be noted that the 600D is much more recent (by 5 years and 9 months) than the D50, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

The resolution advantage of the Canon 600D implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 600D for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 17.3 inches or 65.8 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 13.8 inches or 52.7 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D50 are 15 x 10 inches or 38.2 x 25.4 cm for good quality, 12 x 8 inches or 30.6 x 20.3 cm for very good quality, and 10 x 6.7 inches or 25.5 x 16.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS 600D 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 Nikon D50 are ISO 200 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

600D versus D50 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"). Of the two cameras under review, the 600D has a notably higher overall DXO score than the D50 (overall score 10 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 1.2 bits higher color depth, 0.7 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.5 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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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 600D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.856055
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178
 
Canon 760D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
 
Canon 1200D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
 
Canon 100D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
 
Canon 700D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
 
Canon 650D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
 
Canon M APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765
 
Canon 1100D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
 
Canon 550D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
 
Canon 500D APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
 
Nikon D60 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.511.456265
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.056156
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The 600D indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the D50 does not. The highest resolution format that the 600D can use is 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 600D and the D50 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 600D has a higher magnification than the one of the D50 (0.53x 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 600D and Nikon D50 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 600Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
 
Nikon D50optical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
 
Canon 77Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Canon 760Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon 1200Doptical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon 100Doptical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9 Y n
 
Canon 700Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon 650Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon Mnone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.3 n n
 
Canon 1100Doptical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon 550Doptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
 
Canon 500Doptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
 
Nikon D60optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D40optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
 
Nikon D80optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D70soptical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D70optical n 1.8 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
The 600D has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the D50 does not have a selfie-screen.

The 600D writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D50 uses SD 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 600D and Nikon D50 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 600DYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Nikon D50Y-----2.0---
 
Canon 77DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon 760DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon 1200DYmonomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon 100DYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon 700DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon 650DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon MYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon 1100DYstereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon 550DYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
 
Canon 500DYmonomono--mini2.0---
 
Nikon D60Y-----2.0---
 
Nikon D40Y-----2.0---
 
Nikon D80Y-----2.0---
 
Nikon D70sY-----2.0---
 
Nikon D70Y-----1.0---

Both the 600D and the D50 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D50 was replaced by the Nikon D40, while the 600D was followed by the Canon 650D. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Nikon websites.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 600D and the Nikon D50? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 600D:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 6MP) with a 72% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (10 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.2 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.7 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.5 stops ISO advantage).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.53x vs 0.50x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 130k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.7 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (20 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 5 years and 9 months of technical progress since the D50 launch.

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Advantages of the Nikon D50:

  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in April 2005).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 600D is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 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. 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.

600D 14:01 D50

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 600D and the Nikon D50 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 600D and the D50 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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 600Do77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
 
Nikon D5078/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Apr 2005 749i
 
Canon 77D..82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i
 
Canon 760D+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
 
Canon 1200D+..4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
 
Canon 100D+78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549i
 
Canon 700D..76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649i
 
Canon 650D+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon M+..4/53.5/54/5 Jul 2012 599i
 
Canon 1100D80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
 
Canon 550D+ +77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
 
Canon 500D+ +74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
 
Nikon D6080/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Jan 2008 629i
 
Nikon D4081/100+ +o5/54.5/5 Nov 2006 499i
 
Nikon D80++ +o4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2006 999i
 
Nikon D70s......o5/5 Apr 2005 899i
 
Nikon D70..+ +..o.. Jan 2004 999i
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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon 600D:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D50:
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 600D vs Nikon D50

    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 600D Nikon D50
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2011 April 2005
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 749
    Sensor Specs Canon 600D Nikon D50
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 6 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 3008 x 2000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 7.85 μm
    Pixel Density 5.39 MP/cm2 1.63 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 200 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12,800 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 65 55
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 20.9
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5 10.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 793 560
    Screen Specs Canon 600D Nikon D50
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.53x 0.50x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 130k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 600D Nikon D50
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3.7 shutter flaps/s 2.5 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations50 000 actuations
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SD cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon 600D Nikon D50
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 600D Nikon D50
    Battery Type LP-E8 EN-EL3
    Battery Life (CIPA)440 shots per charge400 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 133 x 100 x 80 mm
    (5.2 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
    133 x 102 x 76 mm
    (5.2 x 4.0 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 570 g (20.1 oz) 620 g (21.9 oz)

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