Canon Rebel vs XTi
The Canon EOS Digital Rebel (called Canon 300D in some regions) and the Canon EOS Rebel XTi (labelled Canon 400D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2003 and August 2006. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Rebel has a resolution of 6.3 megapixels, whereas the XTi provides 10.1 MP.
As their names suggest, both the Canon EOS Digital Rebel and the Canon EOS Rebel XTi belong to Canon's Rebel line of DSLR cameras. This range of APS-C cameras, which started out with the Canon EOS Digital Rebel in 2003, has been a big commercial success and the backbone of Canon's dominance in the digital camera market. The popularity of the Rebel cameras is the result of them inheriting much of the sensor and shooting technology from earlier released professional DSLRs, while being sold at a much more budget-friendly price point. The strong brand reputation of Canon and the comprehensive EOS system of compatible lenses and accessories further contributes to the appeal of the Rebel cams, including the Canon Rebel and Canon XTi. Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Digital Rebel and the Canon EOS Rebel XTi? 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 physical size and weight of the Canon Rebel and the Canon XTi are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon XTi is notably smaller (24 percent) than the Canon Rebel. Moreover, the XTi is markedly lighter (14 percent) than the Rebel. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the Rebel nor the XTi 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 compare the optics available in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|Canon Rebel||142 mm||99 mm||72 mm||649 g||400||n||Aug 2003||899|
|Canon XTi||127 mm||84 mm||65 mm||556 g||370||n||Aug 2006||799|
|Canon T7i||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||532 g||600||n||Feb 2017||749|
|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 T4i||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|Canon T3i||133 mm||100 mm||80 mm||570 g||440||n||Feb 2011||599|
|Canon T1i||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799|
|Canon XSi||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||n||Jan 2008||799|
|Canon XT||127 mm||94 mm||64 mm||540 g||400||n||Feb 2005||899|
|Canon 20D||144 mm||106 mm||72 mm||770 g||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499|
|Canon 10D||150 mm||107 mm||75 mm||850 g||500||n||Feb 2003||1,999|
|Nikon D70||140 mm||111 mm||78 mm||679 g||400||n||Jan 2004||999|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The XTi was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 11 percent) than the Rebel, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels 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 more expensive and 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 XTi is 4 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.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.
Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the XTi offers a higher resolution of 10.1 megapixels, compared with 6.3 MP of the Rebel. 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 5.71μm versus 7.38μm for the Rebel). However, it should be noted that the XTi is much more recent (by 3 years) than the Rebel, 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 XTi implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the XTi for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.4 x 32.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 15.6 x 10.4 inches or 39.5 x 26.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13 x 8.6 inches or 32.9 x 21.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon Rebel are 15.4 x 10.2 inches or 39 x 26 cm for good quality, 12.3 x 8.2 inches or 31.2 x 20.8 cm for very good quality, and 10.2 x 6.8 inches or 26 x 17.3 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon EOS Digital Rebel has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The Canon EOS Rebel XTi offers exactly the same ISO settings.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under consideration, the XTi has a markedly higher DXO score than the Rebel (overall score 7 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 1.1 bits higher color depth, 0.2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.3 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.
| DXO |
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The Rebel and the XTi 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 Rebel has a higher magnification than the one of the XTi (0.55x vs 0.49x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon Rebel, the Canon XTi, and comparable cameras.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the Rebel and the XTi 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 Digital Rebel and Canon EOS Rebel XTi and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
Both the Rebel and the XTi have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The Rebel was replaced by the Canon XT, while the XTi was followed by the Canon Xsi. 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 is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon Rebel and the Canon XTi? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Digital Rebel:
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.55x vs 0.49x).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2003).
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel XTi:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (10.1 vs 6.3MP), which boosts linear resolution by 27%.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (7 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.1 bits more color depth).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.5" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (230k vs 118k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (127x84mm vs 142x99mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 93g or 14 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.1).
- More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (11 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 3 years of technical progress since the Rebel launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the XTi is the clear winner of the contest (11 : 2 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon Rebel and the Canon XTi 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the Rebel and the XTi in practical situations. 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.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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 Rebel||..||+ +||..||o||..||Aug 2003||899|
|Canon XTi||+ +||+ +||o||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2006||799|
|Canon T7i||..||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||4/5||Feb 2017||749|
|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 T4i||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|Canon T3i||o||77/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||599|
|Canon T1i||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799|
|Canon XSi||+ +||+ +||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799|
|Canon XT||80/100||+ +||o||o||..||Feb 2005||899|
|Canon 20D||..||+ +||..||o||..||Aug 2004||1,499|
|Canon 10D||..||+ +||..||o||..||Feb 2003||1,999|
|Nikon D70||..||+ +||..||o||..||Jan 2004||999|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring 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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Canon Rebel vs Canon XTi
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 Rebel||Canon XTi|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2003||August 2006|
|Launch Price||USD 899||USD 799|
|Sensor Specs||Canon Rebel||Canon XTi|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.7 x 15.1 mm||22.2 x 14.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||342.77 mm2||328.56 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||27.3 mm||26.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||6.3 Megapixels||10.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3072 x 2048 pixels||3888 x 2592 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||7.38 μm||5.71 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.84 MP/cm2||3.07 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||55||62|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.0||22.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.8||11.0|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||544||664|
|Screen Specs||Canon Rebel||Canon XTi|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||95%|
|Rear LCD Size||1.8inch||2.5inch|
|LCD Resolution||118k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon Rebel||Canon XTi|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||2.5 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|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 Rebel||Canon XTi|
|USB Connector||USB 1.1||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon Rebel||Canon XTi|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge||370 shots per charge|
142 x 99 x 72 mm
(5.6 x 3.9 x 2.8 in)
127 x 84 x 65 mm
(5.0 x 3.3 x 2.6 in)
|Camera Weight||649 g (22.9 oz)||556 g (19.6 oz)|
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