Canon Rebel vs Olympus E-P2
The Canon EOS Digital Rebel (called Canon 300D in some regions) and the Olympus PEN E-P2 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2003 and November 2009. The Rebel is a DSLR, while the E-P2 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (Rebel) and a Four Thirds (E-P2) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 6.3 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 12.2 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Canon Rebel||Olympus E-P2|
|Digital single lens reflex||Mirrorless system camera|
|Canon EF mount lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|6.3 MP, APS-C Sensor||12.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|no Video||720/30p Video|
|ISO 100-1600||ISO 100-6400|
|Optical viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|1.8" LCD, 118k dots||3.0" LCD, 230k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|2.5 shutter flaps per second||3 shutter flaps per second|
|Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|400 shots per battery charge||300 shots per battery charge|
|142 x 99 x 72 mm, 649 g||121 x 70 x 36 mm, 355 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Digital Rebel and the Olympus PEN E-P2? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon Rebel and the Olympus E-P2 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. 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.
The E-P2 can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, white), while the Rebel is only available in silver.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-P2 is considerably smaller (40 percent) than the Canon Rebel. Moreover, the E-P2 is substantially lighter (45 percent) than the Rebel. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the Rebel nor the E-P2 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. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (Rebel) and the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-P2). Mirrorless cameras, such as the E-P2, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Canon Rebel»||5.6 in||3.9 in||2.8 in||22.9 oz||400||n||Aug 2003||899||Canon Rebel|
|Olympus E-P2«||4.8 in||2.8 in||1.4 in||12.5 oz||300||n||Nov 2009||799||Olympus E-P2|
|Canon T7i« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||18.8 oz||600||n||Feb 2017||749||Canon T7i|
|Canon T6s« »||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||19.9 oz||440||n||Feb 2015||649||Canon T6s|
|Canon T4i« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.3 oz||440||n||Jun 2012||849||Canon T4i|
|Canon T3i« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.1 oz||440||n||Feb 2011||599||Canon T3i|
|Canon T1i« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.3 oz||400||n||Mar 2009||799||Canon T1i|
|Canon XTi« »||5.0 in||3.3 in||2.6 in||19.6 oz||370||n||Aug 2006||799||Canon XTi|
|Canon XT« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||19.0 oz||400||n||Feb 2005||899||Canon XT|
|Canon 20D« »||5.7 in||4.2 in||2.8 in||27.2 oz||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499||Canon 20D|
|Canon 10D« »||5.9 in||4.2 in||3.0 in||30.0 oz||500||n||Feb 2003||1,999||Canon 10D|
|Nikon D70« »||5.5 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||24.0 oz||400||n||Jan 2004||999||Nikon D70|
|Olympus E-P3« »||4.8 in||2.7 in||1.3 in||13.0 oz||330||n||Jun 2011||799||Olympus E-P3|
|Olympus E-PL2« »||4.5 in||2.8 in||1.7 in||12.8 oz||280||n||Jan 2011||599||Olympus E-PL2|
|Olympus E-PL3« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.5 in||11.0 oz||300||n||Jun 2011||599||Olympus E-PL3|
|Olympus E-P1« »||4.8 in||2.8 in||1.4 in||12.5 oz||300||n||Jun 2009||799||Olympus E-P1|
|Panasonic GH1« »||4.9 in||3.5 in||1.8 in||13.6 oz||300||n||Mar 2009||899||Panasonic GH1|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The E-P2 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.
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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon Rebel features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-P2 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-P2 is 34 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 2.0. The sensor in the Rebel has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-P2 offers a 4:3 aspect.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the E-P2 offers a higher resolution of 12.2 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 4.29μm versus 7.38μm for the Rebel). However, it should be noted that the E-P2 is much more recent (by 6 years and 2 months) 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 Olympus E-P2 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the E-P2 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20.2 x 15.1 inch or 51.2 x 38.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16.1 x 12.1 inch or 41 x 30.7 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.4 x 10.1 inch or 34.1 x 25.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon Rebel are 15.4 x 10.2 inch or 39 x 26 cm for good quality, 12.3 x 8.2 inch or 31.2 x 20.8 cm for very good quality, and 10.2 x 6.8 inch 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 corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus PEN E-P2 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Canon Rebel||APS-C||6.3||3072||2048||none||21.0||10.8||544||55||Canon Rebel|
|Olympus E-P2||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.5||10.4||505||56||Olympus E-P2|
|Canon T7i||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Canon T7i|
|Canon T6s||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.6||12.0||915||70||Canon T6s|
|Canon T4i||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||722||62||Canon T4i|
|Canon T3i||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.5||793||65||Canon T3i|
|Canon T1i||APS-C||15.1||4752||3168||1080/20p||21.7||11.5||663||63||Canon T1i|
|Canon XTi||APS-C||10.1||3888||2592||none||22.1||11.0||664||62||Canon XTi|
|Canon XT||APS-C||8.0||3456||2304||none||21.8||10.8||637||60||Canon XT|
|Canon 20D||APS-C||8.2||3504||2336||none||21.9||11.0||721||62||Canon 20D|
|Canon 10D||APS-C||6.3||3072||2048||none||21.1||10.9||571||57||Canon 10D|
|Nikon D70||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||none||20.4||10.3||529||50||Nikon D70|
|Olympus E-P3||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||20.8||10.1||536||51||Olympus E-P3|
|Olympus E-PL2||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.4||10.2||573||55||Olympus E-PL2|
|Olympus E-PL3||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||20.9||10.3||499||52||Olympus E-PL3|
|Olympus E-P1||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.4||10.4||536||55||Olympus E-P1|
|Panasonic GH1||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/24p||21.6||11.6||772||64||Panasonic GH1|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The E-P2 indeed provides for movie recording, while the Rebel does not. The highest resolution format that the E-P2 can use is 720/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the Rebel has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the E-P2 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the E-P2 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the VF-2. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon Rebel and Olympus E-P2 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Canon Rebel||optical||n||1.8||118||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n||Canon Rebel|
|Olympus E-P2||optional||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||n||Y||Olympus E-P2|
|Canon T7i||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Canon T7i|
|Canon T6s||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon T6s|
|Canon T4i||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon T4i|
|Canon T3i||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.7||Y||n||Canon T3i|
|Canon T1i||optical||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.4||Y||n||Canon T1i|
|Canon XTi||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon XTi|
|Canon XT||optical||n||1.8||115||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon XT|
|Canon 20D||optical||Y||1.8||118||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 20D|
|Canon 10D||optical||Y||1.8||118||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon 10D|
|Nikon D70||optical||n||1.8||130||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D70|
|Olympus E-P3||optional||n||3.0||614||fixed||Y||1/4000s||3.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-P3|
|Olympus E-PL2||optional||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-PL2|
|Olympus E-PL3||optional||n||3.0||460||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.5||n||Y||Olympus E-PL3|
|Olympus E-P1||none||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||n||Y||Olympus E-P1|
|Panasonic GH1||1440||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Panasonic GH1|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The Rebel has one, while the E-P2 does not. While the built-in flash of the Rebel is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The Rebel writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the E-P2 uses SDHC 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 Olympus PEN E-P2 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon Rebel||Y||none||none||-||-||none||1.1||-||-||-||Canon Rebel|
|Olympus E-P2||Y||stereo||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-P2|
|Canon T7i||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon T7i|
|Canon T6s||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon T6s|
|Canon T4i||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T4i|
|Canon T3i||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T3i|
|Canon T1i||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T1i|
|Canon XTi||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Canon XTi|
|Canon XT||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Canon XT|
|Canon 20D||Y||none||none||-||-||none||1.1||-||-||-||Canon 20D|
|Canon 10D||Y||none||none||-||-||none||1.1||-||-||-||Canon 10D|
|Nikon D70||Y||none||none||-||-||none||1.0||-||-||-||Nikon D70|
|Olympus E-P3||Y||stereo||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-P3|
|Olympus E-PL2||Y||stereo||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-PL2|
|Olympus E-PL3||Y||stereo||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-PL3|
|Olympus E-P1||Y||stereo||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-P1|
|Panasonic GH1||Y||stereo||none||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic GH1|
Both the Rebel and the E-P2 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The Rebel was replaced by the Canon XT, while the E-P2 was followed by the Olympus E-P3. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Olympus websites.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon Rebel or the Olympus E-P2 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Canon EOS Digital Rebel:
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (400 versus 300) on a single battery charge.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2003).
Arguments in favor of the Olympus PEN E-P2:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (12.2 vs 6.3MP), which boosts linear resolution by 37%.
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 720/30p video.
- 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 (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 (121x70mm vs 142x99mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 294g or 45 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
- 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 6 years and 2 months of technical progress since the Rebel launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the E-P2 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 4 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 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 Rebel and the Olympus E-P2 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the Rebel or the E-P2. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is why expert reviews 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.
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.
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.
- Canon 5D Mark IV vs Canon Rebel
- Canon 7D vs Canon Rebel
- Canon D30 vs Canon Rebel
- Canon M50 vs Canon Rebel
- Canon Rebel vs Fujifilm X-T2
- Canon Rebel vs Nikon D500
- Canon Rebel vs Panasonic S1
- Canon SX410 vs Olympus E-P2
- Fujifilm X-T1 vs Olympus E-P2
- Hasselblad X1D II vs Olympus E-P2
- Nikon D7200 vs Olympus E-P2
- Olympus E-P2 vs Panasonic GM1
Specifications: Canon Rebel vs Olympus E-P2
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||Olympus E-P2|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2003||November 2009|
|Launch Price||USD 899||USD 799|
|Sensor Specs||Canon Rebel||Olympus E-P2|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.7 x 15.1 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||342.77 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||27.3 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||6.3 Megapixels||12.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3072 x 2048 pixels||4032 x 3024 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||7.38 μm||4.29 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.84 MP/cm2||5.42 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||720/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-1600 ISO||100-6400 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||55||56|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.0||21.5|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.8||10.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||544||505|
|Screen Specs||Canon Rebel||Olympus E-P2|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||1.8 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||118k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon Rebel||Olympus E-P2|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||2.5 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||SDHC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon Rebel||Olympus E-P2|
|USB Connector||USB 1.1||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon Rebel||Olympus E-P2|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge||300 shots per charge|
142 x 99 x 72 mm
(5.6 x 3.9 x 2.8 in)
121 x 70 x 36 mm
(4.8 x 2.8 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||649 g (22.9 oz)||355 g (12.5 oz)|
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