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Canon T1i Comparison Review

The Canon EOS Rebel T1i (called Canon 500D in some regions) is a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera that was officially introduced in March 2009 and is equipped with an APS-C sensor. It offers a resolution of 15.1 megapixel.

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Is the Canon T1i a good camera? The T1i has a Camera Elo of 1336. This rating puts the T1i below average of all digital single lens reflex cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (APS cameras), the T1i also ranks below average. – Well, the Canon T1i is more than 12 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2009.

Headline Specifications
Canon T1i
Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses
15.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/20p Video
ISO 100 - 6 400 (100 - 12 800)
Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 920k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.4 shutter flaps per second
400 shots per battery charge
129 x 98 x 62 mm, 520 g


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Canon T1i vis-à-vis a credit card. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Canon T1i vs credit card front
T1i versus credit card top view
T1i and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Canon T1i alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side 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 comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799 i
2.
 
Canon T100 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 i
3.
 
Canon T6i 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749 i
4.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449 i
5.
 
Canon T5i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649 i
6.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849 i
7.
 
Canon T3i 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599 i
8.
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699 i
9.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799 i
10.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799 i
11.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Canon T1i was launched in the US market at a price of $799. 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.

Canon T1i:
Check Ebay offers

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

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. 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.

The Canon T1i features an APS-C sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Canon T1i among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.

Canon T1i sensor measures

For most 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. 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
1.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.5663 63
2.
 
Canon T100 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.4695 63
3.
 
Canon T6i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.0919 71
4.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.3724 63
5.
 
Canon T5i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.2681 61
6.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.2722 62
7.
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.5793 65
8.
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.5784 66
9.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.8692 61
10.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.0664 62
11.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.8637 60

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The T1i indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the T1i can use is 1080/20p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the T1i has an optical viewfinder that provides a field of view of 95% and a magnification of 0.54x. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Canon T1i 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
1.
 
Canon T1ioptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
2.
 
Canon T100optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon T6ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon T5optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon T5ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon T3ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
8.
 
Canon T2ioptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
9.
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
10.
 
Canon XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon XToptical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n

One convenient feature of the T1i is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

Connection 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 Rebel T1i 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
1.
 
Canon T1iYmonomono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Canon T100Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
3.
 
Canon T6iYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon T5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
5.
 
Canon T5iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T3iYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T2iYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon XTiY-----2.0---
11.
 
Canon XTY-----2.0---

Expert reviews

While the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the T1i 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 why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).

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Review Scores
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon T1i..+ +74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799 i
2.
 
Canon T100..o..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i
3.
 
Canon T6i5/5..75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749 i
4.
 
Canon T53/5+..4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449 i
5.
 
Canon T5i....76/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649 i
6.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849 i
7.
 
Canon T3i3/5o77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599 i
8.
 
Canon T2i..+ +77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699 i
9.
 
Canon XSi..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799 i
10.
 
Canon XTi..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799 i
11.
 
Canon XT..80/100+ +o.. Feb 2005 899 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon T1i FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the T1i.

What type of imaging sensor is used in the T1i?

The camera features a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Canon equipped the T1i with the DIGIC 4 image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the T1i?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400.

What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Canon EOS Rebel T1i?

Canon mentions a shutter rating of 100 000 actuations for the T1i. This number represents a Mean Time before Failure, that is an average value. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust the expected shutter life of the T1i over, say, three years, one would have to take about 100 pictures each and every day.

Does the Canon T1i feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?

The T1i's flash sync speed is 1/200 sec.

Which battery does the T1i use?

The camera gets its power from the LP-E5 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Is there a vertical grip available for the T1i?

Yes, Canon offers the BG-E5 as an optional accessory to facilitate shooting in portrait orientation and to provide additional battery power.

Camera to camera comparisons

If you would like to see a side-by-side review of this and another camera, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Canon T1i
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date March 2009
    Launch Price USD 799
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm
    Sensor Area 332 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 15.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4 752 x 3 168 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.69 μm
    Pixel Density 4.53 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/20p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6 400 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12 800 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 63
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 663
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x
    LCD Framing Live View
    LCD Size 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus System Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking Feature
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 3.4 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support no
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Battery Type LP-E5 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    Camera Weight 520 g (18.3 oz)

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