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.
Is the Canon T1i a good camera? The T1i has a Camera Elo of 1436. 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 10 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2009.
|Digital single lens reflex|
|Canon EF mount lenses|
|15.1 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|ISO 100-6400 (100-12800)|
|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|
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.
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.
|Canon T1i||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.3 oz||400||n||Mar 2009||799||-||Canon T1i|
|Canon T100« »||5.1 in||4.0 in||3.0 in||15.4 oz||500||n||Feb 2018||399||Canon T100|
|Canon T6i« »||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||19.6 oz||440||n||Feb 2015||749||-||Canon T6i|
|Canon T5« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||16.9 oz||500||n||Feb 2014||449||-||Canon T5|
|Canon T5i« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.5 oz||440||n||Mar 2013||649||-||Canon T5i|
|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 T2i« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.7 oz||440||n||Feb 2010||699||-||Canon T2i|
|Canon XSi« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.5 oz||500||n||Jan 2008||799||-||Canon XSi|
|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|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as 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.
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.
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.
|Canon T1i||APS-C||15.1||4752||3168||1080/20p||21.7||11.5||663||63||Canon T1i|
|Canon T100« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.9||11.4||695||63||Canon T100|
|Canon T6i« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||22.7||12.0||919||71||Canon T6i|
|Canon T5« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.9||11.3||724||63||Canon T5|
|Canon T5i« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||681||61||Canon T5i|
|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 T2i« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.5||784||66||Canon T2i|
|Canon XSi« »||APS-C||12.2||4272||2848||-||21.9||10.8||692||61||Canon XSi|
|Canon XTi« »||APS-C||10.1||3888||2592||-||22.1||11.0||664||62||Canon XTi|
|Canon XT« »||APS-C||8.0||3456||2304||-||21.8||10.8||637||60||Canon XT|
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.
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.
|Canon T1i||optical||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.4||Y||n||Canon T1i|
|Canon T100« »||optical||n||2.7||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon T100|
|Canon T6i« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon T6i|
|Canon T5« »||optical||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon T5|
|Canon T5i« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon T5i|
|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 T2i« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.7||Y||n||Canon T2i|
|Canon XSi« »||optical||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n||Canon XSi|
|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|
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.
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.
|Canon T1i||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T1i|
|Canon T100« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon T100|
|Canon T6i« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon T6i|
|Canon T5« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T5|
|Canon T5i« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T5i|
|Canon T4i« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T4i|
|Canon T3i« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T3i|
|Canon T2i« »||Y||stereo||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T2i|
|Canon XSi« »||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon XSi|
|Canon XTi« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon XTi|
|Canon XT« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon XT|
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 (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).
|Canon T1i||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799||-||Canon T1i|
|Canon T100« »||o||-||3.5/5||-||3.5/5||Feb 2018||399||Canon T100|
|Canon T6i« »||-||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749||-||Canon T6i|
|Canon T5« »||+||-||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449||-||Canon T5|
|Canon T5i« »||-||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649||-||Canon T5i|
|Canon T4i« »||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849||-||Canon T4i|
|Canon T3i« »||o||77/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||599||-||Canon T3i|
|Canon T2i« »||+ +||77/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||699||-||Canon T2i|
|Canon XSi« »||+ +||+ +||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799||-||Canon XSi|
|Canon XTi« »||+ +||+ +||o||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2006||799||-||Canon XTi|
|Canon XT« »||80/100||+ +||o||o||-||Feb 2005||899||-||Canon XT|
|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.
- Canon 40D vs Canon T1i
- Canon 60D vs Canon T1i
- Canon G5 X Mark II vs Canon T1i
- Canon SX420 vs Canon T1i
- Canon T1i vs Hasselblad X1D
- Canon T1i vs Leica M Typ 240
- Canon T1i vs Nikon D3100
- Canon T1i vs Nikon D7200
- Canon T1i vs Olympus E-3
- Canon T1i vs Olympus E-PL8
- Canon T1i vs Panasonic GH5
- Canon T1i vs Sony HX99
|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 Format||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4752 x 3168 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.69 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.53 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/20p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-6400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-12800 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|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||No Peaking Feature|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||3.4 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi|
|Battery Type||LP-E5 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge|
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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