Canon T1i vs Fujifilm X-E1
The Canon EOS Rebel T1i (called Canon 500D in some regions) and the Fujifilm X-E1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in March 2009 and September 2012. The T1i is a DSLR, while the X-E1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 15.1 megapixels, whereas the Fujifilm provides 16 MP.
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 Rebel T1i and the Fujifilm X-E1? 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 T1i and the Fujifilm X-E1 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.
The X-E1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the T1i is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Fujifilm X-E1 is notably smaller (23 percent) than the Canon T1i. Moreover, the X-E1 is markedly lighter (33 percent) than the T1i. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T1i nor the X-E1 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. Both cameras have similarly sized sensors, but DSLRs have a larger flange-to-focal plane distance than mirrorless cameras, which imposes contraints on the optical engineering process and generally leads to bigger and heavier lenses. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (T1i) and the Fujinon X Lens Catalog (X-E1). Mirrorless cameras, such as the X-E1, 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 adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Canon T1i||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799|
|2.||Fujifilm X-E1||129 mm||75 mm||38 mm||350 g||350||n||Sep 2012||999|
|3.||Canon T100||129 mm||102 mm||77 mm||436 g||500||n||Feb 2018||399|
|4.||Canon T6i||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||555 g||440||n||Feb 2015||749|
|5.||Canon T5||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449|
|6.||Canon T5i||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||580 g||440||n||Mar 2013||649|
|7.||Canon T4i||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|8.||Canon T3i||133 mm||100 mm||80 mm||570 g||440||n||Feb 2011||599|
|9.||Canon T2i||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||530 g||440||n||Feb 2010||699|
|10.||Canon XSi||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||n||Jan 2008||799|
|11.||Canon XTi||127 mm||84 mm||65 mm||556 g||370||n||Aug 2006||799|
|12.||Canon XT||127 mm||94 mm||64 mm||540 g||400||n||Feb 2005||899|
|13.||Fujifilm X-E3||121 mm||74 mm||43 mm||337 g||350||n||Sep 2017||899|
|14.||Fujifilm X-T20||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||383 g||350||n||Jan 2017||899|
|15.||Fujifilm X-T10||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||381 g||350||n||May 2015||799|
|16.||Fujifilm X-E2||129 mm||75 mm||37 mm||350 g||350||n||Oct 2013||999|
|17.||Fujifilm X-M1||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||n||Jun 2013||699|
|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 retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The T1i was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 20 percent) than the X-E1, 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. 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. 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. 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.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the X-E1 is 11 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (T1i) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.
With 16MP, the X-E1 offers a higher resolution than the T1i (15.1MP), but the X-E1 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.80μm versus 4.69μm for the T1i) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the X-E1 is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 5 months) than the T1i, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the X-E1 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The Canon EOS Rebel T1i 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 Fujifilm X-E1 are ISO 200 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the X-E1 provides a faster frame rate than the T1i. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/24p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/20p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the X-E1 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the T1i has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon T1i and Fujifilm X-E1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
The T1i writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the X-E1 uses SDXC cards. The X-E1 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the T1i cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 Rebel T1i and Fujifilm X-E1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
It is notable that the X-E1 has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The T1i does not feature such a mic input.
Both the T1i and the X-E1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The T1i was replaced by the Canon T2i, while the X-E1 was followed by the Fujifilm X-E2. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Fujifilm websites.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon T1i or the Fujifilm X-E1 – 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 Rebel T1i:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.8") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 460k dots).
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (400 versus 350) on a single battery charge.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (20 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in March 2009).
Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm X-E1:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/24p versus 1080/20p).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 3.4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (129x75mm vs 129x98mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 170g or 33 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Reflects 3 years and 5 months of technical progress since the T1i launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X-E1 emerges as the winner of the match-up (10 : 7 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 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 T1i and the Fujifilm X-E1 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 T1i or the X-E1. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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.
|1.||Canon T1i||..||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799|
|2.||Fujifilm X-E1||4/5||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||999|
|3.||Canon T100||..||o||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||399|
|4.||Canon T6i||5/5||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749|
|5.||Canon T5||3/5||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449|
|6.||Canon T5i||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649|
|7.||Canon T4i||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|8.||Canon T3i||3/5||o||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||599|
|9.||Canon T2i||..||+ +||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||699|
|10.||Canon XSi||..||+ +||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799|
|11.||Canon XTi||..||+ +||+ +||o||4/5||Aug 2006||799|
|12.||Canon XT||..||80/100||+ +||o||..||Feb 2005||899|
|13.||Fujifilm X-E3||4.5/5||+||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2017||899|
|14.||Fujifilm X-T20||5/5||+ +||82/100||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||899|
|15.||Fujifilm X-T10||4.5/5||+ +||80/100||5/5||5/5||May 2015||799|
|16.||Fujifilm X-E2||4/5||..||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||999|
|17.||Fujifilm X-M1||3/5||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||699|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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.
Specifications: Canon T1i vs Fujifilm X-E1
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 T1i||Fujifilm X-E1|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Fujifilm X mount lenses|
|Launch Date||March 2009||September 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 799||USD 999|
|Sensor Specs||Canon T1i||Fujifilm X-E1|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||23.6 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||368.16 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||28.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.1 Megapixels||16 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4752 x 3168 pixels||4896 x 3264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.69 μm||4.80 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.53 MP/cm2||4.34 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/20p Video||1080/24p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 6,400 ISO||200 - 6,400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4||EXR Processor|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||63||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.7||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.5||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||663||..|
|Screen Specs||Canon T1i||Fujifilm X-E1|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||2.8inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon T1i||Fujifilm X-E1|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||3.4 shutter flaps/s||6 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon T1i||Fujifilm X-E1|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon T1i||Fujifilm X-E1|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge||350 shots per charge|
129 x 98 x 62 mm
(5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
129 x 75 x 38 mm
(5.1 x 3.0 x 1.5 in)
|Camera Weight||520 g (18.3 oz)||350 g (12.3 oz)|
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