ad
ad
A potelyt.com – Photography & Imaging Resources
ad
PW

Canon T3i vs XTi

The Canon EOS Rebel T3i (called Canon 600D in some regions) and the Canon EOS Rebel XTi (labelled Canon 400D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2011 and August 2006. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The T3i has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the XTi provides 10.1 MP.

As their names suggest, both the Canon EOS Rebel T3i 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 T3i and Canon XTi. Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon T3i
versus
Canon XTi
Canon T3i   Canon XTi
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
17.9 MP – APS-C sensor 10.1 MP – APS-C sensor
1080/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800) ISO 100-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD – 1040k dots 3.0" LCD – 230k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.7 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
440 shots per battery charge370 shots per battery charge
133 x 100 x 80 mm, 570 g 127 x 84 x 65 mm, 556 g
Canon T3i:
Check current offers at
i
Canon XTi:
Check current offers at
i

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel T3i 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.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon T3i and the Canon XTi is provided 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon T3i vs Canon XTi
Compare T3i versus XTi top
Comparison T3i or XTi rear

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 (20 percent) than the Canon T3i. Moreover, the XTi is slightly lighter (2 percent) than the T3i. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T3i 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.

Concerning battery life, the T3i gets 440 shots out of its LP-E8 battery, while the XTi can take 370 images on a single charge of its NB-2LH power pack.

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.

scroll hint
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 T3i 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599i
2.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
3.
 
Canon SL2 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549i
4.
 
Canon T6i 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749i
5.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
6.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449i
7.
 
Canon SL1 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549i
8.
 
Canon T5i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649i
9.
 
Canon M 109 mm 66 mm 32 mm 298 g 230 n Jul 2012 599i
10.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
11.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
12.
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699i
13.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
14.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
15.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899i
16.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899i
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The T3i was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 25 percent) than the XTi, 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.

ad

Sensor comparison

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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to 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 XTi is 1 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.

In terms of chip-set technology, the T3i uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 4) than the XTi (DIGIC II), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon T3i and Canon XTi sensor measures

With 17.9MP, the T3i offers a higher resolution than the XTi (10.1MP), but the T3i has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 5.71μm for the XTi). However, the T3i is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 5 months) than the XTi, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Canon T3i implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the T3i for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 17.3 inches or 65.8 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 13.8 inches or 52.7 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon XTi are 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.4 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.6 x 10.4 inches or 39.5 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 13 x 8.6 inches or 32.9 x 21.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS Rebel T3i 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 Canon EOS Rebel XTi are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

T3i versus XTi MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

scroll hint
Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
2.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
3.
 
Canon SL2 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
4.
 
Canon T6i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
5.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
6.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
7.
 
Canon SL1 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
8.
 
Canon T5i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
9.
 
Canon M APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765
10.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
11.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
12.
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
13.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
14.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
15.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
16.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The T3i indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the XTi does not. The highest resolution format that the T3i can use is 1080/30p.

ad

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The T3i 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 T3i has a higher magnification than the one of the XTi (0.53x 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 T3i, the Canon XTi, and comparable cameras.

scroll hint
Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon T3ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7/s Y n
2.
 
Canon XTioptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
3.
 
Canon SL2optical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
4.
 
Canon T6ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
5.
 
Canon T6soptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
6.
 
Canon T5optical n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
7.
 
Canon SL1optical n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9/s Y n
8.
 
Canon T5ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
9.
 
Canon Mnone n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.3/s n n
10.
 
Canon T4ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
11.
 
Canon T3optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
12.
 
Canon T2ioptical n3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7/s Y n
13.
 
Canon T1ioptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4/s Y n
14.
 
Canon XSioptical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
15.
 
Canon XToptical n1.8 / 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
16.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.
The T3i has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the XTi does not have a selfie-screen.

The T3i writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the XTi uses Compact Flash cards.

Connectivity 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 T3i and Canon EOS Rebel XTi and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

scroll hint
Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon T3iYmono / monoY-mini2.0---
2.
 
Canon XTiY- / ----2.0---
3.
 
Canon SL2Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
4.
 
Canon T6iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon T6sYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon T5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon SL1Ymono / monoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T5iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon MYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon T4iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon T3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon T2iYstereo / -Y-mini2.0---
13.
 
Canon T1iYmono / mono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Canon XSiY- / ---mini2.0---
15.
 
Canon XTY- / ----2.0---
16.
 
Canon RebelY- / ----1.1---

Both the T3i and the XTi have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XTi was replaced by the Canon Xsi, while the T3i was followed by the Canon T4i. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.

ad

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Canon T3i better than the Canon XTi or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel T3i:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 10.1MP) with a 33% higher linear resolution.
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 4 vs DIGIC II).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.53x vs 0.49x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 230k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.7 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (440 versus 370) on a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (25 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years and 5 months of technical progress since the XTi launch.


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel XTi:

  • More compact: Is smaller (127x84mm vs 133x100mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2006).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the T3i is the clear winner of the match-up (12 : 2 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 wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

T3i 12:02 XTi

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon T3i 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 technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the T3i and the XTi in practical situations. 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.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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.

scroll hint
Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon T3i3/5o..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
2.
 
Canon XTi..+ +..+ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
3.
 
Canon SL24/5+ +4/578/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549i
4.
 
Canon T6i5/5....75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749i
5.
 
Canon T6s5/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
6.
 
Canon T53/5+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
7.
 
Canon SL14/5+..78/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 549i
8.
 
Canon T5i......76/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649i
9.
 
Canon M3/5+....4/54/5 Jul 2012 599i
10.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
11.
 
Canon T3..80/100..69/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
12.
 
Canon T2i..+ +..77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
13.
 
Canon T1i..+ +..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
14.
 
Canon XSi..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
15.
 
Canon XT..80/100..+ +o.. Feb 2005 899i
16.
 
Canon Rebel......+ +.... Aug 2003 899i
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. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon T3i:
Check current offers at
i
Canon XTi:
Check current offers at
i

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, 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.

~
    loader

    Specifications: Canon T3i 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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon T3i Canon XTi
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2011 August 2006
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 799
    Sensor Specs Canon T3i Canon XTi
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 22.2 x 14.8 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 328.56 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 26.7 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 10.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 3888 x 2592 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 5.71 μm
    Pixel Density 5.39 MP/cm2 3.07 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12,800 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 DIGIC II
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 65 62
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 22.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5 11.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 793 664
    Screen Specs Canon T3i Canon XTi
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.53x 0.49x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon T3i Canon XTi
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3.7 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations50 000 actuations
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon T3i Canon XTi
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon T3i Canon XTi
    Battery Type LP-E8 NB-2LH
    Battery Life (CIPA)440 shots per charge370 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 133 x 100 x 80 mm
    (5.2 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
    127 x 84 x 65 mm
    (5.0 x 3.3 x 2.6 in)
    Camera Weight 570 g (20.1 oz) 556 g (19.6 oz)
    Canon T3i:
    Check current offers at
    i
    Canon XTi:
    Check current offers at
    i

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

    You are here Home  »  CAM-parator  »  Canon T3i vs Canon XTi