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Canon XSi vs Nikon D2Xs

The Canon EOS Rebel XSi (called Canon 450D in some regions) and the Nikon D2Xs are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2008 and June 2006. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 12.2 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon XSi
versus
Nikon D2Xs
Canon XSi   Nikon D2Xs
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor 12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 100-800 (800 - 3,200)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 230k dots 2.5 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.5 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
not weather sealedWeathersealed body
500 shots per battery charge3800 shots per battery charge
129 x 98 x 62 mm, 524 g 158 x 150 x 86 mm, 1252 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel XSi and the Nikon D2Xs? 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

The physical size and weight of the Canon XSi and the Nikon D2Xs are illustrated 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.

Size Canon XSi vs Nikon D2Xs
Compare XSi versus D2Xs top
Comparison XSi or D2Xs rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D2Xs is considerably larger (87 percent) than the Canon XSi. Moreover, the D2Xs is substantially heavier (139 percent) than the XSi. It is noteworthy in this context that the D2Xs is splash and dust-proof, while the XSi does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

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. Yet, since both cameras are based around an APS-C sensor, their respective lenses will tend to have similar dimensions and heft. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (XSi) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D2Xs).

Concerning battery life, the XSi gets 500 shots out of its LP-E5 battery, while the D2Xs can take 3800 images on a single charge of its EN-EL4a power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the D2Xs has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power. In order to provide similar functionality for the XSi, Canon provides the BG-E5 vertical grip as an optional accessory (see here on eBay).

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera 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 XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
2.
 
Nikon D2Xs 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1252 g 3800 Y Jun 2006 4,699i
3.
 
Canon T6i 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749i
4.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
5.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
6.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
7.
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699i
8.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
9.
 
Canon XS 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449i
10.
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299i
11.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
12.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899i
13.
 
Nikon D300S 147 mm 115 mm 81 mm 938 g 950 Y Jul 2009 1,799i
14.
 
Nikon D3 160 mm 157 mm 88 mm 1300 g 4300 Y Aug 2007 4,999i
15.
 
Nikon D300 147 mm 114 mm 74 mm 925 g 1000 Y Aug 2007 1,799i
16.
 
Nikon D200 147 mm 113 mm 74 mm 920 g 400 Y Nov 2005 1,699i
17.
 
Nikon D2X 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1252 g 3800 Y Sep 2004 4,999i
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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The XSi was launched at a markedly lower price (by 83 percent) than the D2Xs, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.

Sensor comparison

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 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to 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 D2Xs is 13 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (XSi) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Canon XSi and Nikon D2Xs sensor measures

Even though the D2Xs has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 12.2 megapixels. This implies that the D2Xs has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 5.52μm versus 5.19μm for the XSi), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the XSi is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 7 months) than the D2Xs, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.

The Canon EOS Rebel XSi has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D2Xs are ISO 100 to ISO 800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 800-3200.

XSi versus D2Xs MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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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 XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
2.
 
Nikon D2Xs APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.210.948959
3.
 
Canon T6i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
4.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
5.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
6.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
7.
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
8.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
9.
 
Canon XS APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.478364
10.
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
11.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
12.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
13.
 
Nikon D300S APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.512.278770
14.
 
Nikon D3 Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832none23.512.2229081
15.
 
Nikon D300 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.112.067967
16.
 
Nikon D200 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.558364
17.
 
Nikon D2X APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.110.947659
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.
The XSi offers Live View, so that it can project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen for framing. The D2Xs lacks this capability. Both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The XSi and the D2Xs 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 viewfinder in the D2Xs offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the XSi (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the D2Xs has a higher magnification (0.57x vs 0.54x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon XSi and Nikon D2Xs 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
Specifications
(inch/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 XSioptical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
2.
 
Nikon D2Xsoptical Y2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
3.
 
Canon T6ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon T6soptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon T4ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon T3optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon T2ioptical n3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
8.
 
Canon T1ioptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
9.
 
Canon XSoptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon 40Doptical Y3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
11.
 
Canon XTioptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
12.
 
Canon XToptical n1.8 / 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
13.
 
Nikon D300Soptical Y3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
14.
 
Nikon D3optical Y3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n
15.
 
Nikon D300optical Y3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
16.
 
Nikon D200optical Y2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
17.
 
Nikon D2Xoptical Y2.5 / 235 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The XSi has one, while the D2Xs does not. While the built-in flash of the XSi is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The XSi writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the D2Xs 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 XSi and Nikon D2Xs 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon XSiY- / ---mini2.0---
2.
 
Nikon D2XsY- / ----2.0---
3.
 
Canon T6iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon T6sYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon T4iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon T3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T2iYstereo / -Y-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T1iYmono / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon XSY- / ----2.0---
10.
 
Canon 40DY- / ----2.0---
11.
 
Canon XTiY- / ----2.0---
12.
 
Canon XTY- / ----2.0---
13.
 
Nikon D300SYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D3Y- / ---mini2.0---
15.
 
Nikon D300Y- / ---mini2.0---
16.
 
Nikon D200Y- / ----2.0---
17.
 
Nikon D2XY- / ----2.0---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon D2Xs (unlike the XSi) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the XSi and the D2Xs have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D2Xs was replaced by the Nikon D3X, while the XSi was followed by the Canon T1i. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Nikon websites.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon XSi or the Nikon D2Xs – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

ilogo

Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel XSi:

  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.5 stops ISO advantage).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More compact: Is smaller (129x98mm vs 158x150mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 728g or 58 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (83 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 7 months after the D2Xs).

ilogo

Advantages of the Nikon D2Xs:

  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.57x vs 0.54x).
  • Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (3800 versus 500) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in June 2006).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D2Xs emerges as the winner of the match-up (10 : 7 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding 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.

XSi 07:10 D2Xs

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon XSi and the Nikon D2Xs 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the XSi or the D2Xs perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera 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.

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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 XSi..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
2.
 
Nikon D2Xs............ Jun 2006 4,699i
3.
 
Canon T6i5/5....75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749i
4.
 
Canon T6s5/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
5.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
6.
 
Canon T3..80/100..69/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
7.
 
Canon T2i..+ +..77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
8.
 
Canon T1i..+ +..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
9.
 
Canon XS..82/100..+ +3.5/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449i
10.
 
Canon 40D..+ +..+ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299i
11.
 
Canon XTi..+ +..+ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
12.
 
Canon XT..80/100..+ +o.. Feb 2005 899i
13.
 
Nikon D300S5/5+ +..82/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2009 1,799i
14.
 
Nikon D3......+ +5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 4,999i
15.
 
Nikon D300..+ +..+ +5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,799i
16.
 
Nikon D200..+ +..+ +o.. Nov 2005 1,699i
17.
 
Nikon D2X......+ +.... Sep 2004 4,999i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon XSi:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D2Xs:
Check Ebay offers

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.

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    Specifications: Canon XSi vs Nikon D2Xs

    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 XSi Nikon D2Xs
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date January 2008 June 2006
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 4,699
    Sensor Specs Canon XSi Nikon D2Xs
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.2 x 14.8 mm 23.7 x 15.7 mm
    Sensor Area 328.56 mm2 372.09 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.7 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixels 12.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4272 x 2848 pixels 4288 x 2848 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.19 μm 5.52 μm
    Pixel Density 3.70 MP/cm2 3.28 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 800 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 800 - 3,200 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 61 59
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.9 22.2
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 10.9
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 692 489
    Screen Specs Canon XSi Nikon D2Xs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x 0.57x
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon XSi Nikon D2Xs
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3.5 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations150 000 actuations
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon XSi Nikon D2Xs
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash no PC Sync PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon XSi Nikon D2Xs
    Environmental Sealingnot weather sealedWeathersealed body
    Battery Type LP-E5 EN-EL4a
    Battery Life (CIPA)500 shots per charge3800 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    158 x 150 x 86 mm
    (6.2 x 5.9 x 3.4 in)
    Camera Weight 524 g (18.5 oz) 1252 g (44.2 oz)

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