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Canon XSi vs Nikon P7800

The Canon EOS Rebel XSi (called Canon 450D in some regions) and the Nikon Coolpix P7800 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2008 and September 2013. The XSi is a DSLR, while the P7800 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (XSi) and a 1/1.7-inch (P7800) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 12 MP.

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 P7800
Canon XSi Nikon P7800
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Canon EF mount lenses 28-200mm f/2.0-4.0
12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor 12 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor
no Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 80-3,200 (80 - 6,400)
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (921k dots)
3.0 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.5 shutter flaps per second 8 shutter flaps per second
500 shots per battery charge350 shots per battery charge
129 x 98 x 62 mm, 524 g 119 x 78 x 50 mm, 399 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel XSi and the Nikon Coolpix P7800? 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon XSi and the Nikon P7800. 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 width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon XSi vs Nikon P7800
Compare XSi versus P7800 top
Comparison XSi or P7800 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon P7800 is notably smaller (27 percent) than the Canon XSi. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the XSi nor the P7800 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the P7800 has a lens built in, whereas the XSi is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the XSi and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the XSi gets 500 shots out of its LP-E5 battery, while the P7800 can take 350 images on a single charge of its EN-EL14 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras 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 P7800 119 mm 78 mm 50 mm 399 g 350 n Sep 2013 549i
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 G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
6.
 
Canon G15 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499i
7.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
8.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
9.
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699i
10.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
11.
 
Canon XS 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449i
12.
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299i
13.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
14.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899i
15.
 
Fujifilm X30 119 mm 72 mm 60 mm 423 g 470 n Aug 2014 599 i
16.
 
Fujifilm X20 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 353 g 270 n Jan 2013 599i
17.
 
Fujifilm X10 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 350 g 270 n Sep 2011 599i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 P7800 was launched at a lower price than the XSi, despite having a lens built in. 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.

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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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon XSi features an APS-C sensor and the Nikon P7800 a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The sensor area in the P7800 is 87 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 4.5. The sensor in the XSi has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the P7800 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon XSi and Nikon P7800 sensor measures

With 12.2MP, the XSi offers a slightly higher resolution than the P7800 (12MP), but the XSi nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.19μm versus 1.89μm for the P7800) due to its larger sensor. However, the P7800 is a much more recent model (by 5 years and 7 months) than the XSi, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The Canon EOS Rebel XSi has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon Coolpix P7800 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-6400.

XSi versus P7800 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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"). Of the two cameras under review, the XSi has a notably higher overall DXO score than the P7800 (overall score 7 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.7 bits higher color depth, 0.9 EV of lower dynamic range, and 1.8 stops in additional low light sensitivity. 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 P7800 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p21.211.720054
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 G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
6.
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
7.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
8.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
9.
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
10.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
11.
 
Canon XS APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none........
12.
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
13.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
14.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
15.
 
Fujifilm X30 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
16.
 
Fujifilm X20 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
17.
 
Fujifilm X10 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.324550

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The P7800 indeed provides for movie recording, while the XSi does not. The highest resolution format that the P7800 can use is 1080/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the P7800 has an electronic viewfinder (921k dots), while the XSi 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 XSi and Nikon P7800 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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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 XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
2.
 
Nikon P7800921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
3.
 
Canon T6ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon T6soptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
6.
 
Canon G15optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1 Y Y
7.
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon T2ioptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
10.
 
Canon T1ioptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
11.
 
Canon XSoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
12.
 
Canon 40Doptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
13.
 
Canon XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
14.
 
Canon XToptical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
15.
 
Fujifilm X302360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
16.
 
Fujifilm X20optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
17.
 
Fujifilm X10optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
The P7800 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the XSi does not have a selfie-screen.

The Nikon P7800 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

The XSi writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the P7800 uses SDXC cards.

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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 Coolpix P7800 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 XSiY----mini2.0---
2.
 
Nikon P7800YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon T6iYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon T6sYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
6.
 
Canon G15Ystereomono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon T2iYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon T1iYmonomono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon XSY-----2.0---
12.
 
Canon 40DY-----2.0---
13.
 
Canon XTiY-----2.0---
14.
 
Canon XTY-----2.0---
15.
 
Fujifilm X30Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
16.
 
Fujifilm X20Ystereomono--micro2.0---
17.
 
Fujifilm X10Ystereomono--mini2.0---

Both the XSi and the P7800 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XSi was replaced by the Canon T1i, while the P7800 does not have a direct successor. 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.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon XSi or the Nikon P7800 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel XSi:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (7 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.8 stops ISO advantage).
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (500 versus 350) on a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in January 2008).

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon Coolpix P7800:

  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.9 EV of extra DR).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p video.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k 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 (8 vs 3.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the XSi requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (119x78mm vs 129x98mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the XSi).
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 5 years and 7 months of technical progress since the XSi launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the P7800 is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 6 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 wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

XSi 06:14 P7800

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon XSi and the Nikon P7800 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the XSi and the P7800 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 where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 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 P78003/5....4/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549i
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 G164/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
6.
 
Canon G154/5+76/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499i
7.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
8.
 
Canon T3..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
9.
 
Canon T2i..+ +77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
10.
 
Canon T1i..+ +74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
11.
 
Canon XS..82/100+ +3.5/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449i
12.
 
Canon 40D..+ ++ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299i
13.
 
Canon XTi..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
14.
 
Canon XT..80/100+ +o.. Feb 2005 899i
15.
 
Fujifilm X304/5..76/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2014 599 i
16.
 
Fujifilm X204/5+ +77/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2013 599i
17.
 
Fujifilm X10....76/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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. 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 P7800:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon XSi vs Nikon P7800

    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 P7800
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses 28-200mm f/2.0-4.0
    Launch Date January 2008 September 2013
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 549
    Sensor Specs Canon XSi Nikon P7800
    Sensor Technology CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor 1/1.7" Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.2 x 14.8 mm 7.6 x 5.7 mm
    Sensor Area 328.56 mm2 43.32 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.7 mm 9.5 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 4.5x
    Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4272 x 2848 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.19 μm 1.89 μm
    Pixel Density 3.70 MP/cm2 27.70 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 80 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 80 - 6,400 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 61 54
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.9 21.2
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 11.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 692 200
    Screen Specs Canon XSi Nikon P7800
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x
    Viewfinder Resolution 921k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Canon XSi Nikon P7800
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3.5 shutter flaps/s 8 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    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 no
    Connectivity Specs Canon XSi Nikon P7800
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    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 XSi Nikon P7800
    Battery Type LP-E5 EN-EL14
    Battery Life (CIPA)500 shots per charge350 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    119 x 78 x 50 mm
    (4.7 x 3.1 x 2.0 in)
    Camera Weight 524 g (18.5 oz) 399 g (14.1 oz)

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