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Canon XT vs Nikon D1

The Canon EOS Rebel XT (called Canon 350D in some regions) and the Nikon D1 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2005 and June 1999. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 8 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 2.6 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon XT versus Nikon D1
Canon XT Nikon D1
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
8 MP, APS-C Sensor 2.6 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 200-1,600 (200 - 6,400)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
1.8 LCD, 115k dots 2.0 LCD, 120k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 1.5 shutter flaps per second
not weather sealedWeathersealed body
127 x 94 x 64 mm, 540 g 157 x 153 x 85 mm, 1100 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel XT and the Nikon D1? 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 XT and the Nikon D1 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 XT can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the D1 is only available in black.

Size Canon XT vs Nikon D1
Compare XT versus D1 top
Comparison XT or D1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D1 is considerably larger (101 percent) than the Canon XT. Moreover, the D1 is substantially heavier (104 percent) than the XT. It is noteworthy in this context that the D1 is splash and dust-proof, while the XT 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 (XT) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D1).

As can be seen in the images above, the D1 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 XT, Canon provides the BG-E3 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 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 XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899 i
2.
 
Nikon D1 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g .. Y Jun 1999 5,499 i
3.
 
Canon 77D 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899 i
4.
 
Canon T6i 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749 i
5.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649 i
6.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849 i
7.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799 i
8.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799 i
9.
 
Canon 30D 144 mm 106 mm 74 mm 785 g 750 n Feb 2006 1,399 i
10.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799 i
11.
 
Canon 20D 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 n Aug 2004 1,499 i
12.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899 i
13.
 
Nikon D300S 147 mm 115 mm 81 mm 938 g 950 Y Jul 2009 1,799 i
14.
 
Nikon D300 147 mm 114 mm 74 mm 925 g 1000 Y Aug 2007 1,799 i
15.
 
Nikon D2Xs 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1252 g 3800 Y Jun 2006 4,699 i
16.
 
Nikon D200 147 mm 113 mm 74 mm 920 g 400 Y Nov 2005 1,699 i
17.
 
Nikon D1X 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g 1200 Y Feb 2001 5,999 i
Notes: 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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The XT was launched at a markedly lower price (by 84 percent) than the D1, 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.

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Sensor comparison

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. 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.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the D1 is 12 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (XT) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon XT and Nikon D1 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon XT offers a higher resolution of 8 megapixels, compared with 2.6 MP of the Nikon D1. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 6.41μm versus 11.93μm for the D1). However, it should be noted that the XT is much more recent (by 5 years and 8 months) than the D1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

The resolution advantage of the Canon XT implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the XT for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 13.8 x 9.2 inches or 35.1 x 23.4 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 11.5 x 7.7 inches or 29.3 x 19.5 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D1 are 10 x 6.6 inches or 25.4 x 16.7 cm for good quality, 8 x 5.2 inches or 20.3 x 13.3 cm for very good quality, and 6.7 x 4.4 inches or 16.9 x 11.1 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS Rebel XT has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D1 are ISO 200 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 200-6400.

XT versus D1 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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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 XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.8637 60
2.
 
Nikon D1 APS-C 2.6 2000 1312none...... ..
3.
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.3971 78
4.
 
Canon T6i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.0919 71
5.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.0915 70
6.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.2722 62
7.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.5663 63
8.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.8692 61
9.
 
Canon 30D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.510.8736 59
10.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.0664 62
11.
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.0721 62
12.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.8544 55
13.
 
Nikon D300S APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.512.2787 70
14.
 
Nikon D300 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.112.0679 67
15.
 
Nikon D2Xs APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.210.9489 59
16.
 
Nikon D200 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.5583 64
17.
 
Nikon D1X APS-C 5.9 3008 1960none...... ..
Neither the XT nor the D1 offer Live View, so that they cannot project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen. Moreover, both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.
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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The XT and the D1 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 D1 offers a wider field of view (96%) than the one in the XT (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the D1 has a higher magnification (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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon XT and Nikon D1 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 XToptical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
2.
 
Nikon D1optical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/16000s 1.5 n n
3.
 
Canon 77Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon T6ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon T6soptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon T1ioptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
8.
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
9.
 
Canon 30Doptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon 20Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
12.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
13.
 
Nikon D300Soptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
14.
 
Nikon D300optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
15.
 
Nikon D2Xsoptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
16.
 
Nikon D200optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
17.
 
Nikon D1Xoptical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/16000s 3.0 n n

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The XT has one, while the D1 does not. While the built-in flash of the XT is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the XT and the D1 write their files to Compact Flash 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 XT and Nikon D1 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 XTY-----2.0---
2.
 
Nikon D1Y-----FW---
3.
 
Canon 77DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
4.
 
Canon T6iYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon T6sYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T1iYmonomono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon 30DY-----2.0---
10.
 
Canon XTiY-----2.0---
11.
 
Canon 20DY-----1.1---
12.
 
Canon RebelY-----1.1---
13.
 
Nikon D300SYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D300Y----mini2.0---
15.
 
Nikon D2XsY-----2.0---
16.
 
Nikon D200Y-----2.0---
17.
 
Nikon D1XY-----FW---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon D1 (unlike the XT) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the XT and the D1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D1 was replaced by the Nikon D1X, while the XT was followed by the Canon Xti. 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? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon XT and the Nikon D1? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel XT:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (8 vs 2.6MP) with a 74% higher linear resolution.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 1.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (127x94mm vs 157x153mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 560g or 51 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 (84 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 5 years and 8 months of technical progress since the D1 launch.

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D1:

  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (96% vs 95%).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.53x vs 0.49x).
  • Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/16000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
  • 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 around for much longer (launched in June 1999).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D1 emerges as the winner of the match-up (9 : 7 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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.

XT 07:09 D1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon XT and the Nikon D1 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the XT or the D1 perform in practice. 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.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. 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 XT..80/100+ +o.. Feb 2005 899 i
2.
 
Nikon D1....+ +.... Jun 1999 5,499 i
3.
 
Canon 77D4.5/5..82/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i
4.
 
Canon T6i5/5..75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749 i
5.
 
Canon T6s5/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649 i
6.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849 i
7.
 
Canon T1i..+ +74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799 i
8.
 
Canon XSi..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799 i
9.
 
Canon 30D..+ ++ +o.. Feb 2006 1,399 i
10.
 
Canon XTi..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799 i
11.
 
Canon 20D....+ +.... Aug 2004 1,499 i
12.
 
Canon Rebel....+ +.... Aug 2003 899 i
13.
 
Nikon D300S5/5+ +82/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2009 1,799 i
14.
 
Nikon D300..+ ++ +5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,799 i
15.
 
Nikon D2Xs.......... Jun 2006 4,699 i
16.
 
Nikon D200..+ ++ +o.. Nov 2005 1,699 i
17.
 
Nikon D1X....+ +.... Feb 2001 5,999 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods 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 XT:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D1:
Check Ebay offers

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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon XT vs Nikon D1

    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 XT Nikon D1
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2005 June 1999
    Launch Price USD 899 USD 5,499
    Sensor Specs Canon XT Nikon D1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.2 x 14.8 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 328.56 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.7 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 8 Megapixels 2.6 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3456 x 2304 pixels 2000 x 1312 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.41 μm 11.93 μm
    Pixel Density 2.42 MP/cm2 0.71 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 200 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 200 - 6,400 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 60 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.8 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 637 ..
    Screen Specs Canon XT Nikon D1
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 96%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.49x 0.53x
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display Control Panel
    Rear LCD Size 1.8inch 2.0inch
    LCD Resolution 115k dots 120k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon XT Nikon D1
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 1.5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon XT Nikon D1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash no PC Sync PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 Firewire
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon XT Nikon D1
    Environmental Sealingnot weather sealedWeathersealed body
    Battery Type NB-2LH EN-4
    Body Dimensions 127 x 94 x 64 mm
    (5.0 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
    157 x 153 x 85 mm
    (6.2 x 6.0 x 3.3 in)
    Camera Weight 540 g (19.0 oz) 1100 g (38.8 oz)

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