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Canon XT vs Nikon D70s

The Canon EOS Rebel XT (called Canon 350D in some regions) and the Nikon D70s are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2005 and April 2005. 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 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 D70s
Canon XT Nikon D70s
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
8 MP, APS-C Sensor 6 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 200-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
1.8 LCD, 115k dots 2.0 LCD, 130k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
400 shots per battery charge500 shots per battery charge
127 x 94 x 64 mm, 540 g 140 x 111 x 78 mm, 679 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel XT and the Nikon D70s? 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 XT and the Nikon D70s. 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The XT can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the D70s is only available in black.

Size Canon XT vs Nikon D70s
Compare XT versus D70s top
Comparison XT or D70s rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D70s is notably larger (30 percent) than the Canon XT. Moreover, the D70s is markedly heavier (26 percent) than the XT. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the XT nor the D70s 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. 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 (D70s).

Concerning battery life, the XT gets 400 shots out of its NB-2LH battery, while the D70s can take 500 images on a single charge of its EN-EL3a power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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 899i
2.
 
Nikon D70s 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899i
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 749i
5.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
6.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
7.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
8.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
9.
 
Canon 30D 144 mm 106 mm 74 mm 785 g 750 n Feb 2006 1,399i
10.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
11.
 
Canon 20D 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 n Aug 2004 1,499i
12.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899i
13.
 
Nikon D5300 125 mm 98 mm 76 mm 480 g 600 n Oct 2013 799i
14.
 
Nikon D40 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 470 n Nov 2006 499i
15.
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999i
16.
 
Nikon D50 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749i
17.
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999i
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 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 two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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 sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its 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 D70s 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 D70s sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon XT offers a higher resolution of 8 megapixels, compared with 6 MP of the Nikon D70s. 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 7.85μm for the D70s). It is noteworthy in this context that the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation.

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 D70s are 15 x 10 inches or 38.2 x 25.4 cm for good quality, 12 x 8 inches or 30.6 x 20.3 cm for very good quality, and 10 x 6.7 inches or 25.5 x 16.9 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 D70s are ISO 200 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

XT versus D70s 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"). Of the two cameras under review, the XT has a notably higher overall DXO score than the D70s (overall score 10 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 1.4 bits higher color depth, 0.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.3 stops in additional low light sensitivity. 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 2304none21.810.863760
2.
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
3.
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178
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 T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
7.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
8.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
9.
 
Canon 30D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.510.873659
10.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
11.
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162
12.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
13.
 
Nikon D5300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.9133883
14.
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.056156
15.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461
16.
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.856055
17.
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
Neither the XT nor the D70s 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 D70s 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 D70s has a higher magnification than the one of the XT (0.50x 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 XT, the Nikon D70s, and comparable 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 D70soptical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y 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 D5300optical n 3.2 1037 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
14.
 
Nikon D40optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
15.
 
Nikon D80optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
16.
 
Nikon D50optical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
17.
 
Nikon D70optical n 1.8 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the XT and the D70s 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 D70s 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 D70sY-----2.0---
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 D5300YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
14.
 
Nikon D40Y-----2.0---
15.
 
Nikon D80Y-----2.0---
16.
 
Nikon D50Y-----2.0---
17.
 
Nikon D70Y-----1.0---

Both the XT and the D70s have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XT was replaced by the Canon Xti, while the D70s was followed by the Nikon D80. 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 the Canon XT better than the Nikon D70s or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel XT:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (8 vs 6MP) with a 15% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (10 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.4 bits more color depth).
  • More compact: Is smaller (127x94mm vs 140x111mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 139g or 20 percent) and hence easier to carry around.

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D70s:

  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.50x vs 0.49x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (130k vs 115k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (500 versus 400) out of a single battery charge.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (5 points each). 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 05:05 D70s

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon XT and the Nikon D70s 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 XT or the D70s perform in practice. 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 expert reviews 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 899i
2.
 
Nikon D70s........5/5 Apr 2005 899i
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 749i
5.
 
Canon T6s5/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
6.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
7.
 
Canon T1i..+ +74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
8.
 
Canon XSi..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
9.
 
Canon 30D..+ ++ +o.. Feb 2006 1,399i
10.
 
Canon XTi..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
11.
 
Canon 20D....+ +.... Aug 2004 1,499i
12.
 
Canon Rebel....+ +.... Aug 2003 899i
13.
 
Nikon D53004/5+ +79/1004.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 799i
14.
 
Nikon D40..81/100+ +o4.5/5 Nov 2006 499i
15.
 
Nikon D80..++ +o4.5/5 Aug 2006 999i
16.
 
Nikon D50..78/100+ +4/54.5/5 Apr 2005 749i
17.
 
Nikon D70....+ +.... Jan 2004 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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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 D70s:
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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon XT vs Nikon D70s

    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 D70s
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2005 April 2005
    Launch Price USD 899 USD 899
    Sensor Specs Canon XT Nikon D70s
    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 6 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3456 x 2304 pixels 3008 x 2000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.41 μm 7.85 μm
    Pixel Density 2.42 MP/cm2 1.63 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
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 60 50
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.8 20.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 10.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 637 529
    Screen Specs Canon XT Nikon D70s
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.49x 0.50x
    Rear LCD Size 1.8inch 2.0inch
    LCD Resolution 115k dots 130k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon XT Nikon D70s
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy50 000 actuations50 000 actuations
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon XT Nikon D70s
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon XT Nikon D70s
    Battery Type NB-2LH EN-EL3a
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge500 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 127 x 94 x 64 mm
    (5.0 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
    140 x 111 x 78 mm
    (5.5 x 4.4 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 540 g (19.0 oz) 679 g (24.0 oz)

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

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