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Canon XT vs Olympus E-300

The Canon EOS Rebel XT (called Canon 350D in some regions) and the Olympus Evolt E-300 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2005 and September 2004. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (XT) and a Four Thirds (E-300) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 8 megapixels.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon XT
versus
Olympus E-300
Canon XT   Olympus E-300
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
8 MP – APS-C sensor 8 MP – Four Thirds sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 100-400 (100 - 1,600)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
1.8" LCD – 115k dots 1.8" LCD – 134k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 2.5 shutter flaps per second
400 shots per battery charge750 shots per battery charge
127 x 94 x 64 mm, 540 g 147 x 85 x 64 mm, 624 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel XT and the Olympus Evolt E-300? 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 Olympus E-300. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The XT can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the E-300 is only available in black.

Size Canon XT vs Olympus E-300
Compare XT versus E-300 top
Comparison XT or E-300 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-300 is somewhat larger (5 percent) than the Canon XT. Moreover, the E-300 is markedly heavier (16 percent) than the XT. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the XT nor the E-300 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. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (XT) and the Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-300).

Concerning battery life, the XT gets 400 shots out of its NB-2LH battery, while the E-300 can take 750 images on a single charge of its BLM-1 power pack.

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 XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899ebay.com
2.
 
Olympus E-300 147 mm 85 mm 64 mm 624 g 750 n Sep 2004 799ebay.com
3.
 
Canon 77D 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899ebay.com
4.
 
Canon T6i 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749ebay.com
5.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649ebay.com
6.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849ebay.com
7.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799ebay.com
8.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799ebay.com
9.
 
Canon 30D 144 mm 106 mm 74 mm 785 g 750 n Feb 2006 1,399ebay.com
10.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799ebay.com
11.
 
Canon 350D 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899ebay.com
12.
 
Canon 20D 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 n Aug 2004 1,499ebay.com
13.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899ebay.com
14.
 
Leica Digilux 3 146 mm 87 mm 77 mm 606 g 750 n Sep 2006 1,499ebay.com
15.
 
Olympus E-330 140 mm 87 mm 72 mm 637 g 750 n Jan 2006 999ebay.com
16.
 
Olympus E-500 130 mm 95 mm 66 mm 479 g 750 n Sep 2005 599ebay.com
17.
 
Panasonic L1 146 mm 87 mm 64 mm 606 g 750 n Feb 2006 999ebay.com
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 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 E-300 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 11 percent) than the XT, 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon XT features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-300 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-300 is 32 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 2.0. The sensor in the XT has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-300 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon XT and Olympus E-300 sensor measures

Even though the XT has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 8 megapixels. This implies that the XT has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 6.41μm versus 5.30μm for the E-300), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the XT is a somewhat more recent model (by 4 months) than the E-300, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The Canon EOS Rebel XT has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus Evolt E-300 are ISO 100 to ISO 400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-1600.

In terms of underlying technology, the XT is build around a CMOS sensor, while the E-300 uses a CCD imager. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

XT versus E-300 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. 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.
 
Olympus E-300 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none20.410.1-4048
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 350D APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
12.
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162
13.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
14.
 
Leica Digilux 3 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none21.010.612753
15.
 
Olympus E-330 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none20.810.47352
16.
 
Olympus E-500 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none20.710.34551
17.
 
Panasonic L1 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none20.810.48052
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.
Neither the XT nor the E-300 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.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The XT and the E-300 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 E-300 has a higher magnification than the one of the XT (0.5x vs 0.49x), 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 XT and Olympus E-300 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)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon XToptical n1.8 / 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
2.
 
Olympus E-300optical n1.8 / 134 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
3.
 
Canon 77Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0/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 T4ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
7.
 
Canon T1ioptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4/s Y n
8.
 
Canon XSioptical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
9.
 
Canon 30Doptical Y2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0/s Y n
10.
 
Canon XTioptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
11.
 
Canon 350Doptical n1.8 / 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
12.
 
Canon 20Doptical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0/s Y n
13.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
14.
 
Leica Digilux 3optical n2.5 / 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
15.
 
Olympus E-330optical n2.5 / 215 tilting n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
16.
 
Olympus E-500optical n2.5 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
17.
 
Panasonic L1optical n2.5 / 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

The XT writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the E-300 uses Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. The E-300 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the XT only has one slot.

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 Olympus Evolt E-300 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 XTY- / ----2.0---
2.
 
Olympus E-300Y- / ----2.0---
3.
 
Canon 77DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
4.
 
Canon T6iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon T6sYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon T4iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T1iYmono / mono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon XSiY- / ---mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon 30DY- / ----2.0---
10.
 
Canon XTiY- / ----2.0---
11.
 
Canon 350DY- / ----2.0---
12.
 
Canon 20DY- / ----1.1---
13.
 
Canon RebelY- / ----1.1---
14.
 
Leica Digilux 3Ystereo / mono---2.0---
15.
 
Olympus E-330Y- / ----2.0---
16.
 
Olympus E-500Y- / ----2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic L1Y- / ----2.0---

Both the XT and the E-300 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The E-300 was replaced by the Olympus E-330, while the XT was followed by the Canon Xti. Further information on the features and operation of the XT and E-300 can be found, respectively, in the Canon XT Manual (free pdf) or the online Olympus E-300 Manual.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon XT and the Olympus E-300? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel XT:

  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 84g or 13 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 4 months after the E-300).

ilogo

Arguments in favor of the Olympus Evolt E-300:

  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.5x vs 0.49x).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (134k vs 115k dots).
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (750 versus 400) out of a single battery charge.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (11 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2004).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the XT comes out slightly ahead of the E-300 (7 : 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 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 07:06 E-300

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon XT and the Olympus E-300 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 remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the XT or the E-300. 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 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], 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 XT..80/100..+ +o.. Feb 2005 899ebay.com
2.
 
Olympus E-300......+o4.5/5 Sep 2004 799ebay.com
3.
 
Canon 77D4.5/5..4/582/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899ebay.com
4.
 
Canon T6i5/5....75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749ebay.com
5.
 
Canon T6s5/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649ebay.com
6.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849ebay.com
7.
 
Canon T1i..+ +..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799ebay.com
8.
 
Canon XSi..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799ebay.com
9.
 
Canon 30D..+ +..+ +o.. Feb 2006 1,399ebay.com
10.
 
Canon XTi..+ +..+ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799ebay.com
11.
 
Canon 350D..80/100..+ +o.. Feb 2005 899ebay.com
12.
 
Canon 20D......+ +.... Aug 2004 1,499ebay.com
13.
 
Canon Rebel......+ +.... Aug 2003 899ebay.com
14.
 
Leica Digilux 3............ Sep 2006 1,499ebay.com
15.
 
Olympus E-330......+o.. Jan 2006 999ebay.com
16.
 
Olympus E-500..76/100..+ +.... Sep 2005 599ebay.com
17.
 
Panasonic L1..85/100..+..3.5/5 Feb 2006 999ebay.com
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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

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Check E-300 offers at
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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 your choice using the following search menu. 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 Olympus E-300

    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 Olympus E-300
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date February 2005 September 2004
    Launch Price USD 899 USD 799
    Sensor Specs Canon XT Olympus E-300
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.2 x 14.8 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 328.56 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.7 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 8 Megapixels 8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3456 x 2304 pixels 3264 x 2448 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.41 μm 5.30 μm
    Pixel Density 2.42 MP/cm2 3.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 400 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100 - 1,600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC II TruePic
    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 Olympus E-300
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.49x 0.5x
    Rear LCD Size 1.8inch 1.8inch
    LCD Resolution 115k dots 134k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon XT Olympus E-300
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 2.5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards CF or XD cards
    Single or Dual Card Slots Single card slot Dual card slots
    Connectivity Specs Canon XT Olympus E-300
    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 Olympus E-300
    Battery Type NB-2LH BLM-1
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge750 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 127 x 94 x 64 mm
    (5.0 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
    147 x 85 x 64 mm
    (5.8 x 3.3 x 2.5 in)
    Camera Weight 540 g (19.0 oz) 624 g (22.0 oz)
    logo
    Check XT offers at
    ebay.com
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    Check E-300 offers at
    ebay.com

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