Canon XT vs Olympus E-510
The Canon EOS Rebel XT (called Canon 350D in some regions) and the Olympus E-510 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2005 and March 2007. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (XT) and a Four Thirds (E-510) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 8 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 10 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Canon XT||Olympus E-510|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Canon EF mount lenses||Four Thirds lenses|
|8 MP, APS-C Sensor||10 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|no Video||no Video|
|ISO 100-1,600||ISO 100-1,600|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|1.8 LCD, 115k dots||2.5 LCD, 215k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|3 shutter flaps per second||3 shutter flaps per second|
|Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|400 shots per battery charge||750 shots per battery charge|
|127 x 94 x 64 mm, 540 g||136 x 92 x 68 mm, 538 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel XT and the Olympus E-510? 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.
The physical size and weight of the Canon XT and the Olympus E-510 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. 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 E-510 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-510 is somewhat larger (5 percent) than the Canon XT. However, the E-510 is slightly lighter (0 percent) than the XT. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the XT nor the E-510 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-510).
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.
|Canon XT||5.0 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||19.0 oz||400||n||Feb 2005||899|
|Olympus E-510||5.4 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||19.0 oz||750||n||Mar 2007||799|
|Canon 77D||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||19.0 oz||600||n||Feb 2017||899|
|Canon T6i||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||19.6 oz||440||n||Feb 2015||749|
|Canon T6s||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||19.9 oz||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|Canon T4i||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.3 oz||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|Canon T1i||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.3 oz||400||n||Mar 2009||799|
|Canon XSi||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.5 oz||500||n||Jan 2008||799|
|Canon 30D||5.7 in||4.2 in||2.9 in||27.7 oz||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399|
|Canon XTi||5.0 in||3.3 in||2.6 in||19.6 oz||370||n||Aug 2006||799|
|Canon 20D||5.7 in||4.2 in||2.8 in||27.2 oz||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499|
|Canon Rebel||5.6 in||3.9 in||2.8 in||22.9 oz||400||n||Aug 2003||899|
|Olympus E-620||5.1 in||3.7 in||2.4 in||18.4 oz||500||n||Feb 2009||699|
|Olympus E-520||5.4 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||18.9 oz||750||n||May 2008||699|
|Olympus E-410||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.3 oz||500||n||Mar 2007||699|
|Olympus E-400||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.3 oz||500||n||Sep 2006||699|
|Olympus E-500||5.1 in||3.7 in||2.6 in||16.9 oz||750||n||Sep 2005||599|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
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 E-510 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to 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-510 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-510 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-510 offers a 4:3 aspect.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the E-510 offers a higher resolution of 10 megapixels, compared with 8 MP of the XT. 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 4.74μm versus 6.41μm for the XT). However, it should be noted that the E-510 is much more recent (by 2 years) than the XT, 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 Olympus E-510 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the E-510 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon XT are 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm for good quality, 13.8 x 9.2 inches or 35.1 x 23.4 cm for very good quality, and 11.5 x 7.7 inches or 29.3 x 19.5 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon EOS Rebel XT has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The Olympus E-510 offers exactly the same ISO settings.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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. Of the two cameras under review, the XT has a notably higher overall DXO score than the E-510 (overall score 8 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.6 bits higher color depth, 0.8 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.5 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.
|Olympus E-510||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.2||10.0||442||52|
|Olympus E-620||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||none||21.3||10.3||536||55|
|Olympus E-520||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.4||10.4||548||55|
|Olympus E-410||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.1||10.0||494||51|
|Olympus E-400||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||..||..||..||..|
|Olympus E-500||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||none||..||..||..||..|
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The XT and the E-510 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 XT has a higher magnification than the one of the E-510 (0.49x vs 0.46x), 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-510 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
One feature that differentiates the E-510 and the XT is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The E-510 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the XT offers no blur reduction with lenses that themselves do not provide optical image stabilization.
The XT writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the E-510 uses Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. The E-510 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the XT only has one slot.
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 E-510 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
Both the XT and the E-510 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XT was replaced by the Canon Xti, while the E-510 was followed by the Olympus E-520. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Olympus websites.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon XT or the Olympus E-510 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel XT:
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (8 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.8 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.5 stops ISO advantage).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.49x vs 0.46x).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2005).
Advantages of the Olympus E-510:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (10 vs 8MP), which boosts linear resolution by 10%.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.5" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (215k vs 115k dots).
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (750 versus 400) out of a single battery charge.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- 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 modern: Reflects 2 years of technical progress since the XT launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the E-510 emerges as the winner of the match-up (8 : 5 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 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon XT and the Olympus E-510 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the XT and the E-510 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.
This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.
|Canon XT||80/100||+ +||o||o||..||Feb 2005||899|
|Olympus E-510||89/100||+ +||3.5/5||o||4.5/5||Mar 2007||799|
|Canon 77D||..||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899|
|Canon T6i||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749|
|Canon T6s||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|Canon T4i||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|Canon T1i||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799|
|Canon XSi||+ +||+ +||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799|
|Canon 30D||+ +||+ +||o||o||..||Feb 2006||1,399|
|Canon XTi||+ +||+ +||o||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2006||799|
|Canon 20D||..||+ +||..||o||..||Aug 2004||1,499|
|Canon Rebel||..||+ +||..||o||..||Aug 2003||899|
|Olympus E-620||88/100||72/100||4.5/5||o||5/5||Feb 2009||699|
|Olympus E-520||87/100||+ +||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||May 2008||699|
|Olympus E-410||86/100||+ +||4/5||o||4.5/5||Mar 2007||699|
|Olympus E-400||85/100||..||4/5||..||4/5||Sep 2006||699|
|Olympus E-500||76/100||+ +||..||..||..||Sep 2005||599|
|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 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.
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.
- Canon 1D Mark III vs Canon XT
- Canon 5D Mark III vs Canon XT
- Canon T6i vs Canon XT
- Canon XT vs Panasonic GF2
- Canon XT vs Panasonic TS7
- Canon XT vs Pentax K-1
- Canon XT vs Sony NEX-5R
- Canon XT vs Sony NEX-6
- Fujifilm X-T10 vs Olympus E-510
- Nikon B600 vs Olympus E-510
- Nikon D3 vs Olympus E-510
- Olympus E-510 vs Sony A58
Specifications: Canon XT vs Olympus E-510
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 Model||Canon XT||Olympus E-510|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2005||March 2007|
|Launch Price||USD 899||USD 799|
|Sensor Specs||Canon XT||Olympus E-510|
|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|
|Sensor Resolution||8 Megapixels||10 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3456 x 2304 pixels||3648 x 2736 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.41 μm||4.74 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.42 MP/cm2||4.44 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC II||TruePic III|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||60||52|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.8||21.2|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.8||10.0|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||637||442|
|Screen Specs||Canon XT||Olympus E-510|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||1.8inch||2.5inch|
|LCD Resolution||115k dots||215k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon XT||Olympus E-510|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||CF or XD cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon XT||Olympus E-510|
|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-510|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge||750 shots per charge|
127 x 94 x 64 mm
(5.0 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
136 x 92 x 68 mm
(5.4 x 3.6 x 2.7 in)
|Camera Weight||540 g (19.0 oz)||538 g (19.0 oz)|
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