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Canon XT vs Sony RX1R

The Canon EOS Rebel XT (called Canon 350D in some regions) and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2005 and June 2013. The XT is a DSLR, while the RX1R is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (XT) and a full frame (RX1R) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 8 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 24 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
Sony RX1R
Canon XT   Sony RX1R
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Canon EF mount lenses 35mm f/2.0
8 MP, APS-C Sensor 24 MP, Full Frame Sensor
no Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 100-25,600 (50 - 102,400)
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
1.8 LCD, 115k dots 3.0 LCD, 1229k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
400 shots per battery charge270 shots per battery charge
127 x 94 x 64 mm, 540 g 113 x 65 x 70 mm, 482 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel XT and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R? 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 Sony RX1R are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear 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 RX1R is only available in black.

Size Canon XT vs Sony RX1R
Compare XT versus RX1R top
Comparison XT or RX1R rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX1R is considerably smaller (38 percent) than the Canon XT. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the XT nor the RX1R are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the RX1R has a lens built in, whereas the XT 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 XT and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the XT gets 400 shots out of its NB-2LH battery, while the RX1R can take 270 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack. The power pack in the RX1R can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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 899i
2.
 
Sony RX1R 113 mm 65 mm 70 mm 482 g 270 n Jun 2013 2,799i
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.
 
Leica X Typ 113 133 mm 73 mm 78 mm 486 g 350 n Sep 2014 2,295i
14.
 
Nikon D3300 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 430 g 700 n Jan 2014 499i
15.
 
Sony RX1R II 113 mm 65 mm 72 mm 507 g 220 n Oct 2015 3,299 i
16.
 
Sony A3000 128 mm 91 mm 85 mm 411 g 470 n Aug 2013 329i
17.
 
Sony RX1 113 mm 65 mm 70 mm 482 g 270 n Sep 2012 2,799i
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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. 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 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. 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon XT features an APS-C sensor and the Sony RX1R a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the RX1R is 160 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon XT and Sony RX1R sensor measures

With 24MP, the RX1R offers a higher resolution than the XT (8MP), but the RX1R has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.97μm versus 6.41μm for the XT). Yet, the RX1R is a much more recent model (by 8 years and 4 months) than the XT, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the RX1R has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Sony RX1R implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the RX1R for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 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 corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-102400.

XT versus RX1R MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 consideration, the RX1R offers substantially better image quality than the XT (overall score 31 points higher). The advantage is based on 3.2 bits higher color depth, 2.8 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2 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.
 
Sony RX1R Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.013.6253791
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.
 
Leica X Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.612.8149178
14.
 
Nikon D3300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582
15.
 
Sony RX1R II Full Frame 42.2 7952 53041080/60p25.813.9320497
16.
 
Sony A3000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.712.8106878
17.
 
Sony RX1 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.114.3253493
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The RX1R indeed provides for movie recording, while the XT does not. The highest resolution format that the RX1R can use is 1080/60p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the XT has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the RX1R relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the RX1R can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the FDA-EV1MK. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon XT, the Sony RX1R, and comparable cameras.

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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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon XToptical n1.8 / 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
2.
 
Sony RX1Roptional n3.0 / 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon 77Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon T6ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon T6soptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon T4ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon T1ioptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
8.
 
Canon XSioptical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
9.
 
Canon 30Doptical Y2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon XTioptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon 20Doptical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
12.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
13.
 
Leica X Typ 113optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
14.
 
Nikon D3300optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
15.
 
Sony RX1R II2360 n3.0 / 1229 tilting n 1/4000s 5.0 n n
16.
 
Sony A3000202 n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
17.
 
Sony RX1optional n3.0 / 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n

The XT writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the RX1R uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.

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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R 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.
 
Sony RX1RYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
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 20DY- / ----1.1---
12.
 
Canon RebelY- / ----1.1---
13.
 
Leica X Typ 113Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D3300Ymono / monoY-mini2.0---
15.
 
Sony RX1R IIYstereo / monoY-micro2.0YY-
16.
 
Sony A3000Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
17.
 
Sony RX1Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---

Both the XT and the RX1R have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XT was replaced by the Canon Xti, while the RX1R was followed by the Sony RX1R II. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Sony websites.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon XT or the Sony RX1R – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? 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:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (400 versus 270) on a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2005).

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 8MP), which boosts linear resolution by 74%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (31 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (3.2 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (2.8 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2 stops ISO advantage).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60p video.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 115k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the XT requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (113x65mm vs 127x94mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the XT).
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • More modern: Reflects 8 years and 4 months of technical progress since the XT launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the RX1R is the clear winner of the contest (15 : 5 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.

XT 05:15 RX1R

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon XT and the Sony RX1R place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Prime Lens Compact 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the XT or the RX1R 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 where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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 899i
2.
 
Sony RX1R5/5......4/54.5/5 Jun 2013 2,799i
3.
 
Canon 77D4.5/5..4/582/1004.5/54/5 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.
 
Leica X Typ 1133.5/5......3.5/54/5 Sep 2014 2,295i
14.
 
Nikon D33003/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499i
15.
 
Sony RX1R II5/5....82/100..4.5/5 Oct 2015 3,299 i
16.
 
Sony A30003/5+....4/54/5 Aug 2013 329i
17.
 
Sony RX15/5....79/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,799i
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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon XT:
Check Ebay offers
Sony RX1R:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, 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 XT vs Sony RX1R

    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 Sony RX1R
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses 35mm f/2.0
    Launch Date February 2005 June 2013
    Launch Price USD 899 USD 2,799
    Sensor Specs Canon XT Sony RX1R
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.2 x 14.8 mm 35.8 x 23.9 mm
    Sensor Area 328.56 mm2 855.62 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.7 mm 43 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 8 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3456 x 2304 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.41 μm 5.97 μm
    Pixel Density 2.42 MP/cm2 2.80 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 50 - 102,400 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC II BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 60 91
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.8 25.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 13.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 637 2537
    Screen Specs Canon XT Sony RX1R
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.49x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 1.8inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 115k dots 1229k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon XT Sony RX1R
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon XT Sony RX1R
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon XT Sony RX1R
    Battery Type NB-2LH NP-BX1
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge270 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 127 x 94 x 64 mm
    (5.0 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
    113 x 65 x 70 mm
    (4.4 x 2.6 x 2.8 in)
    Camera Weight 540 g (19.0 oz) 482 g (17.0 oz)

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