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Canon XTi vs Olympus E-300

The Canon EOS Rebel XTi (called Canon 400D in some regions) and the Olympus Evolt E-300 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2006 and September 2004. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (XTi) and a Four Thirds (E-300) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 10.1 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 8 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon XTi
versus
Olympus E-300
Canon XTi   Olympus E-300
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
10.1 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
2.5 LCD, 230k 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
370 shots per battery charge750 shots per battery charge
127 x 84 x 65 mm, 556 g 147 x 85 x 64 mm, 624 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel XTi 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 XTi 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 width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon XTi vs Olympus E-300
Compare XTi versus E-300 top
Comparison XTi 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 notably larger (17 percent) than the Canon XTi. Moreover, the E-300 is markedly heavier (12 percent) than the XTi. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the XTi 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 (XTi) and the Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-300).

Concerning battery life, the XTi gets 370 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 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 XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799 i
2.
 
Olympus E-300 147 mm 85 mm 64 mm 624 g 750 n Sep 2004 799 i
3.
 
Canon T6i 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749 i
4.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649 i
5.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849 i
6.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449 i
7.
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699 i
8.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799 i
9.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799 i
10.
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299 i
11.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899 i
12.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899 i
13.
 
Leica Digilux 3 146 mm 87 mm 77 mm 606 g 750 n Sep 2006 1,499 i
14.
 
Olympus E-330 140 mm 87 mm 72 mm 637 g 750 n Jan 2006 999 i
15.
 
Olympus E-400 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 435 g 500 n Sep 2006 699 i
16.
 
Olympus E-500 130 mm 95 mm 66 mm 479 g 750 n Sep 2005 599 i
17.
 
Olympus E-1 141 mm 104 mm 81 mm 738 g 750 Y Jun 2003 1,699 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 naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same 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.

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. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon XTi 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 XTi has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-300 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Canon XTi and Olympus E-300 sensor measures

With 10.1MP, the XTi offers a higher resolution than the E-300 (8MP), but the XTi nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.71μm versus 5.30μm for the E-300) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the XTi is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 10 months) than the E-300, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Canon XTi implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the XTi for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.4 x 32.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 15.6 x 10.4 inches or 39.5 x 26.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13 x 8.6 inches or 32.9 x 21.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus E-300 are 16.3 x 12.2 inches or 41.5 x 31.1 cm for good quality, 13.1 x 9.8 inches or 33.2 x 24.9 cm for very good quality, and 10.9 x 8.2 inches or 27.6 x 20.7 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS Rebel XTi 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.

XTi versus E-300 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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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 XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.0664 62
2.
 
Olympus E-300 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none...... ..
3.
 
Canon T6i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.0919 71
4.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.0915 70
5.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.2722 62
6.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.0755 62
7.
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.5784 66
8.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.5663 63
9.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.8692 61
10.
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.3703 64
11.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.8637 60
12.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.8544 55
13.
 
Leica Digilux 3 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none...... ..
14.
 
Olympus E-330 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none...... ..
15.
 
Olympus E-400 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none...... ..
16.
 
Olympus E-500 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none...... ..
17.
 
Olympus E-1 Four Thirds 4.9 2560 1920none...... ..
Neither the XTi 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 range of features. The XTi 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 XTi (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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon XTi and Olympus E-300 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 XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
2.
 
Olympus E-300optical n 1.8 134 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
3.
 
Canon T6ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon T6soptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon T2ioptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
8.
 
Canon T1ioptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
9.
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
10.
 
Canon 40Doptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
11.
 
Canon XToptical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
12.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
13.
 
Leica Digilux 3optical n 2.5 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
14.
 
Olympus E-330optical n 2.5 215 tilting n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
15.
 
Olympus E-400optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
16.
 
Olympus E-500optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
17.
 
Olympus E-1optical Y 1.8 134 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n

The XTi 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 XTi 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 XTi 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
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon XTiY-----2.0---
2.
 
Olympus E-300Y-----2.0---
3.
 
Canon T6iYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon T6sYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T2iYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T1iYmonomono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon 40DY-----2.0---
11.
 
Canon XTY-----2.0---
12.
 
Canon RebelY-----1.1---
13.
 
Leica Digilux 3Ystereomono---2.0---
14.
 
Olympus E-330Y-----2.0---
15.
 
Olympus E-400Y-----2.0---
16.
 
Olympus E-500Y-----2.0---
17.
 
Olympus E-1Y-----2.0---

Both the XTi 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 XTi was followed by the Canon Xsi. 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.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon XTi or the Olympus E-300 – 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.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel XTi:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (10.1 vs 8MP) with a 15% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
  • Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
  • 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 (230k vs 134k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (127x84mm vs 147x85mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 68g or 11 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 10 months after the E-300).

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Olympus Evolt E-300:

  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.5x vs 0.49x).
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (750 versus 370) 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 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 XTi is the clear winner of the match-up (11 : 4 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.

XTi 11:04 E-300

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon XTi 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 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 XTi and the E-300 in practical situations. 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], 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 XTi..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799 i
2.
 
Olympus E-300....+o4.5/5 Sep 2004 799 i
3.
 
Canon T6i5/5..75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749 i
4.
 
Canon T6s5/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649 i
5.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849 i
6.
 
Canon T3..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449 i
7.
 
Canon T2i..+ +77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699 i
8.
 
Canon T1i..+ +74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799 i
9.
 
Canon XSi..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799 i
10.
 
Canon 40D..+ ++ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299 i
11.
 
Canon XT..80/100+ +o.. Feb 2005 899 i
12.
 
Canon Rebel....+ +.... Aug 2003 899 i
13.
 
Leica Digilux 3.......... Sep 2006 1,499 i
14.
 
Olympus E-330....+o.. Jan 2006 999 i
15.
 
Olympus E-400..85/100..4/54/5 Sep 2006 699 i
16.
 
Olympus E-500..76/100+ +.... Sep 2005 599 i
17.
 
Olympus E-1....+o.. Jun 2003 1,699 i
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. 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. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon XTi:
Check Ebay offers
Olympus E-300:
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 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 XTi 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 XTi Olympus E-300
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date August 2006 September 2004
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 799
    Sensor Specs Canon XTi Olympus E-300
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    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 10.1 Megapixels 8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3888 x 2592 pixels 3264 x 2448 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.71 μm 5.30 μm
    Pixel Density 3.07 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) 62 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 664 ..
    Screen Specs Canon XTi Olympus E-300
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.49x 0.5x
    Rear LCD Size 2.5inch 1.8inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 134k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon XTi 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
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Dual card slots
    Connectivity Specs Canon XTi 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 XTi Olympus E-300
    Battery Type NB-2LH BLM-1
    Battery Life (CIPA)370 shots per charge750 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 127 x 84 x 65 mm
    (5.0 x 3.3 x 2.6 in)
    147 x 85 x 64 mm
    (5.8 x 3.3 x 2.5 in)
    Camera Weight 556 g (19.6 oz) 624 g (22.0 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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