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Canon XTi vs Panasonic GF1

The Canon EOS Rebel XTi (called Canon 400D in some regions) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2006 and September 2009. The XTi is a DSLR, while the GF1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (XTi) and a Four Thirds (GF1) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 10.1 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 12 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
Panasonic GF1
Canon XTi Panasonic GF1
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
10.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 12 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
no Video 720/30p Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 100-3,200
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
2.5 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
370 shots per battery charge380 shots per battery charge
127 x 84 x 65 mm, 556 g 119 x 71 x 36 mm, 385 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel XTi and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1? 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 Panasonic GF1. 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.

Size Canon XTi vs Panasonic GF1
Compare XTi versus GF1 top
Comparison XTi or GF1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GF1 is notably smaller (21 percent) than the Canon XTi. Moreover, the GF1 is markedly lighter (31 percent) than the XTi. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the XTi nor the GF1 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 Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (GF1). Mirrorless cameras, such as the GF1, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.

Concerning battery life, the XTi gets 370 shots out of its NB-2LH battery, while the GF1 can take 380 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLB13 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 XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799 i
2.
 
Panasonic GF1 119 mm 71 mm 36 mm 385 g 380 n Sep 2009 749 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.
 
Panasonic GX1 116 mm 68 mm 39 mm 318 g 320 n Nov 2011 699 i
14.
 
Panasonic G10 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 388 g 380 n Mar 2010 499 i
15.
 
Panasonic G2 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 428 g 360 n Mar 2010 599 i
16.
 
Panasonic GH1 124 mm 90 mm 45 mm 385 g 300 n Mar 2009 899 i
17.
 
Panasonic G1 124 mm 84 mm 45 mm 360 g 410 n Sep 2008 599 i
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 GF1 was somewhat cheaper (by 6 percent) than the XTi at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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 imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon XTi features an APS-C sensor and the Panasonic GF1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the GF1 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 GF1 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon XTi and Panasonic GF1 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the GF1 offers a higher resolution of 12 megapixels, compared with 10.1 MP of the XTi. 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 4.33μm versus 5.71μm for the XTi). However, it should be noted that the GF1 is much more recent (by 3 years) than the XTi, 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 Panasonic GF1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the GF1 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon XTi are 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.4 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.6 x 10.4 inches or 39.5 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 13 x 8.6 inches or 32.9 x 21.9 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

XTi versus GF1 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 XTi has a notably higher overall DXO score than the GF1 (overall score 8 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.9 bits higher color depth, 0.7 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.4 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 XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.0664 62
2.
 
Panasonic GF1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.3513 54
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.
 
Panasonic GX1 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p20.810.6703 55
14.
 
Panasonic G10 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.1411 52
15.
 
Panasonic G2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.3493 53
16.
 
Panasonic GH1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/24p21.611.6772 64
17.
 
Panasonic G1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000none21.110.3463 53

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The GF1 indeed provides for movie recording, while the XTi does not. The highest resolution format that the GF1 can use is 720/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the XTi has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the GF1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the GF1 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the DMW-LVF1. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon XTi, the Panasonic GF1, 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 XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
2.
 
Panasonic GF1optional n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 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.
 
Panasonic GX1optional n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
14.
 
Panasonic G10202 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
15.
 
Panasonic G21440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
16.
 
Panasonic GH11440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
17.
 
Panasonic G11440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n

The XTi writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the GF1 uses SDHC 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 XTi and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 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.
 
Panasonic GF1Ymonomono--mini2.0---
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.
 
Panasonic GX1Ystereomono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Panasonic G10Ymono---mini2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic G2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic GH1Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic G1Y----mini2.0---

Both the XTi and the GF1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XTi was replaced by the Canon Xsi, while the GF1 was followed by the Panasonic DMC-GF2. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Panasonic websites.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon XTi better than the Panasonic GF1 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 XTi:

  • 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 (0.7 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.4 stops ISO advantage).
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2006).

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Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (12 vs 10.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 7%.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 720/30p video.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (460k vs 230k dots).
  • More compact: Is smaller (119x71mm vs 127x84mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 171g or 31 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years of technical progress since the XTi launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GF1 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 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.

XTi 05:08 GF1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon XTi and the Panasonic GF1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings 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 XTi or the GF1 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 XTi..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799 i
2.
 
Panasonic GF1..85/10069/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2009 749 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.
 
Panasonic GX13/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Nov 2011 699 i
14.
 
Panasonic G103/5..70/1004/54/5 Mar 2010 499 i
15.
 
Panasonic G2....72/1004/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599 i
16.
 
Panasonic GH1..+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 899 i
17.
 
Panasonic G1..+ +70/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2008 599 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. 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 XTi:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic GF1:
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 XTi vs Panasonic GF1

    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 Panasonic GF1
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date August 2006 September 2009
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 749
    Sensor Specs Canon XTi Panasonic GF1
    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 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3888 x 2592 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.71 μm 4.33 μm
    Pixel Density 3.07 MP/cm2 5.34 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC II Venus HD
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 62 54
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 21.2
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 10.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 664 513
    Screen Specs Canon XTi Panasonic GF1
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.49x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.5inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon XTi Panasonic GF1
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon XTi Panasonic GF1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon XTi Panasonic GF1
    Battery Type NB-2LH DMW-BLB13
    Battery Life (CIPA)370 shots per charge380 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 127 x 84 x 65 mm
    (5.0 x 3.3 x 2.6 in)
    119 x 71 x 36 mm
    (4.7 x 2.8 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 556 g (19.6 oz) 385 g (13.6 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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