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Canon XTi vs Panasonic GF5

The Canon EOS Rebel XTi (called Canon 400D in some regions) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2006 and April 2012. The XTi is a DSLR, while the GF5 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (XTi) and a Four Thirds (GF5) 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 GF5
Canon XTi   Panasonic GF5
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 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 160-6,400 (160 - 12,800)
Optical viewfinder No viewfinder, LCD framing
2.5 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 920k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed touchscreen
3 shutter flaps per second 4 shutter flaps per second
370 shots per battery charge360 shots per battery charge
127 x 84 x 65 mm, 556 g 108 x 67 x 37 mm, 267 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-GF5? 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 GF5. 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The GF5 can be obtained in three different colors (black, red, white), while the XTi is only available in black.

Size Canon XTi vs Panasonic GF5
Compare XTi versus GF5 top
Comparison XTi or GF5 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GF5 is considerably smaller (32 percent) than the Canon XTi. Moreover, the GF5 is substantially lighter (52 percent) than the XTi. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the XTi nor the GF5 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 (GF5). Mirrorless cameras, such as the GF5, 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 GF5 can take 360 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLE9 power pack.

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 XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
2.
 
Panasonic GF5 108 mm 67 mm 37 mm 267 g 360 n Apr 2012 499i
3.
 
Canon T6i 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749i
4.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
5.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
6.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
7.
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699i
8.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
9.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
10.
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299i
11.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899i
12.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899i
13.
 
Panasonic G6 122 mm 85 mm 71 mm 390 g 340 n Apr 2013 599i
14.
 
Panasonic GF6 111 mm 65 mm 38 mm 323 g 340 n Apr 2013 499i
15.
 
Panasonic LX7 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Jul 2012 499i
16.
 
Panasonic GF3 108 mm 67 mm 32 mm 264 g 300 n Jun 2011 549i
17.
 
Panasonic GF2 113 mm 68 mm 33 mm 310 g 300 n Nov 2010 549i
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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The GF5 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 38 percent) than the XTi, which puts it into a different 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 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 GF5 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the GF5 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 GF5 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon XTi and Panasonic GF5 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the GF5 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 GF5 is much more recent (by 5 years and 7 months) 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 GF5 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the GF5 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-GF5 are ISO 160 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 160-12800.

XTi versus GF5 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"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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 2592none22.111.066462
2.
 
Panasonic GF5 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.411.661861
3.
 
Canon T6i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
4.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
5.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
6.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
7.
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
8.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
9.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
10.
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
11.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
12.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
13.
 
Panasonic G6 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961
14.
 
Panasonic GF6 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i20.710.662254
15.
 
Panasonic LX7 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750
16.
 
Panasonic GF3 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.610.045849
17.
 
Panasonic GF2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.210.350654

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The GF5 indeed provides for movie recording, while the XTi does not. The highest resolution format that the GF5 can use is 1080/60i.

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 GF5 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon XTi, the Panasonic GF5, 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 XTioptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
2.
 
Panasonic GF5none n3.0 / 920 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon T6ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon T6soptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon T4ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon T3optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon T2ioptical n3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
8.
 
Canon T1ioptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
9.
 
Canon XSioptical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
10.
 
Canon 40Doptical Y3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
11.
 
Canon XToptical n1.8 / 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
12.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
13.
 
Panasonic G61440 n3.0 / 1036 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
14.
 
Panasonic GF6none n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
15.
 
Panasonic LX7optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y
16.
 
Panasonic GF3none n3.0 / 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 3.2 Y n
17.
 
Panasonic GF2optional n3.0 / 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The GF5 has a touchscreen, while the XTi has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The XTi writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the GF5 uses SDXC 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 XTi and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 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 XTiY- / ----2.0---
2.
 
Panasonic GF5-stereo / mono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon T6iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon T6sYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon T4iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon T3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T2iYstereo / -Y-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T1iYmono / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon XSiY- / ---mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon 40DY- / ----2.0---
11.
 
Canon XTY- / ----2.0---
12.
 
Canon RebelY- / ----1.1---
13.
 
Panasonic G6Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
14.
 
Panasonic GF6-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
15.
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic GF3-stereo / mono--mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic GF2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the XTi has a hotshoe, while the GF5 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

Both the XTi and the GF5 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XTi was replaced by the Canon Xsi, while the GF5 was followed by the Panasonic GF6. 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.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon XTi and the Panasonic GF5? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

ilogo

Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel XTi:

  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2006).

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (12 vs 10.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 7%.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.6 EV of extra DR).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60i 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 (920k vs 230k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (108x67mm vs 127x84mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 289g or 52 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (38 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 5 years and 7 months of technical progress since the XTi launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GF5 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 3 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

XTi 03:12 GF5

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon XTi and the Panasonic GF5 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 comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the XTi or the GF5. 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 XTi..+ +..+ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
2.
 
Panasonic GF53/5......4.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 499i
3.
 
Canon T6i5/5....75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749i
4.
 
Canon T6s5/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
5.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
6.
 
Canon T3..80/100..69/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
7.
 
Canon T2i..+ +..77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
8.
 
Canon T1i..+ +..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
9.
 
Canon XSi..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
10.
 
Canon 40D..+ +..+ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299i
11.
 
Canon XT..80/100..+ +o.. Feb 2005 899i
12.
 
Canon Rebel......+ +.... Aug 2003 899i
13.
 
Panasonic G64/5+ +....5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 599i
14.
 
Panasonic GF6..+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 499i
15.
 
Panasonic LX73/5+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499i
16.
 
Panasonic GF33/582/100..71/1004.5/54/5 Jun 2011 549i
17.
 
Panasonic GF23/582/100..70/1004.5/54.5/5 Nov 2010 549i
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. 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. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon XTi:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic GF5:
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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon XTi vs Panasonic GF5

    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 GF5
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date August 2006 April 2012
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Canon XTi Panasonic GF5
    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 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 160 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 160 - 12,800 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC II Venus FHD
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 62 61
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 21.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 11.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 664 618
    Screen Specs Canon XTi Panasonic GF5
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.49x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.5inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon XTi Panasonic GF5
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 4 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon XTi Panasonic GF5
    External Flash Hotshoe no 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 GF5
    Battery Type NB-2LH DMW-BLE9
    Battery Life (CIPA)370 shots per charge360 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 127 x 84 x 65 mm
    (5.0 x 3.3 x 2.6 in)
    108 x 67 x 37 mm
    (4.3 x 2.6 x 1.5 in)
    Camera Weight 556 g (19.6 oz) 267 g (9.4 oz)

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