Nikon D50 vs Canon XT
The Nikon D50 and the Canon EOS Rebel XT (labelled Canon 350D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in April 2005 and February 2005. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 6 megapixels, whereas the Canon provides 8 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Nikon D50||Canon XT|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Nikon F mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|6 MP, APS-C Sensor||8 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|no Video||no Video|
|ISO 200-1600||ISO 100-1600|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|2.0" LCD, 130k dots||1.8" LCD, 115k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|2.5 shutter flaps per second||3 shutter flaps per second|
|400 shots per battery charge||400 shots per battery charge|
|133 x 102 x 76 mm, 620 g||127 x 94 x 64 mm, 540 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D50 and the Canon EOS Rebel XT? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon D50 and the Canon XT is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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 XT can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the D50 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 Canon XT is notably smaller (12 percent) than the Nikon D50. Moreover, the XT is markedly lighter (13 percent) than the D50. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D50 nor the XT 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. Yet, since both cameras are based around an APS-C sensor, their respective lenses will tend to have similar dimensions and heft. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Nikon Lens Catalog (D50) and the Canon EF Lens Catalog (XT).
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.
|Nikon D50»||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.0 in||21.9 oz||400||n||Apr 2005||749||-||Nikon D50|
|Canon XT«||5.0 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||19.0 oz||400||n||Feb 2005||899||-||Canon XT|
|Canon 77D« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||19.0 oz||600||n||Feb 2017||899||Canon 77D|
|Canon T6i« »||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||19.6 oz||440||n||Feb 2015||749||-||Canon T6i|
|Canon T6s« »||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||19.9 oz||440||n||Feb 2015||649||-||Canon T6s|
|Canon XTi« »||5.0 in||3.3 in||2.6 in||19.6 oz||370||n||Aug 2006||799||-||Canon XTi|
|Canon Rebel« »||5.6 in||3.9 in||2.8 in||22.9 oz||400||n||Aug 2003||899||-||Canon Rebel|
|Nikon D5200« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||19.6 oz||500||n||Nov 2012||749||-||Nikon D5200|
|Nikon D5100« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||3.1 in||19.8 oz||660||n||Apr 2011||749||-||Nikon D5100|
|Nikon D3000« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.5 in||18.9 oz||500||n||Jul 2009||599||-||Nikon D3000|
|Nikon D5000« »||5.0 in||4.1 in||3.1 in||20.8 oz||510||n||Apr 2009||749||-||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D60« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||18.4 oz||500||n||Jan 2008||629||-||Nikon D60|
|Nikon D40X« »||4.9 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||18.4 oz||520||n||Mar 2007||729||-||Nikon D40X|
|Nikon D40« »||4.9 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||18.4 oz||470||n||Nov 2006||499||-||Nikon D40|
|Nikon D80« »||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||23.6 oz||600||n||Aug 2006||999||-||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D70s« »||5.5 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||24.0 oz||500||n||Apr 2005||899||-||Nikon D70s|
|Nikon D70« »||5.5 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||24.0 oz||400||n||Jan 2004||999||-||Nikon D70|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as 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 D50 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 17 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.
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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the XT is 11 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.5 (D50) and 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the XT offers a higher resolution of 8 megapixels, compared with 6 MP of the D50. 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 6.41μm versus 7.85μm for the D50). It is noteworthy in this context that the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation.
The resolution advantage of the Canon XT implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the XT for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 17.3 x 11.5 inch or 43.9 x 29.3 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 13.8 x 9.2 inch or 35.1 x 23.4 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 11.5 x 7.7 inch or 29.3 x 19.5 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D50 are 15 x 10 inch or 38.2 x 25.4 cm for good quality, 12 x 8 inch or 30.6 x 20.3 cm for very good quality, and 10 x 6.7 inch or 25.5 x 16.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Nikon D50 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS Rebel XT are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).
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"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the XT has a markedly higher DXO score than the D50 (overall score 5 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.9 bits higher color depth, and 0.2 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Nikon D50»||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||-||20.9||10.8||560||55||Nikon D50|
|Canon XT«||APS-C||8.0||3456||2304||-||21.8||10.8||637||60||Canon XT|
|Canon 77D« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.3||971||78||Canon 77D|
|Canon T6i« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||22.7||12.0||919||71||Canon T6i|
|Canon T6s« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.6||12.0||915||70||Canon T6s|
|Canon XTi« »||APS-C||10.1||3888||2592||-||22.1||11.0||664||62||Canon XTi|
|Canon Rebel« »||APS-C||6.3||3072||2048||-||21.0||10.8||544||55||Canon Rebel|
|Nikon D5200« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60i||24.2||13.9||1284||84||Nikon D5200|
|Nikon D5100« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.5||13.6||1183||80||Nikon D5100|
|Nikon D3000« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.3||11.1||563||62||Nikon D3000|
|Nikon D5000« »||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||720/24p||22.7||12.5||868||72||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D60« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.5||11.4||562||65||Nikon D60|
|Nikon D40X« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.4||11.4||516||63||Nikon D40X|
|Nikon D40« »||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||-||21.0||11.0||561||56||Nikon D40|
|Nikon D80« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.1||11.2||524||61||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D70s« »||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||-||20.4||10.3||529||50||Nikon D70s|
|Nikon D70« »||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||-||20.4||10.3||529||50||Nikon D70|
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D50 and the XT 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 D50 has a higher magnification than the one of the XT (0.50x 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 Nikon D50 and Canon XT in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Nikon D50»||optical||n||2.0||130||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n||Nikon D50|
|Canon XT«||optical||n||1.8||115||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon XT|
|Canon 77D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Canon 77D|
|Canon T6i« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon T6i|
|Canon T6s« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon T6s|
|Canon XTi« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon XTi|
|Canon Rebel« »||optical||n||1.8||118||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n||Canon Rebel|
|Nikon D5200« »||optical||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5200|
|Nikon D5100« »||optical||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Nikon D5100|
|Nikon D3000« »||optical||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D3000|
|Nikon D5000« »||optical||n||2.7||230||full-flex||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D60« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D60|
|Nikon D40X« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D40X|
|Nikon D40« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n||Nikon D40|
|Nikon D80« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D70s« »||optical||n||2.0||130||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D70s|
|Nikon D70« »||optical||n||1.8||130||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D70|
The D50 writes its imaging data to SD cards, while the XT uses Compact Flash cards.
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 Nikon D50 and Canon EOS Rebel XT and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Nikon D50»||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D50|
|Canon XT«||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon XT|
|Canon 77D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon 77D|
|Canon T6i« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon T6i|
|Canon T6s« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon T6s|
|Canon XTi« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon XTi|
|Canon Rebel« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-||Canon Rebel|
|Nikon D5200« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D5200|
|Nikon D5100« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D5100|
|Nikon D3000« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3000|
|Nikon D5000« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D60« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D60|
|Nikon D40X« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D40X|
|Nikon D40« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D40|
|Nikon D80« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D70s« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D70s|
|Nikon D70« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.0||-||-||-||Nikon D70|
Both the D50 and the XT have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XT was replaced by the Canon Xti, while the D50 was followed by the Nikon D40. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Canon websites.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D50 and the Canon XT? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Nikon D50:
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.50x vs 0.49x).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (130k vs 115k dots).
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (17 percent cheaper at launch).
Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel XT:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (8 vs 6MP), which boosts linear resolution by 15%.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (5 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (127x94mm vs 133x102mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 80g or 13 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the XT comes out slightly ahead of the D50 (5 : 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D50 and the Canon XT 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D50 or the XT. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
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 (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.
|Nikon D50»||78/100||+ +||4/5||o||4.5/5||Apr 2005||749||-||Nikon D50|
|Canon XT«||80/100||+ +||o||o||-||Feb 2005||899||-||Canon XT|
|Canon 77D« »||-||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899||Canon 77D|
|Canon T6i« »||-||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749||-||Canon T6i|
|Canon T6s« »||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649||-||Canon T6s|
|Canon XTi« »||+ +||+ +||o||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2006||799||-||Canon XTi|
|Canon Rebel« »||-||+ +||-||o||-||Aug 2003||899||-||Canon Rebel|
|Nikon D5200« »||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2012||749||-||Nikon D5200|
|Nikon D5100« »||+ +||76/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2011||749||-||Nikon D5100|
|Nikon D3000« »||+||72/100||4/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||599||-||Nikon D3000|
|Nikon D5000« »||+ +||75/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2009||749||-||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D60« »||80/100||+ +||4/5||o||4.5/5||Jan 2008||629||-||Nikon D60|
|Nikon D40X« »||79/100||+ +||4/5||o||4/5||Mar 2007||729||-||Nikon D40X|
|Nikon D40« »||81/100||+ +||o||5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2006||499||-||Nikon D40|
|Nikon D80« »||+||+ +||o||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2006||999||-||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D70s« »||-||-||-||o||5/5||Apr 2005||899||-||Nikon D70s|
|Nikon D70« »||-||+ +||-||o||-||Jan 2004||999||-||Nikon D70|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, 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.
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. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Nikon D50 vs Canon XT
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||Nikon D50||Canon XT|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Nikon F mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||April 2005||February 2005|
|Launch Price||USD 749||USD 899|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon D50||Canon XT|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.7 x 15.6 mm||22.2 x 14.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||369.72 mm2||328.56 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.4 mm||26.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||6 Megapixels||8 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3008 x 2000 pixels||3456 x 2304 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||7.85 μm||6.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.63 MP/cm2||2.42 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||200-1600 ISO||100-1600 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||55||60|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||20.9||21.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.8||10.8|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||560||637|
|Screen Specs||Nikon D50||Canon XT|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||95%|
|Rear LCD Size||2.0 inch||1.8 inch|
|LCD Resolution||130k dots||115k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon D50||Canon XT|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||2.5 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||50 000 actuations||50 000 actuations|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SD cards||CF cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon D50||Canon XT|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Nikon D50||Canon XT|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge||400 shots per charge|
133 x 102 x 76 mm
(5.2 x 4.0 x 3.0 in)
127 x 94 x 64 mm
(5.0 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
|Camera Weight||620 g (21.9 oz)||540 g (19.0 oz)|
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