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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.

Headline Specifications
Nikon D50   Canon XT
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 charge400 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.

Body comparison: Nikon D50 vs Canon XT

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.

Size Nikon D50 vs Canon XT
Compare D50 versus XT top
Comparison D50 or XT rear

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.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D50» 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749- i Nikon D50
 
Canon XT« 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899- i Canon XT
 
Canon 77D« » 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899 i i Canon 77D
 
Canon T6i« » 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
 
Canon T6s« » 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649- i Canon T6s
 
Canon XTi« » 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799- i Canon XTi
 
Canon Rebel« » 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899- i Canon Rebel
 
Nikon D5200« » 129 mm 98 mm 78 mm 555 g 500 n Nov 2012 749- i Nikon D5200
 
Nikon D5100« » 128 mm 97 mm 79 mm 560 g 660 n Apr 2011 749- i Nikon D5100
 
Nikon D3000« » 126 mm 97 mm 64 mm 536 g 500 n Jul 2009 599- i Nikon D3000
 
Nikon D5000« » 127 mm 104 mm 80 mm 590 g 510 n Apr 2009 749- i Nikon D5000
 
Nikon D60« » 126 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 500 n Jan 2008 629- i Nikon D60
 
Nikon D40X« » 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 520 n Mar 2007 729- i Nikon D40X
 
Nikon D40« » 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 470 n Nov 2006 499- i Nikon D40
 
Nikon D80« » 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999- i Nikon D80
 
Nikon D70s« » 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899- i Nikon D70s
 
Nikon D70« » 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999- i 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Nikon D50 vs Canon XT

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.

Nikon D50 and Canon XT sensor measures

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).

D50 versus XT 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"). 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.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D50» APS-C 6.0 3008 2000-20.910.856055Nikon D50
 
Canon XT« APS-C 8.0 3456 2304-21.810.863760Canon XT
 
Canon 77D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178Canon 77D
 
Canon T6i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971Canon T6i
 
Canon T6s« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570Canon T6s
 
Canon XTi« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.066462Canon XTi
 
Canon Rebel« » APS-C 6.3 3072 2048-21.010.854455Canon Rebel
 
Nikon D5200« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.213.9128484Nikon D5200
 
Nikon D5100« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.513.6118380Nikon D5100
 
Nikon D3000« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.311.156362Nikon D3000
 
Nikon D5000« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.586872Nikon D5000
 
Nikon D60« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.511.456265Nikon D60
 
Nikon D40X« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.411.451663Nikon D40X
 
Nikon D40« » APS-C 6.0 3008 2000-21.011.056156Nikon D40
 
Nikon D80« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.111.252461Nikon D80
 
Nikon D70s« » APS-C 6.0 3008 2000-20.410.352950Nikon D70s
 
Nikon D70« » APS-C 6.0 3008 2000-20.410.352950Nikon D70
Neither the D50 nor the XT 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: Nikon D50 vs Canon XT

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.

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
Camera
Model
 
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.

 

Connectivity comparison: Nikon D50 vs Canon XT

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.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D50»Y-----2.0---Nikon D50
 
Canon XT«Y-----2.0---Canon XT
 
Canon 77D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon 77D
 
Canon T6i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon T6i
 
Canon T6s« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon T6s
 
Canon XTi« »Y-----2.0---Canon XTi
 
Canon Rebel« »Y-----1.1---Canon Rebel
 
Nikon D5200« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D5200
 
Nikon D5100« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D5100
 
Nikon D3000« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D3000
 
Nikon D5000« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---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.


Review summary: Nikon D50 vs Canon XT

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.

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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).

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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.

D50 04:05 XT

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.

Expert reviews: Nikon D50 vs Canon XT

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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D50»78/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Apr 2005 749- i Nikon D50
 
Canon XT«80/100+ +oo- Feb 2005 899- i Canon XT
 
Canon 77D« »-82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i i Canon 77D
 
Canon T6i« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
 
Canon T6s« »+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649- i Canon T6s
 
Canon XTi« »+ ++ +o4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799- i Canon XTi
 
Canon Rebel« »-+ +-o- Aug 2003 899- i Canon Rebel
 
Nikon D5200« »+ +79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2012 749- i Nikon D5200
 
Nikon D5100« »+ +76/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Apr 2011 749- i Nikon D5100
 
Nikon D3000« »+72/1004/53.5/54.5/5 Jul 2009 599- i Nikon D3000
 
Nikon D5000« »+ +75/1004/55/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749- i Nikon D5000
 
Nikon D60« »80/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Jan 2008 629- i Nikon D60
 
Nikon D40X« »79/100+ +4/5o4/5 Mar 2007 729- i Nikon D40X
 
Nikon D40« »81/100+ +o5/54.5/5 Nov 2006 499- i Nikon D40
 
Nikon D80« »++ +o4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2006 999- i Nikon D80
 
Nikon D70s« »---o5/5 Apr 2005 899- i Nikon D70s
 
Nikon D70« »-+ +-o- Jan 2004 999- i 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.

Nikon D50:
Check Ebay offers
Canon XT:
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. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    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 Specifications
    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 Technology CCD CMOS
    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
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.6x
    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%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.50x 0.49x
    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 Expectancy50 000 actuations50 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
    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 Nikon D50 Canon XT
    Battery Type EN-EL3 power pack NB-2LH power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge400 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 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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