Canon 500D / T1i vs Canon 50D

by Enche Tjin on April 18, 2009

The new Canon 500D or Rebel T1i is a very interesting addition to Canon beginner dSLR line up. It has almost all of the main the features of Canon 50D with compact, lightweight body. So, are you better off to get Canon 500D/T1i or just skip it and go for Canon 50D or even 40D?

While it has many main features of 50D such as:

  • 15 megapixel image resolution
  • 3″ inch lcd screen
  • ISO up to 12800
  • 14-bit analog-to-digital conversion
  • Live view mode
  • Creative Auto mode
  • 9 Auto Focus points

But Canon 50D has some advantages:

  • Weather resistant magnesium alloy body
  • Faster continuous shooting = 6.5 fps
  • Auto focus fine tune
  • Bigger viewfinder
  • Better control and handling
  • Top secondary LCD screen

Canon 500D advantages:

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Movie mode record up to 20 fps in full HD, 18 minutes
  • Approximately $300 cheaper
  • Use cheaper and smaller SD/SDHC card instead of CF cards

From the specification, we can see each camera has it’s up and down. Each cameras are geared to different segments, beginners and advanced photographers.

Canon 500D or T1i is definitely designed for general casual shooters. It is compact and light weight. It also has a movie mode although the movie mode is not perfect because it can’t auto focus. But still, it might be fun to use. Beginners that use compact digital cameras also enjoy benefit because they can use their SD cards. Canon 500D is also ideal as a travel camera.

Professionals and advanced amateurs will be likely to choose Canon 50D or even Canon 40D because of the tougher body, easier and faster to change setting, better viewfinder and faster continuous burst. On the other hand, some casual shooters might turn off by the weight and size of this camera.

Note:
As tested by imaging resource, both of cameras use aggressive noise reduction in 1600 iso or above. While it is effective for most of the images, but it might smear out fine details like texture in fabrics. Therefore, shooting with noise reduction off or weak in high ISO is recommended.

Comments imported from old blog platforms

Owner
Thank you very much for your detailed review and suggestions. I am a semi-pro photographer, and am leaning towards to Canon 50D, although it was released Aug 2008, vrs the new Rebel T1i which was released March 2009. The 50D seems to be much more advanced and durable.

Can you please offer your thoughts, about the Canon EF lens – will they work with the new Nikon DLSR’s?
Many thanks. And what is the difference between the Nikon D5000 vrs the Canon 50D?

Enche Tjin
1. Canon EF lens will not work with Nikon dSLRS.
2. Some main differences include:

Nikon D5000 has swivel lcd screen but lower resolution. Movie mode in D5000 has subject tracking auto focus.
D5000 only compatible with Nikon AF-S and AF-I lens but not with AF-D lenses. (AF-D lenses are usually found in older prime and zoom lenses). Canon movie has slightly bigger lcd screen and higher resolution. 500D has full compatibility with EF and EF-S lenses.

Prashad
The 50d has a “full frame” sensor and therefore with the same lens will give you a better picture with a wider angle. Ideal for panoramas etc…

Enche Tjin
No Prashad, 50D is crop sensor. Maybe you are confused with Canon 5D which is full frame camera.

BlackCat
I’m going to buy my first DLSR, I’m a architect and of course want to take pic of builings, details and people… with one lens (so i’m thinking of buying the 18-250mm one (i’ve somebody has a better idea please tell me). But which canon? the 50D or 500D, the price is the same…
Grtz
Blackcat

Enche Tjin
hi BlackCat, Canon 50D is a better camera, but it is bigger and heavier. In my place, 50D is several hundreds $ more expensive

konrob
Hey Blackcat, I have an older Canon camera (XTi) so i have been researching both the 50D and 500D! If you are as you say doing a work zone still (non moving) pictures you may find the 500D the better model for your needs. Please remember though which ever you model you purchase please consider a bounce flash as the flashes on all DSLRs are strictly fill flashes and you need more lite to help with both details and shadows!
Bob K

1. Canon EF lens will not work with Nikon dSLRS.

2. Some main differences include:

Nikon D5000 has swivel lcd screen but lower resolution. Movie mode in D5000 has subject tracking auto focus.
D5000 only compatible with Nikon AF-S and AF-I lens but not with AF-D lenses. (AF-D lenses are usually found in older prime and zoom lenses).

Canon movie has slightly bigger lcd screen and higher resolution. 500D has full compatibility with EF and EF-S lenses.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

thebigtao August 30, 2009 at 10:50 am

Hey BlackCat, if you’re an architect and plan to shoot buildings with a new DSLR crop camera, I would suggest the amazing 10-22mm wide angle zoom from Canon. It’s pretty much the only ultra wide zoom Canon makes for their crop cameras. You can also get a cheaper 3rd party version, but I’d go with the Canon.

Happy Shooting

peter jamieson January 15, 2010 at 11:54 pm

Does the 50D do Movie at all?

Enche Tjin January 15, 2010 at 11:57 pm

No Peter. Not at all.

Tommy Leow January 31, 2010 at 8:38 am

I just bought the 500d and I wondered whether to change it to 50d. The 50d has so many advantages over the 500d,eg. shutter speed, microless gap lens etc. Please give me some advice. By the way, I would like to trade my current Sigma 28-300mm telephoto lens to either a canon 24-105mm, a tamron 28-75mm, no os, canon 18-135mm. Amyone willing to trade? Only in Singapore. If anyone has contacts there, please help me. Email me at leowyien@yahoo.com.sg

Enche Tjin January 31, 2010 at 8:51 am

The most significant advantage of 50D is the continuous shutter and body quality, but you will lose video recording capability. Image quality wise, I think they are very similar. If I am shooting action photography most of the time, then I might upgrade, but if not, then I will keep 500d.

Tommy Leow January 31, 2010 at 9:16 am

How does the 500d rate against nikon D5000 and the pentax of the same class?

Enche Tjin January 31, 2010 at 11:48 am
Top Rated Cameras October 28, 2010 at 2:38 am

This is such a wonderful review! I think choosing a DSLR should not be as simple as looking at the functions and megapixels. It is much more than that.

I am thinking of getting a new entry level DSLR this week and my choice is between the Nikon D5000 and Canon EOS 500D T1i. I still can’t decide what to get but they are both one of the best in entry level range.

Which one do you suggest then?

Enche Tjin October 28, 2010 at 3:17 am

Thanks, I will recommend Canon T1i over Nikon D5000. The reason is here.

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