Canon EOS 30D vs Canon Rebel XTi / 400D — More Considerations

First published on: Monday, 28 July 2008

Following on from my post about two guys who penned their thoughts on their 30D vs XTi experience, it does seem that this topic continues to be hotly discussed in the forums. Perfectly understandable, since the Rebel XTi comes in at a much lower price point compared to the 30D.

The Canon 400D (as the Rebel XTi is also known as) is a much newer camera, sporting some fancy features (can you say anti-dust sensor, 10 Megapixels) the 30D lacks, yet the EOS30D has some functionality and specifications (5 frames-per-second, 3.5% spot metering) that are in demand by certain photographers.

Allow me to link up to some interesting discussions on this topic:

  1. In this thread about a Canon 5D user desiring the 1.6X crop factor’s benefits (higher pixel density, note 5.7 µm on the XTi vs 6.4 µm on the 30D) for wildlife, several former Rebel XT / 350D users chimed in, saying that they found the images from the XTi to be less satisfactory than what they could get from their old Rebel XT, citing the 400D’s tendency to underexpose images, with the propensity to produce soft (resulting from aggressive in-camera noise reduction), noisy images above ISO400. Returning their XTi and then purchasing the Canon 30D which produced highly-detailed and superior images (especially at higher ISO values all the way to ISO3200) was the best decision they could have made.

  2. If your place a high importance on a camera’s viewfinder, you will find the EOS 30D’s larger pentaprism viewfinder to be superior to the smaller, dimmer pentamirror version found on the XTi.

  3. The 5 fps (frames per second) feature is something many sports photographers might not be able to live without. If this describes you, then you’d have no choice but to purchase the EOS30D rather than the slower, 3 fps Rebel XTi.

  4. The 30D has more control switches and dials, for example the rear wheel to quickly select among menu options, and a multi-controller that allows easy selection of any one of the 9 focus points.

  5. See a chart showing a side-by-side comparison of the 30D vs XTi

  6. Even though the XTi is much cheaper, this photographer bought the 30D because it is a better fit for his requirements for shooting low-light ice hockey photography.

  7. You might take issue with the Rebel XTi’s smaller and cramped grip area.

  8. If you’re a previous or current owner of the Canon EOS 10D and thinking of upgrading to the newer generation of EOS digital cameras, you’d probaby find yourself more at home with the rugged feel of the EOS 30D body and controls compared to the XTi.

  9. The 30D has ISO3200 available, which is a nice, convenient feature to have when you need faster shutter speeds in low light situations. The XTi in comparison, goes only to ISO 1600.

Canon XTi Pros

In the Canon 400D’s favour are these advantages:

  1. Cheaper options for remote control are available for the Canon XTi

  2. The 10MP resolution advantage of the XTi over the 30D is visible in 16 x 24 prints

Archive of comments from the old Canon 30D blog

  1. janice p Says:

    the 30D HAS spot metering…the 400D doesn’t..

  2. James Says:

    Thanks so much.. this helped a lot!

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