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Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT
Compared to Nikon D70 DSLR

  • March 2nd, 2005

    With the introduction of the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT / 350D digital SLR, we have received a number of inquires as to how the new Canon Digital Rebel XT compares to the Nikon D70 (Popular Photography's Camera of the Year for 2004).

    Clearly existing owners of Canon or Nikon equipment will have a strong predetermined brand preference. For those trying to decide which camera system to buy, however, we have completed an overview of the Nikon D70 compared to the Canon Digital Rebel XT, including the respective kit lens package.

    Nikon D70 Digital SLR Top View
    Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT / 350D Top View

    Popular in Lenses:

    Nikon D70 versus Canon Rebel XT
    Side by Side Feature Comparison


    Nikon D70

    Canon Digital Rebel XT / 350D


    6.1 MP

    8.0 MP




    Sensor Size
    23.7 x 15.6mm
    22.2 x 14.8mm

    Multiplier Effect

    1.5 x

    1.6 x

    Shutter Release Time Lag

    100 milliseconds

    100 milliseconds

    Low-Pass Filter

    Built-in / Fixed

    Built-in / Fixed

    Start Up Speed

    .02 seconds

    0.2 seconds

    Image Sizes

    3008 x 2000
    2240 x 1488
    1504 x 1000

    3456 x 2304
    2496 x 1664
    1728 x 1152

    Image Compression Settings Basic, Normal, Fine Fine, Normal


    TTL full-aperture exposure metering system

    3D color matrix metering with 1,005-segment RGB sensor

    Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 6, 8, 10, or 13-mm circle in center of frame (variable through custom functions)

    Spot: Meters about 1% of frame centered on active focus area

    TTL full aperture exposure metering

    35-zone SPC (1) 35 Point Evaluative (linked to all AF points)

    Partial metering at centre (approx. 9% of viewfinder)

    Centre weighted

    Metering Range EV 0 to 20 EV 1 to 20

    Processing Parameters

    Seven Image Enhancement Options

    Normal (default): Recommended for most situations

    Vivid: Enhances saturation, contrast and sharpness to produce vivid images with vibrant reds, greens and blues

    Sharp: Sharpens outlines

    Soft: Softens outlines. Use to ensure smooth, natural looking skin tones in portraits

    Direct Print: Optimizes images for printing "as is" via direct USB connection

    Portrait: Lowers contrast and softens background details

    Landscape: Enhances saturation and sharpness to produce landscapes with vibrant greens and blues

    Custom: The parameters for; Sharpening, Contrast (Tone), Colour reproduction, Saturation, and Hue, can all be adjusted by selecting Custom mode in the "Optimize Image" menu.

    Parameter Settings
    Sharpening AUTO, Manual 6
    Tone Comp. Auto, Normal, ± 2, Custom
    Colour Modes sRGB Ia, Adobe RGB, sRGB IIa
    Saturation Normal, Moderate, Enhanced
    Hue Adjustment 3 step for each mode approx. 3/ each step

    Six Image Enhancement Options

    Parameter Set 1: Contrast, sharpness and color saturation is optimized for images upon which no retouching will be performed before direct printing.

    Parameter Set 2: Contrast, sharpness and color saturation is optimized for images that will be retouched or adjusted

    Parameter Sets 3, 4 and 5: can be customized by the user for contrast, sharpness, color saturation and color tone.

    Parameter Settings
    Contrast -2,-1,0,+1,+2
    Sharpness -2,-1,0,+1,+2
    Saturation -2,-1,0,+1,+2
    Color Tone -2,-1,0,+1,+2

    Monochrome Parameter set: Incorporates five levels each of contrast and sharpness in addition to filter effects (none, yellow, orange, red and green) that are just like camera filter effects and toning effects (none, sepia, blue, purple, green). Similar to on EOS 20D.

    Recording Format

    JPEG, RAW, JPEG Basic + RAW

    JPEG, RAW, JPEG Large + RAW

    Viewfinder Diopter Adjustment
    Built-in viewfinder diopter adjustment 1.6 to + 0.5
    Built-in viewfinder diopter adjustment -3 to +1
    Viewfinder Type Penta-Dach-mirror type. Penta-mirror type.
    LCD Information Panel Yes, on top of camera Yes, on back of camera

    Exposure Shooting Modes

    7 Variable Program Modes - Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Close up, Sports, Night landscape, Night portrait
    (P) Flexible Program auto
    (S) Shutter-priority auto
    (A) Aperture priority auto
    (M) Manual

    (P) Program AE
    (Tv) Shutter priority AE
    (Av) Aperture priority AE
    (M) Manual
    Auto depth-of-field
    Night portrait

    ISO Sensitivity

    200 -1600 ISO

    100 -1600 ISO

    Color Mode

    sRGB Ia, Adobe RGB, sRGB IIa

    sRGB, Adobe RGB

    Continuous Shooting Speed

    3 fps

    3 fps

    Continuous Shooting # Frames

    144 JPEG (on 256 MB CF card)

    14 JPEG

    White Balance

    Auto TTL white-balance with 1,005 segment RGB sensor, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy,Shade, Preset Custom

    Auto White Balance, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Flash, Preset Custom

    WB Fine-Tuning

    3 step fine tuning for each WB setting

    3 step fine tuning for each WB setting. Fine tuning in Blue-Amber and/or Magenta-Green range

    WB Bracketing

    +/- 3 stops. Set in 1/3 or step increments. WB-BKT does not work during RAW and RAW + JPEG shooting. When the shutter is released, three images are captured, each with a different WB bias setting as selected

    +/- 3 stops. Selectable in 1/3 step increments. Blue/Amber bias or Magenta/Green bias. WB-BKT does not work during RAW and RAW + JPEG shooting. When the shutter is released, three images are captured, each with a different WB bias setting as selected.

    Shutter Speed

    30 sec to 1/8000 sec + Bulb

    30 sec to 1/4000 + Bulb

    Exposure Compensation

    +5.0 to -5.0EV
    (1/2, 1/3EV step)

    +2.0 to -2.0EV
    (1/2, 1/3EV step)

    AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing)

    2 or 3 frames -2.0 to +2.0
    or 1/3 step increments

    3 frames -2.0 to +2.0
    or 1/3 step increments

    Flash sync

    1/500 sec

    1/200 sec

    Built-in flash Guide Number (ISO 100, metres)



    Built-in flash coverage Coverage up to 20mm focal length Coverage up to 17mm focal length

    Flash Modes

    Auto, Red-eye Reduction, Red-Eye Reduction with Slow Sync, Slow Sync, Rear Curtain

    Auto, On, Off, Red-eye reduction, (Rear Curtain Custom setting 9.1)

    Red Eye Reduction System
    Beam from lamp
    Multi-Strobe from speedlight flash

    High Speed Sync


    Yes, with EX series Speedlight

    Flash Compensation

    3 to +1 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 stop increments

    +/- 2 stops in 1/3 or 1/2 stop increments

    Flash Type

    i-TTL + Wireless Creative Lighting System with SB-800, SB-600, "Commander Mode" on built-in flash for wireless multi-flash support

    E-TTL II with EX series Speedlites, wireless multi-flash support with optional ST-E2 transmitter. ($300 CAN accessory 01/03/05)

    AF Detection

    EV -1 to 19 EV

    EV .5 to 18 EV

    Focus Points



    Focus Modes

    Selectable: 1) Single Area AF, 2) Dynamic Area AF, 3) Closest Subject Priority Dynamic Area AF

    Selectable: 1) AI Focus AF, 2) One shot AF, 3) AI Servo AF

    Lens Compatibility

    1) DX Nikkor : All functions supported
    2) Type G or D AF Nikkor : All functions supported. 3) AI-P Nikkor : All functions supported except 3D color matrix metering, i-TTL balanced fill-flash for digital SLR, and autofocus
    4) Non-CPU : Can be used in exposure mode M, but exposure meter does not function; electronic range finder can be used if maximum aperture is f/5.6 or faster

    Canon EF and EF-S : All functions supported

    Viewfinder Coverage






    LCD monitor

    1.8 " TFT 130,000 pixels with brightness adjustment

    1.8 " TFT 115,000 pixels with brightness adjustment

    Noise Reduction

    Yes Fast two stage process

    Yes Fast DIGIC II Processor


    USB 2.0 (Full Speed, similar transfer rate to USB 1.1)

    USB 2.0 High Speed

    Custom Functions
    25 Custom Functions
    9 Custom Functions
    Image Dust Off Feature
    The Image Dust Off feature in Nikon Capture 4 software (optional) processes NEF (RAW) images to remove potential effects of dust in the camera system by comparing the images to the data acquired with the Dust ref Photo.
    Mirror Lock Up Feature Yes, only to clean sensor Mirror can be locked up to 30 sec. Activated by using Custom function 7-1

    Vertical Image Rotation



    Alphanumeric data input

    Up to 36 characters of alphanumeric text input is available with LCD monitor and multi-selector; stored in Exif header of image. Provide location information, copyright details etc.


    Direct Print Support

    Yes PictBridge Direct Print Compliant with PictBridge Printers, DPOF

    Canon SELPHY Compact Photo Printers, Bubble Jet Printers with the direct print function and PIXMA Printers supporting PictBridge, DPOF

    Accessory vertical grip


    Yes Canon BG-E3. Can hold two NB-2LH batteries or 6 AA's

    Bundled Software

    Nikon Picture Project, The 123 of Digital Imaging ebook Standard Edition, Optional Nikon Capture 4.2 RAW / NEF Editing Software

    ZoomBrowser EX, Digital Photo Professional RAW editing software, Photo Record (Remote Capture), ArcSoft

    Memory Type CompactFlash Type I and II CompactFlash Type I and II

    Optional Remote

    Wireless ML-L3 remote

    Cable remote RS-60E3 or Wireless RC-1

    Power Source

    Li-Ion rechargeable EN-EL3 battery and charger supplied or use 3 x CR2 (with supplied MS-D70 battery holder)

    Li-Ion rechargeable NB-2LH battery and charger supplied

    Approx. number of shots per battery charge
    400 (flash 50%) - 2000 shots
    450 - 600 shots
    Manufacturer's Warranty
    Two Year In Canada
    One Year

    (W x H x D)

    140 x 111 x 78mm

    126.5 x 94.2 x 64mm

    Weight w/o battery

    595 grams

    485 grams

    Advantages of Nikon D70

    • Larger ergonomic grip and menu buttons provide for comfortable hold and ease of operation

    • 3D color matrix metering with 1,005-segment RGB sensor and Spot metering
    • Larger sensor size. 1.5 x focal multiplier effect versus 1.6 x on Rebel XT
    • Faster maximum shutter speed at 1/8000 sec
    • Fast start up

    • Greater number of images can be captured when shooting in continious mode over extended time period vs Rebel XT
    • Significantly superior Nikkor AF-S DX 18-70mm kit lens in terms of the optical quality, focal range, brightness, design, and construction provided

    • 25 custom settings versus 9 on the Digital Rebel XT

    • Significantly higher battery capacity provides for up to 2000 images being captured vs approximately 600 with Rebel XT. Single use battery compatibility with CR2 x 3 using supplied battery holder

    • Faster flash sync speed at 1/500 sec compared to 1/200 sec (internal and external flash)
    • "Commander mode" with internal i-TTL flash provides for wireless Nikon Creative Lighting System support with dedicated external speedlights. A $300 CAN (01/03/05) option for Rebel XT using accessory ST-E2 transmitter

    • Low light AF detection from -1EV to 19 EV compared to 0.5 EV to 18 EV with Rebel XT
    • Metering range 0 - 20 EV compared to 1 - 20 EV for Rebel XT

    • Auto Exposure bracketing 2 or 3 frames vs 2 frames with Rebel XT
    • White Balance Bracketing in 1/2 and 1/3 steps for critical fine-tuning vs 1/2 steps with Digital Rebel XT

    • Exposure compensation +/- 5 EV compared to +/- 2 EV
    • Higher resolution LCD playback monitor with 130,000 pixels compared to 115,000 on Rebel XT
    • Grid outlines available in D70 viewfinder (to assist in architectural composition etc.)
    • Up to 36 characters of alphanumeric text input. Tag location information, copyright details etc. to an image
    • Red-eye reduction beam from lamp compared to strobe from actual speedlight on Rebel XT. Beam is easier for subjects to distinguish from actual flash firing. (Less eye blinking effect)

    • Handy Image Dust Off Feature with Nikon Capture NX Software (optional)
    • Compatibility with older lenses including manual focus Nikkor lenses (AI-P and D type), and non-CPU

    Advantages of Canon Rebel XT

    • Significantly smaller and lighter body size. Great for travel, hiking etc.

    • Higher resolution with 8.0 effective megapixels versus 6.1 effective megapixels on Nikon D70 (maximum file size 3456 x 2304 on Rebel XT, 3034 x 2024 on Nikon D70). Allows for additional cropping of detail.

    • New Sensor design and DIGIC II Image Processor (Fast processing and good low noise performance at high ISO)

    • Monochrome Parameter set for creative filter effects. Similar to EOS 20D. Three Custom parameters settings.
    • ISO sensitivity down to ISO 100 compared to ISO 200 on D70

    • Buffer capacity up to 14 frames vs 12 frames for D70* (more frames can be captured when shooting in shorter duration bursts)

    • Convenient Depth-of-field AE (A-DEP mode)

    • Writes JPEG Large + RAW compared to JPEG Basic + RAW with Nikon D70. (Basic is more compressed)

    • White Balance fine tuning with added Blue-Amber and/or Magenta-Green bias

    • More powerful built-in flash (GN 13) and wider flash coverage (17mm lens)

    • High Speed Flash Sync mode support with optional EX series speedlights

    • Fast USB 2.0 High Speed download transfer to computer

    • Mirror Lock Up Feature up to 30 seconds

    • Optional vertical release BG-E3 battery grip. Use two NB-2LH rechargeable batteries for extended shooting capacity or can use 6 x AA battery type for convenience **

    • Bundled with Canon's Digital Photo Professional RAW editing software

    • Compatible with Canon Direct Print printers, including SELPHY compact photo printers

    • Digital Rebel XT available in in either black or silver

    Harbortronics has created a third party vertical battery grip for the Nikon D70 called the VG-D70.

    We have not had the opportunity to evaluate this unit.

    Recommended AF Nikkor SLR Lenses
    See below for more details and to


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