Compared to...

Studio scene comparison (JPEG)

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position. Lighting: daylight simulation, >98% CRI. Crops are 100%. Ambient temperature was approximately 22°C (~72°F).

Canon EOS 500D vs. Nikon D5000

Camera settings:

  • Canon EOS 500D: Canon EF 50 mm F1.4 lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 100
    JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Standard), Self-Timer (with MLU)
  • Nikon D5000: Nikkor 50 mm F1.4G lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 200
    JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters, Self-Timer
Canon EOS 500D
Nikon D5000
4.8MB JPEG (4752 x 3168)
4.7 MB JPEG (4288 x 2848)

Let's start by comparing the 500D to Nikon's new addition the the 'entry level' segment, the D5000. The 500D makes good use of its advantage in nominal resolution and produces more detail in its images but, that said, we're not talking about the kind of difference that you'll see at normal enlargement sizes. The two models' color response is pretty similar, and in any case both cameras offer lots of control over image parameters.

Overall at base ISO the EOS 500D produces pretty impressive output that makes good use of the camera's 15.1 megapixels, and is surprisingly even better than what we saw from the EOS 50D in our review a few months back. We can only speculate about the reasons for this. While the 500D sensor is certainly very similar to the 50D's, Canon will almost certainly have tweaked all sorts of parameters for the new model. This may or may not include JPEG processing and the low-pass filter.