Canon 350D (Rebel XT) vs Nikon D70s vs Olympus E500

I’ve gotten more and more interested in photography as time has gone by, and I’ve noticed (as have others) I’m pretty good at it, I’ve always had an interest, but with digital it’s allowed me to experiment with my camera and learn at a lower cost.

I’ve started finding the limitations of my camera, and I’ve started being able to take pictures that push the boundaries of the camera, which means it’s time to upgrade.

I wouldn’t mind freelancing aswell, doing some portraits, events maybe even weddings, so it’s time to get a more serious camera a digital SLR.

As for the camera, ah it’s a tough choice, it’s more down to the Canon 350D vs the Nikon D70s due to budget constraits.

Things like the Canon EOS 20D and Nikon D200 are out of my range.

I did consider the Nikon D50 at first as a cheaper option, but for the price difference between the D50 and the D70s, the D70s is so much more worth it.

Olympus E-500

I’m not really big on Olympus, even though it seems like a solid camera, and Olympus is of course a favourite of TV Smith, one of our local photo pros. It’s the lighest dSLR in this class, and seems ergonimcally good, feature and lens wise tho, I don’t think it can compete, so sorry Olympus, you are the weakest link.

Olympus E-500

E-500 Review Here

Buy it from Amazon:

Canon EOS 350D – Rebel XT

Canon Rebel XT

At first I swayed towards the Canon 350D (The Rebel XT), as I’m an existing Canon user, with my old faithful Canon Powershot A70 (a mere 3.2 megapixels), but plenty of manual modes.

The main advantage of the Rebel XT seems to be low noise at high ISO, I do like nightshots, so this was a good point, plus it seems like an all around contender, and pros are great fans on the Canon series of lenses.

The best reason I saw to buy Canon was this:

Why Canon?

Also funny (Yeah all the white Lenses are Canon).

It can be good with a much more expensive lens, but that’s out of my range right now, and the main reason is the way it felt when I tried it in the shop.

The kit lens (EF-S 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 II Zoom) isn’t that great and produces images that are a little soft.

I also read that the Canon (unlike the more expenside 10D/20D/1D etc) has a lot of features hidden away in the menu, rather than having buttons for them (white balance etc), which does make it hard to take shots at short notice, what’s the point in having such a low startup time, if you have to root through the menus to find the settings?

The Nikon doesn’t have this problem.

Canon 350D/Rebel-XT Reviews:

DC Resource

DP Review

Outback Photo

Buy it from Amazon:

Nikon D70s

Nikon D70s

The best advice I heard is to go to the shop and try the camera, this is ultimately where I made my decision.

Also I found out that the Nikon kit lens is much better, both from reviews and from a sales guy, the Nikon kit lens has a metal mount and has glass components, whereas the Canon kit lens is mostly all plastic. Definately not as durable.

Plus the Nikon just feels so much more sturdy, probably because I’m a big guy with big hands, but the Canon felt a little flimsy, and rather small, something like a toy, not a real mans photoweapon!

Whichever side of the fence you sit on, there are rabid fans, Nikon or Canon, locally though, people seem to much greater fans of the Nikon.

So I’m pretty much decided on the Nikon D70s with Lens kit (Nikkor DX 18-70mm f3.5-4.5G IF-ED Zoom), if anyone can get me an awesome price and some freebies thrown in it’d be great 😉 (Tripod, 2GB ultrafast CF card etc..)

Next up probably a SB-600 speedlight, perhaps a macro and 70-300mm zoom lens.

Nikon D70s reviews:

DC Resource

Imaging Resource

DP Review

Steve’s Digicam

DC Views

Buy it from Amazon:

Some reference material here if you are going through the same decision:

Canon 300D vs 350D vs Nikons D50 vs D70

Nikon D50 vs Canon EOS 350D

D50 vs. EOS-350D

Nikon D50 Image Samples Compared to Nikon D70s and Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT / 350D kit

350D Owners – Why didn’t you buy a Nikon D70/D50?

Nikon D70s Kit Lens Compared to Canon Digital Rebel XT Kit Lens

Of course if anyone has any opinions (owners of either of the cameras, or similar models are welcome to pipe up).

I hope someone finds the research useful 😉




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37 Responses to Canon 350D (Rebel XT) vs Nikon D70s vs Olympus E500

  1. Liz May 24, 2006 at 4:50 pm #

    I was thinking about getting a new DSLR and was contemplating between the Canon Digital Rebel and the Nikon D70.

    I would laugh at the coincidence but I’m much too thankful that you did all the hard work for me.

    Thanks 🙂

  2. pinolobu May 24, 2006 at 5:00 pm #

    A friend is using Nikon D70 extensively for some time, I’ll get him to gv some comments here.

  3. spiller May 24, 2006 at 5:11 pm #

    men with their expensive toys..

    but hey, that’s cool.

  4. KinkyPugKevin May 24, 2006 at 6:26 pm #

    I am using Canon 10D in the office, as you know. It’s like 2 generation old Ugh. I do want to save money to get my own. Maybe a 20D. Then i need a flash and plenty of lens. Argh. Why is everything evolved around money????????!!!!!!!! *angst*

  5. Chris Chong May 24, 2006 at 7:31 pm #

    Well, you can click here for a guide I wrote recently. Sorry, but I haven’t got any pics.

    Personally, I’d pick the D70s over the 350D – it’s head and shoulders above in everything that matters (apart from high ISO performance, where the 350D is noticeably better at ISO1600).

    I’ve got a D70 myself and I love it to bits.

    If you can afford it, you can actually get the D70 WITHOUT its 18-70mm kit lens. Opt for the new AF 18-200mm DX VR lens instead – you’ll love it.

    One place I highly recommend to buy a D70s is at YS Photo, SS2. It’s on the row of shophouses next to ‘Caesar’s Palace’, facing the outside of the square (towards the houses).

    There’s a guy there named Danny, who knows quite a bit about Nikon cameras and lenses, and they can give you a REALLY good price.

    Take note that the new 18-200mm lens is selling like hotcakes, so it’ll be about a couple of months before you can get you hands on one if you order right now.

    If you want more information, drop me an e-mail 🙂

    In defense of the 350D, it’s not a bad camera at all. For one thing, it’s enough for about 90% of people’s needs at the moment although it IS too small for most peoples hands.

    I recently took a pretty nice shot sticking my D70 out of a car window with one hand. I wouldn’t dare do the same with a 350D.

    The reasons why you only see Canon DSLRs with big white lenses at sports events is:

    1. Canon was far more aggressive in marketing their cameras to the press.
    2. Their 1D-series cameras have much better weather sealing than Nikon’s D1- and D2-series cameras.
    3. Americans just prefer Canon for some bizzare reason.
    4. Canon currently has the best sports camera in the market – the 1D MkII. Nikon’s D2Hs is a little outdated (only 4 megapixels).

    However, if you’ve ever used a 1D-series camera, you’ll be astonished as to how hard it is to use. Its interface is completely rubbish, requiring you to press and hold-down buttons (two buttons at once for some settings) to do ANYTHING.

    Mind you, the 1Ds / 1D Mk II are the best cameras on the planet in terms of absolute picture quality. But as far as ergonomics are concerned, the EOS 30D is easily the best IMHO. And even that is lagging behind the ‘lowly’ Nikon D70 in terms of usability.

    So yes, I think very highly of the D70 / D70s. I personally have no reason to upgrade to a D200.

    But of course, the best camera in the world won’t make you a better photographer either. Given enough patience and practice, even your humble Powershot is capable of some amazing photographs.

    Did I say too much…?

    Dude, for God’s sake, DON’T BUY THE 70-300mm lens!!!

    It’s got pretty poor resolution unless you stop it down to f/8 or smaller. By then, you’ll only be able to use the damn thing under direct sunlight.

  6. moo_t May 24, 2006 at 9:02 pm #

    Canon offer wide range of lens variety, that’s why photo jounalist choose Canon.

    You can get more out of D70s from this site

    SB600 is the best value for money flash nikon ever build.

    Oh yes, forgot to tell you this, even a cam whores will run away from D70s. One battery can last for 900 shots with flash.

  7. yothemans May 24, 2006 at 10:10 pm #

    If money is not a problem,then you should go for canon 30d.

    Canon has colourful picture quality where as nikon you ‘ll get sharp image.

    When it comes to handling,the 350d definitely feel too small.D70s size is ok.

    End of the day, do you prefer colourful picture quality or sharp picture??

    the sound of DSLR shutter is irresistible

  8. panda May 24, 2006 at 10:16 pm #

    My bf just bought himself a Nikon D70 and he loves it!

  9. KY May 25, 2006 at 12:36 am #

    If you ever watch euro trip you know the only camera that’s worth a damn is Leica. 😛

  10. ebola May 25, 2006 at 1:33 am #

    not that i love whoring my company, but check this:

    why buy when you can win one! 😛

    my vote goes to the olympus tho. been using the E300 and E-1 for the past year, have gotten super familiar with then, compared to the 1DS MkII we also have in the office. 16MP rocks, but its killer on the wrists when taking product shots.

  11. kamkuey May 25, 2006 at 8:04 am #


    for a starter DSLR, nothing beats the D70s. Forget the 350D. For just a wee bit more, the D70 offers more. Better metering, better built, better hand handling, cheaper (but just as good as Canon’s) flashes.

    The 350D is plasticky, way too small for your hands (unless you get the battery grip with it)

    And the kit lense which comes with the D70s (18-70AFS) is a MUCH MUCH better lense compared to the Canon’s flimsy 18-55 kit lense.

    My 2 cents

  12. Terenceg May 25, 2006 at 9:25 am #

    yo, best consider you’re a diver too. and how much would underwater casing going to cost ya.

    anyway, i have tried D70, is good but heavy. and trust me when you’re doing the motion of lifting, lowering, lifting, lowering a couple of thousand times, you want a lighter camera.

    anyway, buying DSLR now is damn cheap as compared to the film SLR. Is lenses that going to kill ya

    heheh..i also forgotten to add, megapixels don’t play important role here, unless every pictures you intend to blow it up to A3 and above !

    but i am sure you already know that

  13. Viceice May 25, 2006 at 9:32 am #


    Specs aside, it shows which is the better camera when Canon advetises the 350D like mad and instead there is always a shortage of D70s.

    ANyway, toss the free tripod for it’s useless and get a proper manfrotto tripod. you don’t want to be setting up your camera when the cheap plastic on it snaps somewhere and rm 4K comes falling to the ground

  14. Dabido (Teflon) May 25, 2006 at 10:59 am #

    Kewl! Great review. I stopped using my old Kodak ages ago and have been using my brothers digital … been thinking of upgrading and everything.
    [Also been thinking about getting a digital video camera … but that’s another story].

  15. apple_pie May 25, 2006 at 11:14 am #

    i vote for Canon 350D *ear 2 ear*

  16. ShaolinTiger May 25, 2006 at 12:46 pm #

    Well only 1 vote for the 350D, seems like my research and feel came out right 😉

    Liz: Hope you find it useful 😉

    pinolobu: If you could that’d be great thanks.

    KinkyPugKevin: Yah 20D is nice, thing is Nikon just brought out a new lens (18-200mm), that eliminates the need for carrying around anything, expect maybe a 12-24 super wide angle.

    Chris Chong: Ah another D70 owner! From your article…the 18-200mm is as much as the camera, the camera is already at the top end of my budget, so that totally counts it out. Looks like an amazing lens tho. I think I meant the 55-200 btw not the 70-300 my mistake, what do you think of that lens? Plus I agree, I’m doing better than some people who have SLRs with my trusty point and shoot, it’s not the camera, its the one behind the camera that matters. Have to agree with everything you say. I called Danny at YS photo, good price, but not the best I’ve had. Cheers for the input appreciate it.

    moo_t: Yeah Ken Rockwell writes some amazing stuff, he’s a great fan of the D70 aswell, he’s moved up to a D200 now though. I’ll definately be getting a SB-600, the commander mode on the D70 is a great feature. He had the same starter cam as me too (Canon A70)

    yothemans: Prefer sharper picture as colour can easily be adjusted with camera settings (vivid) or software.

    KY: Hahaha yeah for that purpose, the new Panasonic cams have Leica lenses!

    ebola: Nice competition, will try and enter with my lowly Canon A70 shots.

    kamkuey: Thanks for the input, it definately seems that way.

    Terenceg: Underwater casing for all dSLR costs a fortune, so doesnt make much diff..I’ll probably get a smaller cam with case for diving. I didn’t find D70s that heavy anyway, and a lot of it down to which lens you have on 18-70mm is much heavier than the 18-55mm for example. Yeah I didn’t even mention megapixels, 6 to 8 megapixels is no real difference (15% vertical diff). Even printing at high res, sensor quality and picture quality is more important than those 2 megapixels.

    Viceice: How much will one of those set me back?

  17. Chris Chong May 25, 2006 at 2:09 pm #

    Well, the 55-200 is supposedly pretty good for the price, and it’s REALLY compact. I’ve only had a brief stint with it so I can’t offer a proper assessment.

    It’s probably better than the 70-300, but doesn’t offer as much reach.

    Go to for a very detailed review.


    On another issue, I agree with Viceice on the Manfrotto tripod.

    The one biggest problem with the D70s is that it DOES NOT have mirror lock-up when using the self-timer.

    If you’re taking shots at 1/20th of a second shutter or slower at full telephoto extension on the kit lens (70mm), you will see some minor camera shake if you’ve got a cheap tripod.

    Budget around RM400 or more for a proper tripod like the Manfrotto 724B (with the add-on quick release shoe). It’s a fantastic tripod that’s rock solid, extends to almost six feet high and is strong enough to support huge zoom lenses. Plus, it’s got Manfrotto’s uber-cool ball joint which lets you swivel and tilt the camera very easily.

    If you want something ultra portable, try a Velbon P-Max (out of production, I believe) or any other of the tiny Velbon Ultra-Maxi series ones. They’re all less than 1kg, have twist-lock telescopic legs for quick set up and are surprisingly stable for their size. Expect to pay between RM200 to RM300…

    You can get Manfrotto tripods from the local dealer in SS2 – the same row as Lobster Man (behind Restoran Sri Siam), located somewhere closer to the other end (where the electronic stores are). More contact info at

    Not sure where to get Velbons – you can see them popping up every now and then at various camera stores.

  18. moo_t May 25, 2006 at 2:20 pm #

    Oh yes, last reminder of D70s, buy the remote. Don’t pay more than RM50.(yes some pucker shop charge for RM90)

  19. mahagurusia May 25, 2006 at 2:30 pm #

    Hey ST, I prefer Canon as I am long timer user myself and you cant go wrong with Nikon as well as both are equally good.

    Btw, the white lens? Some of it cost as much as a car!! 😉

  20. farah May 25, 2006 at 4:21 pm #

    i dont have the d70, but the d50. anyways, if you’re planning on buying your dslr soon, i’d recommend foto shangri-la in one utama, i went round looking at the price of the d50 in several places, including low yatt plaza, and foto shangri la in OU had the best price. i got the cam, a tripod, memory card and the nikon camera case for 2999. recommended price for the d50 alone at the time was 3000++.

  21. Kelvin May 25, 2006 at 4:53 pm #

    the SB600? u’ll soon want an SB800

  22. Terenceg May 25, 2006 at 5:18 pm #

    don’t give this kwai lou too much power ! he’ll abuse it…he’ll be climbing over my roof trying to peep at my giant amphibian

  23. Intensecure May 25, 2006 at 6:16 pm #

    I would choose the Nikon from those that you have short-listed, but my money is going on this when it comes out. Inbody stabilisation is so useful (I currently use a Panasonic FZ30) and Pentax lenses rule!

  24. Dylan May 26, 2006 at 8:50 am #

    I’ve been contemplating on the idea of buying Olympus E-500 with 2 lenses kit. It’s the most affordable DSLR with 2 lenses i’ve found. BUT, i bought Panasonix DMC Z7 yesterday. It’s a prosumer camera with almost all the DSLR features minus the interchangeble lense. E-500 is the best bargain and it has the dust removal system which is a very useful feature for DSLR cameras.Unfortunately noise level is quite high even at low ISO.

  25. ShaolinTiger May 26, 2006 at 4:32 pm #

    Chris: Cheers again, from what I’ve read about the 55-200, the difference at the tight end from 200-300 is actually very little. I’ll check out the Manfrotto I think when I have some more money. I want to avoid using tripod as much as possible, just use it for self pics and long exposure night shots.

    moo_t: Thanks for the tip, I definately want the remote.

    mahagurusia: I’m a long time Canon fan too, that’s my brand of prefence, I have to say in this matchup tho, the Nikon wins easily.

    farah: Thanks I tried them, the price was RM3600 if I remember correctly. Pretty decent price, SS2 was RM3540.

    Kelvin: Is the extra bit of power and commander mode worth the extra 500rm?

    Intensecure: Nice looking cam, in body stabiliser too, that’s pretty evolutionary.

    Dylan: Yeah the Panasonic range is top end prosumer now, good Leica lenses and they all have crazy massive zooms (10x-12x). Best fixed lenses I think.

  26. Kelvin May 26, 2006 at 4:39 pm #

    The power of the SB800 over the SB600 is necessary simply because when you do a lot of indoor shooting, you would want to do bounce flash (which is much more pleasing that direct flash)… bouncing the flash to the ceiling and back effectively doubles the range needed so the higher the ceiling, the more power needed. Subsequent to that, master flash capability is definitely welcome to command multiple flashes and you may want to delve deeper into the more elaborate manual controls of the SB800. As a Canon user, I have no regrets using the flagship flash unit, 580EX over my earlier and smaller 420EX. I have seen many new users getting into this situation where they buy the 2nd most powerful flash and then finding themselves needing the extra power AND THEN buying the flagship. I don’t adhere to the idea of gear hogging or upgrading without reason but if it’s anything, the flash unit is the one thing that you should not skimp on.

  27. Chris Chong May 27, 2006 at 12:34 am #

    Kelvin: Ah, yes… the SB800 does have more power – but when you’ve come to the point where an SB600 isn’t illuminating your ceiling enough (and hence, your subjects), I don’t think an SB800 would matter much more. It’s not THAT much more powerful.

    I find that in normal indoor conditions with ceilings around 10ft high, the SB600 is perfect (although you have to stick a white card to it to illuminate your subjects’ faces).

    If you’re shooting in a situation where the ceiling is too high (i.e. in a ballroom), I’d normally switch to a higher ISO (about 800 or 1600) and use a direct flash in slow sync (shutter speed approx 1/60s) AND (this is the important bit) use a colour gel on the SB600 – to equalise the colour temperature from the flash and the tungsten lightbulbs used in these sort of environments. I normally get much better results this way than I ever would with a bounce flash.

    To each his own, but this is my prefered set up (just my two cents).

    Also, the D70s can control multiple SB600s wirelessly – like the D200, it has a built-in wireless commander mode (though not as sophisticated). And don’t fret over the inability to control the strength of each SB600 – if it’s too powerful, simply push it further away 🙂

    ShaolinTiger: Don’t underestimate the usefulness of a tripod 🙂

    The best time to take arty farty shots is usually around or after sunset – that’s when the contrast between the sky and your subjects is at its least, allowing you to capture brilliant, subtle nuances that are normally lost when shooting in bright daylight.

    In these situations, you may find your camera shooting at 1/20s – even at ISO1600 and maximum aperture. That’s too slow for a handheld shot.

    But on the other end of the extreme, don’t pack a tripod as a permanent fixture with your camera gear. Sometimes, it can be a hell of a nuisance to carry.. -_-

  28. Asyraf Lee May 27, 2006 at 8:22 am #

    Wow, I am so not worthy after looking at all the comments, dude XD

  29. blackwidow May 27, 2006 at 9:04 am #

    Get Nikon D70s. For amatuer, this is a good camera. Canon Rebel is like a toy after you touch and feel D70s. My sister, bro and myself are D70s users, we love it so much!

  30. DieHardX May 27, 2006 at 9:58 pm #

    u can’t compare e two as u know they r released at a far different time. e canon is like mid feb 2005, e nikon d70s is like late april 2005 and e olympus late sep 05. generally, e trend is e later e release, e better it will b.

    b4 dslr, during e slr time, nikon was alwiz world no.1 2nd place is alwiz a fight between canon, minolta, olympus. but canon holds most of e 2nd placing than e rest. of coz u have some bad ass brands like sigma, leica n mamiya which r damn rare n freaking expensive.

    in e dslr arena, it is a totally different ball game. canon honestly is far more superior n cheaper than nikon in terms digital technology. nikon honestly is abit behind in tis department.

    looking thru e range of dslrs of both, mpixel 2 mpixel, canon is better 4 nite taking, cheaper n has faster n higher megapixel power cameras!

    still, nikon is still a good choice 4 all e past reputations it has. so i guess u must get ur priorities rite. if niteshot is ur biggest difficulty with normal digicams like most of us r having with lotsa noise, i think u go 4 e one with least noise with highest ISO it can go. dat is something i alwiz dun have e privilege 2 have.

    olympus? forget itlah, nikon or canon or go single!

    remember, e investment on a dslr brand is 4 life. once u commit, u have 2 grow old with her! haha! unless u r rich n afford 2 different wives! haha!

  31. elb May 29, 2006 at 8:05 am #

    Why not a 20D? I’m sure there are a few lying around somewhere for decent prices after the release of the 30D. Given that the 30D is really nothing more than a cosmetic makeover of the 20D, you will hardly lose anything.

  32. osx May 31, 2006 at 1:26 pm #

    I was a Nikon user, but I dropped that in a heartbeat and happily shooting with Canon RebelxT

  33. easyriderloves csandbf2 June 1, 2006 at 1:33 am #

    Hi shaolintiger,

    Nice article, I really enjoyed reading it. Yeah it’s a tough choice between the two because each has its pros and cons, there is no perfect camera. I suggest try them at the shops and follow your heart.

    I’m just starting out in photography with a Canon Powershot A430. I would love to get a DSLR, but honestly I can’t afford it yet.

    Look me up in Velocity Forums. My username is latterbuoy.


  34. clickNsnap June 13, 2006 at 7:35 pm #

    Currently, I’m using A70 & looking forward for my very 1st DSLR… between 70s or 350D, really don’t know which one to chose…

    May I know both of the cameras have the backlight on status LCD?


  35. Joe January 4, 2007 at 1:51 am #

    Personally, I took the 350D. It’s compact and light, has less noise at high ISO, and in my opinion has a better selection of lenses. I know that the 18-55 isn’t the best in the world, but I just bought a 17-40 F4/L which is definitely great.

    As far as being to small goes, I disagree. I have big hands, and I’m a tall guy overall, but the 350D isn’t hard to use once you know the layout and I think it feels pretty high quality. For the money, I think it’s better.

  36. zaleha July 22, 2007 at 12:55 pm #

    do you know where can i buy manfrotto tripod model 520MVB & 501 pro video head


  37. smooth January 8, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

    Canon the best !!