As a follow up to my DSLR guide, here’s a quick explanation of Canon’s DSLR numbering scheme which will hopefully clear up some common confusion!
All Canon DSLRs have a model number starting with 1, 2, 3 or 4 digits and ending in D. For example you have the 5D, the 60D and the 600D. Here’s how to tell what you’re looking at:
- The fewer digits, the higher end the camera is. So a 1000D is basic, 500D is entry level, 50D is mid range and 5D is pro.
- Except for the single-digit numbers, higher is newer. So the 40D replaced (and is better than) the 30D, which previously replaced the 20D.
- For the single digit numbers, lower is better. The 5D is awesome, the 1D is the ultimate. Newer models in this range get suffixes, e.g. the 5D mkII.
I believe Nikon use a similar scheme (although I’m not a Nikon expert) but they put the D at the beginning!
Now just to confuse us, Canon sometimes use different names for their entry level cameras in different regions. For example, you may hear about a Canon “Rebel” – this is the brand name sometimes used to refer to the 3 and 4-digit entry level models in the US (in Asia they’re “Kiss”!). But they’re the same camera, and most people I know use the standard number to avoid confusion. Here’s the current cross reference guide in order of newness:
- 600D = Rebel T3i = Kiss X5
- 1100D = Rebel T3 = Kiss X50
- 550D = Rebel T2i = Kiss X4
- 500D = Rebel T1i = Kiss X3
- 1000D = Rebel XS = Kiss F
You’ll see the name “EOS” floating around as well – that’s the overall name Canon use to refer to their whole DSLR and lens system.