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Canon 1200D vs 550D

The Canon EOS 1200D (called Canon T5 in some regions) and the Canon EOS 550D (labelled Canon T2i in some countries) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2014 and February 2010. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 17.9 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 1200D   Canon 550D
Canon 1200D Canon 550D
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor 17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-6400 (100-12800) ISO 100-6400 (100-12800)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD, 460k dots 3.0" LCD, 1040k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 3.7 shutter flaps per second
500 shots per battery charge440 shots per battery charge
130 x 100 x 78 mm, 480 g 129 x 98 x 62 mm, 530 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 1200D and the Canon EOS 550D? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon 1200D vs 550D

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 1200D and the Canon 550D. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 1200D vs Canon 550D
Compare 1200D versus 550D top
Comparison 1200D or 550D rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 550D is somewhat smaller (3 percent) than the Canon 1200D. However, the 550D is markedly heavier (10 percent) than the 1200D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 1200D nor the 550D are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the 1200D gets 500 shots out of its LP-E10 battery, while the 550D can take 440 images on a single charge of its LP-E8 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon 1200D» 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449- i Canon 1200D
 
Canon 550D« 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699- i Canon 550D
 
Canon 4000D« » 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 i i Canon 4000D
 
Canon 1300D« » 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 485 g 500 n Mar 2016 449- i Canon 1300D
 
Canon 750D« » 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749- i Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D« » 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649- i Canon 760D
 
Canon G9 X« » 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 209 g 220 n Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
 
Canon M10« » 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 301 g 255 n Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
 
Canon 100D« » 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549- i Canon 100D
 
Canon 700D« » 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649- i Canon 700D
 
Canon 650D« » 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
 
Canon 600D« » 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599- i Canon 600D
 
Canon 1100D« » 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
 
Canon 500D« » 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799- i Canon 500D
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The 1200D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 36 percent) than the 550D, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon 1200D vs 550D

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 1200D and Canon 550D sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 17.9 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the 1200D and the 550D have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the 1200D is much more recent (by 4 years) than the 550D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The Canon EOS 1200D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The Canon EOS 550D offers exactly the same ISO settings.

1200D versus 550D MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Canon 1200D» APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463Canon 1200D
 
Canon 550D« APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466Canon 550D
 
Canon 4000D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563Canon 4000D
 
Canon 1300D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p----Canon 1300D
 
Canon 750D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570Canon 760D
 
Canon G9 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563Canon G9 X
 
Canon M10« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365Canon M10
 
Canon 100D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363Canon 100D
 
Canon 700D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161Canon 700D
 
Canon 650D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon 650D
 
Canon 600D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365Canon 600D
 
Canon 1100D« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon 1100D
 
Canon 500D« » APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363Canon 500D

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/30p).

 

Feature comparison: Canon 1200D vs 550D

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 1200D and the 550D are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the 550D has a higher magnification than the one of the 1200D (0.54x vs 0.50x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 1200D and Canon 550D in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Canon 1200D»optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 1200D
 
Canon 550D«optical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n Canon 550D
 
Canon 4000D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 4000D
 
Canon 1300D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 1300D
 
Canon 750D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 760D
 
Canon G9 X« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 6.0 Y Y Canon G9 X
 
Canon M10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.6 Y n Canon M10
 
Canon 100D« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9 Y n Canon 100D
 
Canon 700D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 700D
 
Canon 650D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 650D
 
Canon 600D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n Canon 600D
 
Canon 1100D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 1100D
 
Canon 500D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n Canon 500D

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 1200D and the 550D write their files to SDXC cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Canon 1200D vs 550D

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 1200D and Canon EOS 550D and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Canon 1200D»Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon 1200D
 
Canon 550D«Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---Canon 550D
 
Canon 4000D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon 4000D
 
Canon 1300D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon 1300D
 
Canon 750D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon 760D
 
Canon G9 X« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G9 X
 
Canon M10« »-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon M10
 
Canon 100D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 100D
 
Canon 700D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 700D
 
Canon 650D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 650D
 
Canon 600D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 600D
 
Canon 1100D« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon 1100D
 
Canon 500D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon 500D

It is notable that the 550D has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The 1200D does not feature such a mic input.

Both the 1200D and the 550D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 550D was replaced by the Canon 600D, while the 1200D was followed by the Canon 1300D. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.


Review summary: Canon 1200D vs 550D

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 1200D or the Canon 550D – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Canon EOS 1200D:

  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (500 versus 440) on a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (36 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years of technical progress since the 550D launch.


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 550D:

  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.54x vs 0.50x).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 460k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.7 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2010).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 550D emerges as the winner of the match-up (5 : 3 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

1200D 03:05 550D

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 1200D and the Canon 550D place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 1200D and the 550D in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews: Canon 1200D vs 550D

This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon 1200D»+-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i Canon 1200D
 
Canon 550D«+ +77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699- i Canon 550D
 
Canon 4000D« »o-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i i Canon 4000D
 
Canon 1300D« »o73/1004/53.5/54/5 Mar 2016 449- i Canon 1300D
 
Canon 750D« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D« »+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649- i Canon 760D
 
Canon G9 X« »+ +-4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
 
Canon M10« »---o4/5 Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
 
Canon 100D« »+78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i Canon 100D
 
Canon 700D« »-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i Canon 700D
 
Canon 650D« »+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
 
Canon 600D« »o77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599- i Canon 600D
 
Canon 1100D« »80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
 
Canon 500D« »+ +74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799- i Canon 500D
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon 1200D:
Check Ebay offers
Canon 550D:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon 1200D vs Canon 550D

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 1200D Canon 550D
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2014 February 2010
    Launch Price USD 449 USD 699
    Sensor Specs Canon 1200D Canon 550D
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 22.3 x 14.9 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 332.27 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 26.8 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 17.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 5184 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 4.31 μm
    Pixel Density 5.39 MP/cm2 5.39 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-6400 ISO 100-6400 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-12800 ISO 100-12800 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 DIGIC 4
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 63 66
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.9 22.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.3 11.5
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 724 784
    Screen Specs Canon 1200D Canon 550D
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.50x 0.54x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 460k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 1200D Canon 550D
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 3.7 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations100 000 actuations
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon 1200D Canon 550D
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 1200D Canon 550D
    Battery Type LP-E10 power pack LP-E8 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)500 shots per charge440 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 130 x 100 x 78 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
    129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    Camera Weight 480 g (16.9 oz) 530 g (18.7 oz)

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